MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary DretzkaDretzka@moviecitynews.com

The DVD Wrapup: Fences, Elle, Passengers, Solace, Film/Not Film, Robert Flaherty, Drunk History and more

A few eyebrows were raised when playwright-screenwriter Tony Kushner (“Angels in America”) was hired to build on a draft written by Wilson before his death in 2005. Finally, though, Wilson was given sole authorship of the adapted screenplay, as well as an Academy Award nomination, while Kushner is credited as co-producer. It explains why Fences sometimes feels as if it were transplanted directly from the stage and the establishing exteriors are limited to a few shots of Troy and Bono working in the streets of Pittsburgh, his visit to downtown headquarters to be promoted to driver and a shot of kids playing stickball. The movie never feels stagebound or contrived, however. Wilson’s genius for turning conversations into poetry is as evident as ever.

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The DVD Wrapup: Moana, Brand New Testament, Weissensee Saga, 100 Streets, and more

Disney recruited a variety of experts on Polynesian history and culture to ensure authenticity and pre-empt what had become almost pro-forma accusations of cultural insensitivity in earlier features. Throughout the production process, revisions to everything from language and characterizations, to hair styles,, tattoos and ancillary products, were suggested and made. The result is a wonderfully entertaining family movie whose Oceania influences are reflected in the color palate, music, dance, dress, physical backdrops and customs.

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The DVD Wrapup: Moonlight, Doctor Strange, Arrival, Before Trilogy, Chronic and more

Moonlight is based on Tarell Alvin McCraney’s semi-autobiographical text, “In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue,” written in 2003 to cope with his own mother’s death from AIDS. Never produced, it was ten years before Barry Jenkins (Medicine for Melancholy) – who grew up only a few blocks from McCraney, in Miami’s poverty- and crime-wracked Liberty City projects – was pushed to begin work on a second film. The characters are informed by people who influenced both men at various times in their lives. If Moonlight feels hyperreal, it’s because McCraney and Jenkins endured many of the same powerful forces as Chiron and Kevin.

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Dretzka

Quote Unquotesee all »

“If you’re smart and you get old, all you know is that everything changes. You’re not in control of anything. If you don’t learn that early, you’re going to be fucked. No, really… you can rail it all you like. It’s like the last railings of [these] people. It’s like the last railings of this group of people who are going extinct and you want to go, ‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ What are you clinging to? America of the ‘50s? Or England of the ‘50s with Brexit? People pottering around tending their garden in Norfolk thinking, ‘These Syrians are going to come in any minute now and ruin my roses.’ What a load of cock.”
~ Ian McShane

“What IS it with people who ask questions on posts like the person who posted is their personal researcher and water carrier? Do they not realize they’re online themselves? That they can read the story the post links to? That of the seven billion people on earth, almost none of them are mom?”
~ Rebecca Solnit