Read On is a regular feature in which The Dissolve’s staff recommends recent film pieces. Because there’s always someone writing something notable about the movies somewhere on the Internet.
Movie Mezzanine’s Robert Greene looks back at Peeping Tom:
“The story of how Peeping Tom effectively killed Michael Powell’s career in the U.K. is well known, but perhaps Powell was actually trying to slay cinema itself? The film was trashed by British critics upon its release in 1960, resuscitated by the American New Wave (particularly Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola) in the 1970s, and is considered an indispensible horror masterpiece today. It is an immensely strange film—a sympathetic portrait of a documentarian/serial killer who murders women with a blade attached to his camera’s tripod. The film might be considered the grandfather to the omnipresent found footage horror genre and it inspired Jim McBride’s classic, scathingly self-reflexive David Holzman’s Diary—and virtually every self-critical documentary since.”
The L.A. Times’ Amy Kaufman recounts the lesser-known story of Paul Walker’s relationship with the Fast & Furious series:
“Over the weekend, scores of fans bid their own farewell to the actor in Furious 7, watching him for the last time as Brian O'Conner, the family man who also fights international villains as part of a street racing crew. But Walker's history with the franchise is a complicated one. The actor nearly quit the series -- and Hollywood altogether -- numerous times during the 12 years he worked on the Furious films. He recounted his origin story with the franchise during a phone conversation we had in 2011. It was the only time we ever spoke. (I was supposed to meet him just a week after he died to talk about an independent film he'd done called Hours -- a non-meeting I'm not sure I'll ever stop thinking about.) At the time, Fast Five had just been released and had done far better than anyone expected, putting the series back on track at the box office.”
The Hairpin’s Fariha Roisin looks at the complexities of motherhood in movies like Hungry Hearts:
“Good mothers are cultural signifiers, but we mainly have a host of ‘bad moms’—Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest, Anthony Perkins staging his mother in Psycho, Suzanne Clement in J’ai Tué Ma Mere. Culture, itself, seems to have serious mommy issues, but why are those issues portrayed so much more demonic, so much more rage-filled, than having daddy ones? So often, bad mothers are the reasons behind serial killers, or disregarded murderers—as if insinuating that if Jeffrey Dahmer had a better mother (who wasn’t fighting with his father all the time) he wouldn’t have killed so many young men.”
Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey on the quick failure and unexpected comeback of Empire Records:
“And, for whatever reason, fall of 1995 was also just a lousy time to put out your youth-oriented comedy; in the same two-month space, Mallrats, Angus, and National Lampoon’s Senior Trip all bombed, with the preachy and ghastly Dangerous Minds somehow becoming the must-see teen movie of the season. Plus, by the time Empire hit theaters that fall, it gave off something of a ‘day late and a dollar short’ vibe; the ‘90s alt-rock movement was already waning, which is part of the trouble with trying to put together a hip music movie in the comparatively glacially-paced world of movies.”
Plus, the rest of today’s biz-ness:
- Can you figure out Robert Downey Jr.’s Avengers Twitter puzzle?
- Here’s a new trailer for HBO’s Bessie Smith biopic starring Queen Latifah
- SXSW thriller The Invitation was acquired by Drafthouse
- PETA will protest The Longest Ride premiere over animal-cruelty concerns
- Film Buff will release Adam Carolla’s Paul Newman racing doc