Movie News – Week of 10/21
I skipped last week because, honestly, nothing popped up that really interested me. There’s stuff this week, though.
News that Caught my Eye
I think Coppola takes the criticism too far here. I think Scorsese struck the right balance, but I get where Coppola was coming from, especially when you consider the behind the scenes history of The Godfather. He was expected to make a B-movie gangster picture based on Mario Puzo’s novel, and he crafted one of the great American films instead. He created a personal epic (almost a family picture of his own family) out of a story of a multi-generational crime family. He wishes cinema would aspire for more than mere entertainment. The modern entertainment machine rubs him the wrong way in much the same way that his comments rub fans of the entertainment machine the wrong way. It’s mostly a difference of taste, and there’s nothing more bloody and stupid than a fight over taste. Still, when the man who owned 1970s American cinema tells you that you’re doing something wrong, I think it may be a good idea to at least listen.
I’m not the biggest fan of Joker, but I do like this. I think Director’s Cuts have their place (like Ridley Scott’s director’s cuts of Blade Runner, Legend, and Kingdom of Heaven), but the alternate cut became a marketing tool more than anything else (like Ridley Scotts’ Alien and Robin Hood). From what I understand of Todd Phillips’ time making Joker, he got what he wanted from the studio. It was a fight every step of the way, but he got what he wanted. An alternate cut would feel kind of crass in this context.
This is good. Tarantino is one of the few auteurs of his generation, and it’s nice to see him holding firm on this point. He won’t recut his film for a market that doesn’t want the film he created, and he’s got producers who will have to back him up.
I’m not really on the happy train for these live action reimaginings of Disney animated films, but in the hands of someone with a distinct vision we can get interesting things. Dumbo turned into a screed against Disney itself in the hands of Tim Burton. And now we have Zemeckis, one of the best studio directors of the past twenty years, getting his hands on Pinocchio. Call me cautiously optimistic. It’s certainly more interesting than Bill Condon directing Beauty and the Beast.
Trailers that Caught My Eye
Nothing really new, so I’ll just highlight a newish trailer for a classic film. Warner Brothers produced this a couple of years ago, and it’s one of my favorite trailers, especially of 2001.