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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

17 Weeks To Oscar

Four of the

64 Responses to “17 Weeks To Oscar”

  1. TMJ says:

    David and I are having this discussion offline, but I wanted to hear some feedback from the board. Should more animated movies, documentaries and foreign-language films compete in the Best Picture race?
    Anne Thompson reported that Pixar planned to push WALL-E in the Best Picture race, thinking (rightfully so) that the well-received film could transcend the Animated category – for which it is a lock – and compete in the top category.
    On the heels of that announcement came word that James Marsh

  2. LexG says:

    “Should more animated movies, documentaries and foreign-language films compete in the Best Picture race?”
    Fuck no, hell no, and yes. Foreign-language movies are “movies,” which docs and cartoons are not. Christ, remember when “Beauty and the Beast” was up there alongside “JFK” and “Silence of the Lambs”? Just seemed like some bullshit… and 17 years on, kind of a disgrace that, say, “Thelma and Louise” didn’t get a BP nom because of that WHOLE NEW WORLD kiddie bullshit.
    I notice RICHARD DREYFUSS isn’t on the charts for SA for “W.” Is that mostly because he dissed his own movie, just an ommission, or the work isn’t considered strong enough? I thought he was excellent, and figured he’s the kind of Hollywood vet that the Academy would nominate.
    On a completely superficial note but one that I think is VERY legitimate: The sound of the title “SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE” sounds kind of dorky and unappealing and just not at all something that could be a real Oscar contender. HUGE Boyle fan, but is it really about an Indian kid playing “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”? I’m sure it’s great, but some intimiate panorama of some quirky kid’s hopes and dreams as he runs around a foreign land in dorky outfits just sounds so medicinal; I just kinda prefer big, epic, dark, violent, star-studded awesome movies for my Oscar picks. Forget cartoons and docs; I’m always pissed at the SMALL MOVIES that squeak in there, because that stuff has ZERO REWATCH VALUE, no matter how good.
    Or any o’ you guys firing up the “Shakespeare in Love” or “Sling Blade” or “Secrets and Lies” DVDs on the regular?

  3. jeffmcm says:

    Beauty and the Beast is a better movie than Thelma and Louise.

  4. MarkVH says:

    “David and I are having this discussion offline, but I wanted to hear some feedback from the board. Should more animated movies, documentaries and foreign-language films compete in the Best Picture race?”
    That’s a pretty easy one – of course they should and of course they won’t. Hell, they can’t even pick the right docs in the doc category.
    Personally I’d kill to see Man On Wire in the mix as it’s easily the best film I’ve seen this year and will probably remain so. But DP’s right to leave it off the list ’cause it’s got a snowball’s chance in hell.

  5. LexG says:

    “Beauty and the Beast is a better movie than Thelma and Louise.”
    What are you, a ten-year-old girl? Why would a 30-year-old man have seen “Beauty and the Beast” at ANY POINT in his life, assuming you didn’t take your kids? Why not nominate the fucking CARE BEARS MOVIE over “Platoon” while you’re at it.
    And anyway, T&L was a random example. Fucking “V.I. Warschawski” is inherently a better movie than “Beauty and the Beast,” because the latter isn’t EVEN A MOVIE. It is KIDS BULLSHIT.

  6. LexG says:

    Hey, McDouche, looks like XMas came a little early this year… here’s my gift to you:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5Cvq416zuQ&feature=related

  7. Noah says:

    Well first of all Lex, if someone were 30 now then that would have made them 13 when Beauty and the Beast came out. Not that that should matter anyway.
    Lex, have you ever seen the Cocteau film La Belle et La Bete? Because that, too, is the story of Beauty and the Beast and if you – like me – believe that Cocteau’s film is brilliant and that the story is timeless, then why would an excellently executed animated version of that same story be unworthy of our attention?

  8. jeffmcm says:

    Lex, it’s increasingly difficult to differentiate between the bullshit garbage that you say but don’t believe in to be ‘zany’ and the bullshit garbage that you do believe in (if there was ever any difference in the first place).

  9. LexG says:

    B&B is considered “excellent”? Isn’t it a CELINE DION CHEESEFEST cartoon for five-year-olds? While we’re at it, you gonna tell me that PHIL COLLINS TARZAN SHIT should’ve taken “LA Confidential’s” spot or something?
    Plus that narrative is dumb as hell in any form. If I wanted to see that shit, I’d see it done RIGHT– PHANTOM OF THE OPERA OWNS.
    And I haven’t watched a fucking cartoon since 1981. Anyone over the age of 10 who watches anything animated is a loser.
    Now back on topic, calling your movie SLUMDOG anything is as EMBARASSING to say or hear as if it was called ZOOPY ZOINKY. I get EMBARASSED just hearing that word: SLUMDOG. EMBARASSING.
    They should’ve called it OWNAGE and everyone would like it better.

  10. jeffmcm says:

    Not me.
    Aren’t there some 12-year-old girls you should be hitting on or something?

  11. Minor quibble –
    I’m pretty sure that The Dark Knight would qualify as an ‘Original Screenplay’. Although it is based on established characters, and takes bits and pieces from various comic book arcs, it is not based on any specific comic book story.

  12. LexG says:

    Jeff, can you please change your handle to CelineFan77? That would be hilarious!
    Also, is Slumdog uplifting? I DON’T WANT TO BE UPLIFTED. I want COMPLETE NEGATIVITY and RELENTLESSNESS in movies. I can’t believe when people say they go to movies to “laugh” or “feel good.” I go because it’s exhilerating when shit is grim and depressing and people get owned, because it confirms my misanthropic worldview.
    Here’s the only lineup that should matter for the big five:
    CHE, SNOW ANGELS, MILK, VALKYRIE, BENJAMIN BUTTON (or maybe GRAN TORINO if Valk disappoints, which it won’t.)
    BEST ACTOR: BROLIN.
    BEST ACTRESS: KRISTEN STEWART.
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: EVAN RACHEL WOOD.
    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: LEDGER or BROLIN.

  13. jeffmcm says:

    Eww. I wasn’t planning on you reaffirming my child-molester meme.

  14. LexG says:

    If Rourke, Brolin and Penn are indeed three of the actor slots, that would be the highest amount of ownage imaginable in one category, or at least since that year when Nicholson, Caine, Cage, and Day-Lewis were all in there.
    “Revolutionary Road” looks way more awesome than that drowsy other thing Winslet’s in. That shit looks like a less exciting “Human Stain.”

  15. rossers says:

    “And I haven’t watched a fucking cartoon since 1981. Anyone over the age of 10 who watches anything animated is a loser.”
    HAHAHAHAHAHA– Lex you are such a fucking loser. Go out and do something rather than posting on this blog. (no offense to those who post here… in moderation that is).
    Noah, I liked your point about Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, but I think that the characters and plot itself are much more nuanced than the disney version. Cocteau’s story is much more ostensibly high brow, and very decidedly un-cartoonish (though the makeup really does extend itself to camp these days).
    Regardless, how much more merit does a cartoonish live-action movie have in this BP race (I’m thinking Dark Knight here)?
    Happy to see Nolan is on the chart’s for director– I was surprised he wasn’t getting recognized on the charts at all thus far.

  16. Aris P says:

    Caught Slumdog Millionaire last night. Huge fan of Boyle. I enjoyed it. But best picture? Really? I appreciate the positive message/theme and thought most of the performances were good (especially the host and the kids at the youngest ages), but i’m not sure it’s BP material. The location, the music, the picaresque nature of the film all stand out, but i’m not the story is top 5.

  17. Rob says:

    Whoa, Todd McCarthy panned Streep:
    “Every little tic, gesture and facial mannerism seems maximized by the effort expended to minimalize them, to diminished returns in the cause of creating a three-dimensional character. While the dramatic scenes still register with notable force, it

  18. Roman says:

    “Should more animated movies, documentaries and foreign-language films compete in the Best Picture race?”
    Absolutely, for all of them. If the quality is there I have absolutely no ideological problems with them being nominated. They are all part of the same VISUAL MEDIUM and should not be held back by backward and small minded ways of thinking.
    I can name numerous Animated and a few documentary films that deserved that honor.

  19. TMJ says:

    I’m angry at myself for being surprised that Lex hijacked this thread.
    I’m not saying it has to occur every year. But this race, in particular, seems like it could find room for a WALL-E or WIRE in the Best Picture category, where a consensus Top 5 has yet to emerge. But I don’t seem the on the charts for MCN, In Contention, The Envelope, et al.

  20. LexG says:

    TMJ, you honestly think “Wall-E,” which I wouldn’t see if you paid me 10k, is in any comparable to the kind of achievement in terms of scope, acting, filmmaking and storytelling as, say, “Che”?
    They are completely different mediums (media?).
    It’s like suggesting “The Sopranos” or “The Wire” is so good, why don’t they just get a chance at the Oscars? TV, movie. Cartoon, movie. Documentary, movie. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME.
    It’s like putting Cormac McCarthy’s fiction novels up against an ex-president’s memoirs in some literature awards show. (Maybe they do; I wouldn’t know because I don’t read.)

  21. TMJ says:

    I won’t know until I see “Che,” Lex. I do have trouble with you not considering animated features as movies. That’s odd. And considering the progress Pixar has made in the animation genre, you can judge such techniques as “acting” and “direction” in a cartoon, as you call it.
    As for scope … well, yeah, I’d put Stanton’s film against Soderbergh’s sight unseen and feel confident that WALL-E is about something deeper, in the end.

  22. The Big Perm says:

    Lex not understand what movie means.

  23. LYT says:

    How about an animated documentary? WALTZ WITH BASHIR is one of the best things I’ve seen all year. I’ll be quite surprised if more than one or two of the apparent likely contenders I haven’t seen yet are as good.
    LexG, are you not a fan of HEAVY METAL?

  24. Hopscotch says:

    Take off Australia on all charts. Look at that trailer and tell me it has a snowball’s chance. Yeesh.
    I actually love the fact we have no clue on what’s a frontrunner in any of the categories, except for Ledger who will walk away with Supporting Actor.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Wall-E, but the second half doesn’t hold up to the amazing first half. If a Pixar film ever had a real, real chance it was Nemo in 2003 or maybe Ratatouille last year.
    I’m feeling a 2001 year. When Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, which isn’t great, but very well-made beat out the unusual Moulin Rouge! and the sad In the Bedroom and box-office gold (LOTR). So right now I’m betting on Frost / Nixon.

  25. Hopscotch says:

    Take off Australia on all charts. Look at that trailer and tell me it has a snowball’s chance. Yeesh.
    I actually love the fact we have no clue on what’s a frontrunner in any of the categories, except for Ledger who will walk away with Supporting Actor.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Wall-E, but the second half doesn’t hold up to the amazing first half. If a Pixar film ever had a real, real chance it was Nemo in 2003 or maybe Ratatouille last year.
    I’m feeling a 2001 year. When Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, which isn’t great, but very well-made beat out the unusual Moulin Rouge! and the sad In the Bedroom and box-office gold (LOTR). So right now I’m betting on Frost / Nixon.

  26. Hopscotch says:

    Take off Australia on all charts. Look at that trailer and tell me it has a snowball’s chance. Yeesh.
    I actually love the fact we have no clue on what’s a frontrunner in any of the categories, except for Ledger who will walk away with Supporting Actor.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Wall-E, but the second half doesn’t hold up to the amazing first half. If a Pixar film ever had a real, real chance it was Nemo in 2003 or maybe Ratatouille last year.
    I’m feeling a 2001 year. When Howard’s A Beautiful Mind, which isn’t great, but very well-made beat out the unusual Moulin Rouge! and the sad In the Bedroom and box-office gold (LOTR). So right now I’m betting on Frost / Nixon.

  27. Hopscotch says:

    sorry.

  28. LexG says:

    DREYFUSS FOR SUPPORTING ACTOR.
    START THE JUGGERNAUT.

  29. Cadavra says:

    I’m thinking Lex was frightened by the Tasmanian Devil as a child.

  30. leahnz says:

    ‘beauty and the beast is a better movie than thelma and louise.’
    aww, jeff, that broke my heart a little

  31. jeffmcm says:

    Really?
    I haven’t seen T&L since my college Feminist Film Theory class, but my memory is that one movie is around an 8 or 9/10 and the other is a 6 or 7/10.

  32. leahnz says:

    maybe you should get down and dirty with t & l again, jeff, one of the all-time greats (can’t say the same about ‘beauty’, a good movie and all but nothing to threaten classic ridley)
    anyhoo, i don’t understand how movies that no one has even seen can be on the charts, based on trailers? i don’t get it.
    in other news, i’m gonna write a film called ‘new zealand’. it’ll be about a bunch of maori guys sitting around the pub getting pissed all day…

  33. The Big Perm says:

    Themla and Lousie was certainyl really good, but “all time great” is way out of proportion. But Beauty and the Beast can stand with any of the classic Disney animation pictures.
    See Lex, I didn’t even call it a cartoon! And I’m all man, I can admit I enjoy a cartoon but still call Lex a stupid asshole in the same breath.

  34. leahnz says:

    yeah, well i disagree. thelma and louise kick beauty’s ass

  35. leahnz says:

    and there are lots of animated films i absolutely adore, just for the record

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Leah, I think I’ve said before that I don’t worship at the altar of the Scott bros, with the Ridley exception of Alien and the Tony (minor) exceptions of The Hunger or Enemy of the State. I think they’re solid craftsmen whose films vary wildly depending on their scripts.
    If it makes you feel better, I think Beauty and the Beast is less good than The Little Mermaid.
    Oh, and of course DP and everyone can talk about which movies are ‘frontrunners’ sight unseen, since as well all know from past years, movie quality doesn’t really matter in the end as much as industry politics and semblances of importance. That’s why DP can make frontrunner predictions when something is announced as going into production (which then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, but that’s another story).

  37. leahnz says:

    jeff, i don’t worship at the scott alter either, but ‘thelma and louise’ is a classic character piece of our time with utterly believable acting and chemistry in the leads, deft direction, stunning photography, and writing that takes us on a journey during which two women transform into entirely different characters by the film’s end to become the most unlikely of outlaws. a comedy, a drama, a road movie cum crime spree (‘we seem to have some kind of snowball effect happening here’), and ultimately, a tragedy. multiple academy award nominated (and winner for writing i think, i could be wrong), thelma and louise, man, the one and only. (i have noticed, however, that men don’t seem as inclined to appreciate and respond to ‘t & l’ the way women do, which of course makes it no less classic)
    ‘If it makes you feel better, I think Beauty and the Beast is less good than The Little Mermaid.’
    lol

  38. The Big Perm says:

    But do those men tend to love Beauty and the Beast?

  39. Nick Rogers says:

    To me, movies are movies – documentary, foreign or animation all SHOULD get equal consideration for BP status, although I’d be shocked to ever see a documentary make it.
    Lex, I wonder if you’d consider A Scanner Darkly or Waking Life “cartoons.” Lex, normally you amuse me. Boycotting animation though, if it’s true, has caused you to miss out on some of the finest films of the last 20 years.

  40. chris says:

    Wow, now that I’ve seen it, Brolin and Penn are locks.

  41. LexG says:

    Nick, I don’t really have anything against those two Linklater films you mentioned, though tellingly I didn’t bother to see them. In that case, it wasn’t so much that they were “cartoons” (which they kind of are), but mostly because I’ve never seen the point of rotoscoping. Like, Winona Ryder is HOTNESS, so like why hire her then draw with WATERCOLORS over everyone and everything? At that point you might as well those guys from CLERKS instead of some big star. I DID see Beowulf though, kind of the same deal, sort of liked it in spots, but mostly was left cold.
    Basically I don’t see the point of going to a movie that doesn’t have sex, violence, starlets and OWNAGE… therefore, I don’t see cartoons.
    Also, I’m not eleven.

