"In South Korea, there is a train called the cinema train. It’s not the whole train, but one section, they show the movie inside the train from Seoul to Paju. The funny thing is, I was in the cinema train and I saw the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” And in the beginning of the movie, there’s a subtitle [that said] “This movie has been re-edited for the train’s duration.” So, for the length of the train ride, they cut it down. They should have just found a shorter movie. I was really pissed off. [laughs]” - Bong Joon-Ho.
Francis Ford Coppola in Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse (1991)
For TheDissolve.com I chatted with Steve James about his powerful documentary Life Itself, which looks at the life of Roger Ebert. We touched on a lot of different things, here he explains how negative reviews can change your filmmaking:
I can’t point out a detailed example—someone wrote this, so I decided on the next film not to do that—but I think negative reviews and criticism in general, they help you understand what you were trying to get at in ways you didn’t put together. For instance, a negative review of Stevie, a critic said something like, “This is from the freak-show school of documentary filmmaking.” I couldn’t disagree with that more. And what it said to me was, he really hated Stevie, he did not want to see a film about that guy. And J. Hoberman gave me a bad review in TheVillage Voice. And with both of those reviews, I took away that I can’t begrudge anyone for bringing up the question, “Did he exploit this kid?” Because I had questions about doing the film or not. But the things they wrote, I didn’t agree with, because Stevie is not about a freak. Whatever its faults as a movie, it humanizes someone that you want to view as a freak, and you’re wrong about that. It really reinforced something about me, in that when I make a film about somebody, I want to do my best to have you not be able to easily make judgments. I want to capture the fullness when I’m putting a film together. In the making, but especially in the editing, I’m thinking, “What’s the judgment that someone is going to attach here, and how can I counteract it in a way to keep you from easily making that judgment?”
Opening in theaters and VOD tomorrow is the nostalgic ’80s comedy, Ping Pong Summer. For Movies.com I chatted with director Michael Tully and the film’s music supervisor Joathan McHugh about how they pulled off getting songs from the likes of The Fat Boys, Mantronix, Mr. Mister and John Cafferty on an indie budget.
Legendary Yankee Don Mattingly stopped by the show to be reunited with his moustache and it was magical!
This made my day!