Frances McDormand and Chloé Zhao

In 1947, everyone knew that Rosalind Russell was a lock to win the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Mourning Becomes Electra. She had even hired Hollywood’s go-to PR expert, Henry Rogers, to run her campaign. Rogers, who had gotten Joan Crawford and Olivia de Havilland their Oscars in 1945 and 1946, respectively, went all out to get Russell her win.

So at that year’s ceremony, after Elia Kazan’s Gentleman’s Agreement had won Best Picture, the Oscars decided to shake it up: they presented Best Actress as the last award of the night. Fredric March, the previous…

I’ve been keeping my own version of Steven Soderbergh’s “Seen, Read” lists for the past couple years now, so here’s mine for 2020.

All caps, bold: MOVIE
All caps, bold, plus asterisk: SHORT*
All caps: TV SERIES
All italics: Book
Quotation Marks: “Play” (parentheses added for the few I saw in theaters)
Italics and Quotation Marks: “Short Story”




1/5: “Mack and Mabel,” Michael Stewart, THE GOLDEN GLOBES



1/8: “The Inheritance Part…

Clockwise: French Exit, Lovers Rock, Red, White and Blue, The Disciple

Since I moved to New York in 2016, I’ve spent the first two weeks of October camping out at Lincoln Center for the New York Film Festival. When I decided to go to journalism school this year, I knew that it would throw a curveball into this routine. Then two things happened: I got press credentials as a journalism student to cover the festival, and a global pandemic forced the entire thing to go online, so I could watch everything from my home (Thanks, Donald Trump!) …

Photograph courtesy of IMDb

Describing two of his favorite novels, Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) said “Moby-Dick is about space and On the Road is about speed.” Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, which won the Golden Lion at Venice and screened as the centerpiece of this year’s New York Film Festival, is a film about both of those things: the wide open spaces of the American landscape, and the speed at which Fern (Frances McDormand) passes through them in a year-long cycle, pulling up to various small town encampments to work seasonal jobs while living out of her van.

Although based on a nonfiction book, Nomadland

Photograph courtesy of Deadline

Sam Pollard’s masterful documentary MLK/FBI follows in the footsteps of Ava DuVernay’s 13th by forcing us to examine the ways in which law enforcement works against Black Americans: in her film’s case, the prison-industrial complex; in his, the darkest moment in the FBI’s history: their surveillance of Martin Luther King Jr. …

Photograph courtesy of the Associated Press

Two days ago, Florida Congressman Ted Yoho called Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch” in front of reporters at the U.S. Capitol. Following the backlash, Yoho apologized from the floor of the House of Representatives yesterday, but many, including AOC, criticized him for not taking proper responsibility for his actions.

Just this morning, AOC was granted a point of personal privilege to address Yoho’s remarks. The full video can be found on C-SPAN. Here is a transcript of her speech:

“Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I would also like to thank many of my colleagues for the opportunity to not…

With the election five months away, a friend of mine asked me which Democratic Senate candidates he should donate to to flip the Senate blue, and I wanted to share my thoughts on it with all of you.

The way I see it, there are three locks (or near-locks, if you’re superstitious) for the Democrats to beat Republicans, and then second, third, and fourth tier elections, as well as one special case and one incumbent Democrat who needs our help (I think you can guess who it is — the others are all safe.) …

Photograph courtesy of The Washington Post

There are still two and a half months to go before the last primary, but the race is over: Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, and Bernie Sanders’ campaign has collapsed. As such, there have been numerous stories these last few weeks about his implosion following Super Tuesday and what comes next for Progressives.

While I was never on board the Sanders train, I feel bad for his supporters — not the bros, mind you — but the honest, hard-working people who want to see the Democratic Party move further to the left. It sucks when the candidate you…

Photograph courtesy of Reuters

Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 consecutive years in prison today on two charges of sexual assault and rape, and the only words I can say to express my feelings are thank — fucking — God. This pathetic excuse for a human being got exactly what he deserved, and not a moment too soon. …

Photograph courtesy of Reuters

Note: I originally wrote this article on October 9th, 2017, four days after Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor’s expose of Harvey Weinstein in The New York Times, and one day before Ronan Farrow’s in The New Yorker. It was published in Banter M, the members only section of The Daily Banter, so not many people had the chance to read it. In the wake of The Daily Beast’s recent article on his connections to the Clintons, I am re-publishing it with some minor alterations.

Yesterday, disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein was fired from The Weinstein Company following the explosive New York…

Jeremy Fassler

Freelance writer and journalist. Bylines: The New York Times, The Kansas Reflector, Vulture, The Daily Banter, Former Jeopardy! contestant.

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