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June 20, 2004
[film] ‘9/11’: Just the facts? — Roger Ebert on Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11‘That’s where you’re wrong. Most documentaries, especially the best ones, have an opinion and argue for it. Even those that pretend to be objective reflect the filmmaker’s point of view. Moviegoers should observe the bias, take it into account and decide if the film supports it or not. Michael Moore is a liberal activist. He is the first to say so. He is alarmed by the prospect of a second term for George W. Bush, and made “Fahrenheit 9/11” for the purpose of persuading people to vote against him.’ [Related: Fahrenheit 9/11 Trailer]
June 16, 2004
[comics] Bat Out of Hell — preview of Batman Begins. ‘…the comic-book franchise does have a checkered past. The new chapter, which will hit theaters in June 2005, is called “Batman Begins” — presumably because “Batman Sucked the Last Time So We’re Starting Over” was too clunky.’
June 10, 2004
[film] Let’s Not Get It On — a guide to the least erotic moments in recent films … ‘All it takes for Eminem to bed (or, in this case, stack of metal) Murphy is an awkward request for a date, which she parlays into some immediate workplace action: Looking for all the world like a crack whore, Murphy soaks her palm in her own saliva and heads down south. A moment of mostly silent sex – broken up by clanking factory noises – ends with Eminem, in a rare moment of vulnerability, gasping “Oh, God.” His savage beast isn’t soothed for long, though: After two seconds of postcoital bliss, he’s already shouting, “Your friends don’t even know me!”‘ [via I Love Everything]
May 7, 2004
[film] Complex Persecution — some background details about Capturing the Friedmans‘I also told director Jarecki about the family’s home movies, some of which he ended up using in his documentary. Amazingly, the Friedmans’ shock, shame, internecine warfare, and indignation—like their childhood skits and cheerful family holidays—are captured on videotape, which David recorded for many months, up to and including his father’s and brother’s convictions.’ [via Sashinka]
April 21, 2004
[film] ‘I thought I was really watching her’ — Nick Broomfield on Aileen Wuornos and the film Monster‘At the time of her execution, Wuornos was definitely psychotic. She was convinced her mind was controlled by radio waves and believed she was going to be taken off in a space ship to join Jesus Christ. She never showed any remorse; she firmly believed she was ridding the streets of evil men. When a priest came to take her confession just before the execution she sent him packing and knelt down and prayed for her victims, believing they were evil and that God should accept them into heaven. When Jeb Bush cynically produced three psychiatrists to assess Wuornos’s mental state and then pronounced her mentally competent, there was a complete disrespect for what the law really intends, which is that people of unsound mind should not be executed.’
April 20, 2004
[film] Plumbing Stanley Kubrick— Iain Watson reminiscences about working with Stanley Kubrick

‘”Do you know what the essence of movie-making is?” Stanley asked me. “It’s buying lots of things.” The Labour Party was responsible for the fact that nothing bought in Britain worked properly, so he preferred to buy from a distance such as Düsseldorf or California. When Full Metal Jacket was being filmed in England a whole plastic replica Vietnamese jungle was air-freighted in from California, so I was assured. Next morning Stanley walked on set, took one look at it, and said, “I don’t like it. Get rid of it.” The technicians shared out the trees, giving a new look to gardens in North London, and a real jungle was delivered instead, palm trees uprooted from Spain.’

March 30, 2004
[film] Citizen Kubrick — Jon Ronson explores Stanley Kubrick’s Archive … ‘Tony takes me into a large room painted blue and filled with books. “This used to be the cinema,” he says. “Is it the library now?” I ask. “Look closer at the books,” says Tony. I do. “Bloody hell,” I say. “Every book in this room is about Napoleon!” “Look in the drawers,” says Tony. I do. “It’s all about Napoleon, too!” I say. “Everything in here is about Napoleon!” I feel a little like Shelley Duvall in The Shining, chancing upon her husband’s novel and finding it is comprised entirely of the line “All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy” typed over and over again.’
March 8, 2004
[film] Making History — interview with Errol Morris about his documentary The Fog of War on Robert McNamara‘I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I don’t believe in conspiracies. People are far too confused, too much at cross-purposes with themselves, too argumentative, too nutso ever effectively to conspire to do anything. Maybe they manage to pull it off for a limited amount of time, but not on some mass scale, like deceiving the entire world. What scares me more, and it’s at the heart of the movie, at the heart of this particular story, is not that we make this plan to lie, to deceive, but that we somehow convince ourselves of our own rectitude, our own correctness, our own rightness, no matter what the evidence to the contrary. Humans love nonsense, they lap it up. Ultimately, we’re just big baboons!’ [Related: Fog of War Trailer]
January 5, 2004
[film] Movie-list.net‘Movie Trailers. Period.’
December 20, 2003
[film] Doom With A View — interview with Harvey Pekar and Joyce Brabner. ‘…despite being here (or not) to promote a movie devoted to his life, Pekar is hardly your average breathless self-publicist. Neither, although his comics have brought him a certain degree of wide-eyed adulation, is he any kind of superhero. What he is is a famously crabby retired hospital file clerk, a 64-year-old underground icon whose ongoing autobiography in the pages of his (until recently) self-published comic has now been transformed into a movie, also called American Splendor’ [Related: American Splendor Official Site]
December 12, 2003
[film] Guardian Film of the Week: Touching the Void

‘Neither man waxes poetic about getting close to God or the purity of creation. Simpson says that he was brought up a Catholic, but no thought of his maker inspired him to survive; at the end there is just nothing. In fact, at the low point of his weakness and delirium and pain, Simpson hears music going round and round in his brain. Barber’s Adagio? Beethoven’s Ninth? Nope, it’s Boney M’s Brown Girl in the Ring, a brilliant moment in the film – exactly the sort of banal thing you might find yourself humming as you dangle over the precipice of your existence. Macdonald’s movie is thrilling not because of any divine or aesthetic rapture, but because the sheer vastness of the mountain landscape seems to go beyond beauty, exceeding the limits of the thinkable…’

December 8, 2003
[comics] Little things we like: American Splendor — mini review of Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor … ‘Now is the time to check out Harvey Pekar’s brilliant autobiographical comic, just before the film version makes a national hero out of him. Pekar is a downbeat hospital file clerk from Cleveland who writes about the mundanities of his daily routine, from spending empty weekends in front of the television to the dangers of getting stuck behind old Jewish ladies at supermarket checkouts, and it makes for compelling reading.’ [Related: American Splendor Movie Trailer]
November 23, 2003
[film] Love Actually — amusing review of Richard Curtis’ new film … ‘Does Mr Curtis have special screenwriting software to produce this sort of thing? Using a Q-tip and bodily fluid, he must have impregnated a disk of the Final Draft programme with his DNA, so that all he has to do is type, say, control-shift-NUPTIALS, to get a complete quirky-yet-touching wedding scene. Or maybe control-shift-PRESSCONF, and we get one of his press conferences with a coded public declaration of love. Perhaps apple-control-SIBLING generates a scene with a trademark disabled sibling or loved one, or maybe he just types alt-ROMCOM and the entire movie comes chuntering out of the printer…’
November 1, 2003
[fim] Alien: the Director’s Cut — a review of the re-released sci-fi horror film …

‘It is a genuinely frightening movie which makes splatterfests like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre look juvenile. With style and intelligence, Scott absorbs the influences of Kubrick and Spielberg, together with movies like Westworld and The Stepford Wives, but makes a movie quite distinct from any of these. He puts together a white-knuckle intergalactic ride of tension and fear, which is also an essay on the hell of other people, the vulnerability of our bodies, and the idea of space as a limitless new extension of human paranoia. Alien also functions as a nightmare-parody of the Apollo 11 moon-landing, which had happened just 10 years previously, with all its earnest optimism about human endeavour. And perhaps most stunningly of all, this new version of the movie reveals how it works as a conspiracy satire about state-corporate complicity in manufacturing biological weapons of mass destruction.’

