We realize there's only so much time one can spend in a day watching new trailers, viral video clips, and shaky cell phone footage of people arguing on live television. This is why every day The Atlantic Wire highlights the videos that truly earn your five minutes (or less) of attention. Today: a West Wing reunion for a good cause, an explanation as to why Children of Men keeps some of us at a distance, and Bruce Springsteen brings the heat to even the muggiest of matinees.
Here's the cast of The West Wing, back together to pay tribute to the walk-and-talk, the Aaron Sorkin TV trope where busy people walk hallways in a continuous loop imparting information to one another, but because it's Hollywood nobody ever gets nauseous from all the circles or needs to pop a handful of throat lozenges just to keep pace with Chatty Bradley Whitford. Typical Hollywood, glossing over the plight of the hoarse fella. Even Martin Sheen is unsympathetic. [Funny or Die]
Reading is nice, animation is nice. It's also nice when they join forces -- for one sentence only! -- to animate a lone sentence from a text in wonderfully rich detail. In this case, Edwin Rostron animates a sentence from "Watching Mysteries With My Mother" a story by Ben Marcus in the new issue of Recommended Reading, the new weekly fiction magazine from Electric Literature. The sentence in question: "We speak of having one foot in the grave, but we do not speak of having both feet and both legs and then one's entire torso, arms, and head in the grave, inside a coffin, which is covered in dirt, upon which is planted a pretty little stone." Have at it. [Electric Literature]
There are people, some of them right here on this very blog, who swear by Children of Men. Swear by it. Great action, great storytelling, great everything. They're true believers, the same way people who know every line from Lawrence of Arabia and refuse to even look at it on television are true believers. We've always had trouble getting into Alfonso Cuaron's movie, which we've attributed, at various points, to our natural aversion to movies set in the near future where everyone walks around with three days stubble, Clive Owen's occasional bouts of mumbliness, and the fact we didn't read the P.D. James book. The real reason hit us only after looking at this clip of all of Cuaron's single-take scenes. There's nothing worse than a stylish, single-take shot in a movie you're not sold on. It comes down to taste. Entering the Copa through the service entrance with Lorraine Bracco in Goodfellas: perfect. Puttering around the Overlook kitchen with Scatman Crothers in The Shining, talking about roasts. Deathly. Out of context, Cuaron's scenes fall somewhere in the middle. But we're going to give the movie another try. Soon. [via Indie Wire]
Here's Bruce Springsteen, who we hesitate to call the hardest working man in show business because that always seemed like a not-so-nice dig at James Brown. But he really is the hardest working man in show business. If he's not rewarding Californians who arrive early with a special pre-show acoustic performance, he's at Jazz Fest in New Orleans -- where it looks very hot -- playing our favorite song from our favorite album like it's the very first time. Please note, he's also doing this in the middle of the day. A New Orleans in April day. [rajrae6]