Martin Scorsese is a great film director, but as this segment shows, he’s also very well spoken and passionate about the history, mystery, and power of cinema. Scorsese’s 2013 Jefferson Lecture, entitled Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema, goes into detail about the birth of cinema, the first films that made him want to become a director, and helps answer the question: what’s so special about movies? Hit the jump to listen to an excerpt of his speech, curated by NPR, where he explores the impact of the inciting moment and why light and movement are so important to us…
Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained is a spaghetti western-inspired revenge film set in the antebellum South; it’s about a former slave who teams up with a bounty hunter to target the plantation owner who owns his wife.
The cinematic violence that has come to characterize Tarantino’s work as a screenwriter and director — from Reservoir Dogs at the start of his career in 1992 to 2009’s Inglourious Basterds — is front and center again in Django. And he’s making no apologies.
“What happened during slavery times is a thousand times worse than [what] I show,” he says. “So if I were to show it a thousand times worse, to me, that wouldn’t be exploitative, that would just be how it is. If you can’t take it, you can’t take it.
“Now, I wasn’t trying to do a Schindler’s Listyou-are-there-under-the-barbed-wire-of-Auschwitz. I wanted the film to be more entertaining than that. … But there’s two types of violence in this film: There’s the brutal reality that slaves lived under for … 245 years, and then there’s the violence of Django’s retribution. And that’s movie violence, and that’s fun and that’s cool, and that’s really enjoyable and kind of what you’re waiting for.”
That said, Tarantino is clear about what — for him — is acceptable violence in a movie and what crosses a line…
The Mike Wallace Interview with Rod Serling, one of the most insightful pieces of journalism ever broadcast on one of my heroes. “So, in effect, your decision to focus solely on The Twilight Zone means you’ve given up writing anything important for television?”
Every so often, the Internet astonishes. Things I wouldn’t, couldn’t, shouldn’t expect, sometimes happen. Take this, for example. On April 25, somewhere in the ocean off Great Britain, a remotely operated video camera mounted near a deep sea oil drill caught a glimpse — at first it was just a glimpse — of an astonishing looking sea creature. It was a green-gray blob of gelatinous muscle, covered with a finely mesh-like textured skin, no eyes, no tentacles, no front, no back. It moved constantly, floating up to the drill, then it backed off and disappeared. The camera operator tried to find it, and then, suddenly, out of the darkness, back it came. What was this thing?
That is truly incredible.
The ocean is full of strange and amazing things.
via Mark Maynard
Last year, Jerry Falwell’s private, evangelical university took in more federal money than NPR.
via Alex Pareene
Liberty University, the evangelical private Christian school founded by dead apartheid-supporting bigot Jerry Falwell, received $445 million in federal financial aid last year. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting , by the way, received $420 million from the federal government.
On a more positive note, despite the apparent abandonment of reality-based educational priorities in this country; the United States has nearly tripled its understanding of science since 1988. Despite desperate attempts, the Jerry Falwells of the world can’t seem to dumb-down the general population fast enough.
You know, listen. We’re going to have to come to grips with the fact that these programs cannot exist if we want America to be what we want America to be.
When your entire platform depends on ignorance, ignorance MUST be maintained at all costs. Anything less, and the whole house of cards falls.
Do not be deterred by the length of this video - it will be the shortest 25 minutes you’ve spent watching anything. Engaging. Exciting. Beautiful history and areas of NY that can’t be seen without breaking the law and risking your life.
They’re known as “ghost trees,” and for good reason: Albino redwoods are extremely rare and nearly impossible to spot. There may be as few as 25 of these trees in the world, yet eight of them are at Henry Cowell Redwood State Park in Northern California. They lack chlorophyll and suck energy from their parent tree.