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Below are the 8 most recent journal entries recorded in Literary Discussion of Cinema's LiveJournal:

Sunday, November 19th, 2006
4:02 pm
Moving Images Pinewood Dialogues

For aspiring auteurs and other such types interested in film and television, it may be difficult to get an audience with Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, Mira Nair, or David Cronenberg. However, all of those persons are available here at the Moving Images Pinewood Dialogues online archive. Created by the Museum of the Moving Image, these fascinating conversations were originally recorded as part of a lectures series sponsored by the Museum. In total, there are 41 dialogues offered here, and they date back to March 1, 1989, when they sat down to talk with Sidney Poiter. Other guests who have dropped by include the late Chuck Jones, David Lynch, George A. Romero, and Atom Egoyan. Visitors can listen to each program, or download each conversation to take with them. Transcripts also accompany many of the programs.



Current Mood: working
Monday, February 6th, 2006
12:57 pm
Has anyone ever written a book about minority victims in horror movies -- the whole first-to-die thing? It's something everybody knows about, of course, but I'm into American cultural history and I'm wondering if somebody's addressed this. If not, I might have to do it myself.

Also, has anyone ever seen a horror/scifi film where a minority character survives? The only ones I can think of at the moment are Duane Jones in Night of the Living Dead, which only counts for about half a point, and Sanaa Lathan in Alien vs. Predator, but she lucked out because ever since The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Alien women have been more likely to be the sole survivors of bloodbath films.

Any thoughts on this film phenomenon would be much appreciated. This post has been brought to you by an ill-advised viewing of William Shatner's Kingdom of the Spiders.

(x-posted to ars_divina, film_lit_crit, blackfolk
Wednesday, December 28th, 2005
7:30 am
National Film Registry 2005



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Librarian of Congress Adds 25 Films to National Film Registry


Current Mood: working
Wednesday, December 21st, 2005
1:52 pm
Walk the Line
When I was young, I was raised around country music. And by country music I do not refer to the ignorant, bigoted, warmongering crap I hear on country stations now.

I spent time with my great uncle, a fiddle player on the stage band on the Grand Ole Opry. I visited my grandfather's best friend, Stringbean often. I went to church and sang hymns with Grandpa Jones and Minnie Pearl. I sat in Roy Acuff's dressing room and talked with everyone who came in to talk to him. And there, when I was very small, I met Johnny Cash. The man was a giant to me and I didn't even know anything about him.

That being said, I was antsy seeing this film. There were some huge possibilities for things to be wrong, and bad, but I am happy to report nothing was. It does cover an amazing period in time. Rockabilly was just coming on strong, and Johnny Cash was right there in the middle of it, part of the Million Dollar Quartet- the other members were Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. The energy and off the cuff genuineness of them is captured in the film.

It captures what Mr. Cash was and how he lived too. When he wants to record at Folsom Prison as a comeback from his absence due to drug problems, the label balks. One exec tells Johnny his listeners are all fine upstanding christians who don't want to hear him sing to murderers and rapists, to which Johnny growls "Well then they aint christian." and does it anyway. For the non-Cash fan, it's a good introduction to a man who walked with presidents, royalty and inmates, sang gospel and rockabilly about killing and doing cocaine, and who stood for social justice no matter the cost.

It also portrays a long gone era in Nashville when the labels didn't churn out sound alikes all wearing the same black cowboy hat because that's what focus groups and marketing people say that's what's hot. Back when genuine talent and originality were what made stars.

There's some interesting casting as well, Shooter Jennings plays his father Waylon for instance. All in all, I don't see how it could have been done better.
Friday, November 11th, 2005
3:01 pm
i saw shopgirl a few nights ago, and i was really impressed. it seemed very much a modern day fairytale - no, there's no magic, no royalty, no fairy godmothers or talking animals. but there are stars in the L.A. night sky.

one thing i felt compelled to think about after the film was the narrator's role - steve martin does a bit of narration over the film, but he also plays one of the main characters, which begs the question, who is this film really about?

essentially this film seems to be about Mirabelle - all events in one way or another surround her, start with her, end with her. but then why is Ray the narrator? This is a film starring steve martin, produced by steve martin, and based on a novella by steve martin - maybe because the voice of the writing is so clearly defined by his personality, martin was the only choice. but perhaps its because the story is really about Ray and his need to change, not about Jeremy's changes, and not about Mirabelle, who doesn't really change much.

has anyone else seen it/read it?
Sunday, July 10th, 2005
9:45 pm
We rented several movies this weekend and saw one, The Interpreter, at the dollar movie. I liked Nicole Kidman's performance in this one very much. She's like gossamer. And Sean Penn? He has "The Tao of Steve" thing going on. He is flat out cool! He had some very moving scenes that he did with convincing depth of emotion.

We also watched The Woodsman with Kevin Bacon & Kyra Sedgwick, and In My Country with Juliette Binoche and Samuel Jackson.

In My Country was a little disappointing to me. I expected it to be a more powerful statement about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in South Africa. It had the formulistic, completely unbelievable love story that detracted from what should have been the main theme of the movie. It was okay but did not have the depth I thought it would have. I thought it might be something along the lines of The Power of One but wasn't even close.

The Woodsman was difficult to watch. I didn't like the fact that every one in the movie seemed to be either a victim or a perpetrator of sexual abuse. Even the cop was portrayed as helpless and ineffectual in being able to make a difference. There were a couple of places where the magnitude of the effects of the abuse were trivialized. Probably to try to bring some understanding of people who commit sexual abuse as "just people" struggling with their demons. Ok. It still ticked me off. What I did like was Kevin Bacon's handling of difficult material. He was understated but not one-dimensional. He conveyed a lot of emotion and stress in his gaunt, blank affect and his responses to the anger of others was very believable. I could feel his shame and fear - and his anger at being stuck with his demons and having to find a way to deal with what he had done and with what he would do in the future. It was an unsettling movie to watch and set off all kinds of triggers. It gave me a lot to think about.

So, all of these movies dealt with atrocity, compassion, forgiveness and how to make it all work. All this on top of the London bombings. I have so much bouncing around inside me now. Weekends shouldn't be this heavy. I'm exhausted.
Sunday, June 19th, 2005
2:26 am
La Dolce Vita
OK, I'll dip my toe in the water and step forward to be the first sacrificial victim.

Could someone explain to me why La Dolce Vita is considered to be such a great film? I saw if for the first time recently, and I was distinctly unmoved. Yes, it's beautifully shot and the performances are quite good, but I didn't feel the movie had much along the line of substance. Gee, he lives an empty life and ends up with ... an empty life. How is this profound? What am I missing here?
Saturday, June 18th, 2005
1:33 pm

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