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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Finger Wagging

All of these sternly worded emails about the Hunger Games screenings in my inbox this week are simultaneously amusing and annoying. You MUST sign a review embargo agreement! You MUST NOT bring your cell phone to the screening! You MUST sign over your first-born son for us to sacrifice to the fickle Box Office Gods (okay, that one I made up, but tell me someone hasn’t thought of that).

Seriously, people. It’s The Hunger Games. A movie. Adapted from a book targeted at the YA market. Not the Ark of the Covenant or a state secret that could potentially threaten national security. Probably the studio spent too much money making it, and yes, they have a lot riding on its financial success. And certainly, some people breaking embargo on films generally has threatened the studios and created these situations that infantilize working press who are just trying to do their jobs, but the studios also feed that, do they not, by creating these situations where they’re sternly wagging a finger at some press, while freely granting embargo breaking to others. Same shit different day, I know. Some days it just grates more than others. And kinda makes me care a lot less about whether I review a particular film or not.

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“There are critics who see their job as to be on the side of the artist, or in a state of imaginative sympathy or alliance with the artist. I think it’s important for a critic to be populist in the sense that we’re on the side of the public. I think one of the reasons is, frankly, capitalism. Whether you’re talking about restaurants or you’re talking about movies, you’re talking about large-scale commercial enterprises that are trying to sell themselves and market themselves and publicize themselves. A critic is, in a way, offering consumer advice. I think it’s very, very important in a time where everything is commercialized, commodified, and branded, where advertising is constantly bleeding into other forms of discourse, for there to be an independent voice kind of speaking to—and to some extent on behalf of—the public.”
~ A. O. Scott On One Role Of The Critic

“Every night, we’d sit and talk for a long, long time and talk about the process and I knew he was very, very intrigued about what could be happening. Then of course, one of the fascinating things he told me about was how he had readers who were reading for him that never knew it was Stanley Kubrick. So if he heard of a novel, he would send it out to people. I think he did it through newspaper ads at the time. And he would send it out to people and ask for a kind of synopsis or a critique of the novel. And he would read those. And it was done anonymously. But he said there were housewives and there were barristers and all sorts of people doing that. And I thought, yeah, that’s a really good way to open up the possibilities. Because otherwise, you’re randomly looking, walking through a bookstore or an airport. I said, “How many people are doing this?” It was about 30 people.”
~ George Miller’s Conversations With Kubrick