MCN Originals

The DVD Wrapup: Monte Hellman, Les Blank, Dirty Movies, Lines of Wellington, Drunk History and more

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Traditionally, the one sure way to kill a genre film’s commercial appeal is for a critic to label it “existential” or “experimental” or compare it to the films of Antonioni. No matter how much a Western or road picture was embraced by intellectuals, if it didn’t draw a crowd to the drive-in or local bijou, no amount of arthouse revenues could save it or advance the career of the artiste. Monte Hellman broke into the movie business in 1959 with a string of genre films made under the Corman banner: Beast From Haunted Cave, The Terror and a pair of back-to-back collaborations with Jack Nicholson, Back Door to Hell and Flight to Fury and The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind. Five years would pass before Universal attempted to tap into the counterculture market with his “existential road movie,” Two-Lane Blacktop. Forty years later, this unqualified financial disaster would enter the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress, where The Shooting and Ride in the Whirlwind someday may find themselves as well.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: First Major Event

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Guild nominations are rarely outside of the well-established box. It takes a series of those events in coordination to change the game. Critics awards… lovely. But enjoy them for what they are, because they may not match nominations, much less winners.

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Gurus o’ Gold: Thanksgiving Week

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This week, The Gurus offer up opinions on Best Picture and the two Supporting Acting categories. Also, what movies should voters try to see this holiday weekend before nominations commence? It’s a pretty big list, which is a sign of a strong year of movies, if not easy awards choices.

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The Weekend Report

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup: Into the Storm, Automata, Wind Rises, Summer’s Tale, Brazilian Western, Alive Within, I Am Ali, Worricker, Monkey Shines and more

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Gurus o’ Gold: A Week From Thanksgiving, aka Screener Time

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“To have a star just arbitrarily toss out draft after draft and force his staff to write around the clock for seven months is unfair and highly disrespectful.”
TV Writer Ken Levine On The Cosby Work Ethic

variety

“I miss a friend. I’d go to him even when he was doing his recovery, and I’d say, ‘-— the chemo, have a vodka martini,’ and he and I would go out.”
Scott Foundas Has A Brief Audience To Cover-Story Ridley Scott About Exodus, Nonstop Work, Why Movies Have To Have Stars For Finance, And Tony Scott

variety

“We’re not making The Godfather, we’re not making Chinatown. These films are not enough to get people out of their homes. That absence is now being taken care of by longform TV drama.”
Paul Schrader Packs His Informed Pessimism To Argentina

NY Times

“No matter how disruptive or innovative your business is, there are still ethical values that are fundamental that businesses have to pay attention to. All business relies on some sense of ethics because that’s what differentiates it from plain old crime.”
Nick Bilton On “The Slippery Slope Of Silicon Valley”

“Some celebrities incite backlash via truly awful things like domestic abuse, anti-Semitism, or rape. Gwyneth Paltrow needs only talk about outdoor wood-burning pizza ovens, conscious uncoupling, and $425 cleanses.”
Lede Of The Week For A Very Short Week

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“The effect of the avalanche, and Tomas’ refusal to acknowledge his terror, seem to have devastating effects. But the interesting thing about Force Majeure is the sly suggestion that maybe this event could have a liberating effect on the family.”
~ Robert Horton 

 “Teaching how to make a film is like trying to teach someone how to fuck. You can’t. You have to fuck to learn how to fuck. It’s just how it is. The filmmaker has to protect the adventurous side of their self. I’m an explorer, I’m an inventor. Doc Brown is the character I relate to the most and he’s a madman. He’s a madman alone, locked up with his ideas but he does whatever he wants. He makes what he makes because he wants to make it. Yes, the DeLorean has to work in order for him to be a madman with a purpose—the DeLorean should work—but the point is I think everyone should try and find their own DeLorean. When Zemeckis was trying to get Back To The Future made, which he was for seven years, he was trying to get a film made where basically a teenager gets in a time machine, goes back to 1954 and almost —-s his mother. That pitch is extremely subversive and twisted in a way. My point is, he had a fascinating idea that no one had done before, but was clearly special to him and he stuck to it and made it what it was. When you do that you can create culture, but I think a lot of movies are just echoing culture and there’s a difference.”
~ A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night Filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour