black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a Cool Girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl. 
Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.” 
― Gillian Flynn

“Men always say that as the defining compliment, don’t they? She’s a Cool Girl. Being the Cool Girl means I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2, because Cool Girls are above all hot. Hot and understanding. Cool Girls never get angry; they only smile in a chagrined, loving manner and let their men do whatever they want. Go ahead, shit on me, I don’t mind, I’m the Cool Girl.

Men actually think this girl exists. Maybe they’re fooled because so many women are willing to pretend to be this girl. For a long time Cool Girl offended me. I used to see men — friends, coworkers, strangers — giddy over these awful pretender women, and I’d want to sit these men down and calmly say: You are not dating a woman, you are dating a woman who has watched too many movies written by socially awkward men who’d like to believe that this kind of woman exists and might kiss them.” 

― Gillian Flynn

"In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? Other than the boring details of film financing, licensing, etc. I hunt — in the forest of interesting ideas. I love to be in the world and to just go hunting.”
"Do you give money to panhandlers? As Walt Whitman advised, I always try to help people out on the street a little. Especially musicians — I consider them to be the magical people among us. 
What’s your drink? Water. The greatest drink on our planet is a clear, cool glass of water.”
"What’s your favorite medication? I’m not really into medications. I’d rather read a book. 
What is the best thing in or about your apartment? Art and things friends have given me — then my books, music, DVDs, and musical instruments. 
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the subway? Very young and dangerous-looking gang members communicating only with sign language. 
When was the last time you stayed out past 3 a.m.? I guess late last year when Mick Jones and Paul Simonon were in town promoting the release of the Clash box set. 
Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square? The old one. More Lou Reed, less Walt Disney. 
What do you think of Mayor de Blasio? I am suspicious of all politicians, especially those who get elected. 
What do you hate most about living in New York? The noise level is getting to me, and the traffic, and everyone’s endless quest for money is a real drag. 
If you could banish one person from New York forever, who would it be? New York is a free port — no one should be banished. U.S. out of NYC!”
"Where do you go to be alone? I go into the woods in the Catskills looking for animals and mushrooms.”
Sir Jarmusch | NYMAG

"In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? 
Other than the boring details of film financing, licensing, etc. I hunt — in the forest of interesting ideas. I love to be in the world and to just go hunting.”

"Do you give money to panhandlers? 
As Walt Whitman advised, I always try to help people out on the street a little. Especially musicians — I consider them to be the magical people among us. 

What’s your drink? 
Water. The greatest drink on our planet is a clear, cool glass of water.”

"What’s your favorite medication? 
I’m not really into medications. I’d rather read a book. 

What is the best thing in or about your apartment? 
Art and things friends have given me — then my books, music, DVDs, and musical instruments. 

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever seen on the subway? 
Very young and dangerous-looking gang members communicating only with sign language. 

When was the last time you stayed out past 3 a.m.? 
I guess late last year when Mick Jones and Paul Simonon were in town promoting the release of the Clash box set. 

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square? 
The old one. More Lou Reed, less Walt Disney. 

What do you think of Mayor de Blasio? 
I am suspicious of all politicians, especially those who get elected. 

What do you hate most about living in New York? 
The noise level is getting to me, and the traffic, and everyone’s endless quest for money is a real drag. 

If you could banish one person from New York forever, who would it be? 
New York is a free port — no one should be banished. U.S. out of NYC!”

"Where do you go to be alone? 
I go into the woods in the Catskills looking for animals and mushrooms.”

Sir Jarmusch | NYMAG

“In a first deal of its kind, Netflix and the Weinstein Company said Monday that they planned to release next year’s sequel to the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously across the globe on Netflix and a select number of Imax theaters.
The film, a follow-up to Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning martial arts drama, is the first major motion picture to make its debut on the streaming service and in movie theaters at the same time. It will be available on Aug. 28 at no additional fee to Netflix subscribers and is the first of several films that Netflix is backing that will follow this new model for release. Only Imax is involved; other theater chains will not screen the film.”
Netflix Takes Aim at Hollywood | NYT

In a first deal of its kind, Netflix and the Weinstein Company said Monday that they planned to release next year’s sequel to the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” simultaneously across the globe on Netflix and a select number of Imax theaters.

The film, a follow-up to Ang Lee’s Academy Award-winning martial arts drama, is the first major motion picture to make its debut on the streaming service and in movie theaters at the same time. It will be available on Aug. 28 at no additional fee to Netflix subscribers and is the first of several films that Netflix is backing that will follow this new model for release. Only Imax is involved; other theater chains will not screen the film.”

Netflix Takes Aim at Hollywood | NYT

“What I love is the heartland of the country, the so-called “flyover” zone, like Wisconsin, where we filmed Stroszek and where Orson Welles was from. Marlon Brando came from Nebraska, Bob Dylan from Minnesota, Hemingway from Illinois, these middle-of-nowhere places, to say nothing of the South, the home of Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. I like this kind of terrain, where you can still encounter great self-reliance and camaraderie, the warm, open hearts, the down-to-earth people. So much of the rest of the country has abandoned these basic virtues. I like America for its spirit of advancement and exploration; there is something exceptionally bold about the place. The idea of everyone having an equal chance to succeed, no matter who they are, is impressive. If a barefoot Indian from the Andes had invented the wheel, the patent office in Washington would have assisted him in securing his rights.”
“When I made The Wild Blue Yonder I discovered an extraordinary cache of footage shot by NASA astronauts in outer space, and was told that because it was filmed by federal employees, the material was “property of the people.” I asked, “Can I, a Bavarian, be considered one of the people?” Such images, it turns out, according to American law belong to everyone on the planet. This is a unique and astounding attitude to the world. Naturally there are things in the United States I’m ambivalent about, just as there are when it comes to Germany. I could never be a flag-waving patriot. But there are many reasons why I have been in America for so many years. The country has always had a capacity to rejuvenate itself, pull itself out of defeat and look to the future. There has always been space there to create real change. I could never live in a country I didn’t love.”
Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed

What I love is the heartland of the country, the so-called “flyover” zone, like Wisconsin, where we filmed Stroszek and where Orson Welles was from. Marlon Brando came from Nebraska, Bob Dylan from Minnesota, Hemingway from Illinois, these middle-of-nowhere places, to say nothing of the South, the home of Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor. I like this kind of terrain, where you can still encounter great self-reliance and camaraderie, the warm, open hearts, the down-to-earth people. So much of the rest of the country has abandoned these basic virtues. I like America for its spirit of advancement and exploration; there is something exceptionally bold about the place. The idea of everyone having an equal chance to succeed, no matter who they are, is impressive. If a barefoot Indian from the Andes had invented the wheel, the patent office in Washington would have assisted him in securing his rights.”

When I made The Wild Blue Yonder I discovered an extraordinary cache of footage shot by NASA astronauts in outer space, and was told that because it was filmed by federal employees, the material was “property of the people.” I asked, “Can I, a Bavarian, be considered one of the people?” Such images, it turns out, according to American law belong to everyone on the planet. This is a unique and astounding attitude to the world. Naturally there are things in the United States I’m ambivalent about, just as there are when it comes to Germany. I could never be a flag-waving patriot. But there are many reasons why I have been in America for so many years. The country has always had a capacity to rejuvenate itself, pull itself out of defeat and look to the future. There has always been space there to create real change. I could never live in a country I didn’t love.”

Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed

A 180-degree turn from Mr. Anderson’s relentless oil odyssey…“Inherent Vice” is his most comedic and anarchic film since “Boogie Nights.” It’s a stoner detective film so overstuffed with visual gags and gimmicks that the filmmaker said he was inspired by slapstick spoofs like “Top Secret!” and “Airplane!”

Like the novel, the film is set in 1970 in the fictional Gordita Beach, Calif., among paranoid burnouts, white-supremacist bikers, black-power ex-cons, and hippies turned toothless heroin addicts. The “gum-sandal” detective Doc Sportello (a mutton-chopped, mumbly Mr. Phoenix) begins investigating a mystery at the behest of his free-spirited ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) and to the consternation of the corrupt cop Bigfoot Bjornsen, played by Mr. [Josh] Brolin with a “flattop of Flintstone proportions,” as a character says in the film, and a malicious “twinkle in his eye that says ‘civil rights violations.’ ”

Along the way, Doc uncovers a conspiracy that touches the shady land developer Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts) and a surf-rock saxophonist named Coy Harlingen (Owen Wilson), both of whom may either be dead or alive. Looming over them all is the specter of the Golden Fang, which may be a boat, an Indochinese heroin cartel, a rehab center, a syndicate of dentists — or something even more vast.”

Inherent Vice will have its premiere as the centerpiece of the New York Film Festival next Saturday, and open in theaters Dec. 12. 

