The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.
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“The darkly sexual lessons of Nymphomaniac” — Monika Bartyzel at The Week pores over Lars von Trier’s body of work to expose a raw ethical nerve.
“Seligman decides it’s his right to force himself on her as she sleeps because she has had sex with many men. He sees her as his ‘induced take,’ the lure that sparks ‘the completely passive fish to bite.’ He doesn’t care that she never showed him the slightest sexual interest or flirtation, and that she explicitly told him that she is done with sex. One minute, he swears she won’t be disturbed, the next, he sneaks in and tries to take her. Her history convinced him that he had the right to sex — a perfect, extreme encapsulation of the idea that some women are just ‘asking for it.’
Seligman’s actions don’t mean that all men would do this. It simply means that the darkness can manifest anywhere. The film skewers the idea that a woman’s history has any bearing, or that a man’s good deeds or public passivity mean that he is innocent.”
“How Belle Became the Summer Movie Season’s Secret Hit” — A ton has been written about Veronica Mars, Obvious Child, Under the Skin and The Rover, but this movie has earned more than all of them combined without much fanfare. Kyle Buchanan at Vulture figures out why.
“The days of ecumenical multiplexes” — Noel Murray at The Dissolve plucks some smart reader comments out of the bottom section and spotlights them, creating a collection of memories from when theaters used to help organically create cult hits. It’s an interesting phenomenon — one that I just barely lived through — but the shift away is a natural one. Theaters are no longer where we go to learn about what will be in theaters, and because of that, there’s a manufactured nature to how cult movies are forced to spread now. Plus, we have the vocabulary of what cult looks and feels like, so it can be copied directly instead of happened upon accidentally (which, ironically, is a core element of cult).
“Wait, The Director of The Purge Wrote the Robin Williams Movie Jack?” — Mike Ryan at Screen Crush stumbles upon another excellent, trivial movie connection and talks about it with filmmaker James DeMonaco. DeMonaco offers a crucial lesson for those trying to break into the industry: you never know what will do it for you, but you had better have something else in the drawer ready to roll.
“Snowpiercer, VOD and the future of film distribution” — Josh Rottenberg at the LA Times talks to a distribution arm that is screen-agnostic.