July 28, 2006

The Book: Final Specs

On sale next month, THE FILM FREAK CENTRAL 2006 ANNUAL will include:

-Foreword by Lodge Kerrigan, writer-director of Keane

-Introduction by Bill Chambers

-'Overture' by Walter Chaw

-Previously-unpublished reviews of The Future of Food, The Intruder (L'Intrus), Joyeux Noël, 9 Songs, Prozac Nation, and Reel Paradise

-"The Black Hole: United 93 and the New Nihilism," a book-exclusive essay by Alex Jackson

-Plus: reviews of over 230 films and year-end top 10 lists

Get salivating! In the meantime, check out the mother lode at the mothersite: Walter reviews Miami Vice and Scoop; and Travis writes the best and only monograph for Enzo G. Castellari to date.

32 comments:

Jefferson said...

Cool offerings. Looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but can't you exclude mr. jackson.

Bill C said...

?

Seattle Jeff said...

Ahhhhh...it was "book-exclusive"...get it?

It's a play on words!

"Exclusive" and "excluded" derive from the same origin!

bwahahahahahahahaha!!!

Oh man, that's comedy gold right there!!

hoo-boy.

I'm just sad that Carrot Top posted anonymously.

Rich said...

Yeah, take that! That's what you deserve for...uhh...trying to make an innocent joke...

Seattle Jeff said...

I think I was projecting there. It's the kind of lame joke I would make.

James Allen said...

Re: The Book

Bill:

You forgot, "plus, if you act now, you get these lovely FFC iron-ons..."

Looks good. Any films going to have multiple reviews? You had a couple in last year's book, which I thought was kind of neat.

Any chance reviews of pre-2004 films will ever see print? You know, as sort of a DVD guide? (To go slightly off the track for a sec, I know he didn't write it for this site, but if anything deserves to be in a book, it's Walt's classic essay on The Phantom Menace with the great title: "What Do I Think of Western Civilization? I'm in Favor of It.")

Anyway, good luck with the book, Bill et al. Hope you get to do many more.

Bill C said...

Man, I'd love to throw in iron-ons or a juicerator or something.

There'll be a couple of multiple reviews in this one, but fewer than last year.

As for 'movie guide' type books, I wouldn't rule it out. I think our next publication is probably gonna be a compilation of interviews.

James Allen said...

Man, I'd love to throw in iron-ons or a juicerator or something.

I've got it: bobblehead dolls. You, Walt, Alex, Travis... collect all 4! (They're actually repainted Ryan Leaf bobbleheads that have been sitting around a warehouse in North Dakota, but you can't beat the price.)

Interviews, eh? That would've been my next question. Good deal.

Vikram said...

Bill et al,

In regards to the FFC