MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

Showest Serves Up Newsworthy-Lite Fare

LAS VEGAS — Exhibitor or journalist, one no longer attends ShoWest for its newsworthiness. Celebrity sightings are duly noted, as are the latest improvements in cookie-dough confections and sneak previews of tent-pole movies. The absence of any real news went out with the administration of the late, ever-quotable Jack Valenti. When Valenti was ringleader of the…

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Showest, cont’d

When ShoWest members couldn’t be found at a screening, seminar, buffet or banquet, they likely were strolling among the booths at the concurrent trade show, noshing on popcorn, hot dogs and soda pop. It’s here that exhibitors traditionally have been introduced to the latest in concessions, projection and other technical equipment, ticketing devices, lighting fixtures,…

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A Tale of Two Subtitled Mysteries

Although it’s difficult to argue raw numbers, statistics are only as good as the person interpreting them. Homicides and murders are especially tricky. For example, the rates at which such crimes occur can be slanted to reflect something quite different than whole numbers. In 2008, more than 14,000 “unjustified” homicides were reported to the FBI…

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Precious Reigns at Revamped Spirits

The annual Independent Spirit Awards have been slouching toward mainstream for most of the last 10 years, or, roughly, since television fell in love with any awards show that could coax a celebrity to leave his or her Malibu cocoon for the price of a swag bag. Before that, hardly anyone walking down the red…

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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”