Val Lewton was a producer who, in a sense, made a bargain unheard of in the history of Hollywood ego, trading prestige for freedom. He took a job as head of the horror department at RKO, and was given only three restrictions: The movies had to be cheap, relatively short, and the studio would provide titles (so, for example, we have a revisionist take on Jane Eyre and scathing critique of colonialism titled…I Walked with a Zombie). Other than that, he had free rein. The apex of this period was 1942’s Cat People, a stylish psychosexual noir directed by Jacques Tourneur that was much more about repressed trauma and existential dread than monsters…but there were enough horror movie trappings to make it a hit.
The 1944 follow-up is a direct sequel, focusing on two of the original’s main characters and their daughter, but in tone, it’s wildly divergent. A ghost story of sorts, the young girl is haunted, literally, by her parents’ past, but the threat is more emotional than physical. It’s a wonderful, and wonderfully humane, treatment of deeply damaged characters, all of whom are worthy of empathy (living or dead). Director Robert Wise (West Side Story, The Sound of Music, The Haunting, etc., etc., etc.) and company also build some stunning set-pieces, making the most of the film’s barely existent budget. I can only imagine the reaction of 1944 audiences who paid to see a horror movie about curses and cat people only to get a dark but big-hearted, fantasy. Surely the greatest trick Val Lewton ever played.
Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel is set in a dystopian 2045 and follows Wade Wyatt, whose obsession with a global virtual reality game is primed to pay off when he learns of an Easter egg that will grant its finder the keys to the entire kingdom. Finding the necessary clues requires a deep knowledge of games and movies, and Wade is well-prepared. It’s sort of a wish-fulfillment scenario in which all that otherwise useless knowledge will finally pay off. Likewise, Steven Spielberg’s film adaptation includes dozens, if not hundreds, of pop culture callbacks: references to Back to the Future, The Iron Giant, Gundam, The Shining, Jurassic Park, Batman, etc. So many, in fact, that the movie could likely never have gotten made without Spielberg-level pull in getting all of the rights’ clearances. In the world of the OASIS, four-quadrant multi-billion-dollar global franchises are, apparently, niche concerns, and only the nerdiest of nerds would ever be able to identify.
Another movie based on a European import, Dredd comes from the British comics anthology 2001 AD, the character having been created by John Wagner, Carlos Ezquerra, and Pat Mills. It’s, of course, the second go at bringing the character to the big screen and, while the Sylvester Stallone version has its proponents, this is the one that gets it right. It’s a dark, dystopian, and very effective action thriller in the style of The Raid, and yet somehow made no money and was seen by no one.
On a related note, the initial Rocky movies all work on different levels, but by the third, the formula was getting tired, and so the fourth took a gamble by going over the top (not to be confused with Over the Top) patriotic, and it paid off in a big way, earning the biggest box office of the series, before or since.
After boxer Ivan Drago (future movie He-Man Dolph Lundgren) literally kills Apollo Creed with the entire Soviet Union behind him, rugged individualist Rocky goes rogue, getting Drago to agree to an unsanctioned match in the USSR. It’s all laid out invia an all-time great, utterly memorable training montage: while Drago trains with a whole team, modern equipment, and the best steroids communism had on offer, Rocky does it the good old-fashioned way: by chopping down trees and pretending to be a doggie pulling Paulie around on a sled. Like a fuckin’ man.
Without giving too much away, the ending sees Rocky winning over the Soviet audience and earning the applause of Premier Mikhail Gorbachev himself. And that’s the story of the fall of communism.
Cosmo Films is also anemerging player in polymers, specialty chemicals, and pet care.
Leading manufacturing company Cosmo Films announced its January-March quarter results for the financial year 2020-21, reporting a net profit of Rs 74.45 crore on a consolidated basis. According to a statement shared by Cosmo Films, the company’s net profit jumped 257 per cent – more than twice on a year-on-year basis, as its profit in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal was Rs 20.85 crore. The growth in profit was driven by higher specialty sales, better-operating margins, as well as a robust performance by subsidiaries.
Cosmo Film’s revenue from operations stood at Rs 671.80 crore in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2020-21 on a consolidated basis, compared to Rs 524.11 crore in the year-ago period. The company’s total income stood at Rs 685.03 crore, compared to Rs 530.20 crore in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.
“Cosmo Films is a name to reckon globally for newer, innovative solutions. The specialty films sales have grown YoY in the last three years and growth rate in FY21 surpassed 20 per cent despite the base becoming larger each passing year reaffirming the company’s growth strategy through continuous investment in R&D, quality, customer satisfaction,” said Mr. Pankaj Poddar, CEO, Cosmo Films Limited.
On Friday, May 21, shares of Cosmo Films settled 1.35 per cent higher at Rs 805.80 apiece on the BSE. Cosmo Films opened the trading session at Rs 825, swinging to an intra day high of Rs 840, and an intra day low of Rs 800.05, throughout the session on Friday.
The company is said to be a global leader in films for labeling, packaging, lamination, as well as synthetic paper. It is also an emerging player in polymers, specialty chemicals, and pet care.
It’s hard to argue that most of us have a little too much stuff lying around, but getting rid of your stuff can be difficult. Maybe you’ve formed a personal attachment to certain items or you truly believe you’ll have a practical use for it someday. Most of the time, though, “personal value” means “guilt” and “someday” never comes.
We’re not talking about going ultra-minimalist here, but rather making an effort to only keep the things in your life that you use and actually matter to you. To do it, you’ll need to know how to identify the crap in your home, how to get rid of it (so you’re not just sending it to a landfill), and, most importantly, how to keep unwanted crap from coming back.
Step 1: Identify the trash
Some crap is actually just trash, like a corporate T-shirt from five jobs ago or a birthday card from 1994 you’re afraid your grandmother will ask about at her next visit. If you still have any of this kind of stuff, stop reading this post and dispose of it immediately: Recycle the cards (or file them away for safekeeping), tear the shirts up for rags, and generally do what you need to do to get the trash taken care of first.
Now that you’ve gotten rid of your easily identifiable crap, we can start working on the rest—deciding what can stay and what can go.
Step 2: Cut down on excess
First, narrow your focus by sorting your clutter into categories. These categories should include things like books, clothing, cables, and gadgets, as well as any hobby-specific clutter you might have a lot of. With each category, sort every item into one of three piles: Stuff to keep, stuff to toss, and undecided. Be ruthless: When’s the last time you used that bulky electric juicer? Will you actually start using it in the future? If the answer is “probably not,” you should probably get rid of it.
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When you’re done sorting, go through the pile of items you’re not sure about and get rid of as much as you can. If you have duplicates (or triplicates), choose the thing you like best and get rid of the rest.
Step 3: Put it all back
Now that you’ve made a mess of your home by tossing your stuff into piles on the floor, it’s time to put it all away. To start, put the stuff you’re getting rid of in a cardboard box, trash bag, or whatever you prefer—so long as it’s clearly moving on to its next life. Next, put all the stuff you’re keeping back where it belongs (and admire all the storage space you’ve created). Last, grab the things you’re not sure about and put them somewhere separate, like one side of your closet or a separate drawer. Over the next month, keep track of how often you use the “undecided” stuff: If you barely touch it, it’s time to let it go.
Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3
No, not right away—you’ve just had to part with a bunch of things you care about, so you may not be emotionally ready for another breakup with your possessions. Wait 30 days, then repeat the process. After a month, when things have settled, you’ll find it much easier to let go of even more things you don’t need. You might even like it.
Step 5: Tackle the one-offs
By now, you’ve probably gotten rid of most of your unnecessary crap, leaving behind things you don’t have a lot of but still take up unnecessary space in your home. Do you have an electric guitar you never play, or an elliptical machine that you mostly use as a clothes rack? They’ve got to go.
Step 6: Get unwanted stuff out of your house
When the time comes to actually get rid of all that crap, you’ve got three basic options: Donate, sell, or trade. (Technically, “the dump” is the fourth option, but hopefully you’ve gotten rid of your literal trash by now.)
Always make sure any potential donations are clean and in good working order before you try to get rid of them. Goodwill and the Salvation Army are fine, but your old stuff is way more likely to get used if you keep it local. Many homeless shelters and other outreach organizations list their most-needed donations on their website; check to see if any of your stuff qualifies, then bring it over. Your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook and the Craigslist free section will take care of almost everything else.
Selling or trading higher-ticket items via Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or and/or eBay can help you make some money back, but it takes some work—so save it for stuff that’s worth the effort. If you have outdated electronics that aren’t selling, check to see if the manufacturer or retailer has a trade-in or recycling program. Amazon, Samsung, and Apple all do, to name a few.
Step 7: Digitize, if possible
You can also clear up some space by streamlining your physical records. Paper files, photographs, bills, bank statements, and other documents can take up a lot of room; digitize what you can, back it all up, and toss any physical copies that aren’t special or valuable to you. Going paperless is a bit of a process, but it’s more than worth the effort.
Step 8: Keep it up
De-crapifying your entire home is an enormous effort, but all that effort is wasted if you can’t maintain it. For that, you need some rules, policies, and tricks to ward off the excess stuff that once plagued your life.
You may have heard that you should toss it if you haven’t used it in the last year. This works great—for people who don’t have a tendency to hang on to stuff they don’t need. If you have that tendency, your guidelines should be a little stricter:
Institute a one-in, one-out policy: If you want something new, you have to get rid of something old. It doesn’t have to be the same type of item, but it should take up approximately the same amount of space (or more).
Set expiration dates for rarely-used stuff: Give yourself a certain amount of time to use an item, then set a calendar reminder. If the date comes and goes and you haven’t touched it, say goodbye.
Sleep on it—twice: Don’t buy new stuff until you’ve considered it for 48 hours (or more). If you still think it’s a good purchase, go for it.
The decluttering process isn’t exactly fun, but chances are that you’ll come to love the extra space way more than whatever was there before. Hopefully this guide will help you get your crap under control and out of your home.
This article was originally published in May 2011 and was updated on May 18, 2021 with new information and to meet Lifehacker style guidelines.
The first movie I saw starring Moses was 1956’s The Ten Commandments. The last one I saw was 2014’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. In-between was the perfect version—not only for a Bible story but for movies in general—and that was The Prince of Egypt. Being raised in a deeply pious home, I wasn’t even allowed to go to theaters growing up, but my mom took me to see it when it premiered in 1998 and it’s been one of my favorite movies ever since. It has action, adventure, drama, romance, and comedy, not to mention bringing Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey together for “When You Believe,” one of many bangers on one of the best and most underrated soundtracks of all time.
And Danny Glover played Jethro! Let’s focus on that instead of the list of 90% white actors (Val Kilmer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Ralph Fiennes, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Stewart, Steve Martin, Martin Short, Helen Mirren, and more) who played people of color. Fun fact: That wasn’t Danny Glover singing “Through Heaven’s Eyes” as Moses and Tzipporah fell in love, either; it was another Black actor, Brian Stokes Mitchell, because Danny Glover can’t sing like that. —Jordan Calhoun
You’d be forgiven for confusing this one with Couples Retreat, but Kristen Bell apparently has a thing for rom-coms set on tropical islands. She plays the titular Sarah, a celebrity actress who dumps her nice guy boyfriend Peter (Jason Segel). Devastated, Peter doesn’t leave his house for weeks, until his stepbrother suggests he goes away on a solo vacay to a Hawaiian resort—the same resort when Sarah has shacked up with her new boo, forcing Peter to confront his demons. Alongside the broad comedy, you’ll discover what it’s like to vacation at an all-inclusive resort, and get to experience the real island of Oahu as Peter falls for a hotel staffer (Mila Kunis), who takes him around town to hang with the locals.
You might wonder how this endless parade of meatheads, dudebros, and thirst traps could be filed anywhere near competence, but I urge you to expand your mind: Within the Fast universe, these petty thieves-turned-international-action-heroes are the best at what they do. They remind you every movie—10 and counting, including Hobbs and Shaw—that they can do anything, which qualifies as extreme competence even if what they’re doing includes anything from petty heists (Fast and Furious) to bounty hunting (2 Fast 2 Furious) to international destruction under the guise of crime fighting (basically Fasts 5 through 8). The best part, though, is that you don’t have to be competent at all to enjoy their ridiculous antics and to feel like, just maybe, you too could powerslide your Mitsubishi around the corner, if you really wanted to. —Jordan Calhoun, editor-in-chief
Jeff “The Dude’’ Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) spends his time smoking weed and bowling with his buddies. One night, hooligans break into his home, mistaking him for a different Lebowski. They threaten him, and worse, they pee on his oriental rug, which really ties the room together. Seeking retribution for his soiled decor, The Dude sets out to confront the other Lebowski, embarking on that journey he doesn’t realize will come to involve kidnapping, ransom money, and high-level crime bosses. The whole movie is a trip. I suggest making yourself a large white Russian and readying a spliff before pressing play.
Where to stream: Digital rental on Prime Video, Apple TV, YouTube