Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Reeler Link Dump: Overextended Edition

Wherein your bleary-eyed editor is hauled away in an ambulance, pants shat from dementia while bellowing URL’s and story ideas he never got to this week:
Reeler Pinch Hitter Eric Kohn is finding a nice little zone over at the New York Press, including this week’s cover story on Michel Gondry. However, knowing what we know know about the Press’s sterling editorial reputation, maybe you would rather read the extended dance remix of the profile over on Kohn’s blog. Part reported profile, part critical analysis, part loopy psychotherapy–indeed, like most anything connected to Gondry.
–CHUD’s Devin Faraci passes along an aggrieved dispatch from the Brooklyn set of I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: “You know your neighborhood is going to hell when Adam Sandler is filming his new movie there.” Of course, it can always be worse; Jodie Foster could come around some morning and hide your car.
–Unsung NYC cinema hero Brian Geldin has a fabulous little resource at MySpace called The Film Panel Notetaker Blog. I kid you not, and thank God: Geldin not only hits up all the film events, speeches and discussions the rest of us are too lazy to attend, but he actually passes along detailed notes of all the important points and exchanges that arise. It’s basically Cliff Notes for Gotham’s film-snob set, and as such, is indispensible–all the more so this week considering his dedicated coverage of the IFP Market. I am in there somewhere, pre-dementia, not that I made any sense then anyway. Read on and enjoy.
–And all of the sudden, around the city, film reviewers are asking their mothers for rides to the dry cleaners: The New York Film Critics Circle Awards dinner is slated for Jan. 7; the voting takes place Dec. 11. Get. Excited.

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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho