20 Weeks Archive for February, 2007

20 Weeks 20 – Auld Lang Syne

“All last night, Fox ran promos for “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?” and for those of us who are still revving our engines on this, the answer is not a nice one. A 5th grader knows he/she wants ice cream, cake, no bath, and an open bedtime. We have such an abundance of likeable films and likeable people that we don’t know what we want.
I gotta say, I am looking forward to the Independent Spirit Awards more than the Oscars for the first time in a long while. And it’s not just because Yerxa and Berger will get their awards along with the other producers at that event. (Oh


20 Weeks – Dead Horse Beating

Everyone liked something. Generally, the hate levels were down. And while nothing particularly unexpected is expected a week from Sunday, there really isn’t much opportunity for anything remarkable to happen.


20 Weeks To Oscar – Tick Tock

It’s possible to make 20 different legitimate arguments along the lines of, “Letters From Iwo Jima, Babel, and The Queen split the serious vote, The Departed loses a little to both those and on the light side to Little Miss Sunshine, so LMS wins,” or “Letters From Iwo Jima is the only serious picture with prestige talent and people are finally looking at it,” or “The hardcore serious goes Letters/Babel and the hardcore movie joy people go Sunshine/Departed, splitting both and letting The Queen be the easiest choice for the undecided middle.”
But the truth is, no one really knows.
And did I mention, no one really cares?

The rest…


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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg