As we continue our conversation, Mr. Gordon ponders the
relationship between gaming and filming, how Secessionist Austrian
art can help shape a film about Donkey Kong, the value of teaching as a profession and the sad fate of Mr. Awesome.
Q. There have been a lot
of changes in the Mitchell/Wiebe situation since movie ended.
Labor Day brings up reflections on how the American
Dream, the myth that hard work and talent will result in success, is often undermined by
treachery, deceit, entitlement and greed. I haven’t seen many films that have
probed that dichotomy as entertainingly as Seth Gordon’s “King of Kong,” which
follows the heated quest of Steve Wiebe, an unemployed man of the people with
extraordinary but otherwise apparently not very marketable gifts, to wrest the
title of Donkey Kong champion from insufferable hot sauce entrepreneur, Billy
After ingratiating the Right with his last film “World Trade Center,”
even going so far as hiring the Swift Boaters to
promote it, Oliver Stone now has proposed a couple of new projects that look
like he’s trying to fuck with them. Or maybe he’s stilll fucking with the left,
who have already been feeling somewhat betrayed by his political inconsistency.
attempts at possible literary sources and pretentious stabs at auteuristic
allusions go nowhere, things pick up when the subject turns to dead Polish
directors, what it means when you’re tongue turns black, and Freedom Fries. Let’s
PK: Have you
read “Swann in Love?” Because this seems to be a really intense portrait of
someone who’s morbidly jealous.
She’s been writing film scripts for 20 years, and I’m sure
every one of them is better that that for “The Invasion” or “The Nanny Diaries” or 90% of the other movies made these days.
She’s made films with some of the world’s best directors -- Jean-Luc Godard,
Leos Carax, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Richard Linklater. She’s got a degree from
NYU’s film school and has a dirty mind.
Two films being released in the next two weeks deal with terrorist -- some
really alien -- germ warfare attacks resulting in apocalyptic pandemics. What
can it mean? Maybe it’s time to break out the duct tape.
One of those films, “Right at Your Door,” opens August 24 and I’ll have a
review of that film in that issue. The other, “The Invasion,” opens this
Friday, but did not screen in time for our deadline.
Perhaps in tribute to the late Michaelangelo Antoinioni and the immortal
Purple Paper Scene in “Blow-Up,” IFC has recently released a list of the 50
sexiest scenes in cinema. Oddly, the
Purple Paper Scene is not among them. Maybe they felt it was such an obvious
choice it didn’t need to be mentioned. On the other hand, the list also omits
other films that I feel deserve consideration.
Some accuse me of reading too much politics into popular movies. I
plead guilty, but I’m not alone. Take conservative critic John Podhoretz’s
recent appreciation of the life and career of Ingmar Bergman in the July 31 “New York Post.”
“Bergman used motion pictures to explore grand and grandiloquent
themes - the fear of death, the horrors of old age, the mysteries of womanhood,
the disasters of marriage, the trauma of living without God.
What about ducks? Rats, walruses, pigs, dogs, killer whales,
mice, bugs -- they all have their movies. Why not ducks? They’re cute, goofy,
have nice beaks and webbed feet. They quack and walk funny. Why no movie?
What about Donald and Daffy? Mere sidekicks, and annoying to
boot. “Duck Tales” in 1999? Scrooge McDuck is about as lovable and popular as
Congratulations to the Red Sox for obtaining Cy Young Award-winning
ace reliever Eric Gagne. But are they sure it isn’t really the riising goof-ball star, Seth Rogen? Either way, Sox fans hope their new acquisition doesn’t get knocked
In yesterday’s posting, in listing the cinema giants still alive after
the death of Ingmar Bergman, I added, “I’m sure I’ve left some out.” Well, yes.
The ignored elephant in the room was Michaelangelo Antonioni, but regrettably
that is no longer true. Today he died at the age of 94.
His passing hasn’t been as noted as that of Bergman -- on the CNN
website , for example, it’s featured below such more
pressing and important news stories as the end of the show “Simple Life,” the
final dissolution of the Spears-Federline marriage, and Star Jones admitting, at
last, that she had gastric bypass surgery.
In one sense, Ingmar Bergman cheated Death. You might recall that
Death himself cheated while playing Max Von Sydow’s Knight for his life in
Bergman’s masterpiece “The Seventh Seal.” But even though the grim reaper
finally claimed the 89 year-old legend today, Bergman outlived Death, or at
least the actor who personified him in his film — Bengt Ekerot,
who kicked the bucket in 1971.
One last "Sicko" note. I promise.
The movie’s hosannas to the Cuban health system has brought Moore the most grief, but no one really has taken him to task for his conclusions that
given the country’s limited resources, health care in Cuba is a much better
deal than ours. “Salud,” a neglected 2006
documentary by Oscar nominee (for “Freedom on My Mind” in 1994) Connie Field, supports Moore’s contentions and examines the system from a different perspective: not as an alternative to that in the US,
but to that in other countries in the Third World
I don’t want to get an ass whippin’ ala Wolf Blitzer
nor be sued for libel by “Mad” Michael Moore, so let me correct some of the information
in the previous posting. Moore’s website denies that he’s going to Tehran. In fact, only his movie “Sicko” is
going to the documentary film festival held later this year in the Iranian
A couple of days ago we celebrated our nation’s birthday, and
what could be more American than conspiracy theories? Or more Iranian, for that
matter. Oliver Stone, no stranger to paranoia himself, met his match recently
when his request to film Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmandijad for a new
documentary was denied.