THE FILMMAKERS VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: BY COLE SMITHEY

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INGRID BERGMAN: THE LEGENDARY ROMANTIC

AGNES VARDA: VOYAGER OF LIGHT

FEDERICO FELLINI: MAESTRO

CATHERINE DENEUVE: CINEMA'S GRANDE DAME

RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER: THE MASTERBUILDER

DARREN ARONOFSKY: ASTRONOMER OF SENSES

WIM WENDERS: THE SEEKER

JACQUELINE BISSET: SEX SYMBOL

JOSEPH LOSEY: ENIGMA

LINA WERTMÜLLER: THE SOCIALIST AUTEUR

DAVID LYNCH: NEO-GOTHIC SLEEPWALKER

YASUJURO OZU : THE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE 

ISABELLE HUPPERT: LIBERTINE

STEVEN SPIELBERG: POPULIST

AKIRA KUROSAWA: PIONEER

TAKESHI KITANO: RENAISSANCE MAN

SOFIA COPPOLA: AUTEUR

 ROBERT ALTMAN: SATIRIST

 JIM JARMUSCH: OUTLIER

 SAM PECKINPAH: LIBERATOR

 KEN LOACH: SOCIAL REALIST

 JOE CARNAHAN: THE BEST-KEPT SECRET

 CATHERINE BREILLAT: TRANSGRESSOR

 WERNER HERZOG: MENSCH

DAVID FINCHER: MODERNIST

WILLIAM FRIEDKIN: THE MUSCLE

JOHN CASSAVETES: INDIE ICON

PAUL VERHOEVEN: REBEL

LARS VON TRIER: PROVOCATEUR

QUENTIN TARANTINO: MAVERICK

 ALFRED HITCHCOCK: MASTER OF SUSPENSE

 LUIS BUNUEL: FETISHIST

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March 28, 2022

CHRIS ROCK AT THE OSCARS — 2022

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Hands

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Hold my beer.

Chris Rock deserves a fucking medal for how he comported himself at the Oscars after Will Smith walked on stage and slapped the defenseless Chris Rock on live television.

Chris Rock — professional.

Will Smith — amateur.

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I interviewed Chris Rock once. He was great. But the lesson I learned from him tonight was priceless.

Such grace is rare, very rare.
 
Respect Lion.
 
As for for the narcissist Will Smith, if it were you or me, we'd be in handcuffs down at the pokey for a day or three, and fired from whatever job we had that provided entrée into the event.
 
As a film critic, I vow to never watch, much less review, another Will Smith movie.
 
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Here's what the Academy had to say after its investigation into Will Smith's unprovoked attack on Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.
 
Open Letter to Our Academy Family
The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.
 
During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented. 
 
Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith's actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.
 
We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.
 
This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith's behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted. 
Thank you,
 
David Rubin           Dawn Hudson
President                CEO

Cozy Cole

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February 26, 2022

PHILIP HOLT ON INTERSTELLAR

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My dramaturgist pal and podcast co-host Philip Holt wrote a scathing set of points that tell what an awful movie "Interstellar" is. 

So, special to ColeSmithey.com, here his Philip's assessment of this atrocious film.

Enjoy.

Interstellar's Flaws

By Philip Holt

The dystopian future world is in a deteriorating state where everyone lives on corn but they seem to get enough gasoline from somewhere.

They still drive the cars you and I see on the road every day. None of the models seems to have improved at all in the intervening decades.

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The characters get a flat tire while driving to school — flat as a pancake —but they don’t have a spare, so they’re going to use some kind of a patch kit, even though you need a fairly substantial piece of shop equipment that bolts to the floor to get a full size tire off a rim.

A drone (UAV) flies over, and they chase it on the flat tire at high speeds through the corn fields, and the tire stays on the rim. Amazing. I’m assuming that they are driving at very high speed because a drone of the sort they were pursuing typically cruises at about 300 mph. For the sake of argument, let’s say that it was old and tired and only going half as fast—150 mph. How fast would they have to drive to keep up?

But keep up they do, and they eventually capture it using the laptop they keep in the car, and Cooper lets his young daughter bring the craft in for a beautiful and delicate landing on the hillside.

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According to the movie, it was some kind of lost Indian drone that had been in the air for a very long time. I assume a long time because it got there from India. I recall some implication that it was solar powered, but the UAV had no evidence of solar cells whatsoever. They did manage to chase it, down it, disassemble it AND fit most of it in the bed of the pickup AND fix the flat tire AND get to school a little late.

At school, we find out the country is now run by totally stupid people who, for example, use textbooks that say the Apollo moon mission was all a big hoax. (I recall that in the film “Idiocracy” crops were failing because of being watered with a sports beverage, so I infer that might be the problem here, too.)

Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) sends from the future—but we don’t know this yet—the coordinates of the secret NASA space launch center a couple of hours away.

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He takes off in his truck ignoring the big pile of blankets he didn’t put in the truck that includes his daughter. He discovers this while he’s still close to home, but decides to take her on this dangerously mysterious mission anyway.

They find the secret NASA space research facility right near their home and learn the following:

The stupid people who run everything have still been secretly funding amazing space research.

A brand new worm hole has opened up near Saturn, but no one but the people in the secret NASA research facility have noticed this.

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The NASA scientists have sent several rockets’ worth of people through this wormhole, though no one has noticed rockets taking off.

The NASA scientists have managed to build a great big circular space-ship thing that looks like a Ferris wheel, and, of course, no one has noticed.

The chief NASA rocket scientist is an 80 year old Michael Caine who also happens to be a former friend and colleague of Cooper. He also has a beautiful daughter whom he would have had to have fathered when he was in his late 50’s.

On the basis of the past relationship and his numerous other manly qualities, Cooper is selected to fly the ship through the wormhole even though they have lots of computers who are smarter than all the humans we’ve met so far.

When Cooper leaves to save the entire population of the planet, his daughter is so mad she won’t speak to him.

The rocket takes off. No one notices.

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They fly away in the space Ferris wheel vehicle. Everyone goes into wet hypersleep. Then they wake up.

Cooper flies the ship through the wormhole even though the computer would do a way better job.

Radio messages can get through the wormhole from earth but messages can’t go back. Inexplicably inconvenient.

They decide to check out the water planet even though it presents the greatest operational risk because of relativity. Cooper describes how he can do this by completely ignoring celestial mechanics and sort of “flyin’ over there.”

Cooper, Dr. Brand (Anne Hathaway), and crew member Ricky Fitts go to the water planet, and it’s an obvious bust. The previous craft was destroyed. Dr. Brand decides that the data recorder is going to be really valuable even though you can tell just looking out the window that this planet won’t work. The robot rescues her, but Cooper slams the door on Ricky Fitts, who’s left to float on the water planet forever. Was Ricky wearing a red shirt?

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Meanwhile, back at the Ferris wheel vehicle, 24 years have passed! The black crew member is now an OLD black crew member who claims that he took a hyper nap or two but decided to stay awake and kill time for a couple of decades. I wonder what he did. He didn’t fly anywhere. He couldn’t send any messages. One of the computers was running everything. That’s a lot of food and water, too.

They debate and disagree about the next planet to visit. Cooper reveals out of the blue (or blackness of space) that Dr. Brand is actually in love with one of the scientists. She admits this and gives a dewy-eyed speech about how love is some kind of lost dimension in physics. Everyone (including the audience) looks at her with incredulity.

Cooper decides to go to the non-love planet, where they wake Matt Damon out of hyper sleep, and he tries to kill all of them for no clear reason. He blows up the old black crew member, and manages to wreck the Ferris wheel craft, killing himself in the process by not following instructions.

Meanwhile, back on earth, Michael Caine is now even more than 24 years older. We know this because even though he looks just the same and is wearing the same clothes, he’s in a wheel chair.

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Cooper flies into the black hole. Then he ejects from his craft and falls into the black hole. He figures out that Dr. Brand was right and that love really is the lost dimension in physics, a force so powerful that the black hole of love spits him out next to Saturn just in time to be picked up by roving futuristic patrol of some kind. He does manage to send all the missing data for the anti-gravity formula via Morse code to his daughter’s watch, which she notices.

He wakes up on Earth 2, a big tube full of lawns and nice houses and no big dust storms like on earth. His now old and dying daughter admonishes him to go find Dr. Brand—i.e., unexplained love (Physics) interest. He leaves so that the now old daughter can die in peace.

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Cooper walks into the elaborate space hangar wearing a space suit that fits him perfectly, and he absconds with an unguarded intergalactic craft of some kind that has no security and requires no instructions to fly.

Fade to amazing black with loud organ music.

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Cozy Cole

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July 17, 2021

CANNES 2021: THE COMPLETE AWARDS

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101_0155COMPETITION

Palme d’Or: “Titane”

Grand Prix

TIE: Asghar Farhadi, “A Hero” AND Juho Kuosmanen’s “Compartment No. 6”

Best Director

Leos Carax, “Annette”

Best Actor

Caleb Landry Jones, “Nitram”

Best Actress  

Renate Reinsve, “The Worst Person in the World”

Jury Prize

TIE: Nadav Lapid “Ahed’s Knee” AND Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s “Memoria”

Best Screenplay 

Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, ”Drive My Car”

Camera d’Or

”Murina,” Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović

Short Films Palme d’Or 

“All the Crows in the World,” Tang Yi

Short Films Special Mention

“August Sky,” Jasmin Tenucci

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UN CERTAIN REGARD

Un Certain Regard Award

“Unclenching the Fists,” Kira Kovalenko

Jury Prize

“Great Freedom,” Sebastian Meise

Prize for Ensemble Performance

“Bonne Mere,” Hafsia Herzi

Prize for Courage

“La Civil,” Teodora Ana Mihai

Prize for Originality

“Lamb,” Valdimar Johannsson

Special Mention

“Prayers for the Stolen,” Tatiana Huezo

CANNES VIEW

DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT

Europa Cinemas Label: “A Chiara,” Jonas Carpignano

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize

“Magnetic Beats,” Vincent Maël Cardona

CRITICS’ WEEK

Nespresso Grand Prize

“Feathers,” Omar El Zohairy

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize

Elie Grappe and Raphaëlle Desplechin, “Olga”

GAN Foundation Award for Distribution

Elie Grappe and Raphaëlle Desplechin, “Zero Fucks Given”

Louis Roederer Foundation Rising Star Award

Sandra Melissa Torres, “Amparo”

CINÉFONDATION

First Prize: “The Salamander Child,” Theo Degen

Second Prize: “Salamander,” Yoon Daewoon

Third Prize

TIE: “Love Stories on the Move”, Carina-Gabriela Dasoveanu AND “Cantareira,” Rodrigo Ribeyro

Queer Palme

"The Divide"

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COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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