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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar


I just watched Michael Jackson’s Thriller with my kids tonight and was struck by how well it’s held up for me since I first saw it when I was a teenager. And then I started wondering … how many movies that I’ve seen in, say, the last couple years, would hold up so well after so long?
The Lives of Others, Pan’s Labyrinth, Children of Men, Juno, The Proposition, Little Children, Juno, Little Miss Sunshine, Away from Her … I’m sure there are others, but off the top of my head, these are a few that (I think) will still play as well for me 20 years hence. Which films of the last few years really stand out for you?

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5 Responses to “Thriller”

  1. LexG says:

    There Will Be Blood, No Country, Proposition, Domino, Collateral, Assassination of Jesse James, American Gangster (OWNAGE), Casino Royale (in the sense that every Bond movie gets the requisite Spike marathon viewings several times a year), Snow Angels, Into the Wild*, The Departed.
    On the FLIP side, I don’t think some of that Charlie Kaufman stuff will stand the test of time — Malkovich and Eternal were on my ten lists in their respective years, but I’ve never had one iota of interest in revisiting them.
    *And Into the Wild might be one of those cases where either the older you get, the less you relate to it… OR could be opposite and the more you wish you’d have been more carefree.
    I think I’m prejudiced towards remembering and rewatching grim, violent widescreen movies, usually either existential downers or gritty crime flicks; For whatever combination of personal quirks, COMEDIES rarely if ever get the rewatch, nor do domestic dramas. So despite my inclusion of things like “Sideways” or “Little Children” at or near the very top of my lists, they’re not the kind of thing I ever want to revisit, whereas I’ll park myself in front of “Collateral” or “American Gangster” three times a day on ever coast’s feed of Cinemax, coming in and out of it and entertained every time.

  2. LexG says:

    Oh, on the “Thriller” tip: I first saw that video on FRIDAY NIGHT VIDEOS in what must’ve been late 1983… seems it was around the week that D.C. CAB dropped in theaters, and no, I do not know why I’d remember such a thing.
    Also, used to own that MAKING OF on VHS, with Landis and Jackson clowning around.
    I was all about that album there at age 10, to the point where TO THIS DAY, I do not understand how it is considered a 1982 album. That album WAS 1983. How the HELL was Thriller a 1982 album? And yet the release date is definitely listed as November 1982. Just always seemed to me that BILLIE JEAN and BEAT IT dropped in ’83. Maybe there was a first single from late ’82 that didn’t drop in my Podunk neck of the woods?
    All I remember is everyone suddenly HAVING to have that well into ’83.
    (This pointless anecdote brought to you by Sober, Nostalgic Douche Mode Lex.)

  3. Cadavra says:

    GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK still ranks for me as the best film of the decade so far. So dense, so smart, so entertaining. It will never date.
    And I must confess a soft spot for OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES, which made me laugh harder than any movie in years. And since it too is a period piece, it’ll hold up beautifully. Can’t wait for the sequel (set in Rio).

  4. Kim Voynar says:

    Cadavra! I can’t believe someone else loves OSS-117! I saw that a couple years ago at the Seattle Film Fest and absolutely loved it. One of the most brilliant political satires ever, I wish it had gotten wider play in the States. Its widest release was only 13 theaters. It played hugely well at Seattle, I think it could have done better here had it been marketed differently.

  5. Cadavra says:

    I don’t know that the marketing itself was bad, but it was a start-up distrib that obviously had limited resources and couldn’t spend as much as it would’ve liked. (Not to mention it doesn’t SOUND like a comedy.) Remember, too, that foreign films are a tough sell as it is, and one that’s a pure entertainment–as opposed to the doom-and-gloom type seemingly preferred by art-house audiences–is an even harder slog.

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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