1. “Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide Ending After 45 Years.” And Pete Hammond, for Deadline, says the Internet is to blame.
“Another print icon bites the dust. Leonard Maltin’s 2015 Movie Guide will be the final edition of this film lovers’ guide which started in 1969 under the title TV MOVIES. But in recent years the annual guide, which now numbers 1,611 pages and features nearly 16,000 capsule movie reviews, has become a victim of the changing times and the way information is consumed by a new generation. The new edition, which comes out on September 2nd is the last and that will be bad news for many industry-ites and film lovers who used it religiously. ’An entire generation has been raised to acquire all their information online from their mobile devices or computers. These are not the likely customers for a physical paperback reference book. Our sales have sharply declined in recent years,’ Maltin told me this morning. The virtual death of bookstores likely didn’t help the cause either. ’We still have a loyal readership. It’s just smaller than it used to be. There are an awful lot of people who have been loyal to the book and are used to having it on their night stand or their coffee table for years and years and years. Some bought it sporadically and some bought it every year and god bless them,’ he added.”
2. “Different Rules Apply.” Matt Zoller Seitz relates a powerful anecdote.
“I want to tell you a story about the difference between knowing and understanding. Over the weekend, my ten-year-old son and I had just finished eating supper at a diner near our house. The multiple TVs in the diner were all showing cable news coverage of the Ferguson situation. On the way out, we passed an African-American mother talking to her son, a child around my boy’s age, seated in a booth near the front door. The boy asked his mother, ’So I should just put my hands in the air?’ ’Yes,’ his mother said. ’Just put your hands in the air.’ ’If I put my hands in the air, will the police not shoot?’ he asked. ’Probably not, but you can’t be sure. Some people say you should just kneel or lie down, don’t ask questions, just get down on the ground.’ ’If I lie down on the ground, they won’t shoot?’ ’Probably,’ she said.”
3. “Pioneer in France and on the Frontier.” J. Hoberman, for the New York Times, on Sidney Poitier in Paris Blues and Duel at Diablo.
“Here, as in Paris Blues, Mr. Poitier embodies historical memory. His understated empathy for the Garner and Andersson characters is the film’s tacit reminder that ours is a nation stained by the sins of slavery and ethnic cleansing. Duel at Diablo is another reminder: The demise of the Hollywood western eliminated a genre that once served as an arena where popular artists debated the nature of the national past.”
4. “Bombast: Queens, City of Cinema (Part Two).” Nick Pinkerton checks out more movie theaters in his new hood, falls for the new Step Up flick.
“I don’t mind telling you that I was genuinely moved here. I had begun to self-identify quite strongly with Sean, who had lost sight of his priorities in pursuit of the phantom of stability, whom I fancied had the same difficult relationship to his profession that I had around the time that I was reviewing Step Up Revolution—’Got the spirit, lose the feeling,’ in the words of Ian Curtis. And it’s at this point that Step Up: All In, like Revolution, begins tossing aside its convictions with such blithe indifference that it seems not to notice that it’s doing so at all. Though Sean briefly flirts with cynicism after discovering the fix (’It’s reality TV, nothing’s real,’ he spits), it turns out that the system does work, and that talent will out in the end—Sean’s crew are so overwhelmingly the favorite after the big dance-off that they get the Vegas contract and the regular paychecks that go with it. It’s not whether you win or lose, but better to win all the same, n’est-ce pas? As in Revolution, you can’t go two scenes in All In without tripping over a product placement—Nike, Starbucks, Gordon Ramsay, Google, VH1—but this time this backdrop only seemed to underscore the film’s clear theme. In the logo-plastered, everything-bought-and-paid-for dystopia which is contemporary America, the only possessions that you indisputably own are your integrity, your ecstasy, and your own body—much the same thematic territory explored in Step Up alum Channing Tatum’s Magic Mike.”
5. “How sex, lies, and videotape Changed Indie Filmmaking Forever.” Jason Bailey, for Flavorwire, traces the film’s influence.
“Soderbergh recently joked that watching sex, lies now ’must be like watching something from the Victorian era.’ It is—but not in the way he means. Part of the reason that it made the impact it did, at the moment it did, was out of simple novelty; in a climate where intimacy was mostly an abstract idea, here was a movie where people had (or didn’t have) sex, and talked about it, with a frankness that was refreshingly out-of-the-ordinary.”
Video of the Day: Matías Piñeiro’s The Princess of France gets a new trailer.:
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