Photo: Courtesy of Chelsea Hodson/MORS TUA VITA MEA Workshop Giancarlo DiTrapano, founder, editor, and publisher of Tyrant Books, died last weekend at age 47. I met him at a bar 13 or 14 years ago in Hell’s Kitchen. He lived then on the West Side. He had started a new magazine, New York Tyrant , the sort of thing I’m always interested in. He was cool — something that has to be said about him — cool in a way that I found intimidating when I first met him that night and still found intimidating two weeks ago when we had dinner in Brooklyn. It was impossible not to want to impress him. How silly: He was the gentlest of men, the sweetest. He was a character out of a movie set in New York in the 1970s, the guy who shows up and gets you out of a jam without asking any questions, who will accept nothing in return for the favor of saving your life. I’m romanticizing my friend, but he was a romantic guy. How else do you start a magazine and then a press from nothing? I no longer … [Read more...] about On Giancarlo DiTrapano, 1974 to 2021
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Photo: Alpgiray Kelem/Getty Images The Undervalued Work of the Audio Producer By Skye Pillsbury Earlier this year, eleven producers, editors, and engineers who had been hired by Condé Nast Entertainment (CNE) to create weekly flagship podcasts for its WIRED , Vogue , and Pitchfork brands posted an open letter detailing the experience of working for, and eventually leaving, the media company. The letter alleged a work environment in which management had little understanding of the resources and time required to produce high-quality podcasts, where staff was consistently left in the dark in regards to long-term planning and job security, and employees were viewed as interchangeable and easily replaceable. “It was very chaotic,” Ninna Gaensler-Debs, who was hired to work on the Get WIRED podcast, told me over the phone last week. “There was a lot of confusion over what the roles were going to be. We were very much making it up as we went along. We were just … [Read more...] about Are Podcast Producers Properly Valued?
Photo: Magnolia Pictures and Amazon Studios Inside God’s waiting room, an abnormality bides his time. Dennis Dean resides in the Villages, the nation’s largest retirement community, but only in the most tangential sense. He does not live anywhere, precisely; his home is a van, and it is also a hunting blind. He is looking for women and for something else. He wants security, he says in Some Kind of Heaven , Lance Oppenheim’s new documentary about Florida’s strangest enclave. At 83 years old and on the run after an out-of-state drunk-driving fine, Dean sees that his goal is almost beyond his reach. “What I’m looking for is a companion, a nice-looking lady with some money,” he says bluntly. He needs a home, and for that, he needs a wealthy girlfriend. Widows abound in the Villages, and so does money. But the “classic lady” of his dreams is “rare,” Dean complains, so he becomes a poltergeist. He haunts the bars, the churches, the swimming pools. His van rattles down well-groomed … [Read more...] about No Country for the Old: On
Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photos by Warner Bros. We’re just four films into the internationally produced, Godzilla-centric series about giant beasts roaming the Earth — the latest, Godzilla vs. Kong , is currently playing in theaters and on HBO Max — but to my mind, it has already become the most interesting of the mega-budgeted “universes” that now dominate popular culture. It tells stories as big and shiny (and flagrantly melodramatic) as anything in the MCU, DCEU, or Star Wars franchises, but at the same time, it has philosophical consistency, a sense of grandeur, and a poker-faced poetic streak, qualities only intermittently spotted in rival series. Godzilla vs. Kong is the biggest hit since 2014’s franchise-launching Godzilla , which bodes well for more entries, but I still don’t think the series gets enough credit for its specialness. It’s easy to undervalue if, like so many viewers, you fixate on the human characters who (as in the Japanese kaiju films … [Read more...] about My Heart Belongs to the MonsterVerse
Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman in Mank . Photo: Courtesy of Netflix The 93rd Academy Awards, after an unprecedented 14-month eligibility season and a pandemic that shut most of the nation’s movie theaters, will finally be handed out on Sunday, April 25. Exactly how normal this ceremony will feel — and how normal the industry should view it as being — is up for debate: Some see it as the firm-handed continuation of a tradition that began with Douglas Fairbanks handing Clara Bow the Best Picture statuette for 1927’s Wings and has endured without interruption through all manner of national calamity ever since, and others as the weary end point of a year like no other. But beneath both positions — this is the year the show must go on and this is the year the show didn’t go on — lurks a degree of dread about this year’s “Oddscars” — the fear that they aren’t so anomalous after all. Surely, at some point, things will be the way they used to be again, right? Doesn’t that have … [Read more...] about Who’s Really Winning This Year’s ‘Oddscars’?