Here’s Part 4 of Matt Zoller Seitz‘s epic video essay on Terrence Malick, focusing on The New World.
“This feels like closure to me in some strange way,” Seitz says in an email. “The whole reason I got into blogging was to bang the drum for The New World, which has grown in reputation since 2005 but which was shamefully underestimated at the time.”
A guy named Sean with a web advertising company asked earlier today if Hollywood Elsewhere would be interested in running an ad for Direct TV. “I can send you $150 via PayPal as soon as an agreement is made,” he wrote. I wrote back and said, “What about you keep your money and I give $150 to a homeless guy?”
With all the hoo-hah last week about Warner Home Video’s bizarre decision to crop the Barry Lyndon Bluray at 1.77 to 1, it’s ironic that impulse buyers wandering around Best Buy won’t even see the Lyndon Bluray on the shelves. Or the Lolita Bluray.
That’s because of an Amazon exclusive deal for both titles, meaning there’s no retail at all. For the time being, that is. I’m sure there was a big kickback arrangement for Warner Home Video, but after all this time….forget it. I’ve got my order coming to my LA home tomorrow so what do I care?
Adam Curtis‘s multi-part All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace, which began last night on BBC2, is flat-out brilliant. Or at least brilliantly composed and sold. I could call it a fascinating, absorbing, well-told story, but it strikes me above all as an unusually perceptive explanation of the ’08 global financial collapse, and how its origins stem from the philosophical imaginings of Ayn Rand.
Take an hour and watch this first installment. Really. Take an hour and do this today or tomorrow.
I’m not saying that all the blinding and jolting wisdom of the ages is contained in Curtis’s latest doc, but it does provide a sharply honed point of view and what seems to me like highly intelligent assimilation. It’s fascinating. I’m a Curtis fan from way back. Those who haven’t seen Curtis’s The Century of the Self (about how Sigmund Freud‘s perceptions led to the idea of marketing to people’s emotional desires and psychologies rather than offering them what they might really need) and The Power of Nightmares (which explained how American Neocons and Islamic radicals are essentially cut from the same cloth) need to do so.
Here’s a passage from the doc that I’ve transcribed: “At the end of 1992 Alan Greenspan went to see President-elect Clinton a few days after Clinton had been elected. And what Greenspan said in that conversation was the beginning of a revolution. Greenspan was then the head of the US Federal Reserve Board, and what he told Clinton was that his election promises of social reform were impossible.
“The government deficit was so large, Greenspan said, that if Clinton borrowed any more to pay for his social programs that interest rates would go up and damage growth. But, Greenspan said, there was a radical alternative. Clinton should do the very opposite. Cut government spending and interest rates would go down and the markets would boom. Greenspan’s idea was simple: Clinton should let the markets transform America, not politics. He later said that he was surprised that Clinton agreed with him.”
As much as I’ve always loved James Toback‘s Fingers, I fell a little bit harder for Jacques Audiard‘s 2005 remake, The Beat That My Heart Skipped. One reason being that this critically-acclaimed, French-produced film twice used The Kills’ “Monkey 23”, which for me was the film, at least in a residual way.
I was just sitting here and remembering getting into Audiard’s film and “Monkey 23” and The Kills’ Keep On Your Mean Side in the sweltering summer of ’05, when I was living in Brooklyn. What a time that was. It doesn’t feel like six years ago. More like…I don’t know, three or four.
No one outside of the Tolkien lemming community cares about Peter Jackson‘s two Hobbitt films….nobody. Nobody gives a toss that the first one (opening on 12.14.12) will be called The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, or that the second (due on 12.13.13) will be called The Hobbit: There And Back Again. Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, blah, blah. The old Lord of the Rings gang — Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Elijah Wood, Andy Serkis, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving — feeding at the trough, etc.