Summary of “How Dare You Represent Your People That Way: The Oral History of ‘Better Luck Tomorrow'”

Nearly two decades ago, Justin Lin had a bold idea: What if he made a movie about Asian-Americans?
“I didn’t want to make an Asian-American film. I wanted to make a movie about Asian-American characters.”
“I grew up wanting to be Robert De Niro, not some good Asian boy next door.”
“Asian-Americans, in the hierarchy of race, never quite made it to the top. We always get pushed over for some reason.”
“In some ways, it’s harder to make a film that matters than it is to make a good film. Better Luck Tomorrow mattered.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “In the Year of ‘Black Panther,’ the Oscars Are in Panic Mode. Should They Be?”

Last year’s matchup between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-two movies vanishing from the popular imagination faster than Harvey Weinstein-overwhelmed the significantly more popular and memorable achievements of Get Out and Dunkirk.
The reaction to the news among the Oscar monitors was swift: What fresh hell is this? The vagueness and intellectual bankruptcy of the Academy’s idea has been upbraided by virtually every pundit and movie observer around, from Mark Harris to, well, Rob Lowe.
Movies, in their essence, are a popular medium, designed to draw crowds at great volume.
Now, nothing’s a lock in the Oscars, and certainly not a superhero movie with a third act that culminates in a goofy CGI punching match.
Still, the marketing and campaign dollars that Disney will supply combined with the social representational forces that will form around the movie as awards season approaches make it a highly likely entrant.
We could examine what the “Popular” category might look like-and I will below, sort of-but what’s most interesting about this turn of events is that Black Panther was literally the only film we’ve seen this year that seems remotely certain to be recognized in the major categories at the ceremony in February.
Ask someone on the street whether they like Solo more than any of those movies.
A race among three Marvel movies, a Fox movie, and a Pixar movie isn’t a race.

The orginal article.

Summary of “These are the best movies of the 2000s”

As the film world prepares to leave the childish things of summer behind and welcome the more serious, artistically ambitious movies of festival and awards season, it’s an opportune moment to consider the Canon: that list of revered films that helped form cinematic language, broke it open, captured not only their own zeitgeist but proved wisely prescient, and have stood the test of history to remain mini-master classes in aesthetics, technique, grammar and taste.
For the most part, the Canon has remained an unchanged list of cinema’s most revered titles; the last time it was even slightly upset was in 2012, when the respected film journal Sight & Sound announced that its Greatest Films of All Time poll of programmers, film professionals and academics had put Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 fever dream “Vertigo” at the top of the list, upending longtime pride-of-place holder “Citizen Kane.”.
If the bias toward older films is understandable – it’s only in the fullness of time that we understand what possesses enduring artistic value and meaning that transcends its precise cultural moment – it gives short shrift to movies that, despite their youth, could take their place among their forebears with confidence.
Although Lee never commented on the tragedy directly in the film, it suffused the film’s mood of numbed resignation.
The coming-of-age tale is a reliable genre precisely because of its reassuring linearity; the idea of discovering it anew is ludicrous, which is probably why Richard Linklater attempted to do it, filming the same boy over 12 years – along with Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as his parents – and then working with longtime editor Sandra Adair to sew the resulting assortment of moments together into a seamlessly flowing depiction of time at its most inexorable, corrosive and liberating.
Even at their best-intentioned and highest execution, films aspiring to dramatize the Holocaust evoke queasiness almost by definition, with the act of bearing witness and preserving memory almost always at odds with questions of aestheticizing sadism and suffering, or reducing them to spectacle.
Filmed in a squared-off aspect ratio that accentuated the protagonist’s entrapment, Nemes called upon viewers to fill in the blanks of the unspeakable acts around them, making us collaborators in his own moral imagination.
In the 1990s, Errol Morris revolutionized documentary filmmaking with his use of narrative film technique, including reenactments and stylized speculative scene-making.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I watched Nicolas Cage movies for 14 hours straight, and I’m sold”

What kind of masochists would attend an all-night Nicolas Cage movie marathon? What kind of sadists would program seven of his films in a row? If one wants to observe the famously extravagant American actor for 14 hours straight, why not do it from the comfort of your own home?
Any casual observer can see that Cage is entertaining, charismatic and wildly flamboyant, but what is it about the 54-year-old performer that deserves seven movies, played back-to-back?
Five years ago, in a Reddit AMA, Ethan Hawke described Cage as “The only actor since Marlon Brando that’s actually done anything new with the art”, by taking audiences “Away from an obsession with naturalism into a kind of presentation style of acting that I imagine was popular with the old troubadours.”
Covered in blood and dressed in briefs and a shirt, Cage gulps vodka straight from the bottle and pours it over a gaping wound.
Advertised as a 12-hour event, the schedule – which includes short breaks and a dozen or so trailers for Cage’s lesser-known works – has blown out to 14.
Cage is usually interesting even when his films are not.
When I leave the Cage-a-Thon, dimly remembering a time when I watched movies that didn’t star Nicolas Cage, I resolve to never ever attend another movie marathon.
If it’s another one with Nic Cage movies, I’ll think about it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What the Oscars’ New “Popular Film” Category Says About the Art-and Business-of the Movies”

The gap between the art and the business of movies is larger than ever, and the planned changes to the Oscars announced today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences look like a desperate response to that chasm.
The Academy plans to move the airdate of the ceremony up to early February, to shrink the telecast to three hours in order to offer “a more accessible Oscars for our viewers worldwide,” and to create a new category “For outstanding achievement in popular film.”
Their over-all effect suggests a reaction to a much greater problem facing Hollywood: its increasing irrelevance to the art of the movies.
What’s more, in worldwide receipts-where Hollywood’s big-budget films now make a majority of their money-most of these films fell still lower in the charts, because culturally specific, locally anchored movies don’t travel as readily as ones made from preëxisting fantasy sources.
When a new generation of filmmakers, richly educated in the most extreme trends of the art of the cinema thanks to the availability of VHS tapes and DVDs, brought forth movies of a new, original sensibility, they found themselves increasingly confined by the commercial demands of studio budgets and studio producers.
It’s no accident that the very notion of the Oscar campaign, of the high-powered behind-the-scenes exertion for awards, is the brainchild of Harvey Weinstein, an independent producer with Miramax who leveraged awards to vault his films and his company to a level of importance in Hollywood commensurate with that of the studios.
Because of this very commercial significance of awards for commercially minor films, the Academy’s decision to create a new award for “Popular films” is more than absurd and desperate: it’s rankly offensive.
The new category appears to be a play by the studios to siphon off some of the commercial benefits of the awards-to redistribute Oscar-related money upward from independent producers to the studios, from productions costing and yielding tens of millions to ones costing and yielding hundreds of millions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Marlon Brando, on Location”

“Every time you turn around, some Japanese is giving you a present. They’re crazy about giving presents,” Brando observed.
“Give me a ring around then,” Brando said, finally.
Murray, as I knew, was only one member of what some of the “Sayonara” company referred to as “Brando’s gang.” Aside from the literary assistant, the gang consisted of Marlon Brando, Sr., who acts as his son’s business manager; a pretty, dark-haired secretary, Miss Levin; and Brando’s private makeup man.
The year of that meeting was 1947; it was a winter afternoon in New York, when I had occasion to attend a rehearsal of Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire,” in which Brando was to play the role of Stanley Kowalski.
He’d come to reclaim the “Gift” packages of candy and rice cakes that Brando had already opened and avidly sampled.
“Ah, Missa Marron Brando, it is a missake. They were meant for derivery in another room. Aporogies! Aporogies!” Laughing, Brando handed the boxes over.
One of the most memorable film scenes Brando has played occurs in the Kazan-directed “On the Waterfront;” it is the car-ride scene in which Rod Steiger, as the racketeering brother, confesses he is leading Brando into a death trap.
Many years later, Stella Adler, Brando’s former drama coach, described Mrs. Brando, who died in 1954, as “a very beautiful, a heavenly, lost, girlish creature.” Always, wherever she lived, Mrs. Brando had played leads in the productions of local dramatic societies, and always she had longed for a more brightly footlighted world than her surroundings provided.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stephen King’s Son Believes He Solved a 44-Year-Old Murder Mystery By Watching Jaws”

Better known by his pen name Joe Hill, the comic book and horror-thriller writer-and son of Stephen King-watched with rapture.
She was “Almost a twin of the figure” in a forensic recreation image he recently saw of the Lady of the Dunes, the still-unidentified murder victim discovered in Provincetown in 1974-the very same year Jaws was filmed on nearby Martha’s Vineyard.
“The movie and the murder overlap geographically and chronologically,” Hill tells Esquire.com.
Hill first developed a macabre fascination with the Lady of the Dunes after reading about her death in Deborah Halber’s 2014 book, The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases, which details the modern phenomenon of citizens using Internet resources to identify unidentified human remains.
In 2015, VICE published an article about it, and Hill even told the publication he received offers from other amateur sleuths to search for payroll records for Jaws extras and to hunt down data that could help solve the mystery.
Hill claims a Universal Studios archivist told the writer they couldn’t find the extra’s name; Shari Rhodes, the casting director for Jaws, died in 2009.
Hill never went directly to the police with his idea; he feels “Silly,” he says, about the possibility of wasting an officer’s time.
Hill recognizes that his theory is a fantastical one, and “There’s probably nothing” to the connection between the unknown murder victim and the unknown Jaws extra.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The Fugitive’ Still Won’t Quit, 25 Years Later”

The writer points to Ford as the first modern-star brand: “The action figure with attitude.” Whether as the rumpled and roguish Han Solo or the hunky scholar Indiana Jones, Ford had imbued the genre with sardonic sexiness.
“Does this guy ever quit?” one of the marshals asks toward the end of The Fugitive, and the answer is no-both for Dr. Richard Kimble and for Davis.
The instigating murder itself, presented in slo-mo monochrome over the opening credits, unravels in concert with Kimble’s interrogation and his conviction, a simultaneous chronology that compresses time.
As Matt Zoller Seitz wrote of The Fugitive on rogerebert.com last year, “The multilayered, at times prismatic way that it delivers information feels like an evolutionary leap forward for thrillers.”
“It’s the moments between actions that I think are really important,” Ford says on The Fugitive’s 20th-anniversary disc.
“Rare among action heroes, Ford is believable both in control and in trouble, someone audiences can simultaneously look up to and worry about,” Kenneth Turan wrote in his 1993 Los Angeles Times review.
Watch as Kimble, about a quarter of the way into the movie, painfully deliberates on the lip of that dam as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard points his gun at him, waiting for Kimble to surrender because, Gerard posits, there’s no way this guy would do “a Peter Pan.” Right before that, their positions are reversed when Kimble grabs Gerard’s gun in the confusion of the dam’s water-logged tunnels.
Face to face with the marshal for the first time, the doctor points the pistol at his pursuer and proclaims, “I did not kill my wife!” Gerard, his hands up, half-kneeling in water, a look of bafflement on his face, responds: “I don’t care!” To this, Kimble issues a faint smile: Game on.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Saving Private Ryan’ and Spielberg’s Grim View of Heroism”

A persistent fascination in Spielberg’s career is the symbolic weight Americans can assign figures like Private Ryan, who is one of millions sent to fight abroad but suddenly becomes something much more-a man who deserves saving because of the losses his family suffered.
While those are both films in which a small good is done to combat an unfathomable evil, in Saving Private Ryan it’s hard to tell what’s really being accomplished.
The film was released just as the new studio that Spielberg co-founded, DreamWorks, was beginning to find its legs in the market, and it was the highest-grossing domestic movie of 1998.
Spielberg’s historical films-like Munich, War Horse, Lincoln, and Bridge of Spies-have the same conflicted viewpoint as Saving Private Ryan, full of admiration for the people at their center, but wondering at the ultimate value of their sacrifice.
Throughout Saving Private Ryan, Miller’s company frequently note the unfairness of eight people being sent to rescue one.
By the end of the movie, most of Miller’s group has died in battle, though Ryan is indeed saved, and told by Miller to “Earn” their sacrifice.
It’s so well crafted that it dominates most cultural conversation about Saving Private Ryan, which is also best remembered for losing Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love at that year’s Oscars.
In the rest of the film’s nearly three-hour running time, Spielberg is wrestling with the ways that heroism was stretched, distorted, and at times destroyed by the horrors of the war.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What “M*A*S*H” Taught Us”

The “M*A*S*H” television series, inspired by Altman’s film, débuted in the fall of 1972, on CBS. Although not immediately a hit, the network believed in the show, and by Season 2 it had garnered a significant following.
In his director’s commentary for the film, recorded for the 2000 DVD release, Altman calls the show “The antithesis of what we were trying to do,” and claims not to know or like any of the people involved with it.
Gary Burghoff, the only featured actor to appear in both the film and the series, treasures both experiences, and told me that Altman’s resentment probably stems from the fact that the show’s popularity came to almost entirely eclipse the influence of his film.
“We needed an attractive, funny guy,” the show’s original producer and co-creator, Gene Reynolds, told me, “a leading man, a hero, someone who could carry the show.” Reynolds had seen Alda onstage in New York and was convinced that this was the guy.
“David Ogden Stiers’s Major Charles Winchester, another character created for the TV series, arrives in Season 6, a far more nuanced foil for Hawkeye and B.J. But there was no replacing Burghoff when he left the show, a year later, at his own initiative. While Alda had long since become the marquee face of the series, Burghoff’s Radar was, in a sense, its gentle heart. Corporal Walter O’Reilly, an Army clerk”fresh out of high school,” is the first character introduced in the novel, in Hornberger’s very first sentence.
If the show had always been brighter than either the book or the film, it had also been warmer, but that brightness becomes a bit garish in its last years as the series seems to drift completely out of the orbit of Hornberger’s original vision.
The show’s final season, which began in the fall of 1982, saw some valedictory returns to form, but the coup de grace is the show’s final episode, “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen,” the two-hour “movie” that is, for all intents and purposes, the end of “M*A*S*H.” Roughly three out of four people watching television the night of the finale tuned in.
Unlike Hornberger’s novel, or Altman’s film, in the television “M*A*S*H,” the characters show a deep love and respect for each other, and a large part of the show’s tremendous appeal has to do with the ways in which it could model healthy, open communication, and the vital importance of community.

The orginal article.