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By DP30 david@thehotbuttonl.com

DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks

One Response to “DP/30 Emmywatch ’12: Mad Men, actor Christina Hendricks”

  1. anghus says:

    Easily her best season on Mad Men. In a show that is often about compromise and the struggle to find substance in a world obsessed with surface, Joan became the personification of that struggle.

    Don Draper had always been the centerpiece of that struggle. A man who considered himself to be morally sound in spite of his many failings. The other supporting characters were all at different places on the moral compass. Every year compromise seems to find one of them as each character gets their hands dirty.

    This year we saw Lane cross that line, one that cost him his life. And while Lane had the saddest and most damning arc, it was Joan that had to live with her choice. She had always been the beautiful, seductive icon of this ore-fab time. And even though she had her share of flings, they were always of her choosing. When the firm asks her to do the unthinkable, the choice she makes never feels obvious. And that fantastic scene between Hendricks and John Hamm where he tells her she doesn’t have to do it… and the subsequent scene in the boardroom where he realizes she already had… it’s just brilliant. The entire season was fantastic, but those final few episodes with the Jaguar campaign. As Ginsburg spins that pitch to Don: “At last, something beautiful you can truly own”, and you realize that Joan has now sold her soul for financial security… it’s the kind of writing and acting you’re only going to find on a show like Mad Men.

    On a show with so many good actors, Hendericks really killed it this year. I hope she wins.

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DP/30

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Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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