Margot Harris

Margot HarrisLongreads4d agofeminismwomenvagina

Under the Knife

Margot Harris | Longreads | October 2019 | 16 minutes (3,346 words)

I was scrolling through my usual Instagram cache of impeccably staged dessert photos when I saw the cupcakes. Vulva cupcakes, decorated to celebrate a wide range of yonic beauty. With frosting. Buttercream, chocolate ganache, fondant, and raspberry-flavored labia of varying sizes, fresh from the oven. Edible pearl clitorises perched neatly at the apex. The self-proclaimed body-positive account featured whimsical tableaus: oranges, apples, cherries, and bananas were arranged in pairs to celebrate diversity in breast size and shape. Sliced papaya, honeydew melon, and grapefruit rivaled the blatancy of Georgia O’Keefe. And yet, as I searched the grid of suggestive snacks, I couldn’t find a fruit or baked good to match my own anatomy. Where were the less aesthetically-pleasing cupcakes, I wondered; the flaking coconut cake with chewed grape Laffy Taffy heaped unceremoniously on top? Was that shape so far from the norm that it couldn’t be included in a shrine to body diversity? I bit my tongue until I tasted salt.


Eye on Design4d ago

Sometimes the Best Typefaces Come Out of Never-Realized Brand Identities

Name: Cako
Designer: Jérémy Schneider
Foundry: VJ Type (Violaine & Jérémy)
Release Date: September 2019

Back Story: The sure-handed, lighthearted work of Parisian designers Violaine Orsoni and Jérémy Schneider layers minimalist design with classical line illustrations influenced by the great painters Caravaggio and Ingres. The result? A timeless aesthetic with a modern twist. The pair also has a charming tendency to surprise their clients with bespoke typefaces when none were part of the project scope. Orsoni describes the typical reaction as someone falling in love with a present they didn’t know they were about to receive. One such typeface? The brand new Cako.

“It was one of the directions Jérémy created for a brand identity but was never presented to the client,” says Orsoni. “Although we design a great deal of lettering for our projects, we only use around 20% of what’s produced. With Cako, we saw from the first few characters that it could become a full typeface.”

Lit Hub Daily

Lit Hub DailyLiterary Hub4d ago

Lit Hub Daily: October 15, 2019

TODAY: In 70 BCE, Publius Vergilius Maro AKA Virgil is born. It’s the Ben Lerner–Ocean Vuong conversation you hadn’t realized you needed! | Lit Hub Here are our takes on the best poetry collections of the past decade (this is the list that nearly broke us). | Lit Hub How did humans come to walk on two legs? Bill Bryson on the mysterious history of bipedalism. | Lit Hub Science “The way I have always dealt with writer’s block is to just keep writing terrible stuff.” Elizabeth Strout spills her literary secrets. | Lit Hub Iris Origo on the impossibility of capturing truth in a biography (and why we try anyway). | Lit Hub Biography How do we preserve the vanishing foods of the earth? On apples, blue honeysuckles, and the Soviet seed collector who protected the earth’s biodiversity. | Lit Hub Food In advance of the Frankfurt Book Festival, a brief history of the literature of this year’s “Guest of Honour,” Norway. | Lit Hub “The summer of porn and philosophy wasn’t as bizarre as I once thought.” Johan Harstad finds something in the trash. | Lit Hub Your House Will Pay author Steph Cha recommends five great American social crime novels, from Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer. | Book Marks Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo have been named the joint winners of the 2019 Booker Prize. | BBC “Nothing belongs to the past. You still think of him, don’t you?” Read an excerpt from André Aciman’s Find Me (aka Call Me By Your Name 2) | Vanity Fair Who decides which books are “great,” anyway? | JSTOR John Banville speaks with John le Carré about spying (duh), English patriotism, and le Carré’s new novel—his 25th. | The Guardian A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sold for $57,000 (not including fees and taxes) at auction in England. | Newsweek “Why does such an amazing writer have so much bad sex?” An examination of Murakami’s blind spot. | Metropolis Japan After reading Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind, Helen Joyce took a psychedelic retreat. | New York Review of Books “Perception is inevitably personal.” Alice Mattison on the experience of macular degeneration. | The Paris Review

Also on Lit Hub: “How It Felt,” a poem by Sharon Olds from the collection Arias • The collections of Robert Duncan and Jess • Read from Karina Sainz Borgo’s debut novel It Would Be Night in Caracas.



Longreads4d agocreativityadolescencecartoons

Happiness is Fleeting

Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell | excerpt from The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & The Gang, and the Meaning of Life | Penguin Random House | October 2019 | 12 minutes (3,277 words)

There are so many topics and themes and recurring jokes in the wonderful world of Peanuts; if it were allowed I would just sit here and write a list of all my favorite cartoons.

But since I don’t have a podcast called My Favorite Peanuts (yet), and since we all have short attention spans, I’m going to write about my two favorite topics, which I believe are intrinsically connected: disappointment and dancing.

Literary Hub

11 posts

  • The 10 Best Poetry Collections of the DecadeFriends, it’s true: the end of the decade approaches. It’s been a difficult, anxiety-provoking, morally compromised decade, but at least it’s been populated by some damn fine literature. We’ll take our silver linings where we can.So, as is our hallowed duty as a literary and culture website—though with full awareness of the potentially fruitless and endlessly contestable nature of the task—in the coming weeks, we’ll be taking a look at the best and most important (these being not always the same) books of the decade that was. We will do this, of course, by means of a variety of lists. We began with the best debut novels of the decade and the best short story collections of the decade, and we have now reached the third list in our series: the best poetry collections published in English between 2010 and 2019.The following books were chosen after much debate (and several rounds of voting) by the Literary Hub staff. Tears were spilled, feelings were hurt, books were re-read. And as you’ll shortly see, we had a hard time choosing just ten—so we’ve also included a list of dissenting opinions, and an even longer list of also-rans.The Top Ten Anne Carson, Nox(2010) Terrance Hayes, Lighthead(2010) Tracy K. Smith, Life on Mars(2011) Natalie Diaz, When My Brother Was an Aztec(2012) Natasha Trethewey, Thrall(2012) Mary Szybist, Incarnadine(2013) Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric(2014) Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus(2015) Ocean Vuong, Night Sky with Exit Wounds(2016) Danez Smith, Don’t Call Us Dead(2017) Dissenting Opinions C.D Wright, One with Others(2010) Mark Leidner, Beauty Was the Case They Gave Me(2011) Cathy Park Hong, Engine Empire(2012) Eduardo C. Corral, Slow Lightning(2012) Patricia Lockwood, Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals(2014) Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude(2015) Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things(2015) Donika Kelly, Bestiary(2016) Dawn Lundy Martin, Good Stock Strange Blood(2017) Carl Phillips, Wild is the Wind(2018) Franny Choi, Soft Science(2019) Honorable MentionsVisit(opens in a new tab)Emily Temple5d ago
  • Elizabeth Strout on Writers’ Block, the Art of Edward Hopper, and MoreElizabeth Strout’s new novel, Olive, Again is out now from Random House, so we asked her to take our writer’s questionnaire.*Who do you most wish would read your book?
    The person I most want to read my book is the person who needs that book at the time he or she or they reads it. I think the right book at the right time in a person’s life can help them in ways I will never know. That would be my wish.Visit(opens in a new tab)Literary Hub5d ago
  • How Do We Preserve the Vanishing Foods of the Earth?I finally started to feel like myself again. Newly up and about, I returned to the Granville Island Public Market, eager to enjoy the best of both the regional and global food systems. There was still fresh local fruit, including the last of the berries. There were blackberries and the first apples of the fall. I could buy, if I wished, dozens of types of lettuce and a wide range of greens unknown in North America even 30 years ago. I could pick up gai lan, a Chinese broccoli cultivar, or rue, an herb as old as the Romans, with delicate leaves and a strong almost soapy scent. There was fresh shiso, a tender Japanese mint that tastes wonderful in lemonade.It wasn’t always so. I still recall the wonder of first trying romaine lettuce. My parents took me to a “cutting edge” restaurant and the waiter made Caesar salad tableside. He took the big wooden bowl and rubbed it with a garlic clove, and then mixed a dressing artfully. I remember him cracking a raw egg into the mixture and finishing the tossed dish with Romano cheese and anchovies. That was pretty exotic stuff for western Canada in 1980.I moved through the market, dodging the visual arts students snapping photos of the food. I found a few “pink lemonade” lemons, which have naturally pink flesh. I grabbed them, along with the shiso, to slice up and make into a lemonade later. A pie in mind, I also bought some Meyer lemons. A hybrid cross of the citron and a mandarin/pomelo cultivar, the Meyer is sweet and lush with a distinctive mild citrus flavor and slightly orange flesh. They were introduced to the United States in 1908 by Frank Meyer (we will come back to him). The Meyer was made popular by chef Alice Waters in the 1970s and further promoted by Martha Stewart a few decades later. How did Meyer find a new lemon? Where, ultimately, do new fruits come from? That question leads us straight back to the Mountains of Heaven, the
    Tian Shan. Except this time, we will focus on Malus pumila : the apple.As the world’s biodiversity declines, we lose the ability to both repair existing crops and create new ones. Western crops are brought into functioning agricultural systems to save farmers, and the result is more pesticides, more fertilizers, new diseases and soil damage.Visit(opens in a new tab)Lenore Newman5d ago
  • Ben Lerner Talks to Ocean Vuong About Love, Whiteness, and Toxic MasculinityI first encountered Ben Lerner as an undergraduate in one of his poetry workshops at Brooklyn College. Ten minutes into our first class I flipped open my schedule to double check that I had not, in fact, accidently stepped into a graduate course. Ben spoke to us as if we were his peers, a portion of the campus citizenry assembled to assess a crisis ahead of us—not his subordinate charges. Although Hurricane Irene (category 3) was set to make landfall in a week, the crisis, Ben made clear, was language.That was what made his class so captivating to a young writer like myself: he grounded the discussion with stakes rooted in our lived world. We did not, as in other classes, catalogue literary epochs like distant names on a map, but asked how national, social and personal crises inflected literary innovations within the tradition. We were all, it was soon evident, not receiving knowledge from a teacher but collectively thinking through strategies to process the culture around us, one where the shouts of spill-over protestors from Occupy Wall Street and those fighting tuition increases in the CUNY system echoed through our windows.In other words, we were in a Ben Lerner novel—or rather, we began to ask of language what his protagonists ask of themselves: can art make the impossible thinkable and the unknowable felt?Maybe love is a way of acknowledging the force of the past while insisting it’s not determinate, not totally. One might say that The Topeka School is an intense prehistory of the moment where Darren hurls a cue ball into a crowded basement in Topeka during a house party.Visit(opens in a new tab)Ocean Vuong5d ago
  • No One Really Knows Why Humans Can WalkNo one knows why we walk. Out of some 250 species of primates, we are the only ones that have elected to get up and move around exclusively on two legs. Some authorities think bipedalism is at least as important a defining characteristic of what it is to be human as our high-functioning brain.Many theories have been proposed as to why our distant ancestors dropped out of trees and adopted an upright posture—to free their hands to carry babies and other objects; to gain a better line of sight across open ground; to be better able to throw projectiles—but the one certainty is that walking on two legs came at a price. Moving about in the open made our ancient forebears exceedingly vulnerable, for they were not formidable creatures, to say the least. The young and gracile protohuman famously known as Lucy, who lived in what is now Ethiopia some 3.2 million years ago and is often used as a model for early bipedalism, was only about three and a half feet tall and weighed just 60 pounds—hardly the sort of presence to intimidate a lion or cheetah.It’s likely Lucy and her tribal kin had little choice but to take the risk of stepping out into the open. As climate change made their forest habitats shrink, they very probably needed to forage over larger and larger areas to survive, but they almost certainly scampered back to trees when they could. Even Lucy appears to have been only a partial convert to life at ground level. In 2016, anthropologists at the University of Texas concluded that Lucy died after falling out of a tree (or suffered a “vertical deceleration event,” as they put it, just a touch drily), the implication being that she spent a great deal of time in the canopy of trees and was probably as much at home up there as on the ground. Or at least she was until the last three or four seconds of her life.First, we became walkers and climbers, but not runners. Then, gradually, we became walkers and runners, but no longer climbers. What can be said about exercise is that most of us are not getting nearly enough.Visit(opens in a new tab)Bill Bryson5d ago
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Norwegian Literature (Almost)Norwegian literature—one could argue—begins with a shield.Not really a shield, but a poem about a shield given to the 9th century skald, or bard of sorts, Bragi Boddasson, by Ragnar Lothbrok, the Swedish king (whose name means “hairy breeches”).Bragi loved this shield, so he sang its praises, and in turn gives us—12 centuries later—a glimpse of the myths that 9th century readers would have known.Visit(opens in a new tab)John Freeman5d ago
  • The Impossibility of Capturing Truth in a BiographyWhy does one write at all? After some 60 years spent in this pursuit, I still scarcely know. The first of my writings to be printed was, at the age of 10, a prize-winning essay in Little Folks. For this I received ten shillings and sixpence, a copy of The Christmas Carol, and a moment of as pure and unalloyed pleasure as has ever come to me out of an envelope. But the essay itself was imitative and flat, like all my other childish works. “A sedulous ape,” I covered a great deal of paper between the ages of 10 and 17, producing several long romances, many attempts at verse, some translations of Sappho, Leopardi and Pascoli, and a biographical study of the Medici children. These works show much industry, some versatility, and not much talent—a fact which I fully realized myself—and, indeed, I have scarcely more facility now. Some people, it appears, set well-turned, elegant phrases on paper at once, which only require a little subsequent polishing.“I think,” said my step-father, Percy Lubbock, when I once commented on the exquisitely neat and decorative pages of his manuscript, “I think, before I write.” I do not, alas, resemble him. I have seldom written a sentence which did not have to be altered and trimmed and often entirely recast. Nor have I ever written a book about which I did not ask myself, at some stage, how it was conceivable that anyone should wish to read it. I write because, exacting as it may be to do so, it is still more difficult to refrain, and because—however conscious of one’s limitations one may be—there is always at the back of one’s mind an irrational hope that this next book will be different: it will be the rounded achievement, the complete fulfillment. It never has been: yet I am still writing.From the age of 21, however, the year of my engagement, to that of 35, I never wrote at all. Those were the first years of my marriage, of my son’s childhood, and of my attempts to lead, at La Foce, an entirely new kind of life; to identify myself with the work of our farm and with my husband’s interests, and to become, if I could, a rather different kind of person. Then, in 1933, after Gianni’s death, in an effort to find some impersonal work which would absorb at least a part of my thoughts—I turned back to writing again. It was then that one aspect of my training in youth stood me in good stead.This has always been one of the cardinal problems of biography: to what extent can or should one tell the truth—and what, indeed, is the truth about any of us?Visit(opens in a new tab)Iris Origo5d ago
  • A Household of Minor Things: The Collections of Robert Duncan and JessJess and Robert Duncan pursued separate artistic paths—the former as a visual artist, the latter as a poet, though each experimented with the other’s chosen medium. Jess, who had a lifelong interest in the play inherent in language, wrote poetry and prose, and Duncan, who was drawn to the open form and movement he perceived in abstract expressionism, painted and drew. Yet neither approached the facility with which the other engaged his own field, and the benefits of these excursions into the other’s territory lay more in the insights brought back than in any contribution made on foreign ground.They collaborated rarely, which may seem surprising given the intensity of their shared worldview and the length of their relationship, some 37 years. But they did have one lasting collaboration: the joint labor of maintaining the household. Despite their different temperaments and commitments to different media (word and image), their worldviews were similar, and what they stood to gain in keeping house together, in addition to intimacy and companionship, was a shared space in which to nourish their shared values.These values included domestic space as a space of belonging that is generative and must be protected, which Jess called indwelling and Duncan termed the household. They valued the formation of self-made ancestries and collections through acts of accumulation and appropriation. They valued meaning that is multiphasic and in flux. They valued an engagement with fantasy, myth, and romance—Duncan called their life together “story living.”The wall above Duncan’s desk in his office at 3267 20th Street, San Francisco. Still from Christopher Wagstaff and David Fratto, The Household of Robert Duncan and Jess: An Intimate Portrait of a Legendary Home, 2006. c The Jess Collins Trust. Wallace Berman, mailer to Robert Duncan, c. 1962. Ink and collage on card. Courtesy the Estate of Wallace Berman and Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles. Jess, The Enamord Mage: Translation #6, 1965. Oil on canvas over wood, 24. × 30 inches. Collection of The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. c The Jess Collins Trust.Visit(opens in a new tab)Tara McDowell5d ago
  • Johan Harstad’s Summer of Porn and PhilosophyI used to work as a garbageman. This is a true statement, and one I tend to bring to the table when slightly cornered by people arguing that as a professional writer I haven’t really done an honest day’s work and therefore haven’t got the slightest clue as to what most people go through every day, for years and years, until they reach retirement and can start missing having a job. What I usually leave out is that it was only a summer job when I was 20, and that it was only for one month. Which, given the fact that it was a five days/week thing, adds up to no more than twenty days in total.Though it was only 18, due to a couple of national holidays. Plus, only one of these 17 days was spent collecting real, actual, stinking, diaper-saturated, rotting trash. The remaining 17 days—which I base all my expertise on the life of a blue-collar man on—saw me working on a truck that merely collected paper, cartons and cardboard to be recycled. About 8.5 tons of it a day, to be precise. But still, I was a garbageman, with a comfortable working day starting at 5.30AM and usually ending before 8AM, as we only had to finish our designated route before we could head back to the garage with the now empty