"Demons in horror movies can target people or be summoned. If it’s a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it’s summoned."
There are movies again! The previews in the theaters right now are batting 100% in the "sure, I will see the f out of your expensive movie, even that weird one that's about magicians that give away money by robbing banks through magic, whatever the heck that is, and however they got Mark Ruffalo in it, and also that weird movie about dead people being a post-mortem detective agency that is basically a 'Men In Black' reverse spin-off." But! May 24th. That is when the most important cultural moment of our year takes place, when Fast & Furious 6 arrives. Can you believe there have only been six of these [...]
Filmmaker Shane Carruth, whose homemade and award-winning debut Primer confused and seduced everyone in 2004, has a new brain-burner hitting screens tomorrow: Upstream Color. If watching Primer felt like trying to solve a Rubik's cube that you swear was missing some pieces, watching Upstream Color feels like using memory regression to solve a similar one. But the missing pieces are there for a reason. With rapid editing and imaginative, often jarring use of sound, Carruth's second film replaces the former's fluorescent-lit minimalism with a kaleidoscope of spinning clues: a man and woman (Carruth himself as Jeff, and an excellent Amy Seimetz as Kris) are drawn together by a tragic event [...]
— Stephanie Zacharek (@szacharek) February 10, 2013
This year, the Tribeca Film Festival hosted a conversation between Will Leitch and Dana Stevens on how social media—and Twitter specifically—has affected the work of film criticism. On the subject of sharing thoughts after screenings, Leitch emphasized that he has always set aside time for reflection after a film instead of rushing into forming an opinion, while Stevens jokingly remarked that, for professional critics, pre-tweeting before a review feels like "stealing from yourself."
In light of [...]
From time to time, we offer up this space for everyday New Yorkers with a point of view on the issues of the day.
It's a big week, with gay marriage up before those old fuckfaces in the Supreme Court, with hackers trying to take down our Netflix accounts, and with old straight men confessing their love of high-heeled boots and also apparently doing dudes during their midlife crisis. What an era in which we live! By which I mean, the Cenozoic. But more importantly, weighing heavily on all our minds, is the forthcoming Jurassic Park 4, which is expected to hit theaters next summer, which will be my first [...]
Disney just put out this big expensive "spiritual prequel" (who came up with that line?) to the Wizard of Oz. That 1939 Judy Garland vehicle was one of the most groundbreaking, bizarre films of any era, pushing ideas about what could be done with movies to the very edge and also nearly killing two cast members along the way. Campy as it may be, and dated, still: it was released in 1939? Two years previous, people were still commuting from Germany to South America… by way of zeppelin. (I mean, in 1939, Gandhi was still trying to get Hitler to chill out.) So: this movie is pretty amazing for something [...]
It is December 20, 2007, the day before the release of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow, and John C. Reilly are sharing a beer, excited, expectant. There is a puff of smoke. A young woman appears in their midst. She is nondescript, but their attention is drawn to her dress. Peplum silhouettes aren't in. Not… yet. Apatow immediately senses she is from the future.
The Woman: I am from 2013.
The Three Men: Let's just totally accept that without asking a bunch of questions, and assume you're here to tell us about "Walk Hard." It's a hit, right?
The Woman: It is not. You are [...]
In this one, the first 40 minutes are just the ladies on a rooftop in Williamsburg, throwing rotten vegetables at the 20-somethings below. Then Miranda does a $12-million Kickstarter to fund her new boutique law firm. Charlotte fires her household staff. Samantha has sex with some men. Carrie, now single, writes a column for XO Jane and, whilst picking up her $45 check in the office, meets Lena Dunham and then goes home and hangs herself. Sounds good, can't wait!
In which Maria Bustillos and David Roth venture to the movies to see the latest by Terrence Malick. It is called To the Wonder and it is 113 minutes long.
David Roth: There's a thing that happens to me watching Terrence Malick movies. I marvel at the way they look—which I know is a novel response, but I'm a unique dude—and kind of chuckle to myself at the involuted, ponderous what-if-God-was-one-of-us philosophical stuff. And then I walk outside secure in my sophistication and am instantly struck by how THE WORLD IS SO RICH AND BEAUTIFUL HOLY SHIT.
Maria Bustillos: Yes, first things first: I nearly died of the BEAUTY. Every [...]
The first mobile call was made 40 years ago today, on a device based on the communicators used in the original "Star Trek," and the iPad was apparently introduced in 2001: A Space Odyssey, released 45 years ago this week. It's a good thing that show business invented the future for us so long ago, because god knows we can't come up with anything on our own.
How to sum up a Surrealist's autobiography? I haven’t the slightest idea. Luis Buñuel's just-republished My Last Sigh contains, as you might expect, few concrete explanations of anything, but countless provisional manifestoes, an index of cinematic inspirations of bewildering range, more anecdotes than any human has a right to own (he narrowly missed that orgy organized by Charlie Chaplin, but did dismantle a Christmas tree at another party attended by Chaplin—other guests were not amused), and a surprisingly elegiac tone of melancholy. This provides a partial overview, but what else? There’s the family’s pet, an "enormous rat" that accompanied them on trips in a birdcage. This was presumably toted [...]
(This letter is an excerpt from the new memoir Public Apology, out today!)
Sorry for choosing Hannah and Her Sisters when you asked me to go out and rent some movies for our family to watch to get our minds off the fact that Dad had been diagnosed with cancer.
You remember, I'm sure, that this was just a couple weeks before I graduated from high school. It must have been a weekend, because we were all at home in the afternoon. Dad walked in to the TV room with his friend David Landy. You could tell that David Landy had been crying.
"The doctor just hit me [...]
"Lucas had already done the cataloging. His company maintained a database called the Holocron, named after a crystal cube powered by the Force. The real-world Holocron lists 17,000 characters in the Star Wars universe inhabiting several thousand planets over a span of more than 20,000 years. It was quite a bit for Disney to process. So Lucas also provided the company with a guide, Pablo Hidalgo. A founding member of the Star Wars Fan Boy Association, Hidalgo is now a 'brand communication manager' at Lucasfilm. 'The Holocron can be a little overwhelming,' says Hidalgo, who obsesses over canonical matters such as the correct spelling of Wookiee and the definitive [...]
I wish I could get away with charging my clients a fee for every time they say "Minority Report" to me. I’m a commercial artist in L.A., and 90% of commercial art is shutting up and giving the client what they want. That means I spend a lot of time trying to repackage Steven Spielberg’s vision of the future: floating graphical windows with video hovering in them, typography flickering and animating in response to actors’ actions, interfaces appearing and disappearing when fingers reach out to poke them. In short, building a virtual iPad interface, hovering in front of the actor using it. In [...]
This is a real-life story about five bros who decide to make a movie, as sort of a last hurrah before they grow up. Each of them has to write 15 pages of the movie in turn, having only seen the immediately preceding 5 pages. And then… they make the movie.
Crazily enough, everyone finds this very frustrating and acts like a big baby. Ha ha, no, only sometimes. It's actually a great depiction of collaboration and how awful and wonderful it all is. (Makes a lovely companion to the Andre Gregory documentary Before and After Dinner, which, by the way, has been extended through tomorrow at [...]
The director Andre Gregory is turning 79 next month and still at work. Two plays will appear later this year; Jonathan Demme’s film of Gregory’s production of Ibsen’s The Master Builder is in the offing. Gregory is the subject of a new film, Before and After Dinner. The director of this documentary, Cindy Kleine, was granted what feels like unfettered access to the subject, who, in addition to being a fellow director, is also her husband. We spoke with her by phone the day after the film opened in New York.
"I didn’t want to make some kind of traditional biopic or television-style documentary about a great artist," Kleine [...]
"In the book, I tell a story about the day that my father brought home the news that he’d been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I was a senior in high school, a month shy of graduating; he was given two months to live. As you’d imagine, my family was fairly devastated, and my mother asked me to drive to the video store to rent a couple movies to get our minds off the news—comedies, my father suggested; he wanted to laugh. Operating in what I guess was a state of shock, I made a poor choice at the video store. I’d picked up my girlfriend on the way home, and [...]
HE: Good eventide, Pausanias!
SHE: Stop calling me that. So we can go if you really want to. What time does it start?
HE: Yes! We can be in Evanston just in time for the 7:15 showing.
SHE: (offering him a large book) Wouldn’t you rather read the second volume of this Verdi biography, instead of seeing this stupid movie?
SHE: So what is this movie about?
HE: It's about the culture.
SHE: Whose culture?
HE: Our culture.
HE: I really think so. I’ve read so many amazing articles about it I'm telling you everyone I follow has said amazing things. In pyramid [...]
Sweet lord, it's a preview for the forthcoming Alan Partridge movie! I may have to conquer my fear of being stabbed and actually fly to Britain just so I can see this. Okay, I will probably just hold off until it makes it over here, but I don't wanna wait. I mean, who knows how long that's going to take? I don't have a lot of time left. [Via]
Carrie Frye: Maud! I rented Thelma & Louise a few weeks ago, and it was, weirdly, only on rewatching that I realized why every so often I get an irresistible urge to rent an aqua convertible, conscript a few female friends for the trip and just drive… south, west, wherever: it's because of Thelma & Louise! It should have been the obvious source of the daydream, but I had lost track of the full extent to which this movie had hardwired my brain. It's been 21 years since it came out—it is now old enough to walk into a bar and order a Wild Turkey straight up and a Coke [...]