MCN Columnists
Other Voices

Voices By Other

Veni Vidi Vhatever

So the announcement we’ve all been waiting for this year came and went this morning. The Oscar nominations were exhaled with something of a dry whiff more than a commanding voice. Munich managed to make its way to an Oscar nomination for Best Picture in the midst of all the bad press and amidst all…

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For Your Consideration

Those three words ring loud and clear during the busy months of any given Oscar season. I decided to hold this column until the week following the closing of polls (three days ago). While this column can’t, therefore, be considered a “for your consideration” list at this juncture, at the very least these are the…

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It is truly a weird circumstance when the most interesting part of the Golden Globes ceremony is having a conversation with Carson Daly at an after party. Last night, Hollywood’s elite congregated and got good and inebriated as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association handed out their Golden Globe awards. As you have read, Ang Lee andBrokeback Mountain…

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What a Difference a Day Made

Or two days, as it were. Last week the four major guilds from the film industry announced their nominees (the writers, the directors, the producers and the actors). What we are left with are four films that hit the grand slam, including the Screen Actors Guild’s Best Performance by an Ensemble, establishing in the minds…

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Head First

One can barely utter the words Happy New Year without that first wave of guild nominations barreling down the doorway of a bright and shiny 2006. On Wednesday, January 4, the Writers and Producers Guilds will announce their nominees. Neither group is particular good prognosticators of the Academy’s Best Picture quintet. However, on Thursday the…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“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