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By David Poland

Sunday Estimates by Klady – Dec 30


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42 Responses to “Sunday Estimates by Klady – Dec 30”

  1. EthanG says:

    Wow…KILLED box office this weekend. I Am Legend is big willie’s biggest hit since Men In Black.
    How about Juno??? I thought the subject matter would keep it from becoming this year’s LMS, but it’s broken away from the failed indie films of the last 12 months.
    I guess it’s time everyone brace themselves for the cringe inducing ad campaigns for National Treasure 3 and Alvin 2…

  2. Jonj says:

    What’s the release strategy on TWBB? How slow are they going to take it?

  3. bulldog68 says:

    I’ve just signed in to announce that the end of the world is at hand. 3rd week of Return of the King:$28.18m, 3rd week of Alvin & Chipmunks: est $30M. I blame you yankees. Damn you to hell.

  4. movieman says:

    Not sure if P/Vantage is going to change their minds after that (predictably) boffo NY/LA bow for “TWWB,” but my guess is that ssslllllooooooowww doesn’t begin to describe their expansion plans.
    It should make P/V’s torturously turgid expansion of “Into the Wild” seem like your typical saturation 4000+ print blockbuster/franchise break. And really, can you blame them? As great as Anderson’s movie is, it ain’t gonna do squat outside the major media hubs.
    To think otherwise would be daft.
    I can just picture the great unwashed masses turning out in droves for “TWBB” (not!), and their horrified reaction if they accidentally stumble into it because something they really wanted to see (say, “Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins”) is sold out. There will most definitely be blood, LOL.
    If it somehow manages to eek out a Best Picture nomination, maybe, just maybe, it can aspire to “Letters from Iwo Jima” numbers (which, I believe, was less than $15-million).

  5. Jimmy the Gent says:

    I didn’t know you hadu such insight into the common man, Mr. Movieman.
    I get real annoyed when people think “certain” movies don’t have achance of playing outsie of the big media markets, as if people who love movies don’t live anywhere but NY, LA, or Chicago. Who do you think was going to something like 3:10 to Yuma weeks after its release? Something tells me hipsters in NY or LA weren’t going in week 5 or 6. It was people from the Southwest. I guess everyone was waiting for that overblown, overlong, post-modern Western Jesse James.

  6. movieman says:

    Gee, Jimmy. You’re hardly the gent, are you?
    “3:10 to Yuma” was an old-fashioned popcorn movie and hardly rarefied esoterica like “Jesse James” (another great movie btw) and (most definitely) “TWBB.”
    I’m guessing that you’re not a fan of non-mainstream fare that isn’t easily digestible with your nachos and beer.
    Better stick to Martin and “Roscoe Jenkins,” bubba, and leave PT Anderson to us high cultcha snobs who might actually appreciate a masterpiece that takes enormous creative risks.
    Btw, I live in northeastern Ohio which is hardly a major media center.

  7. EthanG says:

    It would be smarter to jump quickly than slowly based on this year’s results…look how the studios have let “Diving Bell” and Atonement pretty much die on the vine the last few weeks.

  8. Dave Vernon says:

    Damn, Movieman…didn’t realize you lived in Ohio. I dig your movie tastes and was gonna hit you up to see a flick at the Arclight. Well, if you ever come to L.A., you’ve got a movie buddy!

  9. Joseph says:

    Up until last week “There Will Be Blood” was supposed to open at my local theater on January 4th, then it got pushed to January 11th. I think the incredible week it’s been having has something to do with it. The virtually identical screen averages day to day since opening have been great, so I think the studio wants to maintain that momentum rather than putting their eggs in one basket. Maybe this also has to do with “Juno,” seeing that the successful expansion is putting it more into the Best Picture spotlight than before. “Juno” will have the spotlight for the next couple weeks while Paramount Vantage hones in on the marketing of “There Will Be Blood” to be the next attention-grabbing Best Picture hopeful to be considered by the mass media (hoping that it being the last to roll out means it’ll come in first). Eh, what do I know.

  10. Jimmy the Gent says:

    Dang, Mr. Movieman, you really got me.
    I guess I have to pull out my list of “rarefied esoterica” (whatever that means) movies I liked this year.
    The Lives of Others
    Black Book
    I’m Not There
    Romance & Cigarettes
    Jesse James
    Hot Fuzz
    Before the Devil KNows You’re Dead
    Into the Wild
    No Country For Old Men
    Then again, I couldn’t stand Redacted, Letters From Iwo Jima, or Notes on a Scandal.
    Do I now have credibility with you? Or, am I not a big enough “high cultcha snob” for you? Would it help my case if you knew I was from South Texas (San Antonio) and make my duty to see almost any “art” movie that comes to town? (I’m also a journalist and movie critic.) Oh, I can’t stand nachos at the movies. Makes too much noise. I can barely stand popcorn. I also don’t go the to movies to drink beer. I save that for after the movies.
    You wrote in your original post that you couldn’t imagine the “unwashed masses” turning out to see There Will Be Blood. I find that kind of comment offensive and not very constructive. What, NY or LA don’t have unwashed masses?
    Your reasoning is similar to the Geeks who claim it was “them” who made 300 a massive hit. If that’s true, then why didn’t those same Geeks turn out for Hot Fuzz or Hostel? If the movie is good enough, and given a fair chance, it shold be able to find its audience. The 3-hour Gangs of New York managed to get to $80-90 million. The same with the highly commercial (not!) Million Dollar Baby. No Country For Old Men looks to be on its way to becoming the Coens biggest grosser. Do you think it’s just the “high cultcha snobs” who are flocking to Juno?
    Your turn.

  11. movieman says:

    Hey, thanks Dave!
    I used to get out to LA fairly often for junkets–until a new arts editor came onboard the paper and began stealing all of them, lol.
    My email is Drop me an email sometime and I’ll pass along my # if you’d like. Always looking for a good movie chat.

  12. RocketScientist says:

    Christ, calm down, Jimmy; movieman has a very valid point regarding TWBB, if for no other reason than (a) in many smaller markets, i.e. the Midwest, PV puts their films on only a handful of screens, sometimes as low as two per state, and (b) PV stupidly never invests into strong television campaigns, so any actual or perceived appeal the film might have, it has to struggle to build up some awareness amidst the saturation of Sony, Fox, New Line, etc.
    PV is a hugely flawed company, I think – their tactics are at times nonsensical and they have a very, VERY limited grasp of their product. They seem to think they can take any product and shove it into the mainstream, which I don’t think is possible (MARGOT AT THE WEDDING is a super example). This is in stark contrast to someone like Fox Searchlight, who seems to have a better grasps on the limitations of their product (and, granted, have a tad more capital behind them than PV). Also odd considering some of the PV brass are former Searchlight folks …
    I agree, Jimmy, the whole concept of “it won’t play in Peoria” is a bit wonky, but frankly, after some of my experiences, it is at times a sound notion.

  13. movieman says:

    Well, Jimmy, since five of your favorite ’07 pics were also on my top-10 list (you can find my list on page #6), I guess you’re not as bad as you initially presented yourself, lol.
    You did come off fairly accusatory, though, and your comparison between “Yuma” and “TWWB” seemed wildly askew. One is an unapologetically mainstream entertainment while the other is an equally unapologetic art-with-a-capital-“A” artflick. I didn’t understand what point you were trying to make by linking them together in the first place.
    Of course there are plenty of yahoos in LA and New York (I lived in NYC while attending NYU, so I know whereof I speak!), but there are also a helluva more serious film buffs in major markets like Seattle, Boston and San Francisco, too, than you’re going to find in San Antonio or (certainly) Cleveland for that matter. I’m not surprised that “TWWB” had huge openings in NY and LA; so did “Darjeeling Limited”–another movie with a huge geek niche– when it opened exclusively in October, and look how well that did once Searchlight widened its release.
    And, sadly, I don’t believe that good and even great movies will automatically find the audience they deserve. I wish it were true, but the miniscule grosses recently for “Jesse James,” “I’m Not There” and a lot of other worthwhile films we both seem to like bears that out. “Million Dollar Baby” and “Gangs of New York” are certainly “art”-ful, but I wouldn’t classify either as “art movies” in the same way as a “TWWB,” “INT,” “JJ,” etc. Plus, both benefitted from Oscar hoopla. (Not even a Best Picture nomination could help “Iwo Jima,” alas, which had the subtitle thing working against it as well.)
    “Juno” is the rare instance of a film that’s smart enough for the “high cultcha” beyotches, and yet still accessible enough for mainstream audiences to be a (here’s an old-fashioned term for ya) “crossover” smash. I’d be shocked if it doesn’t hit $100-million, and it deserves every dollar.
    The same crowd that dug “Wild Hogs,” “The Game Plan” and “Shrek the Third” is never going to queue up for “TWBB,” even if it had opened on 3500 theaters Christmas Day. That’s simply the nature of today’s “general audience” sensibilty/tastes. Now it might have been a different story altogether if “TWBB” had opened in, say, 1971 when seemingly esoteric pics like “A Clockwork Orange” actually connected with a sizable percentage of the moviegoing population.
    Again, sorry if I inadvertently offended you. But we probably have a lot more in common than either one of us originally thought….

  14. Here in Australia I’m Not There was released on Boxing Day only in the big cities. Yet everyone I mention it to – including the mothers of my friends none of whom are big movie goers – want to see it for Cate Blanchett. But, of course, only city folk wanna see it. Ugh.

  15. LexG says:

    Not remotely on topic, but, hell, no one’s gonna read down to the last BYOB at this point, so here goes:
    Anyone else see that David Poland’s fave, Nikki Blonsky– that big, fat fat chick from HAIRSPRAY– has parlayed her “breakout, breakthrough” movie role… into a Lifetime TV MOVIE… called… WAIT FOR IT…
    Nice follow-up. Career OVER, OVER, OVER. Now can we skip the ruse of the supporting nomination (which won’t happen anyway) and just let her go merrily on her way to off-Broadway and dinner theater?
    That probably sounds mean, and I’m sure she’s a sweetheart, but do these kids and up-and-coming stars have ANY business sense? It’s all about the Cruise Plan, man. Director, director, director. Not that she was ever gonna be a traditional leading lady or probably even much of a popular character actress, but when you have a huge break like being plucked from obscurity to HEADLINE a movie like “Hairspray,” you hold out for a cool character part for a strong director. You don’t do fucking TV just so you can be the lead again.
    Christ, who’s her manager, Nia Vardalos?

  16. martin says:

    Lex, maybe she shot that before Hairspray?

  17. LexG says:

    I thought she was working at an ice cream store when she got discovered for HAIRSPRAY.

  18. Jimmy the Gent says:

    If Blonsky didn’t make another memorable movie, I would still treasure her great performance in Hairspray. Same goes Jennifer Hudson. It’s the One-Hit Wonder Syndrome. Why is it performers are thought less of if they don’t live up to the hype, as if they had any real control over the public? I love One-Hit Wonders. They provided me with some great experiences.
    Mr. Movieman:
    Have you ever been to San Antonio? How do you know there ISN’T a movie-savvy audience just dying to be catered to? Austin didn’t have one until Linklater took it upon himself to promote the movies he liked.
    I used 3:10 to Yuma as an example because Westerns aren’t exactly a guarantee at the box office. Also, analysts seemed to be genuinely surprised by its leggy-ness.
    I wouldn’t expect the crowd that dug The Game Plan and Shrek the Third to cozy up to There Will Be Blood because those movies were made for two totally differnt crowds. Not many toddlers dig Day-Lewis movies, I think. The key to Wild Hogs being successful is that it had something for everyone. Would you agree that there are some actors people go to see no matter what the movie is? I know I go to every Julianne Moore movie that comes out, even Next. Same thing with Hogs. Travolta, Allen, Macy, and Lawrence all have built-in audiences. It was a masterful job of filmmaking-by-commitee.
    People confuse the Wes Anderson niche with being a geek niche. The #s for Darjealing shouldn’t be a shock to anyone by this point. Anderson, like Woody Allen, has a core group of moviegoers that will go see anything he does. (I freely admit I’m one of them.) The $50 million gross of Tenenbaums was the exception. Also, I think Hackman-Stiller-Paltrow-Murray have more pull with the public than Murray-Blanchett-Dafoe or Wilson-Schwartzman-Brody.
    Finally, I must state again that I believe a good movie wil find its audience if the studio believes in it and gives a fair chance. Obviously a lot studios don’t do that. It would seem the #s for Jesse James and Into the Wild would good examples. Then look at the way Sony stuck it out with Across the Universe.
    P.S. I rhink the reason Iwo Jima flopped is because Eastwood’s pacing made a Bresson movie look like it was directed by Michael Bay. Also, I think the intended WWII veteran audience were too old to see it or didn’t know it even existed.

