Monday, July 14, 2008

HOLY LEAPING HYPERBOLE, BATMAN!

Stanley Kubrick chuckling at the rubrics

The Guardian UK on Christopher Nolan:

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There's no news yet of what Nolan intends to work on next and whether his beloved Howard Hughes biopic will ever get made, or even the state of his putative Ruth Rendell project. One thing we can be sure of is that Nolan is here to stay and comparisons with both Hitchcock and Kubrick are not far from the mark. (Guardian)
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Uh... yes, they are. The are really damn far from the mark.

In fact, I would hope, that after reading that this past weekend, Nolan quickly felt the need to write a letter to the editor and have them retract such a specious statement.

Chris Nolan may have a made an entertaining film or two here and there (along with the bland and dreary Insomnia and Batman Begins) but to come out slinging comparisons to Kubrick and Hitchcock on the back of a guy that is still searching for his first great film is just cuckoo.

WHY SO STUPID????

23 comments:

Ibetolis said...

I read the very same piece and had the same reaction. We do, as a country, seem to get overexcited about the most meagre glimpse of possible greatness.

However, as soon as they achieve said 'greatness' we fall upon them like a ton of rocks.

Nolan is an exciting prospect, clearly a talented director and has the possibly of being damn good but to be compared to the likes of Hitchcock and Kubrick is way off the mark and plain daft.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Chris Nolan is a god and you should get down on your knees and pray to him daily. Those comparisons are off the mark though - I would have gone with Welles, Renoir or uh... oh fuck it - Jesus Christ himself. Maybe even Xenu. He's that astonishing.

By the way, have you seen my pills? I haven't taken my medication in days.

Fletch said...

I'm with you on your overall point - that comparison is a ways off - but to deny that Memento is a great film? I vehemently disagree there...

Marilyn said...

Memento is not a great film. It's a friggin' confusing film whose point was...what was it?

The Guardian, being British, has to name its two best directors (yes, Kubrick was born in America, but England adopted him) to give their own native product a leg up.

Fletch said...

Maybe you should watch it again, Marilyn. Repeated viewings might help you understand it on all counts.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Memento is about Chris Nolan's godliness. Hello. You know, I just have to say... hold on a second...

... okay I'm back. I had to make a quick sacrificial offering to my Chris Nolan statue I keep behind the water heater.

Now where was I? Oh yes, where's my medication?!? Marilyn, are you hiding it from me?

Marilyn said...

Jonathan - I'm right here!

Fletch - I have too many "golden moments" myself to want to figure out what Nolan was trying to do with Memento. Who stole my watch?

Jonathan Lapper said...

Marilyn - I have your watch. Give me my medication and you get the watch back.

BTW, we got Fox running scared. He's too afraid to respond to a Nolan acolyte! Ha! You will burn in the fires of hell for your blasphemy Fox! Burn I say! BURN!!!

Okay I gotta go now and watch some more "Batman Begins" which is, without hyperbole, the greatest work of art in the last 1,000 years.

Jonathan Lapper said...

By the way, that's my leg in the photo above. I worked with Kubrick in the sixties. He used to say me, "Jonathan, one day there will be a director who can tackle both comic book movies and noirs told backwards. And that man will be greater than me. Or is it 'I'? Do you know Jonathan? Wait a minute, what was I talking about?" Then I'd say something like, "Donuts" and he'd be all like, "Oh yeah donuts! You know my favorite? Those kind with the chocolate frosting and the creme inside. Mmmm mmmm! Deeeeelicious!" And then he'd rub his tummy and make a yummy noise. Eventually he'd remember we were making a movie.

Jonathan Lapper said...

One time on Barry Lyndon I almost convinced him to change the duel. I said, "Stan, you know that future director who's gonna be better than you?" And he was like, "Yeah." "Well," I says, "He'd do this duel with chickens, not guns. He'd have him throw dead chickens at each other."

So he's all like, "Oh my god we have to change it now" and then he looks at me and I smile and he's totally, "Oh my effing god Jonathan you almost had me!"

We just laughed and laughed.

Then we ate some more donuts. Or is it doughnuts? Wait a minute, what was I talking about?

Fox said...

Dammit! I take a day off work to do some personal stuff and you guys are having all this fun without me!....

.... let me catch up...

Fox said...

.... ok, I'm caught up....

Wow. Jonathan, you weren't kidding about those pills huh? But, if you are this animated and willing to fill my comment box like this everyday then STOP TAKING THEM all together!

Fletch - yeah, we have to disagree there. To me, Memento was like The Usual Suspects and The Sixth Sense where they were films that buzzed audiences b/c of their twists/hooks but as overall films I felt they were mediocre to average. To me, all three of those films will fade the next gen of film history books are written.

Marilyn - You've made me brainstorm about Britain's "two greatest directors". Those two are pretty hard to knock off the top. My heart says Michael Powell and Mike Leigh are up there too. I mean, Powell at least as a punchers chance for the top two... right? No? Ok, I'm biased b/c he is my favorite, but... Oh, and I would argue for Terrence Davies too if he would start making more films. Oh geez... the can of worms is really open now... I smell a British directors post coming.

Jonathan - As I'm commenting, I'm wondering if you've already commented again. But since you were BFF with Kubrick, I have to ask... were you there when he yelled at Shelley Duvall on the set of The Shining. I bet you were hiding behind him saying "yeah, yeah... take that Shelley!!", weren't you?

Fox said...

Ibetolis -

I agree with your comment of our culture's tendency of propping-them up-only-to-knock-them-down.

Also - along the lines of what you are saying - I think we (I include myself in this) have the tendency to want to have something of "importance" or "classic" status for our times. We rush to call people "the next Robert Altman" or a film "the Citizen Kane of the 00's".

Rick Olson said...

Well, we've gotta have something to compare things to, don't we? We've gotta say this guy's better than kubrick but less better than michael bay -- or is it bey, as in bey rum? Anyway, if we don't have anybody to compare a hack like Nolan to -- oops, did I say hack? Please don't kill me, Jonathan, I'm harmless and I don't have your medicine, Marilyn does -- Nolan's really not a hack, he's just a commercial filmmaker who's had some uneven product.

like that stupid movie about the magicians, what's it's name? the prestidigitator? The presto-chango? Put down the knife, Jonathan, put it down ... there's a good boy.

Jonathan Lapper said...

Chris Nolan did Hocus Pocus? Damn, he is good! Much better than The Shining but boy Stan and I sure had some fun on the set. I must've done a thousand variations on "room service" jokes with the woman in the tub ("Well if you're going to change into a diseased corpse while I'm kissing you I'm keeping my tip to myself!" - you know that kind of stuff). One time Stan laughed so hard the Tab he was drinking started shooting out of his nose.

Good times, good times.

Marilyn said...

Notice how The Guardian has no comments section for their random acts of stupidity.

I also think Prince Charles is the next Queen Elizabeth. I've seen him in pillbox hats, and he's adorable.

Fox said...

Marilyn Ferdinand is the next Pauline Kael and Lapper and Olson are the next Siskel and Ebert (or is that Ebert and Roeper?) ((or is that Kevin Smith and Roeper?)).

God, please don't make that make me the next Anthony Kaufman!

Rick Olson said...

Prince Charles in a pill-box hat? God, I love a guy who can get into touch with his feminine side, and no, that doesn't apply to me, really ... I'm as macho as you can get, never mind that over-weening love I have for rom-coms.

And I'm really flattered, Fox, at being compared to Doper (uh, I mean Roeper), although that hack Lapper certainly is no Ebert ...

Marilyn said...

Pauline Kael, eh? Is that good? Couldn't I be the next contestant on "The Price Is Right"?

Rick, you're no Doeper, thank god! I think you're the next David Frost.

And Fox, we'll always have Paris.

Fox said...

Oh god! I could only mean it as a compliment by comparing you to Kael. And...Paris, TX?

And Rick, I would never REALLY compare you to Roeper, but, I couldn't think of another movie critic duo for you and Jonathan to be compared to. And I mean, I've never seen you guys, but wouldn't it be so cute to see you two together in the center seats?

Jonathan Lapper said...

Hack?!!?!!? Hack!!???!!! That's it Olson, you just made the list! I'll show you the true meaning of Coosa Creek Mambo before I'm done. I'm not sure what that meant but it sounded good. I could go for a doughnut, anybody else?

Jonathan Lapper said...

Oh and for the curious, I'm strikingly handsome.

Rick Olson said...

Doughnuts ... mmmm