MCN Originals Archive for March, 2009

Wilmington on DVDs: Slumdog Millionaire, Danton, Il Generale Della Rovere and more …

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Slumdog Millionaire (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U.K./India; Danny Boyle Slumdog Millionaire is a dancing, crackling shockwave of a movie, an incandescent

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Wilmington on DVDs: A Secret, Dodes’ka-den, L’Innocente and more … plus, this week’s box set

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW A Secret (Un Secret) (Three-and-a-Half Stars) France; Claude Miller, 2007 (Strand Releasing) The young French film critic Francois Truffaut used to snipe at the obvious craftsmanship and overt

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Wilmington on DVDs: Synecdoche, NY, Faust and more …plus, this week’s box set

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW Synecdoche, New York (Three-and-a-Half Stars) U. S.; Charlie Kaufman, 2008 (Sony) Synecdoche (def.): A figure of speech where the whole is used for

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Wilmington on DVDs: Pinocchio, Milk, Happy-Go-Lucky and more … plus, this week’s box set

PICK OF THE WEEK: CLASSICS Pinocchio (Two Discs) (Four Stars) U.S.; Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske 1940 (Walt Disney) When you wish upon a star…. A little wooden-boy puppet named Pinocchio

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Wilmington on DVDs: Australia, Beatrix Potter, and more… plus, this week’s box set

PICKS OF THE WEEK: NEW Australia (Four Stars) (A) Australia/U.K.; Baz Luhrmann, 2008 (20th Century Fox) Over the top it may be, sport, but Baz (Moulin Rouge!) Luhrmann’s visually scrumptious, rousing epic of WW2-era Australia unbound, was one of my favorite movies of 2008.

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MCN Originals

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From AMPAS president John Bailey:

Dear Fellow Academy Members,

Danish director Carl Dreyer’s 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” is not only one of the visual landmarks of the silent era, but is a deeply disturbing portrait of a young woman’s persecution in the face of the male judges and priests of the ruling order. The actress Maria Falconetti gave one of the most profoundly affecting performances in the history of cinema as the Maid of Orleans.

Since the decision of the Academy’s Board of Governors on Saturday October 14 to expel producer Harvey Weinstein from its membership, I have been haunted not only by the recurring image of Falconetti and the sad arc of her career (dying in Argentina in 1946, reputedly from a crash diet) but of Joan’s refusal to submit to an auto de fe recantation of her beliefs.

Recent public testimonies by some of filmdom’s most recognized women regarding sexual intimidation, predation, and physical force is, clearly, a turning point in the film industry—and hopefully in our country, where what happens in the world of movies becomes a marker of societal Zeitgeist. Their decision to stand up against a powerful, abusive male not only parallels the cinema courage of Falconetti’s Joan but gives all women courage to speak up.

After Saturday’s Board of Governors meeting, the Academy issued a passionately worded statement, expressing not only our concern about harassment in the film industry, but our intention to be a strong voice in changing the culture of sexual exploitation in the movie business, already common well before the founding of the Academy 90 years ago. It is up to all of us Academy members to more clearly define for ourselves the parameters of proper conduct, of sexual equality, and respect for our fellow artists throughout our industry. The Academy cannot, and will not, be an inquisitorial court, but we can be part of a larger initiative to define standards of behavior, and to support the vulnerable women and men who may be at personal and career risk because of violations of ethical standards by their peers.

Yours,
John

.“People that are liars — lying to his wife, to his children, to everyone — well, they have to turn around and say, ‘Who stabbed me?’ It’s unbelievable that even to this moment he is more concerned with who sold him out. I don’t hear concern or contrition for the victims. And I want them to hear that.”
~ Bob Weinstein