Well, this week we address the letting go of Nathan Lee and some of our favorite—okay, the Zodiac one—articles he’s penned. Heck, Lee even makes me pick up Film Comment when he has a piece in it, which is rare since I can’t actually read things that aren’t solely online. From there we ponder the inevitable question of where criticism can be taken in this new landscape, where even war horses like David Ansen are copacetic about being let go. (Granted, he does have a particularly sweet deal from The House of Meacham.)
Our second big topic involves The House Next Door’s own Kevin B. Lee—who just happens to join us this week, along with Jones writer-director Preston Miller—and his summary of a film criticism workshop at NYU which featured Jonathan Rosenbaum and Adrian Martin. Rosenbaum took the time to praise DVDs for giving modern audiences a first chance as it were to experience a wide variety of films, but Dave Kehr counter-argued in the comments on Kevin’s blog, as well as at his own site. (Note: the comments and the page in question at Kehr’s site are currently “gone” due to some technical upgrades.) So what is the best answer in this new age of cinema? Is DVD so bad? Shouldn’t we have more revival houses? Won’t we be robbing ourselves of a certain kind of film experience? Isn’t sliced bread great? Yes to all these things—especially the DVD one because 2-disc special editions aren’t cheap, man.
We also look at the rather ambiguous viral marketing campaign of Fanboys, which could possibly be under the careful control of “Darth” Harvey Weinstein as opposed to the drooling fanboys now engaged in widespread Internet “backlash”. More importantly, we touch on the piece in the recent Wired Magazine that gives the film a great big blowjob in print, but tells a much harsher story—and news that Stephen Brill is now confirmed as the new director after re-shooting material during the writer’s strike—online. Way to go, Wired!
Finally, Leonard Maltin gives us his fifteen favorite NYC Scenes of all time—his #1 being Enchanted, and completely ignoring all the outer boroughs. No Spike Lee, no French Connection, no Mean Streets—but plenty of other De Niro, Allen and Audrey Hepburn. We give some of our favorite scenes as well.
Join us next week as Vadim and I fly solo like tiny sparrows into the fearsome ball of gas that is life. Basically because Keith is on assignment and we’re still at Grassroots. Until then, special thanks to our guests Kevin and Preston, and if you see Vadim or me at the bar, please buy us a drink. (Or tell Gawker to link to us so we can tell the people at the bar how famous we are, and convince them to buy us drinks. That works too.) JL
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John Lichman is a freelance writer who contributes to The Reeler, Primetime A&E and anyone with cash. He works odd jobs to afford his vices, sleeps on couches and can drink Vadim Rizov under a table.