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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]
November 11, 2002
[movies] Focus Puller — interview with Paul Schrader about his film Auto Focus … Schrader: ‘With Raging Bull, the fights were accurate, but the arguments between the brothers were completely imagined. Of course, Jake LaMotta liked those scenes so much that he started believing they actually happened. My intent with Auto Focus is not to be true or definitive. People’s actual lives are not really that interesting. And with [Bob] Crane I wanted to get at something meaty. Otherwise, who cares?’ [Related: Auto Focus Trailer]
October 28, 2002
[redrum] All Work and No Play Make Jack a Dull Boy‘All Work and No Play Make Jack a Dull Boy’


October 21, 2002
[books] The Rules of Adaption — Brett Easton Ellis interviewed regarding the Rules of Attaction film

'What do I think? Rock and Roll.'


‘One of my only complaints about the movie was that it was so much colder and harsher than the book. It’s like Kubrick directing a college film. I really thought there was going to be much more of an emotional pull toward the end, and there wasn’t. This is not a movie to bring your Kleenex to. But I think Roger captured that lack of feeling among college kids as accurate. During that age, you’re becoming an adult, and in that process you realize, “Okay, the world works this way, and it’s hurtful,” and you pretend it doesn’t hurt you, and you pose a lot.’ [via Anglepoised]
October 20, 2002
[film] ‘It seems like exactly the wrong film to make’ — Salon interview with Roger Avery‘For Avary it was about capturing Ellis’ Faulknerian storytelling mode, not plot or dialogue. “I worked with multiple narratives on ‘Pulp Fiction,'” says Avary. “And Bret’s novel is composed of multiple first-person narratives, each a chapter told by a different person. And they’re all talking about various events, sometimes the same event with completely different perceptions of reality. “It’s an impossible structure to turn into normal, narrative form. But to strip away Bret’s structure is to rob yourself of what makes him so unique. I wanted that literary device. And if you’re doing multiple perceptions of the same moment and you just cut, the way we did in ‘Pulp Fiction,’ then you sever the characters both in their timeline and psychology. The key isn’t to cut, but to play out the scene and pull back to another part of the room. That way you’re actually uniting the timelines as one and making sure everybody is connected.”‘ [via Sore Eyes]
October 19, 2002
[film] The Soiling of Van Der Beek (scroll down page) — brief mention of Roger Avery’s new film The Rules of Attaction‘My notes for The Rules of Attraction include capitalised mentions of all the naughty stuff his drugs-vacuuming collegian gets up to: “Dawson deals coke and crack!”, “Dawson has an eye-popping wank!”, “Dawson shags another bloke!” Sadly, he’s not the character who pukes on an unconscious Shannyn Sossamon’s back, at which point the film runs backwards, showing the vomit flying into its owner’s mouth. If that had been Van Der Beek’s up-chuck, the deal would have been sealed: Dawson is Horrid – Official!’
October 10, 2002
[distraction] Joe Pesci Soundboard [via LukeLog]
October 8, 2002
[film] Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Shooting Script … [via Kookymojo]

‘CAMERON (grim monotone): 1958 Ferrari 250 GTS California. Less than a hundred were made. It has a market value of $265,000. My father spent three years restoring it. It is joy, it is his love, it is his passion.

FERRIS: It is his fault he didn’t lock the garage.

CAMERON: Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself. We can’t take it out.

FERRIS: A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn’t deserve such a fine automobile.’

