This week at IFC News:
R. Emmet Sweeney sorts through the many screen incarnations of Jesse James, deeming the greatest Samuel Fuller’s debut, "I Shot Jesse James," "more psychological drama than historical epic â€” and Fuller’s feverishly intense close-ups hammer this home."
Why isn’t there more artfulness in horror films today? Why aren’t even the slasher flicks looking to Argento and Bava for inspiration?
It’s such a clichÃ© to even say it, but it’s the MTV-inspired style of filmmaking, where you have the 45-degree shutter, or what we might call the "Private Ryan" look. It’s used in "300" as well. Anyway, it sort of stylizes everything, but to me, it fetishizes the horror. It makes it an object. You can’t wait for the next kill. That’s why I think "torture porn" is an appropriate term because, in porn, you’re waiting for the next cumshot, and you’re going to get it in about 12 minutes. Or, in the movies I get, it’s every six minutes. [laughs] But that’s the point, you’re just waiting for that. To reduce horror to the body count and the next kill â€” Is the stake going to go through the heart, or maybe the eyes will be gouged out first? â€” it just becomes this sort of clinical, ADD-objectifying of the experience. So you’re never really in the moment, experiencing it, and so the agenda is [artless] by definition.
Michael Atkinson does "The Wind that Shakes the Barley" as well as "From Beyond" and "The Return of the Living Dead": "Loach‘s objective, natural-lighting filmmaking is its own eloquent, humane statement, about history viewed as ordinary people’s lives, not as grand melodramas of the rich and powerful â€” why would anyone want to shoot period films any other way?"
On the podcast, we discuss why pretty much every video game adaptation goes so wrong.
Matt Singer reviews "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" ("When the James gang breaks up, Jesse becomes a bit aimless. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the movie about him should be equally aimless") here; he reviews "The Jane Austen Book Club" ("a movie so thoroughly anti-dude for most of its running time that the only sensible male reaction to it is guilt") here.
And Christopher Bonet has what’s new in theaters.