The Beautiful Atrocities blog has an amusing collection of quotes juxtaposing assorted film critics on The Passion and the latest Moore movie. Apparently propaganda is in the eye of the beholder. Or, populism is bad unless it agrees with you. Or, it all depends on your religion. Well, I suppose these critics are in the opinion business. Pity more of them don’t share the courage (or the elementary logic) of Mr. Hitchens. Thanks to Opinion Journal for the link.
A speech by emerging movie mogul and Regal Cinemas owner Phil Anschutz, on why he does what he does: “Speaking purely as a businessman, it is of utmost importance for a business to try to figure out a way to make goods and products that people actually want to buy. And . . . I don’t think Hollywood understands this very well, because they keep making the same old movies—the same kinds they have been making for years—despite the fact that so many Americans are tired of seeing them. Why can’t movies return to being something that we can go and see with our children and our grandchildren without being embarrassed or on the edge of our seats? When I said that Hollywood can be insular, this is in part what I meant. I don’t think they understand the market and the mood of a large segment of the movie-going audience today. I think this is one of the main reasons, by the way, that people don’t go to movies like they used to.” Seems largely sensible. And it’s always nice to have ideals. Now let’s hope he will live up to them. (Imprimis, via Rocky Mountain News)
James Bowman has a great piece on memory in the movies in the new issue of the new journal from the Ethics and Public Policy Center, The New Atlantis. Includes a useful insight into 50 First Dates. Adam Sandler’s character, he suggests, “is a reminder that Don Juan is the prototypical amnesiac. . . . Suddenly the man who specialized in forgetting women, and making them forget him, finds himself in love with a woman who can’t remember him from day to day. In a way this can be seen as a condign punishment, but in another way—and this is how Mr. Sandler, who does not specialize in humility and contrition, plays it—her condition suits him perfectly. He is doing what he has always done, attempting to charm a new girl every day, at least so far as she is concerned. From his point of view, the triumph of the fresh conquest is presumably undiminished because she is the same girl.” There’s lots of other good stuff in the article, too. Worth a look.
I know this is a film site, but please do yourself a favor and go out now and purchase Lloyd Cole’s latest album, Music in a Foreign Language. Any one of Cole’s albums deserves to be the soundtrack to its own film (the way Aimee Mann’s songs singehandedly inspired P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia into existence), but this latest album of Lloyd’s is particularly beautiful and filmic in its lush and melancholy tone—so I’m plugging it here in hopes that some movie mogul will finally realize what an underappreciated gem this guy is, and give him more than a one-song credit for the soundtack to their next movie. If you’re already a fan, you know the films; if you’re not, there are two that I know of: the title song on My Beautiful Laundrette and “Margot’s Waltz” on There’s Something About Mary. Two completely different films, one musician to span the gamut—he’s that good. But oh, my, he’s so much better than even that.
Summary Bug Creates Unintended Cinematic Beauties
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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?
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Why Are Foreign Films So… Foreign?
Tree of Life Shooting Locations in Smithville, Texas
The Movie Theater is Officially Dead