By Ray Pride - Thursday, May 5th, 2016
“The outstanding political film of the 2016 presidential season is about the 2013 New York City mayoral race. Like many of the best documentaries, it brings you so close to people in their unguarded moments that you marvel at the trust, or complicity, that grew between the filmmakers and their subjects. Unlike most, it shows some of these people wondering how the film has even come to exist—an inescapable question, given that the intrusion into its chosen candidate’s life is extreme, and the candidate’s urge to self-broadcast has led to his extremity. “Shit. This is the worst: doing a documentary on my scandal,” mutters Anthony Weiner—seven-time US congressman, two-time New York mayoral candidate, and twice-exposed enthusiast of cell-phone flirtation—as seen at the beginning of Weiner. At the conclusion, after this second mayoral bid has ended in humiliation, an off-camera Josh Kriegman (who codirected with Elyse Steinberg) rounds out the theme by asking the obvious: “Why have you let me film this?”
~ Stuart Klawans Measures Weiner
By Ray Pride - Thursday, May 5th, 2016
“This very crowded, reasonably enjoyable installment in the Avengers cycle reveals, even more than its predecessors, an essential truth about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not so much a grand science-fiction saga, or even a series of action-adventure movies, as a very expensive, perpetually renewed workplace sitcom. New characters are added as the seasons wear on. Cast members are replaced. The thing gets a little baroque and tests the boundaries of coherence, but we keep showing up because it can be pleasant, in a no-pressure, low-key kind of way, to hang out with these people as they banter and squabble and get the job done. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows both your street name and your nom de cape. (And yes, thank you, I’m perfectly aware that these Marvel superheroes don’t wear capes.)”
~ A. O. Scott’s Captain America Review Exemplifies What Variety Once Described As “Torpid Mitting”
By Ray Pride - Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
“I never, ever, ever read anything about myself. Not my interviews, not stories about me. I never, ever read any criticism of my films. I scrupulously have avoided any self-preoccupation. When I first started, that was not the case. I just pay attention to the work and don’t read about how great I am or what a fool I am. The enjoyment has got to come from doing the project. It’s fun to get up in the morning and have your script in front of you and to meet with your scenic designer and your cinematographer, to get out on the set and work with these charming men and beautiful women and put in this Cole Porter music and great costumes. When that’s over, and you’ve made your best movie, move on. I never look at the movie again — I never read anything about it again.”
~ Woody Allen
By Ray Pride - Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
I do think the polemic of diversity right now is being handled with a lead pipe. It’s talked about in a way that’s not complex— and it’s a very complex issue. It’s not black and white. It’s not a conspiracy to keep women down. It’s a psychology of risk aversion. Women are question marks to the studios The indie world is changing, television is changing, but if you talk about mainstream Hollywood, they’re still looking at a question mark. [So] it’s not some kind of war. It’s people trying to figure out, imperfectly, how to change a culture that has been one way for a really long time. In terms of this movie, though, Sony was on our ass about diversity from day one. They were like, ‘Look: We want you to make your own movie. We just also want to tell you that there are other options, ones that we’re really open to, and here’s all the people we love.’ And those lists, they were the most diverse lists I’ve ever seen.
~ Jodie Foster
By Ray Pride - Sunday, May 1st, 2016
Which is easier, writing or directing a film?
Those are two totally different things. Writing is slightly easier because you can do it in bed.
~ Ben Wheatley To The BBC
By Ray Pride - Wednesday, April 27th, 2016
You can neither make beautiful, great movies without risk as you can make babies without sex. Risk is part of the artistic process. That’s why I like performance, because performance is walking a high wire.
~ Francis Coppola
By Ray Pride - Friday, April 22nd, 2016
“Probably the most heralded movie I’ve ever been in was Forrest Gump. While I was sitting on the park bench, I asked Bob, ‘Is anyone going to care about this guy?’ He said, ‘I don’t know Tom. It’s a mine field. It’s a fucking mine field.’ So when it works, you just say, ‘We dodged all the mines.'”
~ Tom Hanks
By Ray Pride - Thursday, April 7th, 2016
“I don’t know if everybody else walks around feeling very confident in what other people are thinking, I’m sure not. Other people are a complete mystery to me. I told my daughter when she reached dating age, “If you want to know what’s going on, turn the sound off and just analyze how he’s acting. Like what he does, not what he says if you want to know what’s happening.” She said, “Oh okay, that makes sense.” That’s my only way, is watching how people behave instead of listening to what they say. Nobody knows what’s going on.”
~ Steven Soderbergh
By Ray Pride - Friday, April 1st, 2016
“I’ve been thinking about a book for many, many, many years now, and it’s just not coming into fruition. I know the ending. I know the first quarter. I’ve been thinking about this book every day for the last six or seven years. But I’m distracted by other things right now that seem to be just calling out to me more. I’m really interested in filmmaking, visual art and content creation that is not necessarily as weighed down as writing. And I’ve been doing the podcast, directing a web series, directing commercials. All this right now seems much more interesting to me than the idea of the novel. I mean, I’ve published seven books. That’s a lot. I don’t know how many more I should be doing, but I have to feel it. I’m not going to write a book just to fulfill a contract. That seems like the definition of hell to me.”
~ Bret Easton Ellis
By Ray Pride - Saturday, March 26th, 2016
According to an executive involved in the debate, Di Bonaventura argued that Superman Vs. Batman boiled down the characters to their essence; not going ahead with it, he said, would be “one of the great mistakes of all time.” Robinov agrees that it was an excellent script, but “rather than reintroduce the two characters in one film, we made a conscious decision to try and introduce the two characters independently. I think it gave us a lot more latitude to continue with Batman,” he says.
The vote was 11-1 in favor of “Superman” — Di Bonaventura’s was the one dissenting vote. For Di Bonaventura, the “Superman Vs. Batman” episode was just symptomatic of a larger rift, and he resigned his post the following month, in September 2002. In the eyes of many comic book boosters, Warner Bros. made the right decision. ” ‘Batman Vs. Superman’ is where you go when you admit to yourself that you’ve exhausted all possibilities,” says Goyer, who wrote the screenplays for “Blade” and its two sequels. “It’s like ‘Frankenstein meets Wolfman’ or ‘Freddy Vs. Jason.’ It’s somewhat of an admission that this franchise is on its last gasp.”
~ LA Times, 8 May 2005
By Ray Pride - Friday, March 25th, 2016
Michael Shannon on Batman v Superman
I’m so utterly unconcerned with the outcome of that fight. So profoundly, utterly unconcerned. I can’t even come up with a fake answer. I guess I have to root for Superman because he killed me, so I would hope that he would continue his killing spree and become like a serial killer Superman. That’s a new take on Superman. We’d all be in a heap of trouble if Superman was a serial killer. He could just wipe us all out. But then he’d be lonely.
Isn’t he already lonely?
Well, we’re all lonely.
By Ray Pride - Thursday, March 24th, 2016
My friends say I have trouble with intimacy. But they don’t really know me.
~ Garry Shandling
By Ray Pride - Thursday, March 24th, 2016
“I am so sad. Garry was my dear friend and was and always will be my teacher. Garry redesigned the wheel of comedy and he was the kindest and funniest of geniuses. I will miss him so much.”
~ Jeffrey Tambor
By Ray Pride - Thursday, March 17th, 2016
In the movie, we also see a couple of your editors talking about how difficult it is getting you to turn in pieces sometimes. We see you procrastinating—and you say yourself that you’re a great procrastinator. We see you talking about having seen a therapist for writer’s block. Is the process of writing something that you have a distaste for?
“Oh, I don’t have a distaste for it. I’m a perfectionist, probably, and the sight of a false sentence just fills me with fear and loathing. And I’ve worked with enough writers to know that it’s not super unusual. But, you know, you start out, “This is going to be the best piece ever!” And then it’s going to be, “Well, this’ll be OK.” Then you go through the thing of self-loathing—“Oh my God, how am I going to do this?” And then you come to the point of, “The English language—how does it work? How do words even follow one another?” [Laughs.] And then that gripping fear comes in of missing the deadline. And then—pfff—you finish. And my copy’s really clean; I always self-edit a lot as I go along. But I’ve never been one of those people who could turn off their Internet. It’s hard.”
~ City of Gold‘s Jonathan Gold On Procrastination
By Ray Pride - Thursday, March 17th, 2016
“The main thing that I would say to somebody who’s looking to do creative work is, just do it now. Don’t wait. It’s so hard to make anything, that it’s just easy to put it off, and be like, when I get the right financing, when I get the right this or that—just start doing it now. Because one of the great things about this moment in our culture, it’s never been easier to make something. The technology’s never been cheaper, and honestly the way to get the thing out to people is get your stuff out on the Internet, and get an audience, and get a small version to get you enough backing to do the big version. There’s so many fucked-up things in our country and in the world right now, and we live in a very dark climate. But the one place where things are going great is, if you want to do creative work, you can actually make some version and get it to people. And just don’t wait, is what I’m saying. Don’t wait. Just make the thing. Make a version. And then make it better. And then make it better.”
~ Ira Glass
By Ray Pride - Sunday, March 13th, 2016
“Whether you keep up with celebrity affairs or not, you can’t really ignore the Kardashians—and you definitely can’t avoid knowing what people think about them. When Kim Kardashian posted a nude selfie on Twitter this week, there was a smattering of “you go girl” support, but also a wave of criticism about her immodesty or her pathological need for attention. The response from the public and from other celebrities said a lot about what we think of Kim Kardashian, but even more about what we think of women’s bodies and sexuality. In a culture where we see billboard-sized images of boobs on the daily, why is it this nude picture that makes everyone clutch their pearls?
“When a woman is depicted in a sexualized way, with no depth beyond her appearance in order to sell beer, cars, or sandwiches, we call it advertising. We see it everywhere in public space and in media, and hardly anyone ever objects.
“When overtly sexual or nude photos and videos of women are posted online or nude photos are printed in magazines, we call it porn. We don’t see it everywhere in the public space, but we’re aware of its ubiquity, and as a culture we look the other way. We say, “Boys will be boys.” Yet being a porn star is considered incredibly shameful for a young woman. It’s okay to look at porn. It’s okay to consume images of women’s bodies. It’s not okay to offer up your body to be seen.
“The women in porn are almost always presented as passive to the male gaze, unyielding, with no complication of a personality, no danger to the male ego of possibly hearing the word “no,” existing only for the pleasure of men’s eyes. The women in advertising are often cut up into body parts—just a midriff, just a pair of legs—or turned into objects. Those are the times a woman’s form and sexuality are acceptable. But if you are a woman just feeling yourself and expressing your sexuality, presenting yourself the way you feel like at any given moment, or leveraging your own power or sexual energy, you are condemned and disrespected, maybe even threatened, assaulted, or killed.
“When a woman is feeling good about the way she looks—empowered, beautiful, or confident in her appearance—and expresses this feeling by taking a photo of herself, clothed or nude, and sharing it online, we punish her.”
~ Jayn Griffith On The Nude Selfie Freakout
By Ray Pride - Tuesday, March 8th, 2016
“My sister Lana and I have largely avoided the press. I find talking about my art frustratingly tedious and talking about myself a wholly mortifying experience. I knew at some point I would have to come out publicly. You know, when you’re living as an out transgender person it’s … kind of difficult to hide. I just wanted—needed some time to get my head right, to feel comfortable.
But apparently I don’t get to decide this.
After he had given me his card, and I closed the door it began to dawn on me where I had heard of the Daily Mail. It was the “news” organization that had played a huge part in the national public outing of Lucy Meadows, an elementary school teacher and trans woman in the UK. An editorial in the “not-a-tabloid” demonized her as a damaging influence on the children’s delicate innocence and summarized “he’s not only trapped in the wrong body, he’s in the wrong job.” The reason I knew about her wasn’t because she was transgender it was because three months after the Daily Mail article came out, Lucy committed suicide.
And now here they were, at my front door, almost as if to say—
“There’s another one! Let’s drag ’em out in the open so we can all have a look!”
Being transgender is not easy. We live in a majority-enforced gender binary world. This means when you’re transgender you have to face the hard reality of living the rest of your life in a world that is openly hostile to you.
I am one of the lucky ones. Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process. Transgender people without support, means and privilege do not have this luxury. And many do not survive. In 2015, the transgender murder rate hit an all-time high in this country. A horrifying disproportionate number of the victims were trans women of color. These are only the recorded homicides so, since trans people do not all fit in the tidy gender binary statistics of murder rates, it means the actual numbers are higher.
And though we have come a long way since Silence of the Lambs, we continue to be demonized and vilified in the media where attack ads portray us as potential predators to keep us from even using the goddamn bathroom. The so-called bathroom bills that are popping up all over this country do not keep children safe, they force trans people into using bathrooms where they can be beaten and or murdered. We are not predators, we are prey.
So yeah, I’m transgender.
And yeah, I’ve transitioned.”
~ Lilly Wachowski
By Ray Pride - Friday, March 4th, 2016
“With film, you have to get the timing exactly right, because timing is everything. It’s different with literature. One of my favorite books, Musil’s ‘The Man Without Qualities,’ doesn’t have much going for it in the way of timing. Unless you’re interested in its smallest details and digressions, there’s no point in reading the novel. A film, on the other hand, lasts for one and a half to two hours, and you have to be able to tell your story within that framework. Every single minute has to work. And that’s precisely the art of filmmaking—having the eye to tell whether something works or not. It is true for authors of any sort that, on the one hand, you’re incredibly skeptical toward your creative output, while on the other hand, you get drunk on every single one of your ideas. ‘Kill your darlings’ is one of my favorite sayings, and it’s what I always try to teach my students—don’t take every single fart you rip so damn seriously. Think about how you’d react if you had to watch it.
“If you make realist films—as I do—your task is to render your story into something that is credible and plausible. It starts with the plot—whether your story is believable or not. Then there are the actors—do they manage to convey the story to you in a way that seems realistic? If they don’t, the viewer is never going to buy the scene, no matter how well you wrote it. That’s the hard thing about my job—you end up competing with reality on so many levels. You’re always up against your viewer’s personal experience. Every viewer knows what somebody looks like when they’re taking a bath or walking out the door. Their own experience enables them to recognize whether a scene works. In turn, they won’t believe your story if you didn’t pull it off. You have to exercise great care—not just with the script, but in every small detail.”
~ Michael Haneke On The Killing Of Darlings
By MCN Editor - Thursday, March 3rd, 2016
“With the corpse of a nightmare called Knight of Cups, I have finally given up on Terrence Malick. This dog of a film is as riveting and fascinating as a walk-in bathtub. Wafting across the Nevada desert at dusk like Sean Penn in the abominable Tree of Life, Mr. Bale looks blank as a cardboard UPS box. Inconclusive with knuckleheaded indecision like Ben Affleck in the paralyzing tedium of To the Wonder, he loses the audience through the looking glass before you can open your popcorn bag and mutter “Come back, Alice, all is forgiven.” After a lot of inarticulate gibberish about a pearl, a cup and a prince who can’t awaken from a deep sleep, Mr. Bale’s beach condo is hit by a hurricane [sic]. At least Quentin Tarantino would have shown us some skin.”
~ John Simon Is Silent, Kael, Kaufmann, Archer And Sarris Are Gone, But It Seems Like We’ll Always Have Rex Reed In Trump’s Son-In-Law’s Paper
By Ray Pride - Tuesday, March 1st, 2016
“What I realized was, Malick loves to be on his feet and just making movies,” Lennon said. “I don’t mean the editing, just the location, shooting a scene, and letting things happen. I mean, it was honestly an absolutely batshit crazy day. But I would have instantly come back and done it another day if the opportunity came up.”
~ Thomas Lennon On Working With Terrence Malick