Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Lost in Translation

Lost in Translation

Symbols in the City

Postmodern multimedia attacks Tokyo—and our senses and sensibilities.

By John Fraim :::
Monday, February 23, 2004


In Bed, No One Can Hear You Scream

These days it’s sometimes hard to talk seriously about the ethics
      of sex. That’s where the Alien movies come in. Of course, with
      four directors, figuring out what they’ve got to say is another

Monday, February 16, 2004
Mysoginistic River

Mystic River

Misogynistic River

The real victim is the feminist movement.

Monday, February 09, 2004
Clue, the Movie


The Mystery of Camelot Solved

Three alternative endings provide explanations of the top theories for the JFK assassination.

By Rob Shure :::
Monday, February 02, 2004
Killing the Buddha, a Heretic's Bible

Job, The Movie

This Time It’s Personal

The Book of Job could be a movie starring Stallone. No, really. An excerpt from Killing the Buddha.

Other Recent Long Stuff

A Serious Man
Sympathy for the Devil
The Maltese Falcon
Neo’s Passport
The Dark Knight
A Copy of a Copy of a Copy
The Dreamers
The Dreamers

Books to Phlog

Book cover of Walker Percy's the Moviegoer at FiftyWalker Percy’s The Moviegoer at Fifty: New Takes on an Iconic American Novel has just been released from LSU Press. This well-received collection of twelve new essays includes a contribution from Jonathan Potter and Read Mercer Schuchardt revisiting “The Moviegoer’s Cinematic References.”

This is the first critical work devoted solely to Percy’s debut novel. Coinciding with the centenary of his birth, this collection offers fresh perspectives that underscore the novel’s ongoing relevance.


Wednesday, February 25, 2004

The Passion over the Passion

Steve Beard’s Thunderstruck blog is the definitive place to find links to articles of all sorts on The Passion of the Christ. Beard comments for himself: “The Passion is the Sunday school flannel board lesson for a generation that grew up on violent video games, skipped church, and stood in line to watch Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Volume 1.” There you are.

Also, don’t miss Roger Ebert’s extremely well done review: “I prefer to evaluate a film on the basis of what it intends to do, not on what I think it should have done.” He puts things in perspective.

philm shorts ::: from editor ::: Link
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Woody Allen, pretentious—or?

A new Bleat gives me an opportunity to raise the issue of Woody Allen movies. Some readers want interpretations, but we’ve not gotten any submissions on them, and I’m not going to write one. So perhaps this rant (which sounds good to me; haven’t seen many Allen films) will inspire somebody to come to the defense of the auteur. “Late Friday I watched Interiors, which I don’t think I’d seen since 1978;  . . . I came away [then] thinking what an artist Woody Allen was. What a genius! What piercing insight into the human condition! What a load of pretentious rubbish! I think now.” And: “In Allen’s films, art is a creed, a belief system, a religion full of sermons and dirges. If ever Art alights on a tinkerbell emotion like glee or delight, it’s always presented as a freeze-dried object . . . Butterflies on pins” (lileks.com, 23 Feb 2004). Of course, Mr. Lileks has also undergone a philosophical transformation over the past several years; is ideological agreement a prerequisite to enjoying Woody Allen? Discuss among yourselves.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Monday, February 23, 2004

Red and Blue Movies?

Get Religion, the nifty new religion journalism blog from Terry Mattingly and Doug LeBlanc, asks a question about movie distribution paralleling political or cultural divisions in light of reports that Bertolucci’s new The Dreamers is targeting urban sites. “Is this reference to ‘more conservative’ zones and theaters the flip side of the much-discussed decision by Mel Gibson and his Icon company to steer copies of The Passion of the Christ toward more culturally conservative parts of the map (think Dallas suburbs) and away from more culturally liberal sectors (think Manhattan)?” The whole red v. blue division is dubious, but there are some good questions asked in this post, particularly about the way these items are covered in mainstream media outlets.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Friday, February 20, 2004

So That’s Where Pink Floyd Got The Idea

We’ve always wondered why Roger Waters psychologically equated The Wall with the feminine, and especially with the figure of an overly protective smothering mother. Here’s one very solid clue from 1971, eight years prior to Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock-opera:

PSYCHIATRIST: No, I suppose not. How do you feel about your mother?

INSERT—STOCK: A giant steel ball on a demolition crane crashes into a brick wall collapsing it with much noise and dust.

From the script for, you guessed it, Harold and Maude. Now that’s intertextuality!

phlog ::: from publisher ::: Link

It’s Movieoke Night!

“As long as you’re not afraid to make a fool of yourself, it becomes a really communal experience.”  Currently, Movieoke is only available in a basement below a New York City pizza parlor.  But how long before this new form of cultural sampling becomes a must-have home-entertainment system?

phlog ::: from publisher ::: Link

Lights!  Camera!  Being!

The oh-so clever Cambridge Professor Simon Blackburn offers compelling suggestions for why Martin Heidegger’s philosophy would make good cinema.  But wait a minute, you already knew this, didn’t you?  Kudos to Metaphilm’s Tom C. Smith for being two years ahead of Blackburn’s cinematic synthesis.  Further proof of “Amateur Theory.”

phlagrant ::: from publisher ::: Link
Thursday, February 19, 2004

Let Sundance Say “Amen!”

Patton Dodd has a typically thoughtful piece on religion at the recent Sundance Film Festival. He suggests that Sundance is the answer to the question, “Where you can find a see a quiet film about a floating Buddhist monastery, an affecting documentary about a Pentecostal church in Washington D.C.’s mean streets, and an ear-shattering socialistic gay porn flick . . . all in the same weekend?” (The Revealer, 18 Feb 2004). Interesting in particular is the response of the audiences and the questions not asked.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Sunday, February 15, 2004

Free Billy!

In honor of finally getting Linux loaded and functional on the wife’s laptop, a link to a Daily Static comic that spoofs the Free Willy poster: ”Free Billy: How far would you go to view code? . . . The most rousing hacker adventure since The Net. . . . A Script Kiddie. A 3-Ton Source File. Code you could never imagine. Comments you will never forget” (UserFriendly.org). Gotta love parodies.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Saturday, February 14, 2004

21 Grams

This article includes coverage of Amores Perros, as well: “In what can only be interpreted as an explicit echo of their first picture, Irritu and Arriaga again use a car wreck as the unifying narrative event in their new film, 21 Grams. This time, however, they take a new, more entwined tack with their characters—creating tensions within their social worlds and forcing them together.” Of note: “(incidentally, Irritu’s portrayal in these scenes of evangelical Christian belief and its potentially transforming intensity are among the most believable and least patronizing anywhere on film).” (Matt Hermann, “Life Doesn’t Go On,” Newtopia Magazine, Feb/Mar 2004). 

philm shorts ::: from editor ::: Link
Friday, February 13, 2004

A Little Close to the Bone…

“As a result, film studies majors are to bear the perpetual burden of explaining the difference between film studies and film production to every person that asks about their schooling and to what practical occupation it can be applied.

Occupational Outlook
Well, um . . . let’s see . . .
The study of films and their historical contexts, cultural impacts/influences and philosophical components can be described as a labor of love.”

Does this sound familiar?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

phlagrant ::: from publisher ::: Link

Other Recent Phlogs

The Despecialized Star Wars
Summary Bug Creates Unintended Cinematic Beauties
See it live
Sizzling Bacon is HERE at Long Last
24 Things You Might Not Know About Fight Club
Tree of Life and the Lamb of God
Filming In Tongues
Martin Scorsese’s parents were aliterate
This Again—At A Theater Near You
Bollywood Directors and the “Cut To Switzerland”
The Constant Traveler
Save the Movies from Save The Cat!
Propaganda, A Primer
It may actually be long After Midnight
Dirty Wars playing, then disappearing, at a theater near you
Luke’s Change:  An Inside Job
What Does Hollywood Have to Do with Jerusalem?
There are only fourteen books worth reading each year
Why Are Foreign Films So… Foreign?
Tree of Life Shooting Locations in Smithville, Texas