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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

By the blurbling brook: listening to crickets

heineblurb_720.jpg Blurbs away! Variety’s Timothy Gray selects favorite flavors in 2006 cricket-hype. In his annual tradition of collecting “these blurbs, one begins to ponder cosmic matters. Such as: “Who exactly qualifies for recognition as a film critic?” Some blurbmeisters do not come from the world of reviewing. For example… Larry King, You, Me and Dupree—”Owen Wilson has to be one of the greatest comedic actors of all time.” … And what exactly is “praise”? Studios apparently were convinced that these comments were surefire audience lures[:] Sam Adams, Los Angeles Times, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning—”There’s hardly a body part that isn’t mangled or lopped off, ground up or sliced through.” … The Dove Foundation, Barnyard, “You have to see it to believe it.” … Pete Hammond, Maxim, Beerfest—”The party film of the summer. You’ll laugh your Heineken off!” “Of course, one of the jobs of blurbmeisters is to recognize great films[:] Anthony Kaufman, Indiewire, Climates—”Masterpiece!” [;] CineScene, Zen Noir—”A genuine masterpiece.” [;] Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com, Flannel Pajamas—”A spiny and dispassionate little masterpiece.”

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“With every table in the dining room occupied and me, the only waiter, neglecting the needs of a good fifty patrons, I approached Roth. Holding out Balls as a numbness set into the muscles of my face, I spoke. “Sir, I’ve heard you say that you don’t read fiction anymore, but I’ve just had my first novel published and I’d like to give you a copy.”

“His eyes lifting from his iPhone, he took the book from my hands. He congratulated me. Then, staring at the cover, he said, “Great title. I’m surprised I didn’t think of it myself.”

“These words worked on me like a hit of morphine. Like two hits. It felt as if I was no longer the occupant of my own body. The legs had gone weak, the ears warmed, the eyes watered, the heart rate increased rapidly. Barely able to keep myself upright, I told him, “Thank you.”

“Then Roth, who, the world would learn sixteen days later, was retiring from writing, said, in an even tone, with seeming sincerity, “Yeah, this is great. But I would quit while you’re ahead. Really, it’s an awful field. Just torture. Awful. You write and write, and you have to throw almost all of it away because it’s not any good. I would say just stop now. You don’t want to do this to yourself. That’s my advice to you.”

“I managed, “It’s too late, sir. There’s no turning back. I’m in.”

“Nodding slowly, he said to me, “Well then, good luck.”

“After which I went back to work.”
~ Julian Tepper

“Any form of physical or sexual assault is a very serious matter, potentially a legal matter. But I’m also wondering, what about having some kind of “extreme asshole” clause? I know lots of people who have been abused verbally and psychologically. That’s traumatizing, too. What do we do with that?  It takes a lot of energy to be an asshole. The people I admire most just aren’t interested in things that take away from their ability to make stuff. The people I really respect, and that I’ve met who fit this definition, have a sense of grace about them, because they know that there is no evolving and there is no wisdom without humility. You can’t get better if you behave in a way that shuts people off. You can’t! You don’t have all the ideas necessary to solve something. You don’t! I’m sure if you spoke to Harvey in his heyday and said to him what I just said to you, he would believe that he accomplished all that he had because of the way he behaved.”
~ Steven Soderbergh