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 »

“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
James Gray

“I’m an unusual producer because I control the destiny of a lot of the films I’ve done. Most of them are in perfect states of restoration and preservation and distribution, and I aim to keep them in distribution. HanWay Films, which is my sales company, has a 500-film catalogue, which is looked after and tended like a garden. I’m still looking after my films in the catalogue and trying to get other people to look after their films, which we represent intellectually, to try to keep them alive. A film has to be run through a projector to be alive, unfortunately, and those electric shadows are few and far between now. It’s very hard to go and see films in a movie house. I was always involved with the sales and marketing of my films, right up from The Shout onwards. I’ve had good periods, but I also had a best period because the film business was in its best period then. You couldn’t make The Last Emperor today. You couldn’t make The Sheltering Sky today. You couldn’t make those films anymore as independent films. There are neither the resources nor the vision within the studios to go to them and say, “I want to make a film about China with no stars in it.”Then, twenty years ago, I thought, “OK, I’m going to sell my own films but I don’t want to make it my own sales company.” I wanted it to be for me but I wanted to make it open for every other producer, so they don’t feel that they make a film but I get the focus. So, it’s a company that is my business and I’m involved with running it in a certain way, but I’m not seen as a competitor with other people that use it. It’s used by lots of different producers apart from me. When I want to use it, however, it’s there for me and I suppose I’m planning to continue making all my films to be sold by HanWay. I don’t have to, but I do because it’s in my building and the marketing’s here, and I can do it like that. Often, it sounds like I’m being easy about things, but it’s much more difficult than it sounds. It’s just that I’ve been at it for a long time and there’s lots of fat and security around my business. I know how to make films, but it’s not easy—it’s become a very exacting life.”
~ Producer Jeremy Thomas