1. “What Does Netflix Have to Gain from Making Adam Sandler Movies?” Is this another example of the company smartly shaking up the old media order? Or, by expanding beyond TV series, is Netflix messing with a model that’s so far worked spectacularly? Vulture’s Josef Adalian looks at some oft he questions raised by the Sandler deal.
“Another distinction from HBO: Netflix is calling the Sandler movies ’feature films’ rather than ’made-for-TV’ or ’made-for-Netflix’ movies. In part, that’s because the movies will have feature-level budgets and because there’s at least a chance they could end up in theaters, too (either in the U.S., or more likely, overseas.) But using that phrase plays into another Netlix strategy, which is to always appear innovative and groundbreaking and thus cool. If you’re going to be the next HBO, you better be cool. (That said, we’re still dubious about calling these movies features, if only because they’re being targeted for at-home viewers. And that’s not a slam—not in an age in which Steven Soderbergh makes ’TV movies’ starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.)”
2. “Pursuits of Happiness.” Cinema Scope’s Adam Nayman on Gone Girl.
“Or, in other words: What is it actually like to be married? Gone Girl’s portrait of domestic bliss as a kind of personalized thermonuclear détente is glib and obvious, but it’s also deeply satisfying, albeit in different ways in two different mediums. In the book, we’ve spent enough time with Nick the callow, resentful prick—the one who harbours murderous fantasies even if he doesn’t act on them—to feel like he at least partially deserves his fate walking on eggshells around his magnanimous gorgon of a wife. The fraudulent façade the mutually loathing couple displays to the world from inside their gilded suburban cage has the ring of poetic justice for both parties. In the movie, where our sympathies are finally torqued more in Nick’s direction, Amy’s malevolence plays more as a sick joke; I particularly liked how Nick’s tabby cat, whose well-being he considers even when he’s being arrested for murder one, pointedly sidles up to his returned mommy (probably because that’s how things tend to go in my house, too). And the final shot fully consolidates this latter point of view: it’s a piece of head-on portraiture à la Kubrick, a woman’s face with lowered eyes, simultaneously inviting fear and desire.”
3. “John Carpenter Talks About His Storied Filmmaking Career, Creative Differences, and the Term ’Slasher.’” Simon Abrams, for Vulture, chat with the iconic filmmaker.
“[Max] Steiner’s music did not disappear. I was comparing Mickey Mouse–ing to the kind of music that I do. Mickey Mouse–ing is what Max Steiner did in King Kong. The footsteps of King Kong are scored: bom-bom-bom. Mickey Mouse–ing is over-scoring. It’s what happens today. Everything is over-scored. Minimalist music, a lot of it from my time—’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Tangerine Dream did some. The Exorcist’s score is another. They weren’t Mickey Mouse scores. By Mickey Mouse, I don’t mean dumb, or cartoonish, but everything was musically it: footsteps, everything. That’s what Steiner was famous for.”
4. “10 Great Movies That Appear in 10 Other Great Movies.” Jason Bailey explains that, by inserting earlier films into a later one, filmmakers aren’t just telling us something about the kind of people who inhabit their stories.
“Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece is a story of transformation—an obsessed detective painstakingly turns the woman he’s dating into the woman he lost—so it only makes sense that it would accompany a scene of transformation in Terry Gilliam’s wonderful 1995 sci-fi picture. On the run and desperate, James Cole (Bruce Willis) and Kathryn Railly (Madeline Stowe) duck into a movie theater so he can put on a blonde wig and mustache, as Vertigo plays on the screen in front of them. (’It’s just like what’s happening with us,’ Cole says. Ya got that right!) And here’s a nice bit of extra trivia: Vertigo was a major influence on filmmaker Chris Marker—specifically his La Jetée, which was the inspiration for (yep) 12 Monkeys.”
5. “NYFF’s Projections: The Visions Persist.” Aaron Cutler explains how, whether experimental, avant-garde, form-breaking, or simply playful, Projections moves forward.
“Projections renders an elaborate cosmography of film styles. Some of the works unfold on celluloid, others on video; some primarily use found footage and materials, while others give imagery shot by the filmmakers; some of them work largely with gray and black palettes, while others burst with myriad bright colors, occasionally in 3-D. Each film presents its own enclosed space that renders the world afresh through an artist’s imagination.”
Video of the Day: Pixar’s Inside Out gets a teaser trailer:
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