- The Unlikely Philosophy of Joe Versus the Volcano. I stumbled across Joe Versus the Volcano on television this weekend and promptly re-fell in love with it. The aesthetics! Meg Ryan playing three different characters! Tom Hanks when he was still being goofy in movies! The weirdness of it! This movie is a delight – but polarizing. My husband, for example, does not enjoy this one. I think he’s wrong.
- Why Donna Tartt’s The Secret History Never Became a Movie. Basically because it’s never been high enough on anyone’s priority list. I love The Secret History. Not every book needs a movie made from it.
- Hollywood Meets Hickory. A lovely story about a successful small-town North Carolina film festival.
- Why the World’s Best Mathematicians are Hoarding Chalk. This video was a delight, especially if you know or have known any mathematicians.
Seduction isn’t about Howard Hughes. I mean, it is, in that he’s the framing device to talk about twentieth century Hollywood, but Seduction is really about all the ways that women were screwed over in the Hollywood machine, from the Silent Era of the 1920s, into the beginnings of television in the 1950s.
At the beginning, it’s about how women started with more equality in Hollywood than you might think, both behind and in front of the camera, but men edged them out of the business. It’s about how women were seen only as vehicles for men’s emotional arcs or as prizes to be won in the stories that Hollywood was telling. It’s about how men would limit actresses’ availability or undermine them or keep them as actresses when they really wanted to be something else.
If you’re a fan of You Must Remember This (a podcast which is on potentially permanent hiatus), I would highly recommend Seduction, especially in audiobook form. It was like listening to a very long podcast episode (or one of her series of episodes), and I enjoyed it. Even as it was making me angry.
- In America, Only the Rich Can Afford to Write about Poverty. At some point, y’all, we’re going to have to start paying for the content we read/watch/consume. I think that might be the only way writers are going to get paid.
- How I Got Here. Or, what it was like for one person to not have a place to live for 6 months in 2012.
- This was a tough one to read, but accurate. The Making of a Non-Patriot. We talk so big about what the US stands for, but we fall short so often.
- On a lighter note, 5 Random Movies You’ve Never Heard of, That We’re Stoked About Solely Because of the Cast. There’s an Agatha Christie in here that now *I’m* stoked about.
- How to Sell a Billion-Dollar Myth Like a French Girl. I will not lie – I eat up the “how to do x like a French woman” articles like candy.
- More about the fantasy of reality: Instagram Food Is A Sad, Sparkly Lie.
What’s it about?
Posting yesterday about the Mitford sisters and today about Scandals of Classic Hollywood may out me as liking celebrity gossip – as long as it’s from 80 years ago. Anne Helen Petersen is a former media studies professor who specializes in how celebrities use the media to shape their images (she writes for Buzzfeed now). Scandals is a series of essays about movie stars and their images and real life; it started as a series on Hairpin. Everyone quickly realized that it was awesome, and it turned into a book.
Why should you read it?
Because you live in a modern society where much information comes through some form of media. Because you want to know how the media chooses which information to share and which to hide and why. Because, thanks to social networking, we all craft an image of ourselves online – what information are you choosing to share about yourself? Why? Also, because gossip is fun.