Bookmarks for October 30th

What we’ve been reading – October 30th:

  • Doc Films and Social Impact: Outreach, Outreach, Outreach
    In a 2007 study titled Documentaries on a Mission, scholar Matt Nisbet suggests that the bulk of the documentary audiences are “the choir,” a group of people watching films that cater to their “pre-existing social views.” He offers that one way a film can get beyond the choir and on the public agenda is by providing a news hook: “Documentary films…have a strong influence as media agenda-setters. Films provide dramatic ‘news pegs’ for journalists seeking to either sustain or generate new coverage of an issue.”
  • How Mr Fox saved Wes Anderson
    Though we don’t like to admit it, Anderson has been on a bit of a slide lately. Something artful and still auteur from the director yet aimed more at the masses is exactly what he needed.
  • George Miller Has Found His Max
    Tom Hardy is currently in negotiations to play “Mad” Max Rockatansky in Fury Road, the fourth film in the post-apocalyptic franchise.
  • Evil Dead coming back to theaters!
    Sam Raimi’s classic horror film “The Evil Dead” will be making its way back to theaters. It’s being re-released for a special run by Grindhouse Releasing, though no official dates have been given.
  • Give Me The Best Fictional Baseball Teams In Movie History!
    Confronted with the choice to root for the Yankees or the Phillies in this year’s World Series – or even the option to watch the action – I plan to opt for nearly anything else. I’m going to pop in a DVD and take in some of the great fictional baseball teams in movie history to forget about this season. Here are my picks…
  • Jackman ditches Oscars
    According to Variety, sources close to Jackman confirmed he turned the gig down in order to keep his mind on his current Broadway run then get his head back into movies for a while. He might host it again, but isn’t keen on doing it 2 years in a row.
  • Adorable But Horrible: 26 Cute Critters You’ll Want to Avoid
    Horror isn’t always slimy and grotesque; some of the most frightening monsters come in the cutest packages. We list the fluffy, wide-eyed, and downright adorable critters that want to scare you, eat you, or enslave you for all time.
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Rusty James
Guest

I don't agree with the conventional wisdom that Wes Anderson is in decline. From the way people talk you would think that Life Aquatic was some terrible disaster. It was a fun movie with pirates.

I think it's a case of people being unreasonably finicky. In fact, on the scale of Anderson's I think he edges out PT.

Jonathan
Admin

The Darjeeling Limited is probably my favorite of Wes's movies.

Kurt
Guest

Lots of Darjeeling love here too. I'll take it over Slumdog Millionaire in a heartbeat.

Kurt
Guest

…And The Life Aquatic is awesome. It helps (and this goes out to the haters) if you watch it more than once. It is a great 'grow on you' movie.

It should be remembered as Wes Anderson's "8 1/2" which is essentially what it is, and it was shot at Cinecitta to boot.

Andrew James
Admin

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Andrew James
Admin

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Kurt
Guest

God bless Dignan!

Jandy Hardesty
Admin

I love everything Wes Anderson has done – I go with conventional wisdom on thinking Tenenbaums is the best, but there's not a dud among them. (So does all this fall into the description's statement of "we don't like to admit it"?) And there were a bunch of people out for the Grauman's premiere of Fantastic Mr. Fox last night (I was seeing something else). Hope that translates into success for the film rather than just people hoping to catch sight of George Clooney in person.

Rusty, I definitely like W. better than P.T., in general, though I do love Magnolia. Of course, both beat out P.W.S. 🙂 On the other hand, P.W.S. has Milla Jovovich, so he's doing something right, I guess.

Andrew James
Admin

I give PT the edge just a bit for me personally. Boogie Nights is in my top 5 of all time and Magnolia is right up there too. Throw in the amazingness of Punch Drunk Love and the trifecta is complete. I'm not a huge fan of There Will Be Blood, but otherwise PT is tops in my book.

Rusty James
Guest

@ I go with conventional wisdom on thinking Tenenbaums is the best,

Is that the conventional wisdom? I feel like everyone has their own favorite.

Mine is Bottle Rocket.

I've been having my own personal PTA backlash since There Is Blood Everywhere. A film I think less of everytime I watch. I am actually baffled by its popularity. I don't even think it's particulary well shot, a lot of times I'm bored visually. Blown out skies is a major peeve of mine. Robert Elswit's work on Michael Clayton that same year is way better.

It's caused me to rethink his whole filmography. I've always had a lot of problems with Magnolia (what is that film about) and Punch Drunk Love (kind of trite isn't it) that I just kind of turned a blind eye towards. He has a brilliant sense of the cinematic but he's not much of a storyteller.

Rusty James
Guest

My own list of who I would say are the best filmmakers working today.

1. Werner (of course)

2. Quentin (the haters are just embarrasing themselves at this point)

3. Michel Gondry (The most underrated on the list)

4. Lars Von Trier (I'm still not sure what I think about AntiChrist)

5. Coens (Still haven't seen The Serious Fellow which will either confirm them as great or as over the hill)

Other candidates: Speilberg who is at the top of his game in some ways but too often manages to flop the ending. So his films are inconsistent.

Lynch would be on the list but he hasn't done much lately and I don't think he has anything in the pipes.

Christopher Nolan hits a sweet spot for me. His last two have been awesome and his new one in the pipes looks like it could be a classic.

Wong Kar Wai, I keep trying to like this guy more.

Duplass's and Andrew Bujalski invented their own thriving sub genre.

Andrew James
Admin

Not sure who the "best" film makers wroking today are (though the Coens are certainly in there), but my personal favorite top 5 would probably be:

1) Soderbergh
2) Coens
3) Almodovar
4) Michael Mann
5) Tarantino
— – Wong Kar-Wai

Jonathan
Admin

I couldn't even begin to put together a list of the best filmmakers working today.

Henrik
Guest

M Night Shyamalan! 😛

leeny
Guest

I think I would need to have Johnny To and Miike somewhere either on my top 5 or in the running. Haneke and Herzog would be have to be on my top 5 working directors.

Rusty James
Guest

Miike is amazingly prolific I just dont know his filmography that well. What I've seen I don't love. I dvr'd one of his movies recently. I don't even remember what it was called, it was fantasy thing with a convoluted title. I watched like 15 minutes and then I think I deleted it.

Beat Takashi could be in my list. Violent Cop is one of my favorites.

Haneke… gh… my favorite that I've seen is Funny Games. If he could do that every time then I for one would totally be willing to turn a blind eye to his condescending moralizing. I actually even appreciate that the film gives you something to chew on even while I'm appalled by the presumptuous elitism.

Is Code Unknown the one that's vignette's about love or something? And the gay black guy turns to the audience and starts explaining what the movies about. I hate shit like that.

kurt
Guest

No, CODE UNKNOWN is more of a 'cause and effect' sort of narrative. It's unusual, but not unusually condescending, if you know what I mean. It's meta-ness is not so in your face: http://www.rowthree.com/2008/11/03/finite-focus-p

kurt
Guest

Miike's quality settings are so far apart (from his polished professional stuff like Audition, Bird People of China and apparently Yatterman, to his really rough around the edges OVA stuff like MPD Pyscho) that it is hard to qualify him as 'best' but certainly worthwhile qualifying him as 'important.'

leeny
Guest

My fault I was thinking more along directors that I am instantly interested in what they are doing not Best working directors. Miike always seem to be doing something bent…sometimes it works othertimes not so much (gods puzzle).

I love both Funny Games, and Seventh Continent. I think they make a great set. Both have families that are destroyed… One family powerless, one in complete control but horrible outcomes.

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