In his review of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Armond White opens by declaring that “Neo-noir must be the worst movie genre. It’s an excuse for juvenile filmmakers to pretend cynicism while their imbecile audiences pretend sophistication.”
I can certainly see where he’s coming from. I haven’t seen A Dame to Kill For yet, but I have seen more than enough attempts at neo-noirs that think all there is to the genre is a femme fatale and an anti-hero in a trenchcoat. I’m talking about mediocre, flailing films like Max Payne—or worse, the attempts to bring noir to hip, younger settings like Assassination of a High School President and Lucky Number Slevin. They’re movies that look at the classics of the genre, fall in love with the aesthetic, but have no idea why or how that aesthetic works as it does. As Armond so aptly points out, Sin City and its ilk are all “pretending that it still means something to call a sexy woman ‘dame.’”
Continue reading Is Neo-Noir The Worst Genre?
1:11:24 | View on iTunes | Download Mp3
On this episode, I am joined by fellow Smug Film contributors Jenna Ipcar and Ned Martin. We discuss all things movie theaters—from our best and worst movie theater experiences, to the best theaters we’ve ever been to. As always, we go on tangents along the way, take a quick break for a movie joke by comedian Anthony Kapfer, and close the show with questions from our mailbag.
If you have a question for the show, leave it in the comments or email us at Podcast@SmugFilm.com.
If you enjoy the podcast, be sure to subscribe on iTunes, and leave a rating and a comment on there as well. Doing this helps us immensely as far as our ranking on there, which is what allows people to be able to discover us. Word of mouth is always best of all though, so spread the word!
By the way, the beautiful painting above is by artist Marianne Kuhn, and it is called Naro Cinema Norfolk VA. You can see the full painting and buy prints of it at FineArtAmerica.
Movie Stuff Referenced in this Episode:
Continue reading Smug Film Podcast Episode #2 – Movie Theaters (4/14/14)
I see so many clueless directors putting female characters whose only job is to BE female. I would like a list of movies with strong female characters that are not defined by their gender. And no cheesy role reversal things where the woman has the traditional male qualities. Just some nice films (or raw horrifying ones) where the woman or women are just real people. And don’t say Joy Luck Club cause I already know about it. That was extremely good at what it was. – Michael H.
Editor’s Note (12/4/14): We no longer answer movie questions through our advice column. We answer them in the mailbag segment of our podcast. Send them to Cody@SmugFilm.com and we will answer on the show!
Continue reading Advice Column #9 (6/14/13)
Promised Land (2012)
Directed by Gus Van Sant
Screenplay by John Krasinski & Matt Damon
Story by Dave Eggers
Promised Land is a good movie. And Gus Van Sant is a good director. And Matt Damon and John Krasinski are good actors and writers.
This is a movie that nobody saw last year. It’s a small movie, the kind that still gets made by mega celebrities like Matt Damon but that nobody sees because the market is pretty well taken over by other kinds of movies like Taken 2 and The Vow. But I’m not here to wax pretentiously about lowest common denominato, fluff that ‘Hollywood’ is so ‘evil’ for churning out. (The hipsters have that market well cornered.) I’m here, rather, to talk about Promised Land. But first, about Gus Van Sant.
Continue reading Promised Land: Good Job, Gus
I’ve been interested in movies for as long as I can remember. The story I tell is that Jurassic Park started it all. It certainly didn’t hurt, but movies had definitely been on my mind for way longer than that. And my parents and grandparents were both movie buffs, so when the AFI released their ill-conceived 100 Best Movies of the First 100 Years of Movies, it was the talk of our family for an entire Thanksgiving dinner. I was ten or twelve at the time. By the time I was fifteen, I had seen 92 of the movies listed.
Continue reading A Rebuttal to a Rebuttal: Favorite Equals Best, or, Why Back To The Future is Better Than The Godfather