Pop Culture Roundup: This WeekRoundup
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● Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’ Con By Joe Nocera
Steve Jobs probably didn't attempt to settle all of his personal and professional debts in the frantic, tick-tock moments leading up to his most significant product launches, but what if he did?
Latching onto that surreally theatrical premise the way the man himself latched onto sleek snow-white aesthetics, the Danny Boyle-directed Steve Jobs is like Macworld fanfiction with the drama pitched to Shakespearean heights. An unconventional tech mogul warrants an unconventional narrative, and Aaron Sorkin's screenplay (based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography, also titled only Steve Jobs) smartly eschews typical biopic conventions—no childhood epiphanies or college montages. Instead, we get to see the Apple CEO as his underlings did: terse, barking orders, orchestrating the tiniest details of the biggest moments in his career. In the movie's universe, the walls are always closing in, the Daniel Pemberton–penned score is blaring to an operatic crescendo, and Steve Jobs's pitch to the world is about to begin.
Janina Ramirez is a most unlikely medieval historian. Young, engaging, blessed with jet black hair, cherry red lips and with a penchant for goth-chic dress, she looks more like the lead singer in a metal band than an expert in Latin, Old English, paleography and archaeology at Oxford University. But then that’s a big part of her appeal….
[W]hen my programme Treasures of the Anglo Saxons came out in 2010, I was totally unprepared [for her success]. "I had no idea what the viewing figures would be. I hoped to get up to 100,000, but we got a million viewers on BBC4 and two million on BBC2. The day after it was shown, I went out for a walk into town and people were staring, coming up and complimenting me. I was shaking so much I had to go home and hide under the duvet. I was really paranoid!”
Broadway’s hottest show is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: An American Musical,” an unlikely hit about the nation’s first treasury secretary. Unfortunately, this impressive show circulates a lie, a somewhat minor one, but Alexander Hamilton’s critics have used it for more than a century to defame the man.
At one point in the musical, as Miranda recently observed, “Aaron Burr says of Hamilton, ‘Martha Washington named her feral tomcat after him,’ and Hamilton goes, ‘That’s true!’ That kind of, ‘I can’t wait to tell you all the shit I learned in writing this story’ really carries across the footlights, because I was learning this stuff in order to write it.”
Unfortunately, Miranda learned some inaccurate shit. The notion that Hamilton was a serial philanderer, a “tomcat,” was a lie first disseminated by his wartime British enemies and later circulated by his domestic political opponents.
I found the film Suffragette utterly stirring. This came as something of a surprise to me. The voluminous press coverage has been unanimous: the film’s uniqueness lies in its focus on working class women’s struggle for the vote. It’s true that this angle has been left largely unexplored in other cinematic representations, which have conventionally featured bourgeois heroines. And though this historical approach is long overdue, in my view the film’s uniqueness extends far beyond its laudable focus on the working class.
Both men and women viewers are led to sympathise with the protagonist Maud Watts (Carey Mulligan) – mother, wife and laundry worker – on her painful journey into critical, political consciousness. Through her experiences, the film exposes the underbelly of a patriarchal culture, which can respond with violence when its norms are challenged and resisted.
John Ridley is keeping the ball rolling with his career and is not letting that Academy Award he wonfor writing the screenplay for 12 Years a Slave make him complacent.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ridley will be directing a movie about the Rodney King beating that was caught on tape and the Los Angeles riots that followed after the police officers who beat King were exonerated.
Beginning Saturday, one of the suits worn by actor George Reeves on the 1950s TV series The Adventures of Superman will be on display at the Ohio History Center.
The suit, plus other Superman and newly acquired pop-culture memorabilia, are additions to the long-running museum exhibit “1950s: Building the American Dream.”
The TV series, which ran from 1952 to 1958, was wildly popular. But the suit itself, made of a wool blend and emblazoned with the famous “S” logo, hardly seems fitting for “the Man of Steel.” ...
“We thought it was an important cultural icon,” said Dwight Blocker Bowers, the curator of entertainment history for the national museum. “He was the first real superhero to have a huge effect on American culture.”
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