MCN Columnists
Noah Forrest

Frenzy On Column By Noah ForrestForrest@moviecitynews.com

Frenzy on the Wall: If I Had a Ballot 2011

I’m going to give my picks for the Oscars in the major awards, as if I had an actual ballot. Since the Academy cannot be trusted to make the right decisions and will probably make the safe choice whenever possible, it’s fun to give my perspective. Needless to say, I don’t see the Academy sending me a ballot anytime soon.

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Frenzy on the Wall: Downsized and Dispirited, The Company Men Still Has Feeling

The Company Men is a satisfying film, but not an altogether successful one. However, I’m inclined to give it a pass for a lot of its faults because its cause is such a noble one. The film will serve as a time-capsule for future generations to be able to look back and pinpoint this particular…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Somewhere Goes Nowhere

I consider myself a fan of Sofia Coppola. I think her first two films – The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation – are up there with any other filmmaker’s first two movies. These films showed a fascinating insight into the minds of both males and females, young and old; these were movies about lost…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Looking Forward to a New (Hopefully Better) Year

2010 was not my favorite year at the movies. There were certainly films that I enjoyed and ones that I expect to own and revisit more than a few times, but there wasn’t a single film that made me shudder or give me goosebumps or to even make me gasp aloud. In other words, while…

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Frenzy on the Wall: 2010 Top Ten

2010 has not been a great year for movies. I think the films that are on this list are superior works of cinematic art, but I think that I saw more mediocre and middling fair than ever before. Is it that the actual quality of the films this year wasn’t as good as the past…

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Frenzy on the Wall: No Country For The Coens’ True Grit Remake

True Grit is undeniably brilliant, but I didn’t love it. It’s a very good movie, better than most things you’ve seen this year and completely worthy of your time and money. But considering the talent in front of the camera and behind it, considering the themes on display and the moments of genius that burst…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Black Swan

In the few days that have passed since my initial viewing of Black Swan – with an absolutely packed house in Union Square that audibly gasped and laughed like any other horror film – it has grown in my estimation. I have only seen two masterpieces of cinema in 2010, with two weeks to go, and Black Swan is one of them.

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Frenzy on the Wall: All Good Things Is Almost a Great Thing

Capturing the Friedmans was a monumental movie experience for me, because the documentary focused on a fascinating case that just so happened to have occurred in my hometown. I can’t tell you what an oddly transporting experience it was to see streets and houses that I passed by every day, given new meaning because of…

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Frenzy on the Wall: How to Fix the Oscars

I am an unabashed fan of the Academy Awards. I have watched every telecast since I was a young boy and I still anticipate Oscar Day as much as I always have. Historically, I have never really been a fan of the choices the Academy has made, but I still see the show itself as…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Anne Hathaway is a Great Actress … Right?

“Anne Hathaway is a great actress.” “Is she, though?” Both speakers in that conversation are me. This was the dialogue I was having with myself as I watched Hathaway on Saturday Night Live this past weekend. She was so effortlessly charismatic, her timing excellent, and her presence inviting. Whether she was playing a hillbilly waiting…

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Frenzy on the Wall: How About Some Awards Buzz for These Guys?

Every year around this time, the award-season storylines begin to take shape. You see, like in politics, it’s not always the best candidate or film that gets awarded, it’s usually the one with the best publicity, the best “story.” When Best Picture actually goes to the best film, all it means is that the best…

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Frenzy on the Wall: The Unstoppable Mr. Washington

I’m going to check out Unstoppable this weekend because it looks like dumb fun and I actually find Tony Scott to be a much more entertaining filmmaker than his brother, but sadly, seeing the latest Denzel Washington film isn’t exactly a draw for me any longer. I used to believe Washington was like a modern…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Where’s the Geek Love for Monsters?

The way the film geek crowd ate up District 9 last year, you might expect Monsters, another indie entry in the “aliens among us” genre, to be garnering similar geek buzzing this year, but it’s not. Monsters is not a perfect film, but I was kind of blown away by it, and I think it’s…

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Frenzy on the Wall: I’m Not Scared of Slamming Doors

I can’t understand why anyone would stay in these situations. I mean, why wouldn’t you move out of this house? I understand there are real-world difficulties to maneuver, like mortgages and such, but if there is an entity in my house that is threatening my family, I think I’ll just put the house on the market and move to a hotel for a few months.

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Frenzy on the Wall: Everything Old is Old Again

I had no interest in seeing The Expendables this summer. I loved ’80s action movies as much as the next person; hell, I grew up watching movies like Commando over and over again. Even now, if I catch an old Schwarzenegger or Stallone flick on cable, I find I still have a sentimental attachment to…

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Frenzy on the Wall: A Sad State of Affairs

Let me start by saying that I didn’t see Life as We Know It because I’ve already seen it. Chances are you’ve seen it too. Based on the premise and the trailer, I’m fairly confident that I could predict every beat in that film. Not only do I know everything that will happen in it,…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Is The Social Network Fincher’s Best Film?

The Social Network is the best film of the year so far and we’ve got three more months to go, but I feel it’s safe to say that it’ll be somewhere near the top of my ten best list in December. However, where does it rank with other Fincher films? That’s what I’ve been debating ever since I walked out of the movie and I’ve been wrestling with it all weekend.

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Frenzy on the Wall: James Franco is … Okay

I’m mystified by the accolades that have been heaped upon James Franco over the last few years.  That’s not to say that I don’t think he’s a solid and talented actor because he surely is, but I’m not seeing the “genius” of his performances that others are seeing.  It’s especially odd that he’s held in…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Surprise! Oliver Stone is Chasing Controversy

When I was a young film fan, Oliver Stone was one of my favorite filmmakers. I watched films like Platoon, JFK, Wall Street, and Natural Born Killers during my days in junior high. Later on, films like Salvador, Born on the Fourth of July, Talk Radio, and The Doors were often in my rotation of…

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Frenzy on the Wall: Robert Rodriguez – Exactly What We Thought He Was

It seems that with every new Robert Rodriguez film folks talk about how he wasted all the promise that was evident in El Mariachi. To which I say, “huh?” The film shows a lot of ingenuity – in the sense that he made it for so little money – but not a whole lot of originality. The fact that he basically re-made that film two times says a lot about the kind of filmmaker that he is, too.

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Frenzy On Column

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“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas