Jan 4, 2013


For my end-of-the-year round-up for  The Gaurdian:—
"... BRITS IN SPANDEX. Very little about Spiderman screams “Guildford.” Nothing about Batman suggests Welsh Male Voice Choirs and sheep.  And Superman is supposed to hail from the planet Krytpon, not the Isle of Wight. And yet those are where the actors playing them— Andrew Garfield, Christian Bale, Henry Cavill — hail from. What’s the matter with American hunks?   “The ugly truth is that American leading men just aren't terribly manly anymore,” worried New York’s magazine’s Vulture blog,  attributing the rash of British superhero casting to the “feminization of the American male.” Either that or British actors, fed up with paying stuttering kings and fumbling romeos, are putting in more time at the gym.  Take it as a sign of ...
HOLLYWOOD’S GROWING INTERNATIONALISM. With the overseas market now accounting for a staggering 70% of the box office, it came as no surprise that James Cameron was planning to shoot Avatars 2 and 3 with Chinese money. Iron Man 3 is already shooting in China.  Wes Anderson is off to Europe for his next movie, following in Woody Allen’s footsteps.  This year, mongrel hits Slumdog Millionaire and The Artist were joined by Life of Pi, the world’s first Canadian-Indian-Taiwanese Oscar contender. As Michel Haznavicious said last year, “I'm not American and I'm not French, actually.  I'm a filmmaker.”  Hollywood is a state of mind. Discuss.  
THE AMERICAN EXOTIC. If Hollywood grew more international, then America seemed more like a foreign country in 2012. That, at least, was the case with Benh Zeitlin’s incandescent debut Beasts of the Southern Wild, in which a six-year-old voyage through the “bathtub” of post-Katrina Lousiana like Odysseus wandering the Mediterranean. It recalled another film, using American disintegration as the backdrop for myth, 2009’s Winter’s Bone. Together, they suggested a new sub-genre, the American Exotic, shaping flinty myth from forays into the American subcontinent. And to think that magic realism used to be the igenre of the developing world. No more.  Noted the New York Times' Michael Cieply:— “Last year Hollywood’s top 20 domestic box office performers included just two movies — “The Help” and “Bridesmaids” — with realistic stories about American life….. In 1992, by contrast, 15 of the 20 best-selling American films were rooted in realistic, if sometimes twisted, American experiences… pressure to generate international sales, which now account for about 70 percent of Hollywood’s worldwide ticket revenue, had pushed the simple portrayal of American lives almost completely off the big studio schedules in May, June and July." At the cinema at least, America is the foreign country now..." 

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