MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

By Gary Dretzka Dretzka@moviecitynews.com

The DVD Wrapup

The Canyons: Unrated Director’s Cut: Blu-ray
Few movies have caused as much of a sensation, even before a single frame was shown to critics and audiences, than director Paul Schrader and screenwriter Bret Easton Ellis’ “The Canyons.” As typically happens with these media-stirred tempests in a tea pot, though, the movie’s bark proved worse than its hype. To summarize: eyebrows were raised when the writers of “Taxi Driver” and “Less Than Zero” – both of whom have seen their better days – agreed to join forces on a “micro-budget” erotic-thriller. Much hysterical publicity was assured when it was announced that disgraced starlet Lindsay Lohan was cast alongside porn superstar James Deen, as the leads in the cautionary tale about love, life and unchecked libidos in Hollywood’s fast lane. They more Lohan screwed up in public, the larger the potential for controversy. The idea of pairing her with Deen, instead of, say, Justin Timberlake, was undeniably tantalizing, if not particularly ground-breaking. Rocco Siffredi was as big a star when Catherine Breillat cast him in the far more explicit “Romance” and “Anatomy of Hell,” and Ovidie and Jean-Pierre Leaud worked together in Bertrand Bonello’s “The Pornographer.” Even so, the probability of gratuitous nudity and simulated sex involving a former Disney star was high from the get-go. That the Kickstarter-backed “The Canyons” was rejected by both the 2013 Sundance and SXSW Film Festival suggested to pundits that it was too hot, too odious or not sufficiently French – as was the girl-girl sensation, “Blue Is the Warmest Color” — to be included in their august events. Schrader would add fuel to the nearly extinguished fire by, first, cooperating with the New York Times on an article about making a movie with Lohan, and, then, responding negatively to it in the Huntington Post. “The Canyons” would eventually open quietly at a handful of theaters and on VOD, before being screened at the Venice and Rio de Janeiro festivals and released this week on DVD and Blu-ray.

“The Canyons” fits neither in the so-bad-it’s-good nor the avoid-at-all-costs categories. At best, it resembles an underfunded hybrid of Schrader’s “American Gigolo” and Ellis’ “American Psycho,” minus the humor and blood sport. At worst, it’s merely inconsequential. Deen’s Christian is a Beverly Hills rich kid who shares a swell pad with the vampy Tara (Lohan), a failed actress now actively engaged in the swinger scene. They’re collaborating on low-budget horror movie with fellow brat Gina (Amanda Brooks). Gina’s primary concern is that her boyfriend, Ryan (Nolan Gerard Funk), be cast in the lead. Hollywood being a “small community,” it comes as no surprise to us that Tara might have crossed paths with Ryan before plans for the movie were put into motion project. Neither are we as shocked as Christian and Gina that they’ve recently rekindled that relationship. What we don’t expect is the length to which Christian will go to punish Tara and Ryan for their deception. By this time, however, it doesn’t matter to us what happens to any of them, as long as we don’t have to watch one of them beheaded before our eyes. Even if Tara and Ryan show some remorse for their gold-digging and back-stabbing, it comes too late in the game and lacks credibility. It is fair, however, to give credit where it’s due and admit that Lohan is the only one who demonstrates an ability to act. Primarily, that’s because she doesn’t let the sex and nudity dilute or overwhelm her performance in a difficult role. The only other characters who matter are Christian’s shrink (Gus Van Sant) and former yoga teacher/lover (Tenille Houston). They’re there in order to remind viewers that “The Canyons” is set in Los Angeles, where such professions are on a par with the priesthood. As far as I can tell, the “unrated director’s cut” is only a minute or so longer than the theatrical version. It includes a pair of making-of featurettes that don’t shed a lot of light on the production. 