  42. yancyskancy says:

    Eh, I dunno, I think non-fiction films should stay in their own category. Even when they use the same filmmaking techniques as fictional narratives, it’s kinda apples and oranges, IMO. Ten Best lists and such, no problem, but I’d keep the competitive categories separate. Occasionally, I’m tempted to change my mind on this (e.g., Hoop Dreams, Crumb, Hands on a Hard Body).
    As for animated features – sorry, Lex. The only difference between a good cartoon and a good live-action film is the manner in which the images are created. Both use writing, acting, art direction, cinematography, music, etc. Target audience is immaterial, as long as greatness is achieved. Of course if you think animated films can’t achieve greatness by definition, I can’t convince you otherwise, especially if you refuse to actually see any of them. You should take a chance on one sometime — I suggest Pinocchio.
    FWIW, I’m not eleven either. :)

  43. leahnz says:

    pinocchio is utterly delightful, but…i’d suggest something weird and violent to start with, like ‘wizards’ maybe (one of my fave movies when i was a kid)

  44. Nick Rogers says:

    > Like, Winona Ryder is HOTNESS, so like why hire her then draw with WATERCOLORS over everyone and everything?
    To create a technologically enhanced aesthetic in a film about slippery identity in a future society. In other words, the same deep contextual tactic Linklater might bring to any of his purely live-action films – “The Bad News Bears” excepted.
    Hentai aside, there are plenty of animated titles with enough sex, violence and ownage for you, Lex.

  45. Nick Rogers says:

    “Akira,” “Fritz the Cat,” “Fantastic Planet,” “Rock and Rule,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters.”

  46. hcat says:

    Lex, if you are going to dismiss animation as being kids stuff, wouldn’t you dismiss all Disney movies or the Harry Potter films along the same lines. Is anything under a PG-13 off limits to you since it doesn’t Own?

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    I saw a TV spot for Twilight last night. It looks like “kids stuff.” Outside of Stewart I’m not sure what appeals to you about it Lex. I’m sure it’s very watered down and tame, and it looks ridiculously stupid. But hey if PG-13 sex & violence does it for you, by all means.

  48. The Big Perm says:

    It appeals to Lex’s intelligence level.
    I saw the trailer in front of some movie before I even heard of Twilight, and had no idea it was based on a series of popular books. If it weren’t based on those books it’d be a total bomb. Looks like that Renny Harlin witch movie he made a few years back, anyone remember that classic? It just looked amazingly lame and cheap.

  49. Nick Rogers says:

    Big Perm: “The Covenant.” I remember that turd, and that’s EXACTLY what I thought of when I saw the “Twilight” trailer.

  50. LexG says:

    KRISTEN STEWART OWNS YOU.
    And to bring it back ON TOPIC, you will BOW to the fact that D-PO recognizes and actually has her ON THE CHART FOR BEST ACTRESS, HELL YES.
    IT WILL HAPPEN. STEWART > STREEP.
    In one of my rare semi-exchanges with Bitch Perm, I actually agreed and acknowledged that the “Twilight” trailers look Harlin-ish and Covenant-ish. I can’t really argue with that perception, other than to say that “Covenant” didn’t star a young actress who is about to become DICAPRIO-huge from this thing and who has THE CHOPS OF BRANDO.
    Plus, you know, “Covenant” kind of owned.
    Now get back to the Lex-haters “band-geek table” with the oh-so-cool crew McDouche, rossers, and KCamel, please, BP. Maybe you guys can have a Little Mermaid marathon or something.

  51. Stella's Boy says:

    Lex the TV spots I’ve seen confirm my suspicion that Summit may be in over their heads with Twilight. They have to appeal beyond the book’s fan base for it to become a huge hit (like you’re predicting) right? So far I think they’re failing. It looks really, really bad. Some day Stewart might indeed be a big star but she isn’t one now and her name isn’t getting people into theaters.
    Chops of Brando? Based on what, In the Land of Women? The Messengers? She will never be nominated for Best Actress if for no other reason than the genre.

  52. LexG says:

    125 OPENING WEEKEND.
    QUOTE ME ON IT. PLEASE.

  53. Stella's Boy says:

    Well that’s what I get for trying to engage you in a discussion. Some new spots that make it look better than and different from your garden variety Sci-Fi Channel Saturday night premiere movie would help. Because right now it doesn’t even look as good as one of those.

  54. jeffmcm says:

    Based on behavior, Lex most certainly is not eleven. He’s a bratty fifteen-year-old who has crushes on non-threatening teenage girls, is obsessed with getting laid, and says things he doesn’t believe in just to get attention. He increasingly demands to be ignored.

