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Daily Reads: Breaking Down ‘The Jinx’s’ Messed-Up Timeline, The Greatest Bear Actor of All Time, and More

Daily Reads: Breaking Down 'The Jinx's' Messed-Up Timeline, The Greatest Bear Actor of All Time, and More

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1. “The Jinx’s” Messed Up Timeline. “The Jinx” made for gripping TV, but it also manipulated the order of the events in a way that has some questioning how much was manipulated overall. BuzzFeed’s Anne Helen Peterson tries to sort things out:

Take a look at these two stills, which show up earlier in the episode when Jarecki is discussing Durst’s arrest after they filmed him in Times Square. Durst in a black suit and white shirt; Jarecki in a blue hoodie. We saw these shots in reference to the arrest, which supposedly happened weeks before the second interview. Here, it’s clear that the second interview, and these photos, happened *before* the arrest. (Jarecki is now dodging questions concerning the timeline.) So The Jinx’s” insinuated timeline is fucked. Read more.

2. Documentaries as Judge and Jury. “The Jinx” is spurring tons of ethical debates, among them how documentaries often act as judge and jury when dealing with criminal acts. The Los Angeles Times’ Saba Hamedy writes:

Joe Berlinger, who faced criticism for some of his choices as the Oscar-nominated co-director of “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory,” about the West Memphis Three case, said these are questions that are only getting bigger. “On the one hand I think it’s amazing that Durst has been arrested and Jarecki is moving the needle through this investigatory series,” he said. “Documentarians don’t often feel the direct impact of their work.” The larger issue, he said, is the blurring lines between entertainment and investigation, the “murky moral gray zone” of what’s good for ratings or ticket sales versus objective reporting. Read more.

3. Surviving the First Year of Stardom. The CW’s “Jane the Virgin” has shot lead actress Gina Rodriguez to stardom. The Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan interviews her about her first year in the spotlight:

There are so many things on Rodriguez’s plate, and yet she carries none of it as if it’s a heavy load. On the show’s set, her energy never flagged…She wears all those ideas and responsibilities lightly; the burden I spoke of never appears to weigh her down, even though it is literally on her body. The thing is, the pregnancy prosthesis she wears under her costume is really heavy. I picked it up before she changed into Jane’s waitress outfit, and it was so dense and weighty I almost felt pregnant again myself. How does she do all she does and not get tired, especially given that she’s literally carrying a huge weight around? The secret is … she does get tired. And she has a new appreciation of what her sisters went through when they were pregnant. “Before, I used to be like, you guys complained so much when you were pregnant!” Rodriguez said with a laugh. “Now I’m like, ‘Oh my God! I commend you, mothers.'” Read more.

4. The John Wayne of Bear Actors. The new film “Backcountry” is the latest to utilize bear performers. The New York Times’ Mekado Murphy looks at the most famous bear actors, including the one Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin faced in “The Edge”:

In Lee Tamahori’s adventure thriller, Anthony Hopkins plays a billionaire who is stranded with two other men in the Alaskan wilderness and must battle both a Kodiak bear as well as Alec Baldwin. The setting is gorgeous, the screenplay (by David Mamet) grandiose and the bear very, very large. It pursues the men across rivers and through woods. The film used Bart the Bear, a Kodiak with an impressive filmography, including previous screen time with Mr. Hopkins in “Legends of the Fall.” Mr. Hopkins has called him “the John Wayne of bears.” There’s an intense, rain-soaked attack scene in which the bear chomps into a man’s leg, rears up on its hind legs and lets out a menacing roar. Speaking generally, Ms. Dubé said that roars are usually dubbed, and the actual shot is just the bear with its mouth open. “You can cue a bark on a dog or a meow on a cat,” she said, “but for a bear, they only roar if they are in that state of mind, if they are really that upset. That’s not something you’re looking to capture or to reinforce.” Read more.

5. “Cinderella” and the Worst of Fairy Tales. Fairy tales often have great messages and morals for children, but Tasha Robinson of The Dissolve argues that the new “Cinderella” represents the worst one:

“Cinderella” has always been about injustice suffered, then rectified. But in this version, Ella doesn’t rail against that injustice, even in private. She doesn’t let the audience feel the burden of her fall. She occasionally cries, but mostly, she works as hard as she can to pretend it isn’t happening, and that if it is happening, that’s okay. Which even defangs her own beliefs: She never tries to extend her fervent belief in kindness outside of herself, for instance by suggesting that maybe other people, like her stepmother and stepsisters, could possibly be kind as well. That would be too forward. It would require acknowledging their cruelty, and judging it, and maybe even making them feel bad about it. It just wouldn’t be nice. It would be brave—the other, much less emphasized half of Ella’s mom-mantra—but independence and self-respect aren’t forms of courage this “Cinderella” wants to evoke. Read more.

6. Ethan Hawke’s Patient Journey. Ethan Hawke went from teen star to Linklater muse to director of “Seymour: An Introduction.” What’s the connective tissue in his work? Adam F. Hofbauer of Movie Mezzanine investigates:

Over the last decade, Ethan Hawke has settled into the comfortable productivity of a middle-aged actor. Though he was never the biggest star in the world nor a revered poster boy for acting skill, he nevertheless accumulated enough clout to choose between projects while retaining enough space to develop into something far beyond his by-the-numbers beginnings. He was 42 when he filmed Bernstein admitting that he didn’t achieve true comfort onstage until the age of 50. The path, it would seem, is one available only to the patient. Read more.

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