Greetings, my little dumplings! Here is what I have for you this week…
On the 2nd, Elisabeth Donnelly contemplated the film snob’s dilemma over at Vanity Fair:
“Indeed, consensus seems to be that in 2019, it’s getting harder than ever to be a film snob. The days of perusing carefully curated indie video stores are gone; even if those places do exist, according to a recent report from the Motion Picture Association of America, global sales of video disc formats have dropped by around 50% over the last five years, and companies like Samsung are preparing to leave the U.S. Blu-ray player market altogether. At the same time, the economics and availability of streaming are changing moment to moment; to quote a representative from distributor Kino Lorber, there are more than 40 streaming subscription services available today—and the number is climbing as more major corporations create their own individual options. HBO Max, Apple TV, the currently untitled NBCUniversal streaming service, Disney+—all are coming, all will require some form of subscription fee, and none of them are likely to offer arthouse fare. And while the most intrepid film nerds may take to torrents, it’s not easy to find and download an obscure foreign film if you don’t know that it exists in the first place.”
Karen Han interviewed cinematographer Robert Richardson for Polygon on the 3rd:
“Quentin Tarantino is known for his love of film, figuratively and literally, constantly referencing old movies as well as using old equipment to revive a vintage feel. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood is perhaps his most gushing work yet, and there’s no lack of cinema trickery in it, as leading man Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) stars in various films and TV shows that all demand a different look.
To get the nitty-gritty details on just how it all came together, Polygon spoke to legendary cinematographer Robert Richardson, who also shared a story about sharing a drink (or three) with the celebrated director.”
Barbara VanDenburgh of USA Today paid tribute to Toni Morrison on the 6th
“I first encountered Morrison’s work when I plucked ‘The Bluest Eye’ from a non-mandatory high school summer reading list – not because I had any grasp of its importance, but because I liked the title. I did not know the blue eye in question was the one sought by Pecola Breedlove, a black girl so abused and tormented, one made to feel so ugly in her black skin, she longed for traits of socially revered white beauty.
‘Please, God,’ she whispered into the palm of her hand. ‘Please make me disappear.’ She squeezed her eyes shut. Little parts of her body faded away.’ Did I stop breathing the first time I read that, like I did just now? It’s possible; that section is underlined in careful blue pen. I know I stopped breathing a few years later when I picked up “Beloved” and can recall being knocked winded again and again by a dead baby’s restless spirit as Morrison grappled with an America that had not yet grappled with its original sin of slavery.”
Also on the 6th, our old friend Kate Erbland discussed Bruce Springsteen’s favorite movies on IndieWire:
“Bruce Springsteen’s career has always been intertwined with his love of the movies, from noir thrillers like ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ to dramas following tough-talking American anti-heroes like ‘Two-Lane Blacktop.’ The Boss’ affection for ’70s gems and ’40s classics hasn’t kept him from crafting original songs for contemporary movies either, including his Oscar-winning title track ‘Philadelphia,’ and other lauded compositions for ‘Dead Man Walking’ and ‘The Wrestler.'”
On the 7th, Scott Mendelson of Forbes, argued that Disney is not to blame for the fate of Fox:
“Audiences slowly stopped going to regular movies and started flocking exclusively to event movies. The definition of ‘event movie’ became more limited and came to exclude almost anything that might resemble a studio programmer or a small-scale release. Thanks to better and more affordable home theater set-ups, and increased convenience and availability of movies and TV via streaming outlets and VOD platforms, audiences stopped going to the movies just to go to the movies. Unless it was a specific movie they wanted which was also deemed ‘worth seeing in a theater,’ audiences stayed home or waited for post-theatrical.”
Also on the 7th, Martin Hearn of 25 Years Later, talked about the fight to save The OA and Netflix’s refusal to comment:
“I may be just clutching at straws with wishful thinking but why can’t the employees at Netflix confirm something that their bosses have done? Especially when its something that’s very public knowledge at this stage. The wording of their responses seems a little off and their refusal to confirm anything just keeps stoking the flames of speculation. What if there is some truth in the claims that it’s all a stunt? It’s actually still yet to be confirmed on any of Netflix’s social media accounts.”