Cognitive disinhibition describes a failure to keep useless data, images, or ideas out of conscious awareness. This failure may make schizotypal personalities more prone to delusional thoughts or mental confusion; on the flipside, it could make creative minds more fertile.
Ryan Shapiro’s technique is so effective at unburying sensitive documents, the feds are asking the courts to stop him.
Martin Scorsese sits in front of Ferrara’s cafe on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, during the making of his film, Mean Streets, New York City, October 17, 1973.
Listen to a 27-year old Martin Scorsese talk about curating New York City’s inaugural Movies in the Park film series, as well as his thoughts on the direction of the New American Cinema. At the time of this 1970 WNYC interview, Scorsese was still a relative unknown: his first feature, Who’s That Knocking at My Door, was theatrically released only one year prior, and he had just one editor and producer credit for 1970’s Woodstock. An outspoken proponent of a new form of filmmaking, it would only be a few years until he became a household name with films like Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), and The Last Waltz (1978).
During the course of the interview, Scorsese describes the aesthetically transformative nature of 1970s film technology: lighter-weight cameras with synchronous sound, along with affordable film development, meant artists could create more spontaneous works and abandon the narrative conceits of classic Hollywood cinema. In his now familiar cadence, he explains:
Filmmaking is an immediate means of expression, meaning that you can send [your film] to a laboratory and get it back like magic within five hours… suddenly you start making a film and you get it shown even if you have to show it in your loft to your friends and family… The underground, or what you call the underground now… the kids coming out of the university, literally coming out of the streets, [are] just picking up their camera [and making films].
Scorsese admits that what filmmakers were doing wasn’t new, but rather their techniques were an extension of the work already begun by a previous generation of filmmakers like Len Lye, Ed Emshwiller, Shirley Clarke and Kenneth Anger — artists he calls “the grand old masters of the underground”. 1970 was an exciting time to be an American filmmaker. The public had become weary of bloated Hollywood epics and Scorsese was well-placed in an era that exalted the auteur. This interview offers a rare glimpse into a riotous time in American film from a filmmaker at the very beginning of a celebrated career. —Martin Scorsese and the American Underground, NYPR Archives & Preservation
“It is tough to pull out favourite scenes from any of Mann’s movies, as there are so many sublime moments. But the following ranks very highly: What an awesome bit of movie making this is. It is the apex of The Insider, when each character reaches the climax of their respective dilemmas and find a commonality with each other, despite their different backgrounds and personalities. The beach images and atmosphere generated between these two contrasting locations (the hotel) are just superb. Pure genius.” —MannFan
What a genius script looks like. Read, learn, and absorb: Eric Roth’s screenplay for The Insider [first draft, pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only.) The script was adapted by Eric Roth and Mann from Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”
“For as long as these videos are available online, you can treat yourself to some old but powerful Michael Mann interviews with some of our best loved Mann scenes. This is wonderful footage, including actor interviews about the Tiger scene from Manhunter and that extraordinarily charged cliff scene in The Last of the Mohicans. It includes scenes from Heat, and also The Insider. Actors speak about who they feel Michael Mann is, with some superb quotes to take away that sum up our favourite director. Get Michael Mann’s inside story. Essential viewing, enjoy. I did… immensely.” —MannFan
“The most powerful track from Mann’s movie The Insider is that of Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke’s Sacrifice. It is so incredibly moving, and I admit to it bringing tears to my eyes on many occasion whilst listening to it. It is used powerfully in The Insider. The beautiful and the tragic are two themes Michael Mann seems to include in his movies, and I feel both these themes are contained in this piece of music too. The concept of sacrifice is often an alien one to our performance orientated, celebrity culture but is the ultimate demonstration of the depth of humanity. It is the concept of sacrifice that sets humanity apart from animals, and challenges the archaic notion of survival of the fittest. The Insider explores this to an extent. Sacrifice is tragic but also beautiful… beautiful because sacrifice is always in service to another but at a cost. What a meaningful end to the movie, when Wigand finally see’s his children recognise their father being extolled on television. Dignity is restored after great indignity was suffered. His life finally meant something to him and his children. I would be interested to hear comments about how this track has touched your emotions. Here is Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke playing Sacrifice.” —MannFan
For further reading and watching:
- The Cinematography of The Insider
Cinematographer: Dante Spinotti
- Russell Crowe’s and Michael Mann’s comments about The Insider
- Michael Mann talks about corporate morality, muckraking and the drama of making real-life decisions
- Interviews with Michael Mann
- The Cinematography of The Insider
The majority of internet traffic to Central and South America flows through a single building in Miami, known as the Network Access Point of the Americas. Bypassing that route with a new cable would require years of work and billions of dollars, and likely would have little effect on NSA surveillance, Soghoian says. The US already has a nuclear submarine explicitly dedicated to tapping undersea internet cables, and has proven its ability to hack into the computer networks of foreign governments.
If you’re a boy writer, it’s a simple rule: you’ve gotta get used to the fact that you suck at writing women and that the worst women writer can write a better man than the best male writer can write a good woman. And it’s just the minimum. Because the thing about the sort of heteronormative masculine privilege, whether it’s in Santo Domingo, or the United States, is you grow up your entire life being told that women aren’t human beings, and that women have no independent subjectivity. And because you grow up with this, it’s this huge surprise when you go to college and realize that, “Oh, women aren’t people who does my shit and fucks me.”
And I think that this a huge challenge for boys, because they want to pretend they can write girls. Every time I’m teaching boys to write, I read their women to them, and I’m like, “Yo, you think this is good writing?” These motherfuckers attack each other over cliche lines but they won’t attack each other over these toxic representations of women that they have inherited… their sexist shorthand, they think that is observation. They think that their sexist distortions are insight. And if you’re in a writing program and you say to a guy that their characters are sexist, this guy, it’s like you said they fucking love Hitler. They will fight tooth and nail because they want to preserve this really vicious sexism in the art because that is what they have been taught.
And I think the first step is to admit that you, because of your privilege, have a very distorted sense of women’s subjectivity. And without an enormous amount of assistance, you’re not even going to get a D. I think with male writers the most that you can hope for is a D with an occasional C thrown in. Where the average women writer, when she writes men, she gets a B right off the bat, because they spent their whole life being taught that men have a subjectivity. In fact, part of the whole feminism revolution was saying, “Me too, motherfuckers.” So women come with it built in because of the society.
It’s the same way when people write about race. If you didn’t grow up being a subaltern person in the United States, you might need help writing about race. Motherfuckers are like ‘I got a black boy friend,’ and their shit sounds like Klan Fiction 101.
The most toxic formulas in our cultures are not pass down in political practice, they’re pass down in mundane narratives. It’s our fiction where the toxic virus of sexism, racism, homophobia, where it passes from one generation to the next, and the average artist will kill you before they remove those poisons. And if you want to be a good artist, it means writing, really, about the world. And when you write cliches, whether they are sexist, racist, homophobic, classist, that is a fucking cliche. And motherfuckers will kill you for their cliches about x, but they want their cliches about their race, class, queerness. They want it in there because they feel lost without it. So for me, this has always been the great challenge.
As a writer, if you’re really trying to write something new, you must figure out, with the help of a community, how can you shed these fucking received formulas. They are received. You didn’t come up with them. And why we need fellow artists is because they help us stay on track. They tell you, “You know what? You’re a bit of a fucking homophobe.” You can’t write about the world with these simplistic distortions. They are cliches. People know art, always, because they are uncomfortable. Art discomforts. The trangressiveness of art has to deal with confronting people with the real. And sexism is a way to avoid the real, avoiding the reality of women. Homophobia is to avoid the real, the reality of queerness. All these things are the way we hide from encountering the real. But art, art is just about that.
— Junot Diaz speaking at Word Up Bookshop, 2012 (via clambistro)
I seem to need two things that are quite unlike each other. One is very tactile and visceral – a sense of time and place. Along with that is something else – very abstract ideas of things that interest me. … The characters come later – the time and the place and the big idea lead to the people, ideally.
Creative people are ones who are willing and able to metaphorically buy low and sell high in the realm of ideas. Buying low means pursuing ideas that are unknown or out of favor, but that have growth potential. Often, when these ideas are first presented, they encounter resistance. The creative individual persists in the face of this resistance, and eventually sells high, moving on to the next new, or unpopular, idea. In other words, such an individual acquires the creativity habit.