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The Hot Blog Archive for September, 2005

So Little To Say This Week

It’s a funny week when I have endless column ideas and almost nothing for the blog. Perhaps it’s the sudden late heat in L.A.
I can’t speak for The Greatest Game Ever Played, but the rest of this week’s movie release line-up smells like the “before” at a sewage treatment plant.

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Best About-Fucking-Time DVD Release

From The NY Press’ “Best Of” Issue
The Cassavetes Collection
Long Island

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Hold It Right There!

There are few dealmakers smarter than David Geffen. Even as a man with great taste acting as an impresario over the years, it has been his skill at the negotiating table (and away from it) that has made him a billionaire.
And here, in the Universal deal, we see his skill as a Texas Hold

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Asking Again

In the A.O. Scott stuff, these questions never seemed to be answered by people posting. And I find them very interesting. So I ask again, with no tongue in cheek, but with sincere interest in your perspectives…
Tell me, is North Country a conservative tract? Sure, it

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Missing The SS Joke With Page Six

For whatever reasons, Page Six decides to take a swipe at Steven Soderbergh

5 Comments »

Great Tip From A Reader (RP)

The Sony promos from Nip/Tuck’s premiere – which include a new Dick & Jane trailer and first looks at campaigns for Freedomland and All The King’s Men can be found here.
Click on Kelly Carlson and a Java theater comes up with all the pieces.

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Keith Richards Running SAG?

As per a very funny reader….
rosenberg_alan150x175.jpg
Arrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

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This just in…

From Tuesday’s USA Today aka “The NYT Assignment Desk”…
Adds director Mark Waters (Mean Girls), “It’s clearly not inspired by the Schiavo case.” He doubts those on either side of the right-to-die issue could co-opt what is essentially a fantasy. “It’s not like there is a political or religious agenda to the movie. Everyone wants her to wake up.”
But just as Million Dollar Baby caused a ruckus over its depiction of assisted suicide, Heaven could raise concern over its Hollywood-ized picture of a young and healthy-looking coma patient. Especially since a life force in the form of Witherspoon’s somewhat vaporous presence clearly hovers outside her prone body.

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A.O. Krazy 2

Where Scott goes off the rails is not in trying to come up with a more complex analysis of genre films, but in tying their existance and tone to some sort of intent.
As pointed out by others here, the subtext of what is perceived as audience friendly is a discussion. The idea that Just Like Heaven, which is not only completely derivative of films from every decade of the history of narrative cinema, but which was launched before Bush was re-elected, is wacked.
Additionally, adding a context on intent to Emily Rose, which was never intended to be anything but a thriller cheapy, is way off base.
Even if you want to play this game, how about some balance? The top movie of the summer, Star Wars, is on its face anti-empire. On the flip side, it could be said that it is pro-Iraq, as the next films are all about freeing the people from The Empire, which is what Bush-ites would say Iraq is all about. That is the beginning of a long, complex, and unwinnable conversation.
It is insane to sit there at try to deconstruct some screenwriter

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Early Weekend Analysis – 9/24

Emily Rose kicked the ass of The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane.
Go figure.
It seems that Red Eye brought Flightplan down to its level, instead of Flightplan being the Big to Red Eye

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A.O. Krazy

Here is A.O. Scott’s piece on why we should be reading political subtext into Just Like Heaven and The Exorcism of Emily Rose.
My read? Put down the pipe, Tony. I know that every molecule of our body could be, like, an entire universe and we could just be one atom in the body of a giant… but dude, you need to mellow that harsh.

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Finally, A Full Movie Weekend

What are you going to see?
A History of Violence
Daltry Calhoun
Dear Wendy
Flightplan
In Her Shoes
Oliver Twist
Proof
Roll Bounce
Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride

30 Comments »

Coppola is Finally Getting Back to Work

But do you care? Or is it just me?
From Variety
Francis Ford Coppola will return to directing after an eight-year hiatus with a self-financed, low-budget pic to lense in Bucharest.
The bigscreen adaptation of “Youth Without Youth” is based on the novella by Romanian author and intellectual Mircea Eliade. Coppola penned the screenplay and is producing through his American Zoetrope banner. Fred Roos and Anahid Nazarian exec produce.
Tim Roth, Alexandra Maria Lara, Bruno Ganz and Marcel Iures will star in the pic, skedded to begin production Oct. 3.
Story centers on a professor whose life changes after a cataclysmic incident during the dark years before WWII. Becoming a fugitive, he is pursued through far-flung locations including Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India.

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Oscar Chat

is on the awards blog.

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The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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