Who Is Jennifer Lawrence Now? – The New York Times

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“Visitors to the Greenwich Village gay bar Pieces can look forward to strong drinks and loud drag shows, but what they might not expect — what there simply isn’t a section for on Yelp — is the sight of Jennifer Lawrence, the most famous actress of her generation, tackling a friend to the ground after losing a very important game of musical shots. Oh, and the friend happens to be Adele.

For what it’s worth, Lawrence didn’t expect any of that to happen at Pieces, either. It all went down in March 2019, not long after she had begun dating her now-husband, the art dealer Cooke Maroney, and just a few months into Lawrence’s still-ongoing project of trying to move through the world like a normal human being again. At the white-hot height of her fame fronting the “Hunger Games” franchise, any night out in public would have required security guards, but Maroney often asked to meet Lawrence at dive bars, and she wasn’t about to spoil those places by showing up with two hulking bodyguards.

What she found, to her pleasant surprise, is that the world allowed her to re-enter it without being too weird. That was the lesson she tried to impart to Adele when the British singer texted Lawrence suggesting they go to a concert, the sort of place where they’d be ensconced in a VIP section away from the rowdy masses. Lawrence countered that she was already drinking at Pieces, where Adele should come meet her.”

Moonrise Kingdom – Wikipedia

Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Anderson and Roman Coppola, and starring Bruce WillisEdward NortonBill MurrayFrances McDormandTilda SwintonJason SchwartzmanBob Balaban, and introducing Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Largely set on the fictional island of New Penzance somewhere off the coast of New England, it tells the story of an orphan boy (Gilman) who escapes from a scouting camp to unite with his pen pal and love interest, a girl with aggressive tendencies (Hayward). Feeling alienated from their guardians and shunned by their peers, the lovers abscond to an isolated beach. Meanwhile, the island’s police captain (Willis) organizes a search party of scouts and family members to locate the runaways.

In crafting their screenplay, Anderson and Coppola drew from personal experiences and memories of childhood fantasies as well as films including Melody (1971) and The 400 Blows (1959). Auditions for child actors took eight months, and filming took place in Rhode Island over three months in 2011.

Moonrise Kingdom premiered at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival and received critical acclaim, with its themes of young love, child sexuality, juvenile mental health, and the Genesis flood narrative being praised. Critics cited the film’s color palette and use of visual symmetry as well as the use of original composition by Alexandre Desplat to supplement existing music by Benjamin Britten. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy. In 2016, the BBC included the film in its list of greatest films of the twenty-first century.

Source: Moonrise Kingdom – Wikipedia

David Lindsay: What a wonderful movie, Moonrise Kingdom, recommended by Cynthia Whear, after we discussed our appreciation for art works and musicals that reference Noah’s Flood.

OAN, a Dependable Trump Promoter, Faces a ‘Death Blow’ – The New York Times

“The future of One America News, which established itself as a powerful voice in conservative media by promoting some of the most outlandish falsehoods about the 2020 election, is in serious doubt as major carriers drop it from their lineups and defamation lawsuits threaten to drain its finances.

By the end of this week, the cable network will have lost its presence in some 20 million homes this year. The most recent blow came from Verizon, which will stop carrying OAN on its Fios television service starting Saturday. That will starve the network of a major stream of revenue: the fees it collects from Verizon, which counts roughly 3.5 million cable subscribers. In April, OAN was dropped by AT&T’s DirecTV, which has about 15 million subscribers.”

Play Rights: Wise Words on Guarding Your Work – Backstage.com



Any writer of stage plays and musicals will benefit from becoming a member of The Dramatists Guild of America. This New York-based organization and its council are committed to protecting the rights of its membership. The Guild does so by educating its members about what their rights are, and pointing out things they should be looking for contractually to protect themselves-including ownership of copyright and retaining control over all artistic matters involving a production.

According to this group’s mission statement, “It is the artistic heritage of the playwright and a longstanding principle of The Dramatists Guild of America that the dramatist owns and controls the intellectual property, including the copyright, of the author’s script and of all changes of any kind whatsoever in the manuscript, title, stage business or performance of the play.”

Christopher Wilson, executive director of the Dramatists Guild, states, “We can certainly suggest to people what they should and should not do. The model contracts that we provide for people to use in their negotiations do contain what we feel are the appropriate provisions regarding copyright control and artistic control in a way that the author owns the copyright, no changes can be made to the work without the author’s approval, and any changes the author approves belong to the author. In terms of the artistic side, the author gets a veto on all the creative matters: casting, director, designer.

“The Dramatists Guild unfortunately cannot act as anybody’s enforcement agent; we won’t represent somebody as their lawyer or anything like that-we’re just not equipped to do that. Primarily we see our mission as being able to help people protect themselves by educating them about what they need to do.”

Wilson lists the following essential elements that should be remembered when trying to keep control over your written work:

1) The writer owns the copyright.

2) No changes may be made to the writer’s work without the writer’s explicit approval, and any such approved changes belong to the writer.

3) The writer has approval over all principal artistic elements of a production.

4) Following the production, the writer controls all subsequent exploitations of the work. That is, the writer, and only the writer, can license a new or different production, publication, or the like.

The Dramatists Guild is also helpful when talks turn to contracts. “Many producers will provide the contract for a specific production. We always recommend that people hire a lawyer to make sure that their interests are protected,” says Wilson. “The guild can certainly talk to people and their lawyers about some of the business points and what our view is, as to things they should be looking for in a contract. Not all producers and theatres have contracts, and even when they do, sometimes people find that they don’t want to use them. Certainly for our members we can provide samples, which are a good place to start, in terms of what they would be looking for in a contract, and it’s a starting point for their negotiations with a producer.”

Source: Play Rights: Wise Words on Guarding Your Work

Ask Obi-Wan Kenobi: It’s Time the Star Wars Prequels Finally Got Their Due – David Priest – CNET

David Priest headshot
David Priest

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and … it gets everywhere.” It’s one of the most painful lines in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and it’s only made worse by Anakin’s halting delivery and awkward hand-stroking of Padmé.

Sure, the prequels brought us Ewan McGregor as a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. But George Lucas made so many terrible creative decisions in that prequel trilogy that fans were excited when Disney tapped the rock-steady J.J. Abrams to lead a new series of Star Wars movies in 2015. Unlike George Lucas, Abrams can write dialogue that isn’t excruciating, and more importantly, he’s proved himself a gifted guide for large franchises with untapped potential (Mission: Impossible, Star Trek and Cloverfield). And yet…

When the new Disney Star Wars trilogy drew to a close with The Rise of Skywalker in 2019, I found myself genuinely longing for the days of the prequels. What I’m feeling isn’t nostalgia. And it isn’t ironic “love” for schlocky cinema that animates prequel-memeing Redditors, either.”

Source: Ask Obi-Wan Kenobi: It’s Time the Star Wars Prequels Finally Got Their Due

14 Charming British Mystery Series for Your Binge-Watching Pleasure

“Constable Hamish Macbeth keeps watch over the fictional Scottish town of Lochdubh in this comedic mystery show. Based loosely on the works of mystery writer M. C. BeatonHamish Macbeth aired on BBC1 from 1995 to 1997, and starred Robert Carlyle as the titular character. You may know Carlyle from his role as Begbie in Trainspotting, although his delivery is far more subdued in his role here. Fight crime right along with him by streaming all three seasons of the show on Amazon Prime. ”

Source: 14 Charming British Mystery Series for Your Binge-Watching Pleasure

WETA to take control of ‘NewsHour Weekend’ with Geoff Bennett as host | Current

“Geoff Bennett will join PBS NewsHour as chief Washington correspondent and host of PBS NewsHour Weekend next year when production of the weekend program moves to WETA in Washington, D.C.


Bennett, who will join the organization Jan. 3, will anchor PBS NewsHour Weekend beginning in April. Production of the show will move from the WNET Group in New York City to WETA, which already produces the weeknight NewsHour anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff. NewsHour Weekend, which launched in 2013, is a co-production of the Creative News Group and NewsHour Productions in association with WNET and WETA.

“This decision was made by PBS,” a WNET spokesperson said in a statement to Current. “We hope and expect the program will have continued success under the management of NewsHour Productions at WETA.”

“The move to WETA will dedicate more resources to NewsHour Productions and bring our national nightly news operation under one roof,” said a PBS spokesperson in a statement.”

Source: WETA to take control of ‘NewsHour Weekend’ with Geoff Bennett as host | Current

‘CODA’ Triumphs at the Oscars, but Onstage Slap Takes Center Stage – The New York Times

“LOS ANGELES — In an Academy Awards ceremony where an onstage altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock overshadowed the honors, “CODA” from Apple TV+ won the Oscar for best picture, becoming the first film from a streaming service to be welcomed into that rarefied Hollywood club.

The 94th Academy Awards on Sunday had a freewheeling, irreverent tone from their start, with ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences laboring to prove that the Oscars could be lively and culturally relevant. By the ceremony’s end, it was certainly a night for the Hollywood ages.

An emotional Will Smith won the best actor Oscar for his performance in “King Richard” as the fiery, flawed coach and father of the tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams. Moments earlier, the ceremony had been derailed when Smith strode onstage from his seat and — in what at first seemed like it could be a preplanned bit — slapped Rock, who had just cracked a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wa Rhiit,” Rock said, a reference to her shaved head. She revealed her alopecia diagnosis in 2018. Demi Moore famously shaved her head to star in the 1997 film “G.I. Jane.” “

David Lindsay:  Thank you Brooks Barnes and  for an excellent review of last night’s 94th Oscars, 2022, about 2021. I was delighted that CODA won, and I was one of the 6 percent of viewer s who lasted all the way through The Power of the Dog, which my partner loved.

This year was a record breaker for me. 40 years ago I used to not see any new movies until I watched the Oscars, during which, I would choose the three movies of the year I would see. This year I had actually seen six of the nominees for best picture, Dune, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, CODA, Macbeth, and The Power of the Dog. CODA was the clear winner in my heart, because it was delightful, surprising, funny, exciting, and you could recommend it to your Aunt Mildred and Uncle Joe in the mid west, to watch with their teen age children, and it wouldn’t scar the younger children either. Dune was extraordinary.

I was infuriated repeatedly by the Oscars show last night, and they need a new director, and a return to the good old days, when they showed extensive clips of the best film nominees,and of the other nominees, so the audience can learn about the movies, most of which, we haven’t seen, and don’t know anything about. Making the show an insiders game for those who have already seen all the movies, is a recipe for a bad show that deserves its declining ratings. Bringing back the host, or hosts, was a move in the right direction, but adding an extra 30 minutes of advertising to an already ad laden event was pathetic.

Of the films I saw, I also recommend Don’t Look Up, because it was hilarious satire, about the danger of ignoring the science of the impending climate crisis, by way of ignoring an asteroid headed toward earth. We both loved King Richard, and thought Will Smith was worthy of an Oscar, which is a low bar. Probably all the nominees deserved an Oscar, one shouldn’t take the winners too seriously. That is why the Oscar show has an artistic and moral requirement, to showcase and introduce all the nominees in all the categories, and reduce the speeches thanking my mother, my father, my children, and our pet dog and cat. The recipients should be required to spend part of their speech explaining to people what the movie was about, and why we should take the time to see it. Some of the presenters could talk about the shows, instead of their constant preening.

Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in very funny, very depressing ‘Don’t Look Up’ | Datebook SF Chronicle

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in “Don’t Look Up.”Photo: Niko Tavernise / Netflix

“Don’t Look Up” might be the funniest movie of 2021. It’s the most depressing too, and that odd combination makes for a one-of-a-kind experience. Writer-director Adam McKay gives you over two hours of laughs while convincing you that the world is coming to an end.

The movie is a satire that targets anti-science, anti-intellectual and anti-logic Americans who are gullible in the extreme and brainwashed by social media. McKay’s humor is so pointed and dead-on here that it’s bracing. You almost feel like this is a movie that might change things! People might see this and realize … but no. As McKay knows, he’s lampooning a segment of the public that is beyond the reach of satire.

The story is remarkably prescient, in that it plays like a parable about the pandemic, even though the concept was announced in the media well ahead of COVID-19 and was originally scheduled to go before the cameras in April 2020. Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio play a pair of astronomers who discover that a huge comet is going to crash into the Earth in six months, wiping out all forms of life on the planet. They assume that that scientific certainty will rouse the government and the people into emergency action. They assume wrong.;

Source: Review: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence star in very funny, very depressing ‘Don’t Look Up’ | Datebook

My household really liked this movie. It is very funny, and very depressing. My only quibble with this excellent review by Mick LaSalle, is that it is not about Covid, which had not occurred yet when it was written. It is most likely a broadside against the anti-science forces denying climate change and the sixth great extinction of species. It is brilliant, biting satire, and might become as famous as Dr. Strangelove, by Stanley Kubrick.

Best of Late Night TV in 2021 – The New York Times

“Despite Donald J. Trump’s loss to Joseph R. Biden in the presidential election of 2020, late-night hosts still couldn’t shake the former president in 2021.

Trump’s last day in office was cause for celebration on many shows, but the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, Trump’s subsequent impeachment and his supporters continued promotion of the lie that the election had been rigged meant that the former president remained a fixture of monologues and other late-night bits.

Also, Biden apparently is just not as easy to send up. The hosts’ impressions of him lacked the cartoonish verve of their Trump takes — Stephen Colbert in aviator shades is the only one who makes much of an effort — and while Biden’s age and occasional gaffes were frequent targets, such jokes rarely occupied more than a few minutes of the nightly monologues.

Another defining trend this year was the hosts’ return to their studios after shooting their shows from home for most of 2020 and much of 2021. Colbert, the Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and others brought back audiences (with Covid-19 protocols in place), live bands and in-house guests who offered a bit of normalcy to viewers looking for an escape from the coronavirus and its variants, or at least a way to commiserate through comedy.”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | NYT Comment:
This was a fun piece to read, thank you. Here in CT we think it would be fun in 2022 to see the writers turn on the far left of the Democratic party. They sure know a lot about how to make a great president look terrible.