Akira and the Art of Adaptation

In case you hadn’t heard, word came down yesterday that Rupert Sanders is attached to direct the live-action American redo of Ghost in the Shell. Given that Sanders has only directed one movie (Snow White and the Huntsmen) and is known as much for his affair with Kristen Stewart as anything else, it’s a move that screams “unmotivated corporate cash-in!” And I have no reason to think Sanders won’t do a decent job, but he also doesn’t seem like the sort of filmmaker that has a really unique stamp to put on any given project; he seems more the sort to just take work-for-hire jobs and then execute them as well as possible. And in thinking about this, I was reminded of all the hoopla and vitriol surrounding the recent attempts at a live-action Akira, and found myself reconsidering the unending difficulty of how to make adaptations work. So if you’ll permit me, I’ll explore that topic after the jump:

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2014 Falling in Love Film Festival Report

On January 19, 2012- two years ago yesterday- I met my amazing girlfriend Shiran in person for the first time. We’ve been through a lot together in these two years, and I’m sure we’ll go through a lot more in years yet to come, and one of the biggest factors in our relationship has been movies. From our initial bonding over shared tastes through movies seen together for the first time to movies shared with each other, film has been one of the keys to our terrific time together.

It’s appropriate, then, (especially in the midst of Sundance and Slamdance) that one of her gifts to me for this anniversary was to organize what she termed the “Falling in Love Film Festival.” It’s a collection of movies that correspond to major events in our lives, and as we’ve been watching them over this weekend it’s struck me just how much these movies represent us in various ways, and how many of them also speak to our shared experiences in film. And I felt like it’d be something worth commemorating on this blog (something that Shiran encouraged me to do in the first place). Join me after the jump, as I ramble about my relationship via movies (with some spoilers):

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Can 2014 Be The Next Big Step For Women In Film?

So in case you didn’t notice, 2013 was a big year for women at the movies. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was (in America) the highest-grossing movie of the year, with Frozen and Gravity also among the top 10 grossers. All of this would suggest that female-led movies- even action-adventure/genre ones- are fully capable of drawing a broad audience, despite the prevailing Hollywood “wisdom” to the contrary. Thankfully, 2014 is perfectly poised to build on these recent successes, and the end result should be more big movies with female heroes, and more female characters that are more than just pretty faces to be rescued. My reasons why after the jump:

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My Angsty, Anxious Year in Movies

With 2013’s movies (mostly) behind us and 2014 getting off to a slow start, my mind has turned to a tiresome self-reflective place about my relationship with (and taste in) movies. In looking over both the movies I loved last year and the movies I’m excited for this year, I feel myself doubting and questioning what I want out of movies, and what differentiates me from my cinephile kin. So, I decided to ramble on about that publicly for a little bit. Plenty of navel-gazing after the jump:

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Monthly Preview: January 2014

  

I guess it’s a good thing I have all those 2013 movies to catch up on, because this month is BLEAK. Not that that’s anything new; January has been and always will be the barren celluloid wasteland where ill-advised studio schlock goes to die. It takes an effort to really dig through the crap and find anything worth shelling out the cash to sit in a theater and watch something this time of year, but I’ll do it so you don’t have to. My (extremely short) list after the jump:

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My Favorite Movies of 2013

Happy New Year folks! Apologies for the slack in postings, as I’ve spent the last couple of weeks celebrating the holidays and catching up on movies from this year in preparation for this very list. With the year ending, the time has come to reflect back on the movies I’ve seen and consider which ones moved me, excited me, and inspired me the most. HOWEVER, before we get into which movies those are, it should be clear that these are my favorite movies, not the ones that I necessarily consider to be the best. And I’ll explain the difference on my way to my Favorite Movies of 2013, after the jump.

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