Sunday Film News Roundup -- September 18th, 2011

So, depending on who you ask, this week's big genre release, Drive, was either the greatest film since Citizen Kane or the worst film since The Hottie and the Nottie.

I haven't had a chance to see it yet, and I might wait until all of the jizzing/furor wears off to not feel compelled to watch it just to be a part of that conversation.

Either way, we can all agree that Ryan Gosling is the hottest person ever to exist on the planet, right? Right?

The Emmys are tonight, with Jane Lynch hosting. I've made no secret of my loathing for Glee, though the few episodes I've seen Lynch has been the only tolerable part, and she's always great in other things, like The 40-Year-Old Virgin, so I might check out the monologue. The show took a major hit, I think, when Fox nixed a joke about the News Corp scandal that Alec Baldwin wrote, so he walked. How can a company as big as Fox, a network that fought its way in as a scrappy, irreverent upstart in the 80s with shows like Married... with Children have so little PR savvy? You take the hit, you let the guy make the joke. There are no sacred cows in media. Take the joke and smile through it, maybe even give a little back to Baldwin, who I'm sure would take it like a champ.

Anyway, two weeks of stories to link this week:

-This puts some perspective on that sissy boy slap fight Josh and Toby had on The West Wing, even though Sorkin didn't write that episode, it's clear that he built that kind of silliness into their DNA.

-Movieline's Stephanie Zacharek has the early word from Toronto on two of the most anticipated films of the fall: Francis Ford Coppola's Twixt and Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress.

-Lars von Trier clarifies his "I'm a Nazi" remarks from Cannes... at a Q&A in Germany.

-Randomwire has a really cool photo essay about the use of Hong Kong in Mamoru Oshii's 1995 anime classic, Ghost in the Shell.

-The Guardian has the first interview I've seen with Sebastian Junger, co-director of Restrepo, since Tim Hetherington's death in Libya earlier in the year.

-There have been like eight movies ever made about hockey and they're all about the stupidest aspect, one that barely exists in the league anymore: the goon. So it's a good thing Jay Baruchel came along to make a new hockey movie about... oh, it's about a goon. In fact it's called The Goon. You suck, Carp.

-Keep an eye out, Ghostbusters might be hitting the big screen again this fall.

-Rolling Stone interviews Cameron Crowe about Pearl Jam 20, which has three showings coming up at the Enzian. You better hurry up and get your tickets now if you want to see it.

-The Times' Thinking Cap has an interesting piece based on a graduate student's paper, wondering whether Americans such as Woody Allen have completely misinterpreted Dostoevsky's work. My own opinion is that an author's opinion of his work is about the most useless opinion possible and whatever meaning you pull out of something is what it means.

-Netflix is getting killed in the market. I can't imagine why.

-Carrie Fisher will be disturbed if Natalie Portman is making any backend off of Star Wars.

-Here is a seven minute clip of Sion Sono's (Cold Fish, Love Exposure) upcoming adaptation of the manga Himizu, which he infused with his feelings about the earthquake and tsunami, that just won the Best Newcomer award for its leads Shôta Sometani and Fumi Nikaidô at the Venice Film Festival.

-Film School Rejects on some of the more arch ways in which Hollywood politics suck the life out of moviegoing.

-Kevin Costner has left the cast of Django, Unchained. Probably to make more machines that don't work.

-Can Hong Kong make a comeback? Wellington Fung, secretary-general of the HKFDC, seems to think so. Dunno. I think that was more of a one-off, and it happened at a time when Japan, Korea and Taiwan were not also delivering consistently great films.

-Gus Van Sant on directing, test screening, Harris Savides and almost directing Twilight.

Some Toronto news:

-And the winners are... films I didn't even know were playing at Toronto! Hooray.

-IFC picked up the new Lynn Shelton film, Your Sister's Sister. She previously did the wonderfully absurd bromance (literally), Humpday.

-Oscilloscope picked up Andrea Arnold's new adaptation of Wuthering Heights. She previously did Fish Tank, which Criterion recently released.

-Palisades Tartan picked up the documentary on jailed Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, who is probably best known around here for his film Offsides.

-Magnolia picked up Bobcat Goldthwait's God Bless America, which is apparently a killing spree comedy. Everyone but me seemed to love his last major film, World's Greatest Dad.

-They also picked up The Hunter, directed by Daniel Nettheim.

-IFC Midnight picked up the horror film The Incident.

-Sundance Selects picked up the new Michael Winterbottom film, Trishna. Winterbottom is pretty much hit or miss with his films, but they're always worth watching, so look out for that one.

-I've never heard of the Cohen Media Group before, but they're distributing the new Luc Besson film, The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh.

-Of course about 10 minutes later I got my first PR email from The Cohen Media Group, so here is their trailer for Oranges and Sunshine, starring Emily Watson.

-The Swell Season, an intimate documentary about Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's relationship post-Once.

-Oh, what's this? Another movie starring Felicity Jones. Chalet Girl.

-Cameron Crowe's new film, We Bought a Zoo. Dunno, Cam. Looks like a stretch. But at least we get some new Jonsi, since he did the score.

-Outrage, the new yakuza film from Takeshi Kitano.

-Premium Rush, the new David Keopp movie starring JG-L.

-Some vampire movie with the girl who is always biting her lip.

-Finally, you might've seen a live version of this already, but check out the studio version of this song from the new Jens Lekman EP, An Argument with Myself, that is somewhat (but not really) about stalking Kirstin Dunst:

[youtube FSGFBaCM0cE]

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