MCN Curated Headlines Archive for November, 2015

“Each of them had a kind of point. Anchorman was clearly, like, what the f— happened to the television media, what a joke it’s become.Talladega Nights was about this weird stubborn pride that was showing up in America, kind of the corporate takeover of southern pride. Stepbrothers was about how consumerism turns grown-ups into little kids.”
Jessica Pressler‘s Six-Part Vulture “Cover Story” On The Miracle That Is The Big Short

timeout.com

Tauntaun Soup Dumplings, Jar Jar Bisque, Obi-Wan Pierogi
Chicago’s Table, Donkey, Stick Resto Mounts A Star Wars I-VI Dinner

“Claiming that sex-strikes can stop rape  is premised on the idea that rapists are somehow concerned with the thoughts and opinions of their potential victims. There is very little evidence support this contention.”
Ta-Nehisi-Coates Disputes Spike Lee Comments About Chi-raq And Campus Rape

“He was a subversive populist, a celebrity avant-gardist. He was also, frequently, a political artist, one who came of age during the heyday of the Popular Front and never ceased to roil the culture industry.”
Alex Ross On A Century Of Orson Welles

“Rahm Emanuel is giving a billionaire filmmaker priceless parkland for $10.”
John King On The $400 Million Private Museum of George Lucas’ Miscellaneous Art On Chicago’s Lakefront

LA Times

“It also complained about the use of a slang word for testicles, ordering the term be changed to ‘cats.'”
India Move Toward Harsher Censorship Takes Toll On SPECTRE: Language, Kissing At Issue

“As long as they let me. It’s the only thing I really enjoy.”
Peter Hartlaub On The Living Legacy Of Satirist Mort Sahl, Still Performing At 88

“We made sure that in every scene the characters had an eye light, just like a live-action film would. A specific light that was set to reflect and give that twinkle in the eye. Trying to get them to move in sync with one another and allow for the animators to see what they were doing was definitely a challenge.”
A Strong Backgrounder On The Origins And Production Of Anomalisa spoilers

“Most of the people in the world of distribution are straight white men and they’re distributing messages that make them the heroes, that make people empathize with them, and allow them to ‘otherise’ women, people of color and queer people. But we were raised to be objects and trophies in their storylines.”
“Transparent” Director Jill Soloway Talks Gender

“I see her the same instant she sees me, and instantly, I love her. Instantly, I am terrified, because I know she knows I am terrified and that I love her. Though there are seven girls between us, I know, she knows, she will come to me and have me wait on her.”
The Passions Behind Patricia Highsmith’s “Carol” Novel

Salon

Carol is such a moving film and such a beautiful film, which demonstrates in a thousand ways why cinema (however moribund or irrelevant it may appear) is not television, that I am reluctant to privilege any particular element of its construction. It is one of the greatest American screen romances of any era, period–and perhaps that serves as the ultimate vindication of Haynes’ outspoken commitment to ‘queer cinema.'”
Andrew O’Hehir Definitely On Team Todd

MCN Curated Headlines

Troy on: Jan-Michael Vincent Was 73

eht% on: Kubrick by Weegee

Thawn Chwithy on: Topix Forums Deep-Nixed

Some Random Troll on: Topix Forums Deep-Nixed

Trenton Moore on: Philadelphia Film Critics Circle Nod Roma as Best Film, Cinematography and Foreign Film

Celia Ann Harrison on: Topix Forums Deep-Nixed

Celia Ann Harrison on: Topix Forums Deep-Nixed

Karen Christy on: Topix Forums Deep-Nixed

The Pope on: "ABC’s decision to cancel 'Roseanne' feels like a gutsy move. It looks like a stand against racism, a line drawn in the sand to delineate what is reasonable and what is not. It even looks like a data point in the 'How do we separate the art from the artist?' debate, and it offers a heartening answer: We don’t have to, because, in this case, ABC will not finance that artist. It’s somehow even more heartening because it comes from a massive corporate conglomerate that might lose money by making this decision. It feels remarkably just. It feels decent. I’m thrilled that Roseanne has been canceled. It was the right thing to do. But it doesn’t feel correct to hold up ABC as a new bastion of decency, either. 'Roseanne' felt like the Titanic, a ship that seemed too big to turn around — but in the aftermath of Barr’s tweet, it also seemed like a ship that was doomed. ABC’s decision to cancel Roseanne is a good thing, but it also seems like a decision to shut down something that was about to implode anyhow. With a little more context, it looks like a network taking a strong stance against racism… in a way that also rids them of a show that was about to fall apart anyhow."

Sergio on: "Even though the Marvel series are TV shows, Netflix has become entranced by this notion of the '13-hour movie' when developing a season. This format mashup does a disservice to both mediums. Television's strength lies in episodic structure, which allows writers to explore different tones, characters, story structure and conflict. Movies allow a filmmaker to hone in on one or two central themes, attack it from multiple angles and get out. Netflix’s model takes the most incompatible parts of each and slaps them together, creating a lumbering mutant medium. The '13-hour movie' model means we don’t get the brevity of a film or the variation of television; it means we get the singular focus of movies stretched out to television length. It’s exhausting and it does these heroes no favors."

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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