Okay, so it's April Fool's Day.
That automatically makes 2/3 of what's printed online today worthless. And after almost 14 years of doing this, I've seen a lot of terrible April Fool's Day "jokes" over the years. I say "jokes" because it seems to me that a lot of people don't get the idea that what you do today is supposed to be funny, not just a ridiculous lie.
If you're the sort of person who loves online April Fool's Day jokes, I don't begrudge you the experience. You might even check out this archive of past jokes. But I'm going to try to avoid them as I put this Morning Read together.
Obviously there's been a fair amount of conversation about piracy in general since we posted the story last night about the "Wolverine" workprint leaking, and it's an important issue right now. But I think there are also some things we have to consider about consumer privacy, and certain enforcement measures seem not just inappropriate, but positively criminal. I don't for a second accept that the possibility of software or media piracy gives anyone the right to do a digital search of my harddrive when I travel. And I think things are going to get really ugly and litigious before they get better for anyone.
Elvis Mitchell's been thinking about the state of modern film criticism a bit.
And Rod Lurie, a former film critic and journalist himself, bemoans the condition of film journalism in general.
[more after the jump]
Have you seen the new trailer for "The Taking Of Pelham 123"? You can see it right here:
Or you can head over to MySpace and check out the HD version if you'd like. Gotta say... I'm still irritated they're remaking it, since the original Walter Matthau/Robert Shaw film is absolutely great, but this looks like a slick, confident Tony Scott film, and I expect it's going to clean up. Denzel and Travolta both look like they brought their A-game, and I've heard from some folks I trust who have seen the film that it's a really confident mainstream thriller. Sure looks like one.
I missed this last week when it ran, but it's an interesting glimpse of the process on the new Gore Verbinski animated film with Johnny Depp. I love that what we define as "filmmaking" is changing so radically right now, and that the guys who adapt are the guys who seem to be having the most fun.
Rick Linklater's "Dazed and Confused" is one of my favorite films, a pitch-perfect movie about that first night in high school when you tasted true independence, and I've always loved the '70s setting because it doesn't play period as a joke, but as atmosphere. Over at Greencine (have you noticed the new Greencine widget we've got embedded on all our film stories?), they talk about the potential for Linklater's newly-announced "spiritual sequel" to the film. I hope someone steps up to fund it, because that's a movie I reeeeeally want to see.
There's a truly great piece of writing over at Dennis Cozzalio's blog that you should read immediately. It's probably the one link I insist you click today. It's weird how much I have in common with Cozzalio. He writes about having been a closed-captioner at one point, and that's a job I did for a while. He talks about selling off some of his precious film geek books to make ends meet, and I still regret selling my copies of my Kael and my Peary, since I've never found most of those books again. Mainly, though, it's just a damn fine piece of writing, and a nice reminder of why I keep that blog bookmarked.
Kim Voynar just published a really smart piece about gender politics in hip-hop and a few new documentaries on the subject.
I really love the work of Michael Winterbottom, and I'm sorry to hear that his new film "The Killer Inside Me" is sputtering along in pre-production, but in the meantime, "Genoa" is coming, and there's a great interview with him about the new movie.
And speaking of being delighted, I'll leave you today with a collection of 25 celebrity appearances on "Sesame Street" over the years that is just pure pleasure, start to finish.
And see? We made it through without a single April Fool's Day joke. Hooray!
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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