New this week on Popshifter: Paul gives reasons to care about the upcoming Bioshock Infinite and ponders choice in the virtual world of gaming; I recommend the new Ty Segall reissues (The Traditional Fools, Reverse Shark Attack) from In The Red Records; Melissa loves Hard Core Logo, but not the sequel, and is over the moon for Don Rich and Buck Owens; Cait praises Rosie Flores’s new album Working Girl’s Guitar; and Julie describes the “exquisite collection of songs” on Wildlife, the new solo album from Gudrun Gut.
Landon Palmer at Film School Rejects has a fantastic article about the relationship between movie violence and real-life violence, including an examination of what “movie violence” really means. It’s a long article and one that should be read twice in order to truly grasp the full trajectory of the subject at hand. I do question one of the assumptions Palmer makes about film history, but it doesn’t detract from this must-read article (and you can see my question in the comments on the site).
Sundance is still going strong (here’s a list of my Top Ten Picks) and the news coming out of Park City is dominating the film blogosphere (when people aren’t freaking out about JJ Abrams and Star Wars VII rumors, that is). One movie that I didn’t include on my Top Ten, but which does sound interesting, is The East. Film Junk has posted the trailer.
This trailer presents the film as a kind of clichéd horror movie, which I find interesting in light of the subject matter: “an anarchist group bent on taking down major corporations.” Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård portray members of the group and I’m happy to see Skarsgård outside of his True Blood role. This movie has a lot of potential. It also stars Brit Marling (who I have yet to see in a movie, though I’ve heard wonderful things about her) as an undercover agent who infiltrates the group and starts to question her allegiances. It’s got a few more screenings at Sundance if you’re lucky enough to be in Utah right now.
Another movie playing at Sundance is Escape From Tomorrow. The premise—a man on vacation with his family learns that he’s been fired but tries to hide the news from them and slowly loses his grip on realit—sounds fantastic on its own. Apparently, however, it’s a major “indictment” of Disney culture, even more so because it was filmed on the grounds of various locations of the theme park itself.
Naturally, this has raised legal questions, besides the obvious one of “which distributor would want to release such a contentious film?” The L.A. Times notes the following:
Fair use often turns on whether the user is making a comment on the copyrighted material by transforming it in some way. So while a romantic comedy that showed unauthorized Disney images to gloss up its story might be in violation, a more politically minded film that employed Disney copyrights to comment on the company, as Moore appears to be doing, would have a lot of legal latitude.
If you haven’t yet seen the Evil Dead red band trailer, hold off. Now there’s a new green band trailer for Evil Dead that eliminates almost all of the gore (and if you have seen the red band trailer, there is a lot of it). Screen Rant thinks the trailer makes the upcoming film seem less scary than it already seemed before the trailer came out. Um, okay. Twitchfilm, on the other hand, says the green band trailer is “still freaky.”
Having seen the red band trailer first and being thoroughly grossed out and fascinated, I still think the green band trailer is creepy and effective. I’m not a gorehound, so gore isn’t going to sell me on a horror movie that seems boring (i.e., one that doesn’t have the narrative strength to support lots of splatter). I don’t know how anyone could think this new trailer is boring, but judge for yourself.
There’s a great piece in Women and Hollywood on female directors, which responds to a New York Times piece noting that women are slowly gaining ground in Hollywood. “Why should we wait that long?” asks Melissa Silverstein. I don’t know what it says about me that I read the article while mentally composing pushbacks to those who read the article and try to act like women are making a big deal about nothing. For example, the statement, “The big Hollywood films make the serious money and women still don’t have access to those films.” When things like this are stated, frequently commenters or people in real life will either claim that’s a myth, that no one is denying access, and demand statistics to prove it. Silverstein’s article is full of statistics, such as the fact that women directed only 9 percent of the top 250 grossing films of 2012. Then the response will be, “But that doesn’t mean women don’t have access. Maybe women aren’t as interested in directing top grossing films as men” (which is an attempt to avoid the direct accusation of “maybe women aren’t capable of directing top grossing films”).
Thus, begins the quandary of how to debunk these claims (since clearly articles with statistics and anecdotes from those in the industry aren’t enough for some people). It’s an ongoing problem and one I’ve discussed on Popshifter before. One thing that Silverstein does say which could be viewed as a bit of pushback is on the topic of women directors who make a lot of lower budget, independent films. “Why would you want to play in the Hollywood system when you won’t get to tell the stories you want in the way you want to tell them?”
You know I’m not a celebrity gossip person, but this article about Lindsay Lohan’s latest movie The Canyons is actual movie news, so I’m going to link to it. It’s not so much movie news as it is a series of incredibly well done, subtle innuendos.
—Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor