MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com



19 Responses to “BYOBerlinale”

  1. Triple Option says:

    Not that they can’t do what they want or that I’m crying for not being able to get something for nothing but it seems like collusion or price fixing that a lot of online newspapers are now requiring paid subscriptions to view articles online. It’s not like there’s been a gradual roll out based on some papers subscription but the gig’s been up across the board in the past couple of weeks. It can’t be a coincidence that the price rates are very similar also. I can’t stand the gossipy nature Yahoo uses in writing headlines and article teases, I don’t know where I’m going to go for news. The pay concept wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t often have to go to two-three publications/(sites) to get a full story.

  2. doug r says:

    Have you tried setting your browser to delete cookies when you close it? Sometimes if a site doesn’t know if you’ve been there before it’ll let you sample more.

  3. leahnz says:

    speaking of wes Anderson – and this being tangentially movie-related i hope it doesn’t sound too insensitive or flip or offend anyone – but trying to read up on the Dylan farrow situation in the media, which i kind of missed not being online much, does anybody else hear Royal Tenenbaum’s cluelessly condescending voice describing Margot Tenenbaum with the phrase ‘adopted daughter’ used over and over and over again to describe Dylan Farrow? — i mean yikes what’s up with that, when someone legally adopts a child that’s their kid man, you don’t describe someone’s child as ‘adopted’ like that, an unnecessary and in this case a seemingly insidious qualifier, i started to hear royal T and couldn’t shake it out of my head, i felt bad. if it’s just me then maybe it’s a sign i internalise movies far too much.

    also, since i know DP is always going on about journalistic standards here perhaps this observation is not out of place: i was a little shocked that i couldn’t find something of an objective summary of the facts including the related court cases anywhere (maybe there is one and i didn’t see it in my search), the ‘big’ third party opinion pieces provide obviously biased commentary toward one party or another with cherry-picked information, i realise that’s probably par for the course these days and perhaps i’m naïve to think there would be just one article that gathers ALL the information together and clearly lays out the ins and outs of the investigation and court cases, but i had to search for and read the interviews and documents and court rulings and decisions handed down myself, which is probably prudent anyway in a case like this but you’d think that at least one ‘news source’ would integrate all this into their ‘coverage’ or at least make it much easier to find the relevant info, what a pain in the ass.

  4. YancySkancy says:

    leah: It would definitely be useful if someone would put together an objective list of the details of the case, including each side’s assertions and denials of each supposed fact. Instead, as you say, most articles pick a side, then pay lip service to the other side with a few cherry-picked refutations and an “allegedly” or two.

    If such an article is ever done, I hope they forgo a comments section. People who’ve chosen sides are remarkably entrenched. Those who express ambivalence or discomfort with making a judgment based on conflicting reports are lumped in with Allen supporters (or “pedo-defenders”). Others come to make lame, distasteful jokes. Some share their own abuse stories, which, heartbreaking though they may be, only serve to make it seem that their opinion is based solely on identification with Dylan rather than a thorough reading of the details. Some take the opportunity to exonerate Allen simply because Mia Farrow seems unstable, while others seem to think Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi is sufficient proof of an immorality that could include child molestation. The scary ones, to me, are those that basically say the presumption of innocence shouldn’t be a factor in cases of child abuse, because “children don’t lie” and “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” The sad truth of these cases is that guilty people can walk if there’s not enough evidence to overcome reasonable doubt. But no one ever suggests a truly fair alternative, because there isn’t one.

    EDIT: Oh, and of course each comment section averages a couple dozen instances of someone referring to Soon-Yi as Allen’s “stepdaughter,” with an equal number correcting the error.

  5. EtGuild2 says:

    One thing we can all agree on: poor Cate Blanchett. I don’t buy the idea that she won’t win; I think Oscar voters are smart enough to realize Amy Adams (the presumed beneficiary) wouldn’t be winning if they were to alter their ballots. The influence of Woody Allen’s penis would be the real winner, not Adams, and it would diminish the awards process, Farrow and Adams more than it did The Woodman by creating the perception that Adams’ Oscar wasn’t earned, and Blanchett was robbed. But I don’t envy Blanchett trying to come up with a speech here.

  6. leahnz says:

    yeah (ETA re: yancysk’s comment), i’ve only had a brief look through one comments thread (Christ for the life of me i can’t remember which one it was now, clicking through links from one thing to the next, it’s kind of a blur) and that was enough, it looked vicious and kind of nuts really, i guess i don’t see the point of it but that’s the internet for you. in addition to what you’ve listed above, the other thing i’ve heard was the belief that who’s coming down on what ‘side’ is gendered, but from what i could see at least as far as the comments i read, there appeared to be both female and male voices on each ‘side’ (again my sample example was very limited though and i don’t think i’m keen to read more comments sections, so i don’t know if it ‘means’ anything), though in the thread i looked at there was a current of blatant misogyny from a certain faction of loud people.

    would a more objective, comprehensive, fact-based and detailed account of the entire case published somewhere early on have circumvented some of the vitriol and tit for tat? probably not.

    are there any positives to come out of such a heated public discussion of alleged historical abuse? i’ve kind of been wondering about that — the subject of child sexual abuse is so sensitive and emotional, something we just don’t want to talk about openly because it’s so horrible and abhorrent, i think in a way most of us simply don’t want to believe that anyone is capable of such harmful, unacceptable, sickening behaviour, but sadly this just isn’t the case and it’s a serious problem with long-range repercussions in pretty much all societies and cultures. i guess if Dylan’s case – whether she was sexually assaulted or not – in any way helps to bring the subject out into the light and empowers survivors of abuse to speak up, if it serves in some small way toward bringing an end to sexual abuse being swept under the carpet then it will have had a face beyond the ugliness of what’s being seen now.

  7. movieman says:

    Considering the stench surrounding Woody right now, I wonder if he’ll still be able to attract the usual A-list talent for his next movie (which is apparently shooting this summer).
    Or will he be forced to cast scrubs?

  8. Hcat says:

    I hope the latter, I think Donald Fasion would shine in a woody movie.

  9. YancySkancy says:

    I’ll bet he could get Andrew Dice Clay again.

  10. christian says:

    Who refused to work with Roman Polanski?

  11. movieman says:

    Polanski isn’t a fair comparison since he works exclusively in Europe.
    Despite his recent forays overseas, Woody remains an American filmmaker more dependent upon American talent.
    If this latest stink bomb had exploded in 1997, would Leo have passed on “Celebrity” and James Van Der Beek been cast instead?

  12. christian says:

    He had no problems getting actors when he was first accused of this in 92 and with the Farrow fiasco firmly in the public eye.

  13. movieman says:

    I don’t seem to recall the media emblazoning the charges from sea to shining sea 22 years ago, Christian.
    Or a nationally syndicated op-ed piece penned by the alleged victim that every TV news pundit seems to love quoting from.
    The Soon-Yi affair was the major Woody news item to receive beaucoup traction–coinciding w/ the September 1992 release of “Husbands and Wives.”

  14. movieman says:

    Not sure how I missed the obit last week, but I was genuinely saddened to learn that Christopher Jones had died.
    Incredible to think that he made only one movie after “Ryan’s Daughter.”

  15. SamLowry says:

    While reading Nobody Said That Then!, which documents so much anachronistic dialogue in “Masters of Sex”, I thought “That’s typical Dumb Hollywood for you!” but then I wondered why anyone would spend so much on hair and wardrobe and cars and props to convince you that you’re watching something shot in the early 1950s, only to have their actors burst that bubble by sounding more like Tommy Chong and Moon-Unit Zappa than either Ozzie or Harriet.

    The creative minds behind the show can’t be that skull-fuckingly stupid, right? So I thought that maybe there’s an unwritten law stating that audiences can take only so much period realism before they mentally check out and see if there’s anything else on that doesn’t look like cultural vegetables. After all, once characters start saying things like “Believe me” and “conformist” then they might as well be saying “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man,” and then your show gets cancelled before the Complete Series is long enough to fill a single DVD.

    Or am I making up excuses for folks who really are skull-fuckingly stupid?

  16. YancySkancy says:

    I saw 12 YEARS A SLAVE tonight, and I couldn’t help but wonder, especially in scenes with Scoot McNairy and Taran Killam, if some in the audience were expecting an SNL period sketch to break out any minute.

  17. cadavra says:

    Sam: Don’t forget that show biz is now targeting an audience that, on those rare occasions they watch something made before STAR WARS, will invariably ask, “Why don’t they have cell phones?”

  18. doug r says:

    Although I gotta say one of the charms of Hercules and Xena was the use of contemporary language to catch a more realistic rhythm of actual people interacting with each other.

  19. YancySkancy says:

    doug r: Of course, as I’m sure you know, the difference is that shows such as Masters of Sex are actually going for period realism, where Herc and Xena were not. Therefore the latter could afford to make the dialogue more “relatable” or whatever, because “Nobody talked like that back then” would’ve been a ridiculous argument in light of all the other anachronisms.

Leave a Reply

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Film criticism as a business operates like the film industry itself: The people in charge like to hire people who remind them of themselves, and those people at the top are by and large straight white dudes (baseball caps are an option). That’s not to say they can’t have wildly diverging opinions on a variety of topics, but privilege comes with blinders that are often hard to acknowledge and even tougher to remove. The past few months have seen some of the most prominent film publications taking on new writers who are for the most part white men: Rolling Stone, Film Comment, Indiewire, and of course, Owen Gleiberman at Variety. Many of them have championed underdog filmmakers, but you can’t get over the sense of gatekeeping going on. Film criticism often feels like the treehouse girls are banned from entering, and it’s not hard to assume the conversations we’re missing out on aren’t exactly centered on women in the business… Our world and our art suffers when we limit the number of perspectives allowed to not only tell the story but to discuss it. Women are no better or worse in their opinions than men, but the key differences we bring allow further dimensions in the narrative. Whether they’re conscious of it or not, the ingrained biases of white maleness will continue unchallenged without contrasting voices under the banner, and the commodification of women’s faces and bodies will exacerbate to increasingly damaging levels.”
~ Ceilidhann


The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.


What was the final ingredient?


Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, ­ profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable ­probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson

Z Weekend Report