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Entries in film critics (84)

Wednesday
Sep182013

Linking Time

Hollywood Will the ending of August Osage County screened at TIFF be the ending it has in theaters? The film might not be "locked" just yet
Pajiba on social media, celebrity, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Town & Country & BuzzFeed suddenly the internet noticed Clint's son Scott Eastwood (also an actor). I think he looks like a douchey fratboy but the internet don't care. The internet wants what it wants. Weirdly T&C claims he's channeling leading men of the sixties but the only movie star I'm seeing in the photos is a bit of Young Clint Eastwood... the nose mostly.

Awards Daily helps you keep track of the upcoming awards calendar
Sketchy Details yes! another Short Term 12 convert. We must grow and grow, the Short Term 12 fan club.
New York Post check out this Taiwanese movie theater and it's hand painted movie posters
Vulture the final season of Mad Men will be split in two. Mad Men until 2015!  Anything that makes it last longer is A OK by me but I've been reading nasty comments online about it. A lot of "that show has outstayed its welcome" comments (some by people who admit they don't watch it). Sigh. This is why we can't have nice things. If every show on tv was even a third as good as Mad Men at its weakest,  television would be an infinitely better place.
Variety in other Mad Men news, Oscar winner Robert Towne (Chinatown) has joined the writing table for the final season 

Must Reads with a Longer Running Time
New York Times Terrific insightful confessional by Lisa Schwarzbaum on Blue Jasmine, an old Lucille Ball television movie, modern women's picture and "fear of baglady-dom" 
IndieWire surveys critics on the best of TIFF 13. I love seeing survey results but it usually mightily depresses me since as insightful as critics can be I find that they're usually not very strong when it comes to judging acting. Even if Gravity grows on me (possible) I am 99.9% likely to maintain that the star performances are serviceable but ungreat and obviously so. And yet Sandra Bullock has a higher rank in Best Lead performance than Huppert, Gheorghiu, Streep, or Chastain? Absurd.
Peter Taggart very funny conversation about this year's forthcoming Emmy awards and who should win.

Thursday
Sep122013

Links. The Top Three Best Whatevah! 

Serious Film does an all time 5 best cinematography ballot. The best ever?  Hmmmm. Well they're all stunning at the very least
TFE Facebook my 3 favorite film scores off the top of my head. I was surprised as you to scribble John Williams there but what can you do. You give props when due. Yours?
The Film Stage Hayao Miyazaki's retirement is truly final this time (failing eyesight *sniffle*) and The Wind Rises gets an Oscar qualifying release
The Playlist Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac is now two films that will run five hours in total. UGH. I am exhausted by movies wanting to be TV series. Be your best self. Be a  MOVIE. 90-110 minutes is ideal! (Same goes for TV with unrelated stand-alone episodes. That's dumb. You're not a movie, be a TV series.)

Bloody Disgusting James Cameron loves Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity. Of course he does!
The Studio Executive is starting a snarky series on 'How to Be A Film Critic'. I don't qualify for the first three how to succeed suggestions (wealthy parents, influential friends, unethical bastard behavior) which only leaves me with the fourth (cock-sucking... also known as sleeping your way to the top), which I have no objection to. But no one famous/influential/wealthy willing to make my career has ever rung me up to ask. #shameless
Yahoo Movies new trailer to August: Osage County 
The Dissolve The Harry Potter world will continue on screen with a (presumably endless) spinoff series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. For my reaction to this news, I can only share the brilliant tweet of another...

 

 

 

Must Read (If You Haven't Yet) 
What Was, Is, and Will Be Popular in the New York Times Magazine. A fascinating long read discussing the impossible to define notion of popularity in our fractured pop culture be it television, movies, music, opera, museums, or anything really. Candy bars, even! For example I seriously haven't even heard of the actress that they claim personifies modern TV fame (Pauley Perrette? Who dat?) and I don't know if you've heard but I like actresses a little. The essay has also got awesome sidebar goodies... did you know that "Bella" is the most popular name for both cats and bitches now? (Damn you Twilight). There's even a cute little point about 1000 "likes" on facebook putting some kind of artistic wind in your sails for struggling indie "popularity" in our fractured world, so The Film Experience is almost there. Like us.

Today's Awesomest Review
Cinematic Spectacle Lee Daniels' The Butler  review/reaction in gifs. I lol'ed and it's just so true. Also: perfect punchline.