The Death of Adulthood in American Culture | NYT

TV characters are among the allegorical figures of our age, giving individual human shape to our collective anxieties and aspirations. The meanings of “Mad Men” are not very mysterious: The title of the final half season, which airs next spring, will be “The End of an Era.” The most obvious thing about the series’s meticulous, revisionist, present-minded depiction of the past, and for many viewers the most pleasurable, is that it shows an old order collapsing under the weight of internal contradiction and external pressure. From the start, “Mad Men” has, in addition to cataloging bygone vices and fashion choices, traced the erosion, the gradual slide toward obsolescence, of a power structure built on and in service of the prerogatives of white men. The unthinking way Don, Pete, Roger and the rest of them enjoy their position, and the ease with which they abuse it, inspires what has become a familiar kind of ambivalence among cable viewers. Weren’t those guys awful, back then? But weren’t they also kind of cool? We are invited to have our outrage and eat our nostalgia too, to applaud the show’s right-thinking critique of what we love it for glamorizing. …

Something profound has been happening in our television over the past decade, some end-stage reckoning. It is the era not just of mad men, but also of sad men and, above all, bad men.

Don is at once the heir and precursor to Tony Soprano (fig. 2), that avatar of masculine entitlement who fended off threats to the alpha-dog status he had inherited and worked hard to maintain. Walter White, the protagonist of “Breaking Bad,” struggled, early on, with his own emasculation and then triumphantly (and sociopathically) reasserted the mastery that the world had contrived to deny him. The monstrousness of these men was inseparable from their charisma, and sometimes it was hard to tell if we were supposed to be rooting for them or recoiling in horror. We were invited to participate in their self-delusions and to see through them, to marvel at the mask of masculine competence even as we watched it slip or turn ugly. Their deaths were (and will be) a culmination and a conclusion: Tony, Walter and Don are the last of the patriarchs.

In suggesting that patriarchy is dead, I am not claiming that sexism is finished, that men are obsolete or that the triumph of feminism is at hand. I may be a middle-aged white man, but I’m not an idiot. In the world of politics, work and family, misogyny is a stubborn fact of life. But in the universe of thoughts and words, there is more conviction and intelligence in the critique of male privilege than in its defense, which tends to be panicky and halfhearted when it is not obtuse and obnoxious. The supremacy of men can no longer be taken as a reflection of natural order or settled custom. …

It seems that, in doing away with patriarchal authority, we have also, perhaps unwittingly, killed off all the grown-ups.”

In my main line of work as a film critic, I have watched over the past 15 years as the studios committed their vast financial and imaginative resources to the cultivation of franchises (some of them based on those same Y.A. novels) that advance an essentially juvenile vision of the world. Comic-book movies, family-friendly animated adventures, tales of adolescent heroism and comedies of arrested development do not only make up the commercial center of 21st-century Hollywood. They are its artistic heart.”

Maybe nobody grows up anymore, but everyone gets older. What happens to the boy rebels when the dream of perpetual childhood fades and the traditional prerogatives of manhood are unavailable? There are two options: They become irrelevant or they turn into Louis C. K. (fig. 5). Every white American male under the age of 50 is some version of the character he plays on “Louie,” a show almost entirely devoted to the absurdity of being a pale, doughy heterosexual man with children in a post-patriarchal age. Or, if you prefer, a loser.”

Y.A. fiction is the least of it. It is now possible to conceive of adulthood as the state of being forever young. Childhood, once a condition of limited autonomy and deferred pleasure (“wait until you’re older”), is now a zone of perpetual freedom and delight. Grown people feel no compulsion to put away childish things: We can live with our parents, go to summer camp, play dodge ball, collect dolls and action figures and watch cartoons to our hearts’ content. These symptoms of arrested development will also be signs that we are freer, more honest and happier than the uptight fools who let go of such pastimes.

I do feel the loss of something here, but bemoaning the general immaturity of contemporary culture would be as obtuse as declaring it the coolest thing ever. A crisis of authority is not for the faint of heart. It can be scary and weird and ambiguous. But it can be a lot of fun, too. The best and most authentic cultural products of our time manage to be all of those things. They imagine a world where no one is in charge and no one necessarily knows what’s going on, where identities are in perpetual flux. Mothers and fathers act like teenagers; little children are wise beyond their years. Girls light out for the territory and boys cloister themselves in secret gardens. We have more stories, pictures and arguments than we know what to do with, and each one of them presses on our attention with a claim of uniqueness, a demand to be recognized as special. The world is our playground, without a dad or a mom in sight.

I’m all for it. Now get off my lawn.”

Read on.

©2011 Kateoplis