Weekend Reading #7: Ricky Gervais, Piracy top 10, Scientology and Murder

12 Jun
This is the first picture of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash in Iron Man 2. Looks a bit like Jeff Bridges. Ho Hum.

The first picture of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash in Iron Man 2. Looks a bit like Jeff Bridges. Ho Hum.

1. This is fantastically cheeky, and must be infuriating for the major film studios. While flaunting the immense amount of flagrant illegal downloading of their properties, it’s also useful information in terms of a films popularity. Torrentfreak publishes top 10 lists of the most downloaded (pirated) films each week. And the choices by users don’t necessarily mirror the similar box office charts. This weeks top 10 has He’s just not that into you and Friday the 13th beating Wolverine and Terminator Salvation. Romance wins the day?

1 (6) He’s Just Not That Into You 6.5 / trailer
2 (…) Friday the 13th 6.1 / trailer
3 (2) Push 6.4 / trailer
4 (1) Coraline 8.1 / trailer
5 (…) The Pink Panther 2 5.0 / trailer
6 (…) Confessions of a Shopaholic 5.7 / trailer
7 (3) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (R5) 6.8 / trailer
8 (4) Fired Up 5.3 / trailer
9 (…) Terminator Salvation (Cam) 7.2 / trailer
10 (9) Crank: High Voltage (R5) 7.6 / trailer

Full lists {here}.

2. Ricky Gervais is a busy man, Empire talked to him about his new 3D film

“I’m going to play the lead character, a Puddloflaj called Puddy. It’s great fun to work on and it’s really weird. Flanimals was a little thing I used to do when I was 15 to make my nephew laugh. And now this is happening…The good thing about owning everything is I can give myself the lead role. The Puddloflaj is a fat useless blob. He’s a sweaty, purple-faced, cowardly wobbler. And he’s got a Reading accent. Brilliant! And it’ll be 3-D. Posh! $80 million was the last count. Crazy, isn’t it?” {link}

3. Their is no signature style in the way murder is filmed these days according to David Thompson:

Are we weary of the great authors who signalled themselves with point of view? Has the era of personal passion gone out of film-making? Or are there yet other reasons? Fifty years ago, there were great critical battles fought over “authorship” in film. So style mattered then. Is it possible now that the innate impersonality of film (a mechanical means of reproduction) has become dominant? Think of it this way: a paragraph of Hemingway, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Joyce, Nabokov or Faulkner could likely be identified by any well-read person. So why are so many films nowadays so anonymous? Is that something film-makers have settled for, or is it our wish? {link}

4. Scientology and South Park, but mostly scientology (This isn’t entirely film related, i just like hearing about the insidious ways of this dubious fellowship):

Last year, Church of Scientology operatives received an alarming tip: During the upcoming 2000 MTV Movie Awards scheduled for June 8, a short South Park film parodying Battlefield Earth would feature the character Cartman wiping his ass with a copy of L. Ron Hubbard’s sacred text, Dianetics. The tip was erroneous. Cartman would actually be wiping his ass with a Scientology personality test.

But agents of the church’s shadowy Office of Special Affairs didn’t know that. They only knew they had a public relations nightmare on their hands.

Battlefield Earth had already turned out to be a colossal embarrassment for the church. Its star, celebrity Scientologist John Travolta, had denied there was any connection between the movie, which was based on a 1980 science fiction novel by Hubbard, and the controversial religion, which was based on Dianetics, Hubbard’s 1950 self-help book. Despite Travolta’s denials, however, ordinary Scientologists had anxiously awaited the film, hoping it would improve the image of their founder and his faith. Instead, it was panned as the worst film of 2000 and one of the worst science-fiction films of all time. The New York Times suggested that although it was a bit early to be making such judgments, Battlefield Earth could turn out to be the worst movie of the new century. {link}

5. Business of Cinema is news site from india which covers both Bolly and Holly. It’s an interesting time over there as Hollywood tries to crack the active and increasingly affluent, western looking market.  Well written and researched, with plenty of scoops. Check it out {here}.

6. Great article from David Cox in The Guardian on how to make Science fiction popular again, and why the recent Terminator Salvation failed so badly at the box office:

On the face of it, the hostility that Terminator Salvation has evoked seems a bit unfair. Its action outclasses that of better-received films, its devastated landscapes are striking and its plot is relatively cogent and comprehensible. Nonetheless, it clearly fails to excite. Something important is missing.

The film takes its franchise’s war between men and machines to a new level by infiltrating the people’s resistance forces with a human/cyborg hybrid. Unfortunately, the spectre thus paraded isn’t remotely scary. After all, these days, few of us are racked by fear that machines will try to kill us. {link}

7. Remember that brilliant show, Front up, where Urban Cinefile creator Andrew Urban would go up to random people and ask them to tell him about their lives? Junkies, business men, virgins and housewifes who were possibly all three would feature on the show, and Urban would slowly illicity confessional gold from them. Well he has done a bunch of brilliant interviews for the Australian Film Television and Radio School as part of a project called “The knowledge”. It feaures producers, writers, actors, distributors, media executives, composers, and publicists who all work in our local, reliably unprofitable cinema industry. Good on ’em. Listen to their wise words {here}

8. Sweden has abolished its censorship board. Oh and they have maximum age restriction of 15 (no R18+) Lets party. {link}

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