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You may believe it is terribly lazy to simply reblog another writer’s review instead of writing some of my own, and you may be right, but Elizabeth Cantwell’s summary and then breakdown of White Christmas is charming, witty, and deft.

brightwalldarkroom:

WHITE CHRISTMAS, DECONSTRUCTED

by Elizabeth Cantwell

As most of my friends know, I tend to conceptualize movies in terms of brief, disconnected scenes that for whatever reason stuck in my mind. (So: “The Godfather is the movie where there’s a cat on Brando’s lap, and people are making some kind of red sauce, and Al Pacino is in the rain, and they shoot James Caan at a toll booth.”) My detractors may claim this is unsophisticated, and a generally poor way to analyze a movie. I disagree. Following is my personal summary of the timeless classic White Christmas, with an insightful commentary.

White Christmas: The movie where there’s a big wall, and Rosemary Clooney wants to wash herself in snow, and Bing Crosby makes a good sandwich while Danny Kaye makes fun of Martha Graham, and then there’s some cardboard cutouts of fat farm people and Bing Crosby throws a perfectly good gift into a tree.

Read on…

It takes a class act like Colin Firth to be able to be self deprecating and charming in the face of potential criticism. Well a class act like Colin Firth and Bill Murray who claimed to have done the movie Garfield because he thought it was a Coen brother’s flick. 

Don’t worry Colin, this Reel Talk contributor was kinda charmed by Mama Mia. Now, Garfield? Not so much.

(via underthewindow)

Rooney Mara

When I watched the trailers for David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I realized I completely misjudged The Millennium Trilogy. Of course my friends had started carrying around copies of the books a few years ago, but I judged them by their titles and blew them off as either pulpy love stories or beach reading. 

Fincher’s trailers immediately dive into the reality that these books are gritty, action-packed mysteries centered around a strong female. Rather than wait for the December 21st release date, which was over a month away, my roommate and I decided to stream Niels Arden Oplev’s swedish original Män som hatar kvinnor. See, the swedish author Stieg Larsson didn’t name his first book after the heroine’s tattoo, he named it Men Who Hate Women, because that. is. what. the. story. is. about. Lisbeth Salander’s entire plot line begins with (vague spoiler alert)

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There’s a lot of evidence that they were incredibly unsuccessful being heterosexual, and at the very least, these men cared for each other greatly and wanted to spend their lives together. But in order to be truthful to the period, I could not have them talking about their love for each other. That was inaccurate. … And I do think a lot of people in the gay and lesbian community were hoping for that kind of film, but I think we have to be truthful about what gay life was like back then, and it looked nothing like it looks now.

Dustin Lance Black talks about portraying the relationship between J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson in a way that was appropriate for the pre-Stonewall era. 

After listening to Terry Gross interview Black last night, this film jumped to the top of my Films-I’m-Willing-To-Pay-To-See List. 

(via nprfreshair)

Film is arguably the most widespread art today. Since the first images were linked together to mimic movement, the fascination with recreating life––even a distorted versions of it––has been undeniable. Whether it is advertisement, news, online videos, traditional channel surfing, or a trip to the theaters, video is an integral part of the American life and cinema is bigger than ever. With screens in cars, on the backs of airplane seats, in crowded streets, and even streamed on phones, film criticism is an increasingly relevant field of study.

What are films telling viewers today? What were the ideas communicated through cinema in the beginning? This blog has no pretense of answering all these questions, but will turn a critical eye to films of the past and present. So dim the lights and grab your popcorn, because we’re in for a treat. 

Next Post: Melancholia