Friday, May 29, 2009

Notable film and media links--May 31, 2009

---Have you seen the new leaked Lady Gaga "Paparazzi" video complete with Vertigo spiraling and falling imagery, dead bodies voguing, and Helmut Newtonesque eroticized metallic braces?  We may not know entirely what she looks like, but Ms. Gaga has an absolute paranoia of boring the viewer for one second, and I like her decadent fin de siecle sensibility.

---For Vanity Fair, Julian Sancton wonders "Did Christian Bale's Seriousness Ruin Terminator Salvation?"  I think Sancton overstates the case a bit, but when one learns that John Connor's role only had "three minutes of screen time in the original script,"  that explains the character's total lack of emotional range.   

---Now that Donald Duck has taken Germany by storm, I'm all ready to move to Berlin.  

---For Sunset Gun, Kom Morgan considers the unresolved mysteries of Sofia Coppola's The Virgin Suicides:

"The Virgin Suicides is shot with a gauzy, haloed beauty that is obsessive but never perverse (and the haunting music by Air is especially poignant and otherworldly). The point is to capture an adolescence lost, both to the sisters and to the boys themselves. Coppola's intelligence, sensitivity and ethereal style avoids obvious irony and easy interpretation, which can be maddening -- but then suicide is maddening, both for those who achieve the act and those who suffer the aftermath. Coppola's vision of this uptight suburbia is made both erotic and exotic by these fairy-tale Rapunzels who live there -- troubled, creative and intriguing girls trapped in the unfathomable and misty glaze of worship and memories."

---For The New York Times, Katie Hafner reports that American teenagers text each other for "almost 80 messages a day," a new habit that "is beginning to worry physicians and psychologists, who say it is leading to anxiety, distraction in school, falling grades, repetitive stress injury and sleep deprivation."

---For The Guardian, David Thomson meditates upon our changing attitude towards screen villains:

"It is very hard nowadays for the movies to keep a straight face while telling us to be afraid and disapproving of villains. Look at the first two parts of The Godfather, still in many ways the essential works of modern American cinema. I would guess that Francis Coppola would have said (and believed) he was making a study in the corruption of power and evil. Michael Corleone goes from being a decent Ivy League kid, the saved soul of the family, to being the prince of darkness. Except that's not how audiences read the films, or why they keep going back to them. Yes, Michael is a creep, a control freak, a very cold guy and the killer of his own brother. But he is also the man keeping the family together and maintaining its business. He is the bleak model of a ruthless leadership to which we all aspire - we all want to be Corleones."

---Movie Man treats us to a compilation of "100 of the best movie lines in 200 seconds."

---While we still can, now is a good time to appreciate Fellini's 8 1/2 with Ed Howard before Rob Marshall releases Nine

---Have you heard of the next possible wave in communications media?--

"Here's how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It's concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use "playback" to rewind the wave and see how it evolved."

---We all know about Sasha Grey in Steven Soderbergh's The Girlfriend Experience and her taste in art films (Pierrot le fou?), but are we ready for The Boyfriend Experience?

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