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 .
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?
How do Trump supporters feel about the Paris Accord? Globally and around the U.S., there are strong opinions whether or not the Paris Climate Accord is a good idea. The American exit is either a horrifying abdication of American leadership or a forceful and long overdue statement about U.S. sovereignty.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Revisiting showrunner Steven Bochco on his memoir Steven Bochco, the writer-producer behind record-breaking Emmy winners Hill Street Blues, LA Law and NYPD Blue, fought battles with everyone from out-of-control actors to network censors in his long career. He isn’t afraid to tell those tales in his memoir, Truth Is a Total Defense. This week we revisit the conversation where he shared some of his favorite stories with us.