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October 30, 2008


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Tony Dayoub

Well written... and I'm happy that though your output might be scarce on this site, it seems it is deservedly growing again in the professional realm.



I'm with you, Glenn. I have "Drunken Angel", "Le Doulos" and "The Old Dark House" waiting for me, and later today I'm going to dive into "The Collected Stories of Paul Bowles". To hell with everything I'm not interested in. To hell with it, I say!

Ryland Walker Knight

Werd. Keep fighting. Fuck Awards. Let's talk about movies. Maybe books. It's boring without them. Or, you know, depressing/scary/gross/infuriating--however g-d educational.

Thus, two links. Neither has much to do with movies, and little to do with books. They're more about, oh, life, I guess. Life and living.

--through the mouth!

Herman Scobie

One despairs of the obsession with awards. If any of them, even those voted on by critics, were awarded strictly on merit without regard to publicists, politics, prejudices, friendships, animosities, etc., it would be a different matter. If all voters had actually seen all the worthy films, it would be a different matter. Mssers Carr, Poland, and Wells may choose to disagree.

Mark Jobson

"But I'm certainly not gonna waste my beautiful mind sitting around with my thumb up my ass wondering aloud why Movie X was screened for critics in City Y but not for critics on the West Coast and why so-and-so isn't doing more to counter such-and-such's bad buzz, and so on."

Exactly. And nice to hear a film writer actually come out and say this. Film awards are completely irrelevant.

Mark Jobson

Talking of writing projects Glenn, any chance of a follow up to A Galaxy Not So Far Away, perhaps covering reaction to the prequels now that we're a few years down the line? The original book is a great pleasure of mine, and I regularly dip into it.


Once I realized that Oscar-bait is just another Hollywood genre with its own carefully defined tropes and plotlines, I stopped caring. I've come across Oscar winners, but on my own time, and I'm happier for it.

I know one guy, he and his wife do what I've taken to calling the Oscar Death March, seeing every single nominee in theaters before the awards.


I haven't seen The Crooked Way, but it is it appropriate to categorize a 1949 film as "post-noir"? 1949 is smack in the middle of the noir cycle, no?

Glenn Kenny

I'm probably splitting hairs, but in my mind the noir cycle starts with 1940's "Stranger on the Third Floor" and peaks with 1947's "Out of the Past." But as I said, I'm probably splitting hairs.


That's the letter U, and the number 2.

Scott Nye

I always heard it defined as "The Maltese Falcon" through "Kiss Me Deadly" (or 1941-1955), but yeah, then you get into those weird exceptions that belong in the movement, like "Stranger on the Third Floor," but I definitely think 1947's way too early a cap. Do that, and you discount Dassin's best known body of work (which I recently saw in a mid-90s issue of Film Comment defined as melodramas; strange how these things develop).

Although I think I'm entirely missing the point of the post in the first place by talking about classification instead of the films themselves. Dammit. Uh...I really need to see "The Crooked Way" now (never mind "Blast of Silence"...I'm so ashamed).


"But the main reason I'm more likely, on this page, to juxtapose Hans-Jurgen Syberberg with Philip K. Dick rather than speculate on whether Focus Features is doing sufficient work in marketing Milk is because the latter topic—to name merely one such, as the awards season looms—just bores the living fuck out of me."

There seems to be some of this going around - I commented on the matter on Out 1 too. I think it may partly have to do with the fact that something, an unnamed big something, has been distracting us lately. Who can get excited about the latest Oscar-bait when a much more interesting movie is playing out on our TV screens?

Anyway, Hollywood has reached a nadir this past decade. We've been in a cultural as well as a political funk and if the majority of people just regarded new releases as fodder for a night's entertainment, with the advent of DVD, the improvement and expansion of television, and yes finally an uplifting political story, now they've got better, more fulfilling (and, well we're at it, less expensive - an increasingly crucial factor) entertainment at hand.

May Hollywood sink into the depths of the Los Angeles Tar Pits. May the Obama era spur a new epoch of self-made cinema, higher in quality, less self-absorbed, expansive for the art form. Movies are dead, long live the movies!

(By the way, readers of Some Came Running, an aside: I've got a review of The Magnificent Ambersons up to kick off my post-political season return to movies - well, movies and Twin Peaks - on my blog. Check it out; let me know what you think.)

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