With occasional reflection on the perpetual absurdity/intrigue of life and society in general.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Relevant Quotes: J.D. Salinger

"Phooey, I say, on all white-shoe college boys who edit their campus literary magazines. Give me an honest con man any day." ~J.D. Salinger (Franny and Zooey)

Salinger, truly one of the great American writers (and perhaps the most honest), passed away in January of this year. Below is a link to the NY Times article that followed his death at age 91.

Film Festival Update - Toronto and Venice in September...

Two of the world's premier film festivals, Toronto Film Festival and Venice Film Festival, will be opening and running through September. Both have intriguing lineups, many eyebrow-raisers, and quite a few high profile premiers. Below are the dates and links to each festival's website. I will continue to post updates as the festivals kick off, but I highly encourage all to check out this year's lineups - you won't be disappointed.

- Opening Film: Score: A Hockey Musical, by Michael McGowan

- Opening Film: Black Swan, by Darren Aronofsky

The Onion - News In Brief 02

Report: 10 Million Killed Annually By Stepping Out Of Comfort Zones

AUGUST 24, 2010 | ISSUE 46•34

WASHINGTON—A new report published this week by the Department of Health and Human Services revealed that more than 10 million Americans are violently killed each year while attempting to break away from their regular everyday routines and try something new. "We found that getting out of your comfort zone and facing your fears resulted in premature death nearly 78 percent of the time," HHS researcher Madeline Hersh said. "People always ask themselves, 'What's the worst that can happen?' Well, according to our research, anything from being bitten by a poisonous snake to dying in a hot-air balloon crash can happen." The report found that the safest individuals were those who surrendered to the soul-crushing monotony of habit and then convinced themselves that they had things pretty good.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Aronofsky's Black Swan Trailer and Poster

This is the recently released trailer and poster for Darren Aronofsky's new film (always anxiously and excitedly anticipated). It will be premiering on opening night of the Venice Film Festival, Sept. 1, as well as screening at the Toronto Film Festival.

An Honest Review of Christopher Nolan's "Inception" - Finally...

It seems that the film critics' circle, with their universal applause and praise for recent blockbuster spectacles like Avatar and Inception, have tuned into some Joseph Campbell-esque collective consciousness that the rest of the thinking, film-viewing population are not privy to. I presume that they have fallen victim to the debilitating, enchanting, hypnotizing charms of those suave studios and big (but shameless) marketing schemes. So sad, especially for self-proclaimed professionals and experts (funny). I simply can't believe how little dissension there was among the ranks of popular critics in regard to these two films. Even the more seemingly credible, or definitively "indy", critical reviews were soft and approving. Avatar is decidedly some of the worst cinematic dribble that I have suffered through in years (it would have been an average story had it been written for submission to a junior high literary magazine), and Inception, though one hell of a spectacle (and relatively interesting concept), was an average movie at best - with grueling expository dialogue and a formula story line with no original character development. And yet, the critics (even Village Voice, NY Times, Ebert, and the likes - shame on you) universally praised these forgettable, unchallenging films. Where is the young rebellious Ebert of old that stood up against popular opinion and hailed the cinematic excellence of Bonnie and Clyde - risking career and credibility? We need dissension.
Following is the only honest review of Inception that I have read - bravo.

REVIEW: Is Inception This Year’s Masterpiece? Dream On

If the career of Christopher Nolan is any indication, we’ve entered an era in which movies can no longer be great. They can only be awesome, which isn’t nearly the same thing.

In Inception, Nolan does the impossible, the unthinkable, the stupendous: He folds a mirror version of Paris back upon itself; he stages a fight sequence in a gravity-free hotel room; he sends a train plowing through a busy city street. Whatever you can dream, Nolan does it in Inception. Then he nestles those little dreams into even bigger dreams, and those bigger dreams into gargantuan dreams, going on into infinity, cubed. He stretches the boundaries of filmmaking so that it’s, like, not even filmmaking anymore, it’s just pure “OMG I gotta text myBFF right now” sensation.

Wouldn’t it have been easier just to make a movie?

But that urgent simplicity, that directness of focus, is beyond Nolan: Everything he does is forced and overthought, and Inception, far from being his ticket into hall-of-fame greatness, is a very expensive-looking, elephantine film whose myriad so-called complexities — of both the emotional and intellectual sort — add up to a kind of ADD tedium. This may be a movie about dreams, but there’s nothing dreamlike or evocative about it: Nolan doesn’t build or sustain a mood; all he does is twist the plot, under, over, and back upon itself, relying on Hans Zimmer’s sonic boom of a score to remind us when we should be excited or anxious or moved. It’s less directing than directing traffic.

For the complete review, follow the link: MovieLine Reviews

And, thank you for an honest and intelligent review.