FROM A.O. Scott
'Better Living Through Criticism' In 2012, New York Times chief film critic A.O. Scott described the movie The Avengers as "a snappy little dialogue comedy dressed up as … a giant A.T.M. for Marvel and its new studio overlords, the Walt Disney Company." Samuel L Jackson, one of the film’s stars, tweeted in response, "Avengers fans, A.O. Scott needs a new job! Let’s help find him one … he can ACTUALLY do!" A Twitter storm erupted. But Scott says Jackson raised a valid and vital question. What is the job of a critic and how should it be performed? Scott talks to Madeleine about his new book, which attempts to answer that question.
Biopics, 'They Are A-Changin' The biopic has become a Hollywood staple, particularly about popular musicians. There have been Oscar-winning films on Ray Charles and Johnny Cash , following a familiar formula of drug-induced decline and redemption. None of those personalities have been as willfully mercurial as the bard, Bob Dylan . Director Todd Haynes has attempted to capture his essence by making not one film but many, using not one actor to play Dylan, but many. A.O. Scott, film critic for the New York Times , has more on the provocative I'm Not There .
Previewing James Comey's blockbuster testimony Former FBI director James Comey testifies Thursday in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, but his opening statement has been released. In it, he says he felt pressured by Donald Trump to declare loyalty to him and publicly clear him of any wrongdoing in the Russia investigation.
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.