The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere.
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“Going horizontal: Michael Arnold on becoming Hollywood’s ‘sexographer’” — Priya Elan at The Guardian let’s us shake hands with a guy who constructs filmic intercourse and, in the case of The Wolf of Wall Street, underwear-clad musicianship. It’s a fluffy article, but it’s a hell of a career concept.
“How James Cameron Wrote Three Avatar Sequels Simultaneously” — Germain Lussier at Slashfilm relays some info from the Hero Complex Film Festival about a neverending field of blue.
“Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson Are Out to Conquer Hollywood — and Fix It” — Lynn Hirschberg at Vulture cooks up and delivers an excellent, delightful profile of two good friends who are unafraid to voice their problems with contemporary Hollywood tropes. Even if that means being booed on Jimmy Fallon’s show.
“Halfway through the conversation, Fallon, who can border on golly-gee cheerleading during his interviews, said, ‘How do you feel about being compared to Jennifer Lawrence?’
Woodley paused. ‘Well,’ she said. ‘Comparisons always lead to despair.’ There was sudden silence, and then the audience, which was shocked and angry, began to boo. Fallon said something like ‘Whoa,’ and Woodley held her ground. ‘As women, we are constantly told that we need to compare ourselves to a girl in school, to our co-workers, to the images in a magazine,’ she told me later. ‘How is the world going to advance if we’re always comparing ourselves to others? I admire Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s everyone’s favorite person to compare me to. Is it because we both have short hair and a vagina? I see us as separate individuals. And that’s important. As women, our insecurities are based on all these comparisons. And that creates distress.’
The audience in Studio 6B wasn’t listening, and neither was Fallon. That section of the interview was cut by the Tonight Show producers: Later that evening, when the show aired, Woodley’s gender politics were erased.”
“Maleficent” — Matt Zoller Seitz at RogerEbert.com reviews a “rich mess.”
“There Is No Such Thing as a Reboot” — John D’Amico challenges a bit of brand management speak seeping into the cinephile lexicon. What’s the difference between a remake and a reboot, anyway?
“By drawing a line between ‘reboots’ and ‘remakes’, we as film viewers are perpetuating the idea of a franchise as a matter of course rather than an audience’s reward for stellar filmmaking. ‘Reboot’ is nothing more than a sneaky way for a movie to give itself a bit of grandeur it hasn’t necessarily earned, and we shouldn’t allow marketing departments to win this one. By adding ‘reboot’ to our lexicon, we accept a sneaky little subjective term in as an objective descriptor. We saddle films with weird obligations, and we are hardly conscious of it as we do so. We are not expanding the boundaries of how we talk about movies by throwing around the word ‘reboot’—we are shrinking them.”