MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

Chop Shop

Willets Points is so far off the beaten path trod by visitors to New York, it might as well be in Sao Paulo, Tijuana or Manila, which it more closely resembles. Equals parts scrap yard, flea market and slum, the “Iron Triangle” is the daytime home to a tightly knit community of mechanics, sanders, buffers,…

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Sangre de Mi Sangre

Immigration has become such a hot-button topic in America, it’s almost impossible now to convince those who think everything is political that a drama about immigrants needn’t also takes sides. If a threat of deportation isn’t clear and present – or an uninvited guest in our country isn’t gorging himself on tax dollars — some…

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Mr. Lonely

The television was on, but I wasn’t much attention to it. My ears up perked up, however, when I heard a disembodied voice say, “From the director of Gummoand Julien Donkey-Boy.” Or, did I? It would be difficult to imagine two less-promotable films than Harmony Korine’s wildly eccentric and inarguably challenging Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy (a.k.a., Dogma # 6)….

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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”