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Daily Reads: A Gay Defense of ‘The Imitation Game,’ 2015 Entertainment Watchers’ Resolution and More

Daily Reads: A Gay Defense of 'The Imitation Game,' 2015 Entertainment Watchers' Resolution and More

Criticwire’s Daily Reads brings today’s essential
news stories and critical pieces to you.

1. A Gay Defense of “The Imitation Game.” Many have criticized “The Imitation Game” for not showing Alan Turing enough as a gay man. Blogger Murtada wrote a defense of the film’s depiction of gay issues.

The movie tells the stoy of his accomplishments without diluting the fact that he was gay. A central theme throughout is that he’s a man of secrets trying to solve the biggest secret of all. And Cumberbatch delivers in his performance, this is a man very uncomfortable in his skin because of the secret he’s carying around. The weight of that is evident in every frame he appears in. I didn’t need to see more. I complety related as someone who carried their own secret for many years. Any inappropriate glance or whisper might have meant a life on the margins or even worse for Turing. Read more.

2. Top 10 Most Shocking “Twilight Zone” Episodes. Few movies or shows have done twist endings more memorably or indelibly than “The Twilight Zone.” Esquire’s Jason Guerrasio picked the ten best.

“Eye of the Beholder.” Perhaps one of the most terrifying episodes, “Eye of the Beholder” builds its horror by the sheer fact that we don’t see anyone’s face until the very end. Janet Tyler has undergone her 11th and final treatment in an attempt to look normal. She has a giant bandage covering her entire head and if that doesn’t make her insane, she has to worry that if this final treatment isn’t successful, she will have to move to a designated area away from “normal people.” The slow unwrapping of Tyler’s bandages with legendary composer Bernard Herman’s score in the background makes the ending one of Serling’s best payoffs. Read more.

3. The Relevance of “Selma.” There have been some recent disputes as to the accuracy of “Selma.” But Clarence Page of The Chicago Tribune believes that, changes and all, the film’s issues are as relevant today as they were in 1965.

Indeed, the historical issues in this film — voting rights, police conduct and equal justice, among others — still dominate headlines. That’s why this dispute over a movie’s historical accuracy matters more than most Oscar-season chatter. We need to know how far we have come in civil rights history to help us figure out where we’re going. Read more.

4. What to Watch Instead of “Into the Woods.” Rob Marshall and Disney’s adaptation of “Into the Woods” isn’t a disaster, but it doesn’t do justice to Stephen Sondheim’s show, and among the things cut is the sexual connotations of the “Hello, Little Girl” song. Nate Jones of Vulture suggested fans of dark fairy tales check out Neil Jordan’s “The Company of Wolves” instead.

“The Company of Wolves” was only Neil Jordan’s second film, released in 1984, but it remains one of his most striking. Like “Into the Woods,” it’s a revisionist fairy tale; as Jordan told L.A. Weekly, “It’s a film about storytelling … It’s about the use of stories, and in the case of fairy tales, the main use is to teach young girls not to have sex with men, isn’t it?” Based on short stories by British author Angela Carter (who also co-wrote the script), the film’s plot is a Russian doll of fables, all nestled inside each other. In a framing device, modern teen Rosaleen (Sarah Patterson) dreams she’s living in a 17th-century village on the outskirts of a nightmarish forest. After her sister is killed by wolves in the woods, Dream Rosaleen begins to visit her grandmother (Angela Lansbury), who tells her a series of werewolf tales. In each, the lesson is the same: Wolves in the woods may be dangerous, but it’s the ones that are “hairy on the inside” — in other words, men — you’ve really got to look out for. “They’re nice as pie until they’ve had their way with you,” Granny warns, “but once the bloom is gone, the beast comes out.” Read more.

5. 2015 Entertainment Watchers’ Resolution. How should entertainment fans greet the new year? Richard Rushfield of HitFix has a number of resolutions worth following.

Not to Watch Things We Hate. If visitors from 1975 suddenly disembarked from a time machine in the middle of 2015, one of the things they’d find hardest to wrap their brains around is why TV viewers today spend most of their time on shows they can’t stand. “They’ve even given it a name” they’d report back to their people. “They call it: Hatewatching.” When faced with their confusion, explanations that we need “to be part of the conversation” or that it’s more fun to Tweet about the bad would fall away. On the road to happiness, before we can get to the things that bring us joy, surely we need to cast out the things that bring us despair – even if they are Tweetable and sharable. Of course, we’re in an age when hate-watching is so much a part of the national fabric, that networks make intentionally bad shows just to feed it. But we must be strong. If we can’t even stay away from things we know we don’t like, what hope is there for us to ever get anything out of entertainment? Read more.

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