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Aaron Sorkin interview: the West Wing creator on staging To Kill a Mockingbird in the Trump era

It was, Aaron Sorkin assumed, an attempted murder. Scott Rudin, godlike stage and screen producer, had asked him to turn To Kill a Mockingbird into a play. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is how Scott’s finally going to kill me. This is a suicide mission.’”

Harper Lee’s novel stands alongside Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as a sacred American text. It is about racism in Alabama in the 1930s. To tinker with it is to invite popular and professional death, even if you happen to be America’s supreme screenwriter. Nevertheless, Sorkin took the job — he desperately wanted to do a play.

 

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Barbara Kopple nominated for a Gotham Award

The 2019-2020 movie awards season got underway on Monday night, December 2, with the presentation of the Gotham Awards for independent film. Presented by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), these prizes are decided by juries of industry peers and have honored Oscar winners like “Sideways” (2004), “Capote” (2005), “The Hurt Locker” (2009), “Spotlight” (2015) and “Moonlight” (2016). So who took top honors this year? Scroll down for the complete list in all 10 categories, updated live as they were announced.

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Art Basel Miami Beach 2019: The Ultimate Guide to What to Do and What to See

As art aficionados, celebrities, and fashion folk head to Miami Beach this week for Art Basel, here’s L’Officiel USA’s guide to what to see and where to be seen. 

The list includes work from SAA alumni Nicole Eisenman (SHS '83).

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A Threat To Democracy? What Social Media Has Done To Us

Are social networks driving us into partisan factions at the expense of the common good? We look at social media and democracy.

With guest Jonathan Haidt (SHS '81), social psychologist, professor of ethical leadership, New York University’s Stern School of Business. Co-author of “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

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Former NBC Cable Chief Tom Rogers Launches Engine Media: Focus On Live TV, News, E-sports, Gaming

As the pay TV industry continues to see sharply lower business and revenues -- including TV networks -- new company Engine Media, Inc. is launching with a focus on esports, gaming and live news content, led by former NBC cable TV network executive Tom Rogers.

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Frieze Los Angeles Announces 2020 Exhibitors, Including Nicole Eisenman (SHS'83)

Frieze Los Angeles has revealed that more than seventy galleries will participate in its 2020 edition, which is taking place at Paramount Pictures Studios from February 14 to February 16. It is also introducing a new feature section devoted to emerging LA galleries, Focus LA, which will be curated by Rita Gonzalez, the curator and head of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

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Humanist League's Sagan Fest presents Jonathan D. Haidt (SHS '81) of NYU

“Dialogue and reason may seem like the default, but historically, they are in fact a rarity,” said Alex Fogelson, events coordinator for Carnegie Mellon’s Humanist League, setting the stage for last Tuesday’s Sagan Fest talk in McConomy Auditorium.

Professor Jonathan D. Haidt, Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University, was invited to give a talk titled “Finding Truth in a Polarized Age” at the event.

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Aaron Sorkin ('79): An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg

Read it here.

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Nina Totenberg (SHS '62) talks with SPLC about her career, reporting advice for crowd of student journalists

NPR’s Chief Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg discussed the beginnings of her journalism career, her longtime coverage of the Supreme Court and offered advice to about 1,000 student journalists and advisers in an on-stage conversation with the Student Press Law Center’s Sommer Ingram Dean on Nov. 2.

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PEN America Announces Major Expansion, Suzanne Nossel (SHS '87)

All six new chapters will be led by leaders in local literary communities who have showed leadership and activism in this space. “Our chapters will bring years of mobilization, activism and organizing among writing communities across the country to the next level. We are exceptionally proud of the local leaders who are driving forward this effort,” said PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel.

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