September 23, 2002
[film] Back With A Vengeance — update on Tarantino and Kill Bill

Uma Thurman with a sword


‘Yohei Taneda, the production designer for the film’s Asian sequences, tried to explain the look of the film and the experience of working with Tarantino. “There is a reality to Kill Bill, but it is not the reality of the world,” he says. “It is the reality of Quentin’s world, and that is a somewhat different place. We are in Tokyo, we are in Okinawa, we are in a Chinese temple, but at all times, really we are in the world of Quentin.”‘
[director] Triumphs that cannot Soothe a Troubled Soul — profile of Sam Mendes‘ Can it be coincidence, for example, that the then-bachelor Mendes, emerging from a series of broken relationships in his early thirties and hung up about marriage, chose five years ago to direct the Sondheim musical Company, which is about, er, a bachelor in his early thirties emerging from a series of broken relationships and who is hung up about marriage?’
September 22, 2002
[film] This Much I Know – Robert Evans‘It’s irreverence that makes things sizzle. It’s irreverence that gives you a shot at touching magic.’
September 12, 2002
[books] Warren Ellis on James Bond‘In some ways — and I don’t think Fleming was unaware of this — he is what Allen Ginsberg called “bleak male energy,” causing and taking immense damage in single-minded pursuit of what he wants. At the conclusion of YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, the front end of his personality essentially rubbed out by torture, drugs, multiple trauma and a sequence of horrible mental hammerblows, there is an almost disturbing glimpse of an amnesiac Bond as gentle, open, devoted, and almost sweet. And his lover dreads the day that he recovers. He is England’s blunt instrument of international assault — the spiteful, vicious bastard of a faded empire that still wants the world to do as it’s bloody well told.’
September 4, 2002
[blogs] Lying Motherfucker — various famous authors blog, kinda … Frederick Forsythe: ‘Oh, how different it had all been in the glory days, back when Maggie held firmly the reins of a nation and men weren’t afraid to knock a Big Issue vendor into the gutter where it belonged. When the fuzzy-wuzzies knew their place and everyone stopped for a roast dinner on Sunday. Henry fingered the limp white collar of his shirt. A gentleman couldn’t even get a dependable starch anymore. It all went downhill with the Labour government, when they forced the coolie laundries to stop using child labor.’ [Related: Scott McCloud explains LyingMoFo]
September 1, 2002
[film] Along Came A Spider — article on the 12 Film Certificate and comic book movies … ‘For the beleaguered film censors, the problem with films based on comic books is –the comic books. Comics have always been controversial, with their mix of cartoon violence, vivid villains and perverse characters; always accused of glorifying the crime or drug use that their clean-cut superheroes exist to combat.’
August 3, 2002
[film] The Flesh Ripping, Bullet Spraying Ballet Master — profile / interview of director John Woo

‘The Killer was elemental Woo, the template that has relentlessly infused much of his subsequent work. A super-abundance of picturesque violence props up the usual conflict of good and evil, in which we are invited to observe not so much the clash of black and white, but the shades of grey that lie between the protagonists. Hero and villain become interchangeable; creatures of the same culture, victims of the amorphous pressures put upon them by a wicked world, equally beset by guilt, shame and regret, similarly capable of acts of selfless nobility, brothers under the skin. The hitman and the cop are two fingers on the same hand. In other words, it is a buddy movie. Add to that the love interest: the girl is a veritable apotheosis of anorak sexual longing – she is beautiful, lonely, isolated and, best of all, she is blind. No button is left unpushed. You get the car ‘n’ speedboat chases, innocent kiddies caught in the crossfire, a spectacular gun battle in God’s House with His statuettes exploding all over the shop, a close-up euthanasia shot (very matey) and a grande finale of Woo’s special trademark, white doves fluttering over the carnage. Phew.’

