Slate Wars redux: this is getting juicy. Salon‘s Stephanie Zacharek weighs in on the Tim Noah/David Edelstein debate as to whether or not Steven Spielberg’s references to 9/11 in "War of the Worlds" were exploitative, meaningful, or meaningless.
But even though science-fiction is allowed to be, or even expected to be, about larger issues, moviegoers have every right to bristle when a filmmaker uses images of real-life suffering â€” in this case, images of a tragedy that, for the citizens of New York at least, is still pretty raw â€” for something so puny as dramatic effect. There’s nothing inherently wrong with invoking 9/11 metaphorically (and many artists have already done so); but using it as a cheap prop, as Spielberg does, makes him clueless at best and callous at worst.
John Patterson in the Guardian wishes "Europeans would stop thinking they can make better movies about America than Americans." Word, John, word. And maybe we could force Lars Von Trier to take a vacation from movie making for a while? Like, a long while? Every kid coming out of film school dragging a DV camera wants to make an overly simplistic critical grand view of America â€” what makes him think we need to import any at the moment? Particularly self-important slop like…anyway, anyway, what actually sets Patterson off here is Bruno Dumont‘s "Twentynine Palms."
David Carr in the New York Times pays a visit to the set of the explosion of Americana that is Robert Altman/Garrison Keillor production "A Prairie Home Companion," and answers some of the rumors floating around about Paul Thomas Anderson ghost-directing the film:
A thin young man kept popping up on Mr. Altman’s shoulder during shooting recently, offering bits of advice. Paul Thomas Anderson, director and Altman-phile, is ostensibly on the set for insurance purposes; Mr. Altman is 80, so a backup director is part of the package. But he stays keenly involved because, he said, "it is invaluable to spend as much time around Bob as I can." He has no position as to whom the movie belongs to, other than that it is not his.
"Whatever chef is going to take credit for it, it is going to be a very spicy dish that I will be more than happy to dine on," Mr. Anderson said.
A month after her death and Aida Edemariam’s profile in the Guardian, Chris Lee in the LA Times offers a considerably less romanticized look at Domino Harvey, the subject of Tony Scott’s upcoming film:
A mythology grew up that like her mother, Domino was a model and that, unlike her mother, she had turned her back on the glamour of the runway for a fringe existence. But according to several family members and friends, Harvey never worked as a model.
According to Lee, Harvey was not upset about the film, as previously reported: "family and friends say Harvey was delighted with the movie."
+ New issue (Midnight Eye)
+ Issue No. 36, Jul-Sept 2005 (Senses of Cinema)
+ "War" skirmish (Salon)
+ The States we’re in (Guardian)
+ Lake Wobegon Goes Hollywood (or Is It Vice Versa?), With a Pretty Good Cast (NY Times)
+ The fall of a thrill hunter (LA Times)
+ Whedon flock ready for ‘Firefly’ resurrection (HR)