Friday, November 11, 2011
From the MaddowBlog:
Politics Goes to the Movies: 'Into the Abyss'
Werner Herzog makes his intentions clear early in his powerful new documentary “Into the Abyss.” “I do not think human beings should be executed,” he says. “Simple as that.” The moment is particularly charged because it’s not stated in narration; he says it to Michael James Perry, a smiling 28-year-old who is days from execution. The filmmaker’s word choice is telling—he does not speak of the “death penalty,” which is the charged language of an issue. Herzog is less interested in the political implications than the philosophical ones.
The Most Definitive Music Cues in Film History
That’s the power of a well-chosen music cue in film; when they’re properly matched, we’ve suddenly married them, and anytime we hear that song we see that scene, and anytime we think of that movie, we hear that song. After the jump, we present ten songs that are forever tied to the movies that showcased them (and, just to keep it fair, there’s no songs from “musicals,” and no songs that were composed specifically for the film in question). Agree, disagree, and add your own in the comments.
Open Thread: Let’s Talk About Adam Sandler
I’m a fan of subway film criticism. It’s one of the pleasures of being a movie fan in New York, like Film Forum double-features and midnight cult films at the Landmark Sunshine; a wise guy with a Sharpie often articulates our collective reaction to a film more succinctly with a few words on a subway ad than any number of critics can in a thousand-word review. Take, for example, this pointed little barb recently spotted on the L-line. Scrawled across the poster for Jack and Jill, the new Adam Sandler picture in which he plays both a regular Joe and — wait for it — his own twin sister, are the words “not even f*cking trying anymore.” Glancing over at Sandler’s wide-eyed mug, it seems a perfect marriage of word and image.
Let’s Plug Our Favorite Filmmakers into Unexpected Genres
Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned here: too often, filmmakers become defined by a certain type of movie, locked into a specific genre or style. Some break out occasionally (see Scorsese’s upcoming Hugo), and a few have made a career of genre-jumping (think Danny Boyle). But back in the “studio era,” directors-for-hire like Howard Hawks and John Ford were given assignments, and had to adapt themselves into journeymen who could make any kind of film with style and skill. After the jump, we’ve compiled a short list of a few filmmakers who we’d like to see class up some B-movies.
‘Melancholia’ and Our Favorite Cinematic Apocalypses
Apocalypses are a popular topic for filmmakers—though most are more interested in the narrative possibilities of the post-apocalyptic world than the event itself. Melancholia distinguishes itself by being something of a pre-apocalyptic picture, delving into the anxiety and fear of those who are awaiting the earth’s possible collision with a foreign object (timely!). After the jump, we’ll take a look back at a few of our favorite cinematic apocalypses.
Trailer Park: Cops, Corman, and Our Old Friend Eddie
Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got six new trailers this week, including new vehicles for The Rock, Kristen Stewart, and Jonah Hill (and an old one for Eddie Murphy); check ‘em out after the jump.