Synecdoche, New York
If we don't "go to the movies" in any form, our minds wither and sicken.
* This filmography is not intended to be a comprehensive list of this artist’s work. Instead it reflects the films this person has been involved with that have been reviewed on this site.
Matt writes: On April 28th, the movie world lost a true giant: filmmaker John Singleton, whose 1991 masterpiece, "Boyz N the Hood," remains one of the most astonishing feature debuts in cinema history. Roger Ebert awarded the picture four stars, writing that it was one of "the best American films of recent years." Roger's thoughts regarding the entirety of Singleton's career were detailed in a special compilation by Nick Allen, while Odie Henderson penned a deeply moving obituary for the trailblazing auteur. I was among the writers at RogerEbert.com who paid tribute to Singleton in a separate article, "Breaking Barriers."
An interview with Carl Reiner.
The latest on Blu-ray and DVD, including Aquaman, Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, If Beale Street Could Talk, and Detour.
Matt Fagerholm make his case for why "Mary Poppins Returns" is the best reimagining of a Disney classic to date.
A tribute to the late Penny Marshall, TV star and trailblazing director of Big, A League of Their Own and more.
Nell Minow's favorite films of 2018.
Matt Fagerholm's choices for the ten best films of 2018.
A review of two films that played at CIFF on William Friedkin and Buster Keaton.
An article about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Annual Grants Banquet scheduled for August 9th.
Disney previewed their upcoming live-action features during this year's D23 Expo.
Brad Jones on "Jesus, Bro!"; Period episode on "Anne With an E"; Perils of writing while female; In defense of radical transparency; Trump praises Rodrigo Duterte.
An interview with comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the subject of Neil Berkeley's "Gilbert," playing at Hot Docs 2017.
The transcript and video of Roger Ebert's onstage conversation with Donald O'Connor at Ebertfest 2003.
A review of FOX's "Shots Fired," premiering March 22 at 8/7c.
Alexis G. Zall on "Coin Heist" and YouTube; What is a dog's purpose; Ed Asner on Mary Tyler Moore; 25 intimidating movies; Power of cheap music.
An obituary for actress Mary Tyler Moore.
A tribute to the late comedy mastermind, Garry Marshall.
A review of NBC's "Bad Judge" & "A to Z," and FOX's "Mulaney."
Director John Lee Hancock on the challenges of making a film about Walt Disney for Disney.
Recent books by Alan Sepinwall and Brett Martin talk about the new “TV revolution,” but looking at the medium’s past is a reminder that revolutions are always cyclical.
At their big D23 Expo event, Disney unleashed some stars and a lot of tantalizing info about live action films.
Marie writes: There's a glorified duck pond at the center of the complex where I live. And since moving in, my apartment has been an object of enduring fascination for Canadian geese - who arrive each Spring like a squadron of jet fighters returning from a mission in France, to run a sweeping aerial recon my little garden aka: playhouse for birds... (click to enlarge)
Here's the late, beloved Henry Gibson on my favorite sitcom, "The Dick Van Dyke Show," in 1966. (When I grow up, I still want to be Rob Petrie.) On "Laugh-In" (1968-1971), he was known for his recitations, which began with him holding a large artificial flower (he himself was only 5'3") and announcing: "A poem... by Henry Gibson." This particular poem, originally penned by a guy named Frank Stanton circa 1920, later became a song by Gibson and Richard Baskin, performed by Haven Hamilton at the Grand Ole Opry (and sponsored by Goo Goo Candy Clusters) in Robert Altman's "Nashville" (1975). Full lyrics to Haven's inspirational anthem below:
(via Robert C. Cumbow, >Richard T. Jameson)
View image Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars...
"One of the most genuinely confounding films to come along in years... This is not a film occurring in an alternate or imaginary reality; rather, it is a film of no reality, that is, a picture that changes the rules of its universe strictly according to its creators' whims. Hence, the film is likely to inspire even more heavy thinking on the part of cultural theorists than 'The Matrix' did."
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"A lot of fluorescent, 7-Eleven-tinted images flash by, any of which could easily be removed or re-arranged without significantly disrupting the film's continuity, because it has none. If you can determine the spatial relationship between Speed's Mach 5 (or Mach 6) and any other race car for more than a few consecutive seconds, then good for you. As on the TV series, the pictures don't seem to move so much as repeat -- movement with no momentum."
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"'Speed Racer' is not a feature film in any conventional sense... Whatever information that passes from your retinas to your brain during 'Speed Racer' is conveyed through optical design and not so much through more traditional devices such as dialogue, narrative, performance or characterization."
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"Alas, this radicalization of film language, while certainly impressive to behold, yields heretofore un-dreamed of levels of narrative incoherence, but hey, not every experiment succeeds."
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"One of the more blatantly anti-capitalist storylines to come down the cinematic pike since, I dunno, Bertolucci's '1900.'"
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""Speed Racer" is a manufactured widget, a packaged commodity that capitalizes on an anthropomorphized cartoon of Capitalist Evil in order to sell itself and its ancillary products."
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Three of the above quotations are taken from a three-star review of "Speed Racer." The other three are from a one-and-a-half-star review. Can you tell which is which? Perhaps the tone gives something away, but the descriptions of the movie, what it does and how it works, are strikingly similar. Clearly both of these critics saw the same movie, although one found the experience less daring, less exhilarating, than the other.
A synchronistic cartoon from Peet Gelderblom at Lost in Negative Space.
What the hell is wrong with the studio risk-management -- er, movie -- business these days? I share some of my own modest ideas for improvement in an "Open Letter to Hollywood" at MSN Movies.
Now, some people say everything is just fine, and that we've even had a better-than usual crop of summer pictures this year: "Knocked Up," "Ratatouille," "Superbad," "The Bourne Ultimatum"... On the other hand, there's "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," "Hostel Part II," "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry"... These, I submit, are conscious or unconscious cries for help.
None of my prescriptions is a panacea, but among the measures I suggest Mr. and Ms. Hollywood might want to consider are: more nudity (way more nudity); less emphasis on pain and torture as a form of entertainment (bad for concessions sales, for one thing); better recycling of stars who have fallen out of fashion (like John Travolta in "Pulp Fiction"); watch HBO and learn about sex, violence, character, and storytelling; don't keep making sequels until the original audience hates you for it (even the last installments in "trilogies" tend to range from disappointing to insulting); stop wasting time and depleting resources fighting protracted, losing battles against technologies that have always proven to make you more money in the end: "The future arrived the day before yesterday and you're still pretending it's due next week."
An excerpt: ...[Why] why do adults in Hollywood movies still behave as if they're on "The Dick Van Dyke Show"? (Nothing against "The Dick Van Dyke Show," which is one of the great achievements in television history, but you know what I mean: Rob and Laura not only slept in separate twin beds but they always wore pajamas.)
Sex in the movies seemed like it was going somewhere in the '70s, with "Five Easy Pieces," "Last Tango in Paris" and "Don't Look Now." In 1993, the great Julianne Moore played out a full-frontal scene -- an argument at home with her husband -- in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts," and it wasn't the nudity that was shocking, it was the physical and emotional reality of the scene. Do you know people who pop out of bed after sex sporting underwear? Who's in such a blasted hurry to get dressed?
The best special effect in the history of movies is the human face, with the human body coming in a close second. Use it. You think torture porn sells? The audience for porn-porn is exponentially larger. (Have you heard of this thing called the World Wide Internets? It revolutionized a whole lucrative section of the movie industry -- mostly the one located beyond Warners, Disney and Universal in the farther reaches of the San Fernando Valley.) Read the full "letter" here.
Got any advice for "Hollywood" yourself?