MCN Columnists
Other Voices

Voices By Other Voicesvoices@moviecitynews.com

A Good Year For The Oscars

I leave it up to the TV critics to analyze the Oscar ceremonies as an entertainment TV show. However, as far as I am concerned, Chris Rock did a good job, even if had expected him to be edgier and more provocative. One of the things that struck me about the show was the large…

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The MCN 100: The Early Poll 2003

In an awards season fraught with new issues, Movie City News introduces the “MCN 100,” a voting group of 100 film journalists from across the globe, representing print, television, radio and the internet. Members have been drawn from some of the best known and the most obscure publications in the world in hopes of finding…

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The Oscar Tradition: Celebrating Mediocrity?

How good are Oscar-winning movies, artistically? More specifically, applying the dimensions of timeliness/timelessness to Oscar’s history, two issues are pertinent. First, how many of the Oscar winners were artistically decent when they were made and honored? And second, how many of the celebrated pictures have withstood the test of time, the ultimate criterion in any…

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Oscar 2004: Flashback to Oscar’s Memorable Speeches

Suppose You won the Oscar! What would You say? How would you grab your 45 seconds–unless you are Warren Beatty or Julia Roberts and get to talk much longer–in the spotlight? The Oscar speeches are often the show’s most memorable–and most hilarious–moments, perhaps because they still maintain some aura of suspense and spontaneity, if not sensibility. Over…

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Oscar 2004: The Critics vs. Clint

Or How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Critics I don’t think Clint Eastwood has bloomed. I think the press has been Hornswoggled. “Unforgiven” was another Western in which you were pacifist until it’s necessary for you to start shooting. I always see Eastwood following the script slavishly; I never see him…

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Sundance 2005: The Mainstreaming of Indies

Let’s assume that the only source of information about American indies is Sundance’s premier section, the Dramatic Competition – excluding world premieres, American Spectrum, Frontier and other series that exhibit new films. What kind of conclusions can be draw about prevalent trends in paradigms, themes, and styles? What’s the state of the art of American…

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Voices

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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho