Whenever movies get ranked and organized into lists (the five greatest screwball comedies! the 10 best films of 2007! the 100 greatest movies of all time!), those lists, almost by design, are meant to be fought with, argued over, and competed with. In the Internet era, you don’t even have to argue in a vacuum — you just concoct, and publish, your own list. The whole noisy debate that gets triggered by movie lists is a big part of why they’re fun, and maybe why they matter the little bit that they do. It’s also why they tend to evaporate from memory. Once all the smoke and rubble of the film-buff infighting has cleared, who can even remember who said what? More than ever, movie lists reinforce a defining aspect of our age — the sheer clutter of opinion. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Blue Velvet (1-3 of 3)
'Blue Velvet' Turns 25: David Lynch discusses what's cool (and uncool) about lost footage -- EXCLUSIVE
It was a quarter century ago that David Lynch scored one of the greatest comebacks in cinema history by rebounding from the epic fail of Dune with the art house neo-noir that was Blue Velvet. The creepy crime flick — starring Kyle MacLachlan as a peeping tom amateur detective and Dennis Hopper as a gas-huffing, F-bomb hurling deviant — earned the then 41-year-old Eraserhead auteur an Oscar nomination (the second nod of his career; The Elephant Man gave him his first) and set the stage for the pop culture phenomenon of Twin Peaks. Blue Velvet is full of offbeat, seemingly gratuitous choices, from the celebrated shot of ants grappling with each other in the suburban soil to Dean Stockwell serenading Hopper’s Frank Booth with a licentious lip sync of Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams.” (“Here’s to your f—, Frank.”) And yet, Blue Velvet casts a mesmerizing spell; everything feels essential to the hypnotic whole, nothing feels grossly indulgent… unless you hate the movie. And a few people do, most famously, Roger Ebert. READ FULL STORY
In a world of fake bad boys, he was the true article — a natural-born rule breaker, a Hollywood rebel who took midnight rides on the wild side with James Dean, a scraggly-haired hippie too hip (and too dark) to let the sunshine in. Dennis Hopper, who died Saturday at 74, was an actor and a filmmaker who tore through boundaries not just because he didn’t like them; most often, he didn’t even see them. I’ll never forget the one time I got to be in a room with him. It was August 1979, at the Saturday morning press conference after the very first American showing of Apocalypse Now. The screening had taken place the night before, at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan. I was a bratty college journalist who’d squeezed my way in and was still reeling from the movie: its hallucinatory power and majesty and violent strangeness. (The “Ride of the Valkyries” sequence was so indelible that it kept popping back into your mind’s eye, like your very own searing cinematic Vietnam flashback.)
At the press conference, they were mostly all there, the maverick artists who had toiled away on this movie for half a decade: Francis Ford Coppola, who took the opportunity to make his first feverish pronouncements on the brave new world of technology we were all about to enter (he called it “the communications revolution,” and though few knew what he was talking about, 30 years later, it’s clear that he was right); Robert Duvall and Martin Sheen, the latter of whom had priceless tales of working with the elephantine and eccentric Marlon Brando (who, naturally, hadn’t bothered to show up to talk to a bunch of journalists); and Hopper, who instantly took on the role of flaked-out druggie court jester of the press conference. The more stonerish and cosmic, and the less coherent, he was, the more that he ended up dominating the questions and answers, cracking up everyone in the room, though whether we were laughing with him or at him was, by the end, an open question. READ FULL STORY
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