Grading. Slacking. Writer's blocking. Let's read what other people have scribbled, shall we?
The ongoing Blue Velvet Project recently brought forth this revelation:
In the midst of a dissolve, where are we? What temporal zone? The dissolve somehow manages to capture a moment of time that doesn’t really exist. We find ourselves somewhere uncharted between the just-past of Sandy’s house and the near-future of the Slow Club. The frame, fluttered with competing meanings: home, and leaving home. The dissolve is one of cinema’s early experiments with psychological (rather than linear) time, an attempt to capture the fragmented ways in which we experience time, not in linear fashion from point A to point B to point C, but rather from A to C. It’s there in Cinderella (1899) by George Méliès, an early example of a cinematic dissolve, at the 1:29, 2:34, and the 3:55-4:00 mark (the slowest dissolve).
Transported from one temporal and spatial location to another, the dissolve—unlike the cut—emphasizes the improbable, in-between moment, and in the Blue Velvet frame at second #1645 we witness something impossible: two overlapping realities appearing at the same time. Cinema’s own form of quantum entanglement.
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth goes BOOM.
The scale of the project made it conspicuous from the get-go: 33 buildings, 11 storeys each, arranged across a sprawling, 57 acres in the poor DeSoto-Carr neighbourhood on the north side of St Louis. The complex was supposed to put the modernist ideals of Le Corbusier into action; at the time, Architectural Forum ran a story praising the plan to replace “ramshackle houses jammed with people—and rats” in the city’s downtown with “vertical neighbourhoods for poor people.” The main architect was Minoru Yamasaki, who would go on to design another monument to modernism that would also be destroyed, but for very different reasons, and under very different circumstances: his World Trade Centre went up in the early 1970s, right around the time that Pruitt-Igoe was pulled down.
FOC Addison recently sent along this vintage  post by the Panopticist:
So here it is: Much of the plot setup and some of the dialogue in Martin Scorsese’s excellent 1985 film After Hours—a significant portion of the movie’s first 30 minutes, in fact—were brazenly lifted from “Lies,” a 1982NPR Playhouse monologue by Joe Frank, the great L.A.-based radio artist who’s gotten a lot of love here on Panopticist. Joe Frank never received official credit for his contributions, and he appears to have been paid a generous amount of money to settle the plagiarism suit and keep everything quiet. It’s possible that this scandal was reported in the film-industry trade press around the time of the film’s release, but neither Nexis nor Google reveal evidence of any media coverage. I learned of the similarities in 2004 or 2005 through chatter on the unofficial Joe Frank mailing list. The closest thing I’ve found to a reference in a traditional media outlet is in this March 2000 Joe Frank profile in Salon, which mentions that Frank was “paid handsomely by producers of a Hollywood film (which he won’t name) that plagiarized his dialogue.”
Clothes on Film's recent post on Anna May Wong is as good an excuse as any to post these swoontastic pics.
The Q&A after the recent 10th anniversary screening of The Royal Tenenbaums revealed that Gene Hackman is kind of a dick and Bill Murray's a mensch, surprising exactly no one.
Anderson had tried to stay positive but recalled that Murray had actually come to set, even when the actor was not involved in filming, just to protect the director. “You were not scared of Gene,” Anderson said to Murray. “I noticed early on so I started asking you to come be there. I remember, there was a scene where Gene goes for a walk in the park and I looked up on the top of this rock and you were standing with a cowboy hat watching the set. And you were just there to show solidarity and I was very touched by that.”
The Hairpin's guide to decoding movie reviews. An excerpt:
“Surprisingly heartfelt” = comic actor playing dramatic for the first time
“Fun for the whole family!” = painfully, impossibly boring
“...power of the human spirit” = someone goes from poor to rich/sports team wins a thing
“A sobering look” = narrated by Morgan Freeman
“Smart and snappy” = people talk in ways that no normal human beings would ever talk
“An intimate portrait” = moves at a glacial pace
"Depicts an earnest longing" = get ready to see a lot of Keira Knightley’s neck-acting
I have it on good authority that Amélie turned Montmartre into a "tourist shithole". The Café des 2 Moulins, the film's key location, was flooded with sightseers, and sold on. Someone put a banner over Rue Lepicreading "Welcome to the quartier of Amélie Poulain". Megaphones pumped out accordion music in the street, turning the area into some kind of Marcel Marceau wet dream. Amélie has that kind of effect. Watching it for the second time on the eve of its 10th-anniversary re-release, I still find Audrey Tautou's boulevard busybody simpering to the point of psychosis. (As our own Peter Bradshaw said of her flat-rearranging antics: "Does the director know that this is precisely what Charles Manson claimed to love doing?").
Ph.D. in celebrity gossip Anne Helen Petersen decodes the so-not-creepy-at-all Svengali relationship between David Fincher and Rooney Mara, as revealed in the recent Vogue cover story:
Oh, and lest you think that Fincher and Mara are totally doing it, the author of the profile (Jonathan Van Meter — it’s not insignificant that the author is a male) notes that Fincher’s partner has been a key component in the Mara to Lisbeth transformation.
