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Holocaust Denial Goes Hollywood

Until a few weeks ago, David Stein was known mainly as a maker of documentaries on the Holocaust for schools and as the man behind Republican Party Animals, a social club for conservatives in film and television. Then it was revealed that Stein is actually David Cole, who achieved notoriety in the 1990s for arguing that the Holocaust wasn't as horrible as it is claimed to have been. Moreover, while Stein's documentaries have reflected the consensus position on the Holocaust, he says he still has doubts: "The best guess is yes, there were gas chambers. But there is still a lot of murkiness about the camps." His former associates, meanwhile, are distancing themselves from him as fast as possible: "The reason we were all so pissed at him," according to one of them, "is it plays into every horrible stereotype about the right."
posted by Cash4Lead on May 6, 2013 - 93 comments

Soderbergh on Cinema

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 - (summary, full audio at bottom of page 2)
posted by Artw on Apr 29, 2013 - 49 comments

"Sexism is over!"

An Orange Prize nominee speaks out about her experience as a woman in literature: weakened titles, pink covers, snubbed for reviews. [more inside]
posted by Andrhia on Apr 10, 2013 - 62 comments

Using the F-word in PG-13/12A movies

Den of Geek looks at the MPAA rule that a PG-13 movie can contain only one utterance of the word "fuck".
posted by reenum on Mar 24, 2013 - 57 comments

Prequels! Hunh! Yeah! What are they good for? Absolutely...something

Having mixed feelings about the new movie prequel to The Wizard of Oz? [previously] Well how about new prequels to other film classics such as Gone with the Wind and Dr. Strangelove? Or, try to imagine Casablanca: The College Years. [more inside]
posted by fuse theorem on Mar 8, 2013 - 51 comments

It is not a true story

"If nothing else, "Argo" is an exercise in American exceptionalism - perhaps the most dangerous fiction that permeates our entire society and sense of identity. It reinvents history in order to mine a tale of triumph from an unmitigated defeat. The hostage crisis, which lasted 444 days and destroyed an American presidency, was a failure and an embarrassment for Americans. The United States government and media has spent the last three decades tirelessly exacting revenge on Iran for what happened." -- Nima Shirazi explains what's wrong with Argo's depiction of the Iranian hostage crisis.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 2, 2013 - 110 comments

Every building is made out of rocket launchers.

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 - 147 comments

It Wasn't Just Spielberg

"The members of TVTV (Top Value Television), the 1970s guerrilla video group I cofounded, were among the first to exploit the then brand-new portable video camera. We took them to big events and turned the cameras away from the spectacle and on to the people; almost no one had seen one before, and there were no rules about how to use them, or act in front of them..." Behind the Scenes With Jack Nicholson, Lily Tomlin and Michael Douglas at the 1976 Academy Awards.
posted by timsteil on Feb 24, 2013 - 9 comments

Red Carpet, Green Screen

Without visual effects the average blockbuster movie would look like this. However as Hollywood comes under financial pressure they are putting the squeeze on the VFX industry that they rely on, who are in turn passing the pressure onto workers. Now VFX workers are organizing a protest in time for the Oscars, which will be celebrating visual effects as the companies responsible for them close down. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Feb 24, 2013 - 73 comments

The Channing Tatum America Didn't Know It Needed

Performers who project relatability but have nothing elusive about them do better as network-television stars, or maybe morning-show anchormen. (Exception: Hanks.) On the other hand, if all you're capable of projecting is mystery and you're a quart low on relatability, you are probably a douchebag. (Exception: Fassbender.)
Just in time for the Oscars, GQ ruminates on what makes a leading man today.
posted by psoas on Feb 24, 2013 - 82 comments

When Nikita met Marilyn

Khrushchev Tours America - His shoe banging incident at the UN and the the Kitchen Debates with Nixon are well known but less attention has been given to the time Nikita Khrushchev went to Hollywood. He met Marilyn Monroe and other film luminaries but he was denied a trip to Disneyland (previously). [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 19, 2013 - 16 comments

Name 5 female directors. Go!

I’ve Spent 12 Years Surrounded by Hollywood Peen. Where Are the Women Directors?
posted by crossoverman on Feb 12, 2013 - 93 comments

Schmucks with Underwoods

Vanity fair on the rise and fall and possible rise again of the spec script.
posted by Artw on Feb 11, 2013 - 44 comments

Screenwriters on screenwriting

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 - 5 comments

The Rules Of The Game

Anne Helen Petersen, the voice behind "Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" (previously) and "doctor of celebrity gossip" gives us an academic rundown of the hows and whys of the last hundred years of Hollywood Star Making, celebrity, PR, marketing, fandom, and scandal management.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 24, 2013 - 7 comments

The world is a better place with you in it, Clarice

At last night's Golden Globe Awards, actress Jodie Foster was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award. During her speech, the notoriously private actress touched on the very notion of privacy, her sexuality, and the difficulty of being a public person with a normal life. Reactions have been mixed. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jan 14, 2013 - 205 comments

Initializing Motivation Protocol

"It's amazing what can be done with nothing more than a computer, time and a boatload of talent." R'ha is a short film created in seven months by aspiring director Kaleb Lechowski, 22.
posted by Fuzzy Monster on Jan 11, 2013 - 15 comments

Lost in The Canyons

Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie. The movie in question is The Canyons, the Kickstarter-funded erotic thriller written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader. There's no release date yet, but the film does have several retro-themed trailers.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Jan 10, 2013 - 155 comments

"If we could build a fourteen-foot-tall alien queen, we’d be able to build a twenty-foot-tall T-rex"

Sculpting a Full-Size Dinosaur at Stan Winston Studio‬
posted by cthuljew on Dec 21, 2012 - 8 comments

6 Auteurs on Tantrums, Crazy Actors, and Quitting While They're Ahead

The Directors Roundtable: Quentin Tarantino, David O. Russell, Ben Affleck, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, and Gus Van Sant. Full video. (YouTube version)
posted by starman on Dec 14, 2012 - 18 comments

"...the first decade of the 21st century can be viewed as a singularly male-dominated era in American cinema."

New York Times Magazine "Hollywood Issue": Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship. Accompanied by an online web series of 13 original, short films: Wide Awake, each starring an actress whose performance helped 'define the year in film.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 10, 2012 - 16 comments

For heaven's sake

Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven's Gate (YT) [more inside]
posted by mediated self on Dec 2, 2012 - 36 comments

Bitchslaps of Hollywood

Bitchslaps of Hollywood in thirty-six parts.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Nov 28, 2012 - 13 comments

THR & The Blacklist

After 65 Years The Hollywood Reporter addresses its role in the hollywood blacklist, including an apology from W.R. Wilkerson III, son of THR founder Billy Wilkerson whose "A Vote For Joe Stalin" editorial named writers such as Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Howard Koch and John Howard Lawson as communist sympathisers.
posted by Artw on Nov 21, 2012 - 8 comments

Menace(s) to Society

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 - 30 comments

The Grasshopper Lies Heavy

How Philip K Dick transformed Hollywood, who could be Hollywood's next PKD and how PKD could change your life.
posted by Artw on Oct 3, 2012 - 74 comments

Pure black and white sex

Scandals of Classic Hollywood* is a fantastic series of articles exploring the careers and private lives of old Hollywood's most legendary performers, written by self-styled "doctor of celebrity gossip" Anne Helen Petersen. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 3, 2012 - 44 comments

Annotated Filmography of Charlie Chaplin

Director and/or star of many of the greatest films ever made including The Great Dictator (2:05:16) [Globe scene and the eternally goosebump providing Final speech], The Immigrant (20:01), The Gold Rush (1:11:49), City Lights (1:22:40), Modern Times (1:27:01), and Monsieur Verdoux (1:59:03), Charlie Chaplin's movies have entered the public domain in most countries. Below the fold is an annotated list of all 82 of his official short and feature films in chronological order, as well as several more, with links to where you can watch them; it's not like you had work to do right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 17, 2012 - 35 comments

Supercut: Apocalypse

The world has ended many times - a supercut of apocalyptic visions.
posted by Happy Dave on Sep 7, 2012 - 55 comments

Greta Garbo: "arguably the quintessential embodiment of Hollywood's Golden Age"

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 - 10 comments

Making Love in 1982

How Making Love Changed Us. Screenwriter Barry Sandler discusses the legacy of the 1982 gay-themed drama with "The Advocate".
posted by crossoverman on Jul 14, 2012 - 14 comments

Hollywood - Celebration of the American Silent Film

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] shows:-
"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 - 19 comments

"A nightmare from top to bottom"

Brad Pitt's Zombie Nightmare: Inside the Troubled 'World War Z' Production The Hollywood Reporter sorts through the problems causing the release of the film version of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic UN report to be delayed until next June. Via the A.V. Club, which adds links to previous stories about the filming.
posted by mediareport on Jun 13, 2012 - 114 comments

/bin/rm -r -f *

Mythbusters' Tested Blog recently posted a special feature from the Toy Story 2 DVD, in which Pixar's Oren Jacob and Galyn Susman recounted how the files for the movie (just 10gb of data!) were almost lost due to both an erroneous Linux command and a bad backup. The folks at The Next Web: Media followed up with Mr. Jacob, and learned that the movie was actually tossed out and reworked from scratch again nine months prior to a release date that was set in stone, not by the computers, but by the filmmakers themselves: How Pixar’s Toy Story 2 was deleted twice, once by technology and again for its own good.
posted by zarq on May 20, 2012 - 63 comments

The idea of hiding behind a secret identity was something I found terribly attractive.

A very long interview with screenwriter Lem Dobbs. Single link to text on a page but it's a wonderful interview and those who love film, culture, the arts... will dig it I think.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on May 4, 2012 - 8 comments

Hollywood doesn’t trust women

Name all the female movie directors you can in one minute, right now. No Google. I’ll wait. This movie gave me cooties why there are no female directors.
posted by patrick54 on Apr 28, 2012 - 91 comments

Restoring Stanley Kramer's "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"

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 - 37 comments

The Sword Fights of Errol Flynn

The Sword Fights of Errol Flynn (previously)
posted by Trurl on Apr 26, 2012 - 18 comments

"Nostalgia is a seductive liar" ... Old Hollywood

Old Hollywood features photos, audio, and other fascinating artifacts from 1900-1979.
posted by gwint on Apr 15, 2012 - 5 comments

You hate jews.

Joe Eszterhas (writer of The Music Box, Basic Instinct, and many other films) has written a letter to Mel Gibson after the actor neglected to contact him regarding his screenplay for "the Jewish Braveheart," which Gibson had hired him to write.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Apr 13, 2012 - 99 comments

Murphy Ranch: the faded dreams of a Nazi Shangri La, just outside of Hollywood

About 2 miles into the park... things start to get strange. A forbidding padlocked wrought-iron gate, surrounded by a low lying stone wall sits nestled on the edge of the trail.... Strange rusted debris starts to appear on the side of the paths. What looks like an old water filtration system, broken pieces of farm equipment, half buried sinks, strange concrete slabs with graffiti . A lovely little steam appears and makes delightful background noises, lizards and birds scatter about your feet. And then you see it. A burned-out overgrown concrete building completely covered with graffiti. Cartoon of Hitler? Check. Declaration of undying teenage love? Check.... The bunker of the building is exposed and filled with trash; a metal cage sits menacingly in the corner, and outside a series of stone steps wind up to what seems to have once been a sustenance garden. The steps then continue all the way to the top of the canyon (3,000 steps in all) and ghosts of America Nazis patrolling the wilds fill your head. Baby, we aren't at the Grove anymore... We are at the Los Angeles Nazi Compound! Well, it's actually the ruins of a small community built by Nazi sympathizers, in the hills outside of greater Los Angeles. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 19, 2012 - 50 comments

"Oooh, you son of a bitch."

Classic Hollywood Guide on how to react when you screw up a scene. Movie bloopers with Bogie, Bette Davis, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Errol Flynn, Claude Rains, Kay Francis, Edward G. Robinson, Jane Wyman, George Brent, Merle Oberon, Patricia Neal, Mickey Rooney and more.
posted by Wonton Cruelty on Mar 16, 2012 - 26 comments

Hollywood Babylon ... and on and on and on

I Went to the Pre-Oscar Celebrity Gifting Suites and All I Got Was This Sense of Disgust [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Feb 26, 2012 - 70 comments

"The future for digital storage is constant migration."

"Most of the filmmakers surveyed...were not aware of the perishable nature of digital content or how short its unmanaged lifespan is." After the Motion Picture Academy's release last month of "The Digital Dilemma 2," a warning aimed at independent filmmakers and nonprofit archives, cinematographer John Bailey talks with one of the report's authors about the perils of data migration ("It’s not unreasonable to say that the term "digital preservation" is an oxymoron") and the need to educate filmmakers who are so "enamored with the perceived benefits of digital image capture and workflow" that they fail to realize preservation concerns start to appear almost immediately after their work is completed. Film professor David Bordwell covers the report in a detailed post about preserving "born-digital" films, sixth in his "Pandora's Digital Box" series about the worldwide conversion to digital projection, with lots of good links at the bottom.
posted by mediareport on Feb 20, 2012 - 87 comments

Edgar Rice Buried

John Carter, previously John Carter of Mars, previously A Princess of Mars, could be the biggest movie write-off of all time.
posted by Artw on Feb 17, 2012 - 382 comments

A PR department for the victims of domestic violence

I'm not okay with Chris Brown performing at the Grammys, and I'm not sure why you are.
posted by Phire on Feb 12, 2012 - 243 comments

New video magazine about cinema

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 - 1 comment

Music, Movies, Microcode, and High-Speed Pizza Delivery

Le Blues De Memphis — behind the scenes at STAX & FAME Recording Studios (1969) and Hollywood Blues, a 1969 Hollywood Recording Session. Just a sample of the vintage 50s, 60s & 70s music, movies, microcode and high-speed pizza delivery at Bedazzled.tv. [sacré bleu]
posted by netbros on Jan 31, 2012 - 7 comments

How Much Does an A-list Actor Make ... and Spend?

New York Mag presents the balance sheets of an A-List actor for our perusal.
posted by reenum on Jan 31, 2012 - 176 comments

"The All-Star Bond Rally"

Hollywood is asking Americans to financially contribute to the war. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 11, 2012 - 26 comments

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