MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary

The Oscars of Journalism

As far as I know, Pulitzer Prize-winners and presenters aren’t awarded gift baskets for showing up at the annual banquet saluting the best in the business of journalism … not yet, anyway. A handful of bloggers pay attention, but the ceremony isn’t televised … except, maybe, on C-SPAN … and no one in Las Vegas…

Read the full article »

If the seat fits …

After ShoWest, Digital Dretzka managed to get lost in the Digital Ozone, and, for a while, the business of Hollywood took a back seat to monitoring March Madness and propping up the teetering pile of DVDs awaiting scrutiny elsewhere in Movie City News. Upon venturing into the blogosphere Tuesday morning, a random search turned up…

Read the full article »

Keep On Flossing …

And, speaking of Floss ‘n Toss … being of the Boomer generation, DD naturally wondered if the good folks at StaiNo LLC had attempted to get the seal of approval of the American Dental Association, which had done wonders for sales of Crest and Colgate. David Antler, the company’s president, allowed that an ADA endorsement…

Read the full article »

Sitcoms losses no laughing matter

A report that found its way into the Los Angeles Times’ Quick Takes column last Saturday has revealed that Americans are investing more time watching sitcoms than a dozen years ago, but fewer are getting their yucks from shows selected for them by network programmers. Magna Group’s research has discovered that 4.84 hours/week currently are…

Read the full article »

ShoWest Wraps Up

ShoWest 2006 threw itself a wrap party Thursday night, but not before Warner Bros. availed itself of the opportunity to brag on its upcoming slate of “event” movies. The company, which once was known for sponsoring the most star-studded of all ShoWest banquets, has been a no-show for the last few years. Instead, the “new”…

Read the full article »

Skip the butter, add the floss

Much of the fun for civilians attending ShoWest comes in strolling through the aisles of the exhibition hall, where the latest trends in concessions, furniture, cleaning supplies and technology are put on display. This year, there were few products that caused any kind of a stir, but one or two managed to stand out in…

Read the full article »

Exhibs preview Altman’s Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor may lack the charisma of a George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but 4 million radio listeners can’t be wrong … or, so hopes Picturehouse president Bob Berney. Exhibitors attending ShoWest didn’t pack screenings of “A Prairie Home Companion” in the same numbers as greeted “Cars,” but those who made the effort were rewarded…

Read the full article »

Disney takes Pixar’s Cars out for a spin at ShoWest

LAS VEGAS — Few potential summer blockbusters will arrive with as much baggage in its trunk as “Cars,” which will be the first animated feature released under the newly conjoined banner of Disney and Pixar. Wall Street analysts will put the picture under the same intense scrutiny as that employed by film critics approaching any…

Read the full article »

ShoWest & the Ghost of Cinema Future

Judging from all the projections of doom and gloom that accompanied each new weekend’s box-office reports last summer and fall, you’d think organizers of ShoWest would have staged the annual gathering of theater owners in a funeral parlor, and not within the faux-sunny confines of Paris Las Vegas. Apparently, with business up in the first-quarter…

Read the full article »


Quote Unquotesee all »

“You know, I was never a critic. I never considered myself as a film critic. I started doing short films, writing screenplays and then for awhile, for a few years I wrote some film theory, including some film criticism because I had to, but I was never… I never had the desire to be a film critic. I never envisioned myself as a film critic, but I did that at a period of my life when I thought I kind of needed to understand things about cinema, understand things about film theory, understand the world map of cinema, and writing about movies gave me that, and also the opportunity to meet filmmakers I admired.

“To me, it was the best possible film school. The way it changed my perspective I suppose is that I believe in this connection between theory and practice. I think that you also make movies with ideas and you need to have ideas about filmmaking to achieve whatever you’re trying to achieve through your movies, but then I started making features in 1986 — a while ago — and I left all that behind.

“For the last three decades I’ve been making movies, I’ve been living, I’ve been observing the world. You become a different person, so basically my perspective on the world in general is very different and I hope that with every movie I make a step forward. I kind of hope I’m a better person, and hopefully a better filmmaker and hopefully try to… It’s very hard for me to go back to a different time when I would have different values in my relationship to filmmaking. I had a stiffer notion of cinema.”
~ Olivier Assayas

A Spirited Exchange

“In some ways Christopher Nolan has become our Stanley Kubrick,” reads the first sentence of David Bordwell’s latest blog post–none of which I want or intend to read after that desperate opening sentence. If he’d written “my” or “some people’s” instead of “our”, I might have read further. Instead, I can only surmise that in some ways David Bordwell may have become our Lars von Trier.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum On Facebook

“Jonathan has written a despicable thing in comparing me to Trump. He’s free to read or not read what I write, and even to judge arguments without reading them. It’s not what you’d expect from a sensible critic, but it’s what Jonathan has chosen to do, for reasons of a private nature he has confided to me in an email What I request from him is an apology for comparing my ideas to Trump’s.”
~ David Bordwell Replies

“Yes, I do apologize, sincerely, for such a ridiculous and quite unwarranted comparison. The private nature of my grievance with David probably fueled my post, but it didn’t dictate it, even though I’m willing to concede that I overreacted. Part of what spurred me to post something in the first place is actually related to a positive development in David’s work–an improvement in his prose style ever since he wrote (and wrote very well) about such elegant prose stylists as James Agee and Manny Farber. But this also brought a journalistic edge to his prose, including a dramatic flair for journalistic ‘hooks’ and attention-grabbers, that is part of what I was responding to. Although I realize now that David justifies his opening sentence with what follows, and far less egregiously than I implied he might have, I was responding to the drum roll of that opening sentence as a provocation, which it certainly was and is.”
~ Jonathan Rosenbaum Replies