At The Hot Button, David Poland has his third annual survey laying out the current "biggest stars in the world." But why look at that when you can skip straight to the opiate-level-addictive Famousr, which has you choose which of two randomly selected celebrities is more famous, and then, enigmatically, informs you of whether you are right or wrong. You’re meant to guess what the group thinks (which we suppose is fair, given the nature of the evaluation), but this immediately poses some prickly questions, as some of the celebs are iconic but also hardly making the current tabloid rounds. Which Keaton is more famous, Buster or Diane? According to Famousr, Diane. We know.
The monks are on fire â€” Philip GrÃ¶ning‘s three-hour near-wordless Carthusian monk doc "Into Great Silence" has been a great success in its run at the Film Forum. Michael Schulman at the New Yorker talks to Carthusian Father Michael Holleran, who’s been brought in to conduct Q&As after certain screenings:
He doesnâ€™t regret his time as a monk, but, after two decades of near-speechlessness, he began to doubt the spiritual benefits of isolation. â€œThe monastic archetype is in all of us, but Iâ€™m not sure that living it out for your entire life is really a viable thing,â€ he said. Plus, he found wearing an ankle-length robe all the time â€œa little hard to bear,â€ and wanted to catch up with the modern world. (He particularly likes neon signs and the â€œLord of the Ringsâ€ movies.)
At Entertainment Weekly, Chris Nashawaty has a long essay on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of "Porky’s" ("In 1982 â€” year zero in the T&A sex-romp belle Ã©poque â€” hordes of horny onscreen teens set out on ridiculous Arthurian quests to lose their virginity or risk being doomed to nerd status forever") that gathers unexpected if bizarre poignancy given director Bob Clark‘s untimely death.
At the Independent, Maggie Cheung tells Bob Flynn she may be done with film: "I know this sounds awful, but since I won in Cannes, I feel fulfilled as an actress. I don’t have any dreams of winning an Oscar. I don’t have those goals any more."
According to Ed Meza in Variety, "The Lives of Others" has now made more money in the US than any other German film before it, save "Das Boot," which has the added punch of its 1997 director’s cut re-release.
And at the LA Times, Glenn F. Bunting reports that screenwriting guru Robert McKee‘s appearance as an expert witness in the Clive Cussler/"Sahara" case (Benjamin Svetkey at EW has a good chronicle) last week was an echo of his fictional pissy fit in "Adaptation"
McKee saved his harshest invectives for the July 2002 screenplay turned in by Cussler.
"The writing is very bad," he testified. "How bad? I have thought of phrases like ‘seriously flawed’ [or] ‘fatally flawed.’ But it is beyond all of that, because when something is flawed there is an implication that something else about it is good."
When cross-examined about other screenplays he finds lacking, McKee "acknowledged that he felt ‘Titanic’ was ‘poorly written,’ ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was a ‘flawed’ work, and the classic ‘Citizen Kane’ was ‘heartless,’ ’emotionally empty’ and ‘cold.’"
+ The Third Annual THB Survey (The Hot Blog)
+ Sh-h-h (New Yorker)
+ Virgin Territory (Entertainment Weekly)
+ Maggie Cheung: Why the Asian star is turning her back on film (Independent)
+ ‘Lives’ chases U.S. record (Variety)
+ Cussler’s writing is taken to task (LA Times)