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.

65 Comments »

Best About-Fucking-Time DVD Release

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

19 Comments »

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.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948