Friday, March 31, 2006
Monday, March 27, 2006
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Movies, when you used to see them on the big screen, had a mystery that they no longer have. For one thing, they were irretrievable: Once the first and second runs were past, most films were not easy to see again. They were much, much larger than life and therefore instantly mythic (screens and theaters were a lot bigger before the multiplex arrived). And they were inexorable; once a film had started, there was no pausing it or in any way stopping its relentless forward motion.
And while Hoberman didn't love Terrence Malick's most recent film, he appreciates the passion the movie inspires in its fans. I feel the same way as Hoberman -- The New World is the first of Malick's film I was indifferent to, but movies that draw strong reactions (especially when they polarize people) are what make filmgoing worthwhile.
Hoberman's piece reminds that I wish I had seen The New World one more time before it left theaters -- I'm sorry I missed my chance.
Monday, March 13, 2006
I'm not dismissing those who really loved it and the reasons why they really loved it, although I'm on record as hating the film. But what I appreciate is that Bates solely examines Crash's strategy for getting out the vote -- he avoids the rhetoric about the Academy being homophobic and simply focuses on crunching the numbers.
Much of the morning-after punditry and blog logic has centered on whether members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had trouble giving "Brokeback Mountain" a best picture nod because of its gay love theme.
Another theory: Like a cinematic John Edwards, "Brokeback" peaked too early and its Oscar buzz dissipated.
In fact, the key to the success of "Crash" was that the film itself — and the carefully orchestrated promotional campaign undertaken by its distributor, Lionsgate — appealed to the academy's largest voting bloc: actors. With 22% of the voting members, the acting contingent is nearly three times as big as the next-largest group, producers.
It was actors — specifically, those in Los Angeles — who were targeted to deliver votes. And judging by the upset, deliver they did.
It was very shrewd and, considering that Lionsgate also does terrific work advertising its Saw franchise, you have to give the whole company the respect it deserves.
These sorts of articles are important for people on the left -- it reminds us that not all Republicans act alike. Plus, they make us even more upset with our current White House residents -- if folks on the right are starting to turn on this guy, how the hell is he allowed to believe he has any "political capital"?