[Rooney] also gets to reside, at least for now, in the family-like cocoon of Fincherworld. Everyone raves about Fincher’s secret weapon, his romantic partner (and producer for the past nineteen years), Ceán Chaffin. A cheerful, formidable presence, she seems to be handling the work of a dozen people, including acting as Mara’s publicist. “She’s incredible,” says Mara. “They are the best people to work with. They will tell you exactly how it is, even if they think you won’t like it. Everything is on the table.”
"Yours truly" [no, not the cinetrix] of the always amusing I SAW THAT is so not feeling In Time. See for yourselves:
Phew! No, I don’t know what a Time Keeper does. I guess he’s like a cop but ONLY interested in money, I mean time, and in making sure nobody poor ever gets any. Everything in this movie is EXTREMELY EXPLICITLY STATED in the dialogue EXCEPT the precise job/social role of the Time Keepers, unless I missed it during the segments that were so boring that during them, like Homer Simpson, I just made up my own movie. (In my version of the movie it is just me and Cillian Murphy frenching in a hotel room in the Riviera and we have all the time in the world. Because we are high-society jewel thieves)
Then there’s a bunch of car crashes…and JT goes into the fancypants town where you have to pay a year of your life just to cross the border, and he gets into a fancy casino and meets Pete Campbell from Mad Men at the poker table and bets all his time on one great hand and gets like 1,000 years and impresses everyone, but especially Amanda Seyfried who is like “Hmm this looks like a great way to get back at my dad, Pete Campbell, but then later I will probably legitimately come to love this amazing brave visionary Marxist revolutionary ninja black belt who also luckily looks like Justin Timberlake and probably frenches great, lets be HONEST ladies.”
Danny Kasman gets interstitial with Bernard Hermann's "perfume." Sweet!
...Alfred Hitchcock's 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, which also features a beautiful interstitial piece by Herrmann, little remarked upon. It's a little Middle Eastern motif done underneath the pre-dinner meeting scene between James Stewart, Doris Day and Daniel Gélin (as Louis Bernard). It carries with it an opiated, exoticized feeling, relaxed but, in its drawn strings, suffuse with a dark undercurrent of vague danger, just out of reach.
Ian Jack takes a look at and a listen to Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin:
Image by image, this is an immaculate film. At times a little too immaculate, a little too self-conscious in its art: when Swinton, avoiding an encounter in a supermarket, takes shelter against a splendid backdrop of red soup cans she might be posing for a portrait by Norman Rockwell (“American Housewife, 1959”). The soundtrack takes a keen interest in everyday noise—lawn sprinklers, windscreen wipers, photocopiers—and then intersperses it with sweet (sometimes sickly) ballads sung by, among others, Lonnie Donegan and Buddy Holly. The purpose isn’t clear. Irony, like Vera Lynn singing “We’ll Meet Again” when the nuclear bombs go off at the end of “Dr Strangelove”? Or is it, perhaps, a protest against the old sentimentalisations of childhood?
Anne Billson pulls off the impossible: writing about art works in recent films with nary a mention of Children of Men.
VHS WASTELAND is your home for high resolution scans of rare, strange, and forgotten vhs covers. Each of these bizarre gems is scanned at 200 dpi. Our staff of over 40 contributors (and more added all the time) scans and posts between 15-30 new covers every day along with reviews, trailers and much more!
"Geoff Dyer's forthcoming book Zona (2012) has a premise that is so simple and brilliant it seems almost a wonder that it hasn't been tried before," blogsKatie Kitamura for frieze. "[A]s the book's subtitle puts it, Zona is 'A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room.' In other words, a book about Andrei Tarkovsky's seminal Stalker (1979), itself loosely based on the novel Roadside Picnic (1971), by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. 'Loosely' is key here. The skeleton of Zona is something like a glorified transcript of Tarkovsky's film, a factual description of what is seen on the screen…. But Zona hangs a great deal onto the scaffolding of this formal conceit. The book itself is full of digressions, both filmic and personal, as well as footnotes, interpretations, imprecations and asides. There's a definite gulf between the tone of Zona and the tone ofStalker, which is almost certainly the point; if an auteur is characterized by the recognizable strength of a signature style, then Dyer is clearly an auteur, even when in the grips of a masterwork authored by another." Dyer wrote aboutStalker for the Guardian back in 2009.
Finally, a hat tip to THE FUTURIST! who was absolutely correct to post this clip again.
This video was previously posted, however, THE FUTURIST! wishes to re-post in order to point out that when the fantasy of happiness represented by dance is visualized at the end of THE LAST DAYS OF DISCO (directed by Whit Stillman) you will notice one passenger on the subway that does not respond to the fantasy … he does not allow himself to “let go”.
It's time I left.