MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

The DVD Wrap: Due Date, Birdemic, Memento, Fish Tank, Senso, Still Walking, Kites, Megamind …

Due Date: Blu-ray I wonder if, at some point during the pitch meeting for Due Date, any of the assembled suits uttered the words, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” or if memories of that movie lurked in a corner of the room like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla. It would have been disingenuous not to have mentioned…

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The DVD Wrap: Unstoppable, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, All the President’s Men, Network, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within …

Unstoppable: Blu-ray Few directors and producers are as adept at making high-octane thrillers as Tony Scott. Like Goose and Maverick in Scott’s first blockbuster, Top Gun, the 66-year-old Brit has a chronic need for speed, and Unstoppable nicely fills the bill, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Deja Vu, Days of Thunder and Enemy…

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The DVD Wrap: Enter the Void, Life as We Know It, You Again, The Girl, Hideaway, Thelma and Louise …

Enter the Void Even after reading what critics had to say about Gasper Noe’s latest provocation, “Enter the Void,” it was difficult for me to foresee just how exhilarating an experience it might be. Reviewers compared the film’s audacious visual conceit to the mind-boggling head trip conjured by Stanley Kubrick for the “Stargate” and “Star…

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The DVD Wrap: Welcome to the Rileys, Conviction, No Tomorrow, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, Let Me In and more …

Welcome to the Rileys: Blu-ray As yet another Sundance festival sails slowly into the sunset, swag bags stowed safely below deck, it’s worth recalling the large number of films that seemed destined for greatness in the rarified air of Park City, but lost traction at sea level. Can’t count that high, you say? For indie…

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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