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David Poland

By David Poland

BYOB Tues 22310

On the run, near and far, shooting… it’s a big week for composers… and by the end of the week, we will have DP/30s with all five nominees… and an interpretive dance by Mr Shankman. Also coming this week, we will fill out the doc nominees list, talk Indie Spirits, and follow The Hurt Locker money.
Aside from rehashing the Miramax fire sale and Alice In Wonderland window debacle again – I honor Disney’s interest in pursuing a next-gen future, but they could end up drowning the baby for the entire industry by trying to hard to show how uncool bathwater is – there really isn’t much going on. So… it’s on you now…

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84 Responses to “BYOB Tues 22310”

  1. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Disney just farked up again: The planned 2012 release for Pixar looks like it’s 99 & 44/100% dead.

  2. hcat says:

    Damn, I think Newt was going to be the first Pixar film with a female protaganist, and now gone. I have a two year old daughter and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is that all the decent kids stuff is boy based. The Olivia cartoon is alright but nowhere as good as Sid the Science Kid or Phineas and Ferb. In theatricals its even worse. There will be only so many times I can have her watch Fly Away Home.

  3. Me says:

    hcat, I don’t know what age they’re appropriate for, but a lot of the Ghibli films are girl-based, with Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away being two of the best.

  4. EthanG says:

    It’s getting better. Last year “Monsters vs Aliens” and “Princess and the Frog” had female protogs and the strongest in 9 was female (though not sure that’s age appropriate).
    On first glance though this year does look wear..Rapunzel I guess?

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Does Coraline count? I haven’t seen it yet.

  6. Krazy Eyes says:

    hcat . . . I second the Studio Ghibli recommendation. My Neighbor Totoro is being re-released on DVD in a week or two and features two girls as the main protagonists. It’s one of my 3-year-olds favorite films and the first film he was able to sit through in it’s entirety. Ponyo looks good too but we haven’t seen it yet (he loves watching the trailer on though).
    He also is currently in love with the show Wonder Pets which I first thought was irritating but has since really grown on me. 2 of the 3 main characters are girls. Girl pets but still girls.

  7. Krazy Eyes says:

    Hey I just noticed that Chucky went and started a real, actual, discussion on a BYOB. Way to go Chucky! That’s got to be a first for you, no?

  8. Wrecktum says:

    A rumor that Pixar is cancelling one of their productions equates to Disney farking up? How does that compute? By that logic, I guess that means that Pixar farked up when Disney cancelled My Peoples.

  9. mysteryperfecta says:

    “I have a two year old daughter and I can’t tell you how frustrating it is that all the decent kids stuff is boy based.”
    Is it that big a deal? I have two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and it doesn’t matter to them. They love all the Pixar stuff, plus Sid the Science Kid, etc. Shows like Backyardigans, Max and Ruby, and Super Why are equal opportunity. Ni Hao, Kai-Lan has a female lead, and Dora is absolutely huge.

  10. There’s plenty of decent cartoons for girls…Dora the Explorer…Blues Clues (Blue is a girl). That PRINCESS AND THE FROG bomb didn’t look “too” toy oriented.
    And since I’m in a supremely shitty mood, why is your 2 year old watching movies? Read that kid a book! And get off my lawn.

  11. Wrecktum says:

    I don’t want to seem like Mr. Disney today, but in no real world would Princess and the Frog be considered a “bomb.” I agree, it underperformed at the boxoffice, but surely you know that boxoffice performance is not indicative of a Disney property’s overall value or profit.

  12. leahnz says:

    “Is it that big a deal? I have two daughters, ages 5 and 2, and it doesn’t matter to them. They love all the Pixar stuff..”
    actually, yes, it is a big deal. and it doesn’t matter to your tots because, a) they’re wee nippers and haven’t got the first clue about anything; and b) they are socially conditioned with the great patriarchal double-standard, whereby both boys and girls are conditioned to relate to/accept male protagonists as ‘the universal’/the norm/the usual/for everyone; but boys are NOT likewise conditioned to accept female protagonists as being ‘the universal’/the norm/the usual/for everyone. females are almost always found in supporting roles, and any female protagonists are still largely considered/marketed ‘for girls. pixar is a glaring example of this ‘male universal’, sadly, and it doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

  13. mysteryperfecta says:

    Or maybe they don’t have chips on their shoulders. Have a nice day!

  14. hcat says:

    Me-thanks for the Ghibli shout out, will try.
    Don -She is not watching features yet, but she would be ready for them by the time Newt came out, which is why I was looking forward to it. She is very well read to.
    ‘Shows like Backyardigans, Max and Ruby, and Super Why are equal opportunity. Ni Hao, Kai-Lan has a female lead, and Dora is absolutely huge’
    I would also add Yo Gabba Gabba as being great as well as generally gender nuetral. But both Dora and Kai-Lan are shrill baby-talking mind-numbers, repetitive and terrible (she does like both shows but that is mostly because they both prominently feature monkeys). Blue may be female but she is hardly the star of the show. We don’t watch enough to come up with anything more than a quick survey of the children’s shows, but the boys got it better.

