The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.
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“The 10 Most Important Dystopian Books and Films of All Time” — Devon Maloney at Wired chronicles the greatest fiction that looked at the worst possible worlds.
“Are We Accepting Censorship as a Given?” — Ted Hope at Truly Free Film pings off the burgeoning partnership between the US and China (like the new Transformers movie) to ask whether we’re allowing an era where what we get to say and who gets to say it is limited.
“Michael Bay: Futurist” — John D’Amico at Smug Film praises Bay for portraying movement on screen in the only article in history to mention “The Iliad,” Kandinsky and Michael Bay in concert.
“Eternal, omnipresent speed is the name of the game for Michael Bay. His strong directional lines and z-axis-crossing establishing shots have always carved speed out of stillness. He uses lines and color to create horizons and walls in action. He seized the opportunity a cast of robots offered him, using their grotesqueness to create motion in faces. Compare Umberto Boccioni’s Dynamism of a Man’s Head with the dynamism of the head of a Transformer.”
Go ahead. Compare. D’Amico’s piece is an excellent visual essay that will cause plenty of people to promptly throw up. In other words, brilliant (although it gives Bay full credit for work that was done in cooperation with production designers, cinematographers and more).
“Godzilla‘s Godzilla Problem: It’s Not the Screen Time, It’s the Focus” — Christopher Orr at The Atlantic is less concerned with how much we got to see than with how little The Big G was part of his own movie.
“Compare this to the many examples that have been cited as models for Edwards’s film. Yes, we don’t meet Kong until well into his 1933 film. But Denham, Darrow, and Driscoll don’t travel to Skull Island in search of a Tyrannosaurus, and the natives don’t worship a Pteranodon. From the start, the movie is always about Kong.
The same is true with Jaws. Brody, Quint, and Hooper aren’t trying to save beach season on Amity Island from the depredations of a man-eating killer whale, only to later stumble upon a Great White. No, however long it may take for us to get a good look at our Carcharodon carcharias, Jaws is always about Jaws.”
“In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Frank Capra stood up for a simple American hero” — Matt Singer at The Dissolve kicks off their movie of the week by refusing to sit down for 74 hours.