I saw the new Godzilla yesterday. I enjoyed it a lot, but I’ve been weirded out for months over the fact that I’ve had to call it something I’ve never had to call a Godzilla film. Just like how I recently had to call a Bond film something that, in 50 years of recasting and returning to ground zero, I’ve never had to call a Bond film.
I’m all for specialized vocabulary. Film needs its own exclusive words to describe its own processes, but ‘reboot’ is not such a word. I’ve asked people time and again to define it, and I’ve read about it online—god help me, I’ve even read the Wikipedia page for it. It’s just not a real and distinct concept. It’s a cheap marketing buzzword, that’s all it is. And more than that, the very existence of the term is symptomatic of a rot at the core of contemporary filmmaking.
Continue reading There Is No Such Thing As A ‘Reboot’
Pure cinematic honey.
A few days ago, I went to a one night only showing at BAM of Minnie & Moskowitz, one of my very favorite Cassavetes films. They’re currently doing a 20-film retrospective, including some films of his that are long out of print on DVD (such as the aforementioned, which thankfully has recently become available on Netflix Instant in HD, after being on there for ages with probably the worst SD transfer I’ve ever seen in my life) and some that have never even been released on DVD in America (such as Love Streams). This goes on until the end of the month, so if you’re in NYC, get your ass there. The prints are all gorgeous 35mm. Cassavetes really doesn’t get enough credit for his colors, because on DVD, they tend to look muddy, but their subtle vibrance comes through wonderfully on film. (Here’s hoping the recently announced Blu-Ray upgrades showcase them better.)
The film played perfectly well in a theater setting. The audience laughed at all the right moments, and genuinely so. I can’t think of a single joke in it that fell flat. You would’ve sworn the film came out yesterday, rather than back in 1971. Like honey, time hasn’t spoiled it whatsoever, and its sweetness hasn’t diminished one bit.
Continue reading Cinematic Shelf Life (Why ‘Good’ Films Go Bad)