The Noteworthy: Scope 55, 2013 @ Halftime, "The Decline of Physical Comedy"

News.

  • The 55th issue of Cinema Scope has arrived and it's a juicy one featuring a spotlight on Cannes as well as feature articles on Jess Franco, Paul Schrader, and Archer, among others. Mark Peranson abandons his usual annual vitriolic festival report in favor of a piece on three films, one he loves, one he gives mild praise, and a certain Palme d'Or winner that isn't so lucky. That piece is available to read online, as are a few others—the rest you'll find (including a piece on James Gray's The Immigrant by yours truly) in the magazine.
  • The Film Society of Lincoln Center has conducted a poll with over fifty film critics to find out what the best film (released in US cinemas) is at the halfway point of 2013. The results found Richard Linklater's Before Midnight as a landslide favorite. You can browse the complete list of critics and their votes here.

Finds.

  • ...And speaking of Linklater, Michael Glover Smith argues that he is the best filmmaker of the "VHS generation" in a piece for White City Cinema:

"Critics, after all, often lump Linklater in with Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith as constituting a “VHS Generation” — a group of American filmmakers who never graduated from college (in pointed contrast to the celebrated “Film School Generation” of the 1970s) but who educated themselves about film history via home video in the 1980s before directing their first independently made breakthrough features in the early-to-mid 1990s. While Linklater may indeed have been the least flashy of that particular group during the Nineties (Dazed and Confused developed an almost-instant cult following but it didn’t make its writer/director a “star” in the manner of a Tarantino or a Smith), it seems inarguable to me that he has the most impressive filmography from the vantage point of the year 2013. He and Anderson are the only directors of the bunch who I would cite as actually having significantly improved in the 21st century."


"The world has changed; just as classic-era Hollywood, with its unchallenged prejudices on matters of ethnicity and gender, reflected the dominant presumptions and exclusions of the time, so the endurance of suffering during a rough-and-tumble period when many more Americans did physically hard and dangerous work found its reflection in a comedy of danger. Just as, now, romantic comedy has been sublimated by the complex specifics of modern love, and has thereby lost its own identity, so physical comedy, with its mortal implications, has become well integrated into comedy at large precisely by the elimination of the risk factor. With stunts and effects, it’s now so common as to be invisible."

  • Above: the trailer for Greg Mottola's HBO movie Clear History starring and co-written by Larry David.

  • Above: the David Lynch-directed music video for "Came Back Haunted" by Nine Inch Nails

From the archives.







Responses

2 responses to this post.  Join the discussion

  • John Lehtonen

    Man, that digressionism’s some good stuff, eh?

  • Max Berwald

    Digressionism tastes like chocolate sweeties.

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