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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

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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