Monday, September 14, 2009

(Lengthy) Quote of the Day

Ebert's up in Toronto surveying the scene as only he can; in a piece sort of about Jason Reitman and his film Up in the Air he had this to say and I dutifully copy-n-paste, Ebert-acolyte that I am:

"It's too bad the term "adult movies" means "X-rated films." It should mean "movies for the mature." You can be 12 years old and be mature. You can be 30, 40, 50, and you'll never be mature. Every summer brings the usual "tentpole movies," expensive action fantasies filled with CGI special effects. They open with multi-million-dollar media campaigns, fast food tie-ins, toys, video games, t-shirts. They gross 100, 200 million dollars, and fade from sight like a hurricane--leaving damage behind, but little of value. Nobody in Hollywood ever got fired for making one of these movies. They turn a profit. They have to. The system is gamed. If you spend enough money promoting a movie, you can guarantee yourself a profit.

For 34 years, in Toronto on the weekend after Labor Day, movies for the mature come back into season. Several of next year's Oscar nominees invariably open. Most of the 361 films here will not win nominations, or maybe even make money. But very few of them were made for cynical reasons.

... I've seen a lot of wonderful films here already. Lone Scherfig's "An Education." Steven Soderberg's "Informant!" The Coen brothers' "A Serious Man." Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon." Lee Daniels' "Precious." Several others. More to come. Last July as I was watching "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," I knew this season would come. After that film was over, I was 150 minutes closer to it."


Joe Reid said...

You know, I love Roger, but I feel like we get this same "It's too bad 'adult movies' mean porn, because 'adult movies' are movies for adults" sentiment, at least once a year.

Jason Adams said...

You're right, he does harp on this a lot, but I especially liked this take on it this time. Framing a Michael Bay movie as a painful right-of-passage one must endure to get at the prestigier stuff of Fall appealed to me. I like that.

Glenn Dunks said...


I just... I... just... AAAAGH!!!

Why can't he go see Samson & Delilah or The Waiting City or movies from other countries that are never going to get a release there? I know these guys (Ebert, critics, blogs, websites) are mainly concerned with getting hits on their websites and to get hits you need to be talking about the latest big movie, but these guys will get to see An Education or A Serious Man on their own time in their own city at free media screenings.

Why are they then being paid to just fly to Canada to see the movies that they can see in a few weeks time anyway?

I would think that as lovers of film (and, surely, the term "film lover" is used very loosely in regards to some critics and websites) they would want to be seeking out the titles that they can't see anywhere else.

Sure, at my city's film fest I saw The Hurt Locker and Antichrist, but I also say Dogtooth, Yuri's Day, Treeless Mountain, Little Joe and so on. They'll never get a release and I'm glad I saw them over, say, An Education or Moon, which are out in October anyway. the way, I like how I turned Ebert's rant into a rant of my own against his rant.

In regards to his rant, he's probably just still annoyed that most other countries have a working ratings system. One that has an "adult" rating that isn't instantly deemed as "porn". Australia's harshest non-porn rating is R18+ and those films, while obviously not that frequent, can even open at #1 of the box office (Chopper, Wolf Creek) and be entirely amazing (American Psycho). They can also be shithouse (Anatomy of Hell). But at least we have one.