Scottish writer Hope Whitmore wants what  Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte had in Lost in Translation, and it’s a lovely bag of wants:

I want to sing Brass in Pocket on karaoke in a baby-pink wig. I want the freedom of an unknown city; a small girl anonymous amid the crowds under the neon billboards. I want to steal Bill Murray’s jacket and return it to him with tears in my eyes in a hotel foyer, and all of this in the intimate soft focus of an Aaton camera. I want to figure stuff out and I want everything to be OK. 

Scottish writer Hope Whitmore wants what  Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte had in Lost in Translation, and it’s a lovely bag of wants:

I want to sing Brass in Pocket on karaoke in a baby-pink wig. I want the freedom of an unknown city; a small girl anonymous amid the crowds under the neon billboards. I want to steal Bill Murray’s jacket and return it to him with tears in my eyes in a hotel foyer, and all of this in the intimate soft focus of an Aaton camera. I want to figure stuff out and I want everything to be OK. 

The imperfect makes us perfect.

In Martinique, I had visited rustic and neglected rum-distilleries where the equipment and the methods used had not changed since the eighteenth century. In Puerto Rico, on the other hand, in the factories of the company which enjoys a virtual monopoly over the whole of the sugar production, I was faced by a display of white enamel tanks and chromium piping. Yet the various kinds of Martinique rum, as I tasted them in front of ancient wooden vats thickly encrusted with waste matter, were mellow and scented, whereas those of Puerto Rico are coarse and harsh. We may suppose, then, that the subtlety of the Martinique rums is dependent on impurities the continuance of which is encouraged by the archaic method of production. To me, this contrast illustrates the paradox of civilization: its charms are due essentially to the various residues it carries along with it, although this does not absolve us of the obligation to purify the stream. By being doubly in the right, we are admitting our mistake. We are right to be rational and to try to increase our production and so keep manufacturing costs down. But we are also right to cherish those very imperfections we are endeavouring to eliminate. Social life consists in destroying that which gives it its savour.

Claude Lev-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques. The underlying philosophy of liberalism, and the consumer culture it generates, condensed into nine sentences. (via ayjay)

Susan Seidelman, Desperately Seeking Susan.

paperispoetry:

Now that the soccer is done (USA-GER 0-1 but don’t worry, we still should advance to the next round), I have big news to share.
After 8 truly fantastic years at Chronicle Books, I’m leaving to become head of community at Storybird. I am super jazzed to do a whole lot more of what I love best: connecting writers with readers, helping parents and teachers inspire in children a lifelong love of books, and discovering and sharing beautiful artwork and the people who create it. I never thought it would be possible to follow up a dream job with a dreamier job, but all signs are pointing in that direction.
I owe huge and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported my work at Chronicle. I am so proud of the online community we have built there together. Don’t unsubscribe… there are piles and piles of great books coming down the line, and some seriously dedicated, creative, and talented people working on them.
More about the new gig here: http://blog.storybird.com/2014/06/guinevere-de-la-mare-joins-storybird-from-chronicle-books/
xo, G.

I tweeted that it took 36 months to finally hire gdlm, but in truth it was five years. Even during Storybird’s embryonic, bootstrapped, “are we a project or a company?” years, I knew she was someone special and worth pursuing. 
Building teams is something I love: connecting smart and kind people to create something worthwhile and fun. Sometimes great talent magically appears (Ash, our iOS engineer, materialized in less than two weeks!), and other times you spend 60 months sending chocolate, discussing the best grilled cheese in San Francisco, and favouriting each other’s tweets until you can finally connect the dots. 

paperispoetry:

Now that the soccer is done (USA-GER 0-1 but don’t worry, we still should advance to the next round), I have big news to share.

After 8 truly fantastic years at Chronicle Books, I’m leaving to become head of community at Storybird. I am super jazzed to do a whole lot more of what I love best: connecting writers with readers, helping parents and teachers inspire in children a lifelong love of books, and discovering and sharing beautiful artwork and the people who create it. I never thought it would be possible to follow up a dream job with a dreamier job, but all signs are pointing in that direction.

I owe huge and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported my work at Chronicle. I am so proud of the online community we have built there together. Don’t unsubscribe… there are piles and piles of great books coming down the line, and some seriously dedicated, creative, and talented people working on them.

More about the new gig here: http://blog.storybird.com/2014/06/guinevere-de-la-mare-joins-storybird-from-chronicle-books/

xo,
G.

I tweeted that it took 36 months to finally hire gdlm, but in truth it was five years. Even during Storybird’s embryonic, bootstrapped, “are we a project or a company?” years, I knew she was someone special and worth pursuing. 

Building teams is something I love: connecting smart and kind people to create something worthwhile and fun. Sometimes great talent magically appears (Ash, our iOS engineer, materialized in less than two weeks!), and other times you spend 60 months sending chocolate, discussing the best grilled cheese in San Francisco, and favouriting each other’s tweets until you can finally connect the dots. 

This isn’t your film school.