July 26, 2002
[film] Postive review of Austin Powers in Goldmember‘Who else but Myers can deliver this kind of exuberant, ambitious, mainstream screen comedy? Adam Sandler? Chris Rock? They are simply not in his league. In the course of an interview to promote this movie, Michael Caine has again unburdened himself of his view that Britain is a nation of losers and that he is not appreciated here. A baffling view, considering that he has been knighted, honoured and otherwise idolised. But I wonder if his chronic discontent may have been reawakened by this film: the fact that it takes a Canadian working in Hollywood to satirise a British icon so persuasively, so affectionately, and with such mouth-watering box-office results? Isn’t that what we should be doing with our industry?’ [Related: Trailer]
July 23, 2002
[comics] Yahoo’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Movie preview page‘…I guess what we have to do is cross our fingers, hold our breaths, and hope that the film itself somehow captures some wink of the magic of Moore’s writing. Maybe. Can Stephen Norrington do it? His first film went direct-to-video, his third has yet to be picked up for distribution, which leaves us with Blade. Blade is a bloody, violent romp of a vampire movie, and while I did enjoy it for exactly what it was, I don’t get anything from it that yells to me “this guy would rock as the director of LoEG”.’ [via Cheesedip]
July 17, 2002
[film] Chronicle of a Death Foretold — Greil Marcus on the Manchurian Candidate, John Frankenheimer and the Kennedy Assasinations … Frankenheimer: ‘I can see Bobby’s face on a big television monitor in the ballroom and I can see his back for real. As I stood there a figure went by me and it was as if there was electricity coming out of his body. I’ve never felt anything like it before or since. Of course it was Sirhan Sirhan.’
July 16, 2002
[film] Last Typhoon Cimino Is Back — off-beat profile / interview of movie director Michael Cimino. ‘…the trauma of Heaven’s Gate and its aftermath may not have left Mr. Cimino entirely unchanged. Or so Gore Vidal wondered a while back when he called his former collaborator, for whom he did an uncredited polish on the script for The Sicilian.”Michael,” Mr. Vidal said, “I just read in the newspaper that you had a sex change.” At 62, Mr. Cimino looks like a cross between a cowboy hipster and your great-aunt Bessie.’
July 15, 2002
[film] Why Does Everyone Want To Get Into Bed With Him? — profile of Mike Myers … ‘The Austin Powers films do contain some fine things. The opening sequence of the first film, in which Myers, resplendent in frilly collar, jives through a blatantly fake swingin’ London, pursued by crowds of adoring females, is pure delight; and if nothing else, he deserves credit for pulling off the unlikely feat of turning Liz Hurley into a plausible representative of sexual puritanism and female equality. But there is little quality control; Powers picking up a stool sample in mistake for a coffee pot and saying ‘This coffee smells like shit’? gives a new significance to the fact that he listed Some Mothers Do’ Ave’ Em and On the Buses as great British comedies.’
July 11, 2002
[advert] Wheels Within Wheels — brief commentary on the Mercedes car advert …

'I'm just lucky.'


‘…the Mercedes branding of Lucky Star is subtle, verging on imperceptible. Those who watch the trailer and are eager to find out more will unearth not a high-octane thriller, but an invitation to their nearest Mercedes showroom. Whether Mann’s glacé camerawork will then be enough to sustain that interest once they notice the car’s £92,000 price tag is moot. For Mercedes, it is evidently a risk worth taking. The prize, after all, is precious indeed: the neutering of our scepticism when confronted with advertising.’
July 1, 2002
[films] TV Picks of the Week — brief reviews of films on TV this week… Bullitt: ‘Steve McQueen’s laconic San Francisco cop, Frank Bullitt, was a role model for many a detective to come, and so cool he makes Clint’s Dirty Harry look hysterical. But McQueen also makes the character believable; a committed man who feels genuine anger at the corrupt politician (Robert Vaughn) he doggedly trails, while embroiled in a realistically shaky relationship with girlfriend Jacqueline Bisset. The celebrated car chase, up and over the hilly Frisco streets, was another first of its kind, much imitated but rarely beaten.’
June 27, 2002
[tv] The Diamond Geezer — profile of Ray Winstone. ‘…it is Winstone’s ability to invest such characters with ordinariness that makes him such a fascinating performer. At the risk of inciting some “poncy” analysis of his acting style, I invite him to explain how he does it. “I dunno. How do you research being a child-molester, a wife-basher? Do you go and do it? In Sexy Beast, Ben Kingsley played a really nasty gangster, and I thought ‘hang on a minute, this is Gandhi’. But he said to me, ‘This is part of me. There’s a dark side within all of us.'” This is about as poncy as Winstone gets.’
June 23, 2002
[film] ‘Who’s Tony Blair? he’s the US’s publicist’ — interview with Tom Sizemore‘I shared my life with a lot of drugs and bad girls. I was interested in fucking pretty girls whether or not they were nice people or read novels or knew who Winston Churchill was. If they had a good ass and did a bit of blow, that was good enough.’ [via Feeling Listless]
June 21, 2002
[comics] Spidey and the Curse of the Comic-Book Movie … a look at the what happened to Brandon Lee, Christopher Reeve and Richard Pryor after starring in Comic-Book movies … ‘The curse is also judged to have claimed Margot Kidder, the acclaimed actress who played Lois Lane in the film series of the late 70s and early 80s. In 1990 Kidder was injured in a car accident, suffered through two years of convalescence during which she was unable to work, and was finally declared bankrupt. Four years later she showed up “in a distressed state” in someone’s back garden, having cut off her own hair with a razor blade. She was placed in psychiatric care. Since then her recuperative career has encompassed such films as Shadow Zone: My Teacher Ate My Homework.’
June 13, 2002
[film] A couple of interviews with Willem Dafoe

Webbed feat … On his Green Goblin Action Figures: ‘Yeah. How about that? Now that I’ve made this movie, there’s a little bit of a, “What have I done?” thing. I’ve never made movies that kids could see, and now I’m ruing the day some little kid in the grocery store freaks out, “Mommy, it’s the Green Goblin!”‘

Dafoe’s Role as Green Goblin Isn’t the Stretch It Might Seem … On Comics: ‘”Growing up, I was aware of the Marvel superheroes, but I wasn’t much of comic-book reader,” concedes Dafoe. . “It wasn’t as if I was against reading them, it’s just that I wasn’t doing it. My introduction to comic books was through Zap Comix and Zippy the Pinhead. Those are the images I’d see when I visited my older brothers and sisters at the University of Wisconsin.”‘
June 10, 2002
[comics] Spiderman Bursts out of the Page — profile of Peter Parker, the Amazing Spiderman … ‘Realising the tremendous value tied up in old Marvel titles should have been easy. But the company managed to botch the job, selling the Spider-Man film rights to three different parties. Even now, argues Win Wiacek, the company is taking little advantage of the Spider-Man film hype to promote its comic books. Selling Spidey figures made in the Far East is more profitable in the short term. For Spider-Man, a successful future is more likely to be scripted in Hollywood than New York.’
June 6, 2002
[film] That’s Militainment — a look at what Jerry Bruckheimer’s is currently up to… a new “Reality Soap” set in Afghanistan. ‘Interested to see just how highbrow Bruckheimer is prepared to go, I spin him a hypothetical scenario. Ingmar Bergman is on the phone. He’s making a new film about an old woman who suffers a crisis of faith at a remote cottage in Sweden. He wants Jerry to produce it. “I’d have a problem with that,” Bruckheimer admits. What, even if it starred Liv Ullmann?’
June 3, 2002
[comics] Couple of articles about Comic Movies in the wake of the Spider-Man Film …

Angst in his Pants ‘As Ang Lee begins making his film of The Incredible Hulk, the hero of which is a personification of tormented male hostility, it seems inconceivable that twenty-first-century audiences would ever take to their hearts the kind of hero who soared through the clouds in Superman The Movie (1978). That picture looks now like a snapshot of innocent times every bit as nostalgic and obsolete as the images of gay abandon in the 1980 Village People musical Can’t Stop the Music. A Superman with that side parting, blemish-free morality and crisply chivalrous manner would be laughed off the screen today.’

How Superheroes took over the Cinema‘Last September changed the world. Even the escapist world of the comic book. Spider-Man the movie is replete with heartstopping scenes in which the superhero saves New Yorkers tumbling from burning or bombed skyscrapers, attacked by the flying Green Goblin, a one-man technologically enhanced al-Qaida. Haunting my pleasure in Raimi’s screen fantasies is the question: “Where was Spider-Man when New York really needed him? Why didn’t he, or some other superhero, intercept those madmen – or at least rescue their victims?”‘ [thanks Kabir]
May 29, 2002
[film] Soon to be a major motion picture — The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen‘Variety reported on February 20, 2002 that although Sean Connery has not yet signed the deal, he is in final negotiation for the key role of Allan Quatermain. Apparently, the storyline has been altered to include Dorian Gray and Tom Sawyer (the latter to generate more appeal in the American market). The $80 million project is said to begin shooting in the Czech Republic and Morocco in summer 2002.’ [via BenHammersley.com]
May 27, 2002
[film] Biggie and Tupac — review of Nick Broomfield’s new Documentary … ‘If James Ellroy wrote a novel about gangster rap, it would be a lot like Biggie and Tupac, teeming with chancers and casualties and underpinned by the threat of death. “You knocking like you scared,” chuckles the bodyguard who opens his door to let Broomfield in. And yet his timid knocking pays dividends.’
May 25, 2002
[film] Dinomania — Review of Jurassic Park from Stephen Jay Gould in 1993 … ‘…the mantle of carnivorous heroism has clearly passed to the much smaller Velociraptor, Henry Fairfield Osborn’s Mongolian jewel. Downsizing and diversity are in; constrained hugeness has become a tragic flaw. Velociraptor is everything that modern corporate life values in a tough competitor—mean, lean, lithe, and intelligent. They hunt in packs, using a fine military technique of feinting by one beast in front, followed by attack from the side by a co-conspirator. In the film’s best moment of wry parody of its own inventions, the wonderfully stereotyped stiff-upper-lip-British-hunter Muldoon gets the center beast in his gun’s sight, only to realize too late that the side-hunting companion is a few inches from his head. He looks at the side beast, says “Clever girl” in a tone of true admiration (all of Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs are engineered to be female in another ultimately failed attempt to control their reproduction), and then gets gobbled to death.’ [via Robot Wisdom]
May 20, 2002
[movies] Road to Perdition Trailer … [via Ghost in the Machine]
[film] The Unlikely Pin-Up of the Cannes Festival — interview with Michael Moore‘The film includes sequences in which Moore investigates the civilian Michigan Militia, with which Oklahoma bomber Timothy McVeigh trained, and a bank which offers free guns as an incentive to clients. He also interviews weapons-obsessed teenagers, including one who admits to manufacturing home-made napalm. Rock star Marilyn Manson, widely accused of being an influence on the Colombine killers, makes a lucid and pithy response to the charge. When asked by Moore what he would say to the Columbine Killers, he replies, “I wouldn’t say anything. I’d listen.”‘
May 17, 2002
[movies] Age Shall Wither Them — the Guardian on the twilight years of Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis. ‘…they’re getting on a bit now. Stallone will be 56 this year, Schwarzenegger 55, whilst Willis clocks in at a mere 47. Think of it this way: Stallone has been a superstar since the Ford administration; and Schwarzenegger first started to make his mark in Hollywood in 1968.’
April 22, 2002
[redrum] A Rough Guide to The Shining


