Thursday, September 15, 2016

post-fact links

---"Even those diehards are watching movies as part of a larger audio-visual diet that is in serious technological and cultural flux. I could easily say that Lemonade was the best movie I saw this spring and Stranger Things was the best movie I saw this summer, and if you reply that they’re not movies because they didn’t play in theaters or conform to a two-hour run time, I’d say you’re living in the past. The Hollywood studios still feel comfortable in that paradigm but they’re starting to look like the only ones. Maybe they’re the suicide squad." --Ty Burr

---“It’s just a clear indication of the marketplace where those high-end, niche art films just aren’t working globally,” said Marcus Hu, co-founder of independent distributor Strand Releasing. “Territories aren’t buying those kinds of movies anymore.”

---"Where are all our great romantic comedies?" by Liz Meriwether

---The Coen Brothers and Noah Baumbach discuss filmmaking

---"Wow" by Beck

---"the ultimate motivation of these performances is not to find communion or community, not with the other actors and not with the film audience, either. If there is a message to the audience in these performances, it’s best captured by one of Lawrence-as-Katniss’s final lines in the series as she describes her trauma nightmares: 'I’ll tell you how I survive it.'" --Shonni Enelow

---The Dark Knight: Creating the Ultimate Antagonist

---Roger Corman's filmmaking tips

---"Don't Wait. Write. Make a short film. Go to an open mike. Take an improv class. There’s no substitute for actually doing something. Don’t talk about it anymore. Maybe don’t even finish reading this essay." --Mike Birbiglia

---Kenzo World

---All the Slender Ladies: Body Diversity in Video Games

---"These movies didn’t just fail; they almost seemed to never exist in the first place, having been dismissed or disposed of almost immediately upon impact. And even if they did do OK for a weekend or two, they never reached beyond their predictable (and increasingly stratified) core audiences. Instead, they were dumbo-dropped into our ever-expanding cauldron of content, where they played to their bases, while everyone else turned to the newest videogame, or the latest Drake video, or some random 'Damn, Daniel' parody." --Brian Raftery

---On Set: Kristen Stewart

---Cinephilia and Beyond considers They Live

---trailers for Nocturnal Animals, Miss Sloane, Westworld, Too Late, and Guardians

---"How Snowden Escaped" by Teresa Tedesco

---"Instead of ushering a new era of truth-telling, the information age allows lies to spread in what techies call ‘digital wildfires’. By the time a fact-checker has caught a lie, thousands more have been created, and the sheer volume of ‘disinformation cascades’ make unreality unstoppable. All that matters is that the lie is clickable, and what determines that is how it feeds into people’s existing prejudices." --Peter Pomerantsev

---Richard Brody considers Hitchcock's Marnie and Marie Antoinette

---Dennis Cozzalio considers Elevator to the Gallows

---Dick Van Dyke sings "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" at a Denny's

---The References of Wes Anderson

---"Truffaut, in his interviewing, showed that a theory of composition could be lucently explained through process, that invention was not a happy accident but a habit of the mind. Hitchcock, in his replies, proved that the illusion of mainstream effortlessness rose from tiny choices made with intention and care. The legacy of their inquiry rests in today’s pop-cultural hermeneutics, self-reflexive television, probing podcast interviews. Hitchcock/Truffaut helped shape current creative life. But it reminds us, too, that art still holds mysteries beyond even the most vertiginous achievements of craft." --Nathan Heller

Saturday, September 10, 2016

4 notes on Ethan Hawkes' haircut in Maggie's Plan

1) After a dull start, Rebecca Miller's Maggie's Plan proved engaging enough with the combined talents of Greta Gerwig and Julianne Moore playing characters competing for the attention of a ficto-critical anthrolopologist named John Harding (Ethan Hawke). The movie develops wry momentum once Maggie (Gerwig) allows their combined interest in his drafting of a novel to become a romance. Once John suddenly kneels down before Maggie (dressed in a nightgown) to proclaim his love for her in a manner that reminded me of Gene Wilder doing something similar in The World's Greatest Lover (1977), I kept finding myself fixating on his deliberately ersatz haircut.

2) Perhaps, by this point, after so many Sunset movies, and the epic time expansion of Boyhood, Hawke could not just simply appear in a decent short haircut. Perhaps such conservatism didn't square with Rebecca Miller's vision of his slightly pretentious intellectual character, but did his hair have to be so misshapen and deliberately badly cut with its chicken comb top and its uneven strands going every which way? Is he supposed to look boyish? In Hamlet 2000 Hawke sported a respectable 90's pageboy cut that he would sometimes cover with a ski cap. In most of his movies, Hawke's do has looked fine, so why does he look like such a dork here?

3) Perhaps I'm just a guy with a guy's limitations watching a movie that patiently explores various ways in which women self-actualize as mothers or academics or lovers. I can see why Greta Gerwig picked the role. She gets to wear lots of prim outfits with knee-length socks as her character wrestles with her tendency to ignore men altogether as she prefers being a mother figure. Julianne Moore plays Georgette, a writer and a leading academic with an exotic Brazilian(?) accent who still harbors a weakness for John (Lord knows why). Maggie finds, after a certain point, that she rather likes Georgette, even though Maggie stole her husband away from her.

4) So, as Maggie's plan of getting John to reunite with his former wife reaches its many complications, I just kept staring at Hawkes' shag updo and feeling bad for him. At one point, John curses out Maggie for manipulating him, and I could understand. Anyone who has to spend so much time onscreen under that pile of postmodern pick-up sticks/going-every-which-way coiffure really should be annoyed.