Le Joli Mai
Earlier this year, Criterion Collection released on DVD and Blu-ray Jean Rouch and Edgar Morin’s landmark 1961 documentary, “Chronicle of a Summer,” in which a diverse group of Parisians was asked “what makes you happy” and they responded in ways one might imagine Parisians to react to such a question. At the time, France was divided by such issues as the anti-colonial war in Algeria, the defeat in Vietnam, a fractured economy, loss of power on the world stage and the lingering effects of occupation in World War II. The documentary may look primitive in 2013, but the audio-visual technology that would allow cinéma verité to prosper was still in its infancy and tightly focused interviews weren’t at all common. This week, Icarus Films sent out Chris Marker and Pierre Lhomme’s “Le Joli Mai,” which was shot several months after “Chronicle of a Summer” and featured a broader cross-section of Parisians. Because independence had been overwhelmingly approved by French and Algerian voters, May 1962 was considered by many Parisians to be “the first springtime of peace” since World War II began. Even if there were plenty of loose ends still left – the repatriation of pieds-noirs and harkis refugees, as well as the terror campaign perpetrated by the right-wing OAS – there seemingly was no rush to tie them together. The filmmakers took to the street to get a fresh reading on the mood of everyday Parisians and their perspective on the French state. If respondents weren’t limited to those who might fortify Markers’ leftist beliefs — however sublimated, here – his questions indicated where he stood on some issues.

The thought of sitting through 145 minutes of French men, women and children sharing 50-year-old opinions may not sound particularly appealing, but “Le Joli Mai” contains unexpected pleasures. For one thing, the exodus of Parisians from the city to the suburbs – as well as its embracement of modern architecture — had yet to reach the proportions satirized in Jacque Tati’s comedies. Because of this, much of the city’s traditional character was still intact. The eccentrics and working poor had yet to be relocated to housing projects in some faraway arrondissement and anti-Americanism wasn’t en vogue. Among the people we do meet are a poet, students, a man who keeps an owl as a pet, a housewife awaiting decent housing, a stockbroker, a competitive dancer, a pair of lovers, General de Gaulle, veterans of the Algerian conflict, an African student who discusses racism, a worker-priest forced to choose between the Church and his fellow laborers, and an Algerian worker describing his treatment by native Frenchmen. There also are several of Markers’ trademark cats. “Le Joli Mai” features a musical score by Academy Award-winning composer Michel Legrand; the narration, in French, of Yves Montand; the narration, in English, of Simone Signoret; short films, “Playtime in Paris,” “A Distant Gaze” and “Exercise in Direct Cinema”; deleted scenes; and a 24-page booklet. 

Animals
Coming-of-age tales are a dime a dozen, if only because they hit the bulls-eye of Hollywood’s target demographic more routinely than any other genre or subgenre. Audiences of all ages and backgrounds can relate to the best of them – “Dead Poets Society,” “Boyz n The Hood,” “Stand By Me,” “Dazed and Confused” – even the most mind-numbingly dumb titles will find support in the lowest-common-denominator segment. The genre-bending Spanish export, “Animals” is like no other coming-of-age movie I’ve ever seen, in that it features gay and straight teens dealing with such universal issues as school violence, untimely death, sexual experimentation and virginity, and disillusionment More than anything else, however, Marçal Forés’ film explores the ramifications of giving up the security of youth and accepting the sad realities of adulthood. Seventeen-year-old Pol is hanging on to his youth as tightly as he can, when a charismatic newcomer, Icari, enrolls in his school and captivates both the female and gay-male population. He doesn’t say much, but his choice in violent anime gives him away. If Pol’s passion for Icari pulls him toward adulthood, his obsession with a childhood toy drags him in the opposite direction. In an extremely unfortunate case of bad timing, “Animals” would open in Spain only a month before “Ted” was released throughout Europe.

Like the titular character of Seth MacFarlane’s offbeat comedy, Deerhof is a teddy bear that serves as Pol’s companion and confidante. Deerhof speaks English to Pol’s Spanish and backs up his guitar riffs on drums he can barely reach. Whenever Pol’s older brother tries to make the bear disappear, the teenager finds ways to bring it back home. Pol reaches out to Deerhof when a classmate drowns and Icari’s fantasies clash with his. As obvious as the symbolism might be, “Animals” never stops surprising us with Flores’ sensitivity for the characters and ability to layer mysteries upon mystery. “Animals” co-stars Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit”) is excellent as the teacher who reads Pol like a book, but can’t stop him from doing self-destructive things. (Again, though, he’s as out of place in Catalonia as Deerfof’s English.) The DVD adds commentary; the making-of featurette, “The Bear Truth”; the short film that inspired “Animals”; and a booklet. 

Getaway: Blu-ray
No matter how cool the chase scenes are in “Getaway” – and they are pretty ferocious – it’s difficult to get past the presence of Selena Gomez. Still adorable, in a Disney Channel sort of way, Gomez proved in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers” that she could talk dirty and work a bikini with the best of ’em. Here, Gomez attempts to convince us that she can act while careening through Sofia, Bulgaria, at 60 miles per hour. All evidence suggests that she should hold on to the “Wizards of Waverly” gig as long as she can. The 21-year-old Gomez plays a hacker, known only as The Kid, who inadvertently comes to the rescue of a burned-out race-car driver, Brent Magna (Ethan Hawke), who’s been enlisted against his will to participate in a big-money heist. Magna’s wife is being held by someone, “The Voice,” who appears to have tapped into his personal GPS. He knows where the driver is at all times and directs his every move. The Voice’s first demand is for Magna to steal a rare Shelby Cobra 427 Super Snake that the Kid had received from her banker father as a graduation present. When she attempts to steal the car back from him, he’s instructed to take her hostage. The mysterious Voice tells Magna where to turn, which public spaces to violate and when to engage with police cars. It’s uncanny … or would be, if this wasn’t a movie made by someone, Courtney Solomon, who’s only directed three movie’s in 13 years. I won’t pretend to understand how the heist is supposed to work and I don’t think freshman screenwriters Gregg Maxwell Parker and Sean Finegan did, either. Hawke looks reasonably credible behind the wheel, while Gomez appears to have just been told that there’s a spider in her hair and mice at her feet. At night, Sofia could be any large city, anywhere, so the chases and crashes are the only good reason to pick up “Getaway.” Fortunately, they’re genuinely exciting. The mystery behind the Voice’s identity also holds up pretty well, except for those who take a sneak peek of the credits’ list … so, don’t do it. The Blu-ray adds some worthwhile making-of featurettes. 

Las Zapatillas Coloradas
Lest one order the wrong movie from Amazon or Videos Unlimited, be aware that the newly released to DVD “Las Zapatillas Coloradas” is not the same thing as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 masterpiece, “The Red Shoes.” Neither does the Argentine comedy have anything to do the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. As directed by Enrique Carreras and Juan Sires, the rarely seen farce describes what happens when a pair of red ballet slippers are stolen from the dressing room of Victor, who believes that he can’t perform without them. This comes at an inopportune time for the company, which can’t afford to lose the marquee attraction. It must have been a quiet week in Buenos Aires, because, when owner asks the police for help, the chief and his assistants volunteer to go undercover at the ballet. The chief disguises himself to the point where his assistants won’t be able to recognize him without his ring. Naturally, the assistants confuse with their boss’ ring for one belonging to someone else and spill some of the investigation’s beans to a seductress. Things get even crazier when the Chinese magicians get involved. I don’t know how “Las Zapatillas Coloradas” is regarded in the Spanish-speaking world, but I enjoyed it. That’s mostly because the “ballet” is as much a vaudeville troupe as it is a platform for classically trained dancers. Some of the acts are pretty wild and stand the test of time. 

