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MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

Wilmington on Movies: New In Town and The Uninvited

New in Town (One-and-a-Half Stars) U.S.; Jonas Elmer Welcome to New Ulm, Minnesota, where the tapioca is fine, the snow is omnipresent,

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Wilmington on Movies: Revolutionary Road, Inkheart, Notorious, Outlander and The Secret of the Grain

Revolutionary Road (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; Sam Mendes Revolutionary Road is one of these novels I’ve always been meaning to read

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Wilmington on Movies: Defiance, Hotel For Dogs and Paul Blart: Mall Cop

DEFIANCE (Three Stars) U.S.; Ed Zwick Ed Zwick’s Defiance, based on a true-life story about Jewish partisans — who carve out a community-in-hiding in a Belorussian forest during World War 2 — is fairly unique among World War 2 movies, in presenting Holocaust-era Jews not as tragic victims and survivors, but as heroes and heroines…

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Wilmington on Movies: Bride Wars, Marley & Me, Last Chance Harvey, The Reader and Not Easily Broken

Bride Wars(One-and-a-Half Stars) U.S.; Gary Winick How‘s this for a fractured high concept: Beauteous best friend brides-to-be turn vicious enemies for the stupidest reasons imaginable, and behave like viciously addled morons for two unfunny hours. Then (SPOILER ALERT FOR NEXT SIX WORDS) everybody makes up and makes nice.

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Wilmington on Movies: Ten Best Movies 2008

1. Shine a Light U.S.: Martin Scorsese Anyone who loves movies or rock n’ roll, or both, and doesn’t get blown away at Shine a Light

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Wilmington

Quote Unquotesee all »

INTERVIEWER
Do you think this anxiety of yours has something to do with being a woman? Do you have to work harder than a male writer, just to create work that isn’t dismissed as being “for women”? Is there a difference between male and female writing?

FERRANTE
I’ll answer with my own story. As a girl—twelve, thirteen years old—I was absolutely certain that a good book had to have a man as its hero, and that depressed me. That phase ended after a couple of years. At fifteen I began to write stories about brave girls who were in serious trouble. But the idea remained—indeed, it grew stronger—that the greatest narrators were men and that one had to learn to narrate like them. I devoured books at that age, and there’s no getting around it, my models were masculine. So even when I wrote stories about girls, I wanted to give the heroine a wealth of experiences, a freedom, a determination that I tried to imitate from the great novels written by men. I didn’t want to write like Madame de La Fayette or Jane Austen or the Brontës—at the time I knew very little about contemporary literature—but like Defoe or Fielding or Flaubert or Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky or even Hugo. While the models offered by women novelists were few and seemed to me for the most part thin, those of male novelists were numerous and almost always dazzling. That phase lasted a long time, until I was in my early twenties, and it left profound effects.
~ Elena Ferrante, Paris Review Art Of Fiction No. 228

“The evening’s curious vanity and irrelevance stay with me, if only because those qualities characterize so many of Hollywood’s best intentions. Social problems present themselves to many of these people in terms of a scenario, in which, once certain key scenes are licked (the confrontation on the courthouse steps, the revelation that the opposition leader has an anti-Semitic past, the presentation of the bill of participants to the President, a Henry Fonda cameo), the plot will proceed inexorably to an upbeat fade. Marlon Brando does not, in a well-plotted motion picture, picket San Quentin in vain: what we are talking about here is faith in a dramatic convention. Things “happen” in motion pictures. There is always a resolution, always a strong cause-effect dramatic line, and to perceive the world in those terms is to assume an ending for every social scenario… If the poor people march on Washington and camp out, there to receive bundles of clothes gathered on the Fox lot by Barbra Streisand, then some good must come of it (the script here has a great many dramatic staples, not the least of them in a sentimental notion of Washington as an open forum, cf. Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington), and doubts have no place in the story.”
~ Joan Didion On Hw’d In 1970

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