Movie City News Archive for February, 2019

Anthony Lane Does Not Suffer Oscar

“If you want to see worthy winners, go to a racetrack… For bonus points, add a stream-of-consciousness yammer or an invocation to your chosen deity… The stage was an agora of diversity from first to last, and I would wager that more Spanish was uttered than on any previous Oscars night… The usual tossed salad, I would…

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Errol Morris

Fuck 'em. I will distribute the movie myself. — errolmorris (@errolmorris) February 26, 2019

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Magnum Photographer Chien-Chi Chang On The Set of Roma

Magnum Photographer Chien-Chi Chang On The Set of Roma

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Smell while Framing Roma

“In many ways, being my own cinematographer was a shortcut, because there were images springing directly out of my memory,” says Cuarón. “I’ve always been involved with the framing and composition for all of my films. It’s something that I design by the inch and discuss with Chivo. Sometimes when I was framing during the…

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Rotten tomatoes

In a major change, Rotten Tomatoes will no longer allow users to post audience reviews before a film hits theaters. — Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 26, 2019

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Emma Thompson

Every contribution counts, but this is absolutely massive. Thanks, #EmmaThompson. — Tomris Laffly (@TomiLaffly) February 26, 2019

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A big loss for L.A.: Samuel French Bookshop is closing at the end of the month. The store had been in operation since 1947. — Laila Lalami (@LailaLalami) February 26, 2019

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Hi guys! 31 years ago today, ‘Bloodsport’ was released and my Hollywood dream began! What’s your favourite moment from the movie?#JCVD #Bloodsport — JCVD Official (@JCVD) February 26, 2019

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I, and others, missed some talented people in last night’s #Oscar In Memoriam, so I whipped this up over lunch today. Apologies if I, too, missed anyone. — Charles de Lauzirika (@Lauzirika) February 25, 2019

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Spike Tea

Interviewer: is there something about Green Book that offends you? Spike Lee: — old two yards (@mxr_ly_) February 25, 2019

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History of the Green Book

You can watch the ACTUAL story of the Green Book, which black ppl used to travel safely during Jim Crow, online if you don’t have The Smithsonian chnnel. Check out the full episode of The Green Book: Guide to Freedom on Smithsonian Channel Plus @SCPlus # — Naima Cochrane (@naima) February 25, 2019

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TCM Memoriam

In loving memory of the actors and filmmakers who have passed away in 2018. We will remember you for all time. #TCMRemembers 🎶 “When The Night Is Over" by @LordHuron 🎶 — TCM (@tcm) December 14, 2018

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Rachel Syme on Gaga

gaga is always in character + modes of fame; her public life is more or less unbroken performance; that’s the art (and joyful artifice) of it. currently she’s playing an ingenue enamored w/a co-star, in dialogue w/old school hollywood tropes. whatever she’s doing it’s a Work — rachel syme (@rachsyme) February 25, 2019

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Dog Outwits

I have discovered the greatest film of 1908, the greatest film of the 20th century and possibly the greatest film in history. — Movies Silently (@MoviesSilently) February 25, 2019

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Mark Harris

Okay, I REALLY will let this go after today, but this "virtue signaler" shit is snapping me. No, you superannuated Bill Maher fetishists. Every white person to the left of you on any issue of race, culture, and/or representative is not performatively faking it for the crowd.> — Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) February 26, 2019

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Lord Sugar Salty

“Britain’s host of ‘The Apprentice’ has called for himself to be given his own special award in recognition of the reality show’s success, after revealing that his wife is upset that he has never been allowed to keep a Bafta statuette. Lord Sugar said it was ‘unbelievable’ that the show had won two Bafta TV awards but…

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The Gurus Weigh In, Post-Oscar

Not quite round-ups, but a jolt or three.

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Harold Evans

Pc nonsense that Green Book is “racist”. I reported from all over South in fifties and movie is fair picture of both indignities inflicted on black men and women and v moral intentions of the defamed “do gooders” — Harold Evans (@sirharryevans) February 25, 2019

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Oscar bump?

Preliminary Nielsen estimates have Oscars viewership at just under 30 million. I wrote about how the number would likely go up from 2017 given how many people had seen the movies, but the increase was *way* below what the trend would suggest. — Philip Bump (@pbump) February 25, 2019

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Los Angeles Samuel French Bookstore Closing

Los Angeles Samuel French Bookstore Closing

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Movie City News

“I don’t think it’s cruel to say this, because John himself would undoubtedly have turned it into a gleeful anecdote: When he had the stroke that killed him, he was at a local dinner theater. Hell of a review.”

“I am inclined to aver that every activity needs its critics, from narcissists bloviating in Washington to exhibitors of knee holes in their blue jeans by way of following a fad. So, too, tennis players and others wearing their caps backward. There is, to be sure, only fairly innocuous folly in puncturing pants or reversing caps, but for political or artistic or religious twisting of thought or harboring holes in the head there is rather less excuse. I have always inveighed against the bleary journalism practiced by newspaper reviewers, as opposed to the real criticism performed by, well, critics.”

“I often felt a twinge of grief at the idea that John Simon had devoted his life to a method of work that could only make him increasingly unhappy. Here was a man, elegant, articulate, and vastly knowledgeable, fluent in at least half a dozen languages, whose gifts of mind gave nothing back to the arts he wrote about except a few unkind remarks that made fun of someone’s performance, ethnicity, physical attributes, or, with a pun, on his target’s name. (“If this is Norman Wisdom, I’ll take Saxon folly.”) Other theatre critics keep such darts in their rucksacks for occasional use; John lived by them.”

“One person’s critic is another person’s crackpot. That they are not united in their opinions is ascribable to the Latin saying: quot homines, tot sententiae. I myself prefer being considered a creep, but that is what you get for having what Vladimir Nabokov called ‘Strong Opinions.’ It is odd that in a country so wallowing in negativity, starting with mass shootings and climaxing with Trump, such an unimportant matter as theater criticism should generate so much hostility. The only target patently more important is lead in the drinking water.”

Review: Little Women (no spoilers)

The DVD Wrapup: Cold War, Betty Blue, Official Secrets, Demons, Olivia, American Dreamer, Land of Yik Yak

20 Weeks To Oscar: Cinema, Trump, and Oscar

E. Scott Weinberg On Youthful Fangoria Encounters

Rome Bookstore Closes

With a Grauniad-Alleged $300 Million Budget, Could The Yet-Unseen But Surely Weird Cats Pass A Billion Dollars at The Box Office?

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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