MCN Originals Archive for January, 2009

Wilmington on Movies: New In Town and The Uninvited

New in Town (One-and-a-Half Stars) U.S.; Jonas Elmer Welcome to New Ulm, Minnesota, where the tapioca is fine, the snow is omnipresent,

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Wilmington on Movies: Revolutionary Road, Inkheart, Notorious, Outlander and The Secret of the Grain

Revolutionary Road (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; Sam Mendes Revolutionary Road is one of these novels I’ve always been meaning to read

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Barack Obama: Hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

“My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition. Forty-four Americans have now…

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Lyndon Johnson: Our destiny in the midst of change will rest on the unchanged character of our people

“My fellow countrymen, on this occasion the Oath I have taken before you and before God is not mine alone, but ours together. We are one nation and one people. Our fate as a nation and our future as a people rest not upon one citizen, but upon all citizens. That is the majesty and…

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Franklin Roosevelt: This Nation is asking for action, and action now.

President Hoover, Mr. Chief Justice, my friends: This is a day of national consecration. And I am certain that on this day my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency, I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impels. This is preeminently the…

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Wilmington on Movies: Defiance, Hotel For Dogs and Paul Blart: Mall Cop

DEFIANCE (Three Stars) U.S.; Ed Zwick Ed Zwick’s Defiance, based on a true-life story about Jewish partisans — who carve out a community-in-hiding in a Belorussian forest during World War 2 — is fairly unique among World War 2 movies, in presenting Holocaust-era Jews not as tragic victims and survivors, but as heroes and heroines…

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John F. Kennedy: Divided there is little we can do …

“Vice President Johnson, Mr. Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, President Eisenhower, Vice President Nixon, President Truman, reverend clergy, fellow citizens: We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and…

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Wilmington on Movies: Bride Wars, Marley & Me, Last Chance Harvey, The Reader and Not Easily Broken

Bride Wars(One-and-a-Half Stars) U.S.; Gary Winick How‘s this for a fractured high concept: Beauteous best friend brides-to-be turn vicious enemies for the stupidest reasons imaginable, and behave like viciously addled morons for two unfunny hours. Then (SPOILER ALERT FOR NEXT SIX WORDS) everybody makes up and makes nice.

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Wilmington on Movies: Ten Best Movies 2008

1. Shine a Light U.S.: Martin Scorsese Anyone who loves movies or rock n’ roll, or both, and doesn’t get blown away at Shine a Light

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The National Board Of Review 2008

Best Film SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE Best Director DAVID FINCHER, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Best Actor CLINT EASTWOOD, Gran Torino Best Actress ANNE HATHAWAY, Rachel Getting Married Best Supporting Actor JOSH BROLIN, Milk Best Supporting Actress PENELOPE CRUZ, Vicky Cristina Barcelona Best Foreign Language Film MONGOL Best Documentary MAN ON WIRE Best Animated Feature WALL-E…

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MCN Originals

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“A shot is a story. A shot on its own should be a piece of a story. Which is why I talk a lot about watching films, even the films we’re working on, with the sound off. Just to analyze how the film works, because a film should work for an audience without any sound. The biggest problem I see is that someone may have a superficial understanding of what a shot is propositionally, but they don’t have an understanding of how all of these shots are part of a family that needs to connect, and so you’ll get something that’s like a sentence arranged poorly with six nouns in a row. That surprises me, because I think that’s something that can be learned. Some things can’t be, but that can. It’s a grammar. In a classroom I could walk somebody through the difference between a sequence in which the filmmaker has a deep understanding of how images connect, and someone who doesn’t. It’s not really an intellectual process. Some people are just born with it and are just sort of savants at that deep mathematical understanding of shot construction.  I’m better than I used to be, but there are some people I’m just never going to catch. Spielberg. His staging ability. I’m never going to catch him. But when you’re trying to figure out how to get better—I’m not competitive in the sense of looking around at other filmmakers and comparing myself to them. What I do have to think about in trying to navigate myself through a career is: what can I get better at, and what do I have that I can enhance that somebody else doesn’t have?”
~ Steven Soderbergh

“It’s not going to be huge. He and I had been corresponding for a while. When I finally met him, he said, ‘We should collaborate.’ When John Ashbery says that to you, you don’t say when, you just say yes. It has not been easy to conjure this out of nothing. Sean Price Williams and I spent time with him, and it will appear on FilmStruck before the year is out…. I have figured out how to streamline things. I still have dreams of making movies with bigger budgets, and they might be considered to have more of a voice in pop culture. I don’t want to let go of that. I also realize that you grow up a lot of your life with wishful thinking and waiting. I have figured out ways to avoid doing that. I am working on a bigger movie about Nikola Tesla, set in the past, so it is not an easy film to make. I am also working on an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s ‘White Noise.’ That seems more likely to catch fire.”
Michael Almereyda Steps It Up