Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

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From an Open Culture post by Dan Colman, worth reading for background info:

Written by LeisureGuy

21 November 2017 at 10:49 am

Posted in Movies & TV

How Seinfeld, the Sitcom Famously “About Nothing,” Is Like Gustave Flaubert’s Novels About Nothing

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An interesting comment, but I wanted more about Flaubert and less about Seinfeld. This is from Colin Marshall’s blog post at Open Culture, where he writes:

“A show about nothing”: people have described Seinfeld that way for decades, but creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David didn’t set out to create anything of the kind. In fact, with Seinfeld himself already established as a stand-up comedian, they originally pitched to NBC a show about how a comic finds material in his day-to-day life. But in its 43rd episode, when the series had become a major cultural phenomenon, Seinfeld’s character and Jason Alexander’s George Costanza (whom David based on himself) pitch a show to television executives where “nothing happens,” and fans seized upon the truth about Seinfeld they saw reflected in that joke.

In the video essay above, Evan Puschak, known as the Nerdwriter, figures out why. It’s a cultural and intellectual journey that takes him back to the 19th-century novels of Gustave Flaubert. “Flaubert was a pioneer of literary realism, in large part responsible for raising the status of the novel to that of a high art,” says Puschak.

In 1852, Flaubert wrote a letter describing his ambition to write “a book about nothing, a book dependent on nothing external, which would be held together by the internal strength of its style.” Instead of wanting to “string you along with multiple suspense-heightening narrative developments,” in Puschak’s view, “he wants to bring you into the text itself, to look there for the carefully constructed meanings that he’s built for you.”

And so, in their own way, do Seinfeld and David in the sitcom that became and remains so beloved in large part with its numerous departures from the traditions the form had established over the past forty years. . .

Continue reading.

It may be time to read Madame Bovary again.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 November 2017 at 4:39 pm

Posted in Books, Movies & TV

Trailer for “The Road Movie,” a feature-length compilation of Russian dashcam videos

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Jason Kottke says the movie will be out in January. Here’s the trailer:

Written by LeisureGuy

16 November 2017 at 11:27 am

Posted in Daily life, Movies & TV

Terrific movie now on Netflix: “Bon Cop, Bad Cop”

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Well worth watching, IMO. And Bon Cop, Bad Cop 2 will be on Netflix soon.

Written by LeisureGuy

11 November 2017 at 8:35 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

Good movie on Netflix: “The Equalizer”

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Good cast, good production, good story. Worth seeing, IMO. Not a dancing teacups sort of story.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 November 2017 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Movies & TV

A Facebook post by Ellen Page well worth reading

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Here it is:

Ellen Page

“You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He said this about me during a cast and crew “meet and greet” before we began filming, X Men: The Last Stand. I was eighteen years old. He looked at a woman standing next to me, ten years my senior, pointed to me and said: “You should fuck her to make her realize she’s gay.” He was the film’s director, Brett Ratner.

I was a young adult who had not yet come out to myself. I knew I was gay, but did not know, so to speak. I felt violated when this happened. I looked down at my feet, didn’t say a word and watched as no one else did either. This man, who had cast me in the film, started our months of filming at a work event with this horrific, unchallenged plea. He “outed” me with no regard for my well-being, an act we all recognize as homophobic. I proceeded to watch him on set say degrading things to women. I remember a woman walking by the monitor as he made a comment about her “flappy pussy”.

We are all entitled to come into an awareness of our sexual orientation privately and on our own terms. I was young and although already a working actor for so long I had in many ways been insulated, growing up on film sets instead of surrounded by my peers. This public, aggressive outing left me with long standing feelings of shame, one of the most destructive results of homophobia. Making someone feel ashamed of who they are is a cruel manipulation, designed to oppress and repress. I was robbed of more than autonomy over my ability to define myself. Ratner’s comment replayed in my mind many times over the years as I encountered homophobia and coped with feelings of reluctance and uncertainty about the industry and my future in it. The difference is that I can now assert myself and use my voice to to fight back against the insidious queer and transphobic attitude in Hollywood and beyond. Hopefully having the position I have, I can help people who may be struggling to be accepted and allowed to be who they are –to thrive. Vulnerable young people without my advantages are so often diminished and made to feel they have no options for living the life they were meant to joyously lead.

I got into an altercation with Brett at a certain point. He was pressuring me, in front of many people, to don a t-shirt with “Team Ratner” on it. I said no and he insisted. I responded, “I am not on your team.” Later in the day, producers of the film came to my trailer to say that I “couldn’t talk like that to him.” I was being reprimanded, yet he was not being punished nor fired for the blatantly homophobic and abusive behavior we all witnessed. I was an actor that no one knew. I was eighteen and had no tools to know how to handle the situation.

I have been a professional actor since the age of ten. I’ve had the good fortune to work with many honorable and respectful collaborators both behind and in front of the camera. But the behavior I’m describing is ubiquitous. They (abusers), want you to feel small, to make you insecure, to make you feel like you are indebted to them, or that your actions are to blame for their unwelcome advances.

When I was sixteen a director took me to dinner (a professional obligation and a very common one). He fondled my leg under the table and said, “You have to make the move, I can’t.” I did not make the move and I was fortunate to get away from that situation. It was a painful realization: my safety was not guaranteed at work. An adult authority figure for whom I worked intended to exploit me, physically. I was sexually assaulted by a grip months later. I was asked by a director to sleep with a man in his late twenties and to tell them about it. I did not. This is just what happened during my sixteenth year, a teenager in the entertainment industry.

Look at the history of what’s happened to minors who’ve described sexual abuse in Hollywood. Some of them are no longer with us, lost to substance abuse and suicide. Their victimizers? Still working. Protected even as I write this. You know who they are; they’ve been discussed behind closed doors as often as Weinstein was. If I, a person with significant privilege, remain reluctant and at such risk simply by saying a person’s name, what are the options for those who do not have what I have?

Let’s remember the epidemic of violence against women in our society disproportionately affects low income women, particularly women of color, trans and queer women and indigenous women, who are silenced by their economic circumstances and profound mistrust of a justice system that acquits the guilty in the face of overwhelming evidence and continues to oppress people of color. I have the means to hire security if I feel threatened. I have the wealth and insurance to receive mental health care. I have the privilege of having a platform that enables me to write this and have it published, while the most marginalized do not have access to such resources. The reality is, women of color, trans and queer and indigenous women have been leading this fight for decades (forever actually). Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Winona LaDuke, Miss Major, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, to name a few. Misty Upham fought tirelessly to end violence against indigenous women, domestic workers and undocumented women. Misty was found dead at the bottom of a cliff three years ago. Her father, Charles Upham, just made a Facebook post saying she was raped at a party by a Miramax executive. The most marginalized have been left behind. As a cis, white lesbian, I have benefited and have the privileges I have, because of these extraordinary and courageous individuals who have led the way and risked their lives while doing so. White supremacy continues to silence people of color, while I have the rights I have because of these leaders. They are who we should be listening to and learning from.

These abusers make us feel powerless and overwhelmed by their empire. Let’s not forget the sitting Supreme Court justice and President of the United States. One accused of sexual harassment by Anita Hill, whose testimony was discredited. The other proudly describing his own pattern of assault to an entertainment reporter. How many men in the media – titans of industry – need to be exposed for us to understand the gravity of the situation and to demand the fundamental safety and respect that is our right?

Bill Cosby was known to be predatory. The crimes were his, but many were complicit. Many more chose to look the other way. Harvey was known to be predatory. The crimes were his, but many were complicit. Many more chose to look the other way. We continue to celebrate filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was convicted of drugging and anally raping a young girl and who fled sentencing. A fugitive from justice. I’ve heard the industry decry Weinstein’s behavior and vow to affect meaningful change. But let’s be truthful: the list is long and still protected by the status quo. We have work to do. We cannot look the other way.

I did a Woody Allen movie and it is the biggest regret of my career. I am ashamed I did this. I had yet to find my voice and was not who I am now and felt pressured, because “of course you have to say yes to this Woody Allen film.” Ultimately, however, it is my choice what films I decide to do and I made the wrong choice. I made an awful mistake.

I want to see these men have to face what they have done. I want them to not have power anymore. I want them to sit and think about who they are without their lawyers, their millions, their fancy cars, houses upon houses, their “playboy” status and swagger.

What I want the most, is for this to result in healing for the victims. For Hollywood to wake up and start taking some responsibility for how we all have played a role in this. I want us to reflect on this endemic issue and how this power dynamic of abuse leads to an enormous amount of suffering. Violence against women is an epidemic in this country and around the world. How is this cascade of immorality and injustice shaping our society? One of the greatest risks to a pregnant woman’s health in the United States is murder. Trans women of color in this country have a life expectancy of thirty-five. Why are we not addressing this as a society? We must remember the consequences of such actions. Mental health issues, suicide, eating disorders, substance abuse, to name a few.

What are we afraid to say and why can’t we say it? Women, particularly the most marginalized, are silenced, while powerful abusers can scream as loudly as they want, lie as much as they want and continue to profit through it all.

This is a long awaited reckoning. It must be. It’s sad that“codes of conduct” have to be enforced to ensure we experience fundamental human decency and respect. Inclusion and representation are the answer. We’ve learned that the status quo perpetuates unfair, victimizing behavior to protect and perpetuate itself. Don’t allow this behavior to be normalized. Don’t compare wrongs or criminal acts by their degrees of severity. Don’t allow yourselves to be numb to the voices of victims coming forward. Don’t stop demanding our civil rights. I am grateful to anyone and everyone who speaks out against abuse and trauma they have suffered. You are breaking the silence. You are revolution.

Written by LeisureGuy

10 November 2017 at 5:57 pm

Kevin Spacey: Old Vic accused of ignoring sexual misconduct allegations

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Kevin Spacey is much sleazier than I ever could have imagined. Mark Brown and Matthew Weaver report in the Guardian:

Actors and former staff at the Old Vic have accused the theatre of turning a blind eye to inappropriate sexual behaviour by Kevin Spacey during the 11 years that the Hollywood star was its artistic director.

A number of people who have worked at the theatre in London have contacted the Guardian claiming it was well known that Spacey groped and behaved in an inappropriate way with young men at the time.

Roberto Cavazos, a Mexican actor, said he recalled a “couple of unpleasant encounters” with Spacey including, being “squeezed” by him in the Old Vic bar, in a posting on Facebook.

A former employee told the Guardian: “We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men many times in all sorts of different situations,” on a day when other allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Spacey emerged.

Spacey has been in focus since actor Anthony Rapp accused him of making drunken sexual advances when Rapp was 14. Since then, several more allegations about Spacey’s conduct have emerged in both the US and the UK.

A representative for Spacey released a statement on Wednesday that said the actor “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment” and “no other information is available at this time.”

Cavazos said there were many young men with a “Kevin Spacey story”. He added: “It seems that it only took a male under 30 to make Mr Spacey feel free to touch us.” More common was that Spacey was in the bar at the Old Vic, “squeezing whoever caught his attention”, Cavazos said.

He recalled being told a similar story by many people of how Spacey invited young male actors to the Old Vic to “talk about their careers”. Cavazos continued: “When they arrived at the theatre, [Spacey] had prepared a picnic with champagne on the stage, beautifully lit.”

Cavazos said his direct experiences with Spacey were on the edge of harassment. “Had I been a woman, I probably would not have hesitated to identify it as such, but I suppose that the lack of a more specifically direct or aggressive action led me to justify the incident as ‘one of those things’,” he said.

A former Old Vic employee, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Guardian he saw Spacey take advantage of a friend of his after a party in 2011.

He said: “We were all involved in keeping it quiet. I witnessed him groping men many times in all sorts of different situations … at his apartment in North Lambeth and even at the Old Vic itself and his favourite pub the Pineapple, which is right near the Old Vic. He was taking advantage of the fact that he is this great icon.

“He touched men on the crotch. Doing it really fast so they couldn’t get out of the way.”

The former employee criticised . . .

Continue reading.

Terrorism. Emotional terrorism done in series rather than parallel: ruining one life at a time.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 November 2017 at 4:06 pm

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