Sanguivorous
Naoki Yoshimoto’s truly frightening “Sanguivorous” is like no vampire movie that I, and probably you, have ever seen. It combines the classic mythos with an acting style that draws heavily from the Japanese performance movement, butoh. Introduced after World War II, butoh embraces satire, the supernatural, grotesque imagery, bizarre settings and assaults against the status quo. It is performed in white body makeup and uses slow, deliberate movements in the telling of the story. Naoki Yoshimoto’s debut film is set in a Japan hundreds of years removed from the arrival of coffin in which a Romanian vampire lies comatose. After a young woman (Ayumi Kakizawa) begins suffering strange hallucinations and unexplainable physical ailments, it’s determined that she is the latest descendant in a long line of European vampires and the pains are manifestations of her sexual maturity. For the source vampire to be resurrected, his disciples must conduct a ritual involving virgin sacrifice. For this to happen, the young woman must be retrieved from the overground and delivered to the dwellers of the underground. It’s at this point that the ancient rite can begin and her pain alleviated. Most of what happens in “Sanguivorous” is related in multiple exposures and shadows and light, using in-camera effects. Like “Nosferatu,” which it resembles, there’s virtually no dialogue here but lots of ambient music. It’s as if Bram Stoker went to art school and only listened to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry in the studio. Yoshimoto’s film first took shape as a multimedia stage presentation, backed by percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani and guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, as well as film sequences and dance. The version released on DVD features a piano score by the director. It also stars the much-celebrated butoh artist, Yo Murobushi. The DVD arrives with an informative interview with the director. Adventurous horror lovers, bored by most of what’s now available to them, should consider “Sanguivorous” to be a must-see. 

Anton Corbijn: Inside Out
The name, Anton Corbjin, may not mean a lot to most rock ’n’ roll lovers, but it would be the rare fan who hasn’t seen and admired the Dutch photographer’s portraits of prominent artists, album covers, music videos and films. A short sampling of his subjects would include Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Tom Waits, David Bowie, Miles Davis, Björk, Captain Beefheart, Robert De Niro, Stephen Hawking, Elvis Costello, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey, Simple Minds, Clint Eastwood, the Cramps, Bryan Adams, Metallica, Janis Joplin and the Killers. His films include “Control,” “The American” and “A Most Wanted Man.” The artist we meet in “Anton Corbjin: Inside Out” would appear to be someone who has the world by the nuts, but doesn’t have to squeeze them to get what he wants. Instead, he comes off as a person in desperate need of a serotonin fix. If this doesn’t show in his work, as it might in a painting, it’s because his responsibility is to reflect the mood of his subjects, not his own. If Corbjin is as emotionally conflicted as he appears to be here, it’s because he’s still looking for the approval of his parents. Although they don’t appear to be mourning his choice in professions, one part of Corbjin thinks they might be. That’s because he was raised in an environment as far removed from the rock milieu as it could be. Most, if not all of the men in his family played important roles in the Dutch Reformed Church. He’s spent most of his career attending to the egos of rock and movie stars, as well as serving the interests of companies whose only allegiance is to their bank accounts. For all the glam and glitz on display, “Inside Out” provides a balanced portrait of the artist. Klaartje Quirijns was given great access to Corbjin and some of his subjects, and he knew what to do with it. 

Unhung Hero
As sometimes happens with novelty docs, such as “Unhung Hero,” once the giggling and uneasiness subside, viewers can learn a great deal about subjects not normally covered by mainstream media or classrooms. You might recall Patrick Moote as the poor sap whose girlfriend rejected his marriage proposal at a UCLA basketball game, while the audience watched his epic fail on the Jumbotron. After becoming an instant Internet sensation, Moote learned that his girlfriend opted out of their relationship because of his admittedly small penis. Once the initial shock wore off, Moote decided to exploit his bad luck by making a documentary not only about his reaction to her reaction, but also how different cultures view the male organ. As his curiosity grew, Moote literally traveled to the far corners of the Earth to ask medical professionals and civilians, alike, hard questions about small penises and enlargement strategies. Once I got beyond Moote’s occasionally tiresome kvetching about his condition, it was easy to enjoy the candid discussions concerning facts and myths attached to penises and phallic symbols.

