Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Kurosawa's Ran


On the Nature of Cinematic Transcendence

An academic take on transcending nature and drama itself, as Kurosawa transcends the limitations of the stage in his adaptation of King Lear.

By Teng-Kuan Ng :::
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Mean Streets

Mean Streets

Beatitude, Flourishing, and Unhappiness

Can a mafioso be happy? An excerpt from The Philosophy of Martin Scorsese

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) :::

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.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shaun of the Dead

The movie, often referred to as a “rom zom com” (romantic zombie comedy), actually serves as a sort of cinematic relationship guide, comically instructing us about dealing with commitment issues. Look at the order in which the members of Shaun’s party are killed (killed dead, not undead): #1: his stepfather (Bill Nighy); #2: his mum (Penelope Wilton); #3: the other guy who loves his girl (the underrated Dylan Moran, who must be seen in Run Fatboy Run); #4: his roommate (Peter Serafinowicz); and finally, #5: his immature best friend (Nick Frost). These are the people that have to die in order for Shaun (Simon Pegg) to devote his full attention to Liz (Kate Ashfield). In real, non-lethal terms, they are the people Shaun has to let go of before he can fully connect in a relationship.’ Christopher Campbell, Cinematical.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Monday, October 22, 2007


Neil Gaiman, on the adaptation of his fairy tale, in an article worth reading: “Still, the people who wanted fairytales found the book, and some of them knew what it was, and liked it for being exactly that. One of those people was film-maker Matthew Vaughn.

I tend to be extremely protective when it comes to adaptations of my work, but I enjoyed the screenplay and I really like the film they made - which takes liberties with the plot all over the place. (I know I didn’t write a pirate captain performing a can-can in drag, for a start ...)

A star still falls, a boy still promises to bring it to his true love, there are still wicked witches and ghosts and lords (although the lords have now become princes.) They even gave the story an unabashedly happy ending, which is something people tend to do when they retell fairytales.” (“Happily Ever After”, The Guardian)

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link
Thursday, October 18, 2007

We Are No Longer Doing Movies With Women In The Lead

The current state of Hollywood’s gender war, courtesy of Salon’s Rebecca Traister. 

phlog ::: from publisher ::: Link
Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The movie is an exemplar of Gen X dramas in which the story doesn’t end in a happy ending, but rather in a firm resolution to tough out life and face up to one’s responsibilities. In this aspect it reminded me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Lost in Translation.” Barbara Nicolosi, Church of the Masses. She likes the film.

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link

The Outlaw Josey Wales

Thinking about the story, and about Forrest Carter’s life story (which remains in large part a mystery), I came up with a theory about this white supremacist and speechwriter for George Wallace who turned himself into a renowned New Age Cherokee wise man. I think Gone To Texas (the novel on which The Outlaw Josey Wales is based) is to a large degree autobiographical.” Lars Walker, “The real Josey Wales: my theory.” (H/T Patrick O’Hannigan)

phlog ::: from editor ::: Link

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