The Morning Read (3.30.09) ‘Bruno’ gets an NC-17

03.30.09 9 years ago

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Hope you guys had a good weekend.  I spent a little family time, which was nice, and I also caught up on a fair-sized stack of DVDs and BluRays which needed reviewing.  Now, as I start the Morning Read, I think it’s time to put on “The Terminator” for the first time in about nine years.  It’s a BluRay, one of the first I got when I got my PS3.  I figured I’d find time this year, before McG’s new Terminator reboot arrives, to watch the first two films again, and I’m glad I’ve waited this long.  It’ll feel fresh.

“Lawrence Of Arabia” is my favorite movie.  So you can imagine that Maurice Jarre’s score is probably a favorite as well, and in general, I think of Jarre as one of the old-style giants, and I thought our own Melinda Newman did a lovely job summing up the career of this legend. Maybe later this morning I’ll watch one of my other favorite Jarre films, “Top Secret!”

I’m not remotely surprised to read that the MPAA has slapped an NC-17 on the first cut of “Bruno,” the new comedy from Sacha Baron Cohen.  Considering how homophobia is the target in this film, and considering how much explicit gay material is included in the movie, it was inevitable.  We’re in the midst of one of the most permissive moments from the MPAA in recent memory… filmmaker after filmmaker lately has told me how amazed they were at what they were able to get away with… but when it comes to gay-themed content, particularly if it gets specific about the mechanics of gay sex, I think that current air of permissiveness vanishes.  I don’t think “Bruno” is going to have an easy time getting to the R, but I’m sure they’ll figure it out.  All I know is that the unrated DVD is going to be absolutely packed.  Fudge packed, if you know what I mean.

[more after the jump]

It’s amazing how much logistical trouble one haircut can cause for a movie as they try to schedule a wee bit of additional shooting.

As I routinely watch my online colleagues indulge in puffed up little turf wars over who gets to be the first to post this or that piece of corporate marketing, I am depressed that a picture of a poster has become the coin of the realm.  We’re not even talking about an actual exclusive premiere of something… we’re just talking about people fighting over whose website took a picture of something hanging in public first.  And this is what passes as a “scoop” these days.  The internet has come a long way from the early wild west days, and not necessarily for the better.  Even worse, the drive to post marketing materials first or the drive to post unsubstantiated rumors first has all but destroyed the urge to actually write content worth reading.  I read a smart piece that uses the recent Nikki Finke/Variety dust-up as a way to explore how this is all getting out of hand.  One of the reasons I work so hard to focus more on reviews than scoops right now is because I think chasing the scoops is a dead-end.  I’ve done it for a lot of years, and if something’s legitimately worth breaking, I’ll still do it, but I’m not going to get into these moronic dick-waving contests over who is first to post a fuzzy picture of a poster that will be in every theater in the country in two weeks.

Then again, according to Roger Ebert, this may go much deeper than just a desire to out-scoop each other professionally.  This addiction to instant communication may be hard-wired into us.

Could there be a new contender for “most insane cult movie ever,” something to challenge “The Room”?  Based on the trailer for “After Last Season,” I’d say the answer is “yes.”

I’m sure this is just a coincidence.

“Final Cut” is one of the best books written about the film culture of the ’70s and the film business of the ’80s, and the author of the book, a former UA executive named Steven Bach, passed away over the weekend.  If you’ve never read his book and you’re remotely interested in how things really work in this business, find it and read it today.

I wish movie-related videogames were routinely awesome, but it’s rarely the case.  Do you think either of these are going to break the pattern?

David Lynch is always interesting, even when he’s not gearing up on a new movie, and I love that he’s able to generate media attention for something as personal as his Meditation project.

Have you ever seen “Tekkonkinkreet”?  It’s a ravishing, smart, emotional anime film from a couple of years ago, and the BluRay for it is one of the most visually spectacular that I own.  The Art of the Title has just published a look at the opening title sequence, which perfectly sums up the visual style of the film.

Is artist Dave McKean ready to return to the director’s chair, and if so, will he be working with French animation house Buf when he does?  That’s what /film seems to think, and I hope they’re right.  Sounds great.

This makes me too sad to laugh.

And so does this:

Sort of a short Morning Read today, but it’s a Monday.  I’m just happy we’ve got anything to talk about at all.  Lots of content coming up this week, so keep checking in all day long.

The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday.  Except when it doesn’t.

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