7 Mar 2016

Widescreen’s best of the web (7 March)

From Widescreen, 4:05 pm on 7 March 2016

Our pick of the best* and most interesting screen-related articles and features from around the web.


Gods of Egypt is on the verge of becoming a campy cult classic despite being attacked before it even came out for ‘whitewashing’ the period with Australians, Scots and Danes. The New York Times critic Manohla Dargis skewers it most entertainingly:

Bosomy damsels and brawny slabs; cheering digital crowds; a lachrymose sphinx; a bedazzled Geoffrey Rush; a galactic cruise ship; an Egyptian god played by the Dane Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; the sword-and-sandals enabler Gerard Butler; a smoky monster that from one angle looks like a fanged doughnut and from another an alarmingly enraged anus — “Gods of Egypt” attests that they do make them like they used to, or at least like the King of the Bs, Roger Corman, once did, except with far more money. If “Gods of Egypt” were any worse, it might be a masterpiece.


Marty Baron was the managing editor of the Boston Globe during the Spotlight investigation of the Catholic Church. He writes about what it is like to have your life made into Academy Award fodder at the Washington Post:

Liev Schreiber portrays me as the newly arrived top editor who launched that investigation, and his depiction has me as a stoic, humorless, somewhat dour character that many professional colleagues instantly recognize (“He nailed you”) and that my closest friends find not entirely familiar.

The scandal disclosed by the Globe’s Spotlight investigative team ultimately took on worldwide dimensions. Fourteen years later, the Catholic Church continues to answer for how it concealed grave wrongdoing on a massive scale and for the adequacy of its reforms, as it should.

The movie has been nominated for six Oscars, including best picture. And, journalistic objectivity be damned, I’m hoping it wins the entire lot. I feel indebted to everyone who made a film that captures, with uncanny authenticity, how journalism is practiced and, with understated force, why it’s needed.


Cosmopolitan provides a peek behind the curtain of Hollywood inequality thanks to an anonymous agent source:

People have been talking about the Jennifer Lawrence example because the circumstances around it were laid so bare and she's talked about it personally. What could she have done to make a difference in that case? 
The only thing she could have done is said, "OK, I'm not going to do the movie. I'm going to pass. I'm going to walk away because I'm not being paid the same amount." Then they might have gone to someone else. I think the crux of it is not that she was a poor negotiator, because first of all, she had plenty of people negotiating on her behalf, some of whom, if not all of them, are men.

But in terms of what she could do, in some ways, the deeper issue is how much she and women are valued as a whole. It's like, "Oh, well, we can always just get another actress." [Whereas] with Leonardo DiCaprio you think, There's no one like him. But Jennifer Lawrence, you just get someone else. Women all across the board are just not valued.


In a superb example of the of kind obsessive film-related travel article that we adore here at Widescreen, Mubi’s Neil Young visits Joliet Correctional Centre from where Dan Aykroyd’s Jake Elwood is released so he can put the band back together in The Blues Brothers:

The Collins Street jail pops prominently up in Raoul Walsh's White Heat, Michael Mann's Public Enemies and the first season of TV's Prison Break; Chicago native Mann also used Joliet's maximum security Stateville Correctional Center a couple of miles away in Crest Hill, the same spot where the prison riot takes place in Natural Born Killers. This is another historic "big house" (dating from 1925) whose oppressively spectacular 'F-House' contains the United States' only surviving 'panopticon roundhouse' design, closely following the principles of total surveillance notoriously devised by 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

Parts of Henry Hathaway's cracking 1948 noir Call Northside 777  were shot here; celebrity inmate Richard Loeb was razor-slashed here, in the showers, with fatal consequences. Loeb and his partner-in-crime Nathan Leopold, who spent time in both Stateville and Collins Street, were the Nietzsche-admiring duo whose murderous 1920s exploits inspired—among others—Hitchcock's Rope, Richard Fleischer's Compulsion and Tom Kalin's Swoon.


[*May not be the actual best. We haven’t read the entire internet.]

Get the RNZ app

for easy access to all your favourite programmes