'Criticism is the only thing that stands between the audience and advertising.' - Pauline Kael


Dr David Archibald, University Of Glasgow
Film International, Financial Times, Cineaste

Liza Bear,
Bomb Magazine

Dan Bessie
Filmmaker and Culture Critic

Prof. Dennis Broe
Jump Cut, NY Newsday, Boston Phoenix

Dianne Brooks
The Film Files,

Lisa Collins

Benjamin Dickenson
Bright Lights Film Journal, UK

David Ehrenstein
Quarterly Review of Film and Video

Miguel Gardel
Proletaria Press

Michael Haas
Culture critic

Laura Hadden
Pacifica Radio

Gerald Horne
University Of Houston

Reynold Humphries
British Film Historian

Sikivu Hutchinson, KPFK Radio

Jan Lisa Huttner, Films For Two

Cindy Lucia
Cineaste Magazine

Pat McGilligan
Film Historian

Prairie Miller
WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network

Logan Nakyanzi
Go Left TV, Huffington Post

Gerald Peary
Boston Phoenix

Steve Presence
Radical Film Network, UK

Louis Proyect

Sandy Sanders

Nancy Schiesari,
BBC, Channel 4,
Univ. of Texas, Austin

Rebecca Schiller
Culture Critic

David Spaner, Hollywood Inc.

Luis Reyes
, Arsenal Pulp Press

Christopher Trumbo
RIP, January 8, 2011

Dave Wagner
Mother Jones, Film International

Linda Z
LFC Film Club

Noah Zweig

Paul Robeson With Oakland, Ca. Shipyard Workers, 1942

Black August

So in order to best cover all bases, progressive film critics tend to consider three categories of assessment, rather than two: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The first two are self-explanatory. And the third category is reserved for movies that may have been impressively put together, but there's just something offensively anti-humanistic about them.

Stay tuned......

The Organizer

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Texas Refuses to Pay ‘Machete’ Producers

WSJ Washington Wire

By Russell Gold

Let’s get this out of the way first: Robert De Niro looks nothing like Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Or Sen. John Cornyn. Or any other Texas politician we can think of.

However, Mr. De Niro’s portrayal of the fictional Sen. John McLaughlin in Machete, an B movie shoot-’em-up released in September, has apparently made some folks in Austin upset.

The Texas Film Commission says it will refuse to pay $1.75 million in state incentives to the movie’s producers citing a state law that allows the state to refuse to pay incentives for “content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.”

But what exactly is the “negative” portrayal the governor’s staff object to? Most commentators assume it is Sen. McLaughlin’s character, a virulently anti-immigration politician whose faux ad supports an “electrified border fence” and pledges “no amnesty for parasites.”

Or is it the fact that at the end of the movie, the main character – an ex-Mexican federal police officer played by Danny Trejo – gets legal status? This is after he leads a group of Mexican immigrants in a confrontation with border vigilantes.

Calls to the Texas Film Commission were forwarded to Gov. Perry’s press office. Katherine Cesinger, the governor’s spokeswoman, said the letter to the filmmakers didn’t specify why the movie ran afoul of the “negative” portrayal criteria. “The totality of the project is what the office takes a look at,” she said.

In this era of states hemorrhaging red ink, will others follow Texas’s lead and play film critic, only handing out incentives to Hollywood for movies and television shows that meet certain content guidelines? The Motion Picture Association of America told The Wall Street Journal this summer that no other state reviews the content of films before awarding subsidies.

At any rate, the loss of $1.75 million won’t bankrupt the aptly named Troublemaker Studios, the production company that made the film. The production budget was $10.5 million and it’s domestic gross was $26.6 million, according to website Box Office Mojo.

One big winner: Machete and Troublemaker Studios. The movie has yet to be released on DVD and, as they say, all publicity is good publicity.

Machete was distributed by 20th Century Fox, which, like The Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp.

Noah Zweig
JACC News Desk

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