This is a personal blog. I talk sense and nonsense.
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benepla:

alex dared me to do a recut movie trailer turning a psychological thriller into an indie film trailer, so here’s a preview of “the shining” if it was a charming little indie flick about family and what it means to be a writer

It’s even more terrifying now.

(via suicideblonde)

(via nezua)

annaverity:

dear-white-people:

YOU DEMANDED IT! Check out the full-length official trailer for Dear White People before it hits theaters this weekend.

Soooo…this is going to be amazing. Tessa Thompson is an actual goddess.

"I was so careful."  This is gonna be good.

(via velocipedestrienne)

dailydot:

Whitewashed ‘Exodus’ cast sparks a Twitter riot
Remember when Noah’s screenwriter explained that everyone in his movie was white because it was “mythical,” and because white people are apparently universal stand-ins for the human race?
Directed by Ridley Scott, the forthcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Rhamses, and Aaron Paul as Joshua.

Why is everyone so mad? They found some dark-skinned people to play the guards and other servants /s
I bet they’ve tried to burn every last copy of the casting sheets for this.

dailydot:

Whitewashed ‘Exodus’ cast sparks a Twitter riot

Remember when Noah’s screenwriter explained that everyone in his movie was white because it was “mythical,” and because white people are apparently universal stand-ins for the human race?

Directed by Ridley Scott, the forthcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings stars Christian Bale as Moses, Joel Edgerton as Rhamses, and Aaron Paul as Joshua.

Why is everyone so mad? They found some dark-skinned people to play the guards and other servants /s

I bet they’ve tried to burn every last copy of the casting sheets for this.

(via racebending)

bard-of-raging-boner:

I was really fucking annoyed when they cast whiney white boy Christian Bale to play Moses in Exodus (2014) and even whiter Australian white boy Joel Edgerton to play Rhamses.

But it’s okay, they have hired an actor who is a POC and of African descent, which is good because Exodus takes place in Africa. It’s all good guys.

image

Isn’t everything really okay and not racist now? Right?

(via racebending)

Movie magic and labor exploitation

Here’s some food for thought while we’re in the midst of summer blockbuster season.

Someone very late last night (I apologize for not remembering who) posted a question asking why we hardly ever see practical effects in movies anymore. The effects in even the biggest, most expensive summer blockbusters are generally computer renderings, which, despite their sophistication, oftentimes just don’t look as good or seem as convincing as practical effects.

The short answer is: it’s cheaper.

The longer answer is that special effects artists are unionized while visual effects artists are not. As you might expect, the latter are ripe for exploitation. Remember the Academy Award protests?

Digital production, as the Variety article notes, has become a globalized business, which makes it particularly hard to organize workers. The nature of the work also makes it very easy for a studio to shop around for the cheapest rates. This has resulted in a race to the bottom in the industry, in which VFX work leaves countries with relatively stronger worker protections and higher wages to countries with lax labor laws and low wages. Predictably, this has led to worker exploitation. One former visual effects artist in India recounts,

At one studio, artists are asked to work without salary for at least four months, at which point the studio can ask them to leave if they didn’t find their performance “good” enough. At another studio, they reduced their staff in the 3D animation department from 150 people to a mere 5 people. One studio takes Rs 30,000 (approximately $550) as a deposit from artists and only returns to the artist (without interest) once they complete two years employment at the studio. [Note: An average MONTHLY salary might be Rs 7,500 ($138 month) so the deposit is equivalent to nearly 4 months salary.]

This situation isn’t just a result of technological advances and the ‘natural’ workings of the free market. David Sirota points out

That’s where governmental subsidies came along to distort the market. Violating the spirit, and the letter, of World Trade Organization regulations and U.S. domestic trade statutes, industrialized countries like Canada, Britain, Australia, Germany and New Zealand have started offering massive taxpayer-financed handouts to studios if the studios source their visual effects and post-production services in those nations. In British Columbia, for example, public subsidies pay up to 60 percent of the entire salary of visual effects workers. The United Kingdom and New Zealand have been following suit with recent efforts to further expand their own subsidies.

This never-ending taxpayer-funded bailout has grossly distorted the global market for visual effects, artificially deflating studios’ overall price for visual effects in the high-subsidy nations.

Things are quite dire. As Sirota notes, U.S. states are spending about $1.5 billion in subsidies fighting over the scraps of domestic visual production work that are left but these investments of taxpayer money aren’t generating significant revenue or local economic growth. Dozens of visual effects companies have gone out of business or are teetering on the edge. Artists at home can’t find work and artists overseas are being treated like indentured servants.

The Variety article assesses the crisis quite bluntly:

A harsh question has to be addressed: Would the studio tentpole business be viable if it couldn’t get vfx companies, states, nations and, yes, even artists, to subsidize the pictures either through tax policy, working for below cost or accepting poor compensation? In short, would tentpole production make financial sense if the studios couldn’t play all these people for saps? I’m not convinced it would.

You might think it’s odd that I’m writing so much about what is, relatively speaking, a rather small segment of the U.S. labor market. And I am not at all an expert in the movie business. But I do pay attention to labor issues and have noticed the same interlocking pattern of outsourcing (when possible) or casualization (when not), flagrant abuse of workers, and deeply misguided government policies—a pattern which always results in fewer good, full-time jobs, lower wages, and deepening inequality.

It’s not just blue collar factory workers or Walmart employees or fast food workers who are being underpaid and overworked and thereby forced to subsidize profits that largely go to shareholders and CEOs. It’s also well-educated, white collar workers in highly skilled fields.

Perhaps the comfortable, white collar folks who supported NAFTA and other neoliberal policies that have decimated U.S. manufacturing are finally realizing that no worker is insulated from these trends. It doesn’t matter how smart, educated, skilled or hardworking you are. If the bosses can figure out a way to rip you off, they will.

Not only did a Latino actor not play Tony, who clearly in real life looks like a Chicano, but his ethnicity is stolen from the Latino community at a time when Latinos have been demonized. Our real Latino national heroes if acknowledged would dramatize our patriotism and contribution to the United States…

In “Argo” we have yet another instance where the public has been denied of an opportunity for all Americans to learn of an American Latino’s valor, talent and patriotism. This occurs because there has been no consequence to this behavior. It is time for a change.

Moctesuma Esparza on Ben Affleck’s Argo and the White-Washing of the Mexican-American.  Esparza says:

The film actually goes out of its way to obscure Tony Mendez’ ethnicity. His name (Mendez) is mentioned only once and the character says he is from New York (Tony was born in Nevada from a mining family with six generations in Nevada and raised in Colorado). Nowhere in the movie does the viewer get that the hero is Mexican American. 

Ben Affleck’s portrayal of Antonio “Tony” Mendez was very contained and had very little range, I don’t know what Tony personality is like to judge the portrayal but this did not impact the movie’s success or failure. It was an excellent role that would have elevated a Latino actor like Benjamin Bratt or Michael Peña.

 Instead, like with the story of Guy Gabaldon, whose extraordinary achievements in the WWII Battle of Saipan,  capturing, by himself, 1800 enemy soldiers, more than any other  American soldier in the history of our country, was similarly white-washed as Jeffrey Hunter played him in the 1960 film, “Hell to Eternity.”  But that was more than half a century ago, Argo is now

In the closing credits, the photos of the real people portrayed are presented side-b- side with the actors’ photos showing the very close resemblance and care that was taken in the casting process to cast actors who looked like the real people. Yet, for the key role of Tony Mendez, the director/producer Ben Affleck chose a single long shot of Tony with President Carter where his image was not distinct or recognizable, breaking the pattern he had chosen for all the other real people depicted. 

(via racebending)

White privilege is being able to star in a person of color’s life story. See also: Angelina Jolie in A Mighty Heart and almost everyone in 21. Nevemind. I should have made a separate post. Sorry, folks.

(via mardesalinidad-deactivated20130)

I don’t need a ‘What If’ movie scenario for black heroes because history shows they actually existed. Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, MLK—Where the frack are their movies? Do you know Danny Glover has been trying for almost two decades to get a Touissant L’Oeuverture movie made? And every major studio has shut the door in his face. And let’s not talk about how a Nat Turner movie has been unanimously blackballed in Hollyweird. So a studio will give money to a fictionalized spaghetti western, revenge slavery movie but not support our real heroes. Think on that. Then go get your life!

ReBecca Theodore-Vachon, Thinking Critically Because You Refuse To (via sonofbaldwin)

nat turner, for folks who dont understand why his story is so scary.

(via deluxvivens)

(via talesofthestarshipregeneration)

One of the ancient ploys of the film industry is to make a film about non-white people and find a way, however convoluted, to tell it from the point of view of a white character.

Film critic Roger Ebert on Hollywood in his review of “Flowers of War”

“Can you think of any reason the character John Miller is needed to tell his story? Was any consideration given to the possibility of a Chinese priest? Would that be asking for too much?”

(via racebending)

jhameia:

Because Merry and Pipping comparing dick sizes will never get old.

Some of the best behind-the-scenes material ever.

afrogeekgoddess:

The New York Times Magazine Hollywood Issue
Heroines - Quvenzhané Wallis (x)

The film is adorable.

(via darkjez)

I love historical films and I’m so sick of all these kinds of Jane Austen movies where they have these fucking period movies. How many times do we have to remake fucking Pride and Prejudice? How many times do white people need their history told to them over and over and over again? It’s so fucking boring. It’s always the same. There are enough movies like that. There are enough examinations of white people history. There’s enough of all these novels, all the Bronte sisters, all the fucking Jane Austen bullshit — I don’t care anymore. I’m sick of it. Why can’t we go into other people’s history? Why can’t we go into more Asian history? Why can’t we go into more Asian-American history? Why can’t we go into more Latin-American history? Why can’t we do any of these things? But they don’t. We have to keep regurgitating Old England. It’s so racist, and nobody actually comes out and says this is fucking stupid.






As urban myth would have it, you’re a man of habits. Around this time, you’re supposed to have haunted Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant every day. Is that true?Yeah. I was into Bob’s halfway through Eraserhead. Each day at 2:30 p.m. I’d have several cups of coffee and one chocolate shake - a silver goblet shake. I discovered that sugar makes me happy and inspires me, so I would get onto a sugar jag and create on the napkins. Try to get ideas, I got so wound up that I had to rush home and write. I’m heavily into sugar. I call it ‘granulated happiness.’ It’s just a great help. You know, a friend.
How long did your love affair with Bob’s last?Eight, nine years. The end of Dune was pretty much the end of Bob’s.

As urban myth would have it, you’re a man of habits. Around this time, you’re supposed to have haunted Bob’s Big Boy Restaurant every day. Is that true?
Yeah. I was into Bob’s halfway through Eraserhead. Each day at 2:30 p.m. I’d have several cups of coffee and one chocolate shake - a silver goblet shake. I discovered that sugar makes me happy and inspires me, so I would get onto a sugar jag and create on the napkins. Try to get ideas, I got so wound up that I had to rush home and write. I’m heavily into sugar. I call it ‘granulated happiness.’ It’s just a great help. You know, a friend.

How long did your love affair with Bob’s last?
Eight, nine years. The end of Dune was pretty much the end of Bob’s.

(Source: oldfilmsflicker)

Bret Easton Ellis would be considered a mildly interesting writer if he were a woman, but since he’s a white man, he’s really overrated.

Bret Easton Ellis would be considered a mildly interesting writer if he were a woman, but since he’s a white man, he’s really overrated.