On Sept. 25, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures held its opening gala with a starry guest list that included Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Queen Latifah, Patty Jenkins, Tiffany Haddish, Kristen Stewart, and Jurnee Smollet. It was a moment long in the making, given that planning of the Renzo Piano-designed mecca celebrating the history of film first began back in 2005 and was delayed by the rise of the Covid pandemic. Though eyebrows were raised by the fact that the A-list revelers mingled maskless inside the 33,000-square-foot space on Wilshire Boulevard at a time when celebrities were publicly chastising those who ignored Covid precautions, a much bigger controversy was brewing. Donors and influential Academy members, many of whom already had received private tours, were outraged that Hollywood ’s origin story — wherein a group of mostly Jewish émigrés fled persecution in their home countries to create what would become a multibillion-dollar, American-led industry — … [Read more...] about ‘Where Are the Jews?’: Scandal Erupts at the Academy Museum
What advantageous trait helped moths survive in 1890 during the industrial revolution
There’s a lot of ways to describe Jordan Peele ’s Nope : an update on “Watch the Skies!” sci-fi from the 1950s; a tribute to Steven Spielberg’s 1970s blockbuster building blocks (what if those Close Encounter of the Third Kind UFOs were just hungry, extraterrestrial great white sharks?); a 21st century meta-text about what we watch and why we keep watching it. All 100-percent accurate. But read the reviews and explainers and numerous think pieces on Peele’s latest blend of horror and commentary, and there’s one word that keeps popping up, again and again. It’s mentioned when they talk about Jupiter’s Claim, the modest frontier-themed amusement park run by Steven Yuen’s former child actor, who once played a pint-sized sheriff in a movie and still takes his fancy sartorial cues from that role. It’s namechecked in the film posters you see at Haywood Ranch, notably Buck and the Preacher and Duel at Diablo . You can see traces of it in the movie’s scenes of folks handling horses … [Read more...] about How Do You Make a Western in the 21st Century?
Karina Longworth ’s house is, quite possibly, haunted. This is not necessarily something she has experienced herself, she tells me of her pale-pink 1926 Mediterranean, where Longworth could be found one July morning on the frond-shadowed patio. But it is something she has on authority from a friend who drunkenly stumbled in from the pool one night and heard, in the empty home, a dinner party going on in the dining room upstairs. Since then, the hauntedness or unhauntedness of Longworth’s abode has become a matter of some debate. “My friend thinks my house is haunted,” she says wryly. “I think he drinks too much.” Either way, there is certainly no one better at reviving Hollywood ’s ghosts than Longworth. A film critic and historian, she is best known for the podcast You Must Remember This, which she researches, writes, and records in a tiny foam-lined closet off the downstairs office of her husband, director Rian Johnson. In the eight years since she launched the podcast with an … [Read more...] about How Karina Longworth Brought Sex and Sleaze Back to Hollywood History