Just what's been on my mind: Louis Feuillade was the French anti-Griffith, whose crime serials and mystery, Les Vampires embraced elusiveness over narrative primacy; they were met with disdain from French critics. The director in Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep was trying to remake Les Vampires with Maggie Cheung. BFI's Sight & Sound has an article on him. [via mefi]
Donald Richie is the self-appointed chief gaijin. If he's Paul Bowles, Tokyo is his Tangiers. His The Japan Journals: 1947-2004 are discussed at Metropolis. [via mefi]
Alberto Gonzalez is probably the single least likely person in Washington to empower an independent investigation or special prosecutor.
In his second term, Clinton cynically and deftly supported extensive testing of the missile defense system to avoid an unwanted fight with ongressional Republicans over it. Likewise, Congress's loud but conflicted action on the 9/11 Commission recommendations enabled Bush to demand action, so he can sign something, even as all the Republicans knew nothing would actually be done.
In this way, well-publicized planning for the invasion of Fallujah innoculated GWB against mid-election criticism of the administration's failures in confronting the Iraqi insurgency.
Now that the election's over and the invasion has begun, Fallujah is exactly the kind of operation that the US military can succeed at, will "succeed" at. This could change the tenor of coverage of the war, even if it does not actually improve stability. Leaders on the ground were extremely critical of the entirely political/Washington-driven Fallujah invasion and pullback last Spring. Who knows if we'll find out about this one?