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I loved the fact that you can explore complex and controversial work and the audience in their homes are totally up for it, whereas with film it's hard to do work like that, because as soon as some exec says they don't understand it, you've lost the game. But, to be honest, I was so exhausted after [TV series] Top of the Lake that I thought, ‘Oh my God, making a two-hour film seems like heaven.'
... Film-making set me free. Before I found it, I had a lot of energy, but I was lost as to how to express it or even be in the world. I found the challenge of making a film so exciting, it was as if I had found myself.
... Well, I'm not thinking in terms of what's next any more, that's for sure. It's more, if something takes my fancy, I'm going to do it. Is that a shift of consciousness? Maybe. I am certainly going to use my energies differently from now on. For one thing, I'm starting a pop-up film school, because I really hate how unequal education is for people with money and people without money. I really hate it.
Jane Campion, ‘Film-making set me free… it was as if I had found myself', 7 November 2021

When the most intense moment of a James Bond film exploits the potential death of a child — [...] — it's time to give up. No Time to Die (series sequel 24) proves that the decades-old James Bond franchise has reached a dead end. The turn toward sadism that began with Daniel Craig's angry, sinister interpretation of 007 has reached an unconscionable level of heartlessness. Does anyone believe in the series anymore? Even the producers have forsaken the ethical delight that once guaranteed a Bond movie's insouciance and thrills.
... No Time to Die needs what all those earlier villains provided for their times; it needs a George Soros figure (or maybe a Xi Jinping) to set the bar for an appropriate James Bond antagonist — if we still fantasize that Bond is the Western world's savior. But No Time to Die indicates that Bond and his audience are tired, exhausted, and defeated.
Armond White, James Bond Gets COVID in No Time to Die, 8 October 2021

I mean, of course, I have an artistic envy of those people, how plugged into a moment a musician can be, how different their medium is to mine. But none of my films have been driven by that. They're more about what the music means culturally, how it changed the world. I remember saying to people during the Dylan project: ‘I would want to make a film about Bob Dylan even if I didn't care for his music,' simply because of his impact and uniqueness and complexities and contradictions and the way he gets to some core idea about America and then reflects that back in the various chapters of his life.
... And it's the same with glam rock in Velvet Goldmine. The idea of it as this cultural accident which inverted notions of masculinity and heteronormativity in such a singular way – and also did it in the mainstream, beamed into people's living rooms. The power of popular art to circle around those questions of identity, to rupture them, to shatter them. Those are the themes I keep coming back to.
Todd Haynes, ‘This world is too cosy. Except cosy is almost too cosy a word', 7 October 2021

It was at the L.A. premiere of ‘Children of Dune,' and [Claudia Black] said to me, that the thing with this shit, i.e. science fiction, is that you have to believe it more than you believe good writing. Good writing, you can just do. It's easier. But this stuff is hard, because it's so bonkers, you know what I mean? I've really, I've always remembered that advice and taken it to heart.
James McAvoy, James McAvoy Learned a Valuable Lesson About Sci-Fi After Starring in 2003 ‘Dune' Series, 28 September 2021

When I first got into the movie business — it's been almost 40 years ago — the reason I was able to make movies with Ethan [Coen], the reason we were able to have a career is because the studios at that point had an ancillary market that was a backstop for more risky films, which were VHS cassettes or all these home video markets, which is essentially television.
... So the fact that those markets are sort of responsible for my career, I'm not going to bust on them now because they've become very successful and are overtaking the market. It's the reason I'm able to do this stuff.
... I have mixed feelings about [streaming] obviously. You want people to see it on a big screen. But the other part of it is that's been part of the history of our movies since the very beginning. That's the best answer I can give you.
Joel Coen, Streaming Is Reason ‘Risky' Films Like ‘Tragedy of Macbeth' Can Still Exist, 24 September 2021

It can be seen as an event in history that lasted for however long it lasted, this cancel culture, this instant rush to judgement based on what essentially amounts to polluted air. It's so far out of hand now that I can promise you that no one is safe. Not one of you. No one out that door. No one is safe.
... It takes one sentence and there's no more ground, the carpet has been pulled. It's not just me that this has happened to, it's happened to a lot of people. This type of thing has happened to women, men. Children have suffered from various types of unpleasantries. Sadly at a certain point they begin to think that it's normal. Or that it's them. When it's not.
Johnny Depp, Johnny Depp Rails Against Cancel Culture: ‘No One Is Safe. Not One of You.', 22 September 2021

‘True Detective' was presented to me in the way we pitched it around town — as an independent film made into television. The writer and director are a team. Over the course of the project, Nic [Pizzolatto, writer] kept positioning himself as if he was my boss and I was like, ‘But you're not my boss. We're partners. We collaborate.' By the time they got to postproduction, people like [former HBO programming president] Michael Lombardo were giving Nic more power. It was disheartening because it didn't feel like the partnership was fair.
... As for their creative differences, Nic is a really good writer, but I do think he needs to be edited down. It becomes too much about the writing and not enough about the momentum of the story. My struggle with him was to take some of these long dialogue scenes and put some air into them. We differed on tone and taste.
Cary Fukunaga, Working on ‘True Detective' Became ‘Disheartening' as Nic Pizzolatto Got More Power, 22 September 2021

I just wrote a little something, for writers, really. Write the tale that scares you, that makes you feel uncertain, that isn't comfortable. I dare you. In a world that entices us to browse through the lives of others to help us better determine how we feel about ourselves, and to in turn feel the need to be constantly visible, for visibility these days seems to somehow equate to success—do not be afraid to disappear. From it. From us. For a while. And see what comes to you in the silence. I dedicate this story to every single survivor of sexual assault. Thank you.
Michaela Coel, Read and Watch Michaela Coel's Inspirational Emmy Speech, 20 September 2021

Black Panther's relatively novel concept imagined the faux African kingdom Wakanda, whereas Shang-Chi pilfers from already familiar and much more original and artistic Chinese martial-arts genre movies — reducing them to the level of Marvel junk.
... Black Panther's naïve fans let Marvel get away with portraying Afrocentric fantasy as both pretend-history and the Afro-punk future (catnip to an ignorant generation so desperate for any folklore to call its own that it submits to Hollywood's escapist propaganda). But Shang-Chi will need viewers who pretend they've never seen better than this poor Hollywood imitation of Hong Kong movie mastery, which has a long tradition.
Armond White, Marvel's Shang-Chi — Crouching Cinema, Hidden Agenda, 8 September 2021

The memory as a kid was always, we were waiting for what happened in America. So, you know, films were always shown in America first. I remember hearing about Indiana Jones or the next Star Wars, and you'd see pictures on the news of people queuing for the cinema in the States and you'd think: ‘Well, when are we gonna get it?' There was always this sense of it being ahead. They did a phenomenal job of selling us this lifestyle that just seemed so other and glamorous and cool.
Jude Law, ‘I remember being told not to get above myself. Such appalling British advice', 20 August 2010

In “Emily in Paris” and other recent programming, Netflix is pioneering a genre that I've come to think of as ambient television. It's “as ignorable as it is interesting,” as the musician Brian Eno wrote, when he coined the term “ambient music” in the liner notes to his 1978 album “Ambient 1: Music for Airports,” a wash of slow melodic synth compositions. Ambient denotes something that you don't have to pay attention to in order to enjoy but which is still seductive enough to be compelling if you choose to do so momentarily. Like gentle New Age soundscapes, “Emily in Paris” is soothing, slow, and relatively monotonous, the dramatic moments too predetermined to really be dramatic. Nothing bad ever happens to our heroine for long. The earlier era of prestige TV was predicated on shows with meta-narratives to be puzzled out, and which merited deep analyses read the day after watching. Here, there is nothing to figure out; as prestige passes its peak, we're moving into the ambient era, which succumbs to, rather than competes with, your phone.
Kyle Chayka, “Emily in Paris” and the Rise of Ambient TV, 16 November 2020




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