Posts Tagged ‘authors’

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My novel of buddy stand-up comedians, who go to war with each other after a stolen joke idea, has finally hit the streets. Get it now, or forever regret your insolence and mediocrity. Now leave my sight.

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MY GRAVITY LAWSUIT AND HOW IT AFFECTS EVERY WRITER WHO SELLS TO HOLLYWOOD

Highly disturbing:

This is alarming on many levels, and the principles involved go far beyond my individual lawsuit. Every writer who sells film rights to Hollywood must now contend with the possibility that the studio they signed the contract with could be swallowed up by a larger company — and that parent company can then make a movie based on your book without compensating you. It means Hollywood contracts are worthless.

Clockwise from top left, eight of the people who have signed the petition: Hanif Kureishi, Björk, Arundhati Roy, Don DeLillo, Ian McEwan, Tom Stoppard, Margaret Atwood and Martin Amis

Guardian:

World’s leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft
• 500 signatories include five Nobel prize winners
• Writers demand ‘digital bill of rights’ to curb abuses

contributors

I sent out a film survey to the PFB contributors, whom you can read by clicking on their names on the sidebar.

1.    What’s the top film(s) of the past decade?

Kieran Kelly had an interesting response: “Antichrist was the most impressive thing I saw, and I hated almost every second of it.  The Proposition was amazingly good and not at all gratuitous even if it was also quite horrible to watch.”

Other answers:


2.    Have movies declined in cultural significance, and no longer all that relevant to society, or is it the opposite?

“Neither.  About the same they have always had.  Just different emphases in different loci.” -Steven Jonas

“I certainly believe that movies remain very relevant for those who are already attuned to their tradition and culture. I do believe however that with the rise of other digital media, the spread of the Internet, etc. (all the usual suspects in other words…) for the younger generations and in the last two decades or so, their impact on social, cultural and political awareness has indeed declined.” -Mark Epstein

“Vastly decreased. Event films have always been around, but now they’re taken seriously – critical discussions of Batman and KickAss and such. My dad has talked about what it was like in 68 when 2001 arrived – and everyone on every college campus in America was talking about it. Fewer people go to the movies than ever before, attention spans are shorter, money is scarce. Good work still gets done but with far less impact.” -Joseph Green

“I’m shocked to report that the once great and groundbreaking film Doctor Strangelove, has lost its fizz.  Wish it weren’t so, but it is.  If you don’t believe me try watching it without watching the clock. On the other hand, Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece, Brazil, has become required viewing on an annual basis. ” -David Price

“Culture has declined in cultural significance, movies have just been sucked down into the bottomless vortex. Seriously, though, television has overshadowed film in several key areas. During the Bush years big TV dramas became the main vehicle for a sense of twisted uncertainty that was sometimes offensive, but definitely fertile. Now, its a bit staler. Now these sorts of programmes are mainly devoted to a violent Hobbesian nihilism, but a lot of them are still much more compelling than what the big screen has to offer. In figurative terms, the television is now the bigger canvas even if only for depicting horror and ugliness.” -Kieran Kelly


3.    Name a severely underrated film(s) that the world needs to see.

Mark Epstein said: “The Big Question, a documentary interviewing cast and staff of that obscenity, The Passion of the Christ, about their takes on religious belief or the lack of it.”

Other responses:

[I stopped attributing every quote, and I jumbled the ordering.  Could be any of the named people…]

 


4.    Which film and/or scene really pissed you off?

Zero Dark 30 (which pissed me off so much that I did not go to see it — does that count?”

“Christopher Nolan’s career. In general, the willingness of people to accept not just trite but actively oppressive entertainment and enjoy it anyway. It’s depressing.”

“Every sports movie where my enjoyment of the film is calculated to hinge on the outcome of some damn sporting event.

[4.1] What scene from a film in the last decade sticks with you in a haunting way you can’t quite shake?

Opening scene of Melancholia

The Hurt Locker still tops the list. There’s lots of critically acclaimed TV that is utterly repulsive too. If I have time I may watch all of Breaking Bad and write some stuff about it. My hypothesis is that it is this millennium’s version of The Waltons.”

“Too many to list. Since I wrote about it indirectly, Zero Dark Thirty.”

I’m appalled every time the “heroes” get to their time to torture somebody for information cue.   There should be a special torture chamber in hell for people who sell torture as heroic.  Jingoistic nationalism similarly pisses me off.

 


5.      Thoughts on filmmakers who knowingly deceive their audiences?

“Whores come in an infinite variety and all professions. The real ones (i.e. peddling the sex trade…), as the Romantics used to say, are the most honest…”

“I’d be more interested in sharing some thoughts about filmmakers who have contempt for their audiences, but you can probably guess what they are.”

“Does not compute.  Film is deception.  Does not compute.”

“Anti-humans. Paul Greengrass, go fuck yourself. Tom Hanks, ditto.”


6.      Define exploitation.

“Working against “informed consent/dissent” for profit, power, connivance, presstitution, control, social engineering, creeping totalitarianism, etc.”

“Webster’s’ Dictionary defines ‘exploitation’ as any film I don’t like.”

“Base appeal for its commercial sake without taking the human being into account. Denying humanity is what it’s all about. Tony Scott was much more of an exploitation director than, say, Gordon Parks, in my estimation.”


7.      Does our nature bias us toward hopeful, positive illusion?

“No. That is learned. We learned from movies how to kiss, how to love, how to defend ourselves. Even the gangsters learned from Cagney and Muni how to behave. It’s cultural, not instinctive.”

“Humans are social beings (even when they don’t realize it, or actively try to deny this fundamental aspect in the genesis of their identity and life), and in their better moments they find that common bond again, and work towards constructions that until realized can be thought of as illusory.”

“No.”

” No. All the Hollywood-ending prechewed-for-easy-digestion morality play junk food for the eyes in cinemas is just escapism for those traumatised by the daily torture our society inflicts on working people. Part of the reason that our current system remains politically stable despite its omnicidal insanity is that the chains that bind people have become their main source of comfort. The worse things get the more people dig deeper and darker dungeons for their own minds, but they kid themselves that they are digging their way to sunshine.”

I threw that one in thinking of religion, afterlife, the development of positive illusions throughout human history all over the planet.  I think with our big brains we want to overcome death and tend to tell ourselves all sorts of stories to make life more livable.  So I guess I’m in the minority on that one.


8.     Which obscure current artist should live on into eternity?

FeaturedImage_ebook-development

Good tutorial–

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=TgdOEOpCMdk