‘Have you ever had a single moment’s thought about my responsibilities? Have you ever thought for a single solitary moment about my responsibilities to my employers? Has it ever occurred to you that I have agreed to look after the Overlook Hotel until May the first? Does it matter to you at all that the owners have placed their complete confidence and trust in me, and that I have signed a letter of agreement, a contract, in which I have accepted that responsibility? Do you have the slightest idea what a moral and ethical principle is, do you? Has it ever occurred to you what would happen to my future if I were to fail to live up to my responsibilities? Has it ever occurred to you? Has it?!’
April 11, 2002
[wtf?] ‘X-Files’ star takes ‘Confidential’ Role — David Duchovny as James Ellroy? … ‘Ellroy, a burly, eccentric man was 46 at the time he began investigating his mother’s murder, and on the surface, Duchovny makes for an odd match. “It’s odd to see someone who doesn’t resemble me physically in the least playing me,” Ellroy acknowledged to Variety.’ [Related: Brief extract from My Dark Places, Buy My Dark Places at Amazon, link via WEF]
March 29, 2002
[film] Great review of the 20th Anniversary edition of E.T. The Extra Terrestrial‘Watching it again is like getting a masterclass in American popular culture. Without ET there would be no Toy Stories, yet the Toy Stories with their hi-tech sheen can’t match the easy swing of Spielberg’s live-action storytelling. Without ET there would be no X Files, but Spielberg’s passionate idealism and faith in the power of love make the cramped, paranoid X Files look ridiculous. Without ET there would be no Harry Potter, but ET doesn’t have Harry’s glow of self-congratulation. In the strange and beautiful love story of ET lies the genesis of Douglas Coupland’s vision of Generation X: people in the west growing up in a secular, affectless society, yearning to feel rapture, and looking for love in the ruins of faith.’
March 23, 2002
[film] Harry Knowles reviews Blade 2‘I believe Guillermo Del Toro eats pussy better than any man alive. Watch his ‘HOUSE OF PAIN’ sequence in BLADE 2. BLADE 2 is the tongue, mouth, fingers and lips of a lover. The Audience is the clit. Watch your audience. This is where Guillermo Del Toro goes down on the audience. It starts with long licks with a nose bump on the joy button slowly. He smiles as he does this?’ [via Do You Feel Loved]
March 21, 2002
[quote] ‘In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the… Anyone? Anyone? …the Great Depression, passed the… Anyone? Anyone? The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act? Which, anyone? Raised or lowered? …raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work? Anyone? Anyone know the effects? It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980? Anyone? Something-d-o-o economics. “Voodoo” economics.’ [Thanks Meg, Scally]
March 20, 2002
[film] The trouble with Harry — brief update on Harry Knowles… the “ultimate movie geek”. ‘…I don’t believe that their [Movie fan websites] opinions affect or alter the tastes of the moviegoing public. Far from it; most web geeks are so leadenly conservative that their opinions actually reflect and reinforce the lamest conventional tastes. “Fan”, after all, derives from “fanatic”, and fanaticism is rarely progressive, original or mould-breaking.’
March 13, 2002
[film] Salon looks at Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey‘…we see Bowman, now an old man, living out his old age like a zoo attraction in a feigned Louis XVI-style bedroom, assumedly created for him by the aliens. And then suddenly the creation theme continues as a giant fetus inexplicably rises over Earth. Although birthdays have noticeably been happening in the background all along (Poole, Floyd’s daughter), all bets are off as to the movie’s ultimate statement. At the film’s Hollywood premier in 1968, Rock Hudson walked out saying, “Will someone tell me what the hell this is about?”‘
March 12, 2002
[books] Excellent oldish interview with James Ellroy from 1995 … Ellroy on Oliver Stone’s JFK: ‘I was just enthralled for an hour and twenty minutes. Bravuro moviemaking, wonderfully layered and dense and jazzy, and then Donald Sutherland arrives to posit this preposterous theory, and it goes downhill from there. I think organized crime, exile factions, and renegade CIA killed Jack the Haircut. I think your most objective researchers do as well. When Oliver Stone diverged from that to take in the rest of the world (Lyndon Johnson, the Joint Chiefs of Staff), I lost interest. I went out and bought a copy of the video and I watch it right up until Donald Sutherland appears, then I turn it off.’ [via Book Notes]
March 7, 2002
[film] Oh, I can’t bear it. I really can’t bear it — Nicole Kidman talks about her fascination with The Shining‘In The Shining, Kubrick made these ostentatiously smooth camera movements – relatively new to audiences – into a motif for the film. The steadiness of the camera movements mixed with the grisly subject matter into a mood of unease, especially when juxtaposed with the odd, often emotionless speech. “Stanley would tell us he was not interested in naturalness,” Kidman recalls. “He was not interested in a sort of documentary style performance. He liked it to be slightly odd, slightly off.”‘