Thursday Links

Taking a break from grading finals to take a quick tour of the film blogosphere:

  • Jon Swift is greeting the news that Andrew Brietbart will be starting a conservative movie blog, Big Hollywood, with his usual degree of panache and wit, suggesting that Brietbart’s blog is yet another reminder of “the triumph of derrièrism,” a critical approach marked by “judging movies by whether your buttocks moves in the seat while watching them.”  Swift’s concept received rave reviews from the folks at Variety after his (satirical) take on the passing of Bergman and Antonioni, and now he finds a number of “practitioners,” including Roger Ebert, who refrained from acknowledging that he’d skipped out on a movie after only eight minutes until the very end of the review. But Swift finds some of the most effective derrièrists in the conservative blogosphere, including Jason Apuzzo, who didn’t even need to see WALL-E to warn against its use of liberal indoctrination.
  • Billie cites the CNN report that Polaroid will stop making instant film, ceasing production in early 2009 (although teh film should be available for a few months afterwards).  I have vivid memories of watching as a Polarod photo developed, seemingly magically, capturing and preserving a small slice of time.  In addition to the CNN report, there is a website, SavePolaroid, devoted to reasons why Polaroid’s instant film should be preserved, with reasons including the product’s unique square aspect ratio and its ability to support “imperfect” memories.
  • There’s an interview at FilminFocus with Cathy Woolard, former president of the Atlanta City Council, about the upcoming Focus Features film, Milk.  I mention the interview in part because Woolard was always one of my favorite politicians when I was living and working in Atlanta–she fought harder than just about anyone I knew for more mass transit in an obnoxoiusly car-oriented city–and because I took some time out to see Rob Epstein’s documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk, in preparation for seeing Gus Van Sant’s version of Harvey Milk’s story, and I highly recommend it as a nice overview of the challenges Milk faced as an openly gay elected official.
  • Finally, Derek Kompare has probably the best analysis I’ve seen of NBC’s decision to give Jay Leno the 10-11 PM time slot five nights a week in order to cut costs and keep Leno, who remains incredibly popular (for reasons that utterly defy me), at the network. He also points out that the biggest losers are the creative people who were working on those five hours of programs that will now be cut.  Audiences looking for entertaining prime time programming aren’t far behind.

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