German “Hard Sensations” Takes Armond White For A 3,400-Word Spin

“Every film has to stand next the best that has been done. Otherwise we are all dupes. My criticism is never a personal disparagement but I do take art seriously and take film criticism seriously. Replace ‘harsh’ with ‘honest’ because that’s how every critic should be. Being a film critic can be fun—as well as hard work. Being Rotten Tomatoes is just juvenile idiocy, a way of nullifying real film criticism.When websites and cliques expel me, it’s a sign of the culture’s weak and cowardly inability to engage in discourse. If there is such a thing as contrarianism, then please define the conformity and group-think that it’s contrary to… A critic needs a strong voice. A gentleman has manners.”
~ German “Hard Sensations” Takes Armond White For A 3,400-Word Spin

David Chase Refutes Vox Writer

A statement from David Chase’s representative, Leslee Dart:

A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David Chase said in their interview. To simply quote David as saying,“ Tony Soprano is not dead,” is inaccurate. There is a much larger context for that statement and as such, it is not true. As David Chase has said numerous times on the record, “Whether Tony Soprano is alive or dead is not the point.” To continue to search for this answer is fruitless. The final scene of THE SOPRANOS raises a spiritual question that has no right or wrong answer.
~ David Chase Refutes Vox Writer

Manohla Dargis’ Deadly Lede For Review Of The Giver

“By the time the sounds of the Von Trapp children warbling ‘Silent Night’ drift through The Giver, you may find yourself wondering what fresh movie hell this is. In truth, the enervating hash of dystopian dread, vague religiosity and commercial advertising-style uplift is nothing if not stale. Adapted from Lois Lowry’s book for young readers, the story involves an isolated society that, with its cubistic dwellings, mindless smiles, monochromatic environs and nebulous communitarianism, seem modeled on a Scandinavian country or an old Mentos commercial.”
~ Manohla Dargis’ Deadly Lede For Review Of The Giver

Wesley Morris On Let’s Be Cops, The Shooting In Ferguson, Obama…

“It’s possible that in the coming days or, God forbid, weeks, the president could have something more specific to say about the freighted decades-long history of political imbalance at work, in this case between a mostly black working-class town and its majority white government and police force. But this is a black man who must choose his words about race, governance, and law enforcement even more carefully than a white politician would. And this is the third summer in which, as president, he would have to do so…

“Until this point in the turmoil, the absence of the crucial second face in the incident seemed to heighten the distance between police and the people they serve. It grants them both an anonymity and autonomy that matches the bizarre transformation, in Ferguson and elsewhere, of police into troops. The riot gear turns 2014 into a dot on a Jim Crow–era timeline. Since the officer’s name wasn’t made public more immediately, it should have seemed urgent for the police to lose the riot attire and take steps to minimize distrust, to dispel the contagious assumption that silence equates racism…

“What is so affecting isn’t just that 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed when he was barely a man. It’s other things as well. One was how many reports of the incident that first day mentioned that he was about to start college. That’s a rite that’s universally emotional. But for a black male from a poor family, the first day of college is a freighted day that usually requires the sacrifice of more than one person. Black people know the odds of getting to and graduating from college, and that they’re low. That Brown seemed to be on the right path compounded the parental, local, and national outrage over his being wiped from it.”

~ Wesley Morris On Let’s Be Cops, The Shooting In Ferguson, Obama…


Danny Leigh On The Rover

“Michôd’s previous film was the much-admired crime drama Animal Kingdom, and at first you feel the absence of that movie’s Shakespearean brawn. But The Rover works its way under the skin, our impending doom sallow and sweat-drenched. Against the endless horizon, it pulls us in close enough to feel its breath (uncomfortable when you can all but smell the cast). Michôd is expert at cranking tension, assured enough to follow it with a meditative pause, or even a wave of sugary pop music. This future is so messed up you can’t even depend on getting shot.”
~ Danny Leigh On The Rover

Robin Williams To The Guardian’s Decca Aitkenhead In 2010

“I was in a small town where it’s not the edge of the world, but you can see it from there, and then I thought: drinking. I just thought, hey, maybe drinking will help. Because I felt alone and afraid. It was that thing of working so much, and going fuck, maybe that will help. And it was the worst thing in the world. You feel warm and kind of wonderful. And then the next thing you know, it’s a problem, and you’re isolated. It’s just literally being afraid. And you think, oh, this will ease the fear. And it doesn’t. It’s just a general all-round arggghhh. It’s fearfulness and anxiety. Cocaine? Paranoid and impotent, what fun. There was no bit of me thinking, ooh, let’s go back to that. Useless conversations until midnight, waking up at dawn feeling like a vampire on a day pass. No. For that first week you lie to yourself, and tell yourself you can stop, and then your body kicks back and says, no, stop later. And then it took about three years, and finally you do stop.”
~ Robin Williams To The Guardian’s Decca Aitkenhead In 2010

Marc Maron On Robin Williams

“I think that the Robin Williams episode was fairly astounding to a lot of people. I knew he was capable of being very sweet and almost shy. But I didn’t know that he would talk as candidly as he did to me. I think that episode, in terms of showing or exploring or actually being present for someone who is a very public person and someone who is notoriously manic and elusive by virtue of bombastic improvisations and riffs, to hear him speak so quietly and candidly about his heart attack, about his drug rehabs, about divorce, about depression, and about stealing jokes was, I think, something that was just never imagined, quite frankly. To deal with it in a relatively unfunny way. I don’t know what he thought about it. I think he was happy with it.”
~ Marc Maron On Robin Williams

Peter Bradshaw on Abel Ferrara

“Abel Ferrara’s crazy, sulphurous, toweringly unpleasant Welcome to New York is like an “issue” movie about sexual assault being beamed to cinema screens live from the seventh circle of hell. There are no blurred lines here, no ambiguities, no water-cooler talking points about gradations of consent. This film’s protagonist is simply guilty; he is a rapist, grown obese on his own wealth and entitlement. Steve McQueen made a movie about sex addiction called Shame. This one could be called ‘Pride.’ Or maybe ‘Self-Pity.’ Only Ferrara, that raucous director, could have made it—being so entirely unencumbered by the kind of middlebrow good taste that might have led another kind of filmmaker into revisionism and equivocation. Ferrara was the director responsible for the underrated pulp classics The Addiction and The Funeral, all about the endless DNA-replication of evil. We get a taste here of the same eternal despair. There are some clunky moments in the dialogue and direction, and maybe Ferrara doesn’t quite finesse the switches between French and English, but Welcome to New York has the brutal courage of its convictions. It sets out to show a monster, and it succeeds.”
Peter Bradshaw on Abel Ferrara

Werner Herzog To Mark Olsen

“I have to interrupt you. No. the answer is no. I’m just a storyteller. Please don’t confuse the character in a story and the storyteller. Of course there is a connection and of course there is a human being that you sense behind the films, but don’t take it one-on-one that Herzog is Aguirre, the mad conquistador or something like that. This attempt has been made and it has failed all the time. Thank God, I’m not the central figure of my films.”
~ Werner Herzog To Mark Olsen

wanberg On Swanberg By Borelli

“I am just grateful I am still around. I would love to be Steven Soderbergh, but I am lucky to be Joe Swanberg. Actors want to work with me, people want to give me money, and my nightmare scenario remains: Getting in bed with a studio, spending years on a movie, and it turns out horrible, but now I’m rich.”

Actually, by Hollywood standards, you’re right, I said. That is unambitious.

“It is, and yet, if you can go to bed happy at night, doing what you want, isn’t that ambition for a lifetime?”
~ Swanberg On Swanberg By Borelli

John le Carré on Philip Seymour Hoffman

“In retrospect, nothing of that kind surprised me about Philip, because his intuition was luminous from the instant you met him. So was his intelligence. A lot of actors act intelligent, but Philip was the real thing: a shining, artistic polymath with an intelligence that came at you like a pair of headlights and enveloped you from the moment he grabbed your hand, put a huge arm round your neck and shoved a cheek against yours; or if the mood took him, hugged you to him like a big, pudgy schoolboy, then stood and beamed at you while he took stock of the effect.”
John le Carré on Philip Seymour Hoffman 

Susan Crawford At Bloomberg View

“In 2010, Gary Shteyngart’s “Super Sad True Love Story” amused readers with its futuristic depiction of people traveling via UnitedContinentalDeltamerican and banking with AlliedWasteCVSCitigroupCredit. In Shteyngart’s imagination, only two television channels provided all “Media”: Fox Liberty-Prime and Fox Liberty-Ultra. The merger of Time Warner Inc. and Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., apparently suggested by Rupert Murdoch last month, shows Shteyngart was only barely ahead of his time.”
~ Susan Crawford At Bloomberg View

