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June 23, 2009

Movie and Video Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Reid Rosefelt confesses that he tried to persuade his boss not to produce "My Dinner With Andre." Great to see that Criterion is bringing out a classy new DVD of the movie on June 23. That'd be today. Hey, Andre Gregory is one of the people who have given The Wife and me a blurb for our raucous and satirical audiobook.

* Cool demo.

* A time-does-pass note: "Purple Rain" was released -- get this -- 25 years ago. And I still haven't made up my mind about Prince ...

* Good lord!

* British advertising vs. American advertising, a comparison.

* Jeremy Richey notices that Cinema Libre will be issuing some slick new DVDs of movies by Jean-Jacques ("Diva") Beineix. Check out that trailer for the director's cut of "Betty Blue." Mad love, baby!

* MBlowhard Rewind: I raved about the work of the filmmaker Robert Siodmak.



posted by Michael at June 23, 2009


"And I still haven't made up my mind about Prince ..."

He hasn't either. And Robert's younger brother was quite the writer.

Posted by: Donovan on June 23, 2009 12:03 PM

I remember a comic strip once that had its character sneak into a drive-in theatre (remember them?) so he could see the film being shown up on the big screen from a hill behind all the cars. Just see literally too, because no sound of course, but big deal, it's the pictures that matter, right?

The title comes up on the great big screen:


It's a tribute to the buzz of that film that this fairly mainstream comic could rely on the audience getting it. Many people who would never see such a film know it as "that movie where two guys just talk".

Even though it's mostly just one guy talking. I remember laughing aloud when I realized about halfway through the film that my reactions and their timing were EXACTLY THE SAME as Wallace Shawn's. Befuddlement, then irritation, then growing fascination, then genuine was like Shawn was able to anticipate just how I would react if I was in the same position as he was in the film.

I loved it. And I loved the moving and beautiful ending. I'd never heard the Gymnopedie(s) before, and that music and Shawn's exhausted but transformed self in the back of the car, returning through New York nightime streets to his home, full of desire to be once more with his wife and tell her all about "my dinner with Andre."


Posted by: PatrickH on June 23, 2009 12:22 PM

Congrats on getting Gregory to blurb your audiobook! (Which I confess I haven't yet purchased BTW.) He's a one-of-a-kind talent, isn't he? Love his Vanya collaboration with Malle and Shawn as well.

Posted by: Steve on June 23, 2009 12:42 PM

Remember drive-ins? There's one a half-hour's drive from where I live. I'd go this weekend if I had any desire to see Night at the Museum or State of Play.

Posted by: Dr. Weevil on June 23, 2009 12:58 PM

And quite a drive-in it is, Doctor. But from their website...

Once there were 150 drive-ins in Virginia. To our knowledge, there are only 9 drive-in theaters in Virginia in 2009.

Sadly, drive-ins are dying, though I hope the wonderful old-school one you linked to stays with us for some time to come.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 23, 2009 1:38 PM

I've never seen My Dinner with Andre for some reason and it's now at the #2 position in my Netflix cue, right behind something for the kids.

We had a drive-in a few minutes away until 2 years ago. The kids loved it, my brother would be bring his truck, back into a space and they'd all climb on the bed with blankets and watch a flick. Like camping with movies, one of them said. Perfect description and not repeatable in any other situation but a drive-in. Sad to see most of them gone.

Posted by: JV on June 23, 2009 2:07 PM

How can you not have made your mind up about Prince? I'm not trusting your musical judgement from now on.

Posted by: MQ on June 23, 2009 2:34 PM

The motion graphics piece over at Motiongrapher was interesting. I've done plenty of those things for corporate clients.

I didn't know about this site. They've got a job board! Might find a new client there!

The macro-universe thing is a common one for Flash motion graphics. I've seen a lot of them. While I appreciate craftsmanship, I'm not sure that these things are anything more than... well, wise ass remarks.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on June 23, 2009 3:21 PM

MQ: How can you not have made your mind up about Prince? I'm not trusting your musical judgement from now on.

You tease, you.

As for me, I haven't made up my mind about Prince because I've never been able to get my mind around him, so to speak. I think I'll just sit back and feel various kinds of awe.

Posted by: PatrickH on June 23, 2009 4:53 PM

Don't look now, but Instapundit is channeling you...I mean, he linked a Boing Boing article about the cr*p they put up in place of beautiful old railway buildings....I thought of your architecture posts, immediately.

Posted by: onparkstreet on June 23, 2009 5:59 PM

Prince is the Eddy Murphy of pop music.

He hasn't done anything remotely good since the 80's and is kept on the pop culture scene by MTV and VH1 Affirmative Action.

Posted by: L on June 23, 2009 8:22 PM

I recall that part of the success of "My Dinner with Andre" was due to Siskel and Ebert's championing of it. Those two had a fun show back then, and clout which they sometimes used to the good.

Posted by: green mamba on June 24, 2009 6:14 AM

He hasn't done anything remotely good since the 80's and is kept on the pop culture scene by MTV and VH1 Affirmative Action.

Prince had about ten years at the top of his talents and then ran out of creative steam, which is entirely typical for top-tier rock talents. Also like the top-tier guys, he's still competent -- still a fantastic live act and turns out the occasional fine single (check out Beautiful, Loved, and Blessed for a recent one). In the 80s-hero department, he's holding up better than Bruce Springsteen...jesus, that guy can no longer sing at all, not one bit, and the over-earnest, clunky, marching-band style of his music is now impossible to ignore.

I wouldn't put Prince quite at the very top level of the rock/soul pantheon, but he's up there. In the freaky genius department, I prefer George Clinton and P-Funk. But of the great ones.

Posted by: MQ on June 25, 2009 12:07 AM

the over-earnest, clunky, marching-band style of [Springsteen's] music

Jesus, that is exactly right. I have been looking for those words to describe why I've never really thought he was the big hot stuff everybody was gawking at. Not that he's never been talented or done anything good, but lordy, his music is too often just like that, isn't it?

Posted by: PatrickH on June 25, 2009 11:01 AM

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