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

5 Comments »

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!!!!

5 Comments »

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 »

“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

Z Weekend Report