Friday, October 22, 2010


What follows is a strange amalgam of old and new links. It's a frankenstein roundup, stitched together over the past four days from aborted link posts that were accidentally unposted... until now. "IT'S ALIVE!"

/Film Jon Hamm as Superman?
Movie|Line's failed/jokey photoshop attempt at the same thing utterly delights me (pictured left)
I Just Want to Be Perfect Black Swan website devoted to Nina's (Natalie Portman) psyche.
Cinema Blend a look at the newly announced cast of The Hobbit. With pics. Why do I feel that this movie is going to be such a disaster when I love the LotR trilogy? I guess I've lost faith in Peter Jackson given that the beauty of King Kong was smothered by a lack of self-editing and then we got the disastrous The Lovely Bones.

ONTD Rachel McAdams and Michael Sheen. I must have slept through this pairing. This is news to me.
Cinematical Pixar gives its first female director the book (Brenda Chapman was to helm The Brave previously due out in 2012...but you know, I assume this could delay the movie). Boo.
Montages (in Norwegian) a look at what's coming up very soon in Norwegian film. The writer is most excited for The King of  Bastøy starring Stellan Skarsgard, Kristoffer Joner and Benjamin Helstad. The film takes place in 1915 and is based on a true story about a youth prison. Hmmm. Could it be next year's Oscar submission? It's never too early to start thinking about that given that the Oscar eligibility calendar is already in the 2011 film year now when it comes to Best Foreign Language Film.

(Partially) Off Cinema
Tiger Beatdown "No One is Ever On Your Side" excellent, excellent article on Mad Men's Betty Draper Francis. A must read for fans of the show in case you missed it.
Benefit of the Doubt on Metroid, feminism and the Aliens franchise (if you're curious as to why that's suddenly in the air again, it's due to the box set's release Alien Anthology.)
Moby Lives on literature's problems in reflecting our internet ruled new world: timeliness or timelessness?
The Faster Times a list of all the new shows coming to Broadway in the spring.
The Oatmeal How to Pet a Cat. Hee

Something That's Really Bothering Me
Did you read the NY Times piece about the shortage of memorable lines in the movies these days? I suppose it's only helping them that everyone has been talking about the piece and linking to it (like me) for a couple of days but I do not understand the response. I've only read a couple of "in response" articles but they seemed to join in the lament. The article cites 90s films like Terminator 2, Forrest Gump and Jerry Maguire as among the last mammoth 'quotables.' Some response articles are saying things like "yeah, it's sad that movies aren't literate anymore..." I'm sorry but Forrest F'in Gump and Jerry Maguire are not literate movies. They just had fun simple catchphrases. Why are people equating catchphrase-making with great screenwriting and extrapolating that into a lament for the state of modern cinema? Does that mean that Arnold Schwarzenegger movies deserved Best Screenplay Oscars?  A lack of catchphrases does not a poor screenplay make. The article makes a vague statement indicating that these things can take time,  citing "Plastics" from The Graduate as a line that percolated before boiling. But then it blames The Social Network for not having a great lines (um, excuse me? It has hundreds of great lines... it'll just take awhile for a few  of them to rise to the top) Meanwhile The Big Lebowski is praised for "The Dude abides." Listen. The Coen Bros write great dialogue. But I was around in 1998 when The Big Lebowski premiered. It was received with pockets of enthusiasm (as their pictures usually are) but mostly a shrug, and some considered it a small setback after Fargo (which had been nearly as popular as Raising Arizona, their first mainstream breakthrough. Lebowski wasn't.) It was only years later after obsessive fandom had successfully added several fresh coats of "classic" paint on Lebowski that people were incessantly quoting its dialogue and acting like it was this huge hit and of the best films of the 90s.

The article does suddenly remember that "I drink your milkshake" (There Will Be Blood) permeated pop culture but completely forgets about "I wish I knew how to quit you" (Brokeback Mountain) which was quoted just about as often as movie lines ever get quoted. And then there are any number of lines from Mean Girls (Best Shot subject this week!) as reader Dom pointed out a few days ago. You or someone you know quotes that movie every day. I know, right. 

I guarantee you that "milkshake" and "quit you"will never disappear. And that 5 years from now, some line from The Social Network will still be in the public vernacular. One day people might not even remember where they first heard the line they end up using from The Social Network it may dig so deep down into the bone marrow of everyday conversation. You think everyone who has ever said "fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night" was thinking of All About Eve (or had even seen All About Eve) when they first said it?

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