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MCN Columnists
Mike Wilmington

Wilmington By Mike WilmingtonWilmington@moviecitynews.com

WILMINGTON ON MOVIES: On the Bowery

“It is no exaggeration to say that Ray and Gorman, two amateurs with no film experience at all, give two of the most extraordinary and moving performances in the history of the American cinema.”

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WILMINGTON ON MOVIES: Hall Pass, I Am Number Four, Certifiably Jonathan, Poetry

“Anyway, when I say forgettable, I mean forgettable. I’ve actually forgotten the whole movie, and I had to struggle to write this synopsis.”

“Aren’t they a little ashamed of filming scripts like this, where the very best line of dialogue — by a crush — is ‘I am Number Six!'”

“Critics have not been too kind to it. Well, that’s their opinion.”

“The sorrows, pains and occasional beauties of old age have rarely been more movingly portrayed than they are here.”

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WILMINGTON ON DVD: Fish Tank, Sweet Smell of Success, Megamind, The Steig Larsson Trilogy, Due Date

Mike goes from the UK to New York to Sweden to Jeffrey Katzenberg & Will Ferrell’s brains to give you the 4-1-1 on this week’s DVD releases…

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Wilmington on Movies: Unknown, Just Go With It, The Woodmans

UNKNOWN (Two and a Half Stars)

“This is all part of a nightmare movie thriller — Hitchcockian, Polanskian — that starts well and later collapses into utter balderdash, a movie vaguely reminiscent of Polanski’s 1988 Harrison Ford-in-Paris suspense picture, Frantic (in which Ford lost his wife), of the classic, fact-based 1950 British period thriller So Long at the Fair (in which Jean Simmons lost her brother), and of the great Alfred Hitchcock suspense comedy The Lady Vanishes (in which Margaret Lockwood lost Dame May Whitty‘s Miss Froy). The movie’s Dr. Harris, or whomever, has stumbled into an alternate movie life, full of skeptical witness, hired assassin thugs, bemused scientists, arrogant putzes like the false Dr. Harris, and people who just don’t know who the hell you are (or say they don’t).”

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WILMINGTON ON DVD

This Week: Unstoppable, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Thelma and Louise, TCM Greatest Classic Legends: Errol Flynn

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Wilmington on Movies: The Eagle, Gnomeo and Juliet

“That’s what the best of The Eagle gives us. As a twelve year old, I know I would have liked it, maybe loved it. And that twelve-year-old is still somewhere inside me as I watch it now, applauding and yearning for a swift horse, the wild frontier and the beautiful, stormy territory ahead.”

Gnomeo & Juliet – “I never thought I’d say it, but Michael Caine and Maggie Smith make pretty good lawn ornaments.”

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Wilmington on DVD: From Tillman to Amarcord

This week, Mike’s New Picks are The Tillman Story and Kore-eda’s Still Walking, the Classic Pick is Amarcord, the Blu-Ray pick is Broadcast News, the Box Set is Alien Anthology, and his Knock Of The Week is Paranormal Activity 2. Plus reviews of The Princess & The Frog, Life As We Know It, and You Again.

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Wilmington

Johanna Lynch on: Wilmington on DVDs: The File on Thelma Jordon; Adua and her Friends; Bullet to the Head

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best new dvd releases on: Wilmington on Movies and DVDs: Beauty and the Beast. Movie: Truesdale/Wise. DVD: Cocteau/Clement.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Film criticism as a business operates like the film industry itself: The people in charge like to hire people who remind them of themselves, and those people at the top are by and large straight white dudes (baseball caps are an option). That’s not to say they can’t have wildly diverging opinions on a variety of topics, but privilege comes with blinders that are often hard to acknowledge and even tougher to remove. The past few months have seen some of the most prominent film publications taking on new writers who are for the most part white men: Rolling Stone, Film Comment, Indiewire, and of course, Owen Gleiberman at Variety. Many of them have championed underdog filmmakers, but you can’t get over the sense of gatekeeping going on. Film criticism often feels like the treehouse girls are banned from entering, and it’s not hard to assume the conversations we’re missing out on aren’t exactly centered on women in the business… Our world and our art suffers when we limit the number of perspectives allowed to not only tell the story but to discuss it. Women are no better or worse in their opinions than men, but the key differences we bring allow further dimensions in the narrative. Whether they’re conscious of it or not, the ingrained biases of white maleness will continue unchallenged without contrasting voices under the banner, and the commodification of women’s faces and bodies will exacerbate to increasingly damaging levels.”
~ Ceilidhann

DENNIS COOPER

The next thing that really changed my world and thoroughly influenced my writing were the films of Robert Bresson. When I discovered them in the late seventies, I felt I had found the final ingredient I needed to write the fiction I wanted to write.

INTERVIEWER

What was the final ingredient?

DENNIS COOPER

Recognizing that the films were entirely about emotion and, to me, ­ profoundly moving while, at the same time, stylistically inexpressive and monotonic. On the surface, they were nothing but style, and the style was extremely rigorous to boot, but they seemed almost transparent and purely content driven. Bresson’s use of untrained nonactors influenced my concentration on characters who are amateurs or noncharacters or characters who are ill equipped to handle the job of manning a story line or holding the reader’s attention in a conventional way. Altogether, I think Bresson’s films had the greatest influence on my work of any art I’ve ever encountered. In fact, the first fiction of mine that was ever published was a chapbook called “Antoine Monnier,” which was a god-awful, incompetent attempt to rewrite Bresson’s film Le diable ­probablement as a pornographic novella. So I came to writing novels through a channel that included experimental fiction, poetry, and nonliterary influences pretty much exclusively. I never read normal novels with any real interest or close attention.
~ Dennis Cooper Discovers Bresson

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