Thursday, May 10, 2007

Mike White, David Mitchell, Gay publishing, Shopping locally

Always-interesting writer/actor/director Mike White penned an editorial for the NY Times weighing in on the renewed debate over violence in film post-Virginia Tech. It's a brave stance (one I'm sure he'll be attacked for), daring to suggest that filmmakers have *some* responsibility when they create work that portrays violence uncritically. It's a complex issue, and while White's humble editorial is hardly the final word, I think he acquits himself well enough. He doesn't call for censorship, just consideration. White's latest film (his directorial debut), Year of the Dog is one of the gems of the year so far. (I always suspected Molly Shannon could act.) His scripts are a fine example of storytelling that is edgy and thoughtful without being exploitive and irresponsible. Leading by example is probably the best strategy, actually, but I admire him for risking the wrath of the cynical "give-them-what-they-want" crowd.

David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas) has been named to the recent Time 100.

It's time for PW's annual look at the state of gay publishing.

Lately I've been a bit obsessed (my poor friends and family) with getting people to patronize their local bookstores. (This was partly spurred by the news that beloved Chicago bookstore Women and Children First is struggling, though there are signs of hope in that particular case.) Along comes a study which substantiates the notion that it's better for the local economy to shop independent.


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