Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
¶“Bonnie and Clyde,” which, like “Psycho,” left audiences alarmed at their capacity to enjoy violence in the darkness of a movie theater.
¶“Jaws,” which, like Hitchcock’s films, used artfully cut sequences and carefully paced scenes to manipulate audiences and amp up their feelings of fear.
¶“Taxi Driver,” which, like “Psycho,” features a “lone-wolf outsider” who both frightens and repels us, even as he allows us to “see a glimpse of ourselves in him.”
¶Stanley Kubrick’s movies “Lolita,” “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining,” which, like “Psycho” and so many other Hitchcock films, share “an extreme appetite for technique that sometimes forgot ‘content’; a recognition of watching as perhaps the central expression of modern intelligence and a surgeon’s interest in the eye.”
---Does The Huffington Post exploit its bloggers?
While somewhat buzzed after tea (sweetened, I was told, by some sort of special honey), I remembered to ask Arianna if she worried about the number of writers being left unemployed by the new "freebie" culture.
"Our site is not built around the freebie," she said. "Our site is built around very hard-working editors and reporters who do all the curating and aggregating and original content. Then bloggers can write when they want, if they want." The Huffington Post's founder and editor in chief acknowledged that the question of how to fund journalism and pay a living wage "is still being worked out."
---Dan North explains the reveal
---Nancy Meyers and her movies designed for women
---13 important DIY films of the decade
---Video games' evolution thanks to social media
---Lastly, Anthony Lane looks at Donald Spoto's new biography of Grace Kelly:
"Hitchcock is the figure who wraps together the opposing views of Grace Kelly, and folds them into a single mystery. He knew and relished all the rumors, but would never have been so vulgar as to brandish what they proposed, like an emblazoned flag, in the course of the three films with Kelly. One quick flutter would suffice. He was the first director to listen closely to the gentle crack in that well-bred speaking voice (“improperly placed,” according to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts), and to register the wicked elongation of her vowels: “Oh now, don’t say you can’t go,” a scarlet-clad Grace tells Ray Milland in “Dial M for Murder,” lowering that final syllable into a two-toned croon. (She is cheating on him, and her lover is in the room.) During a famous exchange with François Truffaut, Hitchcock argued that “if sex is too blatant or obvious, there’s no suspense."
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
"What has been lost in pop music these days is the combination of the visual and the imagery of the artist, along with the music—and both are just as important. So, even though the carefree nature of the album is something that people are latching onto right away about my stuff, I hope they will take notice of the interactive, multimedia nature of what I'm trying to do. The things I like to do and the theatrics, I like to incorporate them into the choreography. With my music, it's a party, it's a lifestyle, and it's about making the lifestyle the forefront of the music."
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
"Yet what, in our brave new mediated world, is friendship becoming? The Facebook phenomenon, so sudden and forceful a distortion of social space, needs little elaboration. Having been relegated to our screens, are our friendships now anything more than a form of distraction? When they've shrunk to the size of a wall post, do they retain any content? If we have 768 "friends," in what sense do we have any? Facebook isn't the whole of contemporary friendship, but it sure looks a lot like its future. Yet Facebook—and MySpace, and Twitter, and whatever we're stampeding for next—are just the latest stages of a long attenuation. They've accelerated the fragmentation of consciousness, but they didn't initiate it. They have reified the idea of universal friendship, but they didn't invent it. In retrospect, it seems inevitable that once we decided to become friends with everyone, we would forget how to be friends with anyone. We may pride ourselves today on our aptitude for friendship—friends, after all, are the only people we have left—but it's not clear that we still even know what it means."
"Apps themselves aren't new--they're just the `programs' and `software' of old, repackaged and given a totally new spin by the mobile net--but they've become prominent because of advancing technology. And in a World where some TVs now run apps, where toddling babies can wirelessly Tweet what they're up to and cybernetic limbs seem closer to reality, then the only conclusion is that apps will soon be powering/tweaking/boosting/personalizing every bit of future tech in our lives."
