“There’s sadness and tragedy within Slumdog Millionaire
— starvation, genocide, child prostitution and overwhelming
oppression — but there’s humor, humanity and dignity as well.
[Director] Danny Boyle, stepping outside the UK to
focus his lens on India, seems to have freed himself
here to bring his brilliance as a director to its fullest
“Slumdog Millionaire is Boyle’s best film to
date, which is saying quite a lot; He’s made a joyous,
fun, and wonderfully accessible film that should play well in
Toronto before moving on to wider release.” — from Kim
Voynar‘s Cinematical review, posted this evening at 8:03
When is Variety‘s Todd McCarthy going to
get around to posting his review...
Every time I see a massive, shape-shifting dark gray storm cloud — a really big one, I mean — my mind always recalls those swirling God clouds above Charlton Heston during the red-sea parting in Cecil D. Demille’s The Ten Commandments. What a grotesque hypocrite DeMille was, and yet he had a great eye and the diligence and exactitude to make his films look just so.
This Getty images photo from N.Y. Times was removed before I could copy the photographer’s name.
‘s against Burn After Reading continues in this filing
from the Venice Film Festival by Time‘s
Richard Corliss: “The viewer’s fun, such as it is,
comes from guessing where the movie is headed and why it’s going
there. The ultimate question, from this admirer of virtually all
the brothers’ work, from the early Blood Simple and
Miller’s Crossing to their previous Clooney collaborations
O, Brother, Where Art Thou? and Intolerable
Cruelty, is a plaintive ‘what the heck kind of film is
“As close to an answer as you’ll get here is that Burn After
Reading is an essay in the cocoon of ignorance most of us live
in. It pushes the old form of movie comedy — smart...
Which sexually frank Toronto Film Festival drama seems like the
rougher sit — (a) Borderline (d:
Lynne Charlebois), about a sexually active Quebec
writer (Isabelle Blais) featuring “numerous scenes
of full-frontal nudity by both genders, various sexual positions
gay and straight, coarse language and wrist slashing” or (b)
(d: Andreas Dresen), which is about geezer
infidelity and hot sex? The answer, of course, is the latter.
I don’t want to even begin to imagine 70- or
80-somethings doing it, much less submit to the sight of same
during a film. All power to them, of course, and the life-affirming
metaphor of “the act.” Sex is life, etc. I just don’t want to let
it into my head...
Mark Olsen has written an L.A. Times
piece listing the
Best L.A. Films of the Last 25 Years. Fine, but you know what?
The last 25 years (1983 to the present) have been cool,
interesting, diverting, etc., but nowhere near as soul-stirring as
the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s — the true glory days of L.A. cinema.
And so Olsen’s list leaves off Kiss Me Deadly, The Long
Goodbye, Sunset Boulevard, In a Lonely Place, Point Blank, Bob,
Carol, Ted and Alice, Play It As It...
Whenever I’m thinking of buying something smallish and electronic (phone, laptop, digital camera), I always tend to favor devices that (a) weigh a bit more than the other units and (b) are either black or dark grey. (As I tend to hate silver except for Mac Powerbooks.) I realize it’s illogical, but there’s a little man inside who doesn’t like to pay money for anything that feels too lacking in molecular density. That’s why if were a high-tech manufacturer I would put tiny little weights inside my devices to make them seem more “substantial”…heh-heh.
The poll respondents include USA Today‘s Suzie
Woz, Cinematical‘s James Rocchi
and Kim Voynar, Movie City News‘
David Poland, Reel Views’ James
Berardinelli, Variety and CinemaScope’s
Robert Koehler, UC Santa Cruz film prof B.
Ruby Rich, Monsters and Critics reviewer and MSN
columnist Anne Brodie, Variety‘s
The former Sarah Heath — now Gov. Sarah
Palin — doing sports reporting on Channel 2,
KTUU-TV in Anchorage, in 1988. Watch this and you won’t hear a word
— all you can do is look at her grotesque ’80s hair. Wasn’t this
kind of thing passe by this point? Palin is wearing a late
’70s-early ’80s coif…no?
And by the way: yesterday afternoon Daily Kos writer
Arc XIS (what’s that name supposed to mean?)
posted a longish, circumstantially-supported,
Those poor people in New Orleans and nearby areas are about to
receive their second super-thrashing in three years. And Katrina,
remember, was a category 3
hurricane when it hit New Orleans on the morning of 8.29.05,
and so is Hurricane Gustav. The latest news is that it may be
weakening somewhat, and may perhaps even be down to a level 2 by
the time it goes over land. Maybe.
That “mother of
all Hurricanes” line from New Orleans mayor C. Ray
Nagin may be an exaggeration, according to a conversation
I had a little while ago with neworleans.com movie critic
Dave DuBos. George Bush and Dick Cheney
Peter Howell‘s rave
review of Kathryn Bigelow‘s The Hurt
Locker, which will show at the Toronto Film Festival early
next week, raises an obvious question: why doesn’t this Iraq War
film have a distributor? The answer, of course, is that all Iraq
War pics are thought to be box-office poison. But if a film kicks
serious combat ass (along the lines of, say, the last 25% of
Full Metal Jacket), there should be a market for it,
“Just when you think the battle of Iraq war dramas has been
fought and lost, along comes one that demands to be
seen — if you can handle the raging adrenaline,” Howell
“The Hurt Locker strips the Iraqi conflict of politics and
brings it right down to the...
Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire is
“a huge crowd pleaser,” a friend in Telluride
wrote me late last night. “The ending pays off big time. The
audience went wild. It reminded me of the audience reaction to
Juno here last year.” Are you getting this, John
Fox Searchlight will open Slumdog Millionaire, which is
based on Vikas Swarup‘s novel “Q
& A,” on 11.28. The film is slated to show at the
soon-to-begin Toronto Film Festival on 11.28.
A Fox Searchlight synopsis reads as follows: “Jamal Malik, an 18
year-old orphan from...
In telling a story about a distinguished middle-aged man who has a reckless affair with his son’s fiance, you might expect a brief scene or two early on explaining why the older man might be hungry or unsettled or desperate enough to do such a thing. But in Damage (’93), director Louis Malle explained it all in a brief silent moment, which can be found between 3:36 and 4:03. Home from work, Jeremy Irons sips his drink and looks around his living room, and you can just see it in his face.
If anyone’s having any trouble posting a comment, try logging out of TypeKey and then logging back in. If that doesn’t work clear your cookies by (a) going to Tools, (b) Options and then (c) clicking on the Privacy tab and clearing all cookies. This will remove the TypeKey cookie and it should let you post.
Some kind of intense drama is happening with Toronto Film
Festival screenings of Adria Petty‘s Paris,
Not France, a documentary about Paris Hilton.
Two out of three public screenings have been cancelled, and
both press screenings have also been jettisoned.
The reason why is partly
explained in this 8.29 Stephen Zeitchik/”Risky
Business” story in the Hollywood Reporter. (Thanks to
The film has a festival
website page that says three performances of Paris, Not
France are (or were) scheduled — on
Okay, no more Jerry Lewis jokes. Paul
Schrader‘s Adam Resurrected, which just screened
at the Telluride Fillm Festival, is in no way a problem film, a
friend says, and Jeff Goldblum‘s lead performance
is, he insists, an Oscar-level achievement. Seriously — that’s what
Jeff Goldblum, Paul
Schrader following this afternoon’s screening.
Scale that back a bit and at the very least Goldblum is looking
lucky, skillful and back in the groove with God smiling down. If
the buzz is real, people may be calling his work in Adam
Resurrected his best performance since….Jurassic
Park? The Big Chill? Igby Goes Down?
Telluride Film Festival panel discussion with Jeff Goldblum (far
“Before her meteoric rise to political success as governor, just
two short years ago Sarah Palin was the mayor of
I had a good chuckle at MSN.com’s claim that she had been the mayor
of ‘Wasilla City’. It is not a city — just Wasilla. Wasilla is the
heart of the Alaska Bible belt, and Sarah was raised amongst the
tribe that believes creationism should be taught in our
public schools, homosexuality is a sin, and life begins at
conception. She’s a gun-toting, hang ‘em high conservative.
Remember — this is where her approval ratings come from.
Don’t tread on us!
“There is no doubt that McCain again is making a strategic
choice to appeal to a particular demographic — fundamentalist
right-wing, gun-owning Christians. And Republican...