There are moments in the film that men will find extremely cringe-worthy — enhancement operations in Korea, the partaking of disgusting medicinal remedies in Taipei, the injecting of fluids in New Guinea – but nothing more excruciating than the average performance of “Puppetry of the Penis.” Along the way, Moote also interviews former girlfriends, porn stars, family members, witch doctors, sexologists and therapists. It’s quite a journey and he shows great courage even considering some of the weirder treatments. Moote’s a natural performer, so “Unhung Hero” contains much self-deprecating humor, along with the medical and sociological stuff. And, in case you’re wondering, small penises aren’t treated with scorn in most places outside the U.S. (Just as men in different countries are turned on – or repulsed – by different parts of a woman’s anatomy.) The DVD includes deleted scenes, man-on-the-street outtakes, the “Doug Loves Movies” podcast, commentary, a Q&A and DVD commentary. If “Unhung Hero” still sounds to you like a dumb idea for a documentary, you might enjoy watching Moote and his cameraman get the shit kicked out them in a bathhouse, where he wanted to see if Korean men are as un-endowed as advertised. Anything involving a penis and the potential for pain is going to be a non-starter for most men – and. perhaps, a few empathetic women – but the nasty stuff is largely implied. Thank God, for small favors.

Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land
The Falls: Testament of Love
While it’s noteworthy and admirable that Israel is one of the first countries to legalize homosexuality and protect the rights of gays and lesbians in the military and other institutions, Michael Lucas’ “Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land” feels very much like an infomercial for gay-cations to Tel Aviv. The city is described as the gay-friendliest destination this side of San Francisco and Palm Springs. It even sponsors the annual gay-pride parade. Is that enough for a full-blown documentary, though? Lucas is a force in the adult-film industry and has a keen eye for handsome young men who only have grand things to say about Tel Aviv. An actor, as well as a writer/director/producer of sex films, Lucas can’t be accused of being a hack. A narcissist, maybe, as he makes room for himself in nearly every interview he conducts … just like on “60 Minutes.” Before “Undressing Israel” turns into a travelogue, however, Lucas is able to convey some of the reasons Israel has become as gay-friendly as it is. For one thing, by outlawing bigotry in the military, it has freed tens of thousands of men and women to be patriotic and un-closeted. He also demonstrates how important the “pink vote” has become for career politicians and pink money has become for commerce. What Lucas doesn’t do is spend much time on issues pertaining specifically to lesbians – however positive — and resistance posed by hardliners and fundamentalists in Jerusalem and other cities and settlements outside Tel Aviv. Neither does he address the question of whether lesbians and Palestinian gays are as welcome in Tel Aviv as tourists. (There is much anecdotal evidence to show that they are, especially if the Palestinians face death at home.) Such recent movies as “Out in the Dark” argue that the Security Forces sometimes use blackmail against Palestinian gays to secure information. As “Undressing Israel” argues, however, both Tel Aviv and Israel remain islands of hope surrounded by a sea of hatred and intolerance.

When we last saw RJ and Chris, in the prequel to “The Falls: Testament of Love,” the Mormon missionaries were being threatened with excommunication from the church for participating in a homosexual relationship. Five years later, the two men are living very different lives. R.J. now writes on LGBT issues for Seattle magazine and is in a loving relationship with another man. After undergoing what Chris believes to be successful church-approved de-programming, he’s gotten married to the level-headed mother of their first child and is selling pharmaceuticals for a living. When R.J. and Chris reunite at the funeral of close friend, it’s clear that they both have feelings for each other, even if they aren’t necessarily sexual. R.J. sees the reunion as reason for optimism, so, after ditching his boyfriend, assigns himself a story in Salt Lake City. Upon touching base with Chris, however, he senses that his former lover is fighting back any impulse to begin another romantic entanglement. After what seems like an eternity of melodramatic hemming and hawing, Chris finally gives in to temptation, spending a night reserved for his wife’s enshrinement in an Amway-like organization with R.J., instead. Emily (Hannah Barefoot), quickly picks up her husband’s trail and is devastated by his backsliding. “Falls II” is only half over by this point, which means that there’s another hour of weeping and wailing to come over R.J.’s declaration of his true sexuality identity. Emily and their families would welcome the opportunity to intercede with “our heavenly father” on his behalf, but, by now, the die is cast. Jon Garcia’s film could be tightened by at least and a half-hour and not suffer any pain. It might actually clarify what some of his intentions are toward the Mormon Church, which, of course, finds homosexuality to be abnormal and an affront to God. So do most other religions, but the threat of excommunication among Mormons is tantamount to spiritual death. The scenes of implied sexual activity and one gratuitous shot of male nudity seemingly would prevent “Falls II” from being used as a cautionary tale. So, what is it? “Falls II” may not deliver as strong a wallop as “Big Love” – imagine gay polygamists — there’s some good stuff here amidst the dross. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a “Falls III” already is in the works.

