By Christopher Campbell | Spout April 25, 2011 at 2:22AM
Did anyone else catch "Cinema Verite" over the weekend? The dramatic telling of the making of "An American Family" debuted on HBO, and I do believe it deserves an award for the most on-the-nose movie of all time. Was it a gag to make a movie about the beginnings of reality television by presenting the most scripted-y script ever written (by David Seltzer, who wrote the Oscar-winning doc "The Hellstrom Chronicle" around the same time the Louds were being filmed)? The best/worst part came early on when Diane Lane, as Pat Loud, spoke the line that was basically the equivalent of "my son is in New York City, staying at the...umm...wait for it...wait for it...oh, what could it be...wait for it...the Chelsea Hotel." Then we get the drag queen who indirectly (yet winkingly) comments on the documentary miniseries before it even begins.
Meanwhile, for two people who apparently never actually hooked up in real life, Pat and producer Craig Gilbert (played by James Gandolfini) were implicated at least 20 times per minute of heading into and then maybe partaking in a bed-full of bad documentary ethics. Fortunately, "Cinema Verite" has not turned me off from finally seeing the entirety of "An American Family." It aired on PBS Saturday night, and I'll get to the DVR'd series as soon as I can.
More notes, links and things up for discussion after the jump.
Horror and feminism is a long and complicated area of scholarship, which can't really be properly addressed here, but a review of "Scream 4" by Melissa Lafsky at The Awl is receiving a lot of attention lately for calling the slasher sequel, in her headline, "the first mainstream feminist horror film." Is this true? I guess mainstream might be the key word, as might your definitions of feminism and horror. Regardless, the argument is primarily directed at how awesome and atypical Courtney Cox is in the film:
Cox pulls off a pretty impressive coup, upstaging not only the cute flouncing teens, but also her 15-years-younger self. Her character—now successful, childless (!), and utterly bored with the “middle-aged wife” role—shrugs off all orders to “stay out of it” and leaps back into the murderous fray, husbands, younger blondes and kitchen knives be damned. She takes nothing for granted, and thinks not a second about sneaking into dark corners to catch homicidal fruitcakes (and bitch is 47!!!). While Arquette and Campbell slide into their ‘90s cliché groove, Cox reinvents and one-ups, kicking this meta-fest to life and providing the only sexy thing onscreen, gelatinous lips and all. Gale Weathers is shrewd, aggressive, cunning, but never heartless;despite it all, she still loves that stupefied ass clown Dewey. And she does it all while sporting a better ass than the 20-somethings.
Speaking of feminism, a very obvious study at USC, of movies from 2008, has determined that men have more speaking parts, women are more naked and teens are more sexualized. The brilliance continues at The Daily Mail:
A number of actors have complained over the years that Hollywood doesn't offer as many 'meaty' speaking roles to women as it does to men, and this latest study would seem to back that claim up.
The study authors also warned that the trend may reinforce the idea that women can be viewed as sex objects.
I don't quite get the motivation for lying about seeing a movie you haven't seen. LOVEFILM polled people in the UK on the idea and came up with a list of ten classics people pretend to have watched, for whatever reason. "The Godfather" tops the list, which also includes flicks like "2001: A Spacey Odyssey" and "Apocalypse Now" that are so embedded in pop culture consciousness that some might not think it necessary to actually sit through them. At least not all the way through. Some on the list are fairly long. Anyway, the more interesting question to me is how many movie fans lie about loving a film that's considered a masterpiece. [via Fark and Female First]
Speaking of "The Godfather," it also shows up on a Cracked list of evidence that the book isn't always better than the movie. Some of the texts looked at include "Starship Troopers" and Stephen King's "The Body" (which became "Stand By Me"). The best, though, are the elements of Peter Benchley's "Jaws" and Mario Puzo's "The Godfather" that center more on sex than their respective blockbusters do. Did you know Brody's wife is sleeping with Hooper? And did you know that Sonny Corleone was a total Dirk Diggler? Yeah, I'm not sure why Coppola left this stuff out:
Sonny Corleone (James Caan) is the aggressive, hot-tempered older brother of Michael and, in the novel, has a massive dick. And his penis isn't just casually thrown in there -- it's violently thrust into every nook and cranny of the book over and over again, like a big, invasive, impossible-to-ignore ... giant dick in a book. Frankly, that's better than any analogy we could come up with. Puzo never missed an opportunity to mention it in the least-mature terms possible ("Did you hear, Sonny's dick is so big that hookers charge him double! Did you know, Sonny's tool is so huge that his wife thanks God he's having affairs!"). And so on. Sonny Corleone had a huge dick, and Mario Puzo believed it was important for you to know, in this story about family and power and corruption.
Surprisingly Magnet Releasing's new U.S. trailer for Spout favorite "The Troll Hunter" (I guess now written as "Trollhunter") does not feature "In the Hall of the Mountain King." But it does feature a whole ton of shots of the trolls. Looks more like an action blockbuster in this form, but whatever, it's awesome and you need to see it when it hits VOD on May 6. Watch below or at Apple:
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