2012年03月30日

拒めない記念日 知られざる「ゴッドファーザー」40の逸話


The Anniversary You Can't Refuse: 40 Things You Didn't Know About The
Godfather
( TIME )

・Until His Incredible Screen Test

Knowing Marlon Brando would never submit to a formal screen test,
Francis Ford Coppola brought a portable camera to Brando’s home,
telling him they wanted to “try out some things” on tape. According
to one account of the legendary test, Brando was wearing a kimono and
had his long hair pulled back. Slowly, he transformed himself into the
older don, blackening his hair, (supposedly with shoe polish) and
stuffing Kleenex into his lower cheeks to look like a bulldog. Brando
then puffed on a cigar and mumbled quietly, exuding his famous screen
aura.

When Coppola and producer Albert Ruddy showed the studio executives the
footage, they initially didn’t know it was Marlon Brando. Stanley
Jaffe, the studio head who had sworn Brando would never be in the
picture, reluctantly agreed, and the headline in the Hollywood trade
paper Variety proclaimed, “No Stars for Godfather Cast -- Just Someone
Named Brando.”

・The Horse Head

It could be said of so many movie moments, but describing the horse-
head scene as one of the most iconic in American film history is no
exaggeration. It was already famous from the book -- only in Mario
Puzo’s novel, the horse’s head was on the bedpost when Jack Woltz
wakes up. Audiences rose up in anger over the death of the horse, and
many asked if it were a real animal head.

Yes, it was. The studio had encouraged Francis Ford Coppola to use a
fake horse head, but he didn’t like the mock-up. His scouts found a
horse ready for slaughter at a dog-food plant in New Jersey. The art
director picked one that looked like the horse in the film and said,
“When that one is slaughtered, send us the head.” Coppola later
remembered, “One day, a crate with dry ice came with this horse’s
head in it.”

・The Score Was Honored (and Then Rejected) by the Oscars

Nino Rota, an Italian composer who had a fruitful creative partnership
with director Federico Fellini (Rota composed the scores for La Strada,
Night of Cabiria, 8 1/2), was chosen as The Godfather‘s composer in
order to give it a true Italian feeling. His score became an essential
piece of the film, and its spare trumpet opening and lush love theme
have become two of American cinema’s more famous pieces of music.
Though nominated for an Oscar, Rota’s score was subsequently
withdrawn, because part of the love theme had previously appeared
(albeit in a more jaunty form) in the 1958 Italian comedy Fortunella.

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2012年03月28日

トレイボン・マーティンの死で米国の人種と銃の文化は変わるのか


Can Trayvon Martin's Death Alter Our Race and Gun Cultures?
( TIME )

On a number of levels, it makes sense that Florida is the site of the
Trayvon Martin tragedy that's riveting the nation. Florida purports to
be our new multi-racial, multi-ethnic social model, a showcase of early
21st-century America; yet the case of Martin's fatal February shooting,
which emits at least a strong odor of anti-black bias, seems to point
up just how lodged in the early-20th century South much of the state
can still be. Florida advertises itself as a cheerful, laid-back beach
peninsula; yet its residents consistently rank among the country's
rudest drivers and gloomiest people, which makes it less surprising
that seven years ago the state pioneered the hair-trigger "stand your
ground" law that's at the heart of the Martin controversy.

One of the silver linings of the Martin case -- in which an African-
American 17-year-old, apparently doing nothing more menacing than
walking home from a convenience store, was shot and killed the night of
Feb. 26 by an overzealous neighborhood crime-watch volunteer in
Sanford, Fla., who thought the boy looked "suspicious" -- is that it
might help shake Florida, if not the country it so typifies today, out
of its denial. The massive demonstrations in Sanford calling for the
arrest of the shooter, George Zimmerman, and for the resignation of the
local police chief who refused to charge him; the high school walkouts
by Florida teens protesting the killing of yet another young black man;
President Obama's poignant remark today that if he had a son "he'd look
like Trayvon" -- it's all helped move state authorities to convene a
special grand jury and Florida Governor Rick Scott to appoint a special
prosecutor to investigate the incident.

Just as important, Scott, a conservative Republican, deserves credit
for forming a task force, headed by his lieutenant governor and a promin
ent black Tallahassee minister, to review Florida's stand-your-ground
law -- known sardonically as the "shoot first" law. The 2005 statute
lets anyone, anywhere use deadly force against another person if they
believe, as Zimmerman questionably claimed, that their life or safety
is in danger. More than 20 other states have adopted similar laws.
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2012年03月23日

お母さん子という神話


The Myth of the Mama’s Boy
( TIME )

For generations, mothers have gotten the same old message when it comes
to raising sons: beware of keeping him “too close.” A mom who
nurtures a deep emotional bond will prevent him from growing up to be a
strong, independent man. By refusing to cut those apron strings, she is
on track to create the archetypal, effeminate, maladjusted “mama’s
boy.” There’s one problem with this theory: it’s just not true.

From the Oedipus myth (not to mention the complex Freud created around
it) to the movie Psycho, our culture warns us about the dangers of
mother-son closeness. No other parent-child combination is so
stigmatized. We encourage mothers and daughters, as well as fathers and
sons, to stay close throughout their adult lives. And a supportive
father is considered essential to a daughter’s self-esteem. A dad can
coach his daughter’s lacrosse team, wipe her tears and encourage her
loftiest ambitions, all with smiling approval.

These are not unrelated problems, and moms can be part of the solution.
Nurturing mothers can help their sons develop emotional intelligence,
encouraging them to talk about their feelings and recognize those of
others. Certainly boys who are better able to articulate their thoughts
and who have stronger self-control will perform better in the classroom
than boys who retreat into silence or act out. One study of 400 middle-
school boys in New York City public schools revealed that boys who were
closer to their mothers were less likely to define masculinity as a
matter of being tough, stoic and self-reliant. These boys not only had
less anxiety and depression than their more stoic peers but also were
getting better grades.

And contrary to stereotype, boys who can express a broader range of
emotions will not become wimps, forever clinging to their mommies, but
instead independent guys who will make strong, empathetic spouses and
partners, says Dr. William Pollack, a psychology professor at Harvard
University. What’s more, these young men will be better equipped to
navigate today’s economy, in which communication skills and teamwork
are more important for success than brute physical strength or dominance.

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2012年03月20日

男性が高所得女性に惹かれる理由


Why Men Are Attracted to High-Earning Women
( TIME )

Today’s high-earning women are justly proud of their paychecks -- I
explore the rise of the female breadwinner in this week’s TIME cover
story -- but they still often feel that men will be intimidated rather
than attracted to them as potential mates. They think their success
will seem too threatening and be held against them. As a result, some
women in the dating pool devise camouflage mechanisms. A young ob-gyn
working in Pittsburgh tells men she meets that she “works at the
hospital, taking care of patients” -- subtly encouraging the idea that
she’s a nurse, not a doctor. When a university vice president in south
Texas was on the dating market, she would vaguely tell men she worked
in the school’s administrative offices and avoid letting them walk her
to her car for fear they would see her BMW. “I want them to give me a
chance,” says the Pittsburgh doctor. “I want them to at least not
walk away immediately.”

But a growing body of research shows that while there may have once
been a stigma to making money, high-earning women actually have an
advantage in the dating-and-marriage market. In February 2012, the
Hamilton Project, a Brookings Institution initiative that tracks trends
in earnings and life prospects, found that marriage rates have risen
for top female earners -- the share of women in the very top earning
percentile who are married grew by more than 10 percentage points --
even as they have declined for women in lower earning brackets. (The
report also suggested that the decline in those lower brackets may be
because women can support themselves and are dissuaded from marriage by
the declining earnings of men.)

We got the first indication of a major shift back in 2001 with a study
by University of Texas at Austin psychologist David Buss that showed
that when men ranked traits that were important in a marital partner,
there had been a striking rise in the importance they gave to women’s
earnings and a sharp drop in the value they placed on domestic skills.
Similarly, University of Wisconsin demographer Christine Schwartz noted
in a 2010 study in the American Journal of Sociology that “men are
increasingly looking for partners who will ‘pull their own weight’
economically in marriage” and are willing to compete for them.

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2012年03月16日

中国に経済危機が起こる理由


Why China Will Have an Economic Crisis
( TIME )

The view in most of the world is that China is indestructible.
Shrugging off the crises multiplying elsewhere, China seems to surge
from strength to strength, its spectacular growth marching on no matter
what headwinds may come. It appears inevitable that China will overtake
a U.S. mired in debt and division to become the world’s indispensable
economy. Those businessmen and policymakers looking to the future
believe China’s “state capitalism” may be a superior form of
economic organization in dealing with the challenges of the modern
global economy.

My answer to all of this is: think again.

A big part of the bad math is created by China’s state capitalism.
China has adopted a form of the Asian development model, invented by
Japan and followed, to varying degrees, by many rapid-growth countries
around East Asia. The model, very generally speaking, functions like
this: 1) capitalize on low wages to spark growth through exports and
industrialize quickly with hefty amounts of investment, 2) guide the
whole process with the hand of the state, 3) employ industrial policies
and state-directed finance to progress into more and more advanced
sectors. This system generates fantastic levels of economic growth for
a while, but then eventually, it crashes. Japan had its meltdown
beginning in 1990 (and it hasn’t escaped two decades later); South
Korea, the country that copied Japan’s model most closely, experienced
its crisis in 1997-98.

So we can see the pieces of a crisis falling into place: excessive,
misguided investment, including a giant property boom, propelled on by
debt and the decisions of government bureaucrats. Sound familiar? A
crisis, of course, is not inevitable -- if China’s leadership takes
action and reorients the direction of the economy. The positive thing
is that at least some top policymakers understand the need to change.
In policy pronouncement after policy pronouncement, the government
pledges to reform. The problem is that China’s government is not
taking its own advice. The economy needs to rebalance away from
investment and exports to a more consumption-driven growth model with a
primary focus on quality of growth, not high rates at any cost. That’s
not happening, or not happening quickly enough. Yes, the Chinese
consumer is gaining in global importance, but savings in China remains
too high and consumption as a percentage of GDP still way too low.
Steps that the government could take to spur on the needed rebalancing
-- reducing lofty taxes on many imported goods, for example -- are
nowhere to be found. More importantly, the government is doing nothing
to set prices right. The currency remains firmly controlled, interest
rates unreformed. So investors within China are still acting based on
the wrong price signals.

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