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Douglas Pratt

The Ultimate DVD Geek By Douglas PrattPratt@moviecitynews.com

Gone With the Wind

Despite its antebellum subject (it opens with a text scroll that suggests slave ownership was somehow ‘gallant’), Gone with the Wind was the first ‘modern’ film, the first color epic to make extensive use of special effects (albeit matte paintings) and to replicate the sweep and depth of a novel, while instilling it with the excitement…

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Downhill Racer

Four decades and umpteen Warren Miller films later, the skiing sequences in Michael Ritchie’s 1969Downhill Racer are still hold-your-breath-and-don’t-blink thrilling. In fact, the whole movie is thrilling. Deftly staged and then masterfully edited, every sequence in the 101-minute feature is exquisitely succinct and yet abundantly rich in conveying the psychologies and emotions of the characters. Robert Redford stars…

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The Ultimate DVD Geek

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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg