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17 Banned Films and What They Tell Us About the Power of Cinema

Here are 17 films that have been banned around the world for various reasons.

Closed Curtain

Controversy is the best free publicity.

The mere idea of prohibiting a film from being seen speaks to the power of the medium to address subjects ranging from politics and social issues to religion. In many cases, governments and other authority figures find certain cinematic voices threatening to their beliefs and lifestyles. They would prefer to keep those images away from the public consciousness rather than encouraging debate or promoting tolerance. Recent examples of such practices are the cases of Iranian filmmakers Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof — whose latest courageous works, “Closed Curtain” and “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” — have faced strong government sanctions. Exposing the extreme oppression under which artists must attempt to work, these films were seen as direct attack against the regime. Both films were defiantly created in secrecy after their directors were banned from making movies. Needless to say, while prohibited in their homeland, both films are currently having a theatrical run in the U.S.

1.”The Interview” (2014)

Why is a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen at the top of the list? Because it is absurdly hilarious and equally terrifying to think that such a film could endanger world peace. Not only is this politically-charged bromantic comedy never reaching Pyongyang — hard to know if there are any theaters there anyway — but it has also pushed Kim Jong-un’s kingdom to threaten “merciless” retaliation against the US. In all honesty, everyone should have expected the not-so-subtle Asian nation to do just that given the film’s premise. Certainly the team behind the film must be grateful for such a “flattering” reaction. The story follows the two friends, playing pop culture journalists, who are recruited by the CIA to assassinate none on other than North Korea’s supreme leader. Outraged, the country’s UN ambassador called the production of “The Interview” an “act of war,” which are strong words by anyone’s standards. Especially when they refer to a Hollywood flick that hasn’t even been released. On the other hand, when your movie manages to ignite the possibility of nuclear warfare, then you know your PR team has done well. By that, of course, we mean the uncredited PR team: the North Korean government.

Indiewire | Read the Full Article

Lee Gambin on the Decade that Redefined Movie Musicals

This interview with film historian Lee Gambin sheds some light on the changes that occurred in the 1970s with the movie musical.

Rocky Horror

For many years, I’ve seen film critics claim that movie musicals started to go out of vogue in the 1960s, or even the late 1950s. But some of the most commercially successful musicals were released in the 1970s. Why do the critics seem to forget about the decade’s musicals?

Many critics tend to speak in absolutes and this kind of thinking can be completely damaging to the reputation of a genre and completely untrue. The idea that musicals “went out of fashion” come the sixties is completely bogus. I mean “West Side Story,” “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music” are three obvious incredible examples of classic cinema. They were not only box office successes but the epitome of iconography. And the decade gave us bizarre innovative musicals such as “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” as well, that played with the genre.

Of course, the duds, the ones that lost studios money, were the ones that stood out in the minds of folk like Pauline Kael and so forth, such as “Dr. Dolittle” and “Hello, Dolly!,” but there is always this weird ignorance that permeates – I mean, hello, “Oliver!” happened!

But yes, the ’70s delivered extremely successful musicals that were all extremely diverse! I mean if you look at the golden age of movie musicals (the thirties and forties) there are many similar styles and narrative elements (look at the brilliant but very set-in-their-way musicals of Arthur Freed) but in the ’70s you had insanely different musicals and many of them, as you say, major successes.

“Fiddler on the Roof” is incredibly different to “Cabaret” and yet both were major hits. The influence of rock ‘n’ roll also helped resurrect or generate a new interest in the movie musical, but many critics completely overlooked these films because they were possibly too interested in non-genre specified films that were starting to surface during an era of anti-glamour.

Film Threat | Read the Full Article

How to Diagnose What’s Making You Chronically Late

Always being late is something you can change… if you figure out why you’re late in the first place!

Chronically Late

Do you find yourself apologizing constantly because you’re chronically late? Do your friends not even bother to show up until at least 15 minutes after they told you to arrive, knowing they’ll still need to wait for you?

Have you missed out on opportunities, had work rejected, or had to pay a great deal of money in ticket change fees because you just couldn’t arrive on time? Do you keep saying you want to break this bad habit but never really seem to change?

If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with running their life with clockwork precision. In fact, whole countries of people have this time challenge so one antidote for the stress caused by lack of timeliness is to move to a part of the world where arriving “on time” would be rude. However if you don’t see international relocation as a viable option, figuring out how to overcome this issue can lead to a much happier, successful life for you.

As a time coach and the author of The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment I’ve found that the symptom of “lateness” can arise from one or more root causes. To help you with identifying your specific challenges and corresponding solutions, I’ve come up with a list of some of the most common answers to the question, “Why am I ALWAYS late?!” You can experiment with different solution combinations until you find just the right mix for you.

The Challenge: You value something more than being on time. For example, you see wrapping up the work in progress, talking to the person in front of you, or ironing your shirt as more important than punctuality.

The Solution: Look below the surface of the activity to the underlying priority. For “wrapping up work,” the underlying value could be “a sense of completion” or “being able to let go mentally.” For “talking to the person in front of you,” the underlying value could be “respect” or “effectiveness.” For “ironing your shirt,” the underlying value could be “professional appearance” or “confidence.” Once you’ve pinpointed the underlying value, you have three options:

Creativity Post | Read the Full Article

How does a ‘terrible’ movie make $300 million in three days?

From one of the worst reviewed films of the year to one of the biggest financial successes, Chris Plante and Ben Kuchera discuss how Michael Bay continues to pack them in.

Transformers

Transformers: Age of Extinction made $300 million in its first weekend of release. That number is insane, even by the standards of a Hollywood blockbuster, and shows the power of an international opening weekend.

The movie took in $90 million in China, an industry record. Not counting marketing spend, the movie has already made back its budget and will likely be profitable overall by next week if this pace continues.

The fourth Transformers movie is one of the biggest hits of the year. It’s also one of the worst-reviewed movies of the year, with critics getting out their sharpest barbs to heap scorn on a film that’s seen as loud, nonsensical and pandering. The reviews don’t matter, though; the people who showed up and bought their ticket tell the story, especially overseas.

The importance of the Chinese market has become an interesting story when it comes to these films with huge budgets, and Chinese appeal is baked into the movie when possible. There was an entirely different cut of Iron Man 3 for China, and Paramount was careful to shoot part of Age of Extinction in China and to feature a high-profile Chinese actor. The Chinese audience was courted just as hard as the United States, and it paid off.

Polygon | Read the Full Article

Baseball, White House & War Photography with David Hume Kennerly

David Hume Kennerly has been shooting on the front lines of history for six decades. He has covered wars and the people who started them, major sporting events including the 1969 Miracle Mets-winning World Series, and every other kind of story imaginable. He has done portrait sessions with kings, queens, presidents, soldiers in the field, and Indonesian fishermen. David shares these experiences, and passes along some great advice for anyone who is enthusiastic about photography, and wants to become a better photographer.

David-Hume-Kennerly

A Conversation with GoPro’s Nick Woodman

Seeking legendary surf breaks along with a great education, Nick Woodman (Muir ’97) enrolled at UC San Diego with the goal of graduating with a degree that would prepare him for a career in finance or maybe even law. What he got instead was a degree in visual arts, a wife he met in class and a dream job as founder and CEO of the world’s fastest growing camera company, GoPro. Join GoPro’s Nick Woodman as he reminisces about his days at UC San Diego and describes how he’s leveraging his passions and perseverance into growing a multi-billion dollar company.

Nick-Woodman

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