Let Cinematica guide you towards the most age-appropriate entertainment for your little ones (with the help of the Dominion-Post’s Graeme Tuckett). Also featuring an extract from the special Light House Cinema Q&A with Lloyd Jones, author of the novel that inspired Mr. Pip.
Update: I have some confirmed circulation figures from the paper itself. Even more depressing.
We interrupt normal — slightly stuttery — programming to bring you news of some changes in the Wellington media scene that might have an impact on the content that you see here.
The Capital Times newspaper will be ceasing publication on — I think — 10 April. The reviews that I re-publish here were all written for them and it is their Monday morning deadlines that I meet every week. Broader discussion of the impact on Wellington’s local media — it leaves only Fishhead as an independent print publication serving the city — and trends in traditional versus digital media in the struggle for advertising yadda yadda, will be better off elsewhere, but the impact on me personally? That belongs here.
The first question is simply “to be or not to be”. The Capital Times is a recognised Wellington media institution with a decent circulation and a large audience. I was told that they print over
15,000 20,000 copies each week and the readership is estimated at between 40,000 and as much as 60,000. That’s significant, and made it worthwhile for me to write for and for exhibitors and distributors to support me by giving me tickets, previews and screeners.
Following up on the 2009 surprise hit The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky has offered us another film about people who destroy themselves for our entertainment — this time in the rarefied world of ballet. Tiny Natalie Portman is plucked from the chorus of the fictional but prestigious New York City Ballet for the dream role of the Swan in a hot new production. It’s the chance of a lifetime but her fragile psychology shows through in her performance even though her dancing is technically perfect. Maestro Vincent Cassel tries to reconstruct her — as you would a first year drama school student — while domineering stage mother Barbara Hershey is pushing back in the other direction. Something has to break and it does.
Black Swan is exceptionally well made, beautiful and challenging to watch — and Portman’s performance is nothing short of amazing — but films that aspire to greatness need to be about something more than, you know, what they’re about and once I’d decoded was going on I couldn’t see enough under the surface to justify the hype.
I’m filling for Graeme Tuckett on Nine to Noon for the next few weeks. This morning Lynn Freeman and I discussed Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, Despicable Me (and 3D generally) plus Tom Reilly’s Gordonia. That was a lot to squeeze in to just over 10 minutes so it got a little breathless.
Listen here or download from the link below:[audio:http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20100923–1149-Film_Review-048.mp3]
While filling in for Graeme Tuckett on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon film slot last Thursday, I casually mentioned that Daniel Craig had been cast as journalist Mikael Blomkvist in David Fincher’s forthcoming remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. With the collapse of Sam Mendes’ new Bond picture, Mr Craig has a franchise-sized gap in his schedule and I think he’s ideal casting to play the craggy crusader (originated by Michael Nyqvist in the Swedish films and a six part television series).
Harry Sloan, a media entrepreneur who once made $200m when a Scandinavian broadcasting business he was managing was taken public, was brought in as chairman of the studio. Sloan set about the substance of his work with enthusiasm, but he was also noted for his quirky habits. He arranged his office in the MGM building according to feng-shui principles and kept a selection of crystals in the screening room to improve energy flows – he even had his office telephone number changed, replacing all the fours with eights, a lucky number in China.