Saturday, July 19, 2014

patriarchal lie links

---Random Stop

---The Coen Brothers--Men of Constant Sorrow

---making The Royal Tenenbaums

---Saute ma ville

---"The ‘70s really were a golden age. It is even more apparent now. Last year was a great year for movies. This year, so far, it’s the pits. It’s not as if good films aren’t being made. Brad Pitt ('12 Years a Slave,' the upcoming 'Selma') and George Clooney ('Argo,'  'August: Osage County'), for example, are trying to do quality work on a studio scale. The problem is the dominance of the overseas market." --Peter Biskind

---Interiors magazine considers Memento

---filmmaking tips from Terry Gilliam

---"This pretentiousness is the newest incarnation of Hollywood’s compensatory bigness, as movies are always said to be imperiled by new technology. Superman can no longer be a well-meaning alien boy scout who masquerades as a bumbling reporter. He must now be a Christ surrogate who trades portentous looks with Lois Lane in place of banter. The Transformers movies can’t be tidy little toy advertisements that deliver their set pieces in a reasonable ninety or a hundred minutes or so. They must be three-hour war films that are blessed with the production values that are pragmatically denied of filmmakers who might have an actual vision to impart. And so on. Jettisoned for this seriousness is everything else a pop movie can be reasonably expected to provide: characters, plot, dialogue, comedy, sex, or, in short, the expansive possibility of untethered imagination." --Chuck Bowen

---The New Pornographers' "War on the East Coast"

---"How to / Why Leave Facebook" by Nick Briz

---"The persistence of this decline reinforces the claim that audiences do not flex to the ‘strength’ (or number) of the films released in any given period. Instead, each film selected by a movie-goer comes at the expense of another.

Though population growth has partially offset this decline, at 0.9% per year it’s far from enough. North American audiences are rapidly substituting other forms of entertainment for the theatrical experience, a trend that’s likely driven by the strength of present-day television, the value of OTT video services, and the proliferation of console and mobile gaming. Moreover, these assailants are unlikely to leave any time soon." --Liam Boluck and Prashob Menon

---trailers for God Help the Girl, The One I Love, My Old Lady, I Origins, Gone Girl, Young Onesand Ida 

---Richard Linklater talks with Matthew McConaughey

---50 essential feminist films

---“When I shoot, I try to feel the body and the face and the weight of the actor, because the character until that moment is only in the pages of the script. And very often, I pull from the life of my actors. I’m always curious about what these characters and these actors are hiding about their lives.”  --Bernardo Bertolucci

---David Fincher's use of color

---"While 'Under the Skin' purports to ponder mankind as regarded by an objective, alien gaze, the movie is also a documentary portrait of its wildly objectified star. Ms. Johansson is a sacred monster. What makes the movie most uncanny is the knowledge that her sexy vampire is not a man-hungry femme fatale but an implacable, agendered It." --J. Hoberman

---discussing Don't Look Back

---"I’d like to take this opportunity to apologize to pop culture: I’m sorry for creating this unstoppable monster. Seven years after I typed that fateful phrase, I’d like to join Kazan and Green in calling for the death of the 'Patriarchal Lie' of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope. I would welcome its erasure from public discourse. I’d applaud an end to articles about its countless different permutations. Let’s all try to write better, more nuanced and multidimensional female characters: women with rich inner lives and complicated emotions and total autonomy, who might strum ukuleles or dance in the rain even when there are no men around to marvel at their free-spiritedness. But in the meantime, Manic Pixies, it’s time to put you to rest." --Nathan Rabin


Joel Bocko said...

Many "decline of cinema" (or at least "cinema" as we know it) pieces here. Out of curiosity, is this particularly topical right now, indicative of your own interests, or is it just that time of year?

The Rabin piece, I found, muddied the waters somewhat. At times it wasn't clear if he objects to the term he invented because it's been co-opted by the people he was critiquing or because the term itself is as reductive as the phenomenon he's trying to identify (Kazan seems to be saying the latter - and I found her comments on the subject more illuminating).

To me the problem with its ubiquity is the problem with a lot of contemporary discourse: it's less about clarifying and exploring than simplifying and dismissing. In 147 characters if possible.

FilmDr said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Joel.

I didn't mean to emphasize any particular decline of cinema, and I found Rabin's apology to be amusing, in part perhaps due to the ditsy nature of the MPDG stereotype infecting those who use it.

I agree with your point about how much writing on the internet tends to simplify and dismiss in 147 characters. Increasingly, my favorite writers tend to use long elaborate syntax that would not work on Twitter at all.

Joel Bocko said...

It's not the brevity I mind so much as the intent behind it. Snark is alarmingly fashionable - it seemed for a moment (maybe around the time of the economic downturn and Obama's election) that perhaps it would go out of vogue in favor of a kind of straight ahead sincerity. Instead it was mathe up with a sense of moralistic righteousness (sarcasm as indignant assertion) which seems to preclude thoughtful analysis. To my mind this is even worse than cynical snark, because more hypocritical. I thought Glenn Kenny (ironically known for snark himself) had a good piece on this recently, the one about the Bechdel Test on Ebert's site.

Joel Bocko said...

*matched up

John B. said...

It is true that contemporary movies are just using some of the great ideas from the 60s and 70s, improve their aesthenic, and sell them again. But there are also new movies that do a very good job - take X-MEN: Days of Future Past. It is still possible to come with something fresh while using old concepts. On the other point of the scale, as was mentioned in this article, lies Transformers. There is no art in that movie. It is just a pure technical orgy. And it is very boring.