Letterboxd, and closing the loop on “good” and “bad” in film


In case you forgot, I don’t need movies to be good. (Here’s some more.) And here’s Jandy’s manifesto from a couple of weeks ago, which I think is bloody brilliant, as it gets to some of the ideas I was trying to talk about, but ended up talking myself away from.

I’m sure it’ll come as no surprise to anyone who’s listened to Mamo! as we’ve moved into the subjective vs. objective portion of the debate (so really, everything since episode 194 or thereabouts) that I’ve held star ratings in a dim view for most of my life. What, exactly, does 3.5 stars out of 4 mean? Does it mean that the movie is perfect, except for one quantifiable mistake? (Roger Ebert memorably docked Thelma & Louise half a star for the abrupt fade-to-white on its final shot - and quite rightly, IMHO.) 

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For the record, the new film marks an end to “swoopy.” You know, the camera plunging from the peak of Orthanc or mimicking the trajectory of trebuchet-flung masonry. Jackson shrugs. “After we did swoopy, I as seeing swoopy in Harry Potter, I was seeing swoopy in Troy. Swoopy has become a bit old-fashioned.
The Dew Over Episode 15 - Best Picture: 1984

In which I join Jamie Dew, Alia Miller, and Andrew “Parkerrrr” Parker in a discussion of all things 1984, which turns out to have been the pop culture movie lodestone of the 1980s - and had some pretty decent Oscar movies too. Listen here!

"A kiss that has been building since the day Jack and Elizabeth met."

(Source: deppslove)

Watched: McCabe, Mrs. Miller, and the end of all things




"I got poetry in me, dammit."

I don’t think I’ll ever watch McCabe & Mrs. Miller again. This isn’t anything to do with the film. I think it’s wonderful; I think it’s one of my favourites. I’ve written papers about it. I’ve seen it, I think, three times straight through, and a handful of other times, other ways. I saw it again at the Lightbox last week, on real 35mm, and man, it looked amazing. And it really got to me, too, you know? That stupid, ineffectual man. That absolutely castrated male ego. All the things that means. All the things that, in a frontier setting,  points towards. America. Manhood. Me.

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(Source: fitsearjerrold)


The Facebook page for The Storaro Collection — which sells books, movie stills and other art by legendary cinematographer Vittorio Storaro — is a treasure trove of fantastic Apocalypse Now  behind the scenes pics. Here’s the official site if you’ve got a few hundred extra bucks in your couch cushions for such things. Deep Fried Movies

Mother of god these pics.

How I learned about sanity


At some point in 1984, my father was attempting to describe the plot of Amadeus to our friend Susanne, whose command of English was not, at that point, very good - which required him to demonstrate the meaning of the word “suicide,” in explaining the first scene in the film, by drawing his thumb across the white flesh of his throat. This, I remember. I was eight years old - Amadeus was released on my 8th birthday, so I could not have been anything less than 8 years old - and we were in the dining room at my parents’ house.

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The Blair Witch Project at 15

Super article about the success and influence of The Blair Witch Project, which was released 15 years ago today. Some of the highlights:

"It was proof that when it comes to having the goods, you either have ‘em or you don’t."

"…it seems appropriate that Blair Witch would be one of the first major films of the Internet age because the heated conversations it ignited on countless message boards embodied the way that the internet has gone on to transform (for the worse) the nature of our cultural dialogue – with people occupying extreme positions on opposing sides, leaving little room for any middle ground.”

"I believe that the constant chatter in Blair Witch is actually one of the keys to its effectiveness. Most horror films utilize silence in order to build suspense – for instance, think of the moments in Paranormal Activity when Katie and Micah are simply asleep in bed for long stretches of screen time – but silence is very rare in Blair Witch. As their situation becomes increasingly dire, all that talking from Heather, Mike, and Josh serves as a reassurance (both to themselves and us) that they’re still alive, still in the game, and still in it together. But as each voice is silenced one by one, with Heather’s being the last to go, the abruptness when Heather’s voice is cut off in mid-cry is as profound a jolt as the snap of the noose in An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.”

Read the rest here.