Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Screen Wars

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Also: Idris Elba will always be Stringer Bell to me.

    And I get that very few actors have the luxury of waiting by the phone until something as good as The Wire comes along, but really... It's sad watching someone as talented as Elba (or someone with the profile of Beyonce, who is held up as a role model for young African-American women) perpetuating this kind of noxious sexual mythology.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    In his defence, he hated There Will Be Blood.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    In his defence, he hated There Will Be Blood.

    And I have to agree that The Dark Knight was horribly over-rated, and there's a thick vein of simple-minded nihilism in the film I find hard to stomach. But having read quite a bit of White's work, it too often feels he's just contrary and 'provocative' for its own sake which is as lazy and boring as following the critical pack. Might as get Willie and JT to do film reviews.

    Then you have White's tendency to use whatever film is under discussion as the foundation for some socio-political rant that bears no relation to the text, or is (more often) pretentiously incoherent.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Drummond,

    Then you have White's tendency to use whatever film is under discussion as the foundation for some socio-political rant that bears no relation to the text, or is (more often) pretentiously incoherent.

    From what I can tell, he's a proudly pretentious Po-mo who enjoys living in Opposite World. What a dull gasbag of writer. That District 9 review was ridiculous.

    Since Nov 2006 • 119 posts Report Reply

  • Alastair Jamieson,

    Like Giovanni, I also thought District 9 was sensational. Tangentially, the film's Nigerians reminded me of Pieter Hugo's terrific photographs.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • andrew r,

    District 9 was a dull clunker of a movie, lacking in ideas and souless ....zzzzzzzz - prolly should have walked out . Give me, 2001, Blade Runner, Gattaca (sp?), hell even Iron Man, at least the later made me laugh. District 9 Over rated ? massively, - goodies badies ...goodies win, kinda ... and nothing in between .
    Looked like SA in the 70's to me , perhaps it was meant to. Not so modern then ...sci fi pretence notwithstanding.

    auckland • Since May 2007 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Looked like SA in the 70's to me , perhaps it was meant to.

    It's almost like it's....allegory.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Answer: Two are blogs, the other is _.

    A group of on-line columnists?

    =)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3205 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    Deputy film critic at the Chicago Sun-Times Jim Emmerson tears Armond White a new one

    I can't stand Armond White- it's not that he's a contrarian, it's that he's a contrarian who has a seriously over-inflated sense of his own writing and no real logic to his contrariness (even when Pauline Kael was at her most dogmatic, you knew exactly where she was coming from- in fact some of her best reviews find me nodding my head while disagreeing with her thoroughly).

    More to the point, he desperately wants to have the critical acuity of the Village Voice's J Hoberman. But J Hoberman is a great critic because of his wealth of knowledge (few film critics of his, or any generation have been able to bridge the avant-garde/counter-culture and the mainstream as well as him), but because his writing is sharp as tac-he's punchy and eloquent.

    White is merely convoluted and turgid.

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Littlewood,

    oops, that should read J Hoberman is a great critc not just because...
    (stupid lack of edit function)

    Anyway, the point still stands- Hoberman is a great critic because he's everything Armond White is not (but desperately wants to be).

    Today, Tomorrow, Timaru • Since Jan 2007 • 449 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    without coming to the conclusion that Italian-Americans are all sociopathic gangsters with Tourettes.

    Must be when they're not driving ice cream vans.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • nic.wise,

    Serious question:

    Does anyone outside the TV industry give a sh** about the TV awards?

    Thought not. Why are they even on national TV?

    At least with the Emmeys or Oscars you get a temper tantrum or 2!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 87 posts Report Reply

  • johnno,

    Serious answer:

    No.

    And a lot of people inside the TV industry think they are a load of rubbish as well. In such a small industry, the idea that an award (usually judged by foreign academics and locals who have been outside the industry for decades) holds any weight is bordering on the deluded. Actually, that may explain a lot...

    You only have to look at the best investigative item from last year's awards. Let Us Spray (the TV3 documentary that was a year in the making) has just been hammered by the BSA.

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks,

    Anyway, the point still stands- Hoberman is a great critic.

    I liked his review of Inglorious Basterds. Nice to see him suggest that in a way it is more a Western, and even science fiction (that thought occurred to me, too), than war movie.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1164 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    On a more cheerful note, rather nice to read this from the Venice Film Festival:

    Disney-owned 3D animation studio Pixar have become the first team to receive the lifetime achievement award at the Venice Film Festival.

    The Film Festival's red carpet was festooned with balloons to mark the award for director and producer John Lasseter and his crew of Pixar directors.

    They were rewarded for their work creating a new generation of childhood memories populated with Nemo, Woody and Sulley. It is the first time in festival history that the award honours not just one filmmaker but an entire studio.

    Pixar, founded in 1986 and based in northern California, pioneered digital computer animation and has made 10 feature films to date, four of which have won Oscars since the animation category was introduced in 2001.

    "We really set out to deeply entertain an audience, not just children but adults as well," Lasseter told reporters.

    Lasseter said he was "tremendously honored" that the festival chose to give the award to the team of five Pixar directors, including Brad Bird (Ratatouille and The Incredibles), Pete Docter (Up and Monsters Inc.), Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo and Wall-E), and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3). Lasseter directed the first two Toy Story movies and Cars.

    Pixar, IMNSHO, is proof that commercial "mainstream" American cinema doesn't have to be brainless, soul-destroying crap -- and can even turn a profit.

    Lasseter also has my respect for his role in getting intelligent and respectful English-language versions of the films of Hayo Miyazaki -- who won the same award in 2005, and made a very rare trip outside Japan to receive it in person.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    From Liverpoool. where I have a view out the window of the Mersey in the rain. Isn't it strange how the mystique of a river is often stronger than its reality?

    District 9 has only just opened in the UK and. in most reviews I have read, they make the fairly obvious analogy with apartheid.

    Oh, and whilst I am here, I do strongly urge everyone to sign the petition re the possible closing of the Centre for New Zealand Studies at Birkbeck College in London. All of NZ's great and good are weighing in. I stayed overnight in Nottingham with Ian Conrich, the Centre's director, and he is obviously more than a little distraught.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2557 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Speaking of District 9, Evan Calder Williams took this picture in the streets of LA.

    Christ.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Pixar, IMNSHO, is proof that commercial "mainstream" American cinema doesn't have to be brainless, soul-destroying crap -- and can even turn a profit.

    Leo informed me last week that Disney had acquired Marvel Comics, and we were discussing the implications. I put it to him that if Disney planned to make animated Marvel movies, it was a good thing, because Lasseter would be overseeing things. Live action? Who knows ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    Speaking of District 9, Evan Calder Williams took this picture in the streets of LA.

    Christ.

    I can't add much more than your reaction, Russell.

    Meanwhile, numerous acquaintances of mine have been keeping an eye on the almost complete and rather nice St Patrick's Square renovation, and pontificating over how quickly it will become a "hobo latrine" and why the benches don't have nice big metal dividers on them... I dunno, perhaps the Council ought to gate all city parks and issue access cards only to people with proof of address?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I can't add much more than your reaction, Russell.

    That was Gio ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I think Gio's avatar should be a big moustache on an ice-cream truck, so we don't get confused.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It's not so visible in the thumbnail there, but pencil man is very heavily mustachioed.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Sam: Maximus over at Eye of the Fish thinks we should have more latrines.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sam F,

    That was Gio ...

    Arg. Sorry. Mitigating circumstances: Wednesday morning, 14" screen about two feet away from me...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1609 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

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