I’m prohibited from saying where I was in midtown Manhattan from 3 to 6 pm today, but it was very cool hanging out and watching it all go down. One day I’ll be able to reveal the particulars. I’m not trying to tease or play games, but I so love this iPhone photo that I’m figuring it can’t hurt to post it. I love that it reveals absolutely nothing and yet prompts an inevitable “what the…?”
I read late this afternoon that Natasha Richardson‘s family, knowing her condition offered virtually no hope, had turned off her life-support system. I read the news about her passing on my iPhone when I came out of this evening’s all-media screening of Alex Proyas‘s Knowing. Tragic news…so awful. And then I went into a Duane Reade and there she was on the cover of People. Fast work, guys.
We all know how most movie trailers tend to sell the sizzle rather than the nutrients — pushing the lowest-common-denominator elements with such emphasis that the trailer, in many cases, winds up ignoring what the film is really about, what it feels like to watch it, what the mood is, and so on. But the art of movie posters doing some of their own flat-out lying is pretty much a lost art. Or is it? I’m trying to remember recent examples as I write this and coming up dry.
This Beat the Devil poster is a good example of the bald-faced bullshit aesthetic that was commonly deployed in the ’50s and early ’60s, and perhaps before. Beat the Devil is a clever little intellectual-conceit adventure spoof, shot in southern Italy in monochrome and enlivened by a slight sense of its own absurdity and Truman Capote‘s witty dialogue. But the Beat the Devil promised by the above poster — vivid, panormaic, colorful, erotic — doesn’t exist.
Another lying poster is this lobby card for the original 1951 The Day The Earth Stood Still, which adds a dark gray monster hand afflicted with psoriasis. Which, like, isn’t in the movie.
Can anyone think of any similar-styled movie posters used recently, or even within the last ten or fifteen years? If you can, please (a) describe the lies as clearly and simply as possible, and (b) include a link to the poster being discussed.
The Hurt Locker had its South by Southwest screening last night (6:30 pm) at Austin’s Paramount, and there’s been nothing but radio silence from the live-wire types who are supposedly covering. Nothing from HE‘s Moises Chiullan, nothing on AICN, nothing from New York/Vulture’s Eric Kohn, nothing from MCN’s Kim Voynar or Noah Forrest, nothing from the transgressive James Rocchi. Snail-paced reportage every which way.
During their recent NYC visit Hurt Locker dierctor Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter-producer Mark Boal said that Jeremy Renner‘s edge-junkie character (i.e., Sgt. James) is an amalgam of guys Boal ran into during his embedded time in Iraq, which only lasted a couple of weeks.
How many adrenalin junkie/danger freaks did Boal run into over there exactly? It’s pretty remarkable that he ran into enough of them there in two weeks time to create an amalgam character. Who exactly are these guys? What are their names? Are any of them still in Iraq, or have they call come home to the narcotized comfort of life in the United States? Have any of them seen the film?
In a reference to Paul Blart, Mall Cop, Observe and Report director Jody Hill said during a recent South by Southwest press conference that “it’s annoying that every time I read an article, they mention this piece-of-shit movie. I don’t want a battle of the mall cops. If somebody’s doing something, I don’t want to do that.” Yeah, but you’re doing that regardless. And many — most? — of the schmoes who paid to see Blart are probably going to go “what, again?” Which wouldn’t be right or correct, given the allegedly superior, transgressive, Scorsese-like nature of Hill’s film.
In his latest South by Southwest report, N.Y. Times columnist David Carr (a.k.a., “the Bagger”) writes that AT&T “apparently did not anticipate the onslaught [of concentrated iPhone users in Austin]. The sheer volume nearly pulled down the grid by Monday, with frustrated users screaming about outages on Twitter and elsewhere.
“‘It’s one thing for AT&T to drop random calls, but when it starts to put your hookup in jeopardy, well, that’s crossing the line,’ tweeted 7daysageek. AT&T responded to the hailstorm of complaints with a chastened news release and increased capacity on Monday.”
Oh, please! The same exact thing happened in Park City during Sundance two months ago. Too many iPhone users resulted in a frequent inability to websurf and grab e-mail, with AT&T reps saying uhm, gee, we didn’t anticipate, very sorry. Sure — in the same way your alcoholic younger brother borrows your car and says he’s sorry about getting into a fender bender. Not anticipating and preparing for usage overloads is AT&T’s raison d’etre. That is what they do. Indeed, it’s what theyr’e (in)famous for.