This Week's Best Online Film Writing: 'Dallas Buyers Club' Sells; Netflix Storms Hollywood
A round-up of this week's insightful commentary, debates, Twitter feeds and nice, long weekend reads on the subject of film, the industry and storytelling.
- Dallas Buyers Club has already entered into legend: "(Jared Leto) met the film's director Jean-Marc Vallee, via Skype, using the call as an opportunity to explore the character. 'He had a wig on, a dress and was putting on some lipstick,' Mr. Vallee said. 'I thought he was going to get out of it and continue the conversation being Jared, and he didn't.' Some 20 minutes later the conversation ended with Mr. Leto still in character.
- On Time.com, Gary Susman argues that "Fellini's influence remains so pervasive we don't notice it anymore."
- More 12 Years backlash, this time on Jezebel: "The twisted relationship dynamics between the two lead female characters ... in 12 Years a Slave are a horror."
- "Previously the enemy in Hollywood was the Communist -- the Red Scare. After the Berlin Wall there was a new enemy -- the Green Scare. The villain who used to be a bad Russian is now the bad Arab or the bad Muslim."
- International finance is the bad guy in the Costa-Gravas feature Capital.
- Watch Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos deliver the keynote at the 2013 Film Independent Forum.
- Related: What Does Netflix's Jump Into Movies Mean for Indie Filmmakers? by our own Zach Wigon.
- Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit Greg Packer: The Most Quoted Man in the News. A short film by Andrew David Watson.
- On Quora this week there's a lively discussion: Why do some movies go straight to video and not the movie theater? Former Sony studios liason Ken Miyamoto answers, "because a majority of the time they are bad movies." In the other instances? "The movies go direct-to-DVD/BlueRay on purpose. That is a huge market."
- A variation on the same theme: Why did that movie flop?
- "With the current release of Bad Grandpa, it dawned on me that the word 'bad' has been actually very good to R-rated comedies at the box office ... Putting the word 'bad' in an R-rated comedy is somewhat of a mating call to audiences that appreciate such humor."
- @chrisdorr writes, ominously: "Comcast launching HBO Broadband bundle aimed at HBO .. the next step in the battle."
- Becoming attractions: A brief history of film trailers.
- How Independent film kept Elliot Grove from his mother's basement.
- A snapshot of independent film history: a nice infographic of 100 years of maverick cinema.
- A study financed by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media found that recent family films, children's shows and prime-time featured extraordinarily few characters with computer science or engineering occupations, and fewer who were female."
- Veteran entertainment lawyer Schuyler Moore is more skeptical of crowdfunding for films. He recently helped pull together funding for The Butler which ended up having 41 producers.
- Marc Maron talks to Elijah Wood about movies, fame and privacy.
- "The overriding feel of 12 Years a Slave was that it should be beautiful in a painterly way ... it had to look real, but it would have been too easy and cliche for it to become a gritty, dirty sort of militant world." Also, "The film, which has opened on a few screens in the United States, is trying to become the rare African-American feature to become a hit with a global audience."
- More proof that Hollywood is no longer the sun and moon of the filmmaking galaxy: Variety appoints a chief international critic to be stationed in Europe.
- And, finally: "It is hard to believe that across all of these top directing jobs there are only two qualified black females"