While one shouldn’t wait for the clock to roll over on a new year to start projects, it seemed like a convenient marker for me to try something a little different than my usual gig over at The Playlist. Forgive the paint job (it’ll probably change), and the name (a placeholder for now, but who knows, it might stick), but if I wait for all the details to be perfect, I’ll never get this rolling.
Anyway, at Framed I’ll be writing about the stuff I’m watching, reading and maybe even listening to, that will mostly fall outside the purview of my day-to-day grind of movie and television coverage. For example?
• I’m halfway through the second season of “Friday Night Lights,” which I’ve been told by everyone is a semi-disaster, but stick-it-out-because-the-show-gets-back-on-track later. And certainly, the fingerprints of the writer’s strike and trying to grab a bigger audience with juicier plotlines is all over this thing. Dead body hiding! Trips to Mexico for magic surgery! Juvie kid tries to make good! Julie being rebellious and generally being awful! Thankfully, Eric and Tami are forever, and same goes for Saracen and Landry, so they provide solace in between bouts of yelling at the television. (There also seems to be an awkwardly obvious push for Indie Cred in this season with prominent music placement of Wilco and Vampire Weekend among others, and the casual namedropping of The Decemberists.)
• Ridley Scott’s “Exodus: Gods And Kings” managed the double feat of being hilariously self-serious and unaware of its camp value (except Ben Mendelsohn who knew better than anyone else involved the trash he was in, and acted accordingly, as per usual), and monstrously dull at the same time. And while there was a mini-controversy over the film’s casting of white actors in roles that probably should’ve been played by those of Middle Eastern or African descent/origin, Scott wasn’t entirely wrong when he claimed (in the most borderline offensively dismissively way possible) that he wouldn’t be able to finance the movie without big league stars. Okay fine, but here’s a counterargument.
Director Terence Nance (“An Oversimplification of Her Beauty”) offers a beautifully funny, pointed, fierce, and fiery takedown of ‘Exodus’ over at The Talkhouse. Just how provocative is Nance’s shot through the heart of ‘Exodus’? Here’s what would be the closest thing to a thesis statement:
So, this movie is evidence that Ridley Scott is a white supremacist.
Get your panties out of a bunch.
Yes, it goes for the throat, and while I might not agree with the degree Nance takes it, I absolutely admire the passion and articulateness behind his argument. It’s must-read stuff.
• From the provocative to the plainly obvious: Cary Grant is the male love object. Men want to be as lucky and enviable as he is—they want to be like him. And women imagine landing him. Pauline Kael’s opinion’s may be divisive and I’ve never particularly been a fan, but there’s few that would disagree with that assessment of the actor’s onscreen allure from her 1975 profile on Grant, recently unearthed and made available for all to read online by the New Yorker.
• Lastly, if I have one movie resolution for 2015, it’s this: less talk about film formats, and more conversation about storytelling. I don’t care if I watch a movie from a 70mm print, from a hard drive, or beamed directly into my brain from the index finger of James Cameron. I just want to experience great stories, and interesting, well drawn characters, whether it’s in two hours at the multiplex or spread across many episodes on a computer screen.
So, this is just a little idea of what I’ll be doing weekly. Sometimes it’ll be longer, sometimes shorter, but hopefully always engaging. Comments encouraged!