  15. movielocke says:

    Avatar’s campaign has been sort of like Democrats up for office in 2010. Never defend yourself and lay down to every unfair criticism. I’m well used to the prejudice that science fiction engenders in terms of critical acceptance (it’s long since enjoyed public acceptance), but it would have been nice if people had countered the criticisms on Avatar. Makes me like it more in some ways, though considering the money its earned, no one is really crying for Avatar. It will be a shame to see Avatar lose best picture though, on the other hand, my one and two for the year were Up and Avatar, so I would be less bothered by it losing to Up. None of the other BP noms made my top ten iirc.
    regarding girl stuff. Get ye some ghibli! Totoro and Ponyo first, and then Kiki. As they get older add in some of the older films like Spirited Away, Whisper of the Heart and so on.
    And Leah is absolutely right that boys are conditioned to reject anything girl-led and girls are conditioned to always accept anything boy-led. That’s why we have a JK Rowling, and that’s why if Disney had named the film “The Frog PRINCE” they’d have netted another 50-100 million at the box office.
    They had their experiment with building a film solely off the princess-brand merchandising machine, but they sacrificed about 99.44% of the 12 and under boy market in theatrical by putting Princess in the title. Boys would have to be dragged to it and they’d sit through the whole movie fuming and thinking about how much they hate it and how they’re going to attack the movie if their friends give them grief for seeing it.

  16. storymark says:

    movieloche – Which criticisms do you think are crying out to be countered?

  17. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah while there was some criticism here and there, the massive box office seemed to drown it out. Some of it was deserved IMO. It wouldn’t make my top 10 for 2009, that’s for sure.

  18. hcat says:

    Movielocke- Do you think Science Fiction has it harder than comedy? What are some titles that you think have been overlooked in the past decade or so?

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    And horror gets no respect, even when the movie isn’t a straight-up horror flick (Scorsese slumming w/ Shutter Island for the most recent example). I’m not suggesting that an Oscar-worthy film was unfairly ignored, but “respectable critics” turn their noses at the genre.

  20. I’m holding off taking my daughter to the movies until she’s like 5-6. I still remember my first theater going experience (STAR WARS) as a 5 year old and man, you can’t beat that first time…provided you can remember it. It’s like that Billy Crystal monologue about Yankee Stadium to me.
    And I agree on the gender neutral kids shows. Plus, there’s some downright sissy-boy male characters for kids too; that frigging whining, bald 4 year old Caillou leaps to mind. Hate that kid and his frigging parents too. Grrr. Don’t get me started on ZABOOMAFOO and those G-D Kratt “Brothers.”
    Take notes, DP…Cameron will be knee deep in childrens programming this time next year!

  21. leahnz says:

    “Or maybe they don’t have chips on their shoulders. Have a nice day!”
    utterly pathetic response, mystery, and completely expected. the truth hurts, huh?
    “And Leah is absolutely right that boys are conditioned to reject anything girl-led and girls are conditioned to always accept anything boy-led.”
    exactly, thank you, movielocke.
    sci-fi certainly has it harder than comedy at the oscars. the last sci-fi nom’d for best pic was ‘ET’ back in the dark ages

  22. hcat says:

    There hasn’t been any nominated films, but what are the glaring omissions? There are plenty of great films but what reaches best of the year level. The only one I can think of is maybe Aliens.

  23. hcat says:

    Don, I think Star Wars was the first for me as well, four years old. I always thought it was weird that there is a bulge in our age bracket on this site. Plenty of 35-40 year olds here. Perhaps there is a bigger percentage of movie fans of that age due to Star Wars being the first film many of us saw and having it blow us away. I can’t imagine someone who stepped into the theater for the first time to watch Herbie Rides Again might have the same fervor for movies.

  24. The Big Perm says:

    hcat, I figure they could have nominated…COULD have, if you accept that The Fugitive was worthy of being in for Best Picture (which I do). The Matrix, Jurassic Park, A.I., how about Gattaca? And I’d say Aliens for sure. I’d also say Predator but in my heart I still know that’s horseshit.
    But seriously…Blue is a girl?

  25. leahnz says:

    “There hasn’t been any nominated films, but what are the glaring omissions? There are plenty of great films but what reaches best of the year level. The only one I can think of is maybe Aliens.”
    certainly ‘aliens’, with multiple oscar noms including one for ‘best actress’ and it still couldn’t pull down a nod for ‘best pic’, baffling.
    of course ‘best of the year level’ is subjective but for me the great oscar sci-fi snubs for best pic would have to be:
    close encounters
    blade runner
    empire strikes back
    eternal sunshine
    and perhaps ‘the matrix’ and ‘children of men’…there must be others but i can’t think of more at the mo. i guess that’s not that many in the grand scheme of things

  26. The Big Perm says:

    Oh, and my suggestions were since E.T. But Blade Runner was after ET, wasn’t it? That could have been a contender, certainly more people care about it all these years later then most movies made then. I would have mentioned Eternal Sunshine, I guess I don’t consider it “science fictiony” enough.

