January 15th, 2016

The Short: "The Unforgettable Villainy of Alan Rickman in 'Die Hard'"

by Ian Crouch (The New Yorker)

At the center of this is Rickman’s Gruber, who is not only a perfect straight man to Willis’s catch-phrasing cowboy but also the movie’s guiding tonal spirit. He’s oddly contained, seemingly bored by the very mayhem he’s set in motion. He delivers his first lines to the terrified hostages by reading from a little date book, as if he needs to remind himself which master heist he is scheduled to perform that day.

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The Long: "Federer as Religious Experience"

by David Foster Wallace (The NY Times)

This present article is more about a spectator’s experience of Federer, and its context. The specific thesis here is that if you’ve never seen the young man play live, and then do, in person, on the sacred grass of Wimbledon, through the literally withering heat and then wind and rain of the ’06 fortnight, then you are apt to have what one of the tournament’s press bus drivers describes as a “bloody near-religious experience.”

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