MCN Columnists
Kim Voynar

Voynar By Kim

It’s Raining Men: Which Men Should Get Oscar Nods… and Which Men Shouldn’t

Published under Oscar Outsider. This week, we only asked our Gurus to vote on Best Picture, but as the resident Oscar outsider, I’m still working my way up to that category. I’ve delved deeply into the various adapted screenplays I was most interested in, and have covered the women quite extensively, so this week I’m…

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Taking a Wrong Turn on Revolutionary Road

Revolutionary Road is not a story about suburban angst; it’s a story about the illusions people create to sustain their belief in who they are and who they wish they were. Lee Siegel, writing for The Wall Street Journal, has a piece up titled “Why Does Hollywood Hate the Suburbs? America’s Long Artistic Tradition of Claiming Spiritual Death…

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Consider the Source: Defining a Dramatic Structure for Defiance

Published under Oscar Outsider. Spoiler Warning: This column contains heavy spoilers for the film Defiance. Adapting a scholarly tome into a dramatic narrative retelling for the big screen is no easy task; how does one take a detailed, rather dry account of historical facts and translate that into a movie with character arcs, dramatic flow…

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Conflicting Messages About Sex with Teenagers: The Reader vs. Towelhead

I wrote about The Reader in my review last week, but I wanted to delve a little more into what I consider one of the more interesting aspects of this film: that it centers around a sexual relationship between a 15-year-old boy and a woman who’s more than twice his age — and that not a…

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Consider the Source: The Adaptation of Revolutionary Road

Published under Oscar Outsider. Spoiler Warning: This column contains heavy spoilers for both the book and film Revolutionary Road. In adapting Richard Yates‘ 1961 novel Revolutionary Road, screenwriter Justin Haythe faced the challenge of translating a book that’s largely interior and told from the point of view of one character, Frank Wheeler (played in the film by Leonardo…

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New Moon’s New Director: Does it Really Matter that He’s Not a Woman?

I wrote briefly on Film Essent the other day about the Twilight series getting a new (male) director, but I wanted to address it in a bit more detail here. Twilight, in case you’ve been living under a rock the past six months or so, is a wildly popular book series about a teenage girl who falls…

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And the Nominees for Best Actress Should Be…

Back in October, I wrote about three performances I feel merit Best Actress nominations this year: Kristin Scott Thomas in I’ve Loved You So Long, Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married, and Sally Hawkins in Happy-Go-Lucky. Today, having finally seen the rest of the films with Best Actress-contending performances, I’d like to talk about the actresses who should fill the remaining two…

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Nudity in Film: Why Bare Chests Do Not Equal Bare Breasts

A while back, I wrote a column here on whether female nudity in film is art or exploitation. One of the things I posited in that column was that the existence of female nudity as such in a film isn’t what determines whether it’s art or exploitation — it’s the context in which the nudity is…

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Docs: Poetry Vs Prose

Published under Oscar Outsiders. I am a serious doc geek — the kind who would bore you stupid on a date dissecting some fascinating doc about Bulgarian toe fetishists. And sadly, I’ve just not been blown out of the water much by the docs this year. Maybe it’s the tightening of the economy overall making…

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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