  27. Blade Runner was released a whole two weeks after ET.

  28. LexG says:

    This is no fault of anybody’s here — if it’s your experience, it’s your experience — but it IS sort of a formative filmmaker cliche, the wide-eyed little kid who got taken to STAR WARS in its original run, and sat there enraptured by the possibilities of cinema and knew RIGHT THEN AND THERE that he wanted to direct, all because of George Lucas.
    I’m around the same age as most others here, but SW’s original run was, what, May 1977? I was like four and a half. Even if I HAD been taken to that, how much do you remember from or about age FOUR?
    As such, I didn’t see it til it was RE-released in the early 80s (’82 or ’83). By then I was already ten and being an HBO kid, had already seen Rocky and some of the Moore Bonds and the Clint orangutan movies and Close Encounters and Jaws and Alien and Halloween; I might’ve even seen Carpenter’s The Thing before I saw Star Wars.
    When I did see it, yes, I was blown away and loved it, but it was just another big movie like the ones above. I’d probably say Carpenter or Spielberg (maybe even John Avildsen) were iconic to me before Lucas.
    WAS Star Wars shown anywhere between its initial release and the ’82-’83 release? There was no VHS then and it never hit HBO til ’83… so if you were too young or missed it in 77, 78… did it just disappear for five years? I remember all the kids talking it up, especially when Empire came along, but I was out of the loop til they came back around the second time.
    So you guys got Star Wars, I got MY wide-eyed, this is what I want to be first-ever theater trek: Revenge of the Pink Panther. Not quite the same thing.

  29. hcat says:

    Good Lists.
    I would count Sunshine as a comedy and the most glaring oversight by the academy in the last decade. I am with you on Children of Men as well. Matrix not so much, I know I am in the minority on this but always felt it was just a well done Silver film more than a game changing sci-fi film, the whole concept just allowed them to unleash unlimited firepower and carnage. A.I I could also see deserving some love. Given how epic action movies have seeped in (Gladiator, Master and Commander, Rings Trilogy), it would be fair to get more Minority Reports in there.

  30. LexG says:

    Minority Report = 2nd best film of the ’00s.

  31. hcat says:

    how much do you remember from or about age FOUR?
    The only things I remember from the age of four are Star Wars related. They were the first comic books I asked for, and a Ben Kenobi Action Figure was the first purchase I ever made with my own money.

  32. Mr. Peel says:

    STAR WARS had several re-releases including during the summers of ’78 and ’79. The one in ’78 was my first viewing…REVENGE OF THE PINK PANTHER came out at almost exactly the same time and I was taken to that as well.

  33. Whois67 says:

    I bet two of my co-workers coffee that Hurt Locker will win Best Picture (they’re going with Avatar). Good bet?

  34. hcat says:

    I’d put some money on it Who, especially if you could get them to give you some odds. I would like to see Cameron get Director and would like Locker or Up get best film. Avatar was fantastic to see but I can’t imagine ever seeing it again.

  35. The Big Perm says:

    I forgot about Minority Report! Great movie…although I wonder how it would have been if it had ended where it seemed like it was going to…in the hotel room. I think it should have, after that nothing about the movie is really all that great and the momentum dies.
    I wouldn’t necessarily think of The Matrix as a Best Picture winner personally..but all of the elements were there (good reviews, made money) that it certainly could have.

  36. LexG says:

    Until that “precogs sitting around some turn-of-the-last-century cabin SMOKING PIPES” bullshit at the very, very end (typical Spielberg schmaltz), that last act is aces. All that humiliating Von Sydow stuff that goes on 20m past the natural popcorn movie ending? I think it’s some of the best work in the movie.
    It’s a lot like the last reel of Shutter Island people were debating the other day… Just rules when a confident filmmaker tacks on some addendum or epilogue, or goes for ONE MORE setpiece after everyone thinks they can scoop up their coats and go home.

  37. CMed1 says:

    That ending for Minority Report would have worked if Spielberg had not taken out a tv news report voice over declaring that the murder rate had gone up 300%.

  38. Joe Leydon says:

    “But Blade Runner was after ET, wasn’t it? That could have been a contender, certainly more people care about it all these years later then most movies made then.”
    I don’t think so, Perm. Even after multiple reissues, it didn’t gross more than $35 million domestic. And I think you might be unpleasantly surprised if you were to find out how many people under 25 have ever bothered to see it. More to the point: It opened in 1982. I think you’d find more people care a lot more about many other movies released that year: 48 HRS., An Officer and a Gentleman, The Road Warrior, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Tootsie, Porky’s, First Blood, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan… and, of course, E.T.. Now, mind you, I’m talking about people in the real world, not people — like us — who read and post on movie blogs. But still…

  39. Geoff says:

    Came into this discussion, late – I have two girls, 3 and 5, who periodically watch movies in place of taking naps, what can you do?
    With regards to the gender thing, I’m torn about it – I mean, my five year old’s favorite movies are Bambi and Happy Feet. I’ll be damned if I (or she) can really tell if the major characters are actually male or female, or if we much care.
    That said, she also LOVES princesses and there are no shortage of those – Disney is now going all out with the Tinkerbell movies on DVD, too. Would it be cool to see a Pixar film go the strong female route? Sure, but I don’t feel like she is being deprived – hell, the strongest character in Wall-E was EvE, who she loved and the most memorable character in Finding Nemo is Dori, who she is always quoting.
    Lex, I think there are a lot of folks like us who actually have trouble remembering seeing Star Wars in theaters when it first came out (I was barely three), but it still seems to pervade our childhoods – the action figures, Empire, Jedi, the crappy cartoons, etc.
    With regards to the Oscars, I actually think that science fiction has made out better than comedy, though it’s not saying much – this year was pretty cool in that both Avatar and District 9 got nominated. The comedy thing has been completely confounding, though – I mean, think back to the ’80’s and they didn’t give nods to Tootsie or Ghostbusters, and those films had all the great reviews they needed. Just crazy that Tootsie couldn’t get nominated despite the fact it starred Hoffman and was directed by Pollack.

