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Showing posts from December, 2010

Interns

Every production assistant, intern, receptionist, runner and/or other member of Hollywood’s aspirational poor can rejoice today as Bourne franchise and United 93 director Paul Greengrass held forth on the biggest unresolved scourge afflicting the film industry today. No, not piracy. No, not the Golden Globes. Greengrass has it out for the exploiters who are “raping and pillaging young people” for the sake of a few budget savings here or there. Bold![. . .]The filmmaker participated in the Dunhill conversation series opposite actor David Morrissey who elicited the following response with a simple inquiry about Greengrass’s early days in documentary:One of the problems we have in our industry is that young people in our industry are being exploited. There are companies in London, sadly, that are making very good livings on “work experience” — which really means people being expected to work for nothing. And if we — we in the industry who’ve had good livings think that we are creating a …

"Being resilient in crappy times"

Before Hollywood discovered it could reap huge profits by adapting comic books, mainstream movies used to attempt subjects that might have something to do with real grown-ups’ lives. That impulse rarely surfaces these days, but it’s the motor that drives The Company Men, John Wells’ downsizing drama set in the Boston area circa 2008, just as the economy was beginning its long, slow-motion crash.The harsh reality is that being able to make a decent living from really working — as opposed to just pushing money from one place to another — is practically a luxury not just in America but, increasingly, everywhere in the world. You won’t get rich actually building or making things, or trying to run a company in a way that honors or respects its workers. The only way to make money in this climate is to squeeze people as hard as you can and then discard them. That’s a view The Company Men both acknowledges as a reality and rails against.[. . .]But in the end, it’s simply about being resilient…

First, then second, consideration

The Tourist is one of those movies that will leave some viewers scratching their heads, wondering why there isn’t more action, more snazzy editing, more obvious crackle between its stars, Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. But I suspect the people who getThe Tourist will simply adore it: It’s the kind of espionage caper that doesn’t get made anymore, a visually sensuous picture made with tender attention to detail and an elegant, understated sense of humor. (Stephanie Zacharek, Espionage Caper The Tourist Offers Mystery and Glamour, Plus Depp and Jolie, “Movieline,” 9 Dec. 2010)KEY SPOILER ALERT(First consideration) She is really good and appropriate in this picture. Something about how Angelina refuses the viewer, and her spare personality, works to remind you to attend to everything else perfectly worthwhile in the picture. Elegance, a sure splendor of it -- it's hard to imagine anything making an appearance in the film that wasn't (as Stephanie says, tenderly and appreciative…

Keeping the con alive

Salon readers have never been the shy and retiring type, but Monday's Life story -- "How I Became a Con Artist" -- certainly brought out the knives. "You don't deserve to live in a civilized society," read one of the 200+ outraged comments, peppered with such descriptors as douchebag, degenerate and morally bankrupt. At least one furious reader actually e-mailed writer Jason Jellick's employer to complain. Readers directed their scorn at us as well. "Is this the best Salon can do, especially at the start of the Christmas holiday season?" Ouch. We weren't just ethically bankrupt. We were ruining Christmas.To clarify, Salon doesn't advocate stealing -- but for that matter, neither does Jellick. His account of a youth spent indulging in petty crimes against chain stores and other corporations ends with a hard stare at his own shady behavior, with a realization at just how much damage his behavior has wrought. Jellick's story is one of…