truck, stamp out and collect pay for the equivalent of 7.5 hours. Needless to say, we did our jobs as fast as we could, never walking when we could run, back and forth with the garbage bins, all we could do to make the day shorter (many of the experienced garbagemen worked two jobs and were thus on their to the next before most people had settled in behind their desks for the day. It should be noted that being a garbageman in Stavanger, Norway back in 1999 was quite a lucrative job, due to a strong union and lots of $$$ perks from working under “unsanitary conditions,” so it wasn’t as much a need to make more money as the fear of ending up on the couch watching daytime syndicated soap operas that drove them to keep busy).For me, it was simply easy money and an easy job. The only thing I had to do was to a) avoid being killed by my co-worker as he had a tendency to start backing the truck out of cul-de-sacs before I had time to remove the last bin from his blind spot, in order to save a few seconds and b) to hang on for dear life to the handlebar above that little, microscopic platform at the back of the truck, as he pushed the car up to 50mph on the main roads instead of letting me get in the cabin first, as one, for the sake of humanity, is supposed to do. There were seconds to spare and he wanted them all.The summer of porn and philosophy wasn’t as bizarre as I once thought.Visit(opens in a new tab)Johan Harstad5d ago
  • “How It Felt” A Poem by Sharon OldsEven if I still had the clothes I wore,
    those first twelve years, even if I had
    the clothes I’d take off before my mother
    climbed the stairs toward me: the glassy
    Orlon sweater; the cotton dress,
    under its smocking my breasts-to-be
    accordion-folded under the skin of my chest;
    even if I had all the sashes,
    even if I had all the cotton
    underwear, like a secret friend,
    I think I could not get back to how
    it felt. I study the stability
    of the spirit—was it almost I who came
    back out of each punishment,
    back to a self which had been waiting, for me,
    in the cooled-off pile of my clothes? As for the
    condition of being beaten, what
    was it like: going into a barn, the animals
    not in stalls, but biting, and shitting, and
    parts of them on fire? And when my body came out
    the other side, and I checked myself,
    10 fingers, 10 toes,
    and I checked whatever I had where we were supposed
    to have a soul, I hardly dared
    to know what I knew,
    that though I had been taken down,
    again, hammer and tongs, valley
    and range, down to the ground of my being
    and under that ground, it was possible
    that in my essence, in some chamber my mother could not
    enter—or did not enter—I had not been changed.________________________________From Arias by Sharon Olds. Featured with the permission of the publisher, Knopf. Copyright © 2019 by Sharon Olds.Visit(opens in a new tab)Sharon Olds5d ago
  • It Would Be Night in CaracasWe buried my mother with her things: her blue dress, her black flats, and her multifocals. We couldn’t say goodbye in any other way, couldn’t take those things from her. It would have been like returning her to the earth incomplete. We buried it all, because after her death we were left with nothing. Not even each other. That day we were struck down with exhaustion. She in her wooden box; I on a chair in the dilapidated chapel, the only one available of the five or six I tried for the wake. I could hire it for only three hours. Instead of funeral parlors, the city now had furnaces. People went in and out like loaves of bread, which were in short supply on the shelves but rained down in our memory whenever hunger overcame us.If I still say “we” when I talk about that day it’s out of habit, for the years welded us together like two parts of a sword we could use to defend each other. Writing out the inscription for her headstone, I understood that death takes place in language first, in that act of wrenching subjects from the present and planting them in the past. Completed actions. Things that had a beginning and an end, in a time that’s gone forever. What was but would never be again. That was the way things were now: from then on, my mother would exist only if worded differently. Burying her meant my life as a childless daughter came to an end. In a city in its death throes, we had lost everything, even words conjugated in the present.Six people attended my mother’s wake. Ana was the first. She arrived dragging her feet. Julio, her husband, was supporting her by the arm. Ana seemed to be moving through a dark tunnel that disgorged her into the world where the rest of us lived. For months, she had been undergoing treatment with benzodiazepine. Its effects were starting to evaporate. Barely enough pills were left to complete her daily dose. As had happened with the bread, there were Alprazolam shortages, which meant despair prevailed, as potent as our desperation. We could only watch as everything we needed vanished: people, places, friends, recollections, food, serenity, peace, sanity. “Lose” became a leveling verb, and the Sons of the Revolution wielded it against us.Then one of the twins, sometimes Clara and sometimes Amelia, would turn in her rattan chair and, growling, would say the magic words: the Dead One. Family meant the two of us, my mother and me.Visit(opens in a new tab)Lit Hub Excerpts5d ago


