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February 01, 2012

"Netflix Categories I Would Appreciate"

I Wanna Be Your Blog | Netflix Categories I Would Appreciate
Movies Made In The 1970s That Make You Feel Like An Adult for Watching Them Movies That Are Almost Certainly Satire, But It’s Like Nobody Told the Actors? Movies With Misleadingly Great Titles Movies From The 1940s That You Expect To Be Really Boring But Are Actually Super Good, And You Should Really Give Them A Shot Campy Horror Movies That Lend Themselves To Feminist Readings Movies You Will Intend To Watch, Right Up To The Point Where They Are Removed From Watch Instantly Indie Movies About The “Complexity” Of “Relationships” That All Appear To Have Approximately The Same Title Really Heavy-Handed SciFi Movies Beloved By Men In Their 20s Movies You Would Totally Watch If You Knew How To Remove Them From Your “Recently Watched” Page Movies That, Despite Their All-Star Casts, You Haven’t Heard Of For A Reason Movies With At Least One Reaction Shot From A Dog

Spielberg's films are manipulative and hollow

This dude over at Slate really nails it. I've had a problem with Spielberg for years now--his films rankle me with their patronizing tone and gross manipulations. Except Jaws. Jaws is perfect. Steven Spielberg's complete movies: I've seen every one, and I almost wish I hadn't - Slate Magazine
. . . Spielberg’s movies are undeniably powerful. His films function as supreme audience entertainments, almost by definition. But when I revisited them, I wanted to find their ideas: What, after all these features, has Spielberg really said? My verdict? Not much. Beneath all his technical wizardry is only a simulacrum of aesthetics. The gassy high-mindedness; the complete lack of all but the most bland humor or self-awareness; the boring, slightly pompous exposition that bespeaks a person whose every word is hung on, and never challenged, for far too long. (Watch Spielberg in the promotional material that accompanies the DVD release of his films. He speaks with the breezy self-importance of someone who is no longer contradicted, seemingly, by anyone. He appears to exist in a cloud.) Steven Spielberg has built a remarkable career by amplifying the familiar—taking what we know, both with regard to the language of cinema as well as his thematic concerns, and saying them loud. But he hasn’t said anything new. . . .
Read the whole thing for a fairly in-depth analysis of his crutches and flaws. See also, the narrative flaws of Spielberg.

January 21, 2012

There's a new film about the utter collapse of Detroit

I grew up in the literal shadow of Detroit, so you'll forgive me if I find the continuing coverage of the fall of one of America's greatest cities so fascinating. This film is airing at Sundance this week. They are hoping for a distributor. DETROPIA - Online Film Guide | Sundance Institute
Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. As houses are demolished by the thousands, automobile-company wages plummet, institutions crumble, and tourists gawk at the “charming decay,” the film’s vibrant, gutsy characters glow and erupt like flames from the ashes. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future