THE ARRIVAL IN MY LIFE of Film Culture 28 in the spring of 1963, with Andrew Sarris’s preliminary sorting out of American movie directors that became the basis for his greatly expanded The American Cinema (published in 1968), was one of those before and after moments. It’s hard even to reconstruct what it was like to have the past of American film suddenly spread out, a map of a country known previously only through rumor and fragmentary glimpses. Not just a map: a map accompanied with pointed commentary by a guide at once passionate and endlessly curious. It was all so exotic then. The very titles of the movies seemed like a strange kind of recovered poetry. But it was our own past, a lost world of universal neighborhood experience that had been occulted and buried. He pointed out things that I didn’t know existed and argued persuasively for their importance. Rarely had there been such a cascade of information and insights and urgently communicated judgments.
andrew sarris, 1928–2012
O’Brien, Geoffrey. Stolen Glimpses, Captive Shadows
Old Man: When young, we mourn for one woman… as we grow old, for women in general. The tragedy of life is that man is never free yet strives for what he can never be. The thing most feared in secret always happens. My life, my loves, where are they now? But the more the pain grows, the more this instinct for life somehow asserts itself. The necessary beauty in life is in giving yourself to it completely. Only later will it clarify itself and become coherent.
Video Backpacker: To me, my thing is, a video image is much more powerful and useful than an actual event. Like back when I used to go out, when I was last out, I was walking down the street and this guy, that came barreling out of a bar, fell right in front of me, and he had a knife right in his back, landed right on the ground and… Well, I have no reference to it now. I can’t put it on pause. I can’t put it on slow mo and see all the little details. And the blood, it was all wrong. It didn’t look like blood. The hue was off. I couldn’t adjust the hue. I was seeing it for real, but it just wasn’t right. And I didn’t even see the knife impact on the body. I missed that part.
Old Anarchist: And remember: the passion for destruction is also a creative passion.
Working on Same Painting: Sorry, I’m late.
Having a Breakthrough Day: That’s okay, time doesn’t exist.
Presents a day in the life in Austin, Texas among its social outcasts and misfits, predominantly the twenty-something set, using a series of linear vignettes. These characters, who in some manner just don’t fit into the establishment norms, move seamlessly from one scene to the next, randomly coming and going into one another’s lives. Highlights include a UFO buff who adamantly insists that the U.S. has been on the moon since the 1950s, a woman who produces a glass slide purportedly of Madonna’s pap smear, and an old anarchist who sympathetically shares his philosophy of life with a robber.
Quentin Tarantino’s first novel is, to borrow a phrase from his oeuvre, a tasty beverage.
It’s his novelization of his own 2019 film “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” (the book’s title omits the ellipsis). It’s been issued in the format of a 1970s-era mass-market paperback, the sort of book you used to find spinning in a drugstore rack.
It’s got a retro-tacky tagline: “Hollywood 1969 … You shoulda been there!” If it weren’t so plump, at 400 pages, you could slip it into the back pocket of your flared corduroys.
Quentin Tarantino Turns His Most Recent Movie Into a Pulpy Page-Turner
The Times of Harvey Milk – 1984
A documentary of the successful career and assassination of San Francisco’s first elected gay city supervisor.
Paris is Burning – 1990
A chronicle of New York’s drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality.
Incident at Oglala – 1992
This film describes the events surrounding a 1975 shootout at the Pine Ridge reservation in S. Dakota where two FBI agents were killed.
Crumb – 1994
An intimate portrait of controversial cartoonist Robert Crumb and his traumatized family.
Hoop Dreams – 1994
A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills – 1996
A horrific triple child murder leads to an indictment and trial of three nonconformist boys based on questionable evidence.
Filth and the Fury – 2000
A film about the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.
Sunshine Hotel – 2001
A portrait of one of the few remaining men only ‘flophouses’ on New York City’s infamous skid row, the Bowery.
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room – 2005
A documentary about the Enron corporation, its faulty and corrupt business practices, and how they led to its fall.
I’m Not Your Negro – 2016
Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Films. It is hard to believe that my parents’ generation would walk into a cinema when it suited them, without paying any attention to what film it was that they were going to see. Indeed they weren’t even concerned whether the film had just started, or was halfway through, or was in the middle of the final chase sequence. They would just happily settle into their seats with their sweets and cigarettes and start trying to decipher the plot, and who was the villain, and why everybody was in Hamburg, and then the film would end, and they would sit patiently through the advertisements and newsreels, eat an ice cream, and then the film would begin again, and they would finally discover who everyone was, and why they had all gone to Hamburg, and at exactly the moment when they’d understood what the hell was going on, and could now enjoy the denouement, they’d all shout, “Oh! This is where we came in!”— and leave. How are you supposed to write for an audience like that? The great farce-writer Ben Travers once told me that in the ’30s, posh “country people” would invariably arrive in their seats at the back of the stalls about twenty minutes late (to show that they were not bound by the trivial conventions of the proletariat) and that he therefore always added a brief summary of the plot at that point, so the toffs could get up to speed. But Ben at least knew roughly when they’d be arriving. Did the “Oh! This is where we came in!” brigade ever consider why they liked watching a movie in the wrong order? Well, not my parents, anyway.
Cleese, John. So, Anyway…
Highest-grossing films of 1990
1 Ghost Paramount $505,702,588
2 Home Alone Fox $476,684,675
3 Pretty Woman Disney $463,406,268
4 Dances with Wolves Orion $424,208,848
5 Total Recall Sony / Carolco $261,317,921
6 Back to the Future Part III Universal $244,527,583
7 Die Hard 2 Fox $240,031,094
8 Presumed Innocent Warner Bros. $221,303,188
9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles New Line $201,965,915
10 Kindergarten Cop Universal $201,957,688
DEADLINE: We know Mark Zuckerberg didn’t cooperate but did you ever meet Eduardo Saverin, the character played by Andrew Garfield?
SORKIN: Once Eduardo signed that non-disclosure agreement after his settlement, he disappeared off the face of the earth. We don’t know exactly how much he received, but it’s in the hundreds of millions. And it will probably go over a billion because he also does now own a lot of Facebook stock. But on October 1st, the movie opened and that’s the day I met Eduardo. I got a phone call from our producer Scott Rudin that a representative for Eduardo had contacted him late at night. He wanted to see the movie. So we set up a private screening for him in New York right before Lady Gaga’s private screening. It’s true. I went to meet him when the movie was over and you could have performed surgery on him without anesthesia at that point in time. I gotta say, he was a deer in the headlights which is an understatement. He did certainly expect to like the movie a lot, but you could tell in his face that he had just relived the thing. It’s an unreasonable experience that hardly anybody, including myself, knows what it’s like to have a chapter from your life suddenly written, directed, lit, shot, and performed by actors. That was the first and only time I met Eduardo.
Every seven years since 1964, in what’s known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.
Apted on what this experience has been like for him
“What can I say? I mean, it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever done, the thing I’m most proud of. It’s nerve-wracking, because you think you’re always going to blow it and you’ll wreck the whole thing. It seems fragile, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about it. I’ve made mistakes on it and had to correct those mistakes. You know, particularly I got into a situation, I think, early on where I became judgmental about people — that if they didn’t agree with my standards of success, failure, happiness, whatever, then I would feel they were the lesser for it. And also I try to play God. I try to predict what might happen to people, and sort of set it all up for that. And I did that, and that was an embarrassing mistake. And I think what I’ve learned all the way through is the less I do, the better.”