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Tiger Woods: His New Image


Charles P. Pierce takes a closer look into Tiger Woods' public image, past, present and future, in his latest article for Esquire.


Over the weekend, Woods ran his Escalade over a hydrant and then into a tree. Woods' explanation of how he ran into two stationary objects and then had to have his wife pull him from the vehicle by breaking the back window with a golf club seemed incredibly implausible.


Woods' story lost even more credibility when he turned away police investigating the incident three times, leading the public to think there was more to the story than he was admitting to.


Woods was already under public scrutiny after the National Enquirer reported that he was having an affair with a "New York society hostess." Such attacks on the stability of Woods' marriage led to speculation that a domestic disturbance of some kind had occurred over the Thanksgiving holiday.


Pierce was not surprised by these recent allegations, and wrote that Woods had an impenetrable cocoon around his persona that made him perfect for "corporate consumption", however, Woods already had the reputation of being a "hound" ever since 1997.


Woods has been accused of having a temper, bribing journalists, accepting payoffs, and employing a "thug" as a caddy in the past.

The more incidents that occur, according to Pierce, the more fragile Woods' public image becomes. There is no question that Woods' career has taken a blow that may be impossible to recover from.


This piece was interesting because the author had written a profile about Woods in which he praised his achievements as a golfer in 1997. This piece, however, has a completely different tone. 

The Decade's Best Movies

The Decade's Best Movies

Richard Brody ranks and reviews the ten best movies of the last decade in the November 2009 issue of The New Yorker.


Brody's number one ranked movie of the last decade is the French film "Eloge de l'amour", which was directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 2001. Brody calls the film "one of the most . . . understated of love stories" and "a work of art."


American director Wes Anderson makes the list at number two with his "The Darjeeling Limited" (2007), which Brody describes as a "love and death, comedy and tragedy".


"The World"(2005), directed by Jia Zhangke, presents a picture of China's place in the world and makes the list at number three.


September 11th was the inspiration for Manoel de Oliveira's "A Talking Picture" (2003), which presents 9/11 from the point of view of a ninety-five-year-old and is Brody's pick for number four.


Number five on the list is "Regular Lovers" (2005), directed by Philippe Garrel, which profiles Richard Nixon during 1968 from the viewpoint of the youth of that generation.


At number six is "Sobibor, Oct. 14, 1943, 4 P.M." (2001), directed by Claude Lanzmann. This film profiles the life of Yehuda Lerner, "who took part in the uprising against the extermination camp's guards."


"Fingming: A Chinese Memoir" (2009) is director's Wang Bing's chronicling of China's recent history and makes the list at number seven.


Recent cult-classic "Knocked Up" (2008), directed by Judd Apatow, finds comedy in personal situations, and ranks at number eight on Brody's list.


Gender mutilation is the focus of Ousmane Sembene's "Moolaade" (2005) at number nine.


And finally, at number ten on Brody's list is "The Other Half" (2007). Directed by Ying Liange, this film is a drama that focuses on the "crossroads of private life and oppressive authority."


What is interesting about Brody's list is that he focuses on ten films, giving them a rank in cinematic quality and content. Then at the end of his piece, he lists 16 more films in no particular order, which he also recommends, making the list not the best ten, but the best 26. 

In Depth With Penelope Cruz


In the November issue of Vanity Fair, author Ingrid Sischy profiles Penelope Cruz and how she used her Spanish roots to inspire her performances in Broken Embraces and Nine. 


Cruz stars in her fourth film with Spanish director Pedro Almodovar in Broken Embraces and in Rob Marshall's song and dance extravaganza, Nine, both due out this month.


Cruz starred in numerous Spanish films at the beginning of her career including Belle Epoque, Jamon, Jamon, A Tale of Ham and Passion; Ham, Ham, and Salami Salami. Her breakout performances in Live Flesh and All About My Mother made her a rising star to be watched.


Hollywood began casting Cruz as a leading lady in big-budget films in the early 1990s, but they were mostly flops.  Director Pedro Almodovar explains the lack of success as a result of American directors who cast Cruz for her beauty, and not her ability.


In 2006, Almodovar cast Cruz in Volver, which "relaunched Cruz as an actress, not just a movie star." Cruz's performance earned her the first Oscar nomination for best actress for a Spanish actress. Her Volver performance also inspired Woody Allen to cast her in his film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which would become her first successful American film.


Almodovar uses Cruz's depth as a dramatic actress in his film, Broken Embraces. Cruz plays Lena, the girlfriend of a rich, controlling man who makes it possible for her to star in a movie. However, Lena and the director of the film begin a liaison that has tragic consequences. Cruz said the role was one of the most demanding she has taken on.


Rob Marshall's Nine is more upbeat and features a star-studded cast including Nicole Kidman, Fergie, Kate Hudson, and Daniel Day Lewis. Cruz plays Carla, a tender but temp mistress to Lewis's character. Nine is the first time Cruz will be able to show off her singing skills in the vocal number "A Call From the Vatican."

"Penelope was born to be an actress," says Almodóvar, who knows her better than anyone in the business. "She is someone who is extremely emotional, and if she was not an actress it could be a problem for her."


This article began with a five-paragraph anecdote about an encounter the author had with Cruz years ago. While humorous, the story added nothing to the body of the feature and was longer than was needed. I thought that the story could have been left out of the article completely. 


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