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WE-LOVE Roll Call, Ya’ll

August 5th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Do The Right Thing, 1989, Spike Lee, Richard Edson, Samuel L. Jackson

Here at This Distracted Globe, I rarely take the opportunity to share the best of what I find on the Internet. I’ve got links to my favorite movie and culture commentators in my blogroll, but there’s fantastic content out there that deserves far greater recognition.

Examples of posts, articles or websites deserving far greater recognition:

* Industry professionals reporting on the state of the art, or offering their read on where film is headed

* Intelligent, thought provoking reviews or lists

* Witty, insightful retrospectives

* Video interviews with talented people by great talk show hosts

* Creativity that took either a good deal of time, or a great deal of talent, to produce. Sometimes both

* Musical genius I get a kick out of hearing in the middle of my day

* Comic genius I get a kick out of hearing in the middle of my day

By now you’re probably asking: how can I get access to all of this on a daily basis? By signing up for StumbleUpon and following my “stumbles”.

StumbleUpon logo

StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking site where people can exchange websites that they find interesting, write reviews about them and share their discoveries with other users. It works with a toolbar you’ll be able to install on your browser, whether you use Firefox or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

When you sign up for a StumbleUpon account, anyone in your email address book already using the site will automatically begin to appear under a “What’s New” tab with the sites they’ve discovered and recommend. You can also find people who like the same content you do and follow their recommendations by selecting them as a friend.

Feel free to check out my stumbles here. If you like what you’re reading, you can subscribe to my favorites, or send a friend request my way like you would on Facebook.

What I won’t recommend:

* Sites featuring flagrant use of the following words: auteur, cinema, essay

* Sites featuring flagrant use of the following names: Apatow, Frodo, Transformers

* Sites with obnoxious ads or any commercials

* Sites with obtrusive music or sound

* Celebrity death notices

* Photoshopped images. Photoshopped Star Wars images in particular

* Most anything to do with Star Wars at this point, actually

Delivering an infinitey better playlist than the one this couple had

This Distracted Globe. Delivering an infinitely better playlist than the one from this movie

Tags: Thoughts and theories

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ed Howard // Aug 6, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Given the name of my own website, I have to ask the obvious question: what do you have against the word “cinema?”

    For that matter, what do you have against the word “auteur?”

  • 2 Joe Valdez // Aug 6, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Ed: I hope you didn’t take what I wrote personally. I wasn’t thinking about your site when I made my comment about auteurs and essays. I was thinking about Girish Shambu.

    I enjoyed the series you did on Paul Verhoeven and would actually recommend that to anybody. But I disagree with those folk who still believe that movies are the work of a single author, which is what auteur theory or the word “auteur” casually implies to me.

    Movies are the collaborative effort of a terrific number of craftsmen — writers, actors, DPs, casting directors, producers, sometimes even studio executives — who don’t get nearly enough credit in my view, not from academics, many of whom still want to believe that one person “authors” a movie all by themselves.

    Being passionate about movies is one thing, but director worship is a type of ignorance. At its most stubborn, it denigrates the contributions of other artists and obscures how movies actually get made.

    Obviously, this is just my opinion. I respect anyone who can write consistently thoughtful content and publish it, like you. I’m just not always going to agree with it and I’m not always going to endorse it.

  • 3 Ed Howard // Aug 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Hey Joe, no, I certainly didn’t take it personally, and wouldn’t be offended even if you had been referring specifically to me. My questions were phrased out of genuine curiosity, not because I thought you were insulting me or anything. I do think Girish is a great, insightful writer, though, and I always enjoy a visit to his site — I only wish he updated more frequently.

    As for the issue of auteurism, I’m sure we’ll just have to agree to disagree on that one. But I’m frankly stunned when people, even now, still believe that auteurists (and I’d consider myself one) view movies as the work of a single person only. Auteurism elevates the director as the *primary* influence on a movie, but no good auteurist critic would ever discount the contributions of all those other people who contribute to a film. The director is just (usually) the single person on a movie set best positioned to control every aspect of a film’s production, and the director is often the one who makes the lion’s share of the decisions and aesthetic choices regarding a film. Film is a collaborative art, but in my opinion auteurism is the best lens through which to understand the art of film as a whole. The director is the person who manages and, well, *directs* all those other people on the set, so how could he or she *not* be the one with the most forceful presence in the final product?

    Also, auteurism is a very valuable way of looking at careers as a whole. To understand a director’s career in its totality is, I think, to understand each of the films within it more deeply and completely. There are thematic and aesthetic continuities when looking at a director’s assembled body of work that, in most cases, with all exceptions duly noted, you’re not going to see when looking at an actor’s work as a whole, or a cinematographer’s, or an editor’s. That’s my own take on it, anyway.

  • 4 Seth // Aug 11, 2009 at 7:47 am

    But you can’t deliver the same rack that the actress boasts, which is infinitely awesome.

  • 5 Joe Valdez // Aug 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Seth: Yes, and that would maybe be where an escort service comes in.

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