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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Admit it, I’m an idiot: the Trib’s new hires

Nothing like a crackerjack cultural critic getting down to the nitty-gritty right out of the gate: “Admit it,” writes Chicago “Tribune staff reporter” Jessica Reaves, “sometimes you get tired of art house movies starring actors who take ‘their craft’ very, very seriously. Sometimes you want to buy an extra-large popcorn and settle in for a big budget Hollywood blockbuster replete with entertaining explosions, undemanding dialogue and completely unrealistic action sequences. If all that sounds like gloriously uncomplicated fun,” she writes in a two-and-a-half star review, “The Guardian is your movie.” schoolforscoundrels_234.jpg And: “There are movies that burst out of the starting gate and soar along effortlessly right through the finish line. Those movies are rare, and School for Scoundrels is not one of them…” Reaves’ disappointment grows: Old School was “one of my favorite stupid movies in recent memory.” And what of Jesus Camp? “Whatever you think of America’s religious right, one fact is undeniable: They know how to make noise. And not just literal noise (although a quick visit to any worship service will prove they’re quite good at that) but figurative, symbolic noise in the form of political lobbying and outreach… If you weren’t aware of this powerful voting bloc, you’ve probably spent the past five year with your head under a rock.” (Note the demurely placed “probably,” a hacktastic feat of journalistic restraint.) Further evidence of the terrifying rigors of being a fourth or fifth string reviewer forced to take things seriously when all you want to do is sneer is heaped by one Michael Esposito, who writes of Kyle Henry‘s defiantly opaque 2005 Sundance entrant, Room: “Room is one of those films that wants to make you think. You know the kind: lots of weird stuff happens, topped off by no real resolution in the end. It may also be the longest 75-minute film in the history of cinema-there was a clock check 25 minutes in, after thinking, ‘this has got to be over.'” Surely mid-twentieth century Trib critic Mae T. Inee is rolling in her collective grave.

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“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant