I watched Tar again a couple of nights ago. This time for the subtitles — every line clear and fine, no breathy muttering or whispers getting in the way. But this time I was bothered by Florian Hoffmeister’s occasionally under-lighted cinematography. I’d expected Todd Field’s film to look a tiny bit sharper or more vivid on the Sony OLED, and it wasn’t. Every shot seemed a shade too dim and subdued, at times even murky. That was it — my patience was at an end. No more reassessments .
“White men are being addressed in this feminist environment, [such that] they feel like they can’t be themselves, [due to the prevailing notion of] toxic masculinity.
“We can talk about whether or not that’s true or how big of a problem that is, but what I don’t think is really debatable is that if you look at the net amount of images in the culture, there really aren’t that many portrayals of men right now [in which] men both embody classical masculine traits and they’re also pro-social, like they’re not assholes.
“The only exception is when they’re a superhero with blue lightning coming out of their ass.
“This wasn’t always the case,. If you look back [into film history] you’ll see all kinds of portraits in which men are portrayed in a more nuanced kind of way. And I think there’s an interest in that [right now], a hunger for that.” — Mark Boal, 49-year-old screenwriter of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.
I haven’t seen Mark since the Zero Dark Thirty days, but he looks more bulked up and alpha-male commando-ish these days. Still soft-spoken, but a different look, different vibe.
I’d forgotten that Gabriel LaBelle‘s Sammy Fabelman (aka young Steven Spielberg) conveys a joy face** while twirling around twice.
I’d also forgotten that John Williams‘ score sounds a little too peppy and jaunty — a tad reminiscent of Franz Waxman‘s Rear Window score at the very end.
Honestly? I’m kinda okay with the center-horizon shot. Or at least I didn’t find it “boring as shit.”
The Fabelmans has my favorite ending of the year, the fact that this is verbatim what John Ford said to Spielberg makes it even better lmao pic.twitter.com/28JTdTsbzu
— anish🇦🇷 (@sithshailaRRR) December 14, 2022
** the satisfaction that any fledgling director would feel after meeting and getting instructed by a showbiz legend.
Speaking as a decades-long admirer of James Cameron gutslammers, I need to honestly say that I really don’t want to see three more Avatar films…truly, no foolin’. I decided this after seeing Avatar 2: The Way of Water late Friday afternoon. A riveting experience, for sure, but I realized midway through that I might not want to see it a second time. Because it left me with a feeling of aural, visual and spiritual exhaustion that I don’t want to re-experience.
And given Cameron’s stated plan to churn out three more Avatar flicks between now and 2028 (for a grand total of five), I really don’t want to return three more times to that aftermath feeling of being rocked and jolted and pulverized with little to show for it emotionally.
Because Avatar 2 isn’t Titanic. The first Avatar wasn’t either, but it told a great story (four-act structure) and felt like such a major visual event that it seemed extra-historic. Avatar 2 is more of a power-punch workout that an emotional massager or meltdown. I realize that Avatar 3 is more or less completed and there’s no ducking it, but three will be enough, fellas. C’mon, Jim, let it go…move on to something else.
From Owen Gleiberman‘s “Is James Cameron’s Vision for the Avatar Franchise a Dream or a Delusion?” (12.18):
Excerpt #1: “After the original Avatar, when Cameron laid out his master plan to make four sequels to it, my honest thought was, ‘Has he lost his mind?’ Not because I thought the plan was commercially unfeasible, but because I couldn’t wrap my own mind around why the director of Titanic — a timeless and awesome film, because it was one of the most moving experiences in the history of popular cinema — could be saying, with the power to do anything he wanted, ‘I’d like to spend the next 20 years making Avatar films.’
Excerpt #2: “We already have a movie culture that’s drowning in imagistic sensation and action overload. Cameron, in movies like The Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, was one of the virtuoso architects of that blockbuster aesthetic. He’s now competing against the very cinema-as-sensation mystique that overpowered the rest of movie culture, even as he raises the ante on it. I felt a note of magic during the middle hour of The Way of Water, which plunges us into the ocean with a kind of virtual-reality immersion. But the film’s extended action climax? That felt like something out of Die Hard VIII: Die Harder on a Boat, only rendered in 3D. At a certain point I thought, ‘So what?'”
Roughly two months ago a very early draft of Eric Roth‘s screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon (dated 2.20.17,...More »