Notable film and media links--July 16, 2009
---Newest sign of the apocalypse--the Royal Family has just joined Twitter.
---Alicia Silverstone and Alanis Morissette's new weepy road movie mock trailer--My Mother's Red Hat.
---The Elegant Variation interviews Joseph O'Neill, the author of perhaps the best novel of 2008--Netherland.
---For The Guardian, director Steven Soderbergh discusses how he's happy he's not still shooting Che.
---Movieman0283 of The Dancing Image compiles all of the influential film books of his Reading the Movies meme.
---Scott Macauley of Filmmaker Magazine looks carefully at the prospects of making a living as a film journalist:
"It's hard to know what to say to people who are intent on making film journalism their means of employment right now simply because most forms of journalism, particularly niche-content ones, are difficult to make a living at right now! In a time marked by increasing disintermediation in the content industry, the perhaps neurobiological lure of non-print forms of delivery, and expanded content offerings (games, social media, etc.) competing for a reader's finite amount of free time, anyone hoping to make a living by writing about things must figure out new ways of working and getting paid for that work. Like I said, this isn't just the province of niche-content creators. (Here's a list of some two dozen articles dealing with journalism and monetization just from the last three weeks.) But it seems to be hitting many niche-content creators the hardest because their audiences were smaller to begin with and their institutions less able to survive a sustained economic downturn."
---Meanwhile, Pradnya Joshi of NYT explores the ambiguities of bloggers sponsoring products for money:
". . . in many ways, the hypercommercialism of the Web is changing too quickly for consumers and regulators to keep up. Product placements are landing on so-called status updates on Facebook, companies are sponsoring messages on Twitter and bloggers are defining their own parameters of what constitutes independent work versus advertising."
---T.S. of Screen Savour takes on Fritz Lang's classic Metropolis (1927).
---The One-Line Review presents "The 50 Greatest Films," and Culture Snob finds it a bit "ossified" and "ordinary" (although he also made suggestions for the list).
---The Pipeline shows how to get shot by Scott Schuman for the influential Sartorialist.
---Check out Mary Ellen Mark's photographs of movie stars behind the scenes for Vanity Fair.
---Lastly, the Film Doctor' s instant trailer reactions: Under the Mountain looks terrible; An Education juxtaposes a life of scholarship with hedonism in Paris; we should all live like No Impact Man, but that doesn't stop the movie from appearing smug; and Drew Barrymore directs Ellen Page in Whip It.
One film that I was surprised you didn't mention was the Darwin film, CREATION (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BREvUKpZTeU). It is pretty interesting, but only because of the subject matter, really. There seems to be some sort of trailer formula that producers are using, and this is a good example of it. It reminded me of the AMELIA trailer, and AMELIA reminded me of the AUSTRALIA trailer, and, well, on it goes.
-- The O'Neill interview is great. I've had Netherland on my shelf on loan from a colleague for many months now (too many, actually) and really hope to get to it soon. I'm toggling back and forth right now on first-time readings of White Noise (dated dreck) and Infinite Jest, for the Infinite Summer project.
-- I too think the 100 film list was bland and rather predictable, and that's coming from a guy who can be bland and rather predictable. The problem might be in a hesitation to vote for newer films out of fear of criticism, or out of fear that you're leaving off a beloved classic, but it inevitably gives the impression that they stopped making great movies in 1994. (Incidentally, I could come up with scores of films from the 1990s more worthy of inclusion than Pulp Fiction.) I like Culture Snob's personal list because it serves as a nice corrective to lists dominated by older films; but, ironically, there's an argument to be made that that list also gives the impression they didn't start making great movies until 1942 with Casablanca then resumed in 1958 with Vertigo.
-- I've got hopes for An Education, given Kris Tapley's assertion that it's the best film of the year so far. I like Nick Hornby, too, so I'll be interested in it for that reason. (Slightly on subject, I noticed a dog race in the trailer; my wife and I saw Away We Go last night, co-written by Dave Eggers, and it has a dog race as well. Is there some new fascination with dog racing by authors who are largely popular among the Gen X crowd?)
NOTE: Typo in the previous comment; feel free to delete it completely.
Netherland is one of those books I return to when I get tired of reading other writers' crap.
To that I can only cite Woody Allen from Love and Death:
"That's jejune? You have the temerity to say that I'm talking to you out of jejunosity? I am one of the most june people in all of the Russias!"
By the by, David Foster Wallace would correspond with DeLillo when he needed assistance with his writing.