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…

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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,…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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….

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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…

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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,…

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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

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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…

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Columns

gary d on: The DVD Wrapup: Bridge of Spies, Truth, Snow White, Breathe and more

Ben Kabak on: The DVD Wrapup: Bridge of Spies, Truth, Snow White, Breathe and more

Johanna Lynch on: Wilmington on DVDs: The File on Thelma Jordon; Adua and her Friends; Bullet to the Head

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Quote Unquotesee all »

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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