As Cool As A Fruitstand

…and maybe as strange. A movie blog.

Sunday Reading #5 – A Mixed bag

Posted by Hedwig on June 28, 2008

Ah, where would we be without bad films? Take, for instance, The Incredible Hulk, which invited many critics to play with its title (A.O. Scott, I believe, talked about “the merely adequate hulk”), or its tagline (“You Wouldn’t Like Me When I’m Boring“). Meanwhile, it’s lead to a re-appreciating of its forebear, Ang Lee’s modestly titled Hulk (see here and here, for instance).

But there isn’t just mediocre. There’s also amazingly, unbelievably bad, as apparently Shamaladingdong (copyright CJKennedy) made with The Happening. Even the notorious contrarians over at Bright Lights Film Journal don’t defend this movie, just make excuses for its maker.

Speaking of Mr. Kennedy, he’s been reporting from the LA film festival (LAFF), and his dispatches are a lot of fun to read, and very well written, especially considering how fast these pieces are usually written (I know, I’ve been there.) So go check’em out!

I know that in the film blogging community, it’s almost a cliché to link to Girish. But how can I not link to this post on “received ideas in cinema”? We’re so used to certain givens, that sometimes it’s a shock to see things we accept as truths refuted. Imagine my shock, for example, when I saw in my RSS-feeder this post, about the third Godfather movie being the best of the three. Then, of course, I realized there was a Bizarro blog-a-thon going on.

FAs it turns out, Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver, among other things), is a pretty good film critic. Check out, for instance, his review of Belle De Jour, written all the way back in 1969. And speaking of the beautiful Catherine Deneuve, the Moving Image Source is full of great articles, including this one on the grande dame.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel, Nick and Goatdog are discussing all Oscar winners… from both ends. That is, each time they go forward one year and back one year. This first installment? No Country for Old Men and Wings (which I really want to see now. I’ve seen and loved Sunrise, which won the other BP award that first year, but not that one). The second? Broadway Melody (which doesn’t sound like a must-see) and The Depahted.

Then: some random links. Want a Barbie doll, for example? Why not this one? And if you think you’re an awful geek for obsessing over aspect ratios or stupid anti-piracy ads that you only have to watch when you’re playing a LEGALLY BOUGHT DVD, you can always tell yourself that at least, you’re not obsessing over semi-colons.

Finally, for your viewing tip of the week, the Onion AV club put together a lovely primer on Pixar because Wall-E is coming out (July 30th here), and it reminded me of this hilarious short. I don’t think it’s much of an exaggeration to call it Chaplinesque.

And for the bonus viewing tip, a friend of mine is dabbling in stop-motion, and while he admits the trailer for the film he’s making is about as long as the film itself, that doesn’t mean it isn’t mouth-watering.

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2 Responses to “Sunday Reading #5 – A Mixed bag”

  1. girish said

    Hi, Sarcastig. Thanks for pointing to that Slate article, which I hadn’t seen. I loved this 18th c. bit: “”The comma (,) which stops the voice while you tell [count] one. The Semicolon (;) pauseth while you tell two. The Colon (:) while you tell three; and then period, or full stop (.) while you tell four.””

    I was reminded of this by your affection for Death Proof: at George Eastman House in Rochester, NY (close to Buffalo, NY, where I live), they’re having a little retrospective of classic American car chase and car crash films, many of which I’ve never seen before.

  2. A belated thanks for the plug, Hedwig. I’ve realized film festivals don’t make for the best blogging, but damnit I had a full on blast. I only wish that LAFF was half as cool as Rotterdam. Oh well, one day when I own the internet, I’ll just travel from one festival to another writing about them.

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