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…

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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…

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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….

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Dretzka

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“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