Kathryn Bigelow‘s Zero Dark Thirty is an immensely satisfying real-world, fact-based thriller and easily one of the greatest films of the 21st Century…a touchstone that everyone has to see and re-see and think about often.
I’ve seen it a good six or seven times, and I could easily watch it again tonight with pleasure. I admire it so much that a part of me wants to purchase the 4K version, even though I know it’s not that much of a bump from the 1080p Bluray.
And I really get infuriated when I run into people who bring up the torture content as something that undermines the basic quality of the film (it doesn’t in the slightest) or who say they found it somehow boring or uninvolving.
From Todd McCarthy‘s Hollywood Reporter enthusiastic review: “Whether you call it well informed speculative history, docu-drama recreation or very stripped down suspense filmmaking, Zero Dark Thirty matches form and content to pretty terrific ends.
“And yet [pic] will be tough for some viewers to take, not only for its early scenes of torture, including water boarding but due to its denial of conventional emotionalism and non-gung ho approach to cathartic revenge-taking.
McCarthy’s suspicion is that ZDT‘s “rigorous, unsparing approach will inspire genuine enthusiasm among the serious, hardcore film crowd more than with the wider public.”
“Even though it runs more than two-and-a-half hours, Zero Dark Thirty is so pared to essentials that even politics are eliminated,” McCarthy goes on. “There’s essentially no Bush or Cheney, no Iraq War, no Obama announcing the success of the May 2, 2011 raid on Bin Laden’s in-plain-sight Pakistani compound. [And yet] the film’s power steadily and relentlessly builds over its long course, to a point that is terrifically imposing and unshakable.”
The forthcoming 2023 Telluride Film Festival will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and will run an extra day in honor of that — Thursday, 8.31 thru Monday, September 4th. And of course, the price-gouging locals are charging even more than the usual arm and a leg for habitats.
A friend who was looking to rent a three-bedroom condo reports that “it’s worse this year than ever…I wasn’t going to lay out 10 grand for four days…okay, that’s a slight exaggeration…when I was looking around the rates were from $6K at the cheapest up to $15K. $15K for four days! The cheaper stuff was up at Mountain Village.”
Telluride friendo who attends every year: “The housing thing is infuriating and happening everywhere. Price gouging is among the most horrific of sins. Weird fees, surge pricing and monopolies need to be regulated. Capitalism is fine but not as it’s currently constructed.”
Hollywood Elsewhere has always stayed at the Mountainside Inn, aka “the poor man’s Telluride flophouse.” I haven’t checked the ’23 rates, but I’m guessing it’ll be something in the vicinity of $1500 or $1600. That’s a lot for a glorified Motel 6 room that would run $110 per night in any rural part of the country.
…is that it’s “great,” or so says one fellow. Another calls it “enormously entertaining and satisfying, with really strong work from Matt Damon and (especially) Chris Tucker.”
My first viewing of Gregg Araki‘s The Doom Generation happened at Sundance ’95 — 28 years ago and change.
Three months later I was working under Andy Olstein and the late Robert Sam Anson at Los Angeles magazine, and we’d all decided to run a big-spread piece about the new neo-noir fashion in movies (The Usual Suspects, Natural Born Killers, Leaving Las Vegas, the year-old Pulp Fiction, Araki’s film). I was the designated talent wrangler, and so I persuaded Araki, Bryan Singer, Benicio del Toro, Elizabeth Shue, Lara Flynn Boyle and Don Murphy to pose for photos at Smashbox.
I mainly remember the sploogey sexual stuff in Araki’s film, which I rather liked or was at least aroused by. It was basically a kind of hit-and-miss, hot-and-heavy, three-way relationship thing between Rose McGowan, James Duval and Jonathon Schaech. (An actual menage a trois happens toward the end with McGowan being love-muscled by both guys simultaneously.) The plot involved felonies and being chased around Los Angeles. If you want the chapter and verse, read the Wiki synopsis. Heidi Fleiss (whom I had done a fair amount of reporting about for Entertainment Weekly) has a cameo.
Tagline: “A Heterosexual Movie by Gregg Araki.”
McGowan was 21 or thereabouts during filming. On 9.5.23 she’ll hit the big five-oh.
A new 4K Bluray of a director’s cut will pop sometime in mid April or thereabouts. The NYC premiere will happen on April 6 at BAM. the following day it will begin shoewing at Manhattan’s IFC theatre; other bookings will follow in other cities.
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