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Legendary film careers, Dissolved.
May 3, 2014 8:06 AM   Subscribe

With Career View, The Dissolve (previously) offers an extensive survey, and critical summary, of a career in film.

All links to The Dissolve, previously.
posted by Room 641-A (14 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

Hmmm. I understand the impulse to do this before the end of a career but I think it's a bit premature for some no? Jodi Foster is like barely 50.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:32 AM on May 3

Well, they do cover 40 years of her career. That's more than most of the others on that list...
posted by effbot at 9:48 AM on May 3

Fantastic roundup. I think The Dissolve is currently the best film site on the internet - the film reviews there are thoughtful and avoid snarkiness (with the exception of Nathan Rabin's delightful features like Forgotbusters) and they have a lot of solid op-eds on the current state of film media. They have a coherent editorial vision that I really like.

Also, it's both interesting and sad to see The AV Club tanking content-wise with the exodus of their good writers to The Dissolve.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 10:03 AM on May 3 [3 favorites]

Frobenius Twist: "Also, it's both interesting and sad to see The AV Club tanking content-wise with the exodus of their good writers to The Dissolve."

I'm really loving The Dissolve, too, but I can't remember what spawned the exodus of folks over to it. Can you tell us the exodus impetus?
posted by barnacles at 10:54 AM on May 3

If it's too early for Foster, it's way too early for the Coens.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:01 AM on May 3

If I remember, the leading theories on the avclub boards at the time of the staff exodus was that the staff left to form the Dissolve because there was ton of pressure for the Onion higher ups to crank out shitty content. At the time the first Top 13 Films with Aliens sort of shitty lists were appearing and it was becoming apparent that management was wanting to monetize the avclub by creating click bait. At the same time more and more of he staff was dedicated to daily tv re-caps (of vastly varying quantity), daily snarky news blurbs, and expanding coverages to include video games.

Seeing the direction that things were headed, I can see why the veteran writers bailed. I've been rooting for the Dissolve and I hope it is making enough to stay afloat. Good long form pieces by good writers.
posted by boubelium at 12:14 PM on May 3 [3 favorites]

I still read the AVClub but there is less good stuff lately and the new site design is so terrible that when there is good stuff, you can't find it.

The Dissolve has been consistently great since it started.
posted by octothorpe at 1:35 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

The Dissolve is still too snarky for me, and I still wish they had gone full Pitchfork and not had any comment sections.
posted by dogwalker at 2:00 PM on May 3

I was hoping this would include some like key grips and set designers and stuff.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:51 PM on May 3

I read the Coen brothers one, which was useful to me, at least because it highlights a bunch of Coen brothers movies I wouldn't have thought to look for.

But I was expecting more. This is an annotated catalog of their films. "Critical summary" sounds like more. All the summing up is extremely general and loose. The discussion of themes is quick and superficial. And the format means that there is no room for deep criticism of any particular movie. So there's no sustained criticism of their whole career, and there's no sustained criticism of any particular film -- it's a disappointing compromise, worst of both worlds.

I mean, maybe the real enemy here is my expectations, but: I am disappointed because of what I see as low ambitions. The Dissolve could have tried to produce some interesting original thought about a very interesting film career. Instead they made a list of movies and said which ones are good and bad.

Actually everything I've read on The Dissolve has disappointed me.
posted by grobstein at 3:01 PM on May 3

Friedkien has gotten a rought break, but at his best, he is one of the master's of atmosphere. Also, his best has lasted well into this decade, whcih is more t han any other 70s auter.
posted by PinkMoose at 7:09 PM on May 3

Yeah one of my big filmic hopes is that people eventually discover Bug.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:34 PM on May 3 [2 favorites]

I think it's a bit premature

Don't be daft, this isn't the Oscars. It's just looking at a career as a whole rather than just one project. Surely someone who has had a career can have that done to them.

ton of pressure for the Onion higher ups to crank out shitty content

Given that a number of recent Onion pieces have smelled a lot like product placement with gags (e.g.), I can believe this.

I was hoping this would include some like key grips and set designers and stuff.

It's not in this section, but I give you The Gag Man, an overview of Clyde Bruckman. It got me to watch a Buster Keaton I'd never seen before. A fan in the comments: "I have to join in the chorus of praise--this is a superb article, distinguished by genuine research that expands and clarifies our knowledge of Bruckman's sad life. Dessem has put a forgotten man back in the spotlight. "

No, I don't think The Dissolve is the best film writing I've ever seen, but it's consistently one of the best online magazines right now about film (even if it's somewhat inconsistent). But ultimately it's just a thinking man's film blog when you get down to it. I think it is likely to get better, though, and it's pretty ambitious -- even if it fails, biting off more than it can chew, it's still interesting and you can respect that. All the different approaches it's trying, from these career overview pieces to the "movie of the week" conversations, the "essential viewing" nominations, and the "best film writing of the week" round-ups, have all added immeasurably to my enjoyment of movies in a few brief months.
posted by dhartung at 12:32 AM on May 4 [1 favorite]

Ha ha, Bill Murray said in an interview that Republican's are still offended by the parade scene in Stripes (1981).
posted by Narrative_Historian at 2:18 AM on May 4

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