Friday, July 29, 2005

One day later...

I rambled about The Conformist yesterday. Today
Armond White takes it on and it's... well... smashing as always. A sample:

Three geniuses teamed up to create The Conformist: director Bernardo Bertolucci, cinematographer Vittorio Storaro and designer Ferdinando Scarfiotti. Their 1970 collaboration was as momentous as the work of Welles & company on Citizen Kane, showing a new generation how to look at movies... Bertolucci, Storaro and Scarfiotti worked with the belief (now gradually eroding in the digitial-video age) that cinema was, foremost, a visual art form; that its richest meanings and distinctive impact were the result of images. Images designed to amaze, ideas expressed through illustration, emotion conveyed through the tonalities of light. All that is now taken for granted through today's barbaric video practices where indie films look like home movies. Watching The Conformist is, more than ever, like being a starving man widening his eyes at a king's feast.

Go read it. (And don't miss the bottom section, which contains a plug for a presentation he's giving on music videos. In classic Armond fashion he names the Mark Romanek/Jay-Z collab "99 Problems" the Best Film of 2004.)

You can tell he's a star from the Ultrasound.

I can't abide by Nick Cannon.
Granted, I've seen him in next to nothing (people swear by Drumline, so maybe one day... Oh, who am I kidding?) making my hatred of him kindasorta unfair. But every trailer I see him in (Underclassman anyone?), every promo (that new MTV show looks wretched), every interview, even thinking of his music career... bland, corny, worst.
What, then, to make of this thread, found on the I Love Music board: So Nick Cannon's new song consists of the full-grown ghost of his potential self singing to his mom, asking her not to abort him?
Yes Kids, he has written a song where "Ghost Nick" watches as his Mom almost aborts him. Somebody just beat R. Kelly for the craziest urban operetta of Summer '05. Check out this bit of goodness:
You see me in your sleep so you cant kill your dreams
300 Dollars that's the price of living what?
Mommy I don't like this clinic
Hopefully you'll make the right decision
And don't go through with the Knife incision
But it's hard to make the right move
When you in high school
How you have to work all day and take night school
Hopping off da bus when the rain is pouring
What you want morning sickness or the sickness of mourning

That's a bulk of verse one and verse two, understandably, pales in comparison. It does, however, contain this bit of greatness:
Your friends will look at you funny but look at you mommy
That's a life inside you look at your tummy
What is becoming ma I am Oprah bound
You can tell he's a star from the Ultrasound

Got that, guys? Aborting this child would be wrong 'cause he's going on Oprah! A reason to live! Don't do it, Ma! (I also love that someone on I Love Music points out that Ghost Nick is giving this spiel to Mom in 1980. She's not going to know who Oprah is. Better start working on an alternate argument.)
Can I really keep hating someone who is so earnest, vulgar, shameless, opportunistic and hilariously misguided? I guess my verdict will have to wait until I actually hear the track.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Thirty-four years later...

Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist is one of the most visually rich films I've ever seen. I was lucky enough to catch a screening a nearly-pristine print during last month's Los Angeles Film Festival and, for most of the running time, I was literally slack-jawed. The composition is so stylish and controlled--the celluloid oozes with Bertolucci's confidence--but it never seems overly-fussy. There are scenes with complex tracking shots and dollys and jibs and dramatic lighting, but it's all so effortless, like he's making this stuff up on the spot, just go go go-ing. (I'm convinced that Wong Kar Wai must've been obsessed with it at some point in his artistic development.)

What's surprising--at least to me--is that Bertolucci is using this cinematic language for an ultimately political purpose. For better or worse, the lush epics filmed in Scope are almost always reserved for entertainment and the angry political rhetoric gets cinematically delivered in small(er), earnest ways. Here, Bertolucci gives an impassioned fuck you to the Italian Fascists and he does it in a broad and entertaining way that's not intellectually condescending. (It sounds too good to be true, but I swear, this thing's the real deal.)

Post screening, I looked up what the Kael had to say about the film. She loved it (big shock there) and wrote extensively about it. Thirty-four years later and this excerpt from her review still feels entirely relevant (and not just to film, but especially to popular music and pop culture as a whole):
The radicalized young are often the most antidemocratic culturally, and they push radical filmmakers to the point where no one can enjoy their work. Any work that is enjoyable is said to be counter-revolutionary. The effect may be to destroy the most gifted filmmakers (who are also--not altogether coincidentally--mostly left) unless the young left develops some tolerance for what the pleasures of art can mean to people.

That makes me wish the midge were still alive so I could give her a hug. (Speaking of critical crushes, don't miss the cinetrix's Murch crush.)

Related: The Conformist is tied up in some legal nightmare, thus we are without it on DVD. But if you're in Los Angeles, you've got a second shot at seeing it project: it's playing at the NewBev on August 27th.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Today's lull brought to you by a load of dumb busy work. Sponsored in part by the first six words of Scott Tobias' Stealth review: "A sort of retarded Top Gun..."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Mutant boys and their dogs.

Chris Cunningham is one sick bastard. And for that, I love him.

His latest foray in mindfuckery is Rubber Johnny, a six minute film set to Aphex Twin's "AFX237 V7," which tells the sad tale of a mutant boy and his faithful dog. The two are locked away in the basement, as young Johnny's parents suck and he's prone to epic freak-outs*. Perfectly synched to the music, violently edited, and disturbing beyond words, it's a classic slice of Cunningham. Sure Johnny is a melding of Lynchian (horrifying-but-entirely-innocent freak children) and Cronenbergian (fetishizing of body decay/mutation/dysmorphia) sensibilities, but aesthetically who else could be responsible for it?

Best of all, when pieces of the film surfaced on the interwebs, people actually thought the film was legit and were apparently very concerned for the well-being of poor Johnny. (In their defense, the film is shot on infrared DV, giving it a Blair Witch/One Night In Paris sheen of realism.)

Check out the sickness here or order the DVD here.
(A warning: best viewed if (1) you're not epileptic and (2) have an empty stomach.)

*Cunningham's official summary:
Rubber Johnny documents a 16-year-old, inbred mutant's solitary existence, locked in a pitch-black basement by his ashamed parents. They are TV addict rednecks who occasionally feed Johnny and yell at him for making noise. Johnny's only company in the basement is his little dog. His dog's I.Q. far outstrips Johnny's, who is a completely insane, bi-polar imbecile.

Michael Bay's Holy Trinity.

The Island tanked at the box office and Michael Bay is desperately trying to make himself feel better:
"Everyone from Spielberg to Zemeckis to Kubrick — they've all had big flops," he said. "I was five for five. You know it's going to happen."

Yeah, those opening weekend numbers on Barry Lyndon... they were just off, man.

(And am I hallucinating or did he invoke the director of Dr. Strangelove and the director of Death Becomes Her in the same sentence? Oh he did? Thanks. I just needed to clarify that.)

Monday, July 25, 2005

Je t'aime.

Whoever cut the trailer for the rerelease of Elevator to the Gallows gets an A for their work. The talent involved with the film--Louis Malle doing a noir with Jeanne Moreau and scored by Miles Davis--is more than enough to get me to the theater, but that trailer really clinches it. Rock the sexiness, intrigue, and perfect font selection here.

More info and release dates here.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Where did we lose our way?

Tim beat me to it and beautifully summed up Gus Van Sant's Last Days. Just wanted to add a couple things / beat a dead horse:
I'm in awe of the way Gus Van Sant creates these zoned-out, free-form films that are entirely stripped of "movie conventions," where it all feels so improvised and spontaneous and sparse, and yet nearly everything on the screen is infused with rich subtext.

I'm thinking specifically of the scene where the stoned Blake/Kurt listens to a pitch about success in advertising from a misguided Yellow Pages Salesman. Or, better yet, the scene where one of the leeches in Blake's life listens to two Mormon brothers evangelize, while, elsewhere in the mansion, Blake nods off in front of a video for Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee." Van Sant cuts between the two locations and ends the scene by holding on the final minute and a half of the video.

Of course, the entire hipster audience I was with laughed the second the video hit the screen. Fine, I'll accept initial tittering, especially in a film where there's so little to cling to. But they laughed for the entire minute and a half that Van Sant held on the TV screen. I wanted to kill as I found the montage incredibly sad and moving. In one part of the house, there's discussion of redemption, forgiveness, and crucifixion. In another, MTV is broadcasting the other mega-platinum band of the early '90s (and the polar opposite of Nirvana's aesthetic) wherein they sing about fucking up and being lost and beg for a "normal" life. But forget about that because it's not Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, it's just a bunch of kitschy blacks singing dated R&B, so who cares? Right?

Sorry, rant over, go see Last Days and tell me if I'm being an over-achieving eighth grader who just learned about symbolism.

Friday, July 22, 2005

The mystery deepens.

Trolling about on the internets, I found this (I'm pretty sure it's the promo graphic from Cannes):


But what's up with the flipped apostrophe? It's kind of sending me into an OCD fit.

The good ol' days.

I saw Michael Bay's The Island two weeks ago and, well, because it's pretty blasphemous to say so, I didn't let y'alls know that... uh, I liked it way more than I should have. Now, I had a couple vodka and tonics in the system, so that might have made the sturm und drang go down smoothly. Or maybe I'm just a troglodyte. Who knows? But the fact is, I gobbled up every little scrap of fizzy NutraSweet celluloid that Mr. Bay threw at me. Sure, Bay still has no subtlety whatsoever and there are lots of leaps in logic and it all looks like an elaborate commercial and... You get the picture. I still had a damn good time.

And I will say this: Bay has matured a little. Rather than setting off a bunch of pyro/testing the theater's sub-woofers in the first fifteen minutes, he waits a good thirty to forty minutes. Plus, he seems to be interested in some watered-down-Gattaca ethical questions. See? The man's growing as an artist. (That was not written with a straight face.)

Of course, A.O. has to go and remind me of the good old reckless days: "Mr. Bay treats us to some of his signature set pieces, including a freeway chase in which giant metal train wheels roll from the back of a fast-moving truck into speeding traffic. (He did something like this in 'Bad Boys II,' but with embalmed corpses instead of train wheels.)" Dammit, Michael, why'd you have to go a get mature on us? Embalmed corpses rule! Maybe for Return to The Island.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Adventures with color and light.

Last week I read an incredibly frustrating article in The Hollywood Reporter. It announced Martin Scorsese's involvement with Philips to hype the new Ambilight TV. (The basic concept of this new marvel of technology is: the flatscreen TV projects ambient light on the wall behind it, thus enriching the color you see on screen.) Scorsese's job was to create a list of the ten films that best use color and light. Scorsese found the job so daunting that he insisted on creating two top ten lists-- one for English language films, one for international titles. The article concluded with: "Here are four of the twenty titles..." You've put me through all that and you're not going to give me the complete lists? Philips's website didn't have the lists. Scorsese message boards didn't have the lists. Finally, I found them at Zap2it Movie News. For your edification, here they are:

English Language Films

International Films

It seems like a smart, varied list of films (and you know he angonized over them). Personally, I'd opt for the "Himalayan" sunsets of Black Narcissus over The Red Shoes. That's my quibble. Yours?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Hot links.

Too... hot... to... think... or... write...
Click here:

  • Joke of the day:
    Why did the Republican cross the road?
    To get away from a black person.

  • Joke of the day, Part the Second:
    How many conservatives does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    Five. One to screw it in, and four to hate gay people.

  • This amuses me way more than it probably should. (Via Dan.)

  • War of the Worlds as 9/11 porn? Tim Noah says yup. Edelstein: no.

  • Tickets go onsale for this bit of theatrical esoterica tomorrow. I'm there. (In other esoteric theatrical news, tickets are already on sale for this tour de force.)

  • (Funniest)Meanest Blog Headline of the day.

  • Trent linked to (and hated on) this David LaChapelle promo for Lost. I kind of like it. I'm no fan of LaChapelle's recent video work, but this one... it's reigned in. It's still a little campy and over-the-top, but it works. Plus that Portishead song is sexy.

  • I have wicked smart friends. Or at least one wicked smart friend. Check out Josh's rundown on John Roberts.

  • Will someone tell me when the hell Café Lumière is getting a Los Angeles release/screening? Thank you.

  • I just went over to visit my beloved cinetrix and discovered that she'd posted a "too hot to write" list of links, too. (Bullet stizz, no less.) Great minds or something.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Le boo.

Worst Criterion cover ever.

You know I love me some Criterion (I especially love their flawless cover designs), but that cover sucks grand temps. C'mon, Criterion, why not this, this, or better yet, THIS.

I know, I know... This post has been the height of film-nerdery. Back to The Android's Dungeon for me.

Monday, July 18, 2005


Notes from my pop-cultural weekend:
  1. Amazingly, I didn't hate Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. All the advance hype and trailers and TV promos indicated that we had another seriously misguided Chocolate Factory adaptation on our hands.
    This one is certainly closer to Roald Dahl's vision than that 1971 snooze-fest (Yes, Gene Wilder is good. Yes, there are some nice songs. The movie's still a turd.), yet it still misses the mark. The opening third was too good to be true (Those aerial views of the snow-cover factory! The Indian palace made of chocolate! Wee Freddie Highmore and David Kelly! That "Willy Wonka" number with pyro!). You can feel the thing deflate the second the kids enter the Factory. Once inside, there's still much to enjoy (Veruca Salt punishment is particularly well-executed) but it all feels a bit rote. As for Mr. Depp... Well, he's not as bad as those ads would have you believe. His/Burton's interpretation of the character is an interesting gamble that ultimately doesn't work. Props for being daring, but no thanks. Sasha Fere-Jones (as only he could) nails it: "Dahl's holy retribution meted out via garbage and blueberric DNA just hangs there in the frame next to the Oedipal cavities and head-braces and candy grass. These ideas just don't go together: NOT peanut butter and chocolate."
    Sorry for the ambivalence, but hey... I'm kind of thrilled to have partially enjoyed a Tim Burton movie. It's been a long while since I've been able to say that.

  2. Basement Jaxx at the Hollywood Bowl. Holy mothertruckers. 80 minutes of wall-to-wall, fully realized, elastic-pop-house music that was like a church revival in a whore house. Best/Bester/Bestest/etc: Lisa Kekaula (of the BellRays) ripping the shit out of "U Don't Know Me," the Jaxx sneaking "Hollaback Girl" into "Oh My Gosh," the flamenco-guitar breakdown in "Red Alert," a squad of people in gorilla suits dancing to "Where's Your Head At?," and the "Bingo Bango" encore that featured a drumline, a horn section, and six old-school Las Vegas showgirls. Ba-nan-as.

  3. My copy of Rubber Johnny arrived. Have yet to watch it. Was a little too drunk on Saturday to stomach it. I'll report back when I have successfully made it through all six minutes. (I wasn't, however, too drunk to stomach Neil Jordan's The Company of Wolves. Granted, I did doze off... But the movie is just as weird and wonderful as I remembered.)

  4. Also picked up Taschen's latest entry in the "Directors" series: Paul Verhoeven. Still working my way through the subtle joy that is Mr. Verhoeven's oeuvre, but I feel compelled to share this quote that popped out at me during my first pass. It's from Elizabeth Berkley: "We were filming the scene where Nomi's about to go into her audition at the Stardust and she's saying 'I can't do this.' And suddenly I thought, I can't. I can't do it. I looked up and saw the sign that said CRISTAL CONNORS IS GODDESS, and for a second I saw ELIZABETH BERKLEY STARRING IN SHOWGIRLS, and it was so emotional." Poor girl.


Despite my proximity to the event and my status as a quasi-nerd, I did not attend ComicCon. (Although I have friends who did-- here's the proof.) After reading about this exchange, I think the drive and the stupid ticket price and dealing with throngs of Trekkies and/or Trekkers and sitting through a Stealth presentation would be worth it:
"Almost as good was the woman asking Jamie Foxx how much of a letdown working on Stealth was compared to Ray, in front of the cast and director Rob Cohen."


Birthday shout-out to, Hopsie. Have a good one, Tom.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Sharing in the groove.

Confession: I skim Ann Coulter's column nearly every week.*
I know it's a sick compulsion, but those hilariously over-the-top/Kool-Aid drinking diatribes keep me coming back for more.
Alas, this week's column (basically: "Joseph Wilson is a liar blah blah blah") is void of any great Coulterisms. It does, however, contain this delicious nugget of biographical background:
But that is not what Wilson says he found! Thus, his column had the laughably hubristic title, 'What I Didn't Find in Africa.' (Once I couldn't find my car for hours after a Dead show. I call the experience: 'What I Didn't Find in San Francisco.')

Can you imagine? Ann, circa 1985, in tight, tight acid-wash jeans, simultaneously slurping down a Coors Light and a Marlboro Ultra Light Menthol 100, trying to repress her hate-lust for the filthy hippies who are noodle-dancing to a phatty twenty-minute "Terrapin Station" groove.
The mind boggles.

*Sicker yet: I read Michelle Malkin's blog. Every day. Sometimes two or three times a day. Oh and look at Ann's hands in the picture above. Man hands, no?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

It is happening again.

I've spent a week trying to adequately describe my joy in returning to David Lynch and Mark Frost's magnificent "Twin Peaks." Every time I started, I'd never be able to precisely express what makes the show so unique/special/original/your cliche here. Then I realized, um, duh, that's the goddam point.
Sure, you can point to things: Kyle MacLachlan's ridiculously great performance, Angelo Badalamenti's perfect score, the way the crew treated each episode as if they were making a film, the brilliant collision of the high-brow (i.e., the cinema of David Lynch) and the low-brow (i.e., soap opera), and on and on. But that's not what keeps me coming back...
What keeps me coming back is the recurring image of the stop-light, hanging there in the night, turning red for no one. And that often used transitional shot of the trees blowing in the wind. And the way that everything in Twin Peaks seems damp, without it ever really raining. And how your brain jumps the TV censorship boundaries by connecting key motifs (the homecoming queen / the woods at night / abandoned train car / her arms "bent back" / then dead, wrapped in plastic).
Yes, the indelible characters and pie & coffee jokes and Who Killed Laura Palmer? are all part of the show's allure. But the show's real power hides in those fleeting images and ideas and textures that shoot straight to the Id.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Take 'em to Missouri, Matt.

Over the weekend I saw Howard Hawks's Red River for the first time and, kids, it's the real deal.
I often find myself dreading THE WESTERN, as it reminds me of duller than dull childhood movie-watching experiences chez Grandparents. It's a dumb prejudice to hold onto and Red River might've cured me. It's an epic, but one that Hawks unspools in a supremely controlled, intimate manner.
The film follows Tom Dunson (John Wayne) and his adopted son, Matt (Montgomery Clift), as they lead a crew of cowboys on an enormous cattle drive from Texas to Missouri* back in old timey days. It was Clift's debut performance and it's raw and method-y without being obvious and dated (like a lot of early Brando and most of James Dean). I'm guessing its Clift's A-Game that pushed John Wayne into really delivering, because, surprise of all surprises, the Duke digs in and gives a strong, sympathetic performance.
Of course, the film winds up being largely about the power struggle between father and son. What's impressive is Hawks takes it to Shakespearean heights, without it ever feeling histrionic and overdone. Likewise, the film is visually grand but never seems to go for the cliche vistas. Hawks definitely reminds you that he's got thousands of real cows and that he's often shooting on location, but it always seems to be directly in service of the story.
Also of note: it's, er, kinda gay. Hawks, Monty and co. totally beat Ang Lee and Gyllenhaal to that whole gay cowboy thing. Most obvious: Cherry Valance (John Ireland) shows up to join the cattle drive. He and (cough cough) Monty Clift get into a discussion/display of (wink wink) who's got the bigger/better gun. The scene concludes with Cherry stating: "There are only two things more beautiful than a gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. Ever had a good Swiss watch?" The only thing missing: pudding.
So, dear reader(s), what's next? I'm thinking The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, My Darling Clementine, and a revisiting of Stagecoach. Any suggestions for my crash course in Western appreciation are greatly appreciated.

* Pronounced "Missoura," obviously.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Quote of the day.

"Now that I can almost Moonwalk, it is out of style, so I guess I'll have to take up 'krumping.'"
--Hizzoner Ed Koch. (Via the cinetrix.)
Don't think that Hizzoner didn't have fierce competition on the Quote of the Day Battlefield. He had to contend with Avi "Oh Fuck I Just Put Brett Ratner In Charge of The X-Men" Arad's hilarious and unironic defense of the Rat (via Defamer):
"Idiots, Idiots... [Referring to haterz on the I.T.] Did you see Red Dragon? Did you see that? And you saw Family Man, which is totally different, a very emotional story. Then, you have two giant comedies. What are they thinking? This is a great filmmaker. Do you know how much experience this guy has? Let alone his new Jessica Simpson video? This guy knows what he's doing."

Yes, Avi, I did see Red Dragon. I liked it better when Michael Mann directed it. And did he really just hold up a Jessica Simpson video--no matter how softcoretastic it is--as a paradigm of merit? How amazing is that? (Hizzoner krumping still wins, though.)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Vince, how important is listening?

"To me these characters are really different. The character in DodgeBall is sort of not trying at life; he's very lazy. Whereas the guy in Wedding Crashers loves life, and he's extremely motivated. Trent is a smoother character than Jeremy. Where Jeremy loves to eat, likes to dance, Trent never dances in Swingers. He's not a big eater. He's more of a card player. The one thing they have in common is they're both trying to pick up girls."
-- Vince Vaughn on his craft. Can you imagine an Inside the Actor's Studio with this guy?
(Hat tip to fellow Emersonian, ye Deafmer.)

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Concerning that serial killer song on Illinois.

Since there's been a dearth of articles on young Sufjan Stevens's latest album, Illinois, allow me to be the first Interblogger to write about it. So, yeah, it's a nifty little entry in young Mr. Stevens's goal to record an album about each state in the union. Every nook and cranny of the album is crammed with lovely melodies and off-the-cuff instrumentation (thank G-d that Jon Brion isn't the only artist carrying the torch for the glockenspiel) and it might just be the greatest tweemo album evs.
Can someone really look me in the eyes* and tell me that that "John Wayne Gacy Jr." song isn't awful (and unitentionally hilarious)? I respect the moxie of someone writing a biographical song about a real serial killer (in a chamber pop setting, no less!), but when young Mr. Stevens sings "Look underneath the house there / Find the few living things / Rotting fast in their sleep of the dead / Twenty-seven people, even more / They were boys with their cars, summer jobs / Oh my God," I lose it. Maybe it's that earnest falsetto invocation of the Holy Father. I dunno. But it comes off as seriously misguided and painfully precious.
Aside from the above-mentioned song about clown murder and rapery, I've no real quibbles, it really is a great record. Wake me up when the thing starts getting some buzz.

