“We made this oath – whoever died first would send the other a sign.” IFC has released an official trailer for the latest film from French filmmaker Olivier Assayas, titled Personal Shopper, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. This sorta-horror film deals with a young women who is haunted by a ghost through text messages (seriously). She works as a “personal shopper” for a famous celebrity, picking up clothes all over Europe for her to wear. The cast includes Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz, Anders Danielsen Lie, Ty Olwin, Hammou Graia, Nora Van Waldstatten, and Benjamin Biolay. This will likely be a very polarizing film, as it’s not really the typical horror most expect, but does have a chilling side. ›››
Lady Gaga will headline the 2017 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
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Back in 2010, when the Apple iPhone 4 was launched, some of those purchasing the device noticed a yellow tint on the screen. Apple was apparently shipping the phone so fast, it didn’t wait long enough for the bonding process involving the screen to be completed. As a result, newly shipped iPhone 4 units were coming out of the box with this yellow tint. Over time, the spots faded leaving a perfectly good iPhone unit.
Eventually, the needed evaporation required for the bonding process to work would happen, and the iPhone 4 screen would return to normal. What brings this all up is word from …
I’ve been a mite hard on Bernie Sanders, and a couple of weeks ago I was eager to put it behind me. Sanders was scheduled to do some weekend campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Ohio, but when I went to the tape on Monday I discovered that his rallies had been poorly attended (possibly not his fault) and that his pitch for Clinton was not notably enthusiastic. So I just said nothing.
Today, however, Ed Kilgore tells me that bygones, apparently, are finally bygones:
Now Sanders is back on the trail not just on Clinton’s behalf but by her side, beginning with an appearance in New Hampshire last night. And his message is significantly more focused on her agenda, and not just as an afterthought….They sounded much more like teammates working together than former antagonists forced to combine forces against a common enemy.
Aside from targeted campaigning, a sharpening of the Sanders message for Clinton, which seemed to be developing in New Hampshire, would be helpful just about everywhere. His new rap about the consequences of a Donald Trump victory, which makes sitting out the election a great moral error, is pretty strong. He might want to add in some reminders of the kind of world Libertarians like Gary Johnson want to build, where, yeah, you can smoke weed, but you’re totally on your own in facing life’s vicissitudes.
In any event, it seems the bad feelings and genuine differences of opinion of the 2016 Democratic primaries are finally fading to the point where Bernie Sanders is an indispensable asset for Clinton. If the race stays close, it could matter a lot.
This is good news for Team Clinton, which needs all the help it can get. Only 40 days to go!
NEWS BRIEF The superintendent of Yosemite National Park has stepped down amid reports of rampant sexual harassment and bullying of female employees.
Don Neubacher has led the California destination for the last six years, and was previously lauded for his efforts to protect and restore major sections of the park. This latest scandal, though, is likely to tarnish his legacy.
In a statement Thursday, Neubacher said:
I regret leaving at this time, but want to do what’s best for Yosemite National Park. It is an iconic area that is world renowned and deserves special attention.
The House Oversight Committee last week held a hearing to address recent allegations of sexual harassment at some of the country’s most popular national parks, including Yosemite. As ABC News reports:
At Yosemite, at least 18 employees have come forward with allegations of harassment or other misconduct so severe that a recent report labeled working conditions at the park “toxic.”
At Yellowstone, officials are investigating complaints of sexual exploitation, intimidation and retaliation.
The complaints follow a report by the Interior Department’s inspector general that found male employees at the Grand Canyon preyed on female colleagues, demanded sex and retaliated against women who refused.
At the hearing, Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said Yosemite’s hostile work environment was “a result of the behavior and conduct of the park’s superintendent,” Neubacher.
Elijah Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, said many of these persistent issues were presented to Congress 16 years ago and hostile working environment of national parks has yet to change.
The NFL has announced that Lady Gaga will headline the Super Bowl 51 halftime show, set for Houston's NRG Stadium on February 5th.
After much speculation, the NFL and Pepsi made the announcement prior to Thursday's Miami Dolphins – Cincinnati Bengals game.
"It's not an
This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Lady Gaga to Headline Super Bowl 51 Halftime Show
Non-rich people tend to spend 100 percent of their income, or close to it. Rich people don’t. They spend, say, 50 percent of their income and save the rest. This difference is called the “marginal propensity to consume,” and it seems like it might be a problem if income inequality is rising. The problem is that as rich people get a larger share of total income, total consumption goes down. Here’s an example:
The question, of course, is how big the MPC effect is. Several years ago I investigated this and concluded that it really wasn’t very big. It seems like it should be, but it just wasn’t.
Today, however, Larry Summers directs our attention to a new IMF paper that suggests MPC actually does have a big impact. The authors look at two effects. First, as middle-income families fall into lower income groups, they spend less. Second, as a larger share of income goes to the rich, average MPC goes down. Both of these effects reduce total consumption, which in turn acts as a drag on the economy. Here’s the relevant chart:
MPC alone reduces consumption by nearly 2 percent, or roughly $ 200 billion per year. This is still not a gigantic effect, but it’s noticeable. And when you add in the direct spending effect of income polarization, it’s closer to $ 400 billion per year. That means we’re losing a lot of consumption—which we need—and gaining a lot of capital—which we don’t. The world is so awash in capital these days that you can (literally) hardly give it away.
