So, here are a few pieces I stumbled across today…

A mind-boggling update on director Todd Haynes’ spectacularly weird concept for a movie about Bob Dylan. I cannot wait to see this.

Haynes said he wanted to capture the many aspects of Dylan’s character, and his solution was a “multiple refracted biopic” in which Dylan would be played, among others, by an 11-year-old black boy and a young white woman. I’m Not There: Suppositions on a Film Concerning Dylan, now going ahead via Paramount, seems to have refracted further, and it’s the woman who’ll be the black Bob Dylan…

Congratulations, Peter Jackson! King Kong filming has wrapped. How do you throw a King Kong party? Lots and lots of bananas.

Tom Cruise – Scientology evangelist!

Founded in 1954 by the science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology has long had a close connection with celebrity. Contending that artists “are a cut above man” – according to a church Web site, www.celebritycentre.org – Hubbard said, “He who can truly communicate to others is a higher being who builds new worlds.” The church has celebrity centers in several cities where actors and other famous figures come to study and meet. (John Travolta and Kirstie Alley are among the best-known Hollywood adherents.) At the centers, according to the Web site, they are promised “the best in service and care, for those are the people who are sculpting the present into the future.” (And Mr. Travolta in 2000 starred in a widely ridiculed pet project, “Battlefield Earth,” a space-invasion story based on a novel of the same title by Hubbard.)

ZZZZING!

Since there are no more challenges left for him as an actor, Ben Affleck is moving on to directing.

You can learn a lot about a man from what he writes. Here’s Harry Knowles on why he likes Sin City. Remember that. This is why he likes it.:

“SIN CITY is a cinematic blowtorch to the senses, burning, exposing and finally annihilating each new noir drenched nerve-ending into another thrilling, ecstatic sensation. From the second Marley Shelton starts to quiver in Josh Hartnett’s arms till the closing of the elevator doors – this movie is a vice holding your head in place – daring you to watch it through the gaps of your fingers – leaving you laughing the naughty laugh at each new delicious sin, like a box of chocolate strawberries shared between lovers – you in your seat and Robert, Frank and the actors and artists on the screen – each celebrating the unmitigated joy of getting away with it, honoring it and bringing it to life. SIN CITY throbs to life with the roar of engines, gunfire, rage, women and men. It’s primal – it’s murderous and it’s vital.”

Vital for what?

Referring to the movie and its filmmakers, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez …

It’s … every woman that made them lust, every sin they ever thought. This is the culmination of dreaming the big dirty dreams about dicks and dames with all the dead dorks they leave pushing posies in their destructive wake.

Why am I thinking this will not end up on CT Movies’ 10 Most Redeeming Films of 2005? For some reason, I’m hearing Gandalf: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

And now, at The Matthews House Project

The ever-eloquent Michael Leary on Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby isn’t a film about euthanasia, it is about these characters that took two hours to develop before the fateful twist at the end. The film simply continues Eastwood’s penchant for characters forced to make ethical decisions that they know will cost them their souls. At the very least, the film seems to imply that the act of euthanasia, even if as an act of mercy, will cost the actor a great deal.

and

the ever-electrifying Stef Loy on Closer.

Last year’s underrated The Secret Lives of Dentists proved that the subject matter Closer approaches is worth investigating and discussing when done gracefully. Even if the extremes of emotions that make these characters little more than shallow caricatures are intentional, Closer still feels a little too voyeuristic. (Even if these performances are spectacular.) It is like peeking into the unfaithfulness and selfishness of people that don’t really care if we are watching. There is nothing Brechtian about that at all, it is just uncomfortable.

Meanwhile, Peter Chattaway’s pondering a question that has kept all of us awake nights… Do Candadians watch the same movies as Americans?

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