Ability to become a giant, remote star fading, must settle for being accessible satellite/pocked moon: According to Mark Hooper at the Independent, there’s a shift occurring in what it means to be a star: "If Hollywood is beginning to question if it needs its Tom Cruises, think what that means for the Lindsay Lohans. This is partly to do with a loss of mystique. The movies are about escapism, and it’s easier to escape when you can commit your imagination fully to the film’s conceit rather than concentrating on the people you saw in the gossip rags this morning." As if to hammer this point in, Jonathan Bernstein at the Guardian has a terrifying interview with blogger Perez Hilton:
He scrolls down his computer and begins to quote himself: "We get asked about our hateration for Maniston a lot and, in this interview, we answer the question quite nicely. Interviewer: What is your problem with her? Perez: I just don’t think she’s a nice person. I think she doesn’t have a sense of humour. I think she’s marginally talented, adequately good-looking, doesn’t do anything to make the world a better place …"
Mr. Dennis of Movie Place, who named his 7-year-old daughter, Ava, in honor of Ava Gardner, has probably never been asked a film-related question he cannot answer. Once, a woman who was leaving her husband at home for the weekend asked Mr. Dennis, â€œWhat are the movies heâ€™d want to watch that Iâ€™d hate?â€ Mr. Dennisâ€™s recommendations: â€œU-571,â€ a 2000 submarine thriller set during World War II, and â€œThe Seven-Ups,â€ a 1973 police drama.
Beethoven â€” biopic-resistant: Also at the New York Times, Daniel J. Wakin wonders if "there may be something about the nature of the Beethoven myth, and the
bare facts of his biography, that challenges fictionalization in a way
the Mozart myth doesnâ€™t." We would argue that the problem is that as pictured in popular culture, Beethoven, with the hair and the scowl and hearing problem, is inherently silly. Consider: Is there any film portrayal of Beethoven that lingers more than Clifford David‘s grinning, oblivious version of the composer in "Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure"?
Sympathy for Mr. Nazi: Nick Hasted at the Independent writes that we’re entering an era of humanized and more complex portrayals of Nazis in film and literature:
Influenced by a Dutch revisionist history book, Chris van der Heyden’s Grijs Verleden (2001), ["Black Book"] is [Paul] Verhoeven‘s corrective to his own popular tale of Dutch resistance heroics, Soldier of Orange (1977). "I wanted to show what reality was like then," he has said. "Not black and white, but in shades of grey. That is what makes our film so provocative. Nobody has yet shown how we treated our prisoners in 1945."
Children in thematic peril: John Horn and Chris Lee at the LA Times write that films like "Babel" and "Pan’s Labyrinth" are "reworking the troubling narratives laid out ages ago in the works of the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen and Charles Dickens. And like those authors, some of the filmmakers are using children to make political points. Others find that putting children into jeopardy gives their dramas more of an emotional wallop."
+ How Hollywood’s power elite lost the plot (Independent)
+ Meet the most vicious man in Hollywood (Guardian)
+ Lights Out (NY Times)
+ Beethoven as Popcorn Idol (NY Times)
+ A subject for sympathy: Germany’s rehabilitation (Independent)
+ Fairy tales for a mean new world (LA Times)