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The Profitability of Women-Centered Films, Life as a Blind Film Critic, 21st Century Cinematography, and More

Written by on April 2, 2014 

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing and other highlights from our colleagues across the Internet — and, occasionally, our own writers. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

Aaron Aradillas, a legally blind film critic, tells his story for Press Play:

The comfort you find in routine can, at times, be overwhelming. You turn on your computer for the first time in weeks to check your e-mail. You have hundreds of unopened e-mails in your inbox, but it’s one of the most recent ones that catches your eye. It’s an invitation to a promotional screening. You haven’t been to a movie, let alone a promo screening, since mid-December. You accept the invitation, explaining to the PR person why you’ve been dormant for the last seven weeks. You get dressed for the first time where the destination isn’t a doctor’s office. The ride in the car is mostly quiet, the radio providing most of the entertainment. Certain turns on the highway seem familiar. Yes, we turn right, then left, then right again. You walk into the theater and the sound of people rushing to the concession stand or their assigned auditorium washes over you. You remember that most promo screenings are either in screen 9 or 8, and without missing a beat, the ticket-taker says your screening is in screen 8. Your party gets allowed in first, annoying the people still waiting to be let in. (Ahh, the perks of being with the press.) You walk down to the very front row and take a seat. The screen is huge. You had forgotten how big the screen was. You wonder how much will you see? Will it be better than before? The lights go down and, for a brief moment, you panic. Darkness is something you’ve come to associate with dread, not joy.

At Five Thirty Eight, Walter Hickey uses data to display that films featuring woman have a better return on investment:

Audiences and creators know that on one level or another, there’s an inherent gender bias in the movie business — whether it’s the disproportionately low number of films with female leads, the process of pigeonholing actresses into predefined roles (action chick, romantic interest, middle-aged mother, etc.), or the lack of serious character development for women on screen compared to their male counterparts. What’s challenging is quantifying this dysfunction, putting numbers to a trend that is — at least anecdotally — a pretty clear reality.

Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer will open the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 11th.

At Movie Mezzanine, Christopher Runyon explores the connection between Fritz Lang‘s classic Metropolis and the 2001 anime version:

In the grand pantheon of sci-fi cinema, no other film is as boldly revolutionary or influential as Fritz Lang’s 1927 masterpiece, Metropolis. Watching it today, the silent epic has lost none of its invention, societal prescience, visual splendor, or emotional resonance. It’s hard to imagine a world without Metropolis; a world without sprawling cityscapes of the future, robot women, or blistering societal allegory. And with the film now restored to its original glory following the discovery of some missing reels in 2010, it can be enjoyed the way Lang always meant for it to be.

Watch an ode to 21st century cinematographers by Erick Lee:

At The Criterion Collection, Abbey Lustgarten looks at 10 facts about Ingmar Bergman‘s Persona:

In 1964, Ingmar Bergman wrote a script for a film titled The Cannibals. It was to star Bibi Andersson, and included a small part for the up-and-coming Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann, but it was ultimately tabled when Bergman became very ill and it was unclear when the production could start. Some months later, after seeing a photo of Andersson and Ullmann together (they’d become fast friends), he came up with the idea for Persona, a story about two women who lose their identities in one another.

Daniel Miller writes about the resurgence of the spec script over at LA Times:

Independent producer Lawrence Grey sold the screenplay for “Section 6” for $1 million after setting off a bidding war between the major studios. Six months later, in March, he sold the screenplay for “Winter’s Knight” the same way, for the same price. The sales of the speculatively written properties, both of which Grey will produce, put Hollywood on notice that the “spec script” was on the rebound and reminded some executives of the 1990s, when $1-million-plus spec sales were common.

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