The Hot Blog Archive for August, 2006

Embargoing Too Far?

In the course of his regular schtick of calling out quote whores, UGO’s Erik Childress does a much more interesting piece on the status of The Embargo in Hollywood these days.
His perspective, from Chicago, causes him to make a few missteps in his opinion sifting. And that

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DOAP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUSH ASSASSINATION FILM MAKES ITS WORLD PREMIERE AT THE 2006 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
New York, NY (August 31, 2006) – The Toronto International Film Festival released new details today regarding a film in their line-up. Previously referred to as D.O.A.P., the film’s actual title is DEATH OF A PRESIDENT. This fictional drama, which mixes archival footage with narrative elements, focuses on the assassination of President George W. Bush in the style of a retrospective documentary. DEATH OF A PRESIDENT makes its world premiere in the festival’s Visions section on September 10th at 8:30 p.m. at the Paramount 3 Theatre in Toronto.
“We

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Filler? I Hardly Know Her!

I’m sure there is something worth discussing here on the blog today…. but damned if I know what it is!

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Monday Monday…

I don’t know when I will be back at at he computer today… so here is a free-for-all page… have at it…
Here’s Monday’s Hot Button to chew on…

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Another Case Of Idiotic Non-News Hype

The opening of the Emmy Awards on Sunday night was a 5-minute sketch that ran across six different Emmy winning shows at a cost of no less than half a million dollars.
And there was a tragic plane accident in Kentucky that killed 49 people after the plane failed to take off at 6am this morning.
The first show that was part of the Emmy package was Lost, which started its run with a mid-air plane crash.
And now, a Kentucky TV station general manager, Matt Drudge and others seem to think that the sketch, which involves the air mishap joke for all of 22 seconds, is a national embarrassment. (You can see the 22 seconds and not the whole 5 minute segment, which also makes light of Tom Cruise’s sexuality and the child molester-catching episodes of Dateline here.) Ultimately, the joke of the Lost bit was that it was invited to the Emmys last year and not this year.
Are we really that sensitive that a joke about a TV show gets couched into some sort of condemnable insensitivity to a real life tragedy? And will we in the media ever see anything with clear eyes instead of as a self-promotional opportunity again?

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More Toronto Trailers

La Tourneuse de pages
The Wind That Shakes The Barley
Quelques jours en Septembre
Shortbus
One To Another (via Twitch)
Severance (via Twitch)
And last week’s list, with links that do work if you click through.
PLUS – A non-fest trailer for a sexy Spanish female hitwoman flick owned by Sony International

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Weekend Estimates by Klady – 8/27/06

Another weekend without much worth discussing.
The Devil Wears Prada finally cracked $120 million.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man

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Friday Estimates by Klady – 8/26/06

A fairly ugly weekend heating up

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Box Office Hell – 8/25/06

bohell825.jpg

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And What Did You Think?

And so, with the summer at an end, what were your favorite moments, worst moments, and most memorable moments… on or off screen…

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Lunch With David VII – Cruise Control

“Have you picked a side yet?”
Here it is…

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20 Weeks Of Summer Are Over

We started with Tom Cruise and we end with Tom Cruise

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Flies On Shit

Been out all day… just back in time to be disgusted by the ongoing pile-on of Traditional and Online Media over the decidedly minor Tom Cruise story.
We have crossed over into tabloid hell.
At least Mel Gibson actually drove drunk, he was actually arrested, and he actually said anti-semetic things.
Yes, I was a monkey in the monkey tree yesterday. But this story has overstayed its welcome. And like Gibson, will be a non-story in all of two weeks.
And really, shouldn’t we all be embarrassed to be trying to capture attention by leveraging Tom Cruise’s business relationship?

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The Hot Blog

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin