TAGGED WITH JASON ROHRER

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The Conspiracy of Mirrors

My friend Dmitry likes to say that the only real conspiracies are the ones we’re all invested in, the ones so many of us take for granted that we don’t even see them as conspiracies. The fact that more people don’t agree with him, I see as a strength of his argument. Not all giant lies are in th...
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Shocked, Shocked

After persuading the Pro99 folks to waste? invest? spend a whole lot of arbitration money raised largely from crowdfunding, Actors’ Equity Association has announced that arbitration has failed, and that its Los Angeles membership is going to have to take Equity to court.Please quote me on this: Told ya.This whole conflict has run on Equity’s tim...
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Oeuvre Total Part 2: Billy Wilder, Miserablist

I’ve never trusted Billy Wilder. I’m an old busybody camped at her upstairs window, giving side-eye to the salesman working the neighborhood. His suit is too neat, his hair too shiny; he’s too sure of himself, too glib, to be up to any good. He’s the kind of smooth talker I’m afraid will sell me a bill of goods.Writer/producer Michael Holland’s love of the filmmaker recently caught my eye. Wilder’s birthday falls in June, and Michael dusted off a po...
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On the Fringe with George

To his friend Brian Aherne, the depressive cad actor George Sanders wrote: December 31st, 1937...
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Philando Motherfucking Castile

Philando Castile is the best name in America right now.In 1955, Rosa Parks did what Claudette Colvin could not. Claudette Colvin was calculatedly dismissed by civil rights leadership, and history changed. Be...
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Oeuvre Total Part 4: The World Aflame

“Nobody’s perfect.”It’s one of the great European last lines, and it hangs on one of the great American movies. But it’s not the end of the picture.As Michael Holland nimbly illustrated in Part 3 last week, that last line transports Some Like It Hot. Seconds ago, in the same shot, Joe E Brown’s sm...
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"Who Is It That Can Tell Me Who I Am?"

A society can’t claim perfection until it kills its critics. That is how it knows when to make the announcement.Ask Stalin. Ask Mao. Ask the Americans who assault people at rallies and call for mass deportations – they’re only a little ahead of themselves. Be grateful that they let us see them coming. Act on the knowledge.Critics – bitches, malcontents, squeaky wheels; the people who tell yo...
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In Extremis

When I was young, every night after my swing shift I rode down to the Staten Island Ferry. I’d float home at midnight, or 5, because I would get off the train and close bars on the way. I was usually drunk. Any potential I had I was throwing away. This was my primary knowledge of self. I spent all my time alone or having sex with strangers which is the same thing.One midnight I sat on the deck staring toward the Narrows. The harbor, on the dark wate...
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Oeuvre Total Part 6: Billy Wilder, Giant Killer

 - cowboys - In an election year you hear a lot of history. A recent statement that the White House was built by slaves was rebutted with the astonishing assertion that those slaves were fed and housed. This kind of dialogue marks the periodic ebbs in our national discourse....