MCN Columnists
Leonard Klady

Columns By Leonard KladyKlady@moviecitynews.com

Would You Like to Ride on My Beautiful Balloon?

Up was away up as it entered the marketplace with an estimated $67.8 million to command weekend ticket sales. The session also saw the national bow of the horror parable Drag Me to Hell,which ranked third with $16.7 million. Revenues overall were essentially flat from 2008 (to be rigorous; -0.5%). Regionally there was a strong…

Read the full article »

More than Skin Deep: Girls, Women and Career Choices

What will it take for women to compete on a level playing field with men in the world of film? And is it just the fault of Hollywood — or the film world in general — that men still largely dominate the industry when it comes to directing and the production side of the business,…

Read the full article »

Wilmington on DVDs: Of Time and the City, El Dorado, Zabriskie Point, and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Of Time and the City (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. K.; Terence Davies, 2008 (Strand Releasing) The sometimes mournfully brilliant British independent filmmaker Terence Davies returns to Liverpool, the place of his birth and growing up

Read the full article »

Getting Dragged to Hell

It’s funny, I wrote a whole diatribe just a few weeks ago about my issues with the movie-going experience and then I see a film that makes me realize what is so wonderful about seeing a certain type of film in theaters. Horror and comedy are the two best genres of films to see in…

Read the full article »

Exhibitionists Rivet Robots

It was a trip to the Smithsonian rather than a date with doomsday that prevailed with American audiences at the multiplex. Night at the Museum 2 posted an estimated $53.4 million while Terminator Salvation brought in $43.3 million during the first three days of the Memorial weekend holiday. The impressive showdown nonetheless fell slightly short…

Read the full article »

Real Life Meets Cinema: Issues Raised by Burma VJ Emphasized by Arrest of Activist

There was a day, not so long ago, when no potential blockbuster could be launched without the benefit of an elaborate publicity stunt. Every new Jaws was preceded by sightings of great white sharks on beaches from Cape Cod to Key West, and on-set romances had a way of dissolving as soon as the red…

Read the full article »

Sex, Morality and The Girlfriend Experience

“No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor.” — Betty Friedan You might expect Steven Soderbergh‘s The Girlfriend Experience to be sexy — or, at least, sexual — given that it’s about a high-end call girl played by Sasha Grey, an adult film actress known for going to extremes. It’s not sexy at all, though it…

Read the full article »

Wilmington on DVDs: The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Wise Blood, Valkyrie and more…

CO-PICKS OF THE WEEK: CLASSICS The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Two Discs) (Four Stars) U. S.; John Ford, 1962 (Paramount) John Ford’s last great Western is a visually spare masterpiece about the new and old frontiers

Read the full article »

Judi Krant Director of Made in China

This week Noah talks with Judi Krant, director of the film Made in China which won the Grand Jury Prize at SXSW. They talk about the difficulty of shooting in Shanghai, the relationship between art and commerce, the greatness of Sidney Lumet and the whimsy of Michel Gondry. Listen to Noah Forrest Podcast with Director…

Read the full article »

The Decline of Tom Hanks

What’s happened to the Tom Hanks I once loved? Lately he seems too complacent as an actor to be interesting, too willing to ride on his considerable charm and nice-guy persona rather than challenging himself, coasting along in roles that either aren’t right for him or to which he just doesn’t feel authentically committed. His return…

Read the full article »

Angels and Demons and … Raindrops on Roses, Whiskers on Kittens

This weekend’s much anticipated tentpole Angels and Demons bowed to an estimated $47.1 million with Star Trek on its heels with a gross of $41.8 million. The perceived four quadrant appeal of The Da Vinci Codefranchise had rivals opting out of counter programming but it didn’t open quite to expectations and the Star Trek reinvention…

Read the full article »

Girls of Summer

There are plenty of action-packed films with muscle-bound male heroes running around shooting bad guys and blowing things up, but where are the tough girls, the brainy, independent girls this summer? They must all be hanging out in science labs and old bookstores, because they’re few and far between in the films most folks are…

Read the full article »

Before the Rains

Even though the Indian film industry is the most prolific in the world, almost all of what American moviegoers know about Mombai and other major production centers derives from golly-gee features advancing the release of movies and musicals that borrow from the Bollywood stylebook. These have included such productions as Moulin Rouge!, The Guru, Hollywood/Bollywood, Bride…

Read the full article »

Wilmington on DVDs: Tell No One, A Grin Without a Cat, Max Fleischer’s Superman and more…

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Tell No One (Three Stars) France; Guillaume Canet, 2006 (Music Box Films/MPI) A provincial French pediatrician named Beck (Francois Cluzet) — still tormented by the

Read the full article »

Home is Still Where My Eyes Are

Last year around this time I wrote a column about my issues with the seeing the latest films in movie theaters. I wanted to revisit that column because with summer blockbusters here, there’s a good chance that we’ll all be spending a great deal of time in air-conditioned (hopefully) movie theaters, trying to cool off, have…

Read the full article »

Hi Trek!

It was another weekend of “how big?” Short of a mass flu epidemic sweeping the nation, nothing was going to get in the way of the Star Trek juggernaut. Though tracking and trekking were buoyant along with advance sales, the gut instinct was that it would not open quite as vigorously as X-Men Origins: Wolverine….

Read the full article »

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

His consciousness advances and matures in the normal manner, so it is only the body of the hero that ages in reverse in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an extended romantic story with what can readily be considered a fresh perspective. David Fincher directed the 2007 production, with Brad Pittundergoing innovative makeup effects for the central…

Read the full article »

Of Monologues and Dialogues: Does Any Artist Really Work in a Vacuum?

“Is it somehow beneficial for me to exempt myself from events featuring the likes of Coppola and Hara? If I socialize with critics and cinephiles, who swarm to such events and whose company I crave, do I complicate the matter of my identity? And if I socialize with “fellow” filmmakers by attending a half-dozen festivals,…

Read the full article »

Wilmington on DVDs: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Wendy and Lucy, Science is Fiction and more…

CO-PICKS OF THE WEEK: NEW The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Three and a Half Stars) U. S.; David Fincher, 2008 (Criterion) David Fincher, seemingly working at full intensity, gives us the epic adaptation of an obscure

Read the full article »

Soderbergh’s Wonderful Girlfriend Experience

Steven Soderbergh is, quite possibly, the most fascinating filmmaker working today. I’m in awe of his ability to vacillate between projects big and small, studio and indie, straightforward and quirky. The wonderful thing about Soderbergh is that he seems so intent on changing his style with each film, making it so that he is something…

Read the full article »

Columns

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas