Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Movies, Stars and Movie Stars

Lance Mannion has a post up about movie stars. I am not sure what to make of it. I quote:

Nobody's going to any movies, except Star Wars.

I haven't gone in a while. Except to see Star Wars.

Nothing else I've wanted to see. How about you?

Here's another problem I have. There's nobody I want to see either. There are no more movie stars.

This is a topic I have a hard time thinking about. I see too many foreign films, marginal films, old films, un-/half-released films to feel the angst that Hollywood feels, and apparently a lot of movie fans feel. The fact that nothing but Star Wars is making money this year means nothing to me - I have seen a reasonable compliment of films, some old, some new - and of the new films, they've been mostly quite satisfying, with a handful of masterpieces mixed in (I find to my shock that I have never posted aything about Arnaud Desplechins' Kings and Queens - that film deserves something. I will right that, in the coming days, I hope.). But other than Unleashed, Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy and Crash - and Kung Fu Hustle, if that counts, I have not seen anything in really wide release. I expect that has something to do with my relatively satisfying year at the movies, compared, apparently, to the mainstream moviegoer.

Anyway: further down, Mannion asks his readers:

So, who do you go to the movies to see? Who would you call a movie star?

I'm not talking about who you think is a good actor. There is still a lot of good acting going on in Hollywood, but it takes place in out of the way corners.

Who do you think was a movie star in the last 30 or 40 years.

Who do you think could be a movie star if the powers that be in Hollywood knew anything about making movies?

Who are your favorite movie stars?

What was the last movie you saw (besides Star Wars)? What movies, in the theaters now or coming soon, do you really want to see?

What would I say? I go the movies to see Bill Murray, Johnny Depp, Nicole Kidman; Jackie Chan and Jet Li, with a good deal of trepidation... Denzel Washington, though he's in some boring films... Jim Carrey. Are they all movie stars? They might be. Gene Hackman? Clint Eastwood? Robert DeNiro? maybe - Eastwood anyway - not so much the other two - they strike me more as great actors...

Women in Hollywood are given a bum deal. Abroad, they get a better shake - though they are less active now than they were a few years ago, Maggie Cheung, Gong Li, and especially Bridget Lin were/are all movie stars in the old sense. As was Chow Yun Fat in Hong Kong, and Leslie Cheung. Going back - Gerard Depardieu of course in France. Kinski. Etc.

I'll skip to the end: last movie I saw - Howl's Moving Castle. Movies I want to see, soming soon - I'll see the Batman film... Though right now, what I'm really looking forward to is a Harold Lloyd series at the local rep house...

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