  19. scooterzz says:

    lex– nikki has never made a secret of the fact that she idolizes rikki lake….lake followed up her ‘hairspray’ role with a tv (usa channel….not even the lifetime pedigree) movie called ‘babycakes’…that led to several more theatrical movies before she bagged her talk show…. now, she never has to work another day in her life…. maybe nikki is just following the template…..jus’ sayin’….

  20. Geoff says:

    Interesting to see this debate over There Will Be Blood. Look, I’m as big a fan of PTA as any one – I loved Boogie Nights and Magnolia – I was surprised that they were not bigger hits. Boogie Nights had a ton of buzz and hype when it came out, and coming just a couple of years after Pulp Fiction, it had all the makings of a hit….but it barely made $30 million.
    I still believe, to this day, that if New Line launched a major Terms of Endearment-like campaign for Magnolia, with Cruise at the center of it, that that film could have been a blockbuster, but…..same result.
    PT Anderson is a major filmmaker, but his films will never be major hits, just the way it is. And There Will Be Blood seems less commercial than anything else he has done. And there is nothing wrong with that. Just like David Fincher or Woody Allen, in his heyday, PTA’s films will not need to be major hits to remembered. It’s ok – I live in Chicago and will see it, regardless.
    Now, this this comment from Movieman about the ’70’s – can we dispense with this myth, already? Sure, it was a great time for movies, but shlock STILL ruled the box office, even back then. Films like Towering Inferno and The Deep made a ton more than the Chinatown’s and Last Picture Show-type films.
    Were the release patterns much different? Sure, over the decade that slowly changed with Jaws, Billy Jack, The Shining and wide release mania that we see today started, back then. Who was the biggest box office star of the decade? Probably Burt Reynolds. Who’s the biggest star, today? Will Smith. Let’s not get too romantic about the past, ok?
    By the way, saw Juno, a couple of nights ago and loved it. Friday night audience in Vegas, crowded, half-filled with teenagers who ate it up. I think the teenage audience is the reason that film will take off. People forget that American Beauty probably took off for the same reason – before all of the Oscar’s, the ad campaigns featured the teen storyline as much as Spacey and made it out to be a film about “their generation.” Smart marketing goes a long way.

  21. David Poland says:

    Just thought I’d point out… the TWBB slowdown is a way of making sure that the box office story remains positive. I don’t think anyone sees a big box office winner here, but they are in range to get a Best Picture nod. And that is all they really care about right now.
    And I have made the argument before that these exclsuive releases with wide release marketing campaigns mean NOTHING… but here are some headlines from the Fantasy Moguls newsletter this season… you make the call.
    9/23 – Penn’s INTO THE WILD a smash!
    9/30 – DARJEELING and LUST, CAUTION open huge!
    10/6 – Clooney’s CLAYTON huge!
    10/30 – BEOWULF looking like 4-quadrant smash; 3D push huge!
    11/23 – ENCHANTED 2nd-biggest Thanksgiving opening ever w/$55M+! Amy Adams headed for Oscar nom?
    12/1 – SAVAGES and DIVING BELL strong!
    12/26 – Nicholson’s BUCKET huge!
    12/27 – DEBATERS, ALIEN/PREDATOR and BUCKET LIST tank; Anderson’s BLOOD huge
    I don’t want to piss on the parade, but perspective, please.

  22. hcat says:

    and in the “Oh well at least its something” catagory, Before the Devil Knows Your Dead just limped past the Aristocrats to become Thinkfilms highest grossing film.
    Someone mentioned the “will it play in peoria” chestnut in an earlier post. Since my In-laws live right outside of Peoria this always makes me laugh. It is pro-wrestling, Larry the Cable Guy country, a brutal character study representing the rivalry between commerce and religion isnt going to get much traction, they’ll go watch the cute chipmunks again.

  23. “that big, fat fat chick from HAIRSPRAY”
    She’s not just fat! She’s fat fat.
    I just thought we needed that to be clarified.

  24. movieman says:

    Quite frankly I’m sorry that I ever attempted to answer (however innocently) the query about the release plans for “TWWB.”
    Are all Texanites as thin-skinned, defensive and stubborn as Jimmy??? Dude: don’t take everything so damn personally!
    As someone who’s devoted most of their life to film–personally and professionally as an award-winning critic–I think my opinions are as valid as any of the other anonymous bloggers on this post.
    And Vegas Geoff, I’m assuming that you weren’t around in the ’70s when an actively engaged film culture crossed over from the college campuses to suburban USA. It was, however, a time that I still recall vividly and with great affection since that’s when–to quote Pauline Kael–I “lost it at the movies.” You don’t know how thrilling it was to sit in an SRO neighborhood theater–nice-sized ones, too, and not the multiplex boxes like today–and watch a northeastern Ohio audience totally enraptured by the likes of “Satyricon,” “A Clockwork Orange,” “Last Tango in Paris” and “The Last Picture Show.” That audience simply isn’t there (here) anymore, and I think that’s probably true of most medium-sized American cities. “There Will Be Blood” would have killed with that crowd 30+ years ago. But trying to find a sizable audience outside (here we go again) the major media hubs for challenging work like “TWWB,” “I’m Not There,” “Jesse James,” “Margot at the Wedding,” etc. is an uphill battle for even the most enterprising, deep-pocketed distributers.
    And RocketScientist is correct about P/Vantage lacking the savvy of a Fox-Searchlight when it comes to getting their films “out there.”
    But seriously, I really don’t think it matters to the majority of regular moviegoers who seem to want as little intellectual stimulation as possible when they hit the ‘plex on Saturday nite. In that same Ohio town where “Satyricon” sold out on a Monday (Monday!) nite in 1971, “Into the Wild” barely survived a woefully under-attended one-week run this fall. That’s simply pitiful.
    Great movies fail to find theatrical audiences all the time, Jimmy (dvd is another matter since virtually every film, thank heavens, is guaranteed a second chance on home video these days). To
    pretend otherwise is naive. This past year alone–a terrific one for American movies–was littered with the cinematic corpses of wonderful films that virtually nobody saw.
    And yes, I realize that there’s a pretty major difference between a “Wes Anderson geek” (I’m one myself) and the Comic Con variety who paid to see “300” a half-dozen times. But it all boils now to a silly dick contest to see who’s niche (W. Anderson vs. Baumbach; Tarantino vs. Kevin Smith; etc.) is bigger.
    Geoff’s comment about how a “Terms of Endearment”-style awards consideration campaign for “Magnolia” might have made the difference in 1999 was really kind of staggering.
    In what universe are those two films (both great btw) even remotely comparable? It’s like the difference between “3:10 to Yuma” and Brad Pitt’s “Jesse James.” Or “Juno” and “The Savages.” My mind is officially blown, lol.
    I think most of us who read–and occasionally post–on the MCN message boards are fairly serious movie types. Rather than bitch and moan arguing semantics, I think we should all just agree to get along and share our mutual passion. Seriously.
    That’s my New Year’s resolution anyway.
    And Dave is right about P/V being focused on scoring a Best Picture nod for “TWWB” and maintaining the box-office heat, socko per-screen-averages of their uber-limited run until the nominations are announced. But, c’mon now. We all know that it ain’t gonna do squat in the hinterlands come hell, high water or Oscar.

  25. The Big Perm says:

    Jimmy, you’re flopping. Comparing There Will Be Blood to 3:10 to Yuma is comparing The Fountain to Alien vs. Predator because both of those are science fiction movies.

  26. Nicol D says:

    The reason why PT Anderson…oh hell, Paul Thomas Anderson is not a blockbuster maker is because…stylistically his films are nowhere near as revolutionary as we are told by critics stuck in a late 70’s paradigm.
    I have not seen TWBB, but I will. I have liked elements of all of Anderson’s films (Punch Drunk Love is the best) but too often his films are marred by a been there done that before style that apes other directors. Watching Boogie Nights, one could play a drinking games based on how many shots/techniques he cribbed from Scorsese. Similarly, too many things in his films seem arbitrary and not thought out. I gave the frogs the benefit of the doubt in Magnolia, then read an interview where he insisted he did it only because he thought it was arbitrary and cool.
    Fine. Then I will arbitrarily find it cool to say your movie is medicore, sir.
    He has talent, but he has not found a real audience because for every great thing in one of his films there are two or three other things that make you feel like you are only watching a film student with a really big budget.
    …and the Amy Mann score and sing a long in Magnolia is one of the worst pieces of shit I have seen in a film in years. Y’know, there is a reason why music is mixed lower than dialogue in movies. Sad that Anderson spent millions to figure out what the average high school student watching music videos knows.
    When I plunk down 13 bucks for TWBB, it is purely for the thrill of seeing Day Lewis. Not Anderson.

  27. martin says:

    Ultimately TMWWBK, a remake, would have done much better than TWBB. But only if they could get Connery back to team up with DDL.

  28. Rob says:

    Apropos of nothing, I’m going to point out that P.S. I Love You is quietly on track to do $40 million or so, despite being universally reviled.

  29. mysteryperfecta says:

    You cannot underestimate the impact of home viewing on ‘art’ movies. Its the single biggest factor in why more challenging fare rarely has successful theatrical runs. Second in impact may be the price of the movie going experience. These things, along with the small window between theatrical and video release, have monumentally marginalized the urgency to seek these films out in theaters.
    Pointing to a less active film culture, or mis-marketing, or to a more intellectually-disengaged audience, is a canard.

  30. Jonj says:

    Loved the frogs. Loved the sing-a-long. But I watched the movie with someone who hated both scenes for much of the same reasons as mentioned above and we argued about it all the way home.

  31. movieman says:

    …but why are the smallest, most potentially interesting and (always) most difficult to see films the ones that take forever to hit home video? The run-of-the-mill studio pics routinely hit Netflix and Blockbuster within four months of their theatrical release, yet the choice stuff always seems to take their good old time.
    Example: I’m still waiting for “Our Daily Bread” from 2007 to get a dvd release date. And “Inland Empire” took nearly nine months after its theatrical bow to finally show up on dvd.
    Personally, I consider it pretty dubious that someone with a real interest in cutting edge fare would choose (off the top of my head) “Meet the Spartans” over (again, at the top of my noggin) “There Will Be Blood” if both films were playing at his neighborhood theater (“I think I’ll just wait for the 5-years-in-the-making PT Anderson movie to hit Netflix, and just go see that dumbass-looking spoof movie that shoulda gone straight to video instead tonight”).
    While I wouldn’t say that any (hell, all) of the factors you mentioned have indeed contributed to the decline of theatrical grosses for more challenging fare, the lack of an active, thriving film culture outside the usual hubs and studio and/or specialty division mishandling of “difficult” titles are equally culpable.

  32. Well, David Lynch rolled Inland Empire throughout the US for about five months or so, didn’t he? Which would explain the large gap between it’s NY/LA debut and it’s release on DVD.
    I agree that the cost of going to the movies and the easy access to DVD is what stop certain movies from reaching numbers they may have gotten 30 years ago. But the times are different too. No point denying it and claiming every movie sucks compared to the 1970s.

