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misc Archive for October, 2009

Review: Amelia

MCN Review: Amelia is an old-fashioned, over-romantic movie, but likably so.  It’s true that director Mira Nair and writers Ron Bass and Anna Hamilton Phelan don‘t spring many surprises here, while telling us the story of the famed trailblazing aviatrix Amelia Earhart — an iconic American figure of the ‘20s and ‘30s who vanished over the Pacific while on…

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Review: Where the Wild Things Are

MCN Review: Some children’s stories work primarily for children. Some please both children and adults. But some are mostly for adults — and I think that may be the case with Spike Jonze’s new movie from Maurice Sendak‘s famous 1963 picture book Where the Wild Things Are. Jonze film takes Sendak’s spare little book, which…

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Review: Law Abiding Citizen

MCN Review: For sheer lunatic improbability and bad ideas (and even bad punctuation), Law Abiding Citizen will be hard to top. Even its social message (Don’t make bad court deals, but kill Clyde before he kills Philadelphia) is foolish. Writer Wimmer and director F. Gary Gray (Friday and The Negotiator) seem to be intent primarily…

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The Power of Film … Anne Frank

July 22 1941. The girl next door is getting married. Anne Frank is leaning out of the window of her house in Amsterdam to get a good look at the bride and groom. It is the only time Anne Frank has ever been captured on film. At the time of her wedding, the bride lived…

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MCN Review: Whip It!

MCN Review:  Whip It! Is it perfection? No. But it is a warm, funny, kind, smart, loving movie that girls, grrrrrls, women, and womyn will really enjoy. It is entertainment with ambition. And how does one say, “no” to that? (it’s a rhetorical question… one doesn’t.)  More>>

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Quote Unquotesee all »

Tsangari: With my next film, White Knuckles, it comes with a budget — it’s going to be a huge new world for me. As always when I enter into a new thing, don’t you wonder how it’s going to be and how much of yourself you are going to have to sacrifice? The ballet of all of this. I’m already imaging the choreography — not of the camera, but the choreography of actually bringing it to life. It is as fascinating as the shooting itself. I find the producing as exciting as the directing. The one informs the other. There is this producer-director hat that I constantly wear. I’ve been thinking about these early auteurs, like Howard Hawks and John Ford and Preston Sturges—all of these guys basically were hired by the studio, and I doubt they had final cut, and somehow they had films that now we can say they had their signatures.  There are different ways of being creative within the parameters and limitations of production. The only thing you cannot negotiate is stupidity.
Filmmaker: And unfortunately, there is an abundance of that in the world.
Tsangari: This is the only big risk: stupidity. Everything else is completely worked out in the end.
~ Chevalier‘s Rachel Athina Tsangari

“The middle-range movies that I was doing have largely either stopped being made, or they’ve moved to television, now that television is a go-to medium for directors who can’t get work in theatricals, because there are so few theatricals being made. But also with the new miniseries concept, you can tell a long story in detail without having to cram it all into 90 minutes. You don’t have to cut the characters and take out the secondary people. You can actually put them all on a big canvas. And it is a big canvas, because people have bigger screens now, so there’s no aesthetic difference between the way you shoot a movie and the way you shoot a TV show.

“Which is all for the good. But what’s happened in the interim is that theatrical movies being a spectacle business are now either giant blockbuster movies that run three hours—even superhero movies run three hours, they used to run like 58 minutes!—and the others, which are dysfunctional family independent movies or the slob comedy or the kiddie movie, and those are all low-budget. So the middle ground of movies that were about things, they’re just gone. Or else they’re on HBO. Like the Bryan Cranston LBJ movie, which years ago would’ve been made for theaters.

“You’ve got people like Paul Schrader and Walter Hill who can’t get their movies theatrically distributed because there’s no market for it. So they end up going to VOD, and VOD is a model from which no one makes any money, because most of the time, as soon as they get on the site, they’re pirated. So the whole model of the system right now is completely broken. And whether or not anybody’s going to try to fix, or if it even can be fixed, I don’t know. But it’s certainly not the same business that I got into in the ’70s.”
~ Joe Dante

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