Hartley: ”Ever since the beginning of my career, I’ve wanted to make movies about my time and place. Film that get dated. You say, "Wow, that’s really the late nineties in America." "Henry Fool" is really dated. That time when the country went way to the right, and the internet was invented. Working this way with these stories is fun. I look around me and I say, "OK, what’s the world like now?" I want the films to reflect what society is doing around us.
Once lost, local critic fanbases will never be regained. This hurts the indies and studio subdivisions that are in the business of pushing Oscar contenders and lower-budget films for adults. Specialty fare needs local support and interpretation from the critic as explainer, interpreter, and champion. Over the years, critics helped audiences appreciate the likes of Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Arthur Penn’s “Bonnie and Clyde,” Bernardo Bertolucci’s “Last Tango in Paris,” Brian De Palma’s “Dressed to Kill,” Robert Altman’s “The Player,” the Coens’ “No Country for Old Men” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will be Blood.” Where would we have been without them?
When it comes to driving irresponsibly, movies like Furious 7 may exacerbate an already-serious problem: reckless teenage driving. According to CRC Health Group, teenagers have an accident rate four times that of adults. Further, drag racing itself remains popular – and deadly – in America. Statistics remains elusive because it is not always clear when an accident has been caused by an actual race, but one study found 1,047 racing deaths from 2001 to 2008 in the U.S. alone.
Perhaps there has never been a film about del Giocondo because she lived a very ordinary life, and little is known about her beyond that she married at 15, had 5 children, and died in a convent in her 60s. Perhaps the best way to tell her story is to show the everyday woman and her goings-on, I'm thinking Mia Wasikowska, so good at giving her character's rich inner lives while remaining slightly mysterious, but then to also make the Mona Lisa itself a character. Have Sarah Polley, who has previously excelled in telling woman's stories in Away From Her and Take This Waltz and juggled multiple storylines with Stories We Tell, show the extraordinary journey the painting has taken over the decades to make Lisa del Giocondo a legend.
The new PBS series Wolf Hall, an import from Britain and an adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s bestselling books, takes TV viewers inside the intense, cloistered world of King Henry VIII’s court, teeming with confidants, enemies, and, of course, potential wives. It’s based on history we’re all nominally familiar with—Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More, etc.— but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily easily to keep track of which man in the floppy Tudor hat is which.
There were better 2014 films than Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, for instance, but few as fascinating, controversial, or so famously the product of a clash between a director and a studio who didn’t always see eye-to-eye. And while it’s probably too soon to perform a full look at the whole, uncensored story, surely the film’s Blu-ray—which lists at $41.99—should have included more than three 20-minute making-of featurettes. Part of what made DVDs so exciting in their golden age was the wide variety of features found on many discs—and expected of high-profile releases of Noah’s scale. Why should a superior technology be giving viewers less?
Unless a film director draws our attention directly to its grander purpose, location is often the unsung hero of film, usually seen as nothing more than a mere backdrop, albeit often a picturesque one, for people’s problems to take place in. No great, or even halfway decent director takes location for granted though. If there is character to the setting of the film then the odds are that character is likely saying something about the film itself, as well. And until the day when we can all just teleport from one place to the next with ease, we have the movies to thank for taking us to places we may never otherwise see for ourselves.
“It was called Quitters as a joke,” says Kathleen. (In fact, Jim Bryson gets credit for the name.) “People said: ‘If you start a coffee shop, you quit music.’” Not so. Kathleen is routinely asked if she’s “the person who used to sing.” But putting it in the past tense is a little off key. “(Being a singer) doesn’t just get deleted from who I am.”
"Social Media Saved My Life"
By Laura Armstrong, Toronto Star
Great and personal interview with Toronto film critic Andrew Parker on the outpouring of support over Twitter last month that saved his life. It's a good read only months after a few narrow-minded individuals decried social media for 'killing the critic.' It turns out that viral voices can be a lifesaver in a variety of ways. Focus on the good side of things, people! :)
“We talk a lot about how social media is sort of like a no-man’s land, gang mentality. That’s definitely there; I know people that have had their lives irreparably damaged because of social media, but at the same time it can be a force for good,” [Parker] said.
Video(s) of the week:
What did you read (or watch) this week?
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