"Donne-moi tes tétons." LÉOLO playing tonight at the Lightbox.
(The above frame, incidentally, was my entree into foreign-language cinema, I believe.)
David Cronenberg doesn’t storyboard. This hit me like a thunderclap at the “In Conversation With…” session at the Lightbox on Monday night, where Cronenberg took the stage with Viggo Mortensen to discuss their three collaborations together - A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method. I think Violence and Method are terrific pictures; I could take or leave Eastern Promises, and Cronenberg generally, except that he’s such a fascinating speaker and writer on his own work. Cronenberg on Cronenberg is essential reading for any filmmaker or film fan - and heavens, he gave as good as he got last Monday night.Read more
"Of course there’s a great pleasure in the act of polarization. You know you’ve touched people very deep if people can love or hate you for the same reason. But it’s never comfortable when people hate you, yet at the same time, you have to understand and respect the psyche and how it works. But I like the creativity of polarization because it means opposite ends, that’s almost what the films are: extremes."It’s almost like you know how a film can just evoke you into having a good time. To have a good time, there are so many other options, why would you choose this over something else? Being violated, either in a good way or a bad way, it leaves a very strong aftermath."
Reminder, Refn at the Lightbox starts this week.
I attended David Bordwell’s talk at the BLB last week; was rather terrified and excited to learn that the Lightbox has a “senior manager of adult learning” – and would like very much to know how one gets that job. Bordwell was in the house to discuss his ideas on how cinema transforms the martial arts, which is an interesting way to put it – the tools of cinema do, of course, extend and enhance the capabilities of the performers to allow them to do things we accept as part of some mutually-agreed-upon magical reality version of real-life martial arts technique.Read more
Stepped out of the game for what was going to be a minute and turned into four months - four months in which I never visited the Lightbox, rarely went to the movies at all, and sat on the sidelines while the whole world flipped on its back like a drunken sea turtle. And then I went to New Zealand, and had one of the best moviegoing experiences of my whole life. And then I came back, and then the Substream died and then Ebert died, and absent an outlet or even a clear sense of what I’m doing, I’m a writer sorely in need of a content strategy; until then, though, there’s always the blog, and Watched, and here we are.Read more
Matt Price drops by the Lightbox to drop some learnin’ on ya about the career of John Williams, up for the Oscar for Best Original Score for LINCOLN. He’s a Very Important Dude In Film History.
It turns out I’ve done a bad job of recording some of my experiences down at the Lightbox - I’m fairly sure I wrote ten pages of notes at the Doug Trumbull talk two years ago, but never bothered to do anything meaningful with them for either my journal or my blog, and now my vague recollection is just one of a very clever man who was a little too interested in finding real UFOs. I certainly didn’t record any relevant thoughts at all when Peter Bogdanovich introduced Citizen Kane, or Guillermo Del Toro introduced Suspiria – the latter a real shame, as his discussion there was so rich and impressive. I wrote some things about the Coppola conversation (heh), and left a promissory note about the Herzog/Morris conversation which I never circled back to redeem. It’s time to do better.Read more