Now, the authors use some novel estimating techniques in their paper, which is why they come up with a stronger effect than previous studies. The folks with PhDs will have to fight over whether they’ve done their sums correctly. But if they have, it means that increasing income inequality is a lot more than just a matter of unfairness. It’s also a real drag on economic growth.
In 2000, one of the most high-profile libel cases in recent British history came to an end. David Irving, a writer and self-proclaimed historian, had sued the American academic Deborah Lipstadt for describing him as “one of the most dangerous spokespersons for Holocaust denial” in a 1996 book published by Penguin, which he claimed had ruined his reputation and adversely affected his career. The case seemed odd to many observers, not least because to make his case Irving only had to claim that Lipstadt’s statements were defamatory, not that they were false. “Under British law,” The Guardian wrote, “Prof Lipstadt and her co-defendant were not able to rely solely on truth as a defence.”
Denial, a new movie dramatizing the case, comes at an opportune time. A variety of recent factors including the polarization of the American public’s media habits, the rise of the internet, and the political ascendancy of one of the greatest fibbers of the 21st century have had the effect of making truth seem somehow more subjective, somehow squishier, than ever before. Meanwhile, as the Overton window stretches to breaking point, previously unthinkable ideas and policies have entered the political mainstream. Anti-semitism has reappeared both on the right and on the left. So how, Denial seems to ask, do you litigate anything when truth isn’t enough? How do you fight people intent on spreading misinformation who either won’t accept or don’t care that they’re wrong?
At first glance, the movie, written by the playwright and screenwriter David Hare (Plenty, The Hours) and based on Lipstadt’s book about the trial, seems to be a heroic narrative of one woman’s legal efforts to preserve her integrity and fight for the Holocaust victims and survivors whose experiences are being negated. But the reality of it is much more complex. Lipstadt, played by Rachel Weisz, is a fierce defender of the truth who’s eager to spar with David Irving (Timothy Spall) when he confronts her first in a lecture theater and then with his lawsuit. However, it soon becomes clear that engaging with him isn’t a winning strategy, simply because it’s what he wants: By putting Lipstadt on the stand to be questioned by Irving, or calling any one of the survivors eager to testify, her legal team will legitimize Irving’s claims.
It’s a fascinating moment of clarity in a film that often feels hurried—you tend to wish BBC Films, which co-produced Denial, had made it into a three-part miniseries instead, which would have allowed more space to examine the exhaustive effort that went into discrediting Irving, not to mention Irving himself. Spall, one of the finest character actors currently working, plays the disgraced historian as the worst kind of upper-class monster: He leers at his Caribbean nanny’s breasts, sneers down his nose at Lipstadt, and produces supposed historical facts with a pomposity that perhaps serves him well on the white-genocide lecture circuit, but less so in a court of law. Denial never quite unpicks why Irving is so intent on rewriting history, or how such a dogged and once-respected researcher could be so willfully blind to the evidence all around him.
At the movie’s start, Lipstadt, a professor at Emory University, has just published her 1996 book Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory. Giving a talk to promote her book, she’s ambushed in a well-planned protest by Irving and two associates, who film him interrupting her, and offering $ 1,000 for anyone who can prove Hitler knew about or planned the Holocaust. Lipstadt refuses to talk to him, stating to the room full of students that she won’t debate Holocaust deniers. You can have opinions about the Holocaust, she says, but not about whether it happened or not: “That isn’t an opinion. That’s a fact.”
The question of why Irving would decide to sue Lipstadt and her publisher is one of the most intriguing unanswered questions of the film. Libel cases in Britain tend to benefit claimants, because any defamatory statements are assumed to be false unless the defendant can prove otherwise. But for Irving, the ploy is a risky one, simply because he’s opening up his work to such meticulous analysis. Lipstadt’s team, led by Anthony Julius (the terrific Andrew Scott), seems to sense that his overwhelming desire is for attention, not to mention the opportunity to put the validity of the Holocaust on trial. Thus, to Lipstadt’s deep frustration, they refuse to do so, focusing simply on the defamation charges. “You can stand up, look the devil in the eye … that is very satisfying. And risk losing,” her barrister Richard Rampton (Tom Wilkinson) tells her. “Or stay seated, button your lip. Win. A real act of self-denial.”
It’s at moments like these that Hare’s script is at its most theatrical. The lesson Denial teaches subverts so many heroic narratives about squeaky wheels: Only by quieting down and playing the establishment game can Lipstadt win. The movie, directed by Mick Jackson (whose career includes projects as diverse as Temple Grandin and The Bodyguard), is mostly similarly restrained, although it indulges in cliched shots of Deborah out jogging, gazing mawkishly at a statue of the Celtic warrior princess Boudicea, pushing through the pain. Its finest and most moving moments are when Lipstadt and Rampton go to Auschwitz on a research mission, where the camera lingers on the piles of rubble that cover a destroyed gas chamber. A single animated flashback during the trial offers a jarring, visceral reminder of the atrocity Irving is trying to undermine.
If Denial has a message for political spectators in 2016, it’s that the best way to deal with liars, hucksters, con men, and bigots is to refuse to acknowledge them—to cast them off into a corner and let them conspiracy-theorize their way into hysteria. It’s both a pipe dream (never has it been easier to broadcast your own particular brand of craziness to an infinite audience) and perhaps the best hope for moving toward a slightly more rational and civil public square. To look the devils in the eye, to legitimize the damage that men like Irving have long sought to impose on the world, is to imbue them with credence and gravity they have done nothing to deserve.
“Lip Sync Battle” previews its third season with a star-studded recreation of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video.
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