Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Woody Allen and Philosophy

God, Suicide, and the Meaning of Life

The Filmed Philosophy of Woody Allen

Is comedy just a distraction? Mark Conard explores the director’s beliefs as seen in his characters in this excerpt from the forthcoming book, Woody Allen and Philosophy. A Metaphilm exclusive.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

Existentialist Counterpoint

Michael Gose takes exception to Mark Conard’s conclusions about Pulp Fiction, suggesting that just as there is no transcendence, there is no transformation—and that Tarantino distorts even the philosophies he espouses.

Saturday, July 03, 2004
The Decalogue

The Decalogue

On the Threshold of Plato’s Cave

In this pre-publication excerpt from his new book
    on enigmatic master director Krzysztof Kieślowski,
    Dr. Joe Kickasola gives an overview of the Decalogue and an
    in-depth reading of Decalogue
A Metaphilm exclusive.

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

Understanding Jaques EllulUnderstanding Jacques Ellul, by Greenman, Schuchardt, and Toly, will be of special interest to Metaphilm readers as Jacques Ellul understood cinema as one of the chief tools of propaganda used by the state to distract the masses from that which matters.


Saturday, July 17, 2004

I, Robot

Speaking of Ebert, a great quote from his review of I, Robot: “As for the robots, they function like the giant insects in Starship Troopers, as video game targets. You can’t even be mad at them, since they’re only programs. Although, come to think of it, you can be mad at programs; Microsoft Word has inspired me to rage far beyond anything these robots engender.” Hear, hear.

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A Dear Byron Letter

Roger Ebert’s take on A Cinderella Story is couched in the form of an open letter to a teen-age boy. Apparently Mr. Ebert has untapped skill as a comedian. “Even when a critic dislikes a movie, if it’s a good review, it has enough information so you can figure out whether you’d like it, anyway. For example, this review is a splendid review because it lets you know you’d hate A Cinderella Story, and I am pretty much 100 percent sure that you would.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

...A Constant Struggle

Here’s the “more soon” from “Just A Movie” that we promised on June 10th—

IF… “The starting point for all students of media is to recognize that the most serious mistake that all literate cultures make is to regard Entertainment as non-political.”

THEN… movies that come out prior to national elections are particularly important.  To give Michael Moore the journalistic benefit of the doubt, you can check his facts yourself by cross-checking his citations.  And, does anyone remember Jacob Levich’s article published 11 days after 9/11 called “Happy New Year: It’s 1984”?  It’s worth reading again, not only because the third anniversary is coming soon, nor because it’s an election year, but also because this seems to be the starting point of another film called Orwell Rolls In His Grave.  These are contentious times, and contentious issues, and Metaphilm doesn’t take a political position—but we do suggest that film and politics really are related, and we concur with George Orwell’s assessment that, “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.”  Here’s to the struggle.

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Sunday, July 11, 2004


The Arlo and Janis Sunday comic for 11 July 2004 has Arlo commenting that “Movies today seem so . . . mean!” and questioning how dark they’ve become lately. Discuss. Link should be good for a month or so. (Comics.com)

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Other Recent Phlogs

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
The Movie Theater is Officially Dead