June 13, 2003

Headlines -- Hollywood Style

In honor of actually being in a place where there's SUN, aka Los Angeles, (watching the Today show this morning for a few moments, Cinecultist only felt a little sad for those saps watching Annie Lennox in the rain. In June. Damn Mother Nature), CC thought would scope out the news in some Left Coast publications.

Hollywood Reporter reports today that Chicago director Rob Marshall is first in line for helming the adaptation of the best selling novel Memoirs of a Geisha. CC read Memoirs a few years ago, and liked it but was worried about rumors that Spielberg was set to helm. The film should be beautiful, with all the swirling kimonoes and graceful tea houses, which Steve might have been able to carry off, but CC worried about it not having the novel's slightly bitter edge of objectified women screwed by this ancient system. Marshall could be good, he knows how to photograph spectacle and from his background as a theater director has a visual sense of flair.

Mel Gibson told Variety today that "To be certain, neither I nor my film is anti-Semitic," which is a relief to Cinecultist. Since the Times had reported that Gibson's father has beliefs not endorced the Roman Catholic church and is a Holocaust denier. Eeep, that's not good. There was worry then, that Mel's new film The Passion, about the last 12 hours in the life of Jesus, would place blame for the crucifixion on the Jews. But Gibson assures everyone, he doesn't hate anyone and certainly not the Jews. His hatred of the British, though, after Braveheart's smearing, is still up for discussion.

And in the LA Times, Manohla Dargis answers questions about movies from readers in a weekly column. This week's weighs in on a few important issues, Dargis's feelings about Marnie (likes it, but likes it less than North by Northwest, Vertigo and Shadow of a Doubt), why she panned Eddie Murphey's newest (things are down for Gumby but she liked Bowfinger) and how to go about being a film critic.

The best advice I can give you is to watch as many movies as you can - the more you watch, the more you learn. But don't limit yourself to new American stuff; get beyond the 1970s and make a study of the golden age of Hollywood (roughly 1930 through the 1950s). Just as important, watch every type of movie from every corner of the world, from traditional hot spots like France, Italy and Japan to the newer must-see cinemas of Iran, Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. Watch a lot, read a lot, keep an open mind and never worry what other people (especially other critics) think about movies. They're usually wrong.

Solid advice, CC thinks. Thanks to the City of Angels for the new perspective.

Posted by karen at June 13, 2003 9:02 PM