little white lies magazine #26

 

Now available in the new issue of Little White Lies magazine is my essay on director Spike Jonze and the “fabled filmmaking class of ’99” entitled “Taking Over the Asylum.” The issue is chock full of Jonze tidbits including an interview with the man. So check it out if you’re inclined. But act fast if you’re interested in snagging a hard copy version of the magazine since they typically sell out. An online version of the magazine will be up in a month or so, though. But I can’t stress enough how wonderful Little White Lies looks in the hard copy format. Great stuff.

Purchase your copy here.

A shorter version of my Jonze piece will also be in the upcoming issue of surf/skateboarding/snowboarding mag Huck… out soon.

I should add that the covers for both magazines are visually linked too. Very nice.

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burn hollywood burn

hollywood

The Hollywood dream factory has always sold bullshit to the eager masses.  Some years are worse than others, some decades shine brighter with genuine talent and provocative films.  And sometimes, if the stars are right… real art may be conjured.

I’m talking mainstream, commercial films here, just so we’re clear.  Films made by the major studios.  There’s just as much garbage in the pseudo-indie sphere as well and the genuine independent arena is a whole other matter.  But junk is junk and it exists anywhere and everywhere.

But screenwriter/director Charlie Kaufman thinks the situation in Hollywood is dire and getting worse.  I can’t argue that it’s a depressing situation.  Do we really need another superhero movie?  Have the studios simply given up on making films for adults?

But I’ll hold out for some sort of creative resurgence.  There’s no arguing that the current model of film distribution (just like in the music industry) is antiquated, oppressive, and in need of restructuring.  The major studios are dinosaurs and seemingly lumbering into the tar pits.  Though haven’t they always been that way?

When we least expect it, a new wave always comes crashing down.  The last time young filmmakers infiltrated the ranks of the studios (ten years ago) we saw the arrival of Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, and others.  None of them make blockbusters, of course.  But most of the films they created did make money while furthering the medium in artistic ways.

So I hold out hope.  For now.

Perhaps Kaufman will figure a way to write himself (and us) out of this narrative purgatory.

You can read Kaufman’s comments here.

where the wild things are trailer

I’ve been working on my Spike Jonze piece for Little White Lies magazine this week and his latest film, of course, has been on my mind.  The trailer looks beautiful and I can’t wait to see it.  It certainly looks like Jonze has captured the melancholy and gentle anarchy at the heart of the story.

charlie kaufman film poll

Over at the always interesting Moon in the Gutter blog, Monsieur Richey is holding a Charlie Kaufman film poll in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Kaufman/Spike Jonze feature Being John Malkovich… our first real encounter with these (still) extraordinary filmmakers.

So head on over and vote.  I’m curious to see what the results are myself.  I’m choosing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York for my two faves.  Who’s with me?!

rex reed plunges into a charlie kaufman “cesspool”

New York Observer film critic Rex Reed, whose overwrought verbiage and sloppy analysis makes Armond White seem lucid and well… sane, tells us all what he thinks of Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York.

Considering his loathing of Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, et al, I’m sure he’ll love my book about said filmmakers.

You can be assaulted by Reed’s review here.  Be warned, though, to wear protective goggles.

interview with me over at the rushmore academy

Now that my book, Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers, is out in the US, Edward Appleby over at The Rushmore Academy has conducted an interview with me for the site.  There should also be a trivia question/book giveaway coming up soon as well, so keep checking back over there for a chance to win a free copy of my book.

I realize I’ve been a bit slack putting up any new posts… but that’ll change in the next day or so.  See you all then!