When the late, great website The Dissolve ended operations, it’s commenting community had The Solute to call home, but the staff and writers of The Dissolve have been scattered to the winds of the Internet. With Dissolve On, we collect some of the essential film writing being done by these essential film writers. Because there’s always a Dissolver writing something notable about the movies somewhere on the Internet.
These folks are talented and prolific, so if we missed a piece, tell us about it in the comments!
Keith Phipps on The Gallows for Slate:
“Apart from a relatively clever premise involving a haunted school play, everything else is business as usual. In fact, the film seems to have been built out of the remnants of other found-footage films. The film’s bad enough, in fact, that is suggests how empty the found-footage subgenre of horror has become.”
Scott Tobias on “the power of the movie camera” and Joshua Oppenheimer for Oscilloscope Laboratories Musings blog:
“But it’s important to emphasize that The Look Of Silence isn’t merely an act of journalism that would be just as affecting on the page as it would on the screen. It’s a feat of filmmaking, too, owed to Oppenheimer’s understanding of how the camera can be used as a tool to arrive at truths that would be impossible without it. Here are some of the key things the camera does in The Act Of Killing and The Look Of Silence: …”
Tasha Robinson on Self/Less for NPR’s Monkey See blog:
“Ambiguity in thrillers can be a rare and great thing: The ideal for smart film fans is a movie that doesn’t over-explain, or try to hold the audience’s hand with a sweaty, anxious grip. But a story so subtle that it doesn’t make a statement can undermine a film. And vagueness doesn’t work at all in a film that’s so clearly about a transformation arc.”
Nathan Rabin continues the triumphant return of My World Of Flops with The Counselor for AV Club:
“The film’s plot and atmosphere are unrelentingly sleazy and debauched; we’re presented with a hazy world of shocking brutality, pure evil, and destroyed lives. Yet the characters seem to have entered into an unspoken agreement that they would only discuss their lives and their conflicts in the broadest, grandest philosophical terms. The lowlives in The Counselor do not talk like regular people.”
Noel Murray on the life of a freelancer at his (catchall for writings by The Great Noel Murray) tumbler page:
“Then this past Tuesday afternoon, while I was in the middle of working on a piece about 1980s 3-D movies for The Dissolve, I took a short nap. (One of the advantages of being a freelancer is that you can take breaks whenever you like, so long as you’re not too far behind.) I woke up to the sound of my instant messaging app beeping at me. I had a text from my friend and Dissolve editor Keith Phipps, letting me know that the site was shutting down immediately.”
Charles Bramesco on the “unlikely heart of the Somali film industry” for The Guardian:
“Chipped walls are crammed to capacity with hand-labelled cassette tapes, posters vaunting and denouncing Somalia’s political climate, and dozens of DVDs, from Shaw Brothers kung fu classics to ethnographical documentaries. A glass case contains stacks of CDs for sale from local and internationally renowned Somali singers. Three clunky computer monitors on a single desk make up a crude mission control in the corner, and a TV plays stock footage from a traditional Somalian wedding on a loop. A couple of cans of grape-flavoured Faygo sit on the shelves. The door reads “UTANGA STUDIO” in black electric tape. These are the offices of Olol Films, the No 1 producer of Somali-language motion pictures in Columbus. This is the cluttered, beating heart of Somaliwood.”
Rachel Handler interviews Amy Schumer for Complex:
“As [Amy Schumer] touched down in Chicago, I caught up with her to talk about subverting both the rom-com and the male gaze, whether she worried about Apatow’s ability to serve a female protagonist, why she makes so many movie references, and how many glasses of wine she drinks on a nightly basis.
Handler: I need you to know that I fucking love you.
Schumer: Oh my God. Shit. Thank you. That’s really sweet. That’s awesome. I really like your outfit. I want to have your outfit.”
NOTE FROM THE SOLUTE: For the initial installment of Dissolve On, we want to include some links to places you can find work from other Dissolve contributors…
-The archives for The Dissolve live on at www.thedissolve.com