Jared Leto’s turn in Suicide Squad is the latest reminder that the technique has become more about ego and marketing than good performances.
Of all the stories surfacing about the new DC Comics film Suicide Squad—from the dismal reviews to the box-office reports—the most disconcerting are the ones that detail how Jared Leto got into his role as the Joker. Watching Leto tell one disturbing tale after another makes one thing abundantly clear: Method acting is over.
After winning individual gold in the women’s gymnastics all-around on Thursday, Simone Biles, in an interview, made a declaration.
It was a simple tautology—of course she’s the first Simone Biles—that was also a powerful response to the gendered double standards that have so far plagued the 2016 Games.
The coverage of women’s gymnastics has a long tradition of emphasizing the contrasts of its competitors: traditional girlishness on the one hand, traditionally masculine qualities—“power” chief among them—on the other. In tough times, people want more in a leader than intelligence, integrity, or the ability to build really tall walls.
According to an evolutionary theory proposed by a pair of psychologists, charisma is the ability to convince followers that you can get other members of a wider group to cooperate. The history of science has been distorted by a longstanding conviction that correct theories about nature are always the most elegant ones. Imagine you’re a scientist with a set of results that are equally well predicted by two different theories. This, it’s often said, is just where you need a hypothetical tool fashioned by the 14th-century English Franciscan friar William of Ockham, one of the most important thinkers of the Middle Ages. Occam’s razor is often stated as an injunction not to make more assumptions than you absolutely need. I bought a PlayStation 4, set it up, heard the game I wanted to play had been delayed, put it away. In the shadow of a steep ridge dusted with gray-purple fronds, I discovered the monolith, which taught me a single word in the language of its alien makers. The Republican nominee’s staffers and party officials will meet in Orlando during a turbulent month, Politico reports. Donald Trump’s campaign and Republican National Committee officials will be gathering in Orlando on Friday for an “emergency meeting,” Politico reports.
In recent weeks, a steady trickle of Republicans have come to Clinton’s side, and a number of Republicans have vented frustrations over the party’s nominee. Republicans are rallying behind Jason Lewis, a radio provocateur famous for racist and misogynistic rants who's running for Congress.


With Donald Trump scorching the land like a political Agent Orange, it’s easy to forget about all the juicy House races also underway. Each year, I keep a running list of exceptional nonfiction that I encounter as I publish The Best of Journalism, an email newsletter that I curate weekly for its subscribers. Fifteen years ago this September 11, 19 terrorists, using four jetliners as guided missiles, killed 2,977 people—and enveloped the country in fear. Barack Obama remembers that after the second plane hit, he left the Chicago building that housed his state-Senate office.
A documentary explores the promise and perils of the un-indexed internet—a space for hidden revolutions, drugs, terrorism, and child pornography. 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Not the technique itself, which has fueled many of cinema’s greatest performances and can be a useful way of approaching difficult roles. And NBC’s gymnastics commentators (under a mandate from NBC to address themselves to a notional “Madeleine in Middle America, who doesn’t know gymnastics”) have reveled in those easy contradictions. Not only does that total beat the better-reviewed Deadpool (84 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), which I loved, it smashed the August box office records previously set in 2014 by Guardians of the Galaxy, which I really loved. They want someone who can make a compelling pitch and inspire a sense of urgency—someone with charisma.
These researchers found that exposure to charisma increased generosity: Subjects who saw a ted talk by a charismatic speaker later gave more money to a stranger than did those who saw an uncharismatic one. Called Ockam’s razor (more commonly spelled Occam’s razor), it advises you to seek the more economical solution: In layman’s terms, the simplest explanation is usually the best one. A year later, I set it up again, preordered the game, downloaded it overnight, and woke up early on Tuesday, August 9, to leap immediately into the cockpit of a dinky starship crashed on the surface of a poison planet, my 100 percent unique starting point in a virtual cosmos that is—the game’s makers assure us—functionally infinite.
On Wednesday, the Clinton campaign also formally acknowledged anti-Trump Republicans in an effort dubbed Together for America. Among the most competitive: the battle for Minnesota’s 2nd, a swingy sort of district in the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities. It was the first sustained attack on American soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor, which was a far-off military base.
Not just to disease, tornadoes, accidents, or criminals, but to the kinds of enemies that had always threatened others but never us.


To get into the character’s twisted mindset, he also watched footage of brutal crimes online. But Leto’s stories show how going to great lengths to inhabit a character is now as much a marketing tool as it is an actual technique—one used to lend an air of legitimacy, verisimilitude, and importance to a performance no matter its quality. It was an obvious point that, given some of the media coverage of Rio, was also a powerful piece of media criticism. I haven’t seen it, but I’ve sat through the preview roughly a dillion times this year, and Jared Leto’s cackling psycho hipster routine did not improve with repetition. For decades, scholars have struggled to define this X factor, but they are developing a better idea of how it works. And thinking about a charismatic person (versus an acquaintance) made people more likely to cooperate with a stranger.
Then, I went roving on the planet’s surface—layered with deadly miasma, no big deal—to gather the minerals required to fix my ship. Although represented since 2003 by Republican John Kline (who is retiring), the 2nd is more purple than red and narrowly went for Obama in 2012. I could not read or note every worthy article that was published last calendar year and I haven't included any paywalled articles or anything published at The Atlantic. This massacre hit the center of our government and blasted away part of our most iconic skyline.
Leto’s Joker is the latest evidence that the prestige of method acting has dimmed—thanks to the technique’s overuse by those seeking award-season glory or a reputation boost, as well as its history of being shaped by destructive ideas of masculinity.
When the film scored a horrible 26 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, I figured I was in the clear—OK, bad movie, don’t have to see it, back to waiting for Black Panther. It is seen as a prime target for Democrats to flip, and the party set its sights on the seat over a year ago, even before Kline announced his departure.
It left a stench that New Yorkers could smell weeks later as remains continued to be recovered from the ashes. A promotional package NBC aired during Rio’s women’s gymnastics qualifying round featured Biles’s parents talking about her love for shopping.
Its chosen candidate, Angie Craig, is a business executive who ran unopposed in the primary—and has been raking in the bucks—on a message of unifying voters.



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