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The Best Articles of the Year: Movies
How Netflix Reverse Engineered Hollywood
To understand how people look for movies, the video service created 76,897 micro-genres. We took the genre descriptions, broke them down to their key words, … and built our own new-genre generator. If you use Netflix, you've probably wondered about the specific genres that it suggests to you.
WRINKLES IN SPACETIME: The Warped Astrophysics of Interstellar
Kip Thorne looks into the black hole he helped create and thinks, “Why, of course. That's what it would do.” ¶ This particular black hole is a simulation of unprecedented accuracy. It appears to spin at nearly the speed of light, dragging bits of the universe along with it.
Jennifer Lawrence And The History Of Cool Girls
What’s your favorite Jennifer Lawrence moment? When she tripped on the way to accept her Academy Award, or when the paparazzi snapped photos of her drinking Veuve Cliquot straight out of the bottle? Or maybe it was the ease with which she regaled Conan O’Brien with a tale of butt plugs, or th
This morning, Matthew McConaughey woke up to his first Oscar nomination. There’s no denying the McConaissance now, a bold second act in the American actor’s life which somehow feels as novel as it does deliberate.
Why Leonardo DiCaprio Didn’t Win the Oscar
The toughest Oscar race this year was for best actor. Right until the awards began, the race was almost certainly down to Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave and Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club. (McConaughey was the eventual winner.
Suddenly, heartbreak fed the need to wear ribbed tank undershirts. You got crushed? You hid under a fedora. She left? You bought vintage bowling shoes, threw on some Sinatra, and pretended to understand the virtues of single-malt scotch. Any Glen.
Boogie Nights began as a teenage boy’s wet dream. Nearly a decade before its 1997 release, it was a fantasy to chase. The year was 1988. The boy was a precocious, plotting 17-year-old named Paul Thomas Anderson.
What “Gone Girl” Is Really About
According to Anthony Lane, there are approximately “twenty-one people” who haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.” I’m one of them. This past weekend, when I saw the movie, I liked it so much that I felt sad about missing out on the book when it was published, two years ago.
The Exacting, Expansive Mind of Christopher Nolan
Although many of Christopher Nolan’s movies happen simultaneously in the past, present and future, he almost never works on weekends.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's Final Secret
I had two contradictory but complementary responses to the news that Philip Seymour Hoffman had died of a drug overdose at the suddenly tender age of 46 — two responses, that is, beyond how terrible and damn, he was great.
The Action Hero Championship Belt
Before Steve McQueen, Hollywood didn’t produce action movies in the modern sense. You never saw John Wayne trapped on a luxury yacht with scheming terrorists, or Paul Newman tearing through Paris to find his kidnapped daughter.
'Heathers': An oral history
“Do you think there’s ever been another movie like Heathers?” Winona Ryder asks in her tiny, forever-a-kid voice, and then listens quietly. She’s genuinely curious. Your brain races through the obvious choices.
10 Nearly Perfect Movies, And What They Teach Us About Storytelling
Maybe there's no such thing as a perfect movie. It's usually enough of a miracle that a movie gets made. But every once in a while, a movie manages to tell a great story without a brush stroke noticeably out of place. Here are 10 nearly perfect movies, and what they teach us about storytelling.
The 99% : Rotten Tomatoes’ Highest Rated Movies Every Guy Should See
We can’t remember the last time we watched a movie without consulting Rotten Tomatoes first. The new Ben Affleck flick only scored a 26%? We’re out before the first scene rolls.
Lauren Bacall Dies at 89; in a Bygone Hollywood, She Purred Every Word
Lauren Bacall, the actress whose provocative glamour elevated her to stardom in Hollywood’s golden age and whose lasting mystique put her on a plateau in American culture that few stars reach, died on Tuesday in New York. She was 89. Her death was confirmed by her son Stephen Bogart.
The Most Powerful Piece of Film Criticism Ever Written
James Baldwin's The Devil Finds Work, a book-length essay on race and America and cinema, movingly demonstrates that analysis of art can be art itself.
The Movie Lover
When Quentin Tarantino goes to the movies, he sits in the front. Not in the first row, where he’d have to move his head from side to side to see what’s happening in the corners, but the third or fourth row, where he can take in the whole screen and is aware of nothing but the screen.
Christopher Nolan: the man who rebooted the blockbuster
In early spring of 2013, Christopher Nolan and his crew were scouting for locations in Iceland – looking for glaciers that could stand in for the icy wastes of a distant planet in Nolan’s new film, Interstellar. They were on foot, the terrain proving inaccessible by car through freezing rain.
An Oral History of Ghostbusters
UPDATE:Soon, you can see it in theaters again! Aykroyd. Murray. Ramis. Reitman. Believe it or not, it was 30 years ago that four brave men came together to battle ghosts, goblins, and, even scarier, New York City traffic.
Ernest Cline is the luckiest geek alive
Ernest Cline was planning to drive his tricked-out DeLorean to Austin for a talk about his upcoming novel Armada, but Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin called him up and asked for it. Cline said he could borrow the car for as long as he wanted to, but asked for a dragon egg in return.
The Land of 10,000 Takes
The mayor of Brainerd didn’t like Fargo. “It’s a movie that people who don’t live here seem to enjoy, but for us it’s a little bit of an embarrassment,” Bonnie Cumberland told the Star Tribune in the blizzard-shot winter of 1997.
Werner Herzog’s No-Bullshit Advice to Aspiring Filmmakers and Creative Entrepreneurs
Why all creative work is the product of “a furious inner excitement” and how to cultivate the best possible “climate of excitement of the mind.” Psychologists have long championed the idea that the ability to remember and integrate experiences is a central component of creative work.
Tilda Swinton Is In A World Of Her Own
Tilda Swinton picks me up at the airport. Yup. From the plane—thirteen hours out of New York, five of them spent delayed, trying to sleep on a bench and contemplating the grim reality of being late to meet Tilda Swinton—Scotland is all low, misty white clouds and moss-colored hills.