Apparently, some Netflix customers find the sheer volume of the 25,000-plus titles a little daunting. Enter Netflix Friends, now being tested.
The system works in two directions. Once a network of friends is
created, each person in it can view the ratings and comments of others
about specific films. Each member of a network can also share ratings
and comments about movies with any or all of the others in the network.
The more films each member sees and rates, the more value each brings
to the network.
Companies just can't stay away from the Friendster model--everyone wants to be the one who figures out how to turn social networks into revenue generators.
Still, the cinetrix is curious. Won't someone invite me? I'll show you mine if you show me yours....
[Man, Craig Seligman's phone must be ringing off the hook today.]
In observation of Sontag's passing, a few film-specific excerpts from "Notes on Camp."
5. ....movie criticism (like lists of "The 10 Best Bad Movies I Have Seen") is
probably the greatest popularizer of Camp taste today, because most
people still go to the movies in a high-spirited and unpretentious way.
19. ....Genuine Camp -- for instance, the numbers devised for the Warner Brothers musicals of the early thirties (42nd Street; The Golddiggers of 1933; ... of 1935; ... of 1937; etc.) by Busby Berkeley -- does not mean to be funny.
20. Probably, intending to be campy is always harmful. The perfection of Trouble in Paradise and The Maltese Falcon,
among the greatest Camp movies ever made, comes from the effortless
smooth way in which tone is maintained. This is not so with such famous
would-be Camp films of the fifties as All About Eve and Beat the Devil.
These more recent movies have their fine moments, but the first is so
slick and the second so hysterical; they want so badly to be campy that
they're continually losing the beat. . . . Perhaps, though, it is not
so much a question of the unintended effect versus the conscious
intention, as of the delicate relation between parody and self-parody
in Camp. The films of Hitchcock are a showcase for this problem. When
self-parody lacks ebullience but instead reveals (even sporadically) a
contempt for one's themes and one's materials - as in To Catch a Thief, Rear Window, North by Northwest
-- the results are forced and heavy-handed, rarely Camp. Successful
Camp -- a movie like Carné's Drôle de Drame; the film performances of
Mae West and Edward Everett Horton; portions of the Goon Show -- even
when it reveals self-parody, reeks of self-love.
21. ...(Persons can even be induced to camp without their knowing it. Consider the way Fellini got Anita Ekberg to parody herself in La Dolce Vita.)
UPDATE: A big kiss for Carrie, who sent along this piece, which reveals that Sontag turned to Hollywood musicals of the '30s, 40s, and 50s while she was ill following a bone marrow transplant last summer.
It was a whole era she hadn't watched;
she was more interested in foreign films," said her close friend Sharon
DeLano, a writer and editor who visited often with Sontag over the last
months of her life.
Speaking of Fred Astaire, the cinetrix is delighted that her favorite Fred and Ginger RKO Radio Picture, Swing Time, was one of the 25 films added this year to the National Film Registry. Yeah, Top Hat is the Fred and Ginger movie that everyone knows, but Swing Time is the one everyone should know. The "Never Gonna Dance" number is devastatingly romantic [even when you know they shot so many takes that Ginger's feet bled].
1) Ben-Hur (1959) 2) The Blue Bird (1918) 3) A Bronx Morning (1931) 4) Clash of the Wolves (1925) 5) The Court Jester (1956) 6) D.O.A. (1950) 7) Daughters of the Dust (1991) 8) Duck and Cover (1951) 9) Empire (1964) 10) Enter the Dragon (1973) 11) Eraserhead (1978) 12) Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980) 13) Going My Way (1944) 14) Jailhouse Rock (1957) 15) Kannapolis, NC (1941) 16) Lady Helen's Escapade (1909) 17) The Nutty Professor (1963) 18) OffOn (1968) 19) Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor (1936) 20) Pups is Pups (Our Gang) (1930) 21) Schindler's List (1993) 22) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) 23) Swing Time (1936) 24) There It Is (1928) 25) Unforgiven (1992)
UPDATE: Jette over at Celluloid Eyes asks the tough questions. What does this mean to the average Joe or Jane? Who gets to see these restored prints? Is there any correlation between a film's inclusion in the registry and its eventual availability on DVD?
Hollywood was dubbing more than vocals; feet-dubbers were also in
demand, to match dance steps to scenes in which the dancers were filmed
without sound. One of the best of them, Miriam Nelson, has told of
dubbing the tap routine of a famous star with famously bad timing. Ms.
Nelson asked the director if she should duplicate the star's taps or
follow the music. The director told her to follow the music, explaining
that if the audience heard the correct taps it would buy the illusion
that the star was on point.
Fun fact to know and shout: Fred Astaire insisted that his numbers be shot in medium and long shots that showed his entire body while he danced for precisely that reason.
Not surprisingly, the cinetrix often receives films and books about film on gift-giving occasions. Occupational hazard. But she had never heard of the slender volume the Pickler laid on her this past Saturday: Robert Bresson's Notes on the Cinematographer, working memos the director made for his own use. It's gorgeous and, appropriately enough, pocket-sized.
Here are the three entries on page 107.
Star system Make nothing of the immense power of attraction which belongs to the new and unforeseen. Film after film, subject after subject, confronting the same faces that one cannot believe in.
Transplantation Images and sounds are fortified by being transplanted.
Accustom the public to divining the whole of which they are given only a part. Make people diviners. Make them desire it.
Nearly forgot. If somebody has beaten you to The Ref at your local rental emporium, get Scrooged.
Come to think of it, all those folks now kvelling over the middle-aged melancholy of Saint Bill Murray should be watching Scrooged. Remember when the guy was a smug, supercilious bastard? Our smug, supercilious bastard?
[Props man tries to attach antlers to a mouse] Props man:
I can't get the antlers glued to this little guy. We tried Crazy Glue, but it don't work.
Did you try staples?
Plus, what other Christmas movie can boast Robert Mitchum, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johansen, and Carole Kane?
The cinetrix has started collecting reviews of film critic David Thomson's latest tome, The Whole Equation: A History of Hollywood, in the hopes that Santy might come through. Of course, she'd be happy to add her voice to the fray if, say, a review copy were to wend its way to her. However, this little maxim, from the Observer, may be hard to top.
Basically, a great critic has
to have three things: ideas, personality and the nose for bullshit that
a German shepherd at LaGuardia has for cocaine.
I'd woulda gone with LES hipster for that last bit, but yeah.