Thursday
Sep052013

TIFF: Festive Arrivals & Frightening Omens

The signage that tempts me each time I walk from hotel to movie theaterDear Readers,

I am happy to report that I have arrived in Toronto. Wednesday night went smoothly (but for "Best Shot" posting -- delayed. My apologies!) though the long trip to get from the airport to my hotel and press office gave me shudders thinking about Monday night when salivation-worthy titles like August: Osage County & Under the Skin can't really be done unless I miss my flight. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

After arrival had yum dinner with Amir who I think you'll agree is doing a bang up job organizing those "Team Experience" events each month. We then hit a "welcome to TIFF" style critics party hosted by Calum Marsh with so many great writers (fun putting faces to bylines) that I probably shouldn't name any because I'll leave someone awesome out. But you should follow me on twitter for more of that sort of thing.

The topic was so often "what are you planning to see?" which should be the easiest question when you hit a festival but had me flustered each time because I keep changing my schedule. I always tried the safest answer "well, I'm starting with..." but then kept forgetting the title of the movie "Undefebeatable" "Indestructabeatable?"

It's my first time. Be gentle.

Isn't it a beauty? That's the press pass. I consider it a very good omen that snatching it upon arrival was easy as can be. And that it's both green and purple, which are literally my two favorite colors and the ones I always wear (though not at the same time because that's too Arkham Asylum).

But just as I was feeling super confident and excited for the festival, I saw this:

Two of the three Oscars won by Crash (Best Picture and Best Screenplay) prominently displayed at the Festival HQ. Ill omens! O Canada... nobody wants to be reminded of that! The festival is also celebrating David Cronenberg this year but sadly his is not the Crash we're talking about. 

First Round of Movies Next!

 

Tuesday
Aug132013

The Hitchcock Ten

If you haven't checked out the Guardian's very fun infographics on Hitchcock's oeuvre -- just in time for his birthday today! -- you should do that. This is my favorite part because I think it's just brilliant with the top tens from film fans, critics, and the general public overlapping and disagreeing.

 


What's more I think it's absolutely accurate in its overlaps and exclusions  for all three groups with the possible exception of The Birds not finding its way to the "film fan's top ten". But this can't have been easy to flip around with a stuck landing. 

As for myself I have six total favorites: Notorious, Psycho, Rear Window, Rope, Shadow of a Doubt, and Vertigo. But the rest of his output fights over my leftover affections and wins and loses depending on my moods and depending on which part of the movie we're talking about. 

Happy 114th Birthday, Hitchcock!

Recent Hitchcockian Goodies
Shadow of a Doubt Best Shot
Top Ten Memorable Performances
Great Moments in Gayness: Suspicion 
Oscar Horrors: Terrifying Mrs Danvers in Rebecca 
Introducing...Madeleine in Vertigo 

Tuesday
Aug062013

The Lone Ranger Spawns Multiple Sore Losers

Can we take a moment to shake our heads collectively at Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer and The Lone Ranger team for being sore losers? They're blaming critics and the media for the failure of the film at the box office -- as if opening weekends are determined by critics. LOL. Weirdly Armie Hammer tries to rope in World War Z to the conversation (which has a 67% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes versus their 28% and a much higher audience approval rating, too) 

They tried to do the same thing with ‘World War Z’,” Hammer said of the critical backlash.”It didn’t work, the movie was successful. Instead they decided to slit the jugular of our movie.”

Because this is what critics do. They think "damn, people loved that movie I trashed? I shall have my revenge next time!" and then their tiny selves morph hive-like into Mega-Critic, a ugly monstrously powerful giant beast, big enough to do battle with the beautiful innocence of the Blameless Blockbuster. 

I always feel embarrassment, not schadenfreude, for stars and filmmakers when they blame everyone but themselves. It shows a complete aversion to looking inward and betrays a pampered creative life that actively works against continued evolution as an artist. When people only believe/accept adulation, they calcify. It's why so many artists become self parodies or get less interesting as they progress. I really don't think it's an age thing, though you often hear that people do their best work early in their careers. I think, rather, that it's an insular gated community problem, a result of entourages of "yes men" and belief in your own hype.

previously
Why did the Lone Ranger flop?
The Lone Ranger reviewed 

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