  40. This year the Academy doubled the number of sci-fi films nominated for Best Picture in one sweep (of course, the expansion to ten helped). Avatar and District 9 join ET and Star Wars. I’m fairly sure those are the only sci-fi titles around. If the ten was around before then surely titles such as 2001 and The Matrix would have made it in. Blade Runner would not have since it only got two nominations – Visual Effects and Art Direction, both of which it should have won – and was deemed a flop.
    I would definitely classify Eternal Sunshine as sci-fi. The entire movie revolves around the science, yes? It’s certainly more sci-fi than, say, ET during which there is no actual science involved, just aliens. But, maybe that’s just me being pedantic about “science” “fiction”.
    In regards to Pixar and girl characters, I thought it was The Bear and the Bow (or whatever it is called) that was the Pixar title with the first female lead, not Newt.

  41. Nicol D says:

    “Does Coraline count? I haven’t seen it yet.”
    Coraline is easily one of the best films of 2009 and the best 3D film of 2009. I stand by that.
    It is far too facile and anti science to say there are no gender differences and that all boys and all girls are only “nurtured” to think how they do. Nevertheless, Coraline is a film that I look forward to showing my young daughter when I am old enough and am sure young boys would love it too.
    Also…Olivia is every bit as great as Sid the Science Kid. But nothing takes the place of The Wiggles in my young daughter’s heart!

  42. Nicol D says:

    “I don’t think so, Perm. Even after multiple reissues, it didn’t gross more than $35 million domestic. And I think you might be unpleasantly surprised if you were to find out how many people under 25 have ever bothered to see it.”
    I teach film like you,Joe and while I think many under 25’s have seen Blade Runner…I sadly agree with you that it is deemed unimportant. I try to find a way to introduce it into many of my classes, and while they intellectually know they should like it…most do not.

  43. LexG says:

    Great as Blade Runner, Fast Times, 48 Hrs, The Things, Khan, Road Warrior are, BEST MOVIE OF 1982 = I WANT YOUR D.O.R.
    ZACH MAYO POWER. Also Robert Loggia as a drunk old motherfucker banging hookers and raising his kid in a Thai Brothel = GREATEST DAD IN FILM HISTORY.

  44. hcat says:

    We own Coraline and I agree that its one of the best of the year. I have shown my daughter small bits of it. All the wonderful scenes before the menace begins in the other world. The introduction to the Garden is very wonderful. Since she is a dinosaur fanatic there are a few certain scenes from the Jurassic Park movies I also show her (strict no blood, only wonder policy), but there is a scene at the end of III where the group is surrounded by Raptors and my daughter pointed at the screen and shouted DINO EAT, DINO EAT cheering them on.

  45. Bob Violence says:

    WAS Star Wars shown anywhere between its initial release and the ’82-’83 release? There was no VHS then and it never hit HBO til ’83… so if you were too young or missed it in 77, 78… did it just disappear for five years?

    Dunno if it counts, but there were several 8mm “selected scenes” releases which was a fairly common practice until the late ’70s or so. The IMDb claims there was even a very limited release (“50-100 copies”) of the entire film in 8mm.

  46. hcat says:

    Kam, I think the Bear and the Bow might be traditional animation. If I am wrong, well, the whole thread has been a misunderstanding. oops.

  47. HoopersX says:

    I think the whole discussion about what we 30/40 somethings actaully remember about the original release of Star War(as it was known then, A New Hope now)is interesting. Truth is, I was taken to see it when I was 7, nearly 8 years old. And I can’t honestly remember that experience. I have very vague memories of Empire Strikes Back but nothing clear. It wasn’t until Return of the Jedi that I can tell you every little detail about the movie and my movie going experience.
    In 83, I was 13. My mom had business dealings with Edwards cinemas here in So Cal(they have since been bought out by Regal). Back then, she sold those “multi-line announcer” boxes to the Edwards chain. They were the pre-voicemail things that when you called a theatre back in the day would give you show times. So when Jedi came out, my mom knew the younger Edwards through business and she managed to get him to do her a favor. On opening weekend, he roped off an entire row of seats in the “Big Edwards” Newport theatre. We had about 30 or so seats in the best part of the house set aside for us to watch Jedi. I remember inviting a bunch of friends, along with their parents and sitting back to watch Jedi. It was very cool and I guess that might be one of the reasons that I can tell you all about my Jedi experience but not so much for Empire(I was probably too young to remember A New Hope when it came out).
    Anyhow, all this talk brought some great memories rushing back.

  48. yancyskancy says:

    Geoff: You’ll be happy to know that your memory has let you down regarding TOOTSIE and Oscar. It got no less than 10 nominations, including Best Picture, Actor, Director, Original Screenplay, Song, Cinematography, Editing, Sound, and 2 Supporting Actress nods, with Jessica Lange scoring the film’s only win.

