MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

New documentaries focus on Franken's crusade, Jesus Youth and Tibetan skies

September 20, 2007 Digital Dretzka officially digs documentaries, and, each year, we like to welcome the start of Documentary Season. In fact, we much prefer watching documentaries at 10 in the morning on a Tuesday than attending prime-time screenings of 90 percent of all Hollywood movies on a Saturday night. We also enjoy watching non-fiction…

Read the full article »

When Lennon sang, 'Give Peace a Chance,' Nixon and his cronies replied, 'Scram'

September 13, 2006 For the past dozen years, David Leaf and John Scheinfeld have made a pretty decent living churning out rockumentaries and video biographies of several generations worth of pop-culture icons, ranging from Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante to Brian Wilson and Jonathan Winters. Indeed, a scan of their resumes might suggest that cable…

Read the full article »

Katie Couric era arrives at CBS and a grateful America rejoices … for about 20 minutes, anyway

September 05, 2006 Tonight, I did something I hadn’t done in years. Like millions of other obedient Americans, I tuned into “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” to see the face that launch’d a thousand sappy magazine and newspaper articles in the months since her departure from NBC in May. Helen of Troy, Katie wasn’t….

Read the full article »

Dretzka

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I don’t really believe in guilty pleasures. I like to subscribe to Susan Sontag’s thought of no highs and lows. I think dismissing popular culture and popular films can be really dangerous because they may seem innocuous, but some are works of art and even when they’re not they can say so much about the culture that they’re reflecting. This also gets into the idea of canon. What is good and isn’t good? Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about that. Specifically, who writes these canons? Mainly, straight white guys — which basically rigs the system. So, if you have a knowledge of female filmmakers, queer filmmakers, African or Asian filmmakers, some people won’t give them the same culture capital. They’ll say, “Oh, that’s nice niche knowledge.” No, it’s not. You’re just seeing it through the prism of something white and male. Like Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Scandal.’ I love that show, but is it a guilty pleasure because it’s a soap on TV? No. I think it has incredible writing, incredible thought and characters, so we should take it seriously. That’s a long-winded answer to say, “Yes, I love Titanic.” I was 10 years old when it came out and my mom took me to see it three times. I was so obsessed with it. A big thanks to my mom who’ll never get those nine hours of her life back.”
~ Toronto Int’l Programmer and Critic Kiva Reardon

“A lot of us felt blindsided,” Van Vliet told me. In the seventies, Van Vliet was drafted out of film school by Industrial Light & Magic, where he worked on The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Now 62 and semi-retired, he said, “Once you get into your fifties, you’re pretty disposable.” Van Vliet was in the middle of reviewing DVD screeners before casting his Oscar votes, a process he estimated would take a hundred and twenty hours. “The Academy is essentially asking us to give them three weeks of labor, and then they’re going to take our results, put them into a ceremony, and sell it,” he said, referring to the seventy-five million dollars that the organization earns from the television broadcast. “Then they’re turning around and kicking us in the teeth.”
~ “Shakeup At The Oscars”