David Thomson On Roger Ebert

“Roger Ebert was one of the nicest, warmest and most generous of people—he was also probably the last film critic who was in any real way known to the general public. I don’t think he was a great critic because in his fame he met and knew many movie people. He liked them and he felt drawn to be generous. I’m not sure good critics can or should bother about being liked.”
~ David Thomson On Roger Ebert


Oscar Wilde, via Monte Hellman

“By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.”
~ Oscar Wilde, via Monte Hellman

“I know the old dictum about ‘nil nisi bonum,’ but from the evidence in these comments, [Pauline Kael is] obviously not dead. No one heeded Mitchum’s advice about driving a stake through her heart to be sure. In any case, our beef isn’t with her, but rather with a system that has so little respect for the medium we love, that they promote journalists from the restaurant and cooking pages to write movie reviews. Not to say there aren’t some truly qualified students of the seventh art who grace the ranks of our critics, but I think they’re in the minority. And why on earth do we let people excuse her, and others like her, by saying she was such a good writer?’ Since when did neurotic verbal exhibitionism make someone a good writer? Would we even read three sentences of her so-called writing if it were in a novel or any other work of serious prose?”
~ Monte Hellman, via Facebook

Soderbergh Surmises

‘This country is too fucking big. I honestly think… In nature, if a cell gets too big, it divides. You can’t come up with a set of rules that’s going to work for 350 million people. You’re just not. So we’re stuck. Robert Kennedy had this great quote: “20 percent of people are against everything, all the time.” That’s a big number now. And you know what? “No” is easy. “No” doesn’t require any follow-up, commitment. “Yes” is hard, “yes” has to be worked on. It needs a lot of people to keep it as “yes.” That’s where we’re at. When I’m president, we’re going back to the Thirteen Colonies, is what we’re going to do. It’s a weird time. Because the trajectory… Wow, I look around and I’m alarmed. I guess every generation feels that way, I don’t know, but I’m really alarmed. I talk to smart people who work in fields either, you know, neurocognition or social analysis, I go, “Am I going nuts or is this thing going a certain direction, really fast?” All of them go, “You’re not imagining things.” And I go, “What do we do?” This could turn into Mad Max, like tomorrow. The fabric is so thin, I feel like.”
~ Soderbergh Surmises

“Life Itself is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love. Ebert was, by his own and others’ accounts, transformed by meeting and marrying Chaz when he was 50. She was an African-American civil rights lawyer more interested, as he put it, in who he was than in what he did. He became part of her extended family, and as we watch him in home videos from the good days before his troubles started, it is like watching a man blossoming before our eyes.”

Life Itself is a work of deftness and delicacy, by turns a film about illness and death, about writing, about cinema and, finally, and very movingly a film about love. Ebert was, by his own and others’ accounts, transformed by meeting and marrying Chaz when he was 50. She was an African-American civil rights lawyer more interested, as he put it, in who he was than in what he did. He became part of her extended family, and as we watch him in home videos from the good days before his troubles started, it is like watching a man blossoming before our eyes.”
~ Geoffrey O’Brien on Life Itself

John Berger, “Ways Of Seeing,” 1972

“The means of reproduction are used politically and commercially to disguise or deny what their existence makes possible. But sometimes individuals use them differently. Adults and children sometimes have boards in their bedrooms or living-rooms on which they pin pieces of paper: letters, snapshots, reproductions of paintings, newspaper cuttings, original drawings, postcards. On each board all the images belong to the same language and all are more or less equal within it, because they have been chosen in a highly personal way to match and express the experience of the room’s inhabitant. Logically, these boards should replace museums.”
~ John Berger, “Ways Of Seeing,” 1972

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“A lot of artists think they want anger. But a real, strong, bitter anger occupies the mind, leaving no room for creativity.”
~ David Lynch

“Studios treat audiences like lemmings, like cattle in a stockyard. I don’t want to ask actors or anyone else on a movie to work so hard with me if the studios treat us as though we’re making Big Macs. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is not a Big Mac. Gone Girl is not a Big Mac.”
~ David Fincher In The October Playboy