Links of the week, 10/28/2011

This week: misguided Oxfordians, Marxist action movies, and the joy of kicking a particularly obnoxious dead horse.

  • I don’t believe in using biography as literary analysis, so silly conspiracy theories about the authorship of Shakespeare’s works have never really interested me, which is why I love Ron Rosenbaum’s exasperated take on Anonymous, the bizarre new movie promoting the oft-debunked idea that the Earl of Oxford wrote the plays.
  • Speaking of Shakespeare, the news that Joss Whedon—creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly,  and, most recently, Dollhouse—has filmed a modern-day version of Much Ado About Nothing is weird but intriguing. After all, facility with language has always been one of Whedon’s greatest strengths.
  • I have no strong feelings about Zooey Deschanel’s musical stylings, but I agree with the sentiment behind Jason Heid’s heartfelt defense of her straightforward performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” (Via Andrew Sullivan.)
  • The bad buzz on In Time is disappointing (I have a soft spot for writer-director Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca), but the time-is-literally-money premise is still incredibly intriguing. The politically charged reviews of Alyssa Rosenberg and Jamelle Bouie explore some of the movie’s surprisingly provocative yet squandered ideas.
  • Nathan Rabin of AV Club doesn’t have a particularly great reason for revisiting the self-important inanity of Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but I, for one, never get bored with making fun on Sorkin’s misbegotten, masturbatory fiasco, and Rabin writes a cheerfully thorough, amusing take-down.

One Reply to “Links of the week, 10/28/2011”

  1. I loved your links this week, especially the review of “Anonymous” and the defense of Zooey D’s performance of the national anthem. That in particular resonated with me because I have always disliked the vocal embellishments that seems to be a requirement now for singing the anthem. How refreshing – and almost revolutionary – to hear a straightforward rendition of what can be a very beautiful and meaningful song. I appreciated Zooey’s emphasis on the words of the song. To me it reflected a humble spirit, admitting that her purpose was to convey the message of the song rather than any self-aggrandizing embellishments.

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