This week the FAR tilts its lance at unimaginative historical narratives, short movie runtimes, skeezy photographers, video game conspiracy theories and – the bane of culture everywhere – naysayers of dragon blockbusters.
Thanks to scb0212 for contributing this week, may he only imagine dragons and never Imagine Dragons. Send articles through the next week to ploughmanplods at gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday.
At Gizmodo, Maria Lewis gets the filmmakers to reflect on the initial bombing and subsequent cult status of Reign of Fire:
It was in 2003 at a barbecue store that—in a casual conversation with the checkout clerk —Greenberg revealed he had written the movie. “He yells ‘YOU WROTE REIGN OF FIRE?! Oh my God, man!’ and he pulls me aside, brings me to his partner and tells him ‘Dude, this guy wrote Reign of Fire!’ His friend looks at me and I can tell he fucking hated that movie and he hated me. When you work on a project, in a weird way, you kinda want that: you want a passionate response whether it’s positive or negative.”
Meanwhile, for Vulture, Angelica Jade Bastién puts a torch to the new slave epic Antebellum:
I am tired. I am tired of pop-cultural artifacts that render Black people as merely Black bodies onto which the sins of this ragged country are violently mapped. I am tired of suffering being the primary lens through which we understand Black identity. I am tired of being so hungry for Black joy and Black representation that scraps feel like a meal. I am tired of films about slavery refusing to acknowledge the interior lives of Black women even as their beings become tools for filmmakers to explore the horrors of the enslaved. I am tired of thin characterization and milquetoast social messaging being the kind of representation Black folks receive. I am tired of films like Antebellum.
Emily Ratajkowski writes for The Cut about the difficult and personal tribulations of owning her own image among the highest echelons of the art world and the lowest of its bottomfeeders:
Everyone, especially my boyfriend, made me feel like I should be honored to have been included in the series. Richard Prince is an important artist, and the implication was that I should feel grateful to him for deeming my image worthy of a painting. How validating. And a part of me was honored. I’d studied art at UCLA and could appreciate Prince’s Warholian take on Instagram. Still, I make my living off posing for photographs, and it felt strange that a big-time, fancy artist worth a lot more money than I am should be able to snatch one of my Instagram posts and sell it as his own.
Filmmaker Magazine‘s Aaron Hunt talks with key member of the slow cinema movement Lav Diaz about his latest film, Genus Pan and its measly 2.5-hour runtime:
Diaz: I am careful that my works won’t slide to dogma and propaganda, where a form or a certain style and an idealized perspective will control the process; oftentimes this kind of thinking hinders and invalidates any fluidity in creation and greater discourse. Ideologies and institutions fail because of petrified aversion to embrace change and rejection of even the simplest act of needed adjustments. My faith (and it’s not Catholic) in my cinema remains pure. In times of doubt, during the process, and it happens in every work that I do, the purest solution is to just be free. Lahi, Hayop is two hours and 37 minutes and that’s the length of that film. I just finished the rough cut of the next film and it’s more than eight hours already. I guess it may go nine hours, as I realized there’s a need to add more scenes to fulfill some characters and parts of the narrative.
Also, apparently people are having collective nightmares about Super Mario 64. Because even our anxiety-ridden subconscious just really wants to check out and play video games:
“Going back to the game as older people after not playing it for a while means we see the contents of it with a fresh pair of eyes, and the game definitely has a strange feeling that its hiding something, or something deeper is going on just below the surface,” Saltysoda said over Discord*. It likely also helps that, despite our fond memories of the game, it does genuinely contain some unsettling imagery, like that of the eel or the haunted piano.