Gore Vidal

The Best and Worst of Sundance 2015 (Documentary Edition)

The Sundance Film Festival draws to a close this weekend, but your film editor is already headed home from the land of snowy mountains, altitude headaches, crowded shuttles, and indie flicks galore. Because I managed to take in so many Sundance titles this year (34 total), we’re splitting our capsule review roundup into two parts; tomorrow we’ll look at the fest’s narrative films of note, while the focus today is on the documentary premieres and competition entrants. These 19 movies covered everything from sexual exploitation to famous faces to the movies themselves, with intelligence and grace; they (OK, most of them) are worth keeping an eye on in the months to come. … Read More

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50 of the Greatest Literary Moments on TV

It’s probably safe to say that media tends to refer to itself, in one way or another — and referring to literature, as opposed to other forms of pop culture, is one way to make just about anything a little more highbrow. Television, notoriously full of references and allusions, might be the worst/best culprit, and the most fun to hunt through for literary moments — after all, nothing’s more fun than seeing books on the boob tube. Here, you’ll find 50 of the greatest and most memorable literary allusions, shout-outs, cameos, and references on television, as well as real-life author appearances and whole episodes, or even whole seasons, based on… Read More

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10 Great, Underrated Movies From 2014

In many ways, you can tell just as much about what kind of year it’s been by the movies that aren’t on the many year-end Top 10s and critics’ awards lists. If the regulars in those lists represented all there was to see, well, that’d be one thing (and in the case of this year’s movies, a fine thing); but 2014 was such an embarrassment of riches that even a rundown of the performances and films that aren’t generating “buzz” is pretty impressive. So, in advance of our own roundup of the year’s best movies later this week, we offer you a few less-discussed titles still worthy of your consideration. … Read More

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25 Authors Who Wrote Great Books Before They Turned 25

Picture it: teenage Mary Shelley was on a vacation getaway, with her husband Percy and some of his rambunctious poet friends, like that rogue Lord Byron… and out of the group of legends, it’s Shelley herself who arguably published the greatest work of all at the ridiculous age of 30: Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a book that has penetrated our human consciousness. In honor of Shelley’s birthday this month, here’s a list of 25 other writers who created heartbreakingly beautiful work before they could get a discount on a rental… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in May

Tonight, a certain overworked web slinger will swing into something like 4000 screens across the country, kicking off the summer movie season in an appropriate fashion: with a big, dumb, terrible franchise movie that will gross more money than most of us can even imagine. But don’t worry — contrary to what the ubiquitous marketing campaigns of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and a handful of others might indicate, there are other movies coming out this summer, and here are a few worth seeking out this month. … Read More

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When Celebrities Sue Celebrities: A History

The news that Donald Trump is dropping — for now, anyway! — his monumentally stupid (even for him) lawsuit against Bill Maher may be good for the humorless blowhard and reality TV star, but it’s disappointing for late-night comedy writers and celeb jurisprudence fans. C’mon, admit it: that would’ve been a fun trial, if for nothing else than Maher’s testimony. At any rate, while we’re waiting to see if Trump holds true on his threat to return to the matter at a later date, here’s a look back at other instances of celebrities — real and C-list — who’ve taken each other to court. … Read More

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Tournament of Books Organizers Pick the Winners of 12 Classic Literary Beefs

Today is the first day of The Morning News‘s epic annual Tournament of Books, an excellent and wordy alternative (or supplement) to March Madness for all us literary types. To celebrate, we asked the ToB’s organizers — the venerable Rosecrans Baldwin, Kevin Guilfoile, John Warner, and Andrew Womack — to act as judges for a few imaginary literary match-ups. Because who doesn’t want to imagine the results of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky throwing down? After the jump, find out who would win in a fight — Mailer or Vidal, Hemingway or Faulkner, Dorothy Parker or anybody, and more. Don’t agree? Argue your literary hearts out in the comments, and then be sure to get in on the real-life highbrow smackdown here. … Read More

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The 10 Grumpiest Authors in Literary History

The new issue of The Believer features an interview with the late Maurice Sendak. Inspired by his “legendary crossness,” we’ve rounded up a list of the grumpiest authors of all… Read More

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10 Literary Authors Who Have Written for TV

This week, were excited (and somewhat skeptical) about the news that Bret Easton Ellis, author of teenage-ennui classic Less Than Zero and bourgeois-ennui classic American Psycho, is working on writing a new drama series for the CW about monstrous high schoolers entitled Copeland High. Though television is often considered the junk food to the nourishing meal of literature, Ellis’s project reminded us very fondly of the authors who have turned their literary chops to writing for television — whether for good or for ill. Click through to read our brief survey of novelists who have written for TV (and usually improved it in the process), and let us know if we’ve missed your favorite multi-faceted writer in the comments. … Read More

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10 of the Funniest American Essayists of Our Time

Like many of you, this week we were saddened to hear of the death of phenomenal and darkly comic essayist David Rakoff, who had been battling cancer for many years. To celebrate his life and the great literature he left us with, we’ve put together a list of some of the funniest modern essayists, who like Rakoff, are following in the giant footsteps of Mark Twain, Dorothy Parker and James Thurber as America’s great humorists. We’ve tried to limit ourselves to purely contemporary writers, but since we’ve lost several hilarious and essential voices all too recently, we’ve cheated just a bit. Read through our list after the jump, and since these are only our personal preferences plucked from a very long list, be sure to add your own favorites in the comments. … Read More

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