New Fincher, cartoon dogs and Netflix fiascos, oh my! Enjoy a hasty post-Thanksgiving Roundup.
Thanks to scb0212 and Casper for contributing this week. Send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion and Have a Happy Friday!
Film Comment‘s Nathan Lee sees the same old assassin movie moves in David Fincher’s new flick The Killer, but also appreciates what it brings to the genre:
But there’s more astir in this opening “Chapter”—as the movie titles its narrative sections—than meets an eye well-versed in the Taciturn Assassin genre. […] For starters: the soundtrack. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have programmed one of their most minimal and menacing scores, inflecting the narrative with terse, throbbing bass notes that sync up with the killer’s metabolism, which he carefully monitors with a fitness tracker. Then there’s The Smiths. Eleven of their best-known tracks play across the film, cued up by the assassin as he makes his moves. Perhaps it’s my own Gen-X bias to have found this utterly delightful, but even nonfans (and we can all agree that Morrissey is trash) have to admit that scoring a hit-man flick to The Smiths is an inspired conceit that cuts against the grain of the film’s machinic engineering. Their music is everything the assassin is not: melodramatic, melancholy, sarcastic, romantic.
At Bright Wall/Dark Room, Ethan Warren considers the difficult standard of parenting as set by a cartoon dog in Bluey:
There’s a term I’ve come to learn in the past year or so: “default parent.” It refers to whichever caregiver kids gravitate to for comfort, help, or any other big need. And when you’re not the default parent, and it’s your turn to do default parent jobs, you can get hit with some pretty big emotions. So what does Bandit do when Bluey melts down over the prospect of Dad putting her to bed? Naturally, he validates her anxiety, and then helps guide her towards accepting Chilli’s absence on her own terms (he agrees to call Mum, then feigns an extra long ring time until Bluey realizes independently that Chilli deserves her night out). More than the ease with which Bandit plays, this is the characteristic I envy: his ability to stay calm, and emotionally intelligent.
The New York Times’ John Carreyrou recounts the bizarre saga of a Netflix blank check deal with perhaps the wrong would-be auteur:
It’s not uncommon for Hollywood productions to run into trouble, but a debacle of this magnitude is rare. And it has surfaced at an inopportune moment, with Hollywood under pressure from investors to cut back on lavish spending and to focus on making profits rather than adding streaming subscribers at any cost. That squeeze is only expected to intensify. Hollywood studios’ recent agreements to pay writers and actors more are likely to further pinch profits. Mr. Rinsch declined to respond to a detailed list of questions. In a recent Instagram post, he said he did not cooperate with The Times because he expected the article to be “inaccurate.” He predicted that it would “discuss the fact that I somehow lost my mind … (Spoiler alert) … I did not.”
At Variety, Tatiana Siegel reports on the divide over the crisis in Israel within Hollywood:
From power brokers to the rank and file, a growing number are incensed by the hostile rhetoric surrounding Israel and the lack of solidarity, even as some 240 hostages continue to be held by Hamas. Others feel a kinship with the Palestinian cause and believe Israel is the aggressor. The polarization is notable because the industry has largely presented a united front when it comes to politics, from its blanket opposition to former President Trump to its uniform support of reproductive rights. But when it comes to Israel, the cracks are showing.
Tim Grierson writes for the L.A. Times about three filmmakers who “saved the world” by depicting the aftermath of nuclear war:
Each movie struck a chord, but for [director Nicholas] Meyer, the only audience member that mattered was Reagan. According to the director, before “The Day After” aired, the president asked that the film be screened for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As it turned out, a friend of Meyer’s was in the room. “I hadn’t been in touch with him in 10 years,” Meyer recalls. “He said, ‘Nicky, imagine my surprise when your name appeared on the credits. If you wanted to draw blood over there, believe me, you succeeded.’”