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 the vein of Rothschilds and Masons collaborating on 9/11. On some level what Dmitry’s talking about is the natural evolution of cultural prejudice.Yesterday five Supreme Court justice...
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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 timetable. Equity has called all the shots, and Pro99 has continually fought from its back foot – when it remembers that it’s in a fi...
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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 post from his Holland Imagin...
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On the Fringe with George

To his friend Brian Aherne, the depressive cad actor George Sanders wrote: December 31st, 1937Dear Brian,I was very happy to receive your angry letter, and I am glad I shook you up a bit. Ask yourself this question: If money (greed); loyalty to theatrical tradition (pernicious exhibitionism); rigid conformity to social convention (masochism), are incompatible with personal happiness—which should be sacrificed?You talk about the theatre as if it had some cosmic significance. As a matter of fact it is pathe...
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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. Because the point was to win over basically racist white people to seeing blacks as human, which meant they had to choose a superhuman for the banner.Allies make every revolution. The 13 colonies would not have become the United States without France. Gandhi had to lead hundreds of tho...
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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 smitten Osgood was finally on the getaway with the object of his affection when he got slapped with the news that Jack Lemmon wasn’t Daphne but Jerry in drag.And after all Osgood and ...
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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 you you’re not doing it right – are half the driving force of progress. Alone, we a...
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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 water between Liberty and Governors, is the quietest place in the ...
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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.Every single American election year, our people tell us that, historically, this is the wrong year to take a moral stand; that this time, a vote for anyone but our factory-fresh candidate (we already printe...