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
ED HOWARD: What I appreciated about the film was how subtle it was, how introspective it was for an epic. In some ways, a lot of it doesn't even feel like a conventional epic. Sure, it's long, and filled with those widescreen crowd scenes that are pretty much the aesthetic bread and butter for the genre. It's even packed with Biblical allusions and Christ allegories, aligning it with the grand religious tales, from The Ten Commandments to The Passion of the Christ, that always seem to be prime subjects for these spectacles. But what sets Lawrence of Arabia apart from typical epics (which generally underwhelm me) is its texture. David Lean has a real eye—and ear; the film's soundtrack, beyond its bombastic score, is stunning—for details, for carving out emotions and themes from the smallest touches.
Sally Potter: "As a child, I probably knew every frame of Monsieur Hulot's Holiday. I knew the sequences off by heart. I think what indelibly struck me was not so much the comedy of it, which often felt slow, as the compassion in the observation: this observation of small moments, a swinging door. The emptiness of the soundtrack, which just has one or two effects dropped into it. Almost the feeling of it as a kind of meditation on loneliness and the social behaviour of people attempting to have a good time. It was the tragic part of the comedy that impressed me and the minimalism of the means with which it was realised. I think as a child I was experiencing it as a minimalist transcendent meditation more than as the work of a comic genius.I just quickly looked up something about Tati and discovered something which I hadn't known before, which was that he lived most of his life in poverty, having to raise mortgages on his previous films to raise money for the next ones. The solitariness of that position as a film-maker I realised was imbuing the films themselves with the melancholy. I found that a fascinating piece of hidden information about the work."
---The evolution of the hipster.
---Mini-mall marketing genius.
---Time to throw the laptop away: Cormac McCarthy's Olivetti.
---The art of getting noticed: Frederico Alvarez's Panic Attack!
---It is true that you can get noticed and published quickly thanks to Twitter.
---Our industrialized wasteland.
---Lastly, the mysterious Charlotte Gainsbourg/Beck video "Heaven Can Wait."
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
JH: Viewers are being hardwired differently. In film, it's harder and harder to use wide shots now. And the bigger the budget, the more closeups there are and the faster they change. It's a whole different approach. What's going to happen is there will be the two extremes: the franchise films that are now getting onto brands like Barbie, and Battleship and Ronald McDonald; then there are these incredible, very low-budget digital films. But that middle area, they just can't sustain and make it work in the current model. Maybe the model will change and hopefully readjust.
CM: Well, I don't know what of our culture is going to survive, or if we survive. If you look at the Greek plays, they're really good. And there's just a handful of them. Well, how good would they be if there were 2,500 of them? But that's the future looking back at us. Anything you can think of, there's going to be millions of them. Just the sheer number of things will devalue them. I don't care whether it's art, literature, poetry or drama, whatever. The sheer volume of it will wash it out. I mean, if you had thousands of Greek plays to read, would they be that good? I don't think so.
---Sociological Images notes the De-gaying of A Single Man.
---Star Trek bloopers.
---Facebook as alibi and one way to apprehend a criminal.
---A. O. Scott considers the last decade of movies:"Perhaps the easiest and most satisfying way to make sense of the unruly cinematic abundance of the past 10 years is to sift through it for masters and masterpieces, kicking the tires to see what has been built to last. Whatever else was going on, a handful of great filmmakers made a handful of great films, just as in other decades. Steven Spielberg, freed in the ’90s by the successes of “Schindler’s List” and “Saving Private Ryan” from the burden of importance, made a series of bracingly imaginative entertainments — “Minority Report,” “Catch Me if You Can,” “War of the Worlds,” “Munich” and “The Terminal” in addition to “A.I.” — that were both nimble and deeply resonant. Clint Eastwood, in his 70s, entered the most prolific and diverse phase of his career as a director, breathing new life into long-established Hollywood genres, including the boxing picture (“Million Dollar Baby”), the crime thriller (“Mystic River”) and the combat epic (“Letters From Iwo Jima”). Martin Scorsese collected his overdue Academy Award for “The Departed”; Joel and Ethan Coen won their first Best Picture Oscar, for “No Country for Old Men,” in the midst of popping out a film a year. Gus Van Sant, Robert Altman, P. T. Anderson, Spike Jonze, Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Todd Haynes. The canon of American cinema, since the early ’60s a catalog of acknowledged auteurs, expanded significantly in the new century."