  49. Geoff says:

    Well, Yancy, don’t I have egg on my face?
    Had no idea and I didn’t watch those Oscars, guess I could have looked it up – I remember Roger Ebert going in a column going on about how Tootsie was shortchanged at the Oscars, especially how Hoffman got beaten Ben Kinsgley, so I guess that just stuck….
    10 nominations for a comedy IS pretty impressive, but it’s still a rarity – only other ones from the past 20 years I can remember are Sideways, Shakespeare in Love, Four Weddings, Full Monty, and Working Girl – though the only one of those I would have considered truly deserving are the last two.
    Still would have been pretty sweet if Trading Places or Ghostbusters got nominations…..

  50. hcat says:

    I’m pretty sure Broadcast news was deservedly nominated.

  51. Geoff says:

    HCat, NOTHING by James L. Brooks ever really deserved a nomination, most of the guy’s movies are death to watch for me – I mean, have you seen As Good as It Gets, Spanglish, or I’ll Do Anything??? Though Broadcast News is probably his best one.

  52. mysteryperfecta says:

    “And Leah is absolutely right that boys are conditioned to reject anything girl-led and girls are conditioned to always accept anything boy-led.”
    I don’t disagree with this, but don’t think its something to lament, from the female perspective. Isn’t this lack of discrimination a GOOD thing? These kids shows do nothing to advocate for some patriarchal hierarchy; if anything, these characters are emasculated.
    But its ridiculous to assert that my daughters are socially conditioned, in ANY respect. They’re 5 and 2. They like what they like. Its not a big deal.
    The Disney canon is replete with strong, independent female leads. Pixar is predominantly male-centric, but I don’t believe there’s anything subversive in the creative choices they’ve made, and wouldn’t want them to compromise their creativity to placate anyone. They like what they like.

  53. EthanG says:

    WEEKLY Armond White update…
    On “A Prophet,” insulting two directors with one stone!:

  54. Firstly, Film Threat is BACK online so go check it out!
    My STAR WARS experience as a little kid is based almost entirely in the experience rather than the film. Well, maybe 60% experience, 40% film. I remember seeing it at night and the smells of popcorn being almost overwhelming. Then you go into this (then) massive room with strangers and then it’s dark which, for a kid is fucking terrifying. But I was with my dad so that terror was soon chased away by feeling safe with dad. Then, the movie started. I DEFINITELY still remember-vividly- the words crawling on the screen then BAM! The STAR WARS logo and that music. I was sold.
    The whole experience definitely has made me chase the cinema dragon throughout my life, so badly wanting that experience again. Usually not getting it, especially in this current era of the shitty theater going experience. But STAR WARS and seeing it at an age I could appreciate it made me the cinephile I am today.
    Also, and don’t tell anyone, I fell asleep before it was over so when I indoctrinate my kid into the movie theater world, it’ll be a matinee.

  55. hcat says:

    Geoff, I will agree that Brooks fell off a creative ledge in the nineties but Broadcast News is one of the best films of the eighties. The dialogue was crisp, plot funny without being sitcomy or stupid. All three leads were perfect and Albert Brooks will never get another role that good ever again. He breaks my heart everytime he gets to “And will you look at that, I buried the lead.” (one of the best movie scenes of all time period).

  56. Blackcloud says:

    What I remember of seeing Star Wars in 1977 is that I saw it in 1977. That’s about it. I remember that I went to see it more than once, but I remember the going, not the viewing. I remember seeing it again on the re-releases the next years; my memories of actually seeing the flick are from then. My memories of Empire’s release in 1980 (when I was 7) are much more vivid. And then of course that summer was dominated by the whole paternity question. That and the hostage crisis and the election.
    How many other movies would elicit this sort of discussion? I think the list would be rather short. Maybe that’s a topic for another BYOB.

  57. leahnz says:

    as far as modern era best pic oscar noms go, comedy has been nominated many, many times, sci-fi like twice before this current 10pic batch of contenders. comedy – which often incorporates other elements like drama/action/satire – is way more ‘legitimate’ than sci-fi in the eyes of ‘the academy’ (only horror is as pooh-poohed by oscar).
    “But its ridiculous to assert that my daughters are socially conditioned, in ANY respect. They’re 5 and 2. They like what they like. Its not a big deal.”
    walk down the ‘girls’ isle in any toy store and tell me daughters aren’t socially conditioned (and has a colour even been so misused for the purposes of insidious cultural stereotyping? i think not)
    “I don’t disagree with this, but don’t think its something to lament, from the female perspective. Isn’t this lack of discrimination a GOOD thing? These kids shows do nothing to advocate for some patriarchal hierarchy; if anything, these characters are emasculated.”
    huh? lack of discrimination for whom? how is keeping the status quo by perpetuating the paradigm of ‘the universal male’ — whereby our girls are conditioned to relate to/accept/root for male protagonists in men’s stories (usually with females in supporting roles) as the ‘norm’, but our boys are not likewise conditioned to relate to/accept/root for female protagonists in women’s stories as the norm — “a good thing”? for whom is this a good thing?
    this disparity is one root cause of gender issues and entrenched double-standards in today’s absurdly labeled ‘post-feminist’ climate. in life, our girls are taught to identify with, relate to and root for protagonists – both fictional and real – of both genders, but by and large boys STILL are not conditioned to identify with, relate to and accept female protagonists – either fictional or real – as ‘the norm’, the usual, the ‘everyday’.
    female protagonists/women’s stories are still considered ‘for girls’ and marketed as such (funny how we hear the term ‘chick flick’ ad nauseam but never the term ‘man flick’…’man flicks’ are just ‘flicks’, aren’t they?) — unless, that is, the female protagonists in the mainstream are ultra-sexualised for the pleasure of the male viewer, which is often the case, and ultimately counterproductive to the cause of normalising the place and role of women in society as regular full-fledged, complex, complicated individuals just as worthy of having their stories told to a broad audience, rather than the mysterious ‘other’ with which patriarchal culture is so accustomed and comfortable.
    i think i’ve used the ‘toy story’ example before, but those terrific pixar movies – with all-male protagonists, one major supporting female role – are considered ‘family’, for everyone, boys and girls alike; goodness knows i love them, but i’m a girl so i’ve been taught to easily relate to and root for male protagonists. but imagine if the movies were exactly the same but the toys in ‘toy story’ were all mainly female, would it still be ‘for everyone’, boys and girls alike, and marketed as such? not a chance in hell. it would be marketed as a ‘girls movie’, because boys typically are not interested because they are not taught to easily relate to/accept/root for female protagonists as the norm.
    this paradigm may be slowly eroding, the likes of ‘coraline’ is a good sign perhaps, but the fact that pixar – such a trail blazer in many respects – is still so entrenched in the universal male is really disappointing. can anyone image ‘UP’ with an old lady and a little girl? not on you life, that thing would have made 1/10 the $.
    but whatever, i must enjoy beating my head bloody against a brick wall with this stuff around the bloke central hot blog. blood tastes like copper
    (and wow, hasn’t the star wars horse been beaten to death by now? i was there on the day, it’s seared in my memory and had a profound impact on me and all that , blah blah blah, but still blathering on about it on a blog 30 odd yrs later is just too cliche somehow, like being in ‘fanboys’ only real)

  58. longshanks says:

    I’m a little aghast at how many readers of this blog, for the most part highly educated and well-informed individuals, seem to be plopping their under-5 children in front of television sets and other forms of media for prolonged viewing periods. I’m not even thinking about the content; the spatial elements and visuals of even the most benign programs are terrible at that stage of development (relative to attention span, ability to concentrate, understanding of object dynamics, etc. etc.) There is magic at that age that should be cupped as a flame.
    In my experience, most parents of children that age are leaning on media out of laziness. But the extra work is worth it. I’m not saying my kids won’t grow up to be as fucked up as anyone, but right now it is very easy to see the difference in behavior between them and their media-drenched peers.

  59. Triple Option says:

    hcat: Herbie Rides Again may indeed have been my first pic in a theater. It may’ve been at a drive in, I can’t remember. Some Herbie movie I remember seeing when I was really young. Well, remember is a bit misleading.
    I saw Star Wars when it was first released. I liked it but didn’t love it by any stretch. I may’ve gotten one or two Star Wars toys but wasn’t a collector. It didn’t make me want to direct. I don’t think any one film did. Of course I was older but seeing Bladerunner (one of the first I saw on our VCR) was far more compelling to me.

  60. Chucky in Jersey says:

    DP brought up the Miramax fire sale and the “Alice in Wonderland” debacle. Just yesterday came word of major layoffs planned at ABC News.
    Tie those facts together — what do you see? Disney must be in deeper trouble than everyone thinks.

  61. I was such a “Herbie” fan as a kid, I memorized his license plate: OFP857. Sad, sad, sad.
    And longshanks- it takes a village, maaaaan. Sometimes that village is populated with Yo Gabba Gabba, Blues Clues and Caillou.

  62. christian says:

    “But its ridiculous to assert that my daughters are socially conditioned, in ANY respect.”
    Keep telling yourself that. Disney spends a lot of money figuring out ways to socially and psychologically condition folks — starting with their parents. If you’ve ever seen a Disney focus group, it’s scary. The parents are addicted.

  63. EthanG says:

    Swinging topics here…but just caught Christopher Smith’s excellent “Triangle.” Brilliant little mindf*ck of a movie. There have been quite a few people called the next great horror director for awhile…Alexandre Aja after High Tension and Hills Have Eyes…..Eli Roth…Adam Green with Hatchet and Frozen…the project greenlight/Feist kids…even M. Night and Tarsem Singh briefly. Vinzenco Natali (Cube, Splice) and Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, The Descent) are still kind of in the running…but Smith’s work speaks for itself.
    Improving from the decent but slight “Creep,” to the best horror-comedy since Shaun of the Dead in “Severance” and now with “Triangle” he’s proven himself as an ingenious writer and very capable director in 3 types of horror…suspense, comedy and gross-out.
    “Black Death” should be added to the list of most anticipated films of 2010. Marshall, Singh, Aja, Roth etc mostly spun their tires when they got ahold of a studio budget. I’m hoping/praying Mr. Smith is different.

  64. EthanG says:

    PS…I had a very different Star Wars experience. I grew up on the films…on VHS. I fell in love with the BRILLIANT Timothy Zahn “Heir to the Empire” book trilogy (whatever books came after are mostly shit). Grew up playing Dark Forces and Shadows of the Empire…and was quickly crushed by the foul stench of Episode I. I wanted to like it so much…and I kind of liked Episode III.
    But man…if so many kids were really influenced by Lucas…then thank god for Spielberg and Cameron for saving kids from Lucas’s vision 20 years later.

  65. Ethan-
    that flick is one I wanna check out but I think your point about that “new breed” of horror filmmakers is- they got co-opted by the studio system immediately after having some “indie” success. Neil Marshall did that big budget “Doomsday” flick and Aja…jeez. “Pirana 3D” looks like the schlockiest thing ever. The veridct (in my opinion) is still out on Roth and I’ve yet to see “Frozen.”
    I’ve seen “Spilce” and really dug it but Natali could be in trouble if it hits audiences as is. I like the movie as it is, but it won’t fly with the majority.
    My horror money is on Ti West if he can make another successful film AND shake this rep of him being difficult. Lucky McKee is another one because “May” is soooo great but he’s still got a lil something to prove.

  66. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m curious about Triangle because I really like Severance (and Creep is an OK little horror flick). Smith definitely shows promise. After Session 9 I had high hopes for Brad Anderson but I’ve cooled on him a bit. Aja has talent but Mirrors is terrible. Doomsday is kind of a mess but after Dog Soldiers and The Descent I’m willing to give Marshall a shot. I’m hoping House of the Devil is as good as I hear it is. I didn’t like The Roost much and Cabin Fever 2 sounds like it’s not too good.

  67. EthanG says:

    Yeah is Cabin Fever 2 actually ok? I won’t judge immediately because a lot of people rave about “White Noise 2” but have you seen it?
    As much as I love “Dog Soldiers” and “Descent…” this new Viking movie looks TERRIBLE to me. Hopefully it’ll surprise…did McKee’s Red ever come out btw?
    Another to keep an eye on: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later, Intacto) who coming out with “Bioshock” next.

  68. Well, “Cabin Fever 2” is where West first got into squabbles with higher ups. Is his name even on the film any more? I know he wanted it off of there. I’m glad you guys mentioned “Triangle” too cuz I rally dug “Severance.” I thought that would be huge. Man, it’s tough for horror to branch out past the horror geek crew, especially smaller horror.
    I also should have mentioned Paul Solet in my fave new horror faces as “Grace” just gets better and better with every viewing. But, it’s his only feature so gotta see what he cooks up next. Fresnadillo is a good call. I found “28 Weeks Later” to be pretty frigging gross and scary.

  69. EthanG says:

    “Triangle” does a concept that’s been done before..but I don’t think it’s been done as well. The last 15-20 minutes really push it above average to very good. (btw are Melissa George and Radha Mitchell related? I kept thinking…wow this is similar terrain for George after Silent Hill…lol)
    I like “Grace.” Hope the director doesn’t turn out like that of “Teeth.” Im one of those weirdos who liked “28 Weeks” better than Days minus the acting…though Danny Boyle’s ability to bend genres keeps amazing.
    Couple more…Juan Bayona (The Orphanage) is rumored for a horror project in English. David Slade (Hard Candy, 30 Days of Night) sold out for Twilight: Eclipse but his period horror “Cold Skin” sounds like it’ll be a trip.

  70. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m pretty sure I read in a review at one of the horror sites that West’s name is still on Cabin Fever 2. Agreed on Fresnadillo. I like Intacto and 28 Weeks Later. Grace is one creepy and unsettling flick. Solet shows a lot of promise. Inside really freaked me out too.

  71. Triangle is indeed a doozie, my wife and I just watched it Tuesday night. Cabin Fever 2 is OK, but it really is successful in capturing the 80s spirit (which makes even more sense now that I know who directed it). Yes, West’s name is still listed as director and yes, House of the Devil is as good as you’ve heard. If you want a couple direct-to-DVD horror films that don’t stink, check out From Within, Murder Party (which is more of a comedy), Midnight Movie and the absolutely fantastic British import The Children.

  72. Stella's Boy says:

    I hear good things about The Children. I saw Midnight Movie. TMC played it last year as part of their Saturday night horror double feature. It’s OK. Pretty derivative but lots of zeal and ambition displayed.

  73. “Inside” is fucking terrific. I was literally closing my eyes and peeking through my hands through that last 15-20 minutes. Yipes.
    I wish a new Cronenberg would emerge. No one did those super smart yet Id oriented gross out mind-fucks like he did back in the day. Solet might be that guy, “Grace” qualifies.
    I also loved JT Petty’s “The Burrowers,” a very solid horror-western film. He also did a hybrid-doc called “S&NDMAN” that was really great. I thought it would gain some kind of following but I never heard anyone having even seen it besides me. I mean, outside of google searches of course.

  74. Stella's Boy says:

    JT Petty is an interesting filmmaker. Mimic 3 is better than a DTV third entry in a series has any business being. The Burrowers is a good flick that deserved a wider release. Another DTV movie from last year I liked a lot is Dave Parker’s The Hills Run Red. For a low-budget offering its got a cool killer and some great gore.

  75. leahnz says:

    i too like ‘the burrowers’, wonderfully grim
    i had hopes for alex turner after ‘dead birds’, but ‘red sands’ was a bit of a poopfest (a pity because the concept of the djinn and the context of the lost soldiers was rather interesting and could have been special)

  76. I think Civil War “horror” doesn’t work. Or better, doesn’t sell an audience. Wasn’t “Dead Birds” that Henry Thomas Civil War horror film? “Ravenous” was a GREAT Civil War horror film that tanked too.

  77. leahnz says:

    yes, ‘dead birds’ is thomas and micheal shannon and isaiah washington, a southern-style haunted house fuckarow, quite good
    crappy trailer:

  78. The Big Perm says:

    Since there’s only been about three Civil War horror movies, I don’t know that you can say they don’t draw an audience, especially since they were all low budget horror (maybe not quite Ravenous but it wasn’t exactly starring Mel Gibson).
    But I’d imagine is Spielberg decided to make a Civil War horror movie starring Brad Pitt, it would do quite well.
    As for The Burrowers, saw it tonight. I like horror, but modern horror just seems designed to be a jerk-off that ends before you blow your wad. There’s two endings to modern horror…the heroes lose, or it ends in the middle of the movie. It would be nice to have closure every now and then, like how every other genre has.
    The horror version of Apocalypto…the hero escapes from the city, jumps off the watefall. Thinks he’s safe. The bad guys suddenly jump off the cliff into the water as well! Cut to credits.
    Horror version of Raiders of the Lost Ark…they throw Indiana Jones in the snake pit and close the tomb. Cut to credits and Marion screams.
    You can do it with any movie! It’s easy!

  79. jeffmcm says:

    Yeah, but most classic horror movies don’t exactly end on conclusive, ‘up’ notes. Rosemary’s Baby, The Haunting, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Even Texas Chainsaw and Halloween end with the ‘he’s still out there’ ending.
    Let’s just say that most modern horror movies (the Saw movies, etc.) are lazy and leave you wanting more in a bad way.

  80. Stella's Boy says:

    When I went to the advanced screening for Ravenous and someone handed me some beef jerky, I knew I was in for a good time. I love that totally bonkers movie.

  81. The Big Perm says:

    I don’t even need an “up” note, I would just like a conclusive ending…which is provided by Rosemary’s Babay, The Haunting, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Texas Chainsaw had a real ending…she gets away. In a modern version, she wouldn’t have gotten into the truck that drives off…she would have been walking down the road, seemingly free and clear…when in a burst of music, Leatherface jumps out of the bushes, cut to credits.
    And the old classics had real endings…Frankenstien, Dracula, Wolf Man…people who actually gave a shit about the story. Actually, almost every horror movie until maybe the 60s or 70s had conclusive ends.
    Which is why I like it when a mainstream A-list director makes a horror movie, because they’re usually making a story and not a series of jump scares, so you get real endings in Sleepy Hollow, Sweeney Todd, Signs, Seventh Sign, What Lies Beneath, etc.

  82. jeffmcm says:

    Leatherface jumping out of the bushes – and we’re assuming, killing the girl, would be a conclusive ending. I’m not sure what your exact complaint is.

  83. Jeffrey Boam's Doctor says:

    You could make a case for a few more Civil War horrors.. THE KILLING BOX, Armand Mastroianni’s SUPERNATURALS and I’d even say Eastwood’s THE BEGUILED is a horror film.
    TRIANGLE is an overlooked gem. Agreed.
    I’d say many over the years have picked on the body horror carcass of Cronenberg and have had some success with the sub-genre. Solet’s GRACE annoyed most horror fans but as Don says it’s one of the closest in spirit to Cronenbergs work, even though from all appearances, it never musters the visceral energy of his trilogy SHIVERS, RABID, BROOD. It’s far more solemn in tone and possibly more accurately described as a cousin to RINGERS than his earlier sexual body horrors.
    JT Petty is a very interesting and smart guy. His partner is a gifted horror author and he’s been pretty prolific in other areas away from film. I remember being quite frustrated with BURROWERS and how it all falls apart in the final quarter but even with its failings, its unique and worthwhile compared to recent genre pics. DEAD BIRDS really reminded me of Wesley’s SCARECROWS which impressed me greatly on first release.
    SPLICE has so much potential to be a contemporary genre classic but it veers all over the map in terms of tone and execution. If you approach it as camp then you’ll have a ton of fun but if you buy into its pretentions then you’ll laugh at it, instead of with it. Like so many films these days it really could use some trimming as many scenes are quite repetitive. If it was 85-90m it could be one of the best times in the theatre for horror/science fiction fans.

  84. The Big Perm says:

    I did more or less like Burrowers. I kind of would have preferred that movie without the monsters. But Petty was smart the way he worked with genre conventions, I’ll give him that.
    And Jeffmcm, if you’ve watched a Texas Chainsaw movie and the last half hour of it is the lead actress runing from Leather face and him jumping out of the bushes at her, and then you end on the same note, that’s not a conclusive ending. That would be a chickenshit copout ending…maybe she lives and he chases her around for another half an hour, and aybe she dies. But it’s not conclusive.
    Like the Hills Have Eyes remake…good ending, sure a lot of the family died but some survive, and then they’re on their way out…
    only to have the dumbfuck copout ending where you realize there are more mutant tracking them. Compare that horseycrap to the original’s ending and that’s all the difference.

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