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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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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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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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 »

“We now have a situation where audiences very often prefer commercial trash to Bergman’s Persona or Bresson’s L’Argent. Professionals find themselves shrugging, and predicting that serious, significant works will have no success with the general public. What is the explanation? Decline of taste or impoverishment of repertoire? Neither and both. It is simply that cinema now exists, and is evolving, under new conditions. That total, enthralling impression which once overwhelmed the audiences of the 1930s was explained by the universal delight of those who were witnessing and rejoicing over the birth of a new art form, which furthermore had recently acquired sound. By the very fact of its existence this new art, which displayed a new kind of wholeness, a new kind of image, and revealed hitherto unexplored areas of reality, could not but astound its audiences and turn them into passionate enthusiasts.

Less than twenty years now separate us from the twenty-first century. In the course of its existence, through its peaks and troughs, cinema has travelled a long and tortuous path. The relationship that has grown up between artistic films and the commercial cinema is not an easy one, and the gulf between the two becomes wider every day. Nonetheless, films are being made all the time that are undoubtedly landmarks in the history of cinema. Audiences have become more discerning in their attitude to films. Cinema as such long ago ceased to amaze them as a new and original phenomenon; and at the same time it is expected to answer a far wider range of individual needs. Audiences have developed their likes and dislikes. That means that the filmmaker in turn has an audience that is constant, his own circle. Divergence of taste on the part of audiences can be extreme, and this is in no way regrettable or alarming; the fact that people have their own aesthetic criteria indicates a growth of self-awareness.

Directors are going deeper into the areas which concern them. There are faithful audiences and favorite directors, so that there is no question of thinking in terms of unqualified success with the public—that is, if one is talking about cinema not as commercial entertainment but as art. Indeed, mass popularity suggests what is known as mass culture, and not art.”
~ Andrei Tarkovsky, “Sculpting In Time”

“People seem to be watching [fewer] movies, which I think is a mistake on people’s parts, and they seem to be making more of them, which I think is okay. Some of these movies are very good. When you look at the quality of Sundance movies right now, they are a lot better than they were when I was a kid. I do think that there have been improvements artistically, but it’s tough. We’ve got a system that’s built for less movies in terms of how many curatorial standard-bearers we have in the states. It’s time for us to expand our ideas of where we find our great films in America, but that said, it’s a real hustle. I’m so happy that Factory 25 exists. If it didn’t exist, there would be so many movies that wouldn’t ever get distributed because Matt Grady is the only person who has seen the commercial potential in them. He’s preserving a very special moment in independent film history that the commercial system is not going to be preserving. He’s figuring out how to make enough money on it to save these films and get them onto people’s shelves.”
~ Homemakers‘ Colin Healey On Indie Distribution