In a recently published article in The New York Times, alum Joss Whedon ’87 weighs in on “the decadent state of contemporary Hollywood entertainment” while also promoting his “giant, tentpole, franchise, action, summer movie,” joking that the contradiction “doesn’t make me a hypocrite, it just gives me layers.”
The Avengers, described by the NYT article’s author as “comicdom’s equivalent of the Dream Team or the Wu-Tang Clan”, sounded like a “fun” writing project to Whedon, because they were “broken and tortured and strange”.
The article features Whedon and his colleagues reflecting on some of his past work; click through to have a read. For now, I’ll leave you with some wise Whedon words that you thesis-writers (congratz, seriously) might have found solace in, especially over the last few weeks: “You have to believe in your work to the point where you can get your heart broken,” he said, “or you wouldn’t have the energy to do these things.”
The Avengers [trailers here], the multimillion (where multi = > 220) and multi-superhero movie from Marvel Studios, is written and directed by Whedon and will be out in cinemas May 4 (the same day that our own fucking film series is screening The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Watch out, nerdz, we’re gonna have SO MANY FEELINGS).
Many of you probably saw a thesis film directed and created last year by Daniel Hymanson ’11 entitled “Slothman.” Daniel sent us this submission regarding fundraising for a new film he’s planning on making:
I’ve launched a fundraising campaign to start production on a movie called This House. This House blends documentary and fiction to explore the inimitable in-home installation work of Jackie Seiden, a Chicago-based artist and educator.
We begin in the attic, filled with pastel color and sun-soaked suitcases. We enter into the experience of a three-year-old girl in the 1930s, as she uncovers everything not supposed to be known and attempts to avoid an unbearable fear of abandonment. We descend to the basement, dark and filled with white Christmas lights. We enter into a fantasy world where the ever-three-year-old Ga Ga Goo Goo and her symbiotic soulmate Pig embark on a planet-wide journey to find their mother and father, who were swallowed up by a crevice while awestruck by the Northern Lights. In the journey from the attic to the basement, we also explore everything in between.
Any help with pledges or spreading the word would be greatly appreciated. Every little bit counts!
If you want to throw a few bucks Daniel’s way, he’d be most appreciative. You can do so at his Kickstarter page. There are only 29 days to go!
People call Michael Bay ’86 a lot of things – the Antichrist, a sell-out, even Hitler. In fact, it seems like most of the time when you hear something about Bay, it falls into one of four categories:
- A complaint by critics about the quality of his movies
- Discussion by fans about how his movies are fun to watch
- Acknowledgement by both parties that his movies gross a lot of money
- Use of his name as an adjective to describe a big explosion
This article from GQ entitled “Blow Up: An Oral History of Michael Bay, the Most Explosive Director of All Time” creates a fifth category of its own, featuring quotes from those who have worked with Bay (including chair of the Wesleyan film department, Professor Jeanine Basinger) as they “reveal the secret genius behind a true Hollywood visionary.” The article is fantastic, and really gives you an interesting perspective – or, rather, a number of interesting perspectives – on one of Hollywood’s most controversial directors, and one of Wesleyan’s richest and most well-known alums. Read past the jump for some highlights.