Melissa McCarthy and the New Female Slapstick – McCarthy gets dirty, she gets horny, and, most important, she gets the shit kicked out of her. Her comedy doesn’t inhere in, say, an elegant sense of timing (cf. Wiig), but rather in her projection of an oversized resilience against unsettling and thereby hilarious obstacles (about which more anon), not to mention her ability to script whole scenes on the fly. Put simply, McCarthy calls the bluff that slapstick has always put forward where women are concerned: the threat of violence in a world free from consequences. “Straight to the moon!” Ralph Kramden famously used to threaten his wife Alice. By this logic, McCarthy is the Neil Armstrong of the genre.
Smile, Buster! by Farran Nehme – Buster had enjoyed himself for years, but his father’s drinking steadily worsened; keeping a straight face while being thrown around by an unpredictable alcoholic was no way to earn a living.
You See It Or You Don’t: CinemaScope, Panoramic Perception and the Cinephiliac Moment – Bazin and his disciples at Cahiers du cinéma lyrically welcomed the particular mise en scène that the widescreen format cultivated. Godard, Truffaut, Rivette and company signalled that the enlarged playing space eliminated the need for montage, ‘in which’, according to Bazin in 1954, ‘people have wanted wrongly to see the essence of cinema’. (6) Instead, Scope stimulated filmmakers to base their mise en scène on refined staging patterns and elaborate plan-séquences
Love & Sincerity: A Conversation with James Gray – You shouldn’t give the audience what it wants, you can’t. In some sense, it’s your job to infuriate the audience, to provoke them. Giving them what they want is cowardice. The whole point is to give the audience what it needs.
Polone: Why Studios Should Act Like Indies — Vulture – Without the resources to hire various “script doctors,” indies usually stick with the original writers all the way through the process, something that more often maintains the quality of a film rather than undermines it.