Saturday, November 29, 2014
Friday, November 28, 2014
December 25, 2015
Story by George Lucas
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams
Directed by J.J. Abrams
Starring John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker
June 12, 2015
Written by Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow
Directed by Colin Trevorrow
Starring Chris Pratt
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Saturday, November 22, 2014
GQ - "And the Most Powerful Internet Mogul of 2014 Is... Will Ferrell"
"Ask Mike Farah what's next, meanwhile, and he ticks off a list of "a few fucking things that I just know should happen." Such as? "We've always wanted a world-class auteur like Scorsese to direct the world's greatest cat video." Then there's the commemorative edition of Paris Hilton's 2003 sex tape. "I wanted to do a Criterion Collection ten-year-anniversary edition, where we would go behind the scenes and find out that, like, Steven Soderbergh directed it and all these amazing people worked on it," Farah says, clearly still holding out hope. "She told me she'd do it, and then she didn't end up doing it. If she reads this, we still should do that. I mean, who doesn't want to see that?""
GQ's Mark Anthony Green: "I've always put the ability to handle celebritydom on a spectrum—some are more allergic than others. On one end of the spectrum, you have Beyoncé, who's incredible at being famous..."
Dave Chappelle: "She's built up an immunity."
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Sports Illustrated – “Inside the Superclubs: How Bayern Munich emerged as a world power”
By Grant Wahl
"But playing style is another matter, and by moving from the Spanish to the German soccer culture, Guardiola has embarked on a journey not unlike Picasso’s from the Blue Period to the Rose Period. At Barcelona, Guardiola presided over the apotheosis of tiki-taka, employing short passes to dominate possession, move slowly downfield and suffocate opponents. In the season before Guardiola’s arrival, Bayern had won everything with a more traditional German approach, relying on superior athleticism and blistering counterattacks after defending mostly in its own end of the field.
Guardiola, who learned to speak German before his move, argues that he now has to be the one to change, that he can’t simply graft tiki-taka onto Bayern’s DNA.
“I have to adapt to the players,” he says. “Of course I have an idea [of what I want to do], but when you talk about tactics, we have to talk about the skills of our players. You have to analyze your talent and make an agreement together. That is the best way for the team.”
Yes, Guardiola has made changes. He brought in Thiago Alcântara, a promising young midfielder, from Barcelona. And he stunned Bayern followers last year by moving Lahm, arguably the world’s best right back, to the central midfield. He called Lahm “the most intelligent player I have ever coached”—no small statement from someone who has managed Xavi, Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta—and the switch worked. Likewise, Guardiola asked goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to become more of a “sweeper keeper,” venturing far outside his goal to patrol the back and allow Bayern’s defensive line to play higher up the field.
“[Guardiola] changed the way we defend and attack a little bit,” says Müller. “With Heynckes . . . we played more directly to the goal, with more risk but a bit less control. Now we want to play the whole game in the half of the opponent, defend and attack there. Attack with control.”
That’s the buzzword: control. “The coach is pretty simple,” says Lahm. “He wants control over the game. Preferably for the full 90 minutes.”
The result has been a fusion of styles that may well represent the Next Step in an ever-evolving sport, especially now that the tiki-taka era appears to be waning. “I think it’s a really good mix of the Barcelona style and the Bavarian style,” says Schweinsteiger. “In Germany you have the running and never giving up. For me, the first step is to have your own tradition, and then mix it a little bit with the Spanish or Barcelona soccer. We are Germany, you know?"
Also of note:
"In most ways, modern European soccer is noted for its unfettered capitalism, for the absence of salary caps and for the runaway ticket prices that are the norm in the wildly successful English Premier League. But German clubs still keep costs low for at least some of the seats in their stadiums. At Bayern, season tickets can still be purchased for as little as $180.
“If you’re a poor guy but you’re a Bayern Munich supporter, then our goal has always been to give you the possibility to go to the stadium to watch a Bayern Munich game,” says Rummenigge. “In the southern stands, for example, you pay around [$19]. We could charge three times that price, but we feel there is a kind of social responsibility.” "
Monday, November 17, 2014
Sunday, November 16, 2014
"In January I flew to Tokyo to spend two weeks watching sumo wrestling. Tokyo, the city where my parents were married — I remember gazing up at their Japanese wedding certificate on the wall and wondering what it meant. Tokyo, the biggest city in the world, the biggest city in the history of the world, a galaxy reflected in its own glass. It was a fishing village barely 400 years ago, and now: 35 million people, a human concourse so vast it can’t be said to end, only to fade indeterminately around the edges. Thirty-five million, almost the population of California. Smells mauling you from doorways: stale beer, steaming broth, charbroiled eel. Intersections where a thousand people cross each time the light changes, under J-pop videos 10 stories tall. Flocks of schoolgirls in blue blazers and plaid skirts. Boys with frosted tips and oversize headphones, camouflage jackets and cashmere scarves. Herds of black-suited businessmen. A city so dense the 24-hour manga cafés will rent you a pod to sleep in for the night, so post-human there are brothels where the prostitutes are dolls. An unnavigable labyrinth with 1,200 miles of railway, 1,000 train stations, homes with no addresses, restaurants with no names. Endless warrens of Blade Runneralleys where paper lanterns float among crisscrossing power lines. And yet: clean, safe, quiet, somehow weightless, a place whose order seems sustained by the logic of a dream."
New Yorker - "Elite Meat"
"To the concerned consumer, Fernald offers broad permission to indulge again. Her animals are raised in seemingly ideal conditions, and die about as calmly as food animals can. The ruminants eat only grass; the omnivores eat grain grown on the farm, supplemented with organic, G.M.O.-free feed that the farm buys. Her handlers practice low-stress stockmanship, gently coaxing the animals into trailers and corrals and into the twenty-thousand-square-foot slaughterhouse she designed in consultation with the animal-welfare expert Temple Grandin. The last sounds a Belcampo animal will likely hear are “Sh-h-h, sh-h-h, sh-h-h,” whispered by a handler it has known since birth. After that, the “knocker,” equipped with a bolt pistol and headphones, renders it unconscious with a pop. The breakdown of each animal is painstaking; Belcampo processes only eight cows a week. The result of all this care is a product that is precious in every sense: Belcampo’s premium cuts can cost four times as much as their equivalent in conventional meat. For internal accounting, the farm charges the shops “high market plus twenty per cent.”
“I live in a bubble and I’m trying to create a bubble,” Fernald told me. “I recognize that we’re creating a product that is financially non-viable for a lot of people. But I’m also prepared for when the health impact becomes undeniable and people decide to reprioritize their budgets. I think my bubble’s going to get bigger. Not because I’ll find more rich people—I think more of the rest of America is going to decide this is worth it.”"
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Grantland - "The Racist, Homophobic, Xenophobic Text-Message Scandal Rocking English Football"
"[Vincent] Tan, Malaysia’s 10th-richest man, gained control of Cardiff City after buying 36.1 percent of the club in 2010. As incoming owners are wont to do, Tan made certain noises about refurbishing Cardiff’s stadium, investing in the team, and, oh, I don’t know, maybe changing a few little details like the name of the club, its crest, and its colors.
Now, changing the name, crest, and colors of a club that was founded in 1899 is not a thing to be done lightly. Cardiff played in home blues, was known colloquially as the Bluebirds, and had a Vale of Arryn–esque bluebird soaring on its crest. That’s the way things were for as long as anyone could remember.
Well, here comes Tan from no-one-knows Malaysia, rebranding Cardiff’s colors from blue to red (“a more marketable color in Asia,” it was whispered) and placing a rampant red dragon, front and center, on the club’s redesigned badge (a creature with “significance in the far east” one site noted, as if Tan had put a set of chopsticks on the badge).
Though Tan later denied he was planning to change the name from Cardiff City FC to the Cardiff Dragons, fans were, it’s fair to say, fucking irate. Many, if not all, of Cardiff’s fans wanted Tan out. And, really, who could blame them?
Of course, that Tan is a foreigner added no small amount of nativism to the discourse surrounding his ownership of the team. Not helping matters was Tan’s penchant for blacker-than-black illegal arms dealer–style sunglasses and the slick-as-hell look of tucking his red Cardiff home kit — worn over a starched-collar long-sleeve button-up shirt — into black slacks, pulled up half-a-hand’s length past his belly button like a villain from one of the Hangover sequels.
As all of this was going on, it’s fair to say that literally no one in the world, with the exception of Tan’s loved ones (and even then, who knows), was #TeamTan. He was labeled THE WORST OWNER IN THE WORLD by essentially everyone. After all, in addition to his callous disregard for more than a century of club history, his alleged lineup meddling, his replacing of Moody with a 23-year-old son of a friend, and his generally aggressive non-European-ness, Tan didn’t know jack-all about the sport besides, maybe, that it involved a lot of kicking and running around.
From the August 17, 2013, issue of The Guardian: “‘He doesn’t know any rules about football,’ Al Chuah, the managing director of one of Tan’s many companies, said before breaking into laughter. ‘He invested in pharmacy without realising what drugs are all about.'”
ESPN - "The Third Coming Of Derrick Rose"
By Wright Thompson
"Rose's private plane landed at Midway Airport, a little while later he walked into his apartment high above the city. Sometimes he stands at the floor-to-ceiling windows and thinks. He can see his old neighborhood from his living room, and of all the distances people measure in their lives, such as the 30 months since he tore his ACL, this is the distance that matters the most."
Thursday, November 6, 2014
The Verge - "George Lucas museum concept looks like a spaceship in downtown Chicago"
"The Star Wars creator announced last summer that he'd chosen the Windy City over San Francisco and Los Angeles to be the site of a new building designed to house his vast personal collection of movie props and classic artworks (including some works by famed American painter Norman Rockwell). Now we have an idea of what the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will look like when it's completed for a planned opening in 2018. "
Sunday, November 2, 2014
New York Times - "The Exacting, Expansive Mind of Christopher Nolan"
"That his films manage to be both mainstream blockbusters and objects of such cult appeal is what makes Nolan a singular, and singularly admired, figure in Hollywood. He is commonly found sharing discriminating sentences of praise with James Cameron on the one hand and Paul Thomas Anderson on the other; he has been anointed, without any apparent campaigning on his own behalf, the successor of both Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick. His loyalists have consistently and strenuously defended him against critics who claim that although he may be a masterful technician, he’s not a visionary or true auteur. Regardless of the visionary question, however, it’s pretty much impossible to think of a film that grossed more than a billion dollars and is better than “The Dark Knight” — or, to think of it in the way that Nolan prefers, a better film that was seen, so many times over, by so many people."