2 posts

  • ‘Watchmen’ Review: Damon Lindelof’s Spectacular HBO Series Is Equal Parts Insightful and ExcitingMuch of what “Watchmen” is about — and Damon Lindelof’s substantial adaptation of Alan Moore’s sprawling graphic novel is about quite a lot — can be summed up in a joke. Well, it’s not really a joke, but the cunning and cutting Jean Smart still sells it that way.“You know how you can tell the difference between a masked cop and a vigilante?” Smart, as FBI Agent Laurie Blake, asks.No-bullshit Tulsa police detective Angela Abar, played by Regina King, answers plainly, as expected: “No.”Grade: AVisit(opens in a new tab)Ben Travers5d ago
  • ‘Lodge 49’: The Last Image of Season 2 Proves This Show Has Plenty More Worlds Left to Explore[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for the “Lodge 49” Season 2 finale, Episode 10, “The Door.”]If “Lodge 49” is a family — and it certainly is — the last episode of Season 2 feels like a grand reunion. After the chaos of the show’s wild Mexico diversion in the previous two episodes, Long Beach’s beloved Lynxes gather at Lodge 49 for the coronation of Ernie (Brent Jennings) as Sovereign Protector. He and Scott (Eric Allan Kramer) bury the hatchet as they both realize they want different things from life. Connie (Linda Emond) forges the beginning of a literary career and Liz (Sonya Cassidy) even takes her first steps inside Lodge confines.Leading up to the finale, Season 2 is filled with moments that emphasize how much these disparate characters have become united by circumstance. The beginning of a communal van ride, a collective thanksgiving around a table at a restaurant known for its dumplings, one wild escape to secure the scrolls that have been the seasons-long goal to obtain: all of those lead to a season-closing hour that finds each character taking stock of where this international quest for meaning has left them, with Dud (Wyatt Russell) staying the unspoken force helping to bind them all.Visit(opens in a new tab)Steve Greene5d ago

LucyThe Literary Edit5d ago

A classical stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens

London has a wealth of literary-leaning hotels perfect for anyone with a penchant for books, complete with everything from suites named after erudite authors, to resplendent libraries groaning with tomes. One such belletrist gem is Chelsea’s 11 Cadogan Gardens; a hotel whose address is as regal as its history. Offering the sort of second-to-none service … Continue reading “A classical stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens”

The post A classical stay at 11 Cadogan Gardens appeared first on The Literary Edit.


6 posts

  • Sharon Horgan: It’s ‘Annoying It Took a Sexual Assault Apocalypse’ for Hollywood to Invest in WomenIrish actor/writer/director Sharon Horgan has made a career out of portraying and sketching women who are, as she puts it, “a bit messy.” On the Amazon-hosted British sitcom “Catastrophe,” which she co-created with co-star Robert Delaney, she plays a school teacher who finds herself pregnant after a fling. She created the HBO comedy series “Divorce,” starring Sarah Jessica Parker, and she next writes and directs on the Amazon anthology series “Modern Love,” based on the New York Times column.In a recent interview with The Independent, Horgan talked about her busy career, which includes the British comedy “This Way Up,” currently streaming on Hulu, about a young woman who tries to rebuild her life after a nervous breakdown.Horgan said that 2019 is a great time for “women of a certain age carrying films and TV series” — in front of the camera, that is.Visit(opens in a new tab)Ryan Lattanzio5d ago
  • Gretchen Carlson: It’s ‘Frustrating’ I Couldn’t Participate in ‘Bombshell,’ Where She’s Portrayed by Nicole KidmanFormer Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, who in 2016 helped publicize Roger Ailes’ alleged pattern of sexual misconduct when she sued the network’s former chairman, says it’s frustrating that she’s unable to participate in TV and film adaptations of stories based on her life. But what’s most important, she said, is the “big picture” with Showtime series “The Loudest Voice” and now the forthcoming film “Bombshell” — advancing the public conversation around harassment. (Via Entertainment Weekly)Carlson sued her former boss for sexual harassment in 2016 after leaving Fox, a legal action that preceded scores of women coming forward alleging that Ailes, who founded the conservative network, had harassed them too. Ailes settled with Carlson for $20 million and resigned from his post.Carlson reacted to the tense “Bombshell” teaser in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.Visit(opens in a new tab)Chris Lindahl5d ago
  • ‘Goodfellas’ Test Screening Forced Martin Scorsese to Cut Back on Brutal ViolenceMartin Scorsese’s gangster classic “Goodfellas” is often cited as one of the most violent movies ever made, but it could have been a whole lot bloodier had it not been for test screenings. Ahead of “The Irishman” release next month, Scorsese spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the challenges of test screening “Goodfellas.” The director remembered the film’s unflinching violence prompting walkouts, creating tension between him and studio Warner Bros.“It was an angry reaction,” Scorsese said. “It became very difficult. It was a constant battle until a few weeks before release…[the film] terrified Warner Bros. executives at the time.”One scene Scorsese cut back on because of the test screenings was the brutal murder of gangster Billy Batts (Frank Vincent). Joe Pesci’s Tommy DeVito savagely kills Billy by stabbing him repeatedly with a large kitchen knife. The test screening called into question just how many stabs Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker could get away without angering audience members. Scorsese’s original “Goodfellas” cut include seven stabbings, a number that proved far too brutal.Visit(opens in a new tab)Zack Sharf5d ago
  • ‘The Batman’: Zoe Kravitz Is Your Next Catwoman After Pfeiffer, Berry, HathawayZoe Kravitz is set to follow in the footsteps of Michelle Pfeiffer, Halle Berry, and Anne Hathaway by starring as Catwoman in Warner Bros.’ upcoming superhero tentpole “The Batman.” Kravitz will star opposite Robert Pattinson, who is set to play Bruce Wayne/Batman, and Jonah Hill, who boarded the project last month in an unspecified villain role. Rumor has it Hill is being courted play either The Penguin (previously played by Danny DeVito in “Batman Returns”) or The Riddler (Jim Carrey in “Batman Forever).“The Batman” is being directed by “War for the Planet of the Apes” filmmaker Matt Reeves. While the plot of the movie is being kept under wraps, Reeves has been vocal about the movie centering on a younger version of the Batman character. The film is not expected to be an origin story like Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” As Kravitz and Hill’s casting confirms, “The Batman” will use various characters from the Batman comic book series. More familiar names are expected to be cast in the future.For Kravitz, “The Batman” marks her second major Warner Bros. franchise movie following “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.” The actress reprised her role as Bonnie in the second season of HBO’s “Big Little Lies” earlier this year, and she’ll next play the lead in Hulu’s original drama series “High Fidelity.”Visit(opens in a new tab)Zack Sharf5d ago
  • ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’: Joachim Rønning Gets Timely With Michelle Pfeiffer’s Divisive Queen IngrithAfter helming the underwhelming “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” Scandinavian director Joachim Rønning returned to Disney to navigate “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil.” His creative interest was piqued by the maternal war between Michelle Pfeiffer’s divisive Queen Ingrith and Angelina Jolie’s conflicted Maleficent, along with with the introduction of the oppressed dark fae (led by Chiwetel Ejiofor).At Disney’s D23, Jolie said that the much-hyped sequel to the 2014 hit is about families “being pulled apart by their differences” and fighting “for the belief that what makes you different, makes you stronger.” Rønning echoed the political relevance with his own assessment of Queen Ingrith as a Trump-like ruler. “I do think that it was so interesting to see Michelle Pfeiffer as Queen Ingrith dictating the narrative of the story and how it resembles a little bit today’s society,” he said in a recent interview with IndieWire.Trump’s fanatical preoccupation with Twitter also found its allegorical way into Linda Woolverton’s timely script. “Whoever controls the narrative, kind of controls the world, especially now with social media,” continued Rønning. “And with the push of a button with your finger, you can send your whole narrative and control the story, control the conflict. And she’s really using that to divide humans and fae and humans against nature and creating fear and chaos. It absolutely reflects today.”Visit(opens in a new tab)Bill Desowitz5d ago
  • Apple’s New Production Studio Shows Mastery of the Streaming Long GameOriginal content is the name of the television game, and Apple’s new in-house studio could better position the company’s upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service to compete with industry giants in the years ahead, analysts said.Apple announced that it was launching its first in-house studio alongside Friday’s announcement that it ordered “Masters of the Air,” a nine-episode drama from Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Apple is set to produce the series, which serves as a follow-up to HBO’s “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific,” and makes “Masters of the Air” the first series the tech giant will actually own in-house.As for Apple’s unnamed studio, Variety reported that the company placed worldwide video heads Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht in charge of it, but outside that leadership detail and the “Masters of the Air” news, nothing else is known about the studio. Apple didn’t play up its unveiling in Friday’s “Masters of the Air” press release, but the studio nonetheless suggests that Apple is committed to building up its film and television output for the long haul, according to Keybanc Capital Markets analyst Andy Hargreaves.Visit(opens in a new tab)Tyler Hersko5d ago

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