“We never tell stories in a linear way — we always tell them in
a decomposed way,” Guillermo Arriaga,
director-writer of The Burning Plain, has
told the Guardian‘s Mark Brown. “If
you ask how did I become a director, I will not begin at the
beginning. I will talk about my grandfather, my trip to Italy and
so on. That’s the way we tell stories in real life.”
director-writer Guillemo Arriaga, star Charlize Theron
“I’ve always been driven to the desert. I think the landscape
itself influences people. This movie was based on the four elements
— water, earth, wind and fire — and [in] using them I wanted to
explore why sometimes people are damaged.”
I’ve said this before and here goes again, only I really mean it
this time. Vague impressions to the contrary, Hollywood Elsewhere
is not — and will henceforth not be permitted to be — a good
hangin’ place for crude conservative wingnuts who
also enjoy movies. I realize that my blunt and sometimes combative
judgments and willy-nilly writing style have attracted this
element, but starting today I am renewing my efforts to rid this
site of belligerent conservative growlers and rage-spitters.
I don’t care how undemocratic this may sound to some. All I know is
that the voices of tedious right-wing liturgy are
done on this site.
A guy I know and respect wrote yesterday with the following: “I
just wanted to let you know that I read your blog and comments
every day, but the number of Republicans on your comments board is
so depressing I can’t stand reading it anymore, so
The L.A. Times headline for John
8.29 Telluride story asks if “another Juno” — a
breakout indie hit that winds up in the Oscar derby — might emerge
from this small but influential film festival now unfolding in the
Horn mentions three possibilities — David
Fincher‘s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
(which was previewed...
If Sarah Palin is only on [the Republican] ticket to try to get disaffected Clinton supporters to cross over, it’s a bad choice. Joe Biden may already be practicing his drop-dead line for the vice-presidential debate: “I know Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine, and governor, you’re no Hillary Clinton.” — from Gail Collins‘ 8.30 N.Y. Times column, titled “McCain’s Baked Alaska.”
My all-time favorite Dan Quayle political cartoon, from a 1992 issue of Newsweek.
I just heard from two friends who came out of this evening’s
David Fincher tribute at the Telluride Film
Festival. They were mainly calling to share impressions of the
20-minute reel shown from Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button (Paramount, 12.25), which was shown as part of a
two-hour presentation that included a q & a with Fincher.
To my displeasure and irritation, their reactions to the
Button footage, and frankly the reactions of others they
spoke to as they left the theatre (including a couple of
journo-critics and a respected director of an ’07 political
documentary), were not all that good. Wait…what? This is
supposed to have Oscar heat, this thing. Fincher’s possible home
run, payback for the...
Final Telluride photo of the day, snapped earlier this afternoon. The screenings at this much-beloved festival are finally beginning this evening. I for one am getting impatient. Will someone please review something…anything? I’ll settle for street talk, restaurant reviews, scenic descriptions.
THINKFilm president and co-founder Mark Urman, a good guy with a bad brief, has jumped off his once-proud but recently foundering, debt-plagued ship (due to David Bergstein‘s derelict financial dealings since buying Thinkfilm in late ’06) and swam through heaving, white-capped seas over to the good ship Senator, which threw him a line by prior arrangement.
As of 10.1, Urman will officially be president of Senator Entertainment, a newly formed distribution outfit. The idea will be to make English-language films and establish a beachhead as a U.S.-based distributor. The company recently purchased U.S. rights to Public Enemy No. 1, which will be shown at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. It costars Vincent Cassell and Gerard Depardieu. This French gangster film is on my list of gotta-sees.
This morning I linked to a clip of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann comparing aspects of Barack Obama‘s big Denver speech last night to Michael Douglas‘s third-act speech (written by Aaron Sorkin) at the end of The American President. This idea is brought full circle in a q & a in the current GQ between Sorkin and Mickey Rapkin.
Rapkin asks, “Have you met Obama? What do you make of him?” And Sorkin says, “The first time I met Barack Obama — I should say the only time I’ve met Barack Obama — was a year ago, when he was doing fifty-person-cocktail-party fund-raisers. He flattered me by saying, “My intention is to steal a lot of your lines.”