The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Film

The Politics of Film

Amazingly enough, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II won the box office weekend.  WHO COULD HAVE THUNK IT? [Movie Web]

Sigourney Weaver wants to do another Alien film.  Good idea or bad idea?  I say good idea. [Toronto Sun]

Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Godfather Part II) is making a new film called Twixt, which is based on a dream he had.  Starring in it will be Elle Fanning, who recently played the little girl in Super 8.  /Film has some pictures from it.  It looks crazy. [/Film]

The new, secret, Sarah Palin documentary came out this weekend.  It grossed about $65,000.  That’s not a lot of money, even for a documentary that opened in selected theaters.  Is that because the film opened against Harry Potter, or because, you know, its about Sarah Palin?  [The Atlantic]

Rupert Murdoch is in a lot of trouble.  In addition to running newspapers, heading up Fox News, and wiretapping phones, he also makes a lot of movies.  Here is a fun post that asks the question “What if we prosecuted Murdoch on the quality of his films alone?”  [The Guardian]

The newest Quintin Tarantino film, Django Unchained, is coming into focus.  We already know that it will star Jaime Foxx as a runaway slave, who is then trained by a German hitman (Christoph Waltz) on how to kill evil plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his equally evil pit boss (previously unknown).  That final spot is apparently going to go to Kevin Costner–who, as this piece says, could fill the same sort of  role as John Travolta did in Pulp Fiction. [Film Junk]

Now that the Harry Potter series is over, what’s next for Emma Watson?  Apparently she is attached to Guillermo Del Toro’s new adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.  I wonder if Watson will learn a French accent, or if this will be another one of those pictures in which “European” is code for “British.”  []

Ron Howard has been talking a big game about adapting the Steven King series The Dark Tower into a film/TV franchise for the better part of a year.  Now, however, it seems like the deal is dead.  Poor Ron Howard.  He should just get to work on making the Arrested Development movie.  [The Movie Blog]

Greg Harris: Standing My Ground

I didn’t expect at age 39 to already be writing about my political career in past tense.

I grew up with a love of politics, and tended to worship political heroes over, say, sports or movie stars.  My earliest political memory is of Jimmy Carter’s 1980 defeat to Ronald Reagan.  I didn’t understand how such a good, decent and honest man could possibly lose, and wrote him a letter conveying my anguish.  The President and Mrs. Carter responded with a nice letter and a booklet about his presidency.

My first volunteer experience came with Adlai Stevenson III’s run for Governor in 1982.  The Stevenson’s were from my hometown of Bloomington, IL—the same town where Abe Lincoln often practiced law just down the road from his hometown of Springfield.  His father was so honest that he didn’t intervene when the local paper, which his family owned, actually endorsed Eisenhower when he challenged him for president.

The 1982 Governor’s race was a nail biter, with Stevenson losing by the narrowest of margin.  The contest was rife with accusations of vote fraud committed by his incumbent opponent.  For the second time in two years, my man lost.  I certainly experience a lot of political disappointment by age 11!

My knight in shiny armor came in the likeness of a man who donned thick horned-rimmed glasses, big ears and a bowtie.  Paul Simon was kind of a paradoxical figure, his nerdy likeness met by a commanding baritone voice; a leading thinker in the Senate who was also a college drop out.  I read several books he authored, and probably attended a half dozen of his frequent town meetings conducted throughout the state.  Senator Simon showed me that the “good guys” can prevail in the end.  Moreover, he was a liberal Democrat who won a good deal of Republican votes, indicating to me that folks are capable of voting for someone they disagree with if they trust his integrity and motives.

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Greg Harris: Standing My Ground

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Wellness

What’s popcorn brain? If you don’t want to find out, step away from that smart phone and get out into the world. [CNN]

New research shows that living in an urban environment can actually alter the chemical makeup of your brain, making you more anxious and stressed than you would be otherwise. [Time]

The cost of misdiagnosing children with bipolar disorder: [Newsweek]

The U.S. government just rolled out nine new designs for cigarette warning labels, coming out next year. And boy, do they do the job! [NY Times]

The next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is in 2013, and doctors are already considering which disorders could get the axe. [Huffington Post]

The RP’s Weekly Web Gems: The Politics of Wellness

What’s worse than finding bedbugs in between your sheets? Finding bedbugs in between your sheets with MRSA! [Time]

Should your doctor be on Facebook? [NY Times]

The experts agree: there’s only so much sunscreen can help, no matter the SPF level. [Washington Post]

Fox News recommends some natural allergy remedies, in case that Zyrtec isn’t helping. [Fox News]

A $2 million research project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will photograph Texas students’ lunch trays before they sit down to eat and later take a snapshot of the leftovers. Smile kids, you’re on calorie camera! [Huffington Post]

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