October 31, 2003
[redrum] 100 Greatest Scary Moments — Channel 4 were wrong. This is the greatest Scary Moment…

really scary twin girls from the shining...
Come and play with us, Danny …for ever, and ever, and ever.

Shining Script: ‘On another of his exploratory bike rides as he comes around a corner in his inexorable progression, Danny is petrified when he confronts the two undead girls at the end of a hallway blocking his way. In unison, they beckon to him in metallic, other-worldly voices with an invitation: “Hello Danny, Come and play with us. Come and play with us, Danny.” For an instant, Danny is horrified to “see” another slide-show flash with horrific images of the carnage of past murders – the two mutilated girls lie in large pools of blood in a blood-splattered hallway, with an oversized axe lying on the floor in front of them. And then they add as they appear to get closer: “…for ever, and ever, and ever.” He covers his eyes to shut out the deathly apparitions. As he slowly uncovers his eyes, it appears that they have vanished.’
October 28, 2003
[movies] Scarface Soundboard‘You Wanna Fuck With Me? Okay. You Wanna Play Rough? Okay. Say Hello to my Little Friend!’
October 25, 2003
[film] You Do Have To Be Mad To Work Here — review of Mike Judge’s film comedy Office Space‘Everyone who’s ever worked for a corporation will feel the chill of recognition: “Hawaiian Shirt Fridays”, miserable gatherings where the whole office mournfully sings Happy Birthday to a boss they despise, parking space wars, vanity license plates, traffic snarls, ID cards, swipe-cards, moronic corporate pep-rallies, performance evaluations, receptionists who bleat the same company phone-greeting hundreds of times a day, temp wage-slavery, credit-theft, blame-delegation, and the upwards redistribution of all initiative and decision-making power.’ [Related: Office Space Soundboard]
October 8, 2003
[film] Tarantino on Comic Fans‘The reason I’ll never do a comic-book movie with, like, The Flash or something like that is fuck those comic-book geeks, man. You can’t please them. I might do a comic-book movie, but I’d come up with my own characters where I’m God and I’m the expert and not you guys’ [via Neilalien]
September 28, 2003
[comics] Studio sued over superhero movie — 20th Century Fox sued for stealing the idea for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen from two Hollywood insiders. ‘…the lawsuit alleges that Mr Cohen and Mr Poll pitched the idea to Fox several times between 1993 and 1996, under the name the Cast of Characters. It goes on to allege that Fox commissioned Mr Moore to create the comic book as “smokescreen” for poaching the idea, and cutting the pair out of the production.’
September 23, 2003
[film] So Has Quentin Just Shot Himself In The Foot? — another Tarantino Updater from the Observer … On Kill Bill: ‘It means samurai warriors who can balance on the blade of a sword despite the distraction of a thunderously intrusive soundtrack. It means a thin plot line that follows faithfully the honour-through-revenge motif central to the martial arts genre, and features Uma Thurman as an unlikely ninja, who awakens from a four-year coma, dons a nifty brown and yellow tracksuit, borrows a samurai sword, and sets out to dispatch the former friends who betrayed her. Imagine Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon made by Scorsese during his cocaine phase, and you’re halfway there.’ [Related: Kill Bill Website | via I Love Everything]
September 19, 2003
[film] Tarantino Assessement — update on Quentin Tarantino‘It’s that kind of careful attention to the quotidian and the banal that led critic Ron Rosenbaum, in a 1997 Esquire article, to herald Tarantino as a 1990s F. Scott Fitzgerald. “His tough-guy act, his tough-guy actors, and his blam-blam moments may disguise it, but Tarantino is an aesthete, a Fitzgeraldian observer of the delicate dance of social interaction,” Rosenbaum wrote. “Because, at his best, in the interludes between the blam-blam, he’s a genuinely curious philosophic investigator of manners and morals, more akin to a novelist of manners such as Jane Austen, say, than even to Fitzgerald.” But Jane Austen never made a kung fu movie.’ [Related: Kill Bill Trailer]
September 5, 2003
[film] Joey Pants.com — Joe Pantoliano’s Website. [via Die Puny Humans]
August 21, 2003
[quote] Charlie Kaufman: ‘Do I have an original thought in my head? My bald head? Maybe if I were happier, my hair wouldn’t be falling out. Life is short. I need to make the most of it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life… I’m a walking cliche. I really need to go to a doctor and have my leg checked. There’s something wrong. A bump. The dentist called again. I’m way overdue. If I stop putting things off, I would be happier. All I do is sit on my fat ass. If my ass wasn’t fat, I’d be happier. I wouldn’t have to wear shirts with the tails out all the time. Like that’s fooling anyone. Fat-ass! I should start jogging again. Five miles a day. Really do it this time. Maybe rock climbing. I need to turn my life around. What do I need to do? I need to fall in love. I need a girlfriend. I need to read more, improve myself. What if I learn Russian or something? Or took up an instrument? I could speak Chinese. I would be the screenwriter who speaks Chinese…and plays the oboe. That would be cool. I should get my hair cut short. Stop trying to fool myself and everyone else into thinking I have a full head of hair. How pathetic is that? Just be real. Confident. Isn’t that what women are attracted to? Men don’t have to be attractive. But that’s not true, especially these days. Almost as much pressure on men as these is on women these days. Why should I be made to feel I have to apologize for my existence? Maybe it’s my brain chemistry. Maybe that’s what’s wrong with me — bad chemistry. All my problems and anxiety can be reduced to a chemical imbalance or some kind of misfiring synapses. I need to get help for that. But I’ll still be ugly, though. Nothing’s gonna change that.’ [via Linkworthy]
August 19, 2003
[comics] Humdrum Hero — preview of American Splendor – the film about Harvey Pekar‘The beauty of the comics and the movie lies in the mundanity of Harvey’s life. He worries he doesn’t meet any women, moans about his job, turns his co-workers into characters and chronicles the ups and downs of life with his third wife Joyce, who evinces none of the quality spelt out in the first three letters of her name, only an almost luminous drabness. But as one fan notices: “This is great, man! There’s NO idealised shit in here!”‘
August 7, 2003
[24] The Second Coming — a profile of Kiefer Sutherland. ‘…he met the actress Julia Roberts and they became engaged, but she jilted him shortly before their wedding and fled to Ireland with his best friend, Jason Patric. His life spiralled downwards, with rumours of bar fights and drinking bouts. Later his film career fell into the doldrums, with a string of instantly forgettable movies. So he made the radical decision to take time out and became a cowboy on the rodeo circuit. After a few years and several trophies (he won the United States Team Roping Championships twice), the allure of Hollywood drew him back to acting.’ [Related: BBC’s 24 Site | 24 Weblog]
August 5, 2003
[film] American Splendor Trailer — Quicktime Trailer for a film about comic-book writer Harvey Pekar‘Ordinary Life is pretty complex stuff!’ [Related: American Splendor Official Site]
August 1, 2003
[film] Shinto Daydreams — Nick Park on Hayao Miyazaki and ‘Spirited Away’ … ‘Miyazaki’s work is reminiscent of Tintin. His simple graphic style and attention to detail reveal great imagination: the smallest movement on the girl’s face conveys a whole series of emotions. When Tintin creator Hergé drew cars, ships or planes, you could see a love for the subject itself. You see that with Spirited Away. There is a love of the process of animation. Each shot is composed and looks gorgeous.’ [Related: Official Site, Spirited Away Trailer]
July 29, 2003
[comics] Batman: Dead End [Quicktime: Large File | Larger File] – a short Batman Movie …

image of the joker from Batman: Dead End


[Related: Ain’t it Cool News backgrounder on the Film | Barbelith Comments]
June 27, 2003
[film] ‘After 100 takes, they asked me: What the hell are you doing?’ — interview with Ang Lee … ‘One of the rules that govern comic books is that each page is broken into panels, which enable the artists and writers to approximate in print the kinetic quality of film. Lee chose to break the screen into multiple images as his way of reversing the equation. Even the size of the screen alters from scene to scene; the frame expands to exaggerated widescreen for some portions. “I had to find my way of translating the excitement you get when you’re reading comic books to the big screen,” says Lee. “Not just lining things up with montage, but choreographing multi-images in the same space’
June 16, 2003
[film] Mescal and Madness — behind-the-scenes at the making of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest‘The most moving moment of Kiselyak’s documentary comes from Bo Goldman, the film’s eventual screenwriter, who argues that, as in every great story, there are no choices as to what the outcome is. “If a man lives a good and honest life he’ll come out OK,” says Goldman, reflecting on the way McMurphy finally sacrifices himself. “Even if he loses his wife, or loses his children, or destroys his career, he’ll come out OK. Because he’s written the right script for himself.”‘
May 21, 2003
[film] An Auteur Packs His Bags to Venture Onto the Web — preview of Peter Greenaway’s New Project (which sounds interesting intriguing amazing) … ‘”The Moab Story” and the Web site are part of the first phase of what may become Mr. Greenaway’s magnum opus, “The Tulse Luper Suitcases.” The project is as unusual for its scale as for the Internet’s prominent role in it. As now conceived it would eventually include three to five films, a 16-part television series, a touring theater production, several books, DVD’s and Web sites and an online computer game. Mr. Greenaway acknowledged that the project’s scale was “megalomaniacal.”‘ [via Fimoculous]
April 30, 2003
[film] Strip Mining — the rivalry between DC and Marvel feature films … ‘Meanwhile [in 1996], DC was treading water. Insiders cite “temperamental” Batman producer Jon Peters as one source of strife. In charge of resurrecting a long-dormant Superman, he wanted to take the franchise in a darker direction. The ex-hairdresser reportedly infuriated scripter Kevin Smith, who worked on the abortive Superman Lives! incarnation, with seriously bizarre suggestions. He decided the film’s villain, Brainiac, needed a “gay R2D2” sidekick. Apparently colour-blind, he felt the man of steel’s traditional costume was “too pink”.’
March 11, 2003
[film] ‘You need the taste of blood in your mouth’ — interview with Paul Schrader … [Related: Auto Focus Trailer]

‘Inescapability is central to Schrader, as is emotional coldness: think of the slick hustler played by Richard Gere in American Gigolo – inhumanly cold, impenetrably opaque. It is Schrader’s one big commercial hit – and evidence that it’s not his subject matter so much as his treatment of the subject that puts him outside the mainstream. There is no trajectory in a Schrader film that leads to a happy ending or a neat solution. “I don’t believe life is about problems and solutions. I believe it is about dilemmas, and dilemmas don’t have solutions; they have resolutions, which then morph and lead you into future dilemmas.” So he takes his human dilemma, writes it large, abstracts it from the rituals of daily life – his people don’t function in a “normal” world, nobody is having breakfast with their kids, mowing the lawn, or meeting a friend for lunch – and plays out their inevitability.’

February 26, 2003
[film] In Your Dreams — interview with Steven Soderbergh‘My theory is that he has never figured out what it is in his movies that works – what it is that his audience looks for when they come to a Soderbergh film. I don’t mean technically. Clearly, he has a visual sense that never flags, and any director who could orchestrate Traffic, shot in nine cities largely by himself with a hand-held camera and combining 110 principal parts, has to be something of a technical maestro. But what is his personal component?’
February 25, 2003
[film] Being Charlie Kaufman — Tilda Swinton profiles Charlie Kaufman‘Charlie Kaufman writes about identity. About escapology. About mortality. About monkeys. About the possibility of ‘facing inadequacy as a chimp’. About minds, refracted, inhabited, spotless and dangerous. About loneliness and its relationship to love. About the dance of despair and disillusionment. About what incarnation might actually be. About, as he puts it, the fact that ‘art always tells the truth even when it’s lying’. And above all about our incapacity to know the answers to any of our questions.’ [via I Love Everything]
February 15, 2003
[film] Green Party — Entertainment Weekly asks: “Is the Hulk ready for his close-up?” …’the real test of the movie Hulk will come not in the scenes of him smashing tanks, but in his quieter interactions with flesh-and-blood characters. ”In the commercial, we don’t get a sense of whether the Hulk will emote at all,” Knowles says. Given the past work of director Lee (”Sense and Sensibility,” ”Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”), some sensitive Hulk moments seem inevitable, and such scenes could show up when a full-length trailer hits theaters Feb. 14 with prints of ”Daredevil.” But even without them, one expert already sees the beast’s softer side. Says Ferrigno: ”I think he’s cute.”’ [Related: Hulk Trailer]
February 14, 2003
[film] Let’s Make a Meta-Movie — more on the movie Adaptation‘”I guess it documents my failure to do my job,” Kaufman says. The real Kaufman, that is. The real Kaufman is neither balding or sweaty. He is, instead, a wiry man in his mid-40s, hunched inside a black suit, with a tangle of brown curls on top of his head and a faceful of beard. He wears the polite grimace of someone for who all social contact is inherently painful, the only variant how much. “Although it’s not something I’m good at being snappy and quotable about.”‘
February 9, 2003
[film] Who’s the proper Charlie? — nice profile of Jonze and Kaufman’s new film Adaptation‘…little is revealed about Kaufman beyond what we suspected in the first few minutes; that he is effortlessly neurotic, terminally self-conscious, and spectacularly ill-suited to the latte-sipping, air-kissing, back-stabbing, social snake pit that is contemporary Hollywood. What’s more, the sweating, pacing, fretting Kaufman we see on screen, barely articulate in an interview with an executive, could well be an exaggeration, even a caricature, of the real one. Or, indeed, a complete fabrication.’ [Related: the film trailer, and Kottke’s Adaptation Blog]
February 5, 2003
[films] UK Film Release Dates — very useful. [via Sashinka]
January 27, 2003
[film] Young and Breathless — profile of Paul Thomas Anderson‘Anderson’s main characters talk in just the same way — Boogie Nights’ porn star Dirk Diggler; Magnolia’s earnest LAPD cop, Jim Kurring; Punch-Drunk Love’s Barry Egan, a sex-line-ringing, occasionally violent entrepreneur. These men might seem slow at first glance — even gormless — but all prove remarkable: superheroes whose special power is innocence.’
January 23, 2003
[blogs] Tagline: ‘So Gangs of New York. Hey, from what I saw: the street fights, the spaceships, the elephant, the Transformers cameo, the ornate facial hair; it looked great, you should check it out.’
January 20, 2003
[film] The Two Jacks — profile of Jack Nicholson‘Nicholson has often said that his films are “one long autobiography” – the reason he has no plans to write a memoir. With a little poetic – or comic – licence, you can well imagine many lines from his movies being written about the actor himself. In Five Easy Pieces, his character is criticised for abandoning his pregnant girlfriend: “I can’t say much for someone who’d leave a woman in a situation like that and feel easy about it.” “I don’t think he’s overly psychotic,” a psychiatrist says of his character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, “but I still think he’s quite sick.”‘
December 20, 2002
[2002] The sheer class of 2002 — John Patterson reviews the best of 2002 …

‘The performance of the year, it turned out, was on TV, not at the movies. In the fourth season of The Sopranos, Edie Falco proved that there’s almost no one out there fit to compare with her. Thwarted in love, insulted, wounded, and finally rising up in rage and anguish against her entire existence, her Carmella Soprano was the richest and most thoroughly conceived performance of the year by man or woman. The season finale was more like Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage than conventional American TV drama, with Falco working every level of her incredible range, from emotional catatonia to screaming fury and back, without a false note.’

December 18, 2002
[film] Orchid Fever — article from the New Yorker which was the initial inspiration for Spike Jonze and Charlie Kaufman’s film Adaptation … [via lukelog]

‘Collecting can be a sort of lovesickness. If you begin collecting living things, you are pursuing something imperfectible, and even if you manage to find them and then possess them, there is no guarantee they won’t die or change. The botanical complexity of orchids and their mutability makes them perhaps the most compelling and maddening of all collectible living things. There are nearly twenty thousand named species of orchids — it is the largest flowering-plant family on earth. New orchids are being created in laboratories or discovered every day, and others exist only in tiny numbers in remote places. To desire orchids is to have a desire that can never be fully requited. A collector who wants one of every orchid species will die before even coming close.’

December 13, 2002
[film] Menace to Society — profile / interview with David Cronenberg‘[He worked on] an abortive sequel to Basic Instinct which, after months in pre-production, finally collapsed amid byzantine legal wrangling. A lucky escape? Cronenberg’s not so sure. “I don’t know,” he says. “I honestly think it could have been…surprisingly good. That’s what I wanted, something that would creep up on people, a truly perverse, erotic thriller. And the script was great, it really was. So the frustration is not knowing. Because certainly logic might point toward it going horribly wrong, but…you can never quite tell.”‘
December 10, 2002
[film] Being Charlie Kaufman — preview of Adaptation‘”Do I have an original thought in my bald head?” Spike Jonze’s follow-up to Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, opens with this rhetorical question from its lead character, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman’ [Related: Regarding: Adapatation]
December 3, 2002
[film] The space between us — interesting Solaris preview … ‘[Solaris] is based on the Stanislaw Lem novel, which was also filmed, in an entirely different manner, by the late Andrei Tarkovsky in 1972. Tarkovsky made his version, he said, in reaction to the “inhumanity” of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001. It was three hours long and rich in the rhetorical indulgences that Tarkovsky was wont to permit himself. Lem was not its most militant admirer. At 96 minutes, Steven Soderbergh’s version is so wilfully serene that you fear for the patience and sanity of George Clooney’s core demographic.’ [Related: Solaris Trailer and Official Site]
November 30, 2002
[film] Truly, a class act. Not a lot of people know that — profile of Michael Caine‘There’s a crack in the Caine façade, I think, and you see it in that very cool comic line he couldn’t deny himself. When someone remonstrated with him about having made Jaws: The Revenge, he answered, “I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific.” Now, that is a knock-out line, and characteristic of Caine’s wit (more or less impromptu) at awards evenings. But it is very much the kind of thing that Alfie, or Harry Palmer (from the Ipcress films) or even Carter might have uttered: cynical, knowing, an outsider’s jab at the system, its hypocrisy and foolishness.’
November 28, 2002
[film] Solaris, Rediscovered — backgrounder on Stanislaw Lem and Solaris‘…this is the source of Lem’s uneasy relationship with American science fiction, and of his inevitable misalliance with Hollywood. Lem’s stories are about humanity in general. Movies – at least popular ones – are about characters. Moreover, when confronted with a beautiful woman who may be a phantom, an alien, or some kind of machine, Hollywood is more or less required to put one question ahead of all others: Can you have sex with it? This is what Soderbergh refers to when he says the movie will be a cross between 2001 and Last Tango in Paris.’
November 25, 2002
[conspiracy] Conspiracy Weary — the problem with conspiracy theories … Neil Burger: ‘The Kennedy assassination is this unsolved, confounding mystery of American history. You delve into it because you can’t believe that this public event has so many unanswered questions. There isn’t any definitive, conclusive evidence on anything. You follow these trails of evidence. They are so tantalising, but you never have the answer. It’s enough to keep you looking for more. It’s enough to drive you insane.’ [Related: Interview with the Assasin Trailer and Official Site]