The News Selected by Ray Pride See All

"As an embittered expatriate, mind-blitzing drunk and hellacious bigot who spent her last years sequestered in a Brutalist redoubt in Switzerland writing hate letters to the newspapers about the pro-Israel policies of the US government and spewing venom about ‘the Jews and the blacks’, might Highsmith have enjoyed at least some of the sadism? The bludgeoning of the police, say, with fire extinguishers or the odd flagpole? The cathartic splitting open of someone’s head with a heavy object is, after all, one of the methods used by her murderous anti-heroes to kill the clueless people they are in love with: witness Tom Ripley’s brain-splatter of an assault – with an oar – on the pate of pretty Dickie Greenleaf in 'The Talented Mr Ripley.'"
Terry Castle On Patricia Highsmith

February 27, 2021

Molly Jong-Fast on "Britney, Mia, and the Way the Media Treated Women in the ’90s"

February 27, 2021

The New York Times

Stoplight: Marty Baron Retires: “Mr. Baron and Mr. Bezos are not friends (leaving aside the office birthday party when Mr. Bezos presented his editor with a new bicycle). Mr. Baron generally attends Mr. Bezos’ biweekly meeting with Mr. Ryan, the publisher. Still, a certain rapport was evident during an onstage interview in 2016 at a Post-sponsored conference in Washington, Mr. Baron dry and grumbly (“in journalism, interviewing the owner of the company is considered to be high-risk behavior”) and Mr. Bezos cheerfully evangelistic. The internet demolished media’s traditional business models, Mr. Bezos explained in the interview, “but it does bring one huge gift, and you have to maximize your usage of that new gift, which is that it provides almost free global distribution.”

The New York Times | February 27, 2021

LA Times

Lee Isaac Chung: “In early 2018, my journey as a filmmaker seemed to be closing. For the sake of my family, I decided to take a full-time teaching job to join the ranks of responsible workers, and this meant I had a few months to write one final script before my job began. Sitting in my regular coffee shop in South Pasadena, at the same table where I had schemed and planned my battles for years, I felt desperate to try a new approach. I closed my computer, shut my eyes and decided to take seriously whatever I heard in return. After a time, two words came to me, and they were clear only because they were so unfamiliar: ‘Willa Cather.’”

LA Times | February 27, 2021

New Yorker

Anthony Hopkins: “It wasn’t so much anger. It was just being a young man. But, as the years have gone by, I’ve thought, Drop the act. There’s nothing to be angry about. You’re lucky to be alive. It was just insecurity, fear, ambition. Misplaced paranoia, probably. But when you’re young that’s what you have to accept. I see young kids these days, and they try to be cool, but you can see beneath the mask that they’re not cool. They’re as scared as anyone else is. To admit that we are afraid is a wonderful freedom. Everything is important, but, finally, nothing is important. It’s all smoke. I look back on my life and think, Was it all a dream? Everyone I know is dead now. My parents are gone, and I think, Did they really exist? I’m going into metaphysics, in a way—the solipsistic universe we live in. But I look back over my life and think, The past is incomprehensible. I don’t grasp it at all.

New Yorker | February 27, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

Will the HFPA, shamed by the backlash to some of its random 2021 noms, not just add Black members, but also make substantial structural changes? It seems the organization could address some concerns about its current composition — among the lifetime members is at least one who is legally blind — by taking a page out of the film Academy's book and significantly expanding its membership to include more active and legitimate journalists. But to make it possible for such people to join the organization, the HFPA would also have to reform its ethics rules. It is a big question mark if it would be willing to do so."

Hollywood Reporter | February 27, 2021


Hong Kong’s Ng Man-Tat Was 68

Twitter | February 27, 2021

"Telluride Film Festival announces its dates for the 48th Telluride Film Festival—September 2 - 6, 2021, with an added day to the weekend-long event. Festival organizers are optimistic that by September, when the vaccination process will then be long underway, and by taking all necessary safety precautions including the extra day, an in-person event will likely be possible. “We are beyond excited to announce our dates,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “Our position within the festival calendar gives us hope that we will be able to hold the festival this year. We are guided by science and are continuously evaluating the global pandemic in relation to health, travel and live events. Time will tell, but in the meantime, we are busy planning for and putting together an incredible program.” There are currently no new pass sales available to the public at this time. Huntsinger explains, “As a result of the Festival’s 2020 cancellation, the majority of passholders requested to roll over their passes to 2021. Without knowing theater capacity restrictions, the small number of passes left are being held back out of an abundance of caution.”

February 26, 2021

Rolling Stone

Soderbergh on “The Knick” on HBO Max, And More: “There’s nothing to compare with having the same filmmaker making all of those decisions on every episode. There’s a unification that comes form that that you cannot reproduce when you have multiple directors. On the shows that I’ve produced, I’ve pushed very hard for a filmmaker, or in the case of ‘The Girlfriend Experience,’ with Amy and Lodge, a pair of writer-directors, to make all the episodes. I think the result is better. Whether that’s going to become a thing even in a niche way, I don’t know. It’s a position I’ve taken and a belief I have, because I think the filmmaker is the primary creative force. And so I lean toward empowering the filmmaker to make their show. We just finished Season Three of ‘The Girlfriend Experience,’ and Anja Marquardt did the whole show. The result is really unique and special, because it’s her vision, down to the frame.”

Rolling Stone | February 26, 2021


Ta-Nehisi Coates To Write New Superman Picture?

Variety | February 26, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

AT&T to Sell Stake in DirecTV and Video Biz, Valued at $16.5 Billion; $7.8 Billion in Deal Will Be Used to Pay Down Part of Debt Load

Hollywood Reporter | February 26, 2021

Financial Times

“Certainly, Schnabel enjoys bragging – he is great fun to talk to: boisterous, unbridled, at points playfully self-aware, at others deliciously oblivious. At several moments during our conversation, he gets so wrapped in his own stories, or in regaling long passages from his films, that he loses the point of his reference and pauses for long enough that I wonder if our FaceTime connection has dropped. Usually he gets back on track – buoyed by a sea of names to drop: Blinky Palermo, Lou Reed, ‘Bob’ Rauschenberg.

Financial Times | February 25, 2021

The New York Times

“Employment in New York City’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector plummeted by 66 percent from December 2019 to December 2020, according to a report released by the New York State Comptroller’s office... the sector had seen the largest drop of all the parts of the city’s economy... Full recovery would be made only with government assistance.”

The New York Times | February 25, 2021

LA Times

The HFPA, Freely Translated From ‘Busted’: “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, tv and the artists inspiring and educating them. We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”

LA Times | February 25, 2021


Katie Walsh: "It wasn’t fun. I hated it. Not that I hated the movie, just the experience. It was uncomfortable and unpleasant, being like, 'Is this directed at me?' So I feel like I can’t fully speak to all of the arguments in it. I thought about rewatching it, and then I was like, 'I can’t rewatch this.' ... I do think that there’s a valid point to be made about filmmakers being boxed into making a Black film, or making a female film, or making a Latinx film. Being relegated to these identity silos. That is a fair point, but I don’t think that it lands. When you’re trying to make an argument, you have to draw your audience in and make it easy for them to understand. Having this character just scream random filmmakers’ names? I don’t think that does the argument any justice."

Vulture | February 25, 2021