Director Doug Liman, recently of Edge of Tomorrow, recounting for Rolling Stone a particularly stressful day during pre-production:

It was an incident where…[Emily Blunt] made a suggestion that I didn’t like. I’m human; I’m just not cool when the pressure is on. And there was tremendous pressure on me at that moment. She said, “Relax, I’ve never made a movie like this before.” And I replied “Well, I’ve never made a movie like this before either!” The room just ground to a halt.

But Tom [Cruise] immediately jumped in and said, “I love that you said that. Look, you hadn’t made anything like The Bourne Identity before you did that, and look how it turned out. I want to watch you figure out how to make this movie. This kind of stuff is exciting to me.”

I mean, we were six weeks out for shooting — the Sword of Damocles was hanging over us. Sets have to be built, stunts have to be choreographed…any decision you make has a lasting effect throughout the next few months of your life. That looming start date does things to your head.

I mean, had I even stopped to take a breath, I never would have said it. It just slipped out. I remember having these epic battles over Bourne…I’d literally get notes along the lines of “Why is Jason Bourne not fighting 200 assassins at the end?” My producer told me “This isn’t your film school!” And I thought, well it kind of is. I’d only made two small films at that point, and now I’m being entrusted with a $55 million movie.

The not-so-secret secret of creation is that you’ve never done the thing before you’ve done it. But it’s your capacity, enthusiasm, and fascination that make you valuable. Your muscle memory—the actual skills you use to complete the tasks—are just scaffolding. They’re only useful inasmuch as they help you reach the ceiling you’re about to paint.

Let’s be wanting the future.

What about a cheese grater that’s able to make music depending on the rhythm of you stroking a block of cheese against it? What if it were also making MP3s of its music and sending them, unbeknownst to you, to Daft Punk’s manager? What if it then got a record deal, or simply had some of its cheese rhythms incorporated into a Daft Punk song, or what if Daft Punk said, “This is cool, but not quite right for us,” and they passed it along to ZZ Top and one of those guys used it as a personal ring tone? Would you be entitled to any money? The technology here is way ahead of the legal. Should you care about the ramifications? You were the cheese stroker after all. Spotify might owe you 91 cents.

Read the rest at McSweeney’s. It’s pitch perfect.

lifejustgotawkward:

RIP Gordon Willis (1931-2014), the masterful cinematographer who shot nine movies I have enjoyed over the years: The Parallax View, All the President’s Men, Annie Hall, September 30 1955, Manhattan, Pennies from Heaven, Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose and The Purple Rose of Cairo. Willis also shot all three installments of The Godfather and other well-known films like The Landlord, Klute, Bad Company, The Paper Chase, The Drowning Pool, Interiors, Comes a Horseman, Stardust Memories and A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy and The Money Pit.

Holiday is the quiet, younger sister of The Philadelphia Story, both of which were penned by playwright Donald Ogden Stewart and directed by George Cuckor. Philadelphia went on to become the quintessential MGM romcom and Oscar winner, but Holiday, every bit as good, was backed by Columbia and never rose to the same heights. Watch it if you haven’t. 

Holiday is the quiet, younger sister of The Philadelphia Story, both of which were penned by playwright Donald Ogden Stewart and directed by George Cuckor. Philadelphia went on to become the quintessential MGM romcom and Oscar winner, but Holiday, every bit as good, was backed by Columbia and never rose to the same heights. Watch it if you haven’t. 

Who stopped Putin? Wall Street.

Max Fisher, writing for Vox, on how economic pressures had a greater impact on Putin’s decisions for the Ukraine than US-led sanctions:

This is something that economists and political scientists have been predicting since World War One: that integrating all the national economies into the global economy wouldn’t just make all of us richer; it would make war more economically painful for the people starting it and thus less likely to happen.

Oh, Bro—what art thou?

Kate Losse, writing on the transformation of “brogrammer” from modest irony to oppressive fixture:

The creation of the mythical brogrammer has had very real consequences. New classes of startups in the Valley, anxious to “fit in” to a culture that is now shaped as much by external media as by internal community, are emulating the same flat stereotype imagined by the Brogramming page (a sponsored ad in my Twitter feed recently read “seeking brogrammers” :/). The “joke” becomes real, the brogrammer becomes the flat, oppressive ideal, and the fact that “bro” was originally a term of complex, critical affection within a community is lost, replaced by a distorting mirror in which people see themselves reflected as comic Hollywood caricatures, while disavowing their own, very real participation in what remain very real cultural issues.

Boulevard of broken dreams.

David Carr, on Yahoo wanting a piece of Hollywood pie:

Wandering around Sunset Boulevard with a big bag of money shopping for programming is more likely to result in a mugging than a hit show.

Mike Judge adds his two cents:

People in Silicon Valley are generally smarter than people in Hollywood, but it takes a different kind of intelligence to make television, especially a lot of it, and do it well.

And a closing thought that includes Steve:

The list of technology companies that have prospered over the long haul in entertainment is short. I can think only of what Apple [really, Steve Jobs] did with Pixar before selling it to Disney. In that case, vast processing power was paired with an absolute devotion to great stories. No other lasting success comes to mind.