Please Kill Mr. Know It All
Here’s another promising Canadian comedy that could have benefitted from a slightly larger budget and probably one fewer director. Colin Carter and Sandra Feldman’s rom-com stars the very appealing Lara Jean Chorosteki as Sally, an advice columnist who goes by the name of Mr. Know It All. Upon taking over the column, her boss decided to go with the male pseudonym, never imagining that someone might seek out the writer for an interview. When that exact thing happens, they have to scramble to come up with a male face for public consumption. Unfortunately, the face she describes to the newspaper’s sketch artist already belongs to a notorious hitman, Albert (Jefferson Brown), who suddenly is recognized all over town as Mr. Know It All. This definitely isn’t good for business, so he attempts to meet with and kill the columnist. Sally manages to keep Albert guessing for a while, but someday their paths are bound to cross. When they do, Albert naturally falls for the kooky Sally. Now, they’re both a target for reprisal by his mafia contractors. “Please Kill Mr. Know It All” almost works as a farce, but, with a little more effort and money, could have done better as a feature on a cable channel. As it is, Chorosteki deserves a shot at a sitcom, not limited to Canadian audiences.

The Horror Show: Blu-ray
It’s never a good sign when Alan Smithee’s name appears on a credits list as director or writer. It is the name that’s used when a key player wants to disassociate himself from the picture. Typically, the Smithee ruse is deployed when a writer or director feels as if their work his work was mangled by a director or writer. Here, Smithee is a pseudonym for one Allyn Warner, known primarily for working on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and the less fondly recalled “Captain & Tennille Songbook” and “Presenting Susan Anton.” Of these, “The Horror Show” might have been his greatest achievement, if he hadn’t already disowned it. Released in 1989, the gore-fest stars horror superstars Lance Henriksen and Brion James as the courageous police detective Lucas McCarthy and the “Meat Cleaver Killer,” Max Jenke. Instead of being burned to a crisp on the electric car, as intended, enough of Max was left in the prison morgue to be jump-started by a curious scientist. Before Max had been laid to rest on a slab, he had promised Lucas retribution from beyond the grave. After much electrical hocus-pocus, Max’s corporeal spirit finds its way to Lucas’ furnace. It becomes incumbent on Lucas to keep his family from venturing into the basement, where Max’s cleaver awaits them. “The Horror Show” probably could have been scarier and more coherent if one of the directors hadn’t been fired and Warner hadn’t pulled a Smithee. Nevertheless, the battle royal between Henriksen and James makes up for most of the movie’s shortcomings. In another curious decision, “The Horror Show” was retitled “House III” for exhibition in non-U.S. markets. It explains how the “House” franchise went from “Part II” to “Part IV in America, without stopping for “Part III.” The Blu-ray adds an amusing interview with co-star Rita Taggart and stunt coordinator Kane Hodder.

Always Faithful

In the informative documentary “Always Faithful,” Harris Done examines the role played by Marine Corps dog teams on the front lines of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan by following five marines from training through deployment overseas. The German shepherds are trained to detect IAD bombs, run down insurgents and rescue their human buddies. Waiting patiently for the call to action, while the war goes on around them, isn’t the most natural response to machine-gun and mortar fire and loud explosives. Because we’ve watched the dogs as young trainees, it’s easy to appreciate the work done by the trainees and their ability to adapt to the chaos of war. Needless to say, the bond forged between the dogs and their trainers is strong, indeed. Done, who previously gave us “War Dogs of the Pacific,” has a strong hold on the subject and doesn’t go overboard when praising the collaboration between dog and man. He also explains what happens when team members are separated. “Always Faithful” was filmed with the cooperation of the U.S. Marine Corps, which explains the inclusion of some fascinating helmet- cam footage. 

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch