Finch – the official Apple TV+ trailer

Tom Hanks stars as Finch, a robotics engineer and one of the few survivors of a cataclysmic solar event that has left the world a wasteland. But Finch, who has been living in an underground bunker for a decade, has built a world of his own that he shares with his dog, Goodyear. He creates a robot, played by Caleb Landry Jones, to watch over Goodyear when he no longer can. As the trio embarks on a perilous journey into a desolate American West, Finch strives to show his creation, who names himself Jeff, the joy and wonder of what it means to be alive. Their road trip is paved with both challenges and humor, as it’s as difficult for Finch to goad Jeff and Goodyear to get along as it is for him to manage the dangers of the new world.

Finch debuts November 5, 2021, on Apple TV+.

Personally, I can hardly wait!

Josephine Baker to be first Black woman to enter France’s Panthéon


Receiving the Légion d’honneur and the Croix de Guerre

The remains of Josephine Baker, a famed French-American dancer, singer and actor who also worked with the French resistance during the second world war, will be moved to the Panthéon mausoleum in November, according to an aide to President Emmanuel Macron.

It will make Baker, who was born in Missouri in 1906 and buried in Monaco in 1975, the first Black woman to be laid to rest in the hallowed Parisian monument.

“She was an artist, the first Black international star, a muse of the cubists, a resistance fighter during the second world war in the French army, active alongside Martin Luther King in the civil rights fight,” the petition says.

Another member of the campaign group, Pascal Bruckner, said Baker “is a symbol of a France that is not racist, contrary to what some media groups say”, as well as “a true anti-fascist”…

The Panthéon is a memorial complex for great national figures in French history from the world of politics, culture and science.

Josephine Baker was a significant African-American talent in dance, music and film in the United States. A brave anti-fascist fighter in the French Underground during World War 2. Activist in the US civil rights movement.

Richest Americans Can’t Give Money Away Fast Enough


MacKenzie ScottTaylor Hill/FilmMagic

America’s wealthiest have been getting a lot of unsolicited advice lately about their philanthropy, especially since the pandemic inflated the fortunes of the top 0.1% while devastating the broader economy.

Their critics’ loudest complaint: You should be giving your money away much faster.

Since splitting from the world’s richest man in 2019, MacKenzie Scott has shown how it might be done. The ex-wife of Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has donated $8.5 billion in about 12 months, distributing the cash among hundreds of small organizations typically overlooked by big donors.

“It’s really kind of stunning what’s she’s done and how different an approach she’s taken,” said John Arnold, a billionaire hedge fund manager who retired in 2012 to devote himself full-time to philanthropy. “I’m hopeful that more people will follow that model.”

The shower scene…

78/52 documentary

You’ll never look at the shower scene the same way again, says filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe, whose new documentary, 78/52, lays bare the nuts-and-bolts artistry of that scene from Hitchcock’s Psycho…

The doc’s title refers to the total number of camera setups (78) and cuts (52) in the scene, which itself lasts a mere 45 seconds. It took a whole week to film (a third of the film’s shooting schedule), and it was, as the new film shows, something of an obsession for the master of suspense…

Here are 10 things you (probably) didn’t know about the shower scene…

1. Hitchcock made Psycho because of the shower scene

“When Truffaut asked [Hitchcock] point-blank why he wanted to make Psycho, Hitchcock replied, ‘I think the murder in the bathtub, coming out of the blue, that was about all’,” says Philippe.

Everything else in the movie hinges on that scene, with the doc drawing attention to the visual rhymes that foreshadow it: shots of showerheads appear in the background; the slashing of window wipers in the rain presage the slashing of the knife in the shower. “The movie never really achieves this kind of poetry again,” says Bret Easton Ellis.

9 more to go…

How a train wreck in the 19th Century was recreated for a film…


Gare de l’Ouest train wreck – 1895
This extraordinary accident occurred on October 22, 1895 at Montparnasse, then known as Gare de l’Ouest. The driver of the express train from Granville to Paris, hoping to make up time for its 131 passengers, increased the train’s speed and the air brake failed…Smashing through the track buffers, the express careered across the station concourse, broke through the station wall, and crashed to the street below, where it remained for four days drawing crowds of curious onlookers.

For Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, New Deal Studios created a 1:4 scale train and station facade and street to recreate the 1895 Gare Montparnasse train derailment in Paris…

And here is how they did it.

[As soon as the final crash ends at 4 minutes 24 seconds, hit the cancel button at the bottom … unless you’re interested in several more short train-related videos. The video carries on into that link automagically.]