Thursday, April 8, 2010

links

---Carl Erik Rinsch's The Gift


---famous directors and their dubious music videos

---Pauly Shore finally replies to Cher's comment in Clueless: "Searching for a boy in high school is as useless as searching for meaning in a Pauly Shore movie."

---betraying J. D. Salinger

---the postmodern dialectics of Hot Tub Time Machine:

"In the cultural logic of Hot Tub Time Machine, memory and reality become one in the same. The postmodern pop cultural haze with which we remember decades conflates into the memory, the reality, itself – thus, the clichés of culture as lived through media lose any delineation from personal experience of the reality in which those media objects were originally manifested within. This media-imbued subjective acceptance of false reality is the central tenet of the postmodernist concept of simulacra and simulation, but we see the simulated experience of simulacra operate more literally in the film."

---J. Crew's gender divide

---masculinity in Disney films

---some of Edward Norton's favorite films


---playing chess with Kubrick:

"I wrote a Talk of the Town on my meeting with Kubrick, which he liked. I was thus emboldened to ask if I could write a full scale profile of him. He agreed but said that he was about to leave for London to begin production of what became 2001: A Space Odyssey. Still better, I thought: I could watch the making of the film. Our first meeting was at the Hotel Dorchester in London where he was temporarily living with his family. Kubrick brought out a chess set and beat me promptly. Then we played three more games and he beat me less promptly. But I won the fifth game!

Seizing the moment I told him that I had been hustling him and had deliberately lost the first four games. His response was that I was a patzer. All during the filming of 2001 we played chess whenever I was in London and every fifth game I did something unusual. Finally we reached the 25th game and it was agreed that this would decide the matter. Well into the game he made a move that I was sure was a loser. He even clutched his stomach to show how upset he was. But it was a trap and I was promptly clobbered. `You didn’t know I could act too,' he remarked."

---behind the scenes of Kick-Ass

---hanging out with David Foster Wallace:

"Wallace's death was tragic, but the actual tragedy has been further wrapped in a mantle of hysterical pop tragedy, that process by which virtually any self-destroying celebrity is transubstantiated into the avatar of each fan's personal misery. (Special bonus irony: Who would be perfect to write about this metamorphosis? David Foster Wallace!) He's also been reincarnated in the public's imagination as a dispenser of inspirational wisdom, largely thanks to the circulation of the commencement speech he made at Kenyon College in 2005 (published in gift book format as "This Is Water").

The latter role would probably have made Wallace himself cringe, but it's not a bad fit. He was always burrowing down to the moral roots of whatever he wrote about. The best passages in "Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself" show him doing just that with Lipsky, whether the subject is film (David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" was a turning point) or the likelihood that he'd behaved like a "prick" as experimentalist in the University of Arizona's realism-dominated creative writing program. To read what Wallace has to say about fiction's mission -- that its task is to surmount "loneliness," to illustrate the "toxicity" in the idea that "pleasure and comfort are ... really the ultimate goal and meaning of life" -- is as exhilarating as ever.

For the most part, Lipsky makes a worthy partner in these wide-ranging discussions, which took place in diners, pizza parlors, airport lounges and bookstores as well as during long drives across the icy Midwestern landscape around Bloomington, Ill., where Wallace lived at the time. They talk about books, movies, music and family."

---from Vanity Fair's excellent Classic Hollywood series: Sweet Smell of Success and Midnight Cowboy

---lastly, Petersen's thoughts on Hollywood's relationship to Twitter:

"As Thompson explains, more and more, stars, producers, and directors are taking to Twitter to break their own news, essentially obviating the need for trades altogether. Jon Favreau just Tweeted the (theretofore unannounced) news that Harrison Ford would be starring in his new picture; Tom Hanks posted a Twitpic of his casting session for his new film; Jerry Bruckheimer reports from screening of Prince of Persia at Wondercom. Jon Favreau posted a ton at the beginning of Iron Man 2, apparently got in trouble, but is now back at it, as evidenced by his Ford announcement.

To my mind, there are two forces precipitating this move. First, as described above, the lay men (e.g. the vast majority of those following the likes of Favreau, Bruckheimer, etc.) is hungry for ‘insider’ information. And, even more importantly, he/she will feel more ‘a part’ of a product with which they’ve been intimate for a long time. In this way, providing ‘inside’ information from pre-production is basically a way of hooking ticket buyers early: if they get in at the ground floor, they’re be more likely to show up to see the top put on the skyscraper. Second, Hollywood is, without a doubt, in financial crisis. No matter how many hundreds of millions of dollars made by the huge blockbusters, it still takes a tremendous amount of money to get a film made — and part of that ever-escalating budget is P.R. Thus, if you can publicize your film for NOTHING to an audience of millions of self-selected fans via Twitter…..why not? The same logic holds for the celebrity using Twitter to promote their general image: why keep a P.R. agent and stylist on retainer when you can publicize yourself with little more than an internet connection and a free Twitter account?

So it’s a smart business move. But it’s inciting all sorts of anxiety, in part because it, like the dissolution of the trades, threatens to fundamentally change the way that Hollywood does business. Because Hollywood, as an industry, is much more than simply the people who actually ‘make’ the movies — it’s also composed of vast armies of agents, assistants, managers, and P.R. agents. And if you take away those middlemen, replacing it with Twitter, a tremendous amount of people will be out of work. In some ways, I think the seismic effects of the internet (and digital technology more broadly) can only be compared to the demise of the studio system in terms of wide-spread ramifications in the way that Hollywood does business."

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