  33. movieman says:

    Good Lord, Kamikaze!
    I hardly said that every movie sucks compared to the ’70s: there are as many great films being made now as there ever were at any time in the history of cinema.
    I’m just not convinced that enough people truly care anymore.
    Or could it be that there are simply too many movies–great, good and execrable–being made period? The glut of titles competing for audiences week in/week out can be daunting to even the most dedicated cinephile. The New York Times claims to have reviewed 600+ titles in 2007 alone. Now that’s a LOT of good, bad and ugly movies
    What I’m saying is that I miss the passionate partisanship of the late 60s/early-to-mid-70s American film culture when it was hip to go out on a Monday night to see the new Fellini (or Kubrick or Altman or whomever) movie that everyone was talking about. I just don’t see a lot of that anymore. Now folks seem more content to queue up for the latest H’wood blockbuster that everyone else is seeing. And if they bother with the truly innovative, life-altering stuff at all (“TWBB,” “Into the Wild,” “I’m Not There,” “Diving Bell,” etc.), it’s usually just an afterthought when it finally hits Netflix.
    But the contentious souls on this message board (hi, Jimmy!) give me hope that all is not lost. And that is a very good thing.
    Happy 2008 everyone!

  34. mysteryperfecta says:

    “What I’m saying is that I miss the passionate partisanship of the late 60s/early-to-mid-70s American film culture when it was hip to go out on a Monday night to see the new Fellini (or Kubrick or Altman or whomever) movie that everyone was talking about.”
    I could be wrong, but is what you’re describing simply an extension of the broader counterculture movement of the time?

  35. movieman says:

    I never said that “every movie sucks compared to the 1970s.”
    In fact, I happen to think there are more great movies being made today than at any time in the history of the medium.
    I’m just not sure whether enough people truly care anymore.
    What I miss is the passionately partis Film Culture of the late 60s/early-to-mid-70s when people would rush out to see the new Fellini, Kubrick, Altman, etc. movie so they could argue over it at their next cocktail party. I don’t see a whole lot of that anymore;
    or maybe I’m just not going to the right parties, lol.
    Most folks these days seem content to queue up for the latest assembly-line Hollywood blockbuster; saving the edgy, innovative stuff (if they bother at all) for Netflix.
    Could it be the sheer mass of titles competing for limited attention spans week after week is part of the blame? The NY Times reviewed more than 600 titles last year alone–that’s a lot of good, bad and ugly. Even the most dedicated cinephile (I average 500 or more “new” releases per year myself) can sometimes feel like they’re drowning in quicksand. I know I feel that way at times.
    But the contentious voices on this message board (hey, Jimmy!)
    give me hope that all is not completely lost. Not yet anyway.
    Here’s to a great new year (at the movies and elsewhere) everyone!

  36. movieman says:

    …that should have been “passionately partisan.”

  37. But the times were different! Movies cost less, there were fewer alternatives to a night at the movies, less corporate-owned cinemas, no alternate way of viewing the movies (DVD and such), more spare time (just a guess, but people seem to work more these days) and so on.
    I do find it interesting that in this generation a lot of directors take a lot longer between films. Take Fellini for instance, in between 1963 and 1973 he made La Dolce Vita, 8 1/2, Juliet and the Spirits, Satyricon, Roma and Amarcord, a TV movie and segments in Boccaccio and Spirits of the Dead. Phew. Paul Thomas Anderson, David Fincher and so on, however…
    Although, directors were celebrities back then, weren’t they? These days it’s rare to see a film advertised around a director.

  38. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “There Will Be Blood” hits the 2 big New Jersey arthouses (Montclair, Voorhees) this Friday.
    Also this week “Atonement” goes national and “Juno” goes wide. That means “The Orphanage” won’t go national until 1/11 — opposite 4 new releases and 1 other Oscar Bait picture.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Surely you mean ‘Guillermo Del Toro presents The Orphanage’, an appellation that makes it the Worst Thing Ever – by Chucky standards.

  40. Chucky in Jersey says:

    “The Orphanage” was supposed to come to New Jersey this week. That it won’t is due to the strong Xmas Week turnout for all the holdovers.
    Of course the newspaper ads do engage in name-checking — “From … the company that brought you ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’.”

  41. jeffmcm says:

    And the newspaper ad means you hate the movie, right?

  42. Hopscotch says:

    No Country for Old Men just became the Coen Brothers highest grossing domestic film…just saying.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon