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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Blogging the slog: Levy on the cricketical life

In the Oregonian, cricket Shawn Levy blogs the critical slog, being kind enough to omit meals, daydreams and tummyaches:
What Do You Do For a Living? Part I
So it’s about 5:15 pm on Monday and I’m slowing down a little. Here’s what I’ve done so far today in my capacity as film critic: 1) Written [2] items to run inside of the Living section during the week, one recapping [a] just-concluded… Festival, the other previewing a show… by local filmmakers Bill Daniel and Vanessa Renwick. About 600 words total. 2) Written two full-length film reviews for Friday… The Greatest Game Ever Played and Thumbsucker. About 1400 words total. 3) Began work on my Sunday feature story… About 800 words so far, with another 1500 or so to come. 4) Did planning for… issues of Oct. 7 and 14; answered e-mails and telephone calls from readers, publicists and colleagues; conferred with a couple of editors about the workload for the rest of the week and a few little problems that arose. 5) And, of course, produced a couple of entries for this blog. Right now, I’ve got about a half hour before I need to go across town for a screening of Serenity. I should be home by, I don’t know, 9:30 — on a day when I began writing at about 6:30 And tomorrow is the real crunch day this week….
What Do You Do For a Living? Part II
It’s Tuesday at 4-ish pm. Thus far today, I’ve 1) Finished my Sunday feature story… adding about 1600 words to yesterday’s 800. 2) Written the first half of a review of Serenity for Friday… About 400 words. 3) Transcribed the tapes of two interviews that I conducted back in January at the Sundance Film Festival with the star and director of Thumbsucker.” (I hate transcribing more than any other part of my job and maybe my life: not only is it time-consuming—about 75 minutes to transcribe 25 minutes of tape—but I have to listen to my own donkey voice asking questions in the most idiotic fashion and ignoring obvious follow-ups.) About 1500 words. 4) Seen the new Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. 5) The usual e-mails, phone calls and check-ins with publicists, freelancers, colleagues and editors. In about two hours, I’m off to see another adaptation of a nineteenth century classic, the new Oliver Twist, which was directed by Roman Polanski. Again, pretty much constantly going from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm.
Tomorrow I catch a break, though….”

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“I remember very much the iconography and the images and the statues in church were very emotional for me. Just the power of that, and even still — just seeing prayer card, what that image can evoke. I have a lot of friends that are involved in the esoteric, and I know some girls in New York that are also into the supernatural. I don’t feel that I have that gift. But I am leaning towards mysticism… Maybe men are more practical, maybe they don’t give into that as much… And then also, they don’t convene in the same way that women do. But I don’t know, I am not a man, I don’t want to speak for men. For me, I tend to gravitate towards people who are open to those kinds of things. And the idea for my film, White Echo, I guess stemmed from that — I find that the girls in New York are more credible. What is it about the way that they communicate their ideas with the supernatural that I find more credible? And that is where it began. All the characters are also based on friends of mine. I worked with Refinery29 on that film, and found that they really invest in you which is so rare in this industry.”
Chloë Sevigny

“The word I have fallen in love with lately is ‘Hellenic.’ Greek in its mythology. So while everyone is skewing towards the YouTube generation, here we are making two-and-a-half-hour movies and trying to buck the system. It’s become clear to me that we are never going to be a perfect fit with Hollywood; we will always be the renegade Texans running around trying to stir the pot. Really it’s not provocation for the sake of being provocative, but trying to make something that people fall in love with and has staying power. I think people are going to remember Dragged Across Concrete and these other movies decades from now. I do not believe that they will remember some of the stuff that big Hollywood has put out in the last couple of years. You’ve got to look at the independent space to find the movies that have been really special recently. Even though I don’t share the same world-view as some of my colleagues, I certainly respect the hell out of their movies which are way more fascinating than the stuff coming out of the studio system.”
~ Dallas Sonnier