The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.
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“His Designs Helped Change the Way Movies Look” — Bilge Ebiri at Vulture focuses on the cinematic legacy left behind by H.R. Giger, commenting on the wisdom of Fox execs at the time they made Alien.
“Here’s the thing: The Fox suits were right. The alien was too disturbing. It was the kind of thing that might have sprung from the mind of a tormented Swiss surrealist racked with night terrors. It was not the kind of thing you were supposed to find in a Hollywood studio blockbuster. It crossed a line. It was transgressive. And it immediately entered our nightmares, where it continues to kick around.”
“In China, foreign film junkets take on a funny flavor” — Julie Makinen at The LA Times laughs at the bizarre questions aimed at movie stars on the global stage. It’s even more fun when you have a press conference that’s half domestic and half Hollywood Foreign Press because the questions ping pong from “What goes into crafting a character this complicated?” to “What sort of underwear are you wearing right now?”.
“Hollywood Should Make More, Not Fewer, Superhero Films” — Tim Wainwright at The Atlantic pushes back against the pushback by using data to show that superhero movies haven’t had the same time for growth that other genres have gotten. The big variable absent here is the sheer dominance — not just in the theater — but of the news cycle. This moves beyond superhero movies and into “geek” movies wholesale, a culture appropriated by Hollywood and fed back to its fans. The other fallacy in comparing westerns to superhero movies is the era in which both grew up, and the environment in which they flourished. Perhaps a better question would be to look at blockbuster movies and ask whether it’s healthy if that budget-range has been overwhelmed by a single style of story.