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.
The New Yorker’s Shannon Reed imagines the trailer for Joss Whedon’s remake of The Sound Of Music:
EXTERIOR SHOT: The camera pans over the Austrian Alps. It is a beautiful, sunny day. Just as we spot a figure twirling in a clearing at the top of a mountain, there are explosions in the distance.
VOICE-OVER [Debra Winger]: In a world at war with aliens, all she wanted …
We zoom in on the figure—Maria [Emma Stone]! She opens her mouth and “The hills are alive” pours out. [It is Julie Andrews’s voice.]
V.O.: … was to sing, fall in love …
An alien spaceship flies overhead. Still singing and twirling, Maria settles a rocket launcher on her shoulder and shoots it down.
V.O.: … and kick a little ass.
BEGIN TITLES: “The Sound of Music”/Reimagined by/the director of “The Avengers”/Joss Whedon.
V.O.: But first, Maria has to tackle her latest undercover assignment.
Flavorwire’s Jason Bailey on how Mad Men appropriated the ethos of ’70s cinema:
“Back in 2013, as the show was amping up for its two-part seventh season, creator/showrunner Matthew Weiner made a particularly splashy hire for his final writer’s room: Oscar-winning screenwriter Robert Towne. Towne is a name synonymous with the so-called “New Hollywood” period of (roughly) 1967-1980: buddy to Warren Beatty, frequent player in Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, and credited writer of Chinatown, The Last Detail, and The Yakuza. But he was also one of the best-known and most reliable script doctors of the era, brought in to do quick passes and one-off scenes for the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, The Parallax View, The Missouri Breaks, and — circle of life! — The Godfather. The scene he wrote for the latter film, in which a father nearing the end of his life passes on his personal disappointments and hopes for the future to his son, was echoed in the letter from Betty to Sally in Sunday’s episode.”
NPR’s Linda Holmes shares her take on the Black Widow controversy:
“Against a landscape in which female superheroes are vanishingly rare – in other words, accounting for the context in which the character exists, within and beyond this film and franchise – it's disappointing that Natasha's conflict ultimately comes down to motherhood, and to the loneliness of the childless career woman. That is, to be sure, an overripe cliché as a cause of moping in the seemingly bad-ass woman with a heart full of pain. But standing alone, this is (1) a story about a woman subjected to institutional interference with her fertility and (2) a story about a woman who was told they didn't trust her to take on an important job because they believed she secretly would always care about babies more. Neither one of those two things, historically, has happened only in fiction. Those themes are well worth exploring. They resonate at least as fully as Hawkeye's desire to get home to his family, Bruce Banner's isolation over becoming a giant green monster, and Tony Stark's daddy issues. There is heft in that story, and there's nothing shameful or diminishing about telling it just because it's a story that's specific to childbearing or not.”
Movie Mezzanine’s Angelo Muredda looks back on Spike Lee’s Do The Right Thing and its complicated stance on rioting:
“Much of the early hubbub about Lee’s film predictably focused on the climactic moments. Therein, the director’s onscreen surrogate Mookie hurls a trash can through the window of Sal’s, the Italian-American pizzeria where he works, in front of which a young black man named Radio Raheem (Bill Nunn)— who charges through the streets blasting Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power” on his boom box — has just been suffocated to death by two white police officers for assaulting Sal (Danny Aiello), inciting an ill-fated riot that predictably yields even more brutality. Critics both earnest and trolling read the scene as a referendum of sorts on the political efficacy of black violence against the sorts of rigged systems both Chuck D and Simon have made a career of needling. Roger Ebert praised Lee’s apparent ambivalence about Mookie’s choice, defending the film against readings that it was either too middle class or too militant, while New York Magazine writer Joe Klein somehow dubbed Mookie’s rather modest opening salvo ‘one of the stupider, more self-destructive acts of violence [he’d] ever witnessed’ before openly wondering whether the film might incite riots that would only “increase racial tensions in the city.”
Plus, the rest of today’s biz-ness:
- Atlas Distribution has picked up Werner Herzog’s Queen Of The Desert
- Sony’s Miracles From Heaven will see an Easter 2016 release
- Masterminds will be released two weeks later than planned, on Aug. 19
- Here’s the trailer for Miguel Gomes’ Arabian Nights
- IFC has acquired Kiernan Shipka’s mystery One And Two
- Method Man may join the cast of Key & Peele’s Keanu
- Floria Sigismondi will direct The Delivery Man