Old MCN Blogs

Film Fatale

DOOMSDAY: Neil Marshall Interview

Marshall’s action-movie fandom shows up in spades in the movie’s climactic chase, a ten-minute free for all that owes as much to Roadrunner cartoons as it does to Mad Max. (Though the writer-director admits that he “annoyed” his music composer by using John Carpenter’s film music as a temporary score, he had only one track in mind for the movie’s finale: Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “War.”)

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TERMINATOR Time Loops

I’m not the only one who’s bewildered by the criss crossing time lines (loops?) of THE SARAH CONNOR CHRONICLES and the first two TERMINATOR movies. (I guess we’re supposed to put T3 out of our minds, as though it didn’t happen. But it did: I saw it.) Todd Seavey leaps into the the whole time…

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What '24' Would Have Looked Like in '94

If Fox runs out of episodes of 24, the network can run this top secret, never before seen pilot: what the deadly game of spies vs. terrorists would have looked like in 1994. Produced by College Humor (Thanks to Andrew Hearst of Panopticist for the link)

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Quoted

We are big. It’s the Advertising that got small.

“With 100 million daily readers, newspapers are a tremendous scoring opportunity” – A group called the “Newspaper Project” making the case that news on the printed page is not on the verge of extinction.

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I will find you. And I will Kill You.

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people…

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Reeler

Coming Soon: The Reeler Wanders Off On Its Own

Dear readers, When I started The Reeler in June 2005, my primary goal was to establish a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about New York City cinema. If you are even a casual reader of this site, you will know that I have a ways to go before achieving that not-quite-modest aim….

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Mad at 'Marie,' Jumping for 'Joy': Film Blog Comment Chaos

For reasons I shall disclose to you sooner or later, this is going to be a short day for me. In the meantime, I’d like to refer you over to a pair of interesting discussions that should unfold on the blogosphere for a while to come: –Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, editor Jeffrey Wells has once…

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"Dream Job," "Arts Reporting" Unironically Paired At Hunter College Panel

OK, so maybe this has something to do with the Reeler Karma I was talking about last week, or maybe, again, it is just the the rich getting richer: Lewis Beale, whose essay last month on cinema’s Jewish babe renaissance is the most popular post ever published on this site, is slated to take part…

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Shrinking Film Critic

Seinfeld's doc-diss

The doc-maker who disses Seinfeld back has a point, but it’s not the one he thinks it is …

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Eddie Murphy wuz robbed

I mean, I’ve always loved Alan Arkin, but his performance in Little Miss Sunshine was pretty much what we’ve come to expect of him, his patented, deadpan codger. Whereas Murphy tried something wholly new in his career, and it was quite sensational, not only for being unexpected. Meanwhile, Peter O’Toole’s badly lifted face seemed to…

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Monday-morning quarterbacking on Oscars

I especially enjoyed when Pilobolus formed itself into Ellen DeGeneres’ crimson velour tracksuit. Other trenchant observations: Helen Mirren is sexier at any age than any woman with a facelift. Jack Nicholson is starting to look like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now. The actresses all seemed to have strangely symmetrical, erect nipples. Big attempt to make…

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Old MCN Blogs

Quote Unquotesee all »

What do you make of the criticism directed at the film that the biopic genre or format is intrinsically bourgeois? That’s the most crazy criticism. That’s an excuse for not engaging with the content of the movie. Film critics sometimes, you know, can be very lazy.

Come on, formal criticism is valuable too. But I’m amazed when this is the thing they put in front of the discourse. My situation is that I’m dealing with a highly explosive subject, a taboo subject that nobody wants to deal with.

Karl Marx? Yes, this is the first film ever in the Western world about Marx. And I managed to make an almost mainstream film out of it. You want me at the same time to play the artist and do a risky film about the way my camera moves and the way I edit? No, it’s complicated enough! The artistic challenge — and it took me ten years with Pascal to write this story — was the writing. That was the most difficult part. We were making a film about the evolution of an idea, which is impossible. To be able to have political discourse in a scene, and you can follow it, and it’s not simplified, and it’s historically true. This is the accomplishment. So when someone criticizes the formal aspects without seeing that first, for me, it’s laziness or ignorance. There’s an incapacity to deal with what’s on the table. I make political films about today, I’m not making a biopic to make a biopic. I don’t believe in being an artist just to be an artist. And by the way, this film cost $9 million. I dare anyone in the United States to make this film for $9 million.
Raoul Peck on The Young Karl Marx

“The Motion Picture Academy, at considerable expense and with great efficiency, runs all the nominated pictures at its own theater, showing each picture twice, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. A nominated picture is one in connection with which any kind of work is nominated for an award, not necessarily acting, directing, or writing; it may be a purely technical matter such as set-dressing or sound work. This running of pictures has the object of permitting the voters to look at films which they may happen to have missed or to have partly forgotten. It is an attempt to make them realize that pictures released early in the year, and since overlaid with several thicknesses of battered celluloid, are still in the running and that consideration of only those released a short time before the end of the year is not quite just.

“The effort is largely a waste. The people with votes don’t go to these showings. They send their relatives, friends, or servants. They have had enough of looking at pictures, and the voices of destiny are by no means inaudible in the Hollywood air. They have a brassy tone, but they are more than distinct.”All this is good democracy of a sort. We elect Congressmen and Presidents in much the same way, so why not actors, cameramen, writers, and all rest of the people who have to do with the making of pictures? If we permit noise, ballyhoo, and theater to influence us in the selection of the people who are to run the country, why should we object to the same methods in the selection of meritorious achievements in the film business? If we can huckster a President into the White House, why cannot we huckster the agonized Miss Joan Crawford or the hard and beautiful Miss Olivia de Havilland into possession of one of those golden statuettes which express the motion picture industry’s frantic desire to kiss itself on the back of its neck? The only answer I can think of is that the motion picture is an art. I say this with a very small voice. It is an inconsiderable statement and has a hard time not sounding a little ludicrous. Nevertheless it is a fact, not in the least diminished by the further facts that its ethos is so far pretty low and that its techniques are dominated by some pretty awful people.

“If you think most motion pictures are bad, which they are (including the foreign), find out from some initiate how they are made, and you will be astonished that any of them could be good. Making a fine motion picture is like painting “The Laughing Cavalier” in Macy’s basement, with a floorwalker to mix your colors for you. Of course most motion pictures are bad. Why wouldn’t they be?”
~ Raymond Chandler, “Oscar Night In Hollywood,” 1948