Sunday Bookmarks (February 6-13)


  • Paul Haggis Vs. the Church of Scientology
    I’m not the worlds biggest fan of Paul Haggis (Writer of Million Dollar Baby, The Flags of Our Fathers and director of Crash, In The Valley of Elah and The Next Three Days), but after reading his history and break with the Church of Scientology, I certainly respect the guy a lot more…Very lengthy, but a very, very good read.
  • Why has P.T. Anderson’s Scientology movie been canned?
    The Master, a Scientology parable in the making from There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson, has been “postponed indefinitely” according to one of the film’s stars, Jeremy Renner. The actor recently told Total Film magazine that “it really kind of stalled because when we were rehearsing —Phil, Paul, and myself — we kept coming up against a wall that we couldn’t overcome.” Given the film’s subject matter — it tells the story of a religion called the Cause that has striking similarities to Scientology — film critics are speculating that some hidden controversy may have pushed the film onto the back burner. Here are three theories.
  • Why I Call Myself a Socialist: Is the World A Stage?
    Wallace Shawn gets philosophical and asks the question, ‘Are we more than merely our costumes?’ — “I simply believe it. I believe the costumes. I believe the characters. And then for one instant, as the woman runs into the shop, I suddenly see what’s happening, the way a drowning man might have one last vivid glimpse of the glittering shore, and I feel like screaming out, “Stop! Stop! This isn’t real! It’s all a fantasy! It’s all a play! The people in these costumes are not what you think! The accents are fake, the expressions are fake — Don’t you see? It’s all –” And goes onto explain why we are not smarter than Thomas Jefferson, even if we think we are.
  • Grading the Movie Studio Logo Openers – Part II: The Minor Leagues
    This is the second in a continuing series in which I analyze and grade the openers that we film fans should be intimately familiar with. After all, we see them in front of every movie, and what with co-distributions and production houses each getting to put their own in front of the credits, we’re seeing more and more of them than ever (sometimes as many as four or five!). In part I, I took a look at the “Big Six” studios. Here, I look at the “mini-majors,” those studios that gobble up much of the remaining 15% that the six don’t command. What do these openers tell us, and how effectively do they tell it?
  • The 50 most controversial movies ever
    Warning: What follows is explicit. These movies (and their accompanying photos) are not chosen for their beauty, but rather for their primal power to shock. And why is that important? Sometimes, in the case of politics and sex, filmmakers can be liberators, leading a charge that elevates the medium’s significance. Elsewhere—especially in the case of violence—a movie can warn us of where we might be headed. These 50 entries are the extremes.
  • Nora Ephron on Flops
    It’s lovely to have a hit. There’s nothing like a hit.But it’s horrible to have a flop. It’s ­painful and mortifying. It’s lonely and sad. A couple of my flops eventually ­became cult hits, which is your last and final hope for a flop, but most of my flops remained flops. Flops stay with you in a way that hits never do. They torture you. You toss and turn. You ­replay. You recast. You recut. You ­rewrite. You restage. You run through the what-ifs and the if-onlys. You cast about for blame.One of the best things about ­directing movies, as opposed to merely writing them, is that there’s no ­confusion about who’s to blame: you are.
  • YouTube and the major film studios
    The legal position of someone who uploads copyrighted movie clips to YouTube – for fun or educational purposes – is a very murky one in the light of the ‘grey area’ from which the majors now want to exert control of their user-uploaded content, via the algorithm-matching of the Content ID tool. From one point of view, if you really can ‘get sued’ for doing this, allowing any exceptions presents a climate of tacit invitation to do so – with the content-owner reserving all rights to ‘release the hounds’ at any time in the future, while palpably encouraging select abuse of copyright laws that it will not qualify in any meaningful way. Content owners are watching us from the edge of the playground with a loaded rifle, but for the most part they’re just ignoring us from the corner of their eye.
  • No Banksy At Oscars = Epic Fail
    f Steve Pond’s report is correct and The Academy has pretty much banned Banksy from appearing at The Oscars in disguise, one can only hang one’s head in wonder at how STUPID the leadership of The Academy is. You know what they should be doing? They should be inviting Banksy to deface the walls next to red carpet (while pretending not to)… ask him to turn up with 4 or 5 others in monkey masks – including Jaime D’Cruz and Mr Brainwash – so no one knows who he is… and generally make a spectacle of himself. Why? Because he is one of the world’s greatest marketers to exactly the demographic that The Academy is desperately pandering to at every bloody turn… anyone under 40!


You can now take a look at RowThree’s bookmarks at any time of your choosing simply by clicking the “delicious” button in the upper right of the page. It looks remarkably similar to this:


Kurt Halfyard
Resident culture snob.


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