Monday, August 08, 2005
Dead Man

Dead Man

Half a Remake

Or, Why the Revenge of the Spaghetti Western is a Dish Best Served Not Quite So Cold (Or, Was a Spaghetti Western the first postmodern film?)

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Other Recent Long Stuff

Up
Sympathy for the Devil
Watchmen
The Maltese Falcon
Neo’s Passport
The Dark Knight
A Copy of a Copy of a Copy
The Dreamers
The Dreamers
Reading Inland Empire

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.

Metaphlog

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Redeeming (or Exploiting?) the Matrix

In case you hadn’t seen the clever Matrix-esque recruiting poster from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, here’s a link to the news story. “The response, though, seems to make sense to him. It appeals to people at a level that everyone appears to share. ‘People love heroes. The poster personifies the priest as a hero,’ he said. And it speaks of a faith that meets people exactly where they are in their lives. The poster itself says, in a parody of the words which any watcher of videos knows by heart, ‘This faith has not been modified from its original version. Yet, it is formatted to fit your life.’” (Thanks to Todd Seavey for the link.)

I’m coming to think that the posters were the best things about the two Matrix sequels, so playing off them seems appropriate. Still, one wonders. I suppose this is a step up from the typical “God’s Gym”-knockoff kitchy Christian t-shirt.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

On the Place of Evil in Film

Interesting discussion on Cinematical featuring a dialogue between Roger Ebert and the filmmakers behind the movie Chaos (Ebert gave it 0 stars). The blogger quotes Ebert’s response, and Ebert has himself posted in the blog comments to clarify things. Worth reading. I tend to agree with Ebert on this one. If you’re going to do a film that includes a take on evil, you need to say something about it one way or the other—mere reporting is a cop-out, an artistic failing.

As my friend the ethicist says in his recent book, “People go on telling stories because they want to find and clarify meaning for their lives, never just for self-titillation. It matters to every human being that his or her life has meaning and purpose. Yet just as there is right and wrong, there are good stories and bad stories. Stories not only reflect life, they shape it. It is of no small account what stories we tell and what stories we live by.

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Is it shameless if you get somebody else to do it for you?

Our fearless publisher has just made the move with his family to Switzerland, where they will be living for the forseeable future. Thus one reason things are quiet here this summer. There’s a nice profile of him and his wife, Rachel, in the latest edition of the Swarthmore College alumni magazine. Something pleasantly, well, Chestertonian about the story. I trust that their time in Jersey City has been sufficiently purgational as to prepare them for the via Paradiso.

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Other Recent Phlogs

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
If 2001 Came Out in 2012
Apple’s New iPhone Best Explained by the Movie The Prestige
You know You’ve Seen Star Wars Too Many Times When…
When Search Engine Metrics Get… Awkward
The Cinema IS the New Cathedral
The Truman Show as DSM V Category
When You Have to Run and Pee During the Film
True Grit and Canada