The Worth of the ‘Ghostbusters’ Business, Remembering Abbas Kiarostami, and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘net are doing, too. Today, we have a couple of articles about Abbas Kiarostami and his films (one of which is an interview with the late director), a piece getting into the history of a joke just cracked by NASA, a piece on the science behind a recent 3D-printed “death mask” worn by Björk, and more.

Slate film critic Dana Stevens writes about Abbas Kiarostami — who died yesterday — and particularly his 1990 film, Close-Up, and why the extended image of a tin can rolling down a hill in that film spoke to the captivating power and meaningful simplicity of his work:

Let’s start with the can rolling down the hill in Close-Up, a 1990 masterpiece by Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami, who died on July 4 at age 76. It would be crass to argue, on the very day after this irreplaceable artist’s disappearance, about which of his movies was the greatest. Different fans will have differing allegiances, and none of them will be wrong. But it would not be hard to argue that Close-Up, a film based on real events and re-enacted in part by those who lived through them, is among the most original and important movies made near (and, in many ways, about) the turn of the 21st century.

If you’re looking to hear Kiarostami in his own words, Film Comment conducted an excellent interview with the director in 2000. The interviewer, David Sterritt, asks Kiarostami about his particular writing process — one in which he mainly only outlines a script, and then works with the actors to shape it and bring specificity to its dialogue. He responds:

On-the-spot creation of dialogue has been necessary because it’s the only way I could work with people who are not professional actors, and some of the moments you see in my movies have surprised me as well as others. I don’t give dialogue to the actors, but once you explain the scene to them, they just start talking, beyond what I would have imagined. It’s like a cycle, and I don’t know where it starts and ends: I don’t know whether I’m teaching them what to say, or they’re teaching me what to receive!

Juno has arrived at its destination and is now orbiting Jupiter, and The Daily Dot, tipped off by some Redditors, explain the reasons why its name basically was a set-up for a nerd-courting joke NASA just Tweeted:

If you’re not up on your Greco-Roman mythology, Jupiter didn’t exactly bed these lovers before he married his wife, Juno. Fast-forward to 2011, and NASA was launching their space probe Juno, to go take some sweet pics of Jupiter. Then, just yesterday, NASA received word from the probe that it was successfully orbiting Jupiter. So, as some redditors pointed out, you could say that Juno has come to check on her canoodling husband.

Bizdaq took a hypothetical very seriously and calculated how much the Ghostbusters business would be worth if one were to buy it today (adjusted for inflation from 1984). For starters:

When it comes to valuing ghost-busting businesses, the first thing we look at is revenue. Whilst they never mention how much their revenue is, we do get a glimpse into their pricing structure when they capture Slimer in the Sedgewick Hotel: “For the entrapment, we’re gonna have to ask you for four big ones. Four thousand for that. But we are having a special this week on proton charging and storage of the beast, and that’s only going to come to one thousand dollars, fortunately.”

If you’ve seen Björk perform live since the release of Vulnicura, you’re likely not to have directly seen her face, but rather any of a seemingly endless stash of elaborate, striking headdresses. Her latest she actually had 3D printed based on her own musculoskeletal system. did a feature on the process and concept behind the mask’s creation:

The mask is the first of several that simulate a reincarnation of sorts, starting out with a replica of Björk’s muscles and ligaments then morphing into something else. For the first mask, [Neri] Oxman and her team computationally generated the “muscle textile,” as they call it, with point cloud data taken from a 3D facial scan. They digitally fabricated the mask out of several materials, chosen based on the internal structures it emulated—for example, stiff bone-like materials for bones and cartilage; semi-flexible material for ligament and fiber-based material for tissue structures. The other masks build upon that structure but unfurl into more complex structures that resemble otherworldly—and somewhat terrifying—mythical creatures.

For Vice, Tiffy Thompson interviews Steve Shew — the creator of a “rage room” in Toronto. The room is a space where people can pay to enter a room and smash assorted, nonfunctioning office supplies with a crowbar. (It’s not the first similar room — Shew notes that something like it already existed in Eastern Europe — and also references a memorable scene from Office Space as inspirational). Thompson asks what the couples market for a rage room is like:

We can set up the rage room for up to two people. Couples are some of our most popular clientele and range from first dates to longtime couples. We ended up creating a Date Night package—two printers and fourteen items to smash. That idea was borne from Valentine’s Day, because we realized a lot of couples were surprising each other with a visit to Rage Room.