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In the News 31.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 31.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 31.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets
In the News 31.03.16 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

Is ‘Friends’ Still the Most Popular Show on TV?

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When the TV critic Andy Greenwald, who is 38, returned to his high school near Philadelphia last May to speak to students about his job, he wondered how it would go. After all, today’s students are a digital generation who have only a vague association with the concept of “TV.” Sure enough, when Greenwald mentioned his job to them, one student in the group asked, “So what does that mean? Do you, like, watch Netflix?” Greenwald said, sure, he watches Netflix, since watching original streaming programming — on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, wherever — is all part of covering the complex new television landscape. Then he asked the teenagers if they watch Netflix. They said, enthusiastically, Yes. So he asked them what they like to watch on Netflix. They said, ­enthusiastically, Friends.

Read the rest of this article at Vulture

How Meryl Streep Battled Dustin Hoffman, Retooled Her Role, and Won Her First Oscar

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On March 12, 1978, the man Meryl Streep had been dating for nearly two years died as she sat at his hospital bed. She had met John Cazale, the crane-like character actor best known for playing Fredo Corleone in the Godfather films, when they starred together in a Shakespeare in the Park production of Measure for Measure in the summer of 1976. From the beginning, they were an unusual pair: a pellucid 27-year-old beauty just a year out of the Yale School of Drama and a 41-year-old oddball with a forehead as high as a boulder and a penchant for Cuban cigars.

But the romance was tragically short-lived. Only months after she moved into his Tribeca loft, Cazale was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer. When he was cast in the Vietnam epic The Deer Hunter, Meryl joined the film, in part, just to be with him. Cazale didn’t live to see the completed work. A few weeks after he died, Meryl’s brother helped her pack up her belongings. He brought along a friend she had met once or twice—a sculptor named Don Gummer, who lived a few blocks away, in SoHo. Only weeks after losing the love of her life, she had found the second love of her life, the man who would become her husband.

It was this Meryl Streep—simultaneously grieving and infatuated, a theater actress new to movies—who got word from her agent, Sam Cohn, about a possible role in Kramer vs. Kramer, based on a novel by Avery Corman. Corman wanted to counteract the “toxic rhetoric” he had been hearing from feminists, who he felt lumped all men together as “a whole bunch of bad guys,” he says now. His protagonist was Ted Kramer, a thirtysomething workaholic New Yorker who sells ad space for men’s magazines. He has a wife, Joanna, and a little boy named Billy. In the early chapters, their marriage is portrayed as superficially content, with wells of ennui underneath.

The problem is Joanna Kramer, who finds motherhood, by and large, “boring.” She starts taking tennis lessons. Sex with Ted is mechanical. About 50 pages in, Joanna informs Ted that she’s “suffocating.” She’s leaving him, and she’s leaving Billy. (“Feminists will applaud me,” she says.) Ted overcomes his shock and gets back into the swing of single life. More important, he learns how to be a good father. It is then that Joanna does the unthinkable: she returns from California and tells Ted she wants Billy back. The ensuing custody battle, which gives the novel its title, lays bare the ugliness of divorce proceedings and the wounds they allow people to inflict on each other.

Read the rest of this article at Vanity Fair

50 documentaries you need to see

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Ten of the best nonfiction film-makers today choose their own favourites, from serial killer stories and studies in the horrors of war to meta pranks.

Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog, 2005

What I remember most from this documentary is Werner Herzog’s voice. Ostensibly this is a film about a man called Timothy Treadwell, who spent many summers living among grizzly bears in Alaska and was eventually mauled to death and eaten by an enormous brown bear. Herzog turns it into a much grander meditation on loneliness and man’s relationship with nature. Many film-makers try to be objective and avoid giving their opinions, but Herzog isn’t shy about being authoritative. When he addresses the camera directly in that strange monotone of his, it’s almost like you’re listening to the voice of God.

Read the rest of this article at The Guardian

Don Cheadle Talks Racism, Miles Davis, and His Wonderfully Bizarre Biopic

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For nearly three decades, Don Cheadle has excelled as a versatile and compelling screen presence, disappearing into roles as varied as hair-trigger psycho Mouse in Devil in a Blue Dress (1992), sad-sack cowboy-cum-pornstar Buck Swope in Boogie Nights (1997), and real-life hero Paul Rusesabagina in the harrowing drama Hotel Rwanda (2004).

Cheadle again commands the screen in his directorial debut, Miles Ahead, in which he plays the late jazz legend Miles Davis during his hermetic, drug-fueled “quiet period” at the tail end of the turbulent 1970s …

Read the rest of this article at Vice

The Unbearable Sadness Of Ben Affleck

The Ben Affleck of the late ‘90s was a charm machine: goofy, self-effacing, and deep in a highly public bromance with the equally winning Matt Damon. Within five years, he was a punchline. It took a decade for his career to recover. Today, he’s once again at war with his image. So what’s Affleck so ashamed of?

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The year after Daredevil, Ben Affleck told People magazine that “I can’t imagine doing another action movie.” In 2002, he called his earlier desire to do blockbusters “an adolescent aspiration.” In 2003, he described his “fundamental code” as “being honest, doing things with which I can live, rather than be ashamed of — doing estimable things.” In 2006, he told USA Today that “I’ve been in movies that earned a lot of money that … I wish I wasn’t in, honestly.” Later that year, in an interview for his “comeback” role in Hollywoodland, he was relieved because “I don’t have to feel, like, embarrassed anymore.”

Affleck has an issue with shame. Over the last 20 years of stardom, he’s voiced that shame about the roles that he’s taken, the relationships he’s made public, his lack of education, his drinking habits, and, most recently, his tattoo, which, after a swift and public backlash, he quickly (and rather dubiously) claimed to be “fake.” He has not, it should be noted, been ashamed of his gambling habits or his extramarital affair — allegations of which, at least publicly, he still denies.

During his career renaissance in the late 2000s, the shame receded: He was directing, which is much less embarrassing than acting in bad movies, and in 2013, he won a Best Picture Oscar for Argo. But recently, Affleck has returned to the source of his embarrassment: In signing up for the role of Batman, he’s wed himself to a decade of action movies. Reviews for Batman v Superman are so bad that fans of the film have conjured a conspiracy theory that they were paid for by (DC Comics rival) Marvel. And in videos like this one, currently meme-ing its way across the internet, you can watch, in real time, as that old shame creeps in:

It’s the same look he sported at the Gigli premiere in 2004, laden with the realization that he’d done something horribly, irrevocably wrong. It’s a look that shows up so often there’s an entire deliriously well-stocked Tumblr of “Ben Affleck Looking Sad.” But the Sadfleck look doesn’t inspire pity. Instead, there’s a palpable desire to punch him in the face.

Read the rest of this article at Buzzfeed

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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