Let me take a minute to skip the obvious “Of course it is” comment. Because it is. Or to be more clear it can be. Especially when criticism is what fuels art, as Birdman is. Birdman, as a film, is running on the fumes from many films and artists being criticized of things they have no right to be criticized of.
Alejandro González Iñárritu, the director and one of the four people who wrote the film sits atop his lofty heights to piss down over the rest of us schlubs that paid our [insert your local cinema’s ticket price] to watch flashing lights amuse us for 90 minutes or more. He says to us that we’re what’s wrong with art and not that art itself. Continue reading
This past weekend I released the latest episode of the Movies You Love Podcast — if you’ve never listened to it I recommend you check it out. In the process of editing it I couldn’t help but think something.
I did what I normally did. I listened through, then started working on my intro, which I did a few times before I got it the way I wanted it, then I began adding all the extra noises that I feel makes it feel all pseudo-professional. At this point in time I started hunting down the trailer for Psycho — the film in question — and found myself entranced. I knew that Hitchcock did these elongated trailers where he would talk about the movie as opposed to showing a sizzle reel to entice the viewers. I believe I’d even seen a couple many years back. However, something about this one struck me. It told the whole story. Hitchcock even jokes about it in the trailer. He gives away almost every beat of that film in how he describes the horrors you’re being teased to see. This in itself made me start to think about the idea of spoilers. Continue reading
Note: This is a post that’s crossed over from The Matinee. Ryan, my friend, messaged me and asked me to write a column for him about a film or something specific about how I revisited something for it gain value for me. After mulling it over and thinking about it all I came up with this little gem. So while Ryan’s off watching baseball and enjoying his vacation take a seat with me here (and over at The Matinee) and soak in my voice instead of his as I talk a little about my feelings on the dirty world of Michael Mann.
Michael Mann and I, after many years of troubled discussions, are friends. I don’t mean real friends. I’ve never met the man — if you’re reading this Michael, we can meet up for drinks and talk it out — but I’m talking about cinema friends. You know the kind of relationship where he makes movies and I go to my local theatre and enjoy. However, it wasn’t always this way.
Way back in the 2000s, when we were still awaiting sequels to The Matrix and was asking ourselves why we ever wore Hammer pants, I started delving into the world of cinema. Like most of the people — you reading this included I guess — I started with what I knew. That being movies of Tom Cruise, which led me to a little known film for me; Collateral. This eventually led to Miami Vice and further down the line toHeat. Continue reading
I’m certain this isn’t news, but I’m a massive Hayao Miyazaki fan. I’ve seen all his films and after last year I can happily say I’ve seen at least one of them on the big screen.
The first film of his I actually saw I believe was Spirited Away. I was in high school at the time and was into anime but didn’t have the full power of the internet, since we still used dial up 64k modems, in order to fuel this interest. The Oscars had just given the film best foreign film award and a friend of mine had mentioned he had it on DVD. I borrowed it and feel in love immediately. As soon as I had enough cash I started going on a DVD hunt of his films. To date I’m not really certain which of his films I love the most. Each of them I love more when I’m in different moods and I’m awaiting a blu ray release of The Wind Risesso I can finally revisit it since last September.
So when the news was announced last year that The Wind Rises would be Miyazaki’s last film I wasn’t particularly devastated; but I was saddened. While I continue to champion the idea of finite life spans for all things in art and decry the constant need for immortality of characters and other aspects of storytelling in the film universe a part of me felt nostalgic and depressed all at the same time knowing that this brand of filmmaking won’t be seen again. Some would point and laugh at this statement and say that I’m being hyperbolic. That Miyazaki’s work, which is highly influenced by the Spielberg films of the 70s anyways, will go on to influence others and will live on as an aspect of someone else’s work; which is very true, but it won’t be Miyazaki. I won’t get to have that great moment of hoping to hear of Miyazaki returning to the Lupin IIIfranchise for another time. Or hearing of another great fantastical world he’s dreamt up for me to want to live in again. Continue reading
I’m curious. Can I love a theatrical experience for the crowd as much as I can hate it? We talk about the theatre as some discuss church. We love it. We admire it. We want it to be perfect. At the same time however the ways in which we enjoy it are flexible, and that flexibility comes from so many factors which are personal as well as external.
A couple of nights ago I went to my local — if movie theatres were religious denominations it would be the Lutheran headquarters of the world — theatre, Carib 5, to see Oculus, a film I was saddened I missed at TIFF from their Midnight Madness programme which I adore. Part of the alure of the Midnight Madness programme, in case you haven’t heard me tout it on any of the billion podcasts I’ve released in the last two years since I first ventured to Toronto, is that weird loveable crowd that gets behind the weirdest and goriest of horror films. They know that they’re dumb and enjoyable while still, at times, being down right frightening. When you’ve done a full day’s work or festing and you find yourself in a crowded theatre of people who will scream “RRRRRR!!!!” at a anti-piracy warning before the film comes on it’s glorious. Continue reading