The problem is that cinema, as I define it and as something that inspired me, is under assault by the studios and, from what I can tell, with the full support of the audience. The reasons for this, in my opinion, are more economic than philosophical, but when you add an ample amount of fear and lack of vision and a lack of leadership you’ve got a trajectory that is pretty difficult to reverse.
- "Retired" director Steven Soderbergh
speaks to the San Francisco International Film Festival about the state of cinema
, full audio at bottom of page 2
posted by Artw
on Apr 29, 2013 -
6 Insane Stereotypes That Movies Can't Seem to Get Over.
Cracked.com list of overused, tired and offensive stereotypes of Africa, Asians, women, and more that frequently pop up in mainstream films.
"Imagine if every single movie set in America was filmed in Alaska and focused on gang violence -- that's how Africans feel every time they watch a Hollywood movie about warlords fighting in the desert. Which is a problem for their tourism industry: A board member for the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa even takes the time to explain that there are "middle class people in every African country commuting to work every day, complaining about taxes and watching their kids play soccer every weekend."
That's right: Instead of focusing on the rich wildlife and history, the tourism industry actually has to remind people that coming to their country isn't a fucking death warrant."
posted by sweetkid
on Feb 27, 2013 -
The Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith
is an irregularly released podcast where Mr. Goldsmith interviews, at length (each episode runs an hour or more), working Hollywood and foreign screenwriters. The most recent episode is a panel conversation with the year's Oscar-nominated screenwriters. You can listen to the podcasts on his site or subscribe in iTunes or on Android.
Goldsmith is also the publisher of the terrific screenwriting magazine Backstory
--currently only available for the iPad but coming (eventually) to the web and Android. You can download the first issue (which is wonderful, and contains full length scripts along with the interviews and stories) for free.
posted by dobbs
on Feb 7, 2013 -
During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code
from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness
(1935), Reefer Madness
(1936) and The Cocaine Fiends
(1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 15, 2012 -
The Flick Chick - 11 Days of Garbo
: "I recently bought the Greta Garbo Signature Collection
...I've been enjoying the collection so much that I've decided to dedicate the next 11 days to looking at the 11 films included in the collection: three silents, the pre-code films which helped establish her as a star who could continue into the sound age, the films made towards the end of her film career for which she is perhaps best known, and a documentary feature produced by Turner Classic Movies." [more inside]
posted by mediareport
on Sep 5, 2012 -
The wonderful, and fairly rare, 13-part documentary series from 1980 - Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film
- is narrated by James Mason for Thames Television. Episode One - The Pioneers
- [52 mins] [the rest are linked inside]
"the evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.*" [more inside]
posted by peacay
on Jun 18, 2012 -
What you see here is a prime example of what happens to film that is neglected and improperly stored.
This is an original reel from It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World that is now untouchable. The film has turned acidic, sporting the strongest and most foul vinegar-like odor I have ever smelled. In fact,
Robert Harris told me a story of how his contact lenses were singed by the fumes the film produced, causing temporary retinal damage to his eye. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Apr 27, 2012 -
The Seventh Art
is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy
on Feb 10, 2012 -
Yet by 1944 the IRS named Barbara Stanwyck the highest-paid woman in America. From 1930-57, she did a minimum of two pictures a year, sometimes even four or five. Yet it wasn't workaholism, according to the actress: "I was afraid they'd get somebody better, frankly. I never really thought I had any clout. For a lot of years I was free-lancing, by choice, but I think discipline stays with you. It's this fear that maybe somebody can come in and take over. Maybe a Redford or a Streep can take the luxury of a year off, but I never thought I could. Of course, we were more workable in those days. And they make more money now. Anyway, I never had self-assurance about leaving."
posted by Trurl
on Nov 27, 2011 -
Leonard Michaels' "The Zipper"
: Rita Hayworth is never seen disrobed in the movie, though it is threatened more than once. The atmosphere of dark repression and mysterious forces – the mood or feeling of the movie – might be destroyed by the revelation of her body. It scared me as she began her striptease dance in the nightclub. I didn’t want everybody to see her body, or even to see that Rita Hayworth had a body. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Sep 5, 2011 -
An unbelievable collection of Roddy McDowall’s never-before-seen silent home movies from the summer of 1965 were uploaded onto YouTube yesterday, featuring impossibly young, impossibly gorgeous stars like Natalie Wood, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Hope Lange, and Rock Hudson frolicking on the beach. You simply MUST go to the website and watch them all. The takeaway for me, though, is Sal Mineo slinking out the back door with a guilty-looking blond who may or may not be Bobby Sherman. What were THEY up to? Also mesmerizing: The closeup of Natalie Wood’s freckles, Jane Fonda sticking out her tongue, and Paul Newman’s hunky son.
posted by BoringPostcards
on Sep 5, 2011 -
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library today launched its latest online research tool, the Production Art Database. The database contains records for more than 5,300 items from the library’s collection, including motion picture costume and production design drawings, animation art, storyboards and paintings. Nearly half of the records include images, making this an invaluable online resource for researchers interested in motion picture design.
posted by Trurl
on Jul 2, 2011 -
First, there was colossal miscalculation
. Something so bad it could make parable a four-letter word
. Didn't faze him. His next was "bizarrely compelling... Slower than watching a train wreck,"
but yet invoking, "that same level of disbelief."
It was also like swallowing spiky clusters of manure
. Maybe he had lost his mind
? But yet he rose again... Or should we say he blew? No really, it was the wind this time . A feeble gust of an environmental horror story. "You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career."
Alas, like the undead, you cannot stop him. His latest, sitting at a paltry 0%* on the
, is whitewashed
, and offers an experience that's a headache-inducing
, husk that Roger Ebert called "agonizing... in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented."
It enchantingly makes, "Jake Lloyd’s performance in The Phantom Menace look studied."
And, "the Golden Compass... look like a four-star classic."
With $150 million spent on production, and $130 million on marketing alone
, has this "auteur"
finally created his masterpiece
? Or will it be the Last Straw® (in 3d
!)? [more inside]
posted by PBR
on Jun 30, 2010 -
Toy Story 3
hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim
as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D
and a "real-time"
perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst
of a generation that grew up with the series.
It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2
the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story
(itself the first CGI feature in history).
And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes
that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards
(including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation
), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history
But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality
(of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar
), two of their upcoming projects are sequels
, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2
in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2
in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave
, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously]
, fellow newcomer Newt
has been canceled
. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3
guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation
of John Carter of Mars
and with forays into live-action
already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar?
Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 18, 2010 -
Those who have watched a lot of Hollywood movies over the past few years may have noticed a trend: many of these films sport a uniform palette of teal and orange
, a result of the availability of digital colour-grading. Originally derived from applying complementary colour theory to human skin tones to make them stand out more, the teal-and-orange rule has spread, and is now being lazily applied across the board, whether appropriate or not.
posted by acb
on Mar 19, 2010 -