Given up yet? No, it’s not that all three films were described by Rex Reed as “a genre-bending tour de force.” These movies, along with 22 others, were just inducted into the National Film Registry, which chooses a select 25 films a year to preserve in case of an apocalyptic scenario, for the aliens to find in a time capsule when they discover the scorched earth of this planet and wonder what our society worshiped as gods. As The Week noted, Librarian of Congress James M. Billington has said that these 600-plus films are not “the best American films of all time,” but are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” to Americans.
And yet The Big Lebowski is not even on there! Check out the full list below, along with clips of the features.
In a time of cultural anemia and economic crisis, everything else in the arts may be slowing down, but at the Toronto International Film Festival (a k a TIFF), it’s full-speed ahead. Cannes and Berlin have gone on a diet. Even Venice, the oldest film festival in the world, scaled back this year’s program dramatically, showing a total of 82 movies instead of last year’s 104—only 18 of them considered good enough to compete for prizes. But now, in its 37th year, TIFF is like a goose stuffed for foie gras until its insides explode, showing no sign of trimming the fat from its over-stuffed schedule. By stubbornly trying to be everything to everybody, TIFF has drawn sharp criticism from veteran journalists who accuse it of losing focus and prestige, but the excess rages on. This year, the Toronto programming committee, oblivious to the darts, brags about a bloated schedule of 372 films in 10 days—289 features and 83 shorts from 72 countries, 146 of them world premieres—undaunted in the festival’s power to lure stars, directors and films of dubious quality. “It’s too much!” is the constant cry from everyone suffering from bloodshot eyes, sudden strangers to nutrition and sleep, walking around in a daze with scorepads like spectators at a roulette wheel, living on pizza and NoDoz.
Political gray eminence and true living symbol of dignity and propriety Roseanne Barr announced Thursday that she will be a Green Party candidate for president. Ms. Barr, noted for her sober and rational public persona, has been a strong supporter of the party for years.
According to Ms. Barr neither major party is doing the job. Republicans and Democrats, said Ms. Barr in a widely-reported statement, “are servants–bought and paid for by the 1%–who are not doing what’s in the best interest of the American people.”
fun in the sun
New York has become a tundra ripe for thundering herds of resurrected woolly mammoth, Newt and Mitt came close to initiating Hamageddon at a rather confusing event in South Carolina today and the Sealpocalypse is upon us, but don’t worry about something NASA has charmingly dubbed a ”Double-barreled solar event“–we’ll be fine. It’ll even be pretty:
It’s 2012, and according to the Mayan calendar and that documentary about John Cusack trying to save his family by piloting a plane out of New York, we’ve come to the tail end of mankind’s history on this planet. Since we don’t know exactly how many more months (or weeks? or—gasp!—days!?!) we have left until the meteor strikes and obliterates us like it did those dinosaurs in Jurassic Park (here’s hoping some mosquitoes carrying our DNA get trapped in amber!) we’ve decided to look on the bright side of this new year. After all, it may be the last one we’ve got.
And what a New York New Year’s Eve it was!
what to read
A new year, a new crop of books. The Millions book blog has posted its massive preview of books coming out in 2012. There are essay collections from William Gibson and Jonathan Franzen, selected poetry from W.G. Sebald and new novels from Toni Morrison, Michael Chabon and Richard Ford, among very many others.
Will there be fair and competitive elections next year in New York?
Governor Cuomo promised, in essence, that there would be. During his successful campaign in 2010, Mr. Cuomo said he would fight for the creation of an independent commission that would be given power to redraw the state’s legislative and congressional districts, a process that unfolds every 10 years. Traditionally, both houses of the Legislature handle this task, and critics have charged that the legislators draw maps that insulate incumbents from serious challenges. Congressional incumbents and state legislators rarely are turned out of office in New York, the result, critics say, of unfair district maps.
Not surprisingly, legislative leaders haven’t jumped at the opportunity to turn over their map-making power to an independent commission. The result is a stalemate between Mr. Cuomo, who is attempting to make good on his promise, and both parties in the Legislature. Republicans and Democrats may not agree on everything, but leaders of both parties are of one mind when it comes to protecting incumbents.
Of all the unflattering numbers in Donald Trump. Photograph by Michele Asselin
By the Numbers
Quinnipiac University is out with a poll this morning that contains bad news for local real estate tycoon turned reality TV star Donald Trump: a clear majority of voters say that they “would never” vote for him.
Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed fall into that category, while only 9 percent say thay Read More
Real estate mogul turned Reality TV star Donald Trump has sent a statement to ABC News congratulating President Barack Obama for the killing of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.
“I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men and women of the Armed Forces for a job well done,” he said.
Obama’s Read More