Against my better judgement, the lights in my apartment are connected to a wireless network controlled via an app. There are physical buttons, but they are located near the plugs, at ground level and often behind obstructions. When I leave, turning off the light requires digging my phone out of my pocket, typing in the unlock code, opening the app, waiting for it to detect the network, then tapping a button to turn off the light. I do all of this while standing an inch or so away from the old wall switch, the use of which would achieve the same result in a fraction of the time. As a result of this modernity, every time I leave the apartment, I feel the uncontrollable urge to make sure I’m listening to the title theme from French director Jacques Tati’s 1958 masterpiece Mon Oncle. I am, at that moment, Monsieur Hulot. Continue reading…
Posted May 4, 2014
Actor, producer and musician Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. has died. Zimbalist starred in the tv series FBI and 77 Sunset Strip. He had roles in Airport 1975 (1974) and Wait Until Dark (1967). He had recurring roles in Remington Steele and Babylyon 5. Zimbalist was the voice of Alfred in the Batman, Static Shock, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited series, Justin Hammer on Iron Man, and Dr. Octopus in Spider-Man. The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter have obituaries. Here Zimbalist discusses producing the opera The Consul for Broadway as well as his life and work.