The Morning Read: W reveals a first look at Fincher’s Lisbeth Salander

Welcome to The Morning Read.

So that’s what we can expect, visually, from Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.”  I knew they were planning a reveal soon, but this is an interesting way to do it, outside of the context of the film.  I would have expected Fincher to wait until he could introduce her in footage, but instead, “W” magazine got the exclusive and ran a big layout of images, specifically emphasizing the tattoos she sports in the film.  It’s a complete transformation for Mara, and I honestly don’t see the girl from the start of “The Social Network” at all.  Impressive.  More than that, the article reveals that the script by Steve Zallian makes some major changes to the ending of the book, which is interesting news.  I think there’s plenty of room for improvement in this version of the story, and it sounds like Zallian and Fincher have decided to go for it.

“Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark” is a major hit, financially speaking, selling out every performance.  But the more I talk to people who have seen it, the more horrifying it sounds.  There’s a new review for the troubled Broadway production over at Comic Book Resources, and they hated it.  HATED it.  I’m dying to go to New York and see it, but I’m having a hard time justifying the cost.

Mitch Delaplane just kickstarted The Great Singularity, I think.

My buddy Damon Houx finally decloaked from under his false online identity as Andre Dellamorte over at CHUD, and he’s started writing columns under his real name.  It’s a nice fit as CHUD just went through a redesign and is obviously redefining itself somewhat to fill in the rather massive gap left by the departure of Devin Faraci.  Houx could easily be the guy to do that because he’s got his own voice, and this latest column of his is a nice example of that.

Have you seen the film the guy made using the “Grand Theft Auto IV” engine?  It’s a fascinating example of the way people are repurposing the tech at their disposal these days, hacking as storytelling tool, and I have to give Mathiew Weschler credit… he treated the experiment seriously:

The trashmaster (nouvelle version nouvelle voix-off !)
Uploaded by murakawa. – Click for more console and PC gaming videos.

A full feature-length original movie, and he never directly “animated” any of it himself.  We live in strange times, my friends.

Are you familiar with the work of the Kuchars?  If not, you should track down the documentary “It Came From Kuchar,” which documents their work as truly independent filmmakers on the fringe.  I have no idea how Devin stumbled across this, but he ran a short he discovered of George Kuchar visiting Christopher Coppola at the mansion of Nicolas Cage back in the early ’90s.  And the video is every bit as bizarre as you might hope:

Oh, Nic.  You complete me.

This is why I am glad I do not write or care about awards.

I was enormously pleased with the feedback over the last few days for my story “The Interview,” and I am so glad people enjoyed it.  What’s interesting is realizing how immediate people were about expressing what it is that they want as an audience, something that gets more immediate all the time.  When you see Kevin Biegel live-tweeting during his own TCA presentation for “Cougar Town,” audiences have a connection to the people who make their entertainment that they’ve never had before if they want it.  The way some artists are using Kickstarter is proof that the model is changing in terms of how we monetize these things, and I love what Dave Chen wrote about Eric D. Snider’s experiment to see if he could get a crowdsourced payment for a year’s worth of columns.  It’s even changing the way people relate to the porn stars they watch.  Pretty soon, that screen’s going to seem thinner than ever, or vanish altogether.  I just hope that Eric knows that when I told him “I don’t WANT to be part of your… BIG… PUSH!” on Twitter, I was just quoting “Lawrence Of Arabia.”

It is not often that I run a link to the Harvard Business Review, but it’s not often they relate a story about the early days of Pixar that everyone should read.

Good lord.  Armond White is like a character someone’s doing for some “Borat”-style movie that we’ll all watch and like in a year or so.  I refuse to believe he actually exists.

If this is how Hugo Weaving actually looks as The Red Skull, that’s okay by me.

As Peter Serafinowicz put it, the BBC has broken a chilling story that may well be “the most important journalistic event of the decade.”

Uhhhhh.  Wow.  Sometimes you just end up in the right place with a camera, and you get something on film that is just one of those things you have to see for yourself, like the formation of a brand new island.

I was directed to this site, and if this one thing was the only prop that a fan had reproduced, I would be a little taken aback at all the effort, but impressed.  Once you’ve looked at that one page, though, start poking around that site.  Take a look at just what that guy’s actually crafted.  It is remarkable in its attention to detail, but it seems to me to be a yawning chasm of fandom that is too deep and too scary for me to explore.

Actually, I do have a bear in my backyard.  Funny you’d mention it

Stop it.  Really.  Stop changing history.  One of these days, you’re going to erase a cigarette from a postage stamp, and the next thing you know, your parents never met and you disappear.  Is that what you want?  I SAID, IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?! I didn’t think so.

Look! Sasquatch!

Did you read the amazing interview the A.V. Club did with Udo Kier?  Oh, god, it’s beautiful.  And, yes, part of the reason I love it is because Udo talks about “Cigarette Burns,” the “Masters Of Horror” episode he starred in for John Carpenter that I co-wrote.  But what I really love is how well they capture the real Udo in the piece.  I spent some great time talking to him on the set of “Cigarette Burns,” and in real-life, Udo is just as great and insane and beautiful as you’d hope.

Wow.  Advertisers really do think you’re crazy, ladies.

Mr. De Palma?  Is that you?


I missed this one when he published it, but David Ehrlich’s Criterion columns are worth backtracking for.

You want me to pick one link out of today’s whole column that you absolutely should read, all snark and silliness aside?  That’s this one, an engrossing story of a young writer.  I won’t tell you any more, because I’d hate to spoil it for you.  Suffice it to say, it is engrossing and lovely, and now I’m very curious to spend some time with Eepersip and her friends, and I suddenly miss an author I never knew.

Wow.  This story of a man being totally failed by Google and AdSense is a bit of a nightmare.  I find it hard to believe this is how business is done.

I guess this got some traction over the holidays, but I missed it until now.  I have gone several years without “Star Wars,” honestly.  I don’t rematch the films the way it sounds like many people do.  But I think this really articulates so much of what exists in modern fandom that it’s worth a careful read.

But a year without “Star Wars” is nothing compared to a week spent eating nothing but candy.  Well-played.

God, this article makes me want to delete my Twitter account.  I am an intemperate jackass, and I’m not sure I always operate in my own best interests.  I am, evidently, not alone in this.

Oh, Tim Lucas, you magnificent bastard.  I love this piece on “Suspiria,” a film I’ve seen many many times, because suddenly I want to see it again and look at things I’ve never noticed in it.

This has happened to me, and it is never not a nightmare.  Listen to Pressfield.  He knows what he’s talking about.

And on that note, I’ve got a podcast to edit.  Michel Gondry is on the show this week, and I can’t wait to share it with you.

The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Except when it doesn’t.