MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

Voynar By Kim

Considering the Best Picture Oscar Contenders

Published under Oscar Outsider. How does a Hollywood outsider evaluate the Oscar contenders? I live in Seattle, outside the allure and glare of Tinseltown, and we generally get press screenings a couple weeks after the movie-world hubs of LA and New York; thus, I’ve only seen half the films on the Gurus o’ Gold Best…

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Twilight: Sometimes a Sexual Fantasy is Just a Sexual Fantasy

Twilight may or may not be more than just a teen vampire movie targeting the latent sexual fantasies of teenage girls, but it opened this weekend to just over $72.7 million, and suddenly male film journalists are sitting up and taking notice. The Los Angeles Times has a piece up by Richard Verrier about how shocking it…

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Consider the Source: Simon Beaufoy’s Adaptation of Slumdog Millionaire

Published under Oscar Outsider. Picture this: A very white, very British screenwriter has been hanging out in the slums of Bombay (also known as Mumbai) doing research for a screenplay he’s adapting from an Indian novel. He’s been haunting little chai shops, listening to the tales of the locals, absorbing as much as he can…

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Prop 8 Boycotts: Witch Hunt or Right?

Does the gay film community have an obligation to continue to support a festival and an organization whose head has been publicly called out for financially supporting a proposition that took away their right to marry? You’d never know it by reading a lot of the trades, who seem by their silence to wish the…

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Oscar and the Absence of Femme Films

Published under Oscar Outsider. The box office success (and relatively high profit margins) of femme-focused films like Sex and the City, Mamma Mia! and, presumably, the upcoming Twilight (assuming it does well enough at the box office to make back Summit’s $37 million investment and justify a sequel, which I think it most certainly will) may well have…

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Female Nudity in Films: Art or Exploitation?

The issue of nudity in art has been an issue for as long as there has been art, artists, and people to judge their work. When it comes to nudity in film, though, what relevance does the context of the nudity within the storyline or overall thematic elements have in determining whether the nudity is…

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Of Kings and Queen: Why Can’t More Films Be This Good?

My first night in LA for AFI Fest, I went to a screening of A Christmas Tale director Arnaud Desplechin‘s 2004 film, Kings and Queen, which was one of those films that’s been on my “geez, I need to see that” list for a while now; the opportunity to catch it on a big screen, with Desplechin in…

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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