The most surprising thing about "The Martian" is how relaxed and funny it is.
Words are linear. Movies not so much, even though they are encoded onto strips of celluloid or served up as streams or spirals of digital bits.
The web is not so linear, actually. Hyperlinks in all directions are more like the interconnected synapses of the human brain than any other technology or art form I can think of. But sometimes when I try to convey something about my experience of movies — filtered, as always, through reflections and contrasts between images, memories, themes, styles — what I really want to do is make a movie about it. That seems like the shortest, most direct way from imagination to articulation. The movie itself (as Godard famously suggested) is the criticism, the analysis.
Here's a link to my little (six-minute) movie / dream sequence / commentary on the theme of some of my favorite close-ups from some of my favorite films. If you want to know who's who and what's what, watch the end credits (which make up about one-sixth of the movie!)
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
An interview with Michael Shannon on Freeheld, 99 Homes, Boardwalk Empire, and more.
A comparison of Frank Costello in The Departed and Whitey Bulger in Black Mass reveals weaknesses in the latter.