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SPORTS: We Are The Champions

Monday, February 5th, 2018

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: In Mueller We Trust

Friday, February 2nd, 2018

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Illustration by TRACIE CHING via POLITICO

FRESH AIR: As the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 election forges on, Robert Mueller, the Justice Department special counsel leading the investigation, has managed to stay largely out of public view. Journalist Garrett Graff says that is in keeping with Mueller’s personality: “This is not someone who in any way has tried to grab the spotlight, but instead has kept his head down and worked hard throughout his career.”

Graff’s 2011 book, The Threat Matrix, explores the transformation of the FBI under Mueller’s leadership. Appointed by President George W. Bush, Mueller took over as director of the FBI one week before the Sept. 11 attacks. After Mueller completed his 10-year term as FBI director, President Barack Obama reappointed him for a two-year term, which required a special act of Congress.

“Bob Mueller is probably about as apolitical and nonpartisan a figure as you could find in Washington, particularly at the levels of government in which he has served,” Graff says. “This is someone who really, Threat Matrix Covertruly believes in truth, justice [and] in the American way, in a way that very few people in American life today anymore do.” MORE

WIRED: Regardless, though, the removal of Mueller wouldn’t necessarily stop the case in its tracks. Whoever was responsible for that firing could appoint another special counsel, for one thing; it was, in fact, the work of Archibald Cox’s successor, Leon Jaworski, that led to some of the most significant court findings in the Watergate scandal.Even if there was no successor forthcoming, the case and investigation could and probably would continue on its own as a regular FBI inquiry.

Starting an investigation at the FBI is a formal process, requiring agents to demonstrate evidence of a criminal predicate to move to what’s known as a “full field” investigation, and, similarly, closing an investigation requires a formal decision to “decline” charges. The “Mueller probe” isn’t actually a single case; at this point there are multiple independent investigations underway, including into Paul Manafort and Rick Gates’ former business dealings, into the campaign’s separate dealings with Russian officials, and into possible obstruction of justice around Jim Comey’s firing.

Some of those cases were well underway before Mueller took over—it was, in fact, the early work of investigators that led to the guilty pleas last fall of George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn—and others have been launched since. All would and could continue without him. Without Mueller, the assigned FBI agents would return to the Washington Field Office and the prosecution would be placed, most likely, under the supervision of either the US attorney in DC or the Eastern District of Virginia, where the court cases are already playing out.

Perhaps the key lesson of Mueller’s investigation thus far has been that at every step, Mueller and his investigative dream team have known more and been further ahead in their process than the public anticipated or realized. At every stage, Mueller has surprised the public and witnesses before him with his depth of knowledge and detail—and he shocked the public with news last fall that Papadopoulos had been arrested, been cooperating, and pleaded guilty, all without a single hint of a leak. The news last week that Comey himself had testified before Mueller’s team weeks earlier continues the pattern that even amid the most scrutinized investigation in history, Mueller is moving methodically forward, with cards up his sleeve to play.

There’s no reason to believe, in fact, that Mueller—who has surrounded himself with some of the most thoughtful minds of the Justice Department, including Michael Dreeban, arguably the country’s top appellate lawyer, whose career has focused on looking down the road at how cases might play out months or even years later—hasn’t been organizing his investigation since day one with the expectation that he’d someday be fired and worked to ensure that this, his final chapter in a lifetime of public service at the Justice Department, won’t be curtailed before it has gotten to what Mueller calls “ground truth.” MORE

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NUNES MEMO: The House’s Un-American Activities

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

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POLITICO: The FBI issued an extraordinary statement on Wednesday, pushing back on the release of a partisan congressional memo alleging the bureau used improper evidence to obtain legal permission to surveil a Trump campaign adviser. We’ve never seen anything like it. “[T]he FBI was provided a limited opportunity to review this memo the day before the committee voted to release it,” the bureau said. “As expressed during our initial review, we have grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.”

The memo, written by Congressman Devin Nunes and barreling toward public circulation at the president’s discretion, has already created a firestorm, and it is not even out yet. Nunes fired back at the FBI hours later, claiming, “It’s clear that top officials used unverified information in a court document to fuel a counterintelligence investigation during an American political campaign.”

Let’s be clear about what’s happening here: This memo is the latest escalation in an eight-month effort to tarnish the Russia investigation that might be the most significant smear campaign against the executive branch since Joe McCarthy—only here, the effort is being led by the head of that branch himself. As the New York Times reported, the Nunes memo seems like a dagger aimed by President Trump at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is supervising the Russia probe for the Justice Department. MORE

JUST SECURITY: The House Intelligence Committee has voted to release the Nunes Memo, which allegedly outlines widespread abuses by the DOJ and FBI in obtaining a surveillance order against former national security advisor to the Trump Campaign, Carter Page. As a former FBI agent who has been through the process of obtaining these kinds of warrants under the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA), I know that such an allegation, if true, would require a vast number of people – across two branches of government – to be on board and willing to put their careers on the line for a conspiracy. To that end, in advance of the memo being released, I want to highlight five questions that the Nunes Memo must clearly address in order for its allegations of abuse to be substantiated and credible.

1. When did the FBI open an investigation on Carter Page?

It’s important to understand that just because the FBI receives information (like the Steele Dossier), the Bureau cannot immediately run to a FISA court and obtain a warrant. A FISA warrant itself does not make a “case;” rather, it’s an investigative tool used in support of an existing national security case, one that normally would have been opened months, if not years, prior. In fact, FISA warrants can be approved only for what are called Full Investigations. These are the most serious class of investigations within the FBI and require an “articulable factual basis” to open: For counterintelligence cases on U.S. persons (USPERs), these cases involve facts demonstrating that the subject is in contact with and working on behalf of a foreign intelligence service. That means that, at some point prior to obtaining the FISA warrant, the FBI opened an investigation on Carter Page, obtained enough factual evidence to justify making it a Full Investigation, and would have done enough investigative activity to be able to put together a FISA

THE TAKEAWAY: If the Nunes Memo does not indicate when the investigation underlying the Page FISA application was opened or how many months/years of investigative activity preceding the dossier is detailed in the Page FISA application, it is not telling a sufficiently complete or accurate story. MORE

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COMMENTARY: The State Of Our Disunion

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

Trump Public Opinion

 

Claire MaleneyBY CLAIR MALENEY Listening to the president’s State of the Union speech last night, I was (once again) struck by two things: his perversion of inclusive language to divide and alienate and his warped notion of politics as a high-testosterone blood sport intended to hurt and humiliate anyone who disagrees with him, and thereby is his sworn enemy. Trump has always had a cruel way with phrases. Consider the closing from last night’s speech:

“As long as we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens and trust in our God, we will never fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper and our nation will forever be safe and strong, and proud, and mighty, and free.”

All of these words ring true as words, and yet for every word I thought I could once count on, Trump has supplied an counterfactual definition. He uses phrases I agree with to say exactly the opposite of what I think they mean. America is indeed ‘fractured,’ so much so that we no longer seem to share a common language.

According to Trump, If we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. So who are we? What are we fighting for? If what we are fighting for – as Trump suggests – is the end of visa lotteries and chain migration then I am not proud of who we are and what we are fighting for. If it’s the end of the Iran nuclear deal, the increase in nuclear weapon stockpiling, and the escalation of tensions with North Korea, then I am not proud. If it’s the end of international aid and the beginning of an era which defines the world as ‘friends’ or ‘enemies’ then I will not be fighting for this.

In high school we learned pedagogical lessons about America’s values – not only the easily co-opted rhetoric of freedom, liberty, justice – but also that Americans welcome to strangers, and offers a place where people can transcend stigma or social class, and build their own a future. But where is the freedom when children can’t walk to school for fear of their own government arresting them for not having a piece of paper? Where is the liberty when my friend from Florida no longer discusses his opinions in public for fear of inviting physical attack – again. And where is the justice when the millions of dollars sent to rebuild Texas were never even mentioned in regards to Puerto Rico. Also left unsaid was the fact that yesterday FEMA cut off all food and water to Puerto Rico, despite the fact that 30% of residents still have no power more than 120 days after the storm.

Trump says our families will ‘thrive’ and ‘prosper’ – terms he see only as financial. Unemployment is down, he tells us, the stock market is up. But Trump’s jubilation that that African-American and Latino unemployment have reached an all time low (but are still TWICE the unemployment rate of whites) is cold comfort when we have heard him repeatedly degrade and devalue the black and brown lives and refuse to discredit white supremacy in its deadly rampage on Charlottesville’s streets. In Trump’s obsession with being ‘proud’ and ‘mighty’ he will nix the efforts to leave Afghanistan and close Guantanamo, and he has escalated tension with North Korea and offended the entire Arab world.

Trump defines American might and national interest through a very narrow scope of power through domination rather than cooperation. He’s the realist political actor gumming up the works of what what had been becoming an increasingly liberal democratic world order. So then, what do we do with a State of the Union that threatens every value and institution about America we thought we understood? What happens when we are no longer proud of who we are and what we are fighting for and are terrified of what we may be achieving? What if we no longer have confidence in America’s values, faith in America’s citizens, or trust that any God could love or forgive this nation?

Oddly, I take comfort from this section of the State of the Union to which I keep returning – for in truth it is something I agree with. The Resistance needs leadership that does more than squawk like a chickens at Trump’s corruption of our language and nation. We need to recalim Trump’s words and define them for ourselves. We need to find the policies and strategies that will truly make America safe and strong, and proud, and mighty, and free. And only then, when we are proud of who we are and what we are fighting for – will be be able to achieve the type of resistance we need to build the inclusive, just, and peaceful future that we all want to see.

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LISTEN LIKE THIEVES: New Dr. Dog

Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

On April 27th, Dr. Dog will release ‘Critical Equation,’ a new album that shows the band pushing themselves into perhaps the most fertile creative period in their history. To record ‘Critical Equation,’ they holed up with producer Gus Seyffert (Beck, Bedouine) and a 16-track tape machine to produce an inspired, playful opus that’s among their most imaginative statements.

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BEING THERE: Snail Mail @ PhilaMOCA

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

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Photo by FARRAH SHEIKY

“Can you cut the drum mic,” Lindsey Jordan, the 18 year old frontwoman of Snail Mail, asked Saturday night at PhilaMOCA. Her voice is raspy and nonchalant. I don’t think ever uttered a sentence that cool when I was 18. Snail Mail is her first band. (Once again, much cooler than my first experiences with music in high school, which involved a lot of West Side Story.) Their debut EP, Habit, was released in July 2016. Since then, Jordan has toured with the likes of Beach Fossils, Priests, Waxahatchee, and Girlpool. The PhilaMOCA show may not be their first show here, but it is the last of their own headlining tour until March. Snail Mail recently signed with Matador, and a full album is expected soon.

Until then, the concise but sincere lyrics and effortlessly coiled riffs of Habit are more than enough to tide her fans over. In its entirety, it feels like rereading a high school diary, only to find that there’s somehow nothing childish or embarrassing about the teenage yearning and gloom that once seemed like the end of the world. She captures the extremes of adolescent emotion with maturity and simplicity, but also self-awareness. She doesn’t try to sound older. In fact in, “Dirt,” her young but weary voice, admits, “Baby when I’m 30 I’ll laugh about how dumb it felt.” She encapsulates the ephemerality and acute pain of high school heartbreak with a kind of youthful honesty that so often falls flat, becomes comical.

The crowd is somehow electric and reverent, listening intently as images of a deep sea cave diver and axolotl are projected behind the band. Jordan deftly explores the confusion and need for self-actualization of youth in “Thinning” with lines like “Hot head and dreamless sleep” and “Asking myself ‘Is this who you are?’ And I don’t know It just feels gross.” Drummer Raymond Brown and bassist Alex Russel leave the stage hastily before the last song, an unreleased and especially candid one, “Anytime.” The slowed down, hushed sadness makes it feel like your being told a three-minute secret. I forget she’s 18 until I see her jump off the stage, now shorter than me in her oversized jeans and t-shirt. She jokes, “The last review I got was pretty mean, so” and turns away laughing with her friends at the merch table, purple and red twinkly lights casting a childish glow on her face.–KEELY MCAVENY

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WORTH REPEATING: American Hustle

Monday, January 29th, 2018

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THE ATLANTIC: Shortly before the announcement of his job inside Trump’s campaign, Manafort touched base with former colleagues to let them know of his professional return. He exuded his characteristic confidence, but they surprised him with doubts and worries. Throughout his long career, Manafort had advised powerful men—U.S. senators and foreign supreme commanders, imposing generals and presidents-for-life. He’d learned how to soothe them, how to bend their intransigent wills with his calmly delivered, diligently researched arguments. But Manafort simply couldn’t accept the wisdom of his friends, advice that he surely would have dispensed to anyone with a history like his own—the imperative to shy away from unnecessary attention.

His friends, like all Republican political operatives of a certain age, could recite the legend of Paul Manafort, which they did with fascination, envy, and occasional disdain. When Manafort had arrived in Washington in the 1970s, the place reveled in its shabby glories, most notably a self-satisfied sense of high duty. Wealth came in the form of Georgetown mansions, with their antique imperfections and worn rugs projecting power so certain of itself, it needn’t shout. But that old boarding-school establishment wasn’t Manafort’s style. As he made a name for himself, he began to dress differently than the Brooks Brothers crowd on K Street, more European, with funky, colorful blazers and collarless shirts. If he entertained the notion, say, of moving his backyard swimming pool a few feet, nothing stopped him from the expense. Colleagues, amused by his sartorial quirks and his cosmopolitan lifestyle, referred to him as “the Count of Monte Cristo.”

His acts of rebellion were not merely aesthetic. Manafort rewrote the rules of his adopted city. In the early ’80s, he created a consulting firm that ignored the conventions that had previously governed lobbying. When it came to taking on new clients, he was uninhibited by moral limits. In 2016, his friends might not have known the specifics of his Cyprus accounts, all the alleged off-the-books payments to him captured in Cyrillic ledgers in Kiev. But they knew enough to believe that he could never sustain the exposure that comes with running a presidential campaign in the age of opposition research and aggressive media. “The risks couldn’t have been more obvious,” one friend who attempted to dissuade him from the job told me. But in his frayed state, these warnings failed to register.

When Paul Manafort officially joined the Trump campaign, on March 28, 2016, he represented a danger not only to himself but to the political organization he would ultimately run. A lifetime of foreign adventures didn’t just contain scandalous stories, it evinced the character of a man who would very likely commandeer the campaign to serve his own interests, with little concern for the collective consequences.

Over the decades, Manafort had cut a trail of foreign money and influence into Washington, then built that trail into a superhighway. When it comes to serving the interests of the world’s autocrats, he’s been a great innovator. His indictment in October after investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller alleges money laundering, false statements, and other acts of personal corruption. (He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.) But Manafort’s role in Mueller’s broader narrative remains carefully guarded, and unknown to the public. And his personal corruption is less significant, ultimately, than his lifetime role as a corrupter of the American system. That he would be accused of helping a foreign power subvert American democracy is a fitting coda to his life’s story. MORE

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GRAMMYS: Local Boys Make Good

Monday, January 29th, 2018

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From The Dept. Of Why We Still Love Rock N’ Roll

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

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CINEMA: The Dresser

Friday, January 26th, 2018

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THE PHANTOM THREAD (dir. by Paul Thomas Anderson, 130 min., USA, 2018)

Dan Tabor_byline_avatarBY DAN TABOR FILM CRITIC After more or less going dark for three years, Paul Thomas Anderson returns to the silver screen with Phantom Thread, his follow up to 2014’s Inherent Vice, which reunites him with Daniel Day-Lewis for what reportedly will be the famously enigmatic actor’s final film role. Much like The Master, Phantom Thread is an evocative exploration of the ever-shifting power dynamics of dysfunctional relationships in Post-War period dress. But in stark contrast to sprawling American epics like There Will Be Blood and The Master, Phantom is a much more up-close-and-personal affair, showcasing the mesmerizing big screen magnetism that makes Day-Lewis one of the most arresting and intensely-committed actors of the last 40 years. And like its star, it is quintessentially, indelibly English: drafty, prim and cobblestoned.

Set in post-World War II London’s Haute Couture fashion scene, Phantom stars Daniel Day-Lewis as the illustrious dressmaker and confirmed bachelor Reynolds Woodcock, who along with his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) run the House of Woodcock. Responsible for dressing royals, film stars, heiresses and boozy socialites, Reynolds is constantly on the lookout for a new muse/model/live-in GF to inspire and inhabit his lavish creations. When the film begins Reynolds has just parted ways with his latest companion and makes fast work of finding a replacement in the mousy, decades-younger waitress Alma (Vicky Krieps). After ordering a hearty breakfast that could easily feed a small family, Reynolds earns the pet name “Hungry Boy” on his first date with the young woman, who, we will soon learn, isn’t quite as meek as she lets on. As Alma is swept into Reynolds’ fussy orbit, she quickly proves herself a force to be reckoned and over time her willful refusal to be subsumed by the House of Woodcock begins to tear at the seams of Reynolds’ meticulously-curated life.

Jonny Greenwood’s exquisite score animates this dance of wills, the furies and the languors, all of which is rendered indelible by Paul Thomas Anderson’s breathtakingly gorgeous cinematography. For Phantom, Anderson returns to the 70mm format that gave The Master its widescreen scope, but by largely confining it to the claustrophobic interiors of Woodcock’s Georgian townhouse he achieves a vaguely unsettling Kubrick-ian density. (And yes, Mr. Anderson, we caught the nod to A Clockwork Orange in that shot-from-the-hood careening country drive at the beginning of the film.) Never one to shy away from going big, Day-Lewis gives a much more nuanced performance than we’ve come to expect from him, one that relies more on subtlest of facial cues to portray the quiet riot of emotions that accompanies his stormy courtship of Alma. That magnificent forehead of his is a vast canvas of muted furrows and frowns and worry lines that suddenly come alive only to fall right back to sleep. Krieps, who can blush on cue, manages to more than hold her own with the master thespian. Her deceptively doe-eyed take on the young woman — who manages, with an unexpected deviousness, to turn the tables on the relentlessly controlling, never unplugging and emotionally stingy Reynolds — is an utter joy to watch unfold on screen.

Anderson’s keen eye for granular, ultra-vivid cinematic detail is in full effect, his camera whirls and pirouettes around Reynold’s flowing creations, which are themselves mini-symphonies of elegantly sloping lines and shimmering hues. The film explores not only how dresses are made and sold, but also the drama between houses and their namesake designers. A quiet storm of a man, Woodcock unleashes his flamboyant fury on anyone that disrespects his house or violates the monastic quiet within. Woodcock’s creations have a simplicity and grace that may be lost on our time, but costume designer Mark Bridges makes the dresses almost feel like characters unto themselves. All of this, coupled with Day-Lewis’ Deep Method take on the dressmaker as the consummate artist — for better or for worse —  renders resistance to slipping under the film’s spell nearly impossible. As such, Phantom Thread is a triumphant valedictory send off for Daniel Day-Lewis, a tragicomic love letter to the agonies and ecstasies of the artist and those unlucky enough to fall in love with one.

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IN MEMORIAM: Mark E. Smith Of The Fall

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

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BY BRIAN W. MURRAY By the time I came to The Fall they were already well established as (post-) punk iconoclasts, their unique brand of contrarian, literate sonic terrorism already highly regarded by musos-in-the-know, of whom I knew virtually none. They surfaced late-night in my bland suburban adolescent realm in the form of the new video for “New Big Prinz,” an immediate classic amidst their dizzyingly vast output.

I remember it being, well, orange.

Steve Hanley’s throbbing, pulverizing bass line heralded their trademark relentlessness. Over the piledriver rhythm, Craig Scanlon’s jagged, cascading guitar somehow meshed with Brix Smith’s incongruous jangle-pop-strum into a vertiginous whirl. Avant-garde dancer Michael Clark pranced and pirouetted in an Elvis-emblazoned denim jacket and fright-wig, with, um, crutches. Over, under, sideways, and down through the din of tightly wound chaos, a shag-headed, speed-gaunt bloke ranted in an impenetrable nasal Northern drawl, barking about long draughts, rockin’ records, and not being appreciated. This was, I would soon learn, the hip priest: Mark E. Smith.

What the fuck was going on here, anyway?

Arty, arcane, uncanny, mesmerizing — it was everything I wanted that I didn’t know I wanted yet. I didn’t even know if I liked it. Was it brilliant? Stupid? Inane? Were they insane? Was it art? Did it even matter? Just listen to that riff!

I was hooked.

Utterly unlike anything else, it was a fantastical exit portal out of my restless teenage doldrums. Thus Mark Smith of The Fallbegan for me, and a fiendish cult of disparate but like-minded souls, a lifelong devotion to the strange and wonderful world of The Fall.

After obsessing over the latest in a seemingly endless stream of Fall records, everything else became increasingly, hopelessly uninteresting. Searching for lyrical clues, you’d be confounded as to just what MES was on about, as the LP sleeves only deepened the mystery of Smith’s inscrutable word salad in a Burroughsian cut-up collage puzzle: his word/image virus was contagious. Time-travel tropes, Lovecraftian psychic horror, Nietzschean cosmic pessimism, anti-rockist tirades, Huxleyan mind-warps, exploding pop-culture gas-bags, bawdy dancehall rave-ups… like peering into the eyeholes of Duchamp’s Étant donnés through an eccentrically skewed lens onto the savage and grotesque history of the British Empire.

A starkly sarcastic, self-styled intellectual in working-class drag, MES would mock fellow Mancunians The Smiths (no relation) for posing in front of the Salford Lads’ Club, a place they’d be summarily laughed out of by his dad’s builder/plumber mates. Smith’s cognitive rigor seemed to maintain a stubborn dignity like a shield to deflect the insipid pop onslaught of the boring, uninteresting, mundane, unoriginal, and, worst of all, the obvious. This was typified by his disdain for the ambitions of musicians, either amateur or trained, insisting on referring to The Fall as not a “band,” but as a “group.”

In the immortal words of John Peel when describing his favorite group (not band), The Fall were “always different, always the same.”

Til now.

Fin.

RIP, MES

BWM, 1/24/18

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Wednesday, January 24th, 2018

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Photo via PINTEREST

FRESH AIR: The nominees for the 90th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday, and Paul Thomas Anderson‘s film Phantom Thread landed six nominations, including best director and best picture. Set in 1950s London, Phantom Thread stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a renowned fashion designer who makes gowns for wealthy women and royalty. Anderson — whose previous film credits include There Will Be Blood, Magnolia and Boogie Nights — says his latest film was inspired, in part, by iconic designers like Christian Dior and Cristóbal Balenciaga. “They’re known to be the most obsessive of obsessives,” Anderson says. “The relationship that they have to their clients was a really rich venue. It kind of lent itself to something very dramatic.” Anderson was especially intrigued by a photograph of Dior in a workroom of women dressed in white coats. “That, visually and dramatically, was really a great venue for our story,” he says. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Magnolia’: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Absorbing Mosaic of Compassion, Humanity and the Importance of Forgiveness

PREVIOUSLY: ‘There Will Be Blood’: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Epic Take on American Identity with Day-Lewis’ Performance of a Lifetime

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Boogie Nights’: Paul Thomas Anderson’s Priceless 155-Minute Film School

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

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FRESH AIR: If watching President Trump and listening to American political discourse these days makes you feel something’s gone wrong, our guests today will tell you it’s not your imagination. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent years studying what makes democracies healthy and what leads to their collapse. And they see signs that American democracy is in trouble.

In a new book, they argue that Trump has shown authoritarian tendencies and that many players in American politics are discarding long-held norms that have kept our political rivalries in balance and prevented the kind of bitter conflict that can lead to a repressive state. Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are both professors of government at Harvard University. Levitsky’s research focuses on Latin America and the developing world. Ziblatt studies Europe from the 19th century to the present. Their new book is called “How Democracies Die.”

Well, Stephen Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt, welcome to FRESH AIR. You know, you write that some democracies die in a hail of gunfire. There’s a military coup. The existing leaders are imprisoned or sometimes shot. Not – this is not the kind of death of a democracy that you think is most relevant to our purposes. What’s a more typical or meaningful scenario? MORE

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Via BuzzFeed

Cost of the War in Iraq
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