Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cheap Cheery Crap Journalism Off the Newsweek Block!

Ever have one of those moments of true disappointment? Moments say when you eagerly open a book or an email or click a link only to find the complete opposite of what you expected? Sometimes it will crush you or make you angry, or as happened today, just disappoints me. Such was the case when I got a Google alert regarding Sigma's Advance Party films getting a mention in Newsweek magazine. Eagerly I clicked it, thrilling at the prospect of mention of this wonderful new project from my favorite film company in a magazine that holds or used to hold considerable sway and esteem. Only what greeted me was another example of how the media fails, light fluffy breezy, and careless, journalism is winning the day. Quotage:

In 2006, a grim little thriller called "Red Road" won the Cannes jury prize for Advance Party, a collective of Scottish, Danish and Irish production companies. It's not a lot of laughs. The film's main character, traumatized by the loss of her husband and son, spends her nights looking through a CCTV camera, monitoring a feral Glasgow housing project. One reviewer described it as "grainy, rasping and bleak." It stands to reason; Advance Party is the brainchild of Lars von Trier, the Danish filmmaker behind the Dogma 95 manifesto, which advocated a dark, minimalist style using handheld cameras and on-location shooting.

That was then, when money was easier and art was tougher. Now that the entire global economy can be fairly described as grainy, rasping and bleak, Advance Party has established a new set of artistic rules for future projects. This cheap and cheerful manifesto stipulates that no budget should exceed €1.5 million; no script should run longer than 88 pages, or feature more than eight characters; and every film should be shot within an eight-mile radius. The kicker: "stories must make the audience laugh, make them cry and give them an uplifting ending."

It's probably the first time von Trier ("Dogville," "Dancer in the Dark") has ever been linked with the term "uplifting."

W.T.F!?! Seriously? SERIOUSLY????
Geee ,gosh by golly thanks ever so much for this lovely piece of crap quip quote journalism: Cheap and Cheerful!

Yes indeed, forget about that being accurate stuff, reach for the light, seems like- Im cool -and -hip- and- know -whats- going- on- in- film- when- I- actually- don't journalism approach, you know the tenuous link that looks cool, evokes a name people readily equate with all cap 'ART HOUSE' (crazy Danes, yes yes, use him!) and Poof!Tada! We can present a lame ass opening to a story that is not new (and remarkably similar to the scores of other movie sites already writing about it), and it's off to hit the golf course before it gets too dark! Cheap and Cheerful indeed!

What brilliant insight I had not known before! What was I thinking? doh! of course, Lars Von Trier WAS the ultimate shadow puppet master in all these endeavors, present 24/7, lurking with absolute might and control in those films, because as we know, Gillian, Anna, Sisse and all at Sigma especially cowered and had nothing to do with the films, Lars went around whispering in Katie Dickie's ear LET THERE BE DOOM!!!!! Wise of you to ignore the ending of the movie, (truly a serious original and powerful film) which unfortunately was upbeat and reaffirming, and worse Donkeys the next installment has already been announced as part comedy, it was totally clever journalism to forget those pesky facts! You betcha, Sigma has NEVER made an actual uplifting film before, I mean, surely multi- award winning fan favorite films like Wilbur and oh yes DEAR FRANKIE are nothing, yep those are dull as dishwater as Wilbur notes, nothing pleasant satisfying or enjoyable about that happy ending love kisses and family stuff nope, nope nope not at all! Even better, Im sure multi- award winning Andrea Arnold truly appreciates the lovely knowledgeable insightful report about her work too, cause apparantly its all just Mr. Von Trier! and yes indeed Morag McKinnon and all those teams of eight for Advance Party II are just shadows in the midst, while Mr. Anti Christ himself comes over to the light side too! This will make news at 11 for sure! woot goo Mr. Levine! Gosh if I can only grow up one day to turn my back on my profession and get to write stellar stuff like this! yip yip!

Yes indeed Mr. Von Trier is so going to be groveling and cowering on the ground when these new crazy kids who want the chance to make a film and get their breakthrough are handed such an UNPLEASANT TASK, make films that people fffing WANT TO WATCH, my god what HAS the world come too??

And my adviser wants to know why I'm so keen to want to teach about accuracy in journalism. heh.
Meanwhile, Im off to make my Cheap and Cheeful buttons while watching It's a wonderful life!


  1. Oh my, Sue. I do agree about the awful glibbness of film journalism - & theatre journalism too, BTW. My pet peeve with them all is that they are writing about art forms that they are NOT trained in & then have the nerve to be cutely (glibbly) condescending about it. Let alone sometimes just plain wrong. You should hear me lecture my students about how I insist that they write me analyses & NOT reviews of the plays they see because otherwise I will get shallow, condescending & sometimes snide remarks about the play they I made them sit through - & it's not really their fault. They've been raised on snippy art journalism.

    Red Road is an intelligent film that deserves to be written about intelligently.

    As for slighting sigma - ah yes.

    BTW - by chance - I just watched one of those "hand held" films by Scherfig - Italian for Beginners. Fascinating filmmaking.

    Hope you feel better now that you vented!

  2. Hi Anna!

    Ah glibbness, PERFECT word for it! Snippy and Snide and Snark,another trifecta of S lol, but sadly easy pitfalls to fall into, and its become a prevalent way of journalism too.

    Sorry for the rant, but I was so so disappointed. Perhaps my ideas and ways of thinking and approach are a mark of a dinosaur and days gone by, and I really am a fool for actually still caring about the minor details, but I refuse to go down without a fight-a losing fight at this point I know but sometimes I snap lol sorry!

    So nice to hear from you as always, your comments are always so welcomed, smart and spot on! Hope you are doing ok with school and life in general is going well; thanks ever so much for coming by! :)