Movies

Dear Steven, I owe my dearest childhood trauma to you. It was on a Sunday, I was water painting a plaster Ninja Turtle figure in the kitchen. I didn’t hear the door opening. I didn’t notice anything or anyone creeping up on me. When I felt a claw on my back and heard a hissing growl in my ears, it was too late. I started crying right away. I was sure there was a velociraptor in the kitchen. I knew I was done for. Fortunately, my mom had no intention of devouring me. She just wanted to give me a good scare. Well, she succeeded: I’d just seen Jurassic Park, which had given me nightmares. Especially that bloodcurdling scene in which the two kids hide from cunning velociraptors left a huge impression on me. I was way too young to go see your movie Steven, but my dinosaur obsession...
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Dear Mr. President, Congratulations on your victory at the polls sir. Isn’t life just interesting? Here you are, finally achieving your long-held dream to lead Nigeria again, this time without the full force of the military. You have now done what no Nigerian has been able to do before now: you unseated a sitting president; you defeated an incumbent. Wow. Sincere congratulations are truly in order. Truth be told, I came late to accepting that you’re the man for the rebuilding job that our country urgently requires. Even in my conviction, doubts abound. But that is not why we are here today; that is not why I’m writing this open letter. I am here today to talk to you about my beloved industry, Nollywood. You do not come across as someone who watches movies and (Did you really say...
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Dear Joel and Ethan, So, last week I was reading this article complaining about the state of movies today by film producer Linda Obst. She writes that the only ones that seem to get made these days are those based on comic books and video games, with lots of explosions, dumb laughs, and hot boys under the age of 24. Obst blames the recession, arguing that studios have no money, and are therefore completely unwilling to take on the risk of producing movies that are actually thoughtful or well-written if they don’t have sparkly vampires or require 3-D glasses. (Which doesn’t really make sense to me–wouldn’t movies with big stars and killer special effects require tons of money to produce? Do you have any insight on this?) I guess I had this article somewhere in the back of my mind...
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Dear sirs and madams, I write to you as an avid fan of your country’s unique and distinguished moviemaking tradition. The films of Chinese luminaries such as Zhang Yimou, Chen Kaige and Wong Kar Wai have indelibly seared themselves on to my consciousness. I am overcome with emotion from simply recalling the lush colours and sensuous textures that permeate the finest offerings of Chinese cinema. I also really dig Chinese chicks. But lately I have become somewhat vexed with the repetitiveness of Chinese films, specifically those of the Wuxia and epic historical genres. A casual glance over the stock of my local bootleg Asian DVD shop reveals a glut of swords, spears, armour, banners, period costume and Donnie Yen’s consistently stone-faced mug sporting varying lengths of facial hair...
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Dear Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, This year is a momentous one for the Oscars, primarily because you’ve nominated 10 movies for best picture. Bravo. When I saw which movies had made the cut I was especially surprised. Up in the Air and The Hurt Locker I was expecting, but District 9? Hell yes! Sadly, however, your august body of voters have chosen this year to overcompensate for past stodginess by also nominating Avatar. Like everyone else on the planet, I’ve seen Avatar. And I had a good time. I bet it was even fun for you too, and you probably didn’t feel that guilty about taking a break from all the French New Wave and Italian Neorealism. The problem is that Avatar really isn’t great. It’s popular and it certainly looks pretty, but what else does it have?...
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Dear IndieGoGo Backers, Our film has been fully funded; even with $20 extra. Myself and the rest of the team on this movie can’t thank you all enough for helping make this project happen. Often times, arts funding is something that is overlooked or forced to take a backseat to bigger things. Many people simply don’t appreciate what is necessary to make a film happen and a huge part of that comes from what a film has for its budget. With this film, we’ve written a script with a simple, yet heartfelt story that we can shoot on a modest budget. There were times when we honestly didn’t think we’d be able to fund it fully and there was talk about a “backup plan” if we didn’t reach our goal. Thanks to all of you wonderful people that backed our film, we’re able to make it happen in a...
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Dear James McAvoy I read with interest your comments in The Scotsman at the weekend. It’s a fair point you make about there being no movies dealing with the Highland Clearances. Hard to believe isn’t it? It’s one of the most significant landmarks in Scottish history, with no shortage of heartbreak and drama, but no one has yet dramatised it for the big screen. How could that be? Don’t think this is an accident or an oversight because it’s not. I was brought up in the town of Thurso, less than 30 miles from the worst of the Strathnaver Clearances, but the subject was never mentioned at school. Yet there were kids in our school whose grandparents had listened to tales told by their older relatives who themselves were cleared off the land. This wasn’t ancient history to us. But...
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Dear Hollywood, If you weren’t joyfully jumping around your living room watching Peter Dinklage accept his Emmy for Game of Thrones a couple weeks ago then I don’t want to know you because ... You don’t watch Game of Thrones, and that is a mistake worthy of a direwolf attack (you don’t know what that is because you suck!), and You don’t like Peter Dinklage and therefore probably also hate other obviously awesome things like open bars and dogs in Halloween costumes and The Big Lebowski. While you were busy sucking, Dinklage won his first Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for the role of short-statured “imp” Tyrion Lannister. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his dog sitter. It ruled. Peter Dinklage: Great actor and, also, super nice guy. Here’s my concern,...
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Dear Mr. Stone, I am an academic historian who likes to think he has some knowledge of world events during the past centuries. I am someone who has watched and thought about some of your better films and who had the good fortune to have been in Kyiv on the Maidan in November-December 2013. I was appalled and distressed when I read that a person of your stature had decided he would make a film about Ukraine’s ousted dictator Victor Ianukovich. What unsettled me was not your idea about interviewing a dictator on film. Documentaries about surviving ousted dictators are important and useful. What I found appalling was not only that you seem to share his interpretation of his fate, but that you seem to attach particular significance to that interpretation. You seem actually to believe Mr...
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Dear Hollywood, You and I, we go back a long ways. Once, I thought we were in it for the long haul. You’ve produced some unforgettable entertainment and even, on occasion, pieces of true art. Hell, once I loved you so much I earned a master’s degree in Film...
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