Jamie Tarabay explored Hollywood’s relationship with the Pentagon in a recent piece for Al Jazeera America. The Pentagon has a devoted “entertainment-liaison officer” who acts as a Hollywood point person and helps decide which projects get Pentagon support (in the form of expertise, equipment, and locations). According to scholar Lawrence Suid, the Hollywood military relationship relationship dates back to […]
In 1987, a young Nikki Finke profiled the “Literary Brat Pack” (choice Brat Pack members included Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney, of Less Than Zero and Bright Lights, Big City fame, respectively) for The Los Angeles Times.
During a Skype conversation, Quadflieg explained that MRI-based brain studies show stereotypes are activated in about 170 milliseconds. No matter how open-minded we fancy ourselves, these biases kick in without our realizing it, she says. In a 2011 study in the journal Neuroimage, Quadflieg reported that the areas of the brain associated with body recognition had […]
Although they had no way of knowing it, the Hartwigs had bought a remnant of the Cora C. Hollister House, a Craftsman-style bungalow built in 1904 by Charles and Henry Greene, two of Southern California’s most admired and transformational residential architects. “In their 20 years of practice,” wrote the late Greene & Greene historian Randell […]
After my internship, my first assignment for National Geographic was a story about the Zinacenteco Indians in the highlands of Chiapas. The subject was interesting but very challenging. As a woman, my access was mostly limited to other women who only spoke the Maya language I was struggling to learn. Once I traversed the language barrier, it […]
The showbiz press has been abuzz all day with news of a surprise shake-up (a group of high-powered talent agents defected en masse from one top agency to another). Most of the coverage has been inside baseball, but an analysis in The Hollywood Reporter by Matthew Belloni provides some interesting insight into Hollywood history: Consider the case of the late legendary agent, who […]
Alex Gibney’s much-talked about new documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief—based on Lawrence Wright’s similarly titled 2013 exposé—has been making headlines since it made its Sundance debut in January. It opened on limited screens across the country last Friday and will premiere on HBO in two weeks. In the meantime, the Church of […]
It doesn’t really seem to make much difference how the voting is done. The quality of the work is still only recognized in the context of success. A superb job in a flop picture would get you nothing, a routine job in a winner will be voted in. It is against this background of success-worship that the voting is done, with the incidental music supplied by a stream of advertising in the trade papers (which even intelligent people read in Hollywood) designed to put all other pictures than those advertised out of your head at balloting time.
The industry term for or a blockbuster movie franchise is a “tentpole”—it’s the asset that holds the whole operation up. At the height of mass culture, in the second half of the 20th century, it was enough to be on television to command an audience in the tens of millions. But as channels multiplied, the difference between […]
Change rarely happens organically, and gender equality, in both Hollywood and the world at large, is the sort of issue that requires a forceful push by those who see the need for change. But the fact of the matter is, when it comes to the womaning-up of Hollywood, the people doing the pushing behind the […]
In late 2000, the producers and crew for action flick Rush Hour 2 gathered at the now-defunct Desert Inn in Las Vegas and prepared to blow up a casino. The scene, which pitted policemen and Secret Service agents against a counterfeiter attempting to launder $100 million in superdollars, was to culminate with hundreds of thousands […]
Nina Simone’s explosiveness was well known. In concert, she was quick to call out anyone she noticed talking, to stop and glare or hurl a few insults or even leave the stage. Yet her performances, richly improvised, were also confidingly intimate—she needed the connection with her audience—and often riveting. Even in her best years, Simone […]
This country is too fucking big. I honestly think… In nature, if a cell gets too big, it divides. You can’t come up with a set of rules that’s going to work for 350 million people. You’re just not. So we’re stuck. Robert Kennedy had this great quote: “20 percent of people are against everything, […]
Building up to 2005, [Tom] Cruise had tackled some of the most challenging dramas of any actor of his generation: Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia, Vanilla Sky. Even his popcorn flicks — Minority Report,Collateral, War of the Worlds — were intriguingly dark. He’d never played it safe or shot a cash-grab. He trusted that if he chose movies he believed in, the […]
“Shawshank” only began to get moviegoers’ attention after the Oscars, where it received seven nominations (but won no awards) and promptly was rereleased in theaters. The second run grossed an additional $10 million and primed it for its debut on home video, which at the time was still a robust revenue source. If Andy Dufresne […]
I think the look of the show is great. There was a bit of an adjustment for me. I had been living with these characters and this world since 1991, so I had close to twenty years of pictures in my head of what these characters looked like, and the banners and the castles, and […]
Fast Company has an excerpt from Creativity, Inc., the book by Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull (with Amy Wallace), which goes inside the creative process at the studio. Catmull attributes much of their creative success to their internal process for continually refining stories. It includes meetings with the Braintrust, a group of executives, directors and other […]
After Michael Mann set out to direct Collateral, the story’s setting moved from New York to Los Angeles. This decision was in part motivated by the unique visual presence of the city — especially the way it looked at night. Mann shot a majority of the film in HD (this was 2004), feeling the format […]
Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie Stephen Rodrick | New York Times Magazine | January 2013 | 31 minutes (7,752 words) Stephen Rodrick (@stephenrodrick) is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, contributing editor for Men’s Journal and author of The Magical Stranger.
“The Writer’s Guild of America has a term for my situation: They call it ‘The Gap.’ It’s the time period between when your years as a working writer end and your retirement begins. I actually have an excellent pension for when I finally retire. The Guild is a strong union and it has negotiated an […]
“I must admit that it was intended consciously as a social document. … [but] the storyteller’s first duty is to the story.” -From the 1991 documentary “The Complete Citizen Kane,” on the Orson Welles masterpiece. The film features interviews with Welles from 1960 and 1982, as well as an interview with New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael, […]
Mark Armstrong (that’s not him above) is the founder of Longreads, and editorial director for Pocket. This past week’s Steven Soderbergh speech on “The State of the Cinema” isn’t as big a downer for film lovers as these choice quotes might have you believe: “Shouldn’t we be spending the time and resources alleviating suffering and helping […]