*or write in the comment section.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Quote of the day.

"Sadly, a google search for 'rick moody' 'douchetarded' produces no results."
--Tmuffle. (He was responding to this excellent anti-McSweeney's piece.)

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Insert snarky comment here.

Remember when she was in Out of Sight?

"Jennifer Lopez is getting ready to launch her fourth fragrance, an upbeat, fruity, floral perfume called Live Jennifer Lopez, due in October. Live's top notes include orange and pineapple; the heart of the scent is red currant, peony and violet; and beneath that will be caramel, vanilla and sandalwood. J. Lo claims this perfume will 'reveal the core of her inner being.'"

You're out of your tiny minds.

Andrew Sullivan linked to this piece in the London News Review and it's f-ing brilliant. Here's "A Letter to The Terrorists, From London" in its entirety:

What the fuck do you think you're doing?
This is London. We've dealt with your sort before. You don't try and pull this on us.
Do you have any idea how many times our city has been attacked? Whatever you're trying to do, it's not going to work.
All you've done is end some of our lives, and ruin some more. How is that going to help you? You don't get rewarded for this kind of crap.
And if, as your MO indicates, you're an al-Qaeda group, then you're out of your tiny minds.
Because if this is a message to Tony Blair, we've got news for you. We don't much like our government ourselves, or what they do in our name. But, listen very clearly. We'll deal with that ourselves. We're London, and we've got our own way of doing things, and it doesn't involve tossing bombs around where innocent people are going about their lives.
And that's because we're better than you. Everyone is better than you. Our city works. We rather like it. And we're going to go about our lives. We're going to take care of the lives you ruined. And then we're going to work. And we're going down the pub.
So you can pack up your bombs, put them in your arseholes, and get the fuck out of our city.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I got served.

I hate that Armond White has the power to momentarily make me feel guilty for liking Rize and not You Got Served and Drumline.

RELATED: Armond has an unreal essay on the state of cinema in the aftermath of 9/11 and the Iraq war. (Via Dan.)

The Gothamist.

Don't miss El Presidente de Fagistan's take(s) on Batman Begins. His deconstruction of the film as a feudal nightmare is hilarious and sharp. Plus this line makes me laugh: "I would find the film's politics far less repulsive if they were actually about the ability of the individual will to overcome the decadence of the social body. That's something libertarians and Nietzschean fags like me could agree would be tasty cinema."

Here's part one and part two.

What's French for lazy?

Sunday's LA Times had an article about directors and actors who bring in a personal writer to punch up whatever they're working on. It's a subject that a lot of Hollywood types don't like to talk about, especially when pesky journalists point out that certain writers like to, er, recycle their work:
"If the line 'You think not getting caught in a lie is the same thing as telling the truth' sounds at all familiar, it's because [Sydney] Pollack has used that bit of dialogue written by [David] Rayfiel in no fewer than four movies: 'The Slender Thread,' 'This Property Is Condemned,' 'Three Days of the Condor' and this spring in 'The Interpreter.' [snip] Rayfiel defended Pollack's repeated use of his 'not getting caught' line of dialogue, saying that only '11 people remember hearing it' and that it's merely a homage. 'The French do it all the time,' Rayfiel says."

I dunno, off the top of my head I can't think of an exact line of dialogue used four different times in four disparate French movies. If you can, please feel free to leave said film titles in the comment section.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Do it!

Happy Birthday, Timbo.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Adventures in hyperbole.

Happy Birthday, America. Hope you like some of the overheated rhetoric I just found:

  1. "[Live 8 is] the greatest thing that's ever been organized in the history of the world."
    --Chris Martin.

  2. "It is a good template for films of the second millennium."
    --IMDb commenter donzilla on Woquini Adams's Accidental Stripper.

  3. And, because we just can't get enough, Deepak Chopra enters the Cruise/Shields fray.