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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

interesting stuff I found online (that you might find interesting too)

Heat Sandra Bullock Melissa McCarthy

• 20th Century Fox is terrified that you might discover what the women starring in the upcoming buddy cop comedy The Heat look like. For the U.K. poster, Melissa McCarthy was Photoshopped into an unrecognizable piece of plastic. See Melissa McCarthy lost 30lbs on the Shitty Photoshop Diet [TheShiznit.co.uk] for a horrifying rollover that shows the drastic difference between the adorable McCarthy reality and what Fox thinks she should look like. Then let Molly Chance explain how the U.S. posters (above) are no better at ‘The Heat’ poster is a Melissa McCarthy Photoshop fail [Pop2It]. It’s like Fox is embarrassed of the very stars that will very likely make this movie a huge hit.

• And yet there’s this: On Newsstands, Allure of the Film Actress Fades [The New York Times]. It’s not that magazine editors don’t think readers want to see women on covers — it’s that they think readers don’t want “flawless film star[s]” but do want “television stars [who open] up about their struggles with weight, romance and family.” Maybe Fox should have thought twice about denying the “flawed” (ie, over-40, not skinny-blonde) realities of McCarthy and Sandra Bullock.

• The blueprint that dumbed-down and apathied-up American culture. How The American University was Killed, in Five Easy Steps [The Homeless Adjunct]

• All those paint-by-number movies Hollywood churns out? There’s a reason for that. Solving Equation of a Hit Film Script, With Data [The New York Times]

• How delusional is George Lucas? He thinks people will pay $150 to see a movie that’s been in theaters a year after everyone else has seen it. George Lucas & Steven Spielberg: Studios Will Implode; VOD Is the Future [Variety] Then check out an arthouse impressario breaking down Lucas and Spielberg’s panic. Guest Blog: Russ Collins Responds to Steven Spielberg [Ira Deutchman]

• Vice considers suicide a fashion statement. Vice Published a Fashion Spread of Female Writer Suicides [Jezebel] Or perhaps they’re saying that women writers are at their most beautiful when they shut up and die. Oh, are you offended? Vice is sorry you are incapable of appreciating their “unconventional… art-editorial point-of-view.” “Last Words”: A Statement from VICE Here’s the antidote: 16 Wonderful Photos Of Women Writers At Work: Genius, captured on camera. [BuzzFeed]


  • Kathy_A

    Several years ago, I was at another website and we were discussing movie scripts when someone mentioned that she had taken a scriptwriting class in LA back in the mid-90s in which the teacher used as an exemplar of a script with all the stuff that Hollywood wants the one for “Romancing the Stone.” Strong lead characters, entertaining secondary and peripheral characters, villains with both humorous and evil characteristics, action, “exotic” locations–according to the teacher, this one had it all.

  • bronxbee

    on the dumbing down of education: the same is now being applied to our grammar schools. get them while they’re young and you can keep them dumb for life. children are starting school earlier and earlier without any proven significant advantage to pre-school, all day kindergarten and so0called standardized testing starting in first grade. they are simply being taught to obey, don’t think, take tests and to prepare themselves for low end jobs. of course, the children of the well-to-do go to far better schools, but really aren’t being any better prepared. they’re just able to get jobs within the already existing system, because they were at the right schools. another tactic is to blame the teachers for *everything*! hard to believe we as a nation came through the Great Depression (andi haven’t seen anything to convince me we’re not in another one right now) and the Second World War with our education system intact, our infrastructure stronger and a forward looking population. we’re being crushed down now to where we won’t rebel.

  • Danielm80

    The new Core Curriculum is being presented as an alternative (if you take the people who designed it at their word). Kids will have to be able to interpret a text, not just parrot it back, and they’ll have to present reasons that they agree or disagree with what the article is saying.

    I went to a meeting where an educator talked about the new curriculum. It was very disconcerting, because a lot of people in the audience were horrified by the changes. They said things like, “That’s too hard!” and, “Kids will never be able to do that.” I thought: Your kids can’t read an article and understand what it’s saying? They can’t form an opinion and back it up? That kind of explains the last several election campaigns, and every show on a cable news station.

  • RogerBW

    Re the posters: hmm, that’s interesting. I’m guessing that they reckon name recognition is enough to get the bums in seats, and actually putting something unconventional on the poster (like a not-movie-pretty woman) will just confuse people.

    Re universities: if your only organisational model is the profit-making corporation, that is the model you will apply to everything. Things that don’t conform to it will disconcert you, and therefore must be destroyed.

    (Non-Americans are generally not aware, however, of the special position of student debt in the USA: it’s a higher class than anything else, and you can’t get away from it even by declaring bankruptcy!)

    Re the Script-o-Matic 3000: the justification given to the writers is that they get to make their scripts conform to the model when they still have some control, rather than having them hacked about later. But they’re still going to be hacked about later, so why bother?

    I certainly hope that theatrical films will become a niche market. The huge cost of getting a film into cinemas is what’s driven that popularity-at-all-costs style of filmmaking: everything else is sacrificed to get the maximum number of people through the door on opening weekend.

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