MCN Originals Archive for April, 2019

No Spoilers: Thinking About AVENGERS: ENDGAME

A consideration of the weight of Avengers: Endgame with no plot details whatsoever.

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The DVD Wrapup: Diamonds of the Night, School of Life, Red Room, Witch/Hagazussa, Tito & the Birds, Keoma, Andre’s Gospel, Noir

In a risky leap of narrative faith, he avoids attaching labels to the characters. Instead of describing ‘Diamonds of the Night’ as a World War II or Holocaust film, he wants audiences to see it as a survival story that explores the human condition under extreme conditions.

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All Parts: A Review of Alex Ross Perry’s HER SMELL

“I can’t point to any movie, recent or otherwise,” writer-director Alex Ross Perry has noted of his intently, intensely ambitious sixth feature, “that combines the two things I wanted to explore in ‘Her Smell’: lowbrow popular music and highbrow theatrical productions going back to Shakespeare’s five-act tragedies.”

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Fluid Mechanic: Claire Denis Talks High Life

“Deny them your essence, Mandrake!”

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Vertiginous Scale: Thoughts on WELCOME TO MARWEN

Welcome to Marwen is something else, but what is it?

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The DVD Wrapup: Bumblebee, Ginsburg, Buster, Silent Voice, Nazi Junkies, Prisoner, Golden Vampires, Highway Rat, Terra Formars, No Alternative … More

The studio decided to downscale the size of the sixth installment, by reducing the budget drastically, bringing in fresh behind-the-camera talent , keeping the running time under 120 minutes for the first time in 12 years, putting the focus on fewer characters and de-emphasizing the brand in the publicity material. It would promote the presence of a formidable teenage heroine, alongside the already popular Bumblebee and formidable Decepticon enemy, and add a malleable American warrior.

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Unapologetic Stuff: A Review Of KNIFE + HEART

“Knife + Heart” (Un couteau dans le coeur) has all kinds of stuff. It’s a tumultuous original, dragging worlds of cinema sensation that came before screaming and punching behind it. Begin with “Phantom of the Paradise,” stir in “Peeping Tom,” and “Body Double”; don’t stop at “Poison” or “Cruising” and “Blow Out.” Sex and art commingle…

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American Charmer: A Review Of The Brink

Alison Klayman’s “The Brink,” an avatar of cinema-vérité observation, arrives in a hush and escalates with precision. Recording political consultant and purported intellectual powerhouse Stephen K. “Steve” Bannon after his dismissal from the arms of Trump power, captured by a filmmaker-cinematographer-sound recordist on their own, edited to a fierce ninety-minute form from day-after-day of close…

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MCN Originals

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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho