Mitt Romney

Mitt

“What do you think you say in a concession speech?” Greg Whiteley’s illuminating and often funny Mitt opens on Election Night 2012, in one of many nondescript hotel rooms viewers will become acquainted with as the insider documentary winds on, as the Romney family grapples with the news that their patriarch will not be winning the presidency tonight (or, if they are to be believed when it comes to Romney’s political career, ever). Mitt Romney calmly accepts the news while reclining on a couch, his brow furrowed as he attempts to come up with a concession speech. “What do you think you say in a concession speech?” he asks and, distracted and dismayed, no one can give him an answer.

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Culture Warrior on 2012

In this end-of-year editorial, Landon Palmer discusses the pattern that movies demonstrated in 2012 for telling stories through protagonists defined by their various personality traits rather than through conventional, straightforward characters. In so doing, movies this year showed how our individual identities have become divided within various aspects of modern social life. This trend made some of the year’s movies incredibly interesting, while others suffered from a personality disorder. Landon argues that movies ranging from The Hunger Games to The Dark Knight Rises to Holy Motors alongside cultural events and institutions like the Presidential election, social media, and “Gangnam Style” all contributed to a year in which popular culture is finally became open about its constant engagement with multiple cults of personality. Six years ago, Time magazine famously named its eagerly anticipated “Person of the Year” You in big, bold letters. Its cover even featured a mirror. As a result of the established popularity of supposedly democratized media outlets like Facebook and the home of the cover’s proverbial “You,” YouTube, Time declared 2006 as the year in which the masses were equipped with the ability to empower themselves for public expressions of individual identity. More than a half decade later, social media is no longer something new to adjust to, but a norm of living with access to technology. Supposing that Time’s prophecy proved largely correct, what does it mean to live in a 21st century where we each have perpetual access to refracting our respective mirrors?

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Election Day Culture Warrior

Please permit me in some indulgent, semi-autobiographic self-reflection for a moment. I first began writing this column on February 2009, less than a month after the current President’s inauguration. My first post was titled “A New Wave of Cinematic Optimism,” and attempted to cull together several films released in late 2008 in connection to the optimistic rhetoric of then-candidate Obama’s historic campaign (it’s a bit prescriptive – not my best work). While I strive, week-by-week, to both critique and celebrate the art of cinema in various ways through this column, I’ve also thought of filmmaking for much of my adult life as a fundamentally political practice. The practice of making films, particularly studio films, is deeply invested within and respondent to the plural political landscape of a given moment. Thus, my work on FSR for the past three and a half years has been thoroughly – sometimes overtly – contextualized by the political events that have occurred during the Obama administration. The death of Osama bin Laden, the residual effects of the 2008 financial crisis, Occupy Wall Street, LGBTQ rights, post-Arab Spring politics, the Tea Party, and Iron Marx have all served as direct or indirect subjects of this column. This has not been an effort to simply incorporate the latest hot-button political topic into a movie site. Instead (and against the fundamental logic by which the Internet works), I’ve attempted to use this space as a means of continually working through an evolving understanding of the contemporary intersection between […]

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Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

Last weekend seems like such a long time ago. It seems like it was in another galaxy far, far away, in fact. We now live in this strange new world in which Disney not only owns Lucasfilm but is also putting out a new live-action Star Wars movie in two and a half years. And yet, that’s still not the biggest thing to happen in the last seven days. This is, of course, the destruction of Hurricane Sandy, which has affected the film industry to a degree. For one thing, as we reported, it destroyed a major piece of movie memorabilia — the HMS Bounty replica used in Mutiny on the Bounty and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest — and two human lives with it. Also, a number of films that opened or were supposed to open in limited release in New York City this weekend have been delayed until power is restored to the venues hosting them. Meanwhile, individuals without electricity in the wake of the storm have been unable to read FSR all week. The least of their problems, obviously, and I’m not saying it’s any priority of theirs to catch up with our content, but if they are looking to do so once they can, the recap is here. Seriously, though, join us in helping the people in need post-Sandy by maybe skipping just one movie and donating the ticket money instead. If you are catching up or looking for highlights, let us first remind you of our […]

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Drinking Games

By now, you have to be sick of pretty much any political campaign. Just think, in a short week, this will all be over and you’ll either cheer or cry, depending on your candidate of choice. Don’t you love American politics? In this last week of the 2012 election season, you can watch the absurd election comedy The Campaign, and then you can realize that in the context of the races going on around the country, it’s really not all that absurd. That thought alone should drive you to drink, so why not enjoy some structured drinking as you enjoy the movie?

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Joss Whedon Endorses Romney

Hurricane Sandy may be en route to obliterating our friends on the East Coast, the western area of the country remains unaffected. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not still focused on impending doom. All the way out in Hollywood, The Avengers director Joss Whedon has publicly announced his endorsement in the Presidential Election. And while you may think that Hollywood is full of bleeding heart liberals, you’re absolutely right. But even a Hollywood liberal can endorse Gov. Mitt Romney, right? Stranger things have happened. As it turns out, this one is about the issues. Because as Whedon explains in the following video, a vote for Romney is a vote for the zombie apocalypse. And if movies have taught we movie fans anything, it’s how to survive such an event. So grab your sword and your sawed-off shotgun and head to the polls, friends. We don’t usually get very political around here, but we’ve got to admit that following the man who directed The Avengers sounds like a reasonable thing to do. He hasn’t let us down yet…

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Mitt Romney currently leads the Republican Presidential nominee field in two distinct ways. The first is in spending, where he’s made it rain $100m so far in order to not clinch the nomination. The second is in delegates, which is it where it counts. Still, he’s facing the possibility of not getting enough delegates before the National Convention in late August which means there’s a chance (albeit a slim one) he won’t be the eventual nominee. He’s also facing difficult internal numbers and that general feeling of, you know, meh-ness from potential supporters. So, he’s John Carter. The correlations are clear: both are inevitable successes by a traditional standpoint, both are flawed in ways that injure their ability to connect with an audience, they’re both in danger of failing, and they both spent a ton of money to get to where they are. There’s a lesson in all of this and hopefully the major studios are paying close attention.

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