  55. LexG says:

    Well, I have to admit it IS kind of hard to argue for a movie on the basis of quality when one hasn’t seen it yet. And I’m even conceding the campaign probably doesn’t make it look like something particularly special to anyone outside the fanbase.
    I’m mostly going on the fact that the level of fevered fanaticism amongst the base is on par with, or beyond, the male fanboy anticipation for “Dark Knight” or “300.” The IMDB message board for “Twilight” gets a new post roughly EVERY THREE SECONDS.
    I’m steadfast in predicting that because we– Hollywood watchers, insiders, and/or 30- and 40- something film nerds– are outside the intended demo, this will catch most everyone by surprise, yes, even people in the business. This will be like a “weekend sell outs, lines around the block, news crews filming the ticket lines-in-disbelief” kind of phenomenon, and most of “us” (not me, but the collective “us” outlined above) will be caught off guard like, “What??? That TV-movie looking thing that looked like THE CRAFT????”
    If you multiply the 30 or 40 million young women TIMES 10 DOLLARS A TICKET… It could be even bigger than my seemingly arbitrary prediction.
    For a primer on THE STEW’S acting chops, I would recommend the little-seen indie “Speak.” Not much of a movie, but her searing performance is on par with early DiCaprio or James Dean. You also neglected to mention “Into the Wild,” which she OWNED.

  56. LexG says:

    “He increasingly demands to be ignored.”
    Yeah, Jeff. I see you’re leading by example there, slimily following up my every post and calling attention to everything I just said.
    I’m always a little sad when you only tag 99% of my posts, instead of going for the even hundred.
    Don’t you have some Celine Dion songs to download?

  57. Stella's Boy says:

    You really believe that 30 or 40 million young women will be paying to see Twilight opening weekend?
    I like Into the Wild, but if that is owning, it doesn’t say much about Stewart. She’s OK but not particularly memorable.
    Outside of IMDB, is there that much buzz? I have seen nothing approaching Dark Knight or even 300 levels of anticipation.

  58. LexG says:

    Stella, I am not without irony and some self-doubt. I realize my inane argument outlined above was also used exactly ten years ago in prognosticating Oprah/Demme’s Toni Morrison adaptation “Beloved” — “If every one of Oprah’s fans buys a ticket…”
    But I swung for the fences on this prediction and it’s too late now to back down.
    Watch it make like 6 mil all weekend.

  59. Stella's Boy says:

    I have no doubt it will make more than $6 million. There’s not much direct competition that weekend and if Eragon can open to $23 million, I don’t doubt Twilight’s ability to post a strong number. Based on what I’ve seen I think they’re going to have serious trouble expanding beyond the book’s fan base, but maybe that is enough.

  60. jeffmcm says:

    Lex, can you explain the value of spouting statements like “150 million weekend” that, as you just said, you know will almost certainly not happen?
    It’s a waste of everyone’s time.

  61. storymark says:

    I’m not sure I believe the claim that Lex is not 11 years old.
    His behavior is pretty much what would expect from an 11 year old who wants to be seen as a man, but has oh so little understanding of what that actually entials.

  62. I haven’t read anything Lex typed on this entry since he went into that tired old “cartoons aren’t film” diatribe.
    leah, I’m with you on Thelma & Louise. Utterly devastating piece of cinema there. I know it’s a tired and oft misused critique, but I truly imagine if that movie were about two men ditching their screechy PMS-having wives it’d be hailed far more than it is now. But, meh…
    If you want to get into another egregious 1991 mishap, how typical was it that The Prince of Tides was the movie to miss out on the Best Director nomination. I really wish Barbra Streisand would direct another movie.
    Dave, can I ask why you’ve written “finally” next to Liev Shreiber on your supporting actor chart? Is there something that Shreiber has done that particularly warranted Oscar attention and that he is “due” in any way whatsoever? I still like Jamie Bell for a nomination before Liev, but I’m biased, so…

  63. yancyskancy says:

    I think Schreiber deserved a 1999 supporting nod for A Walk on the Moon, not that he had a shot or was even touted. It’s a middling film, but he’s superb.

  64. leahnz says:

    schreiber’s a terrific actor, imho, always a solid performer even when the movies he’s in let him down.
    thanks for sticking up for t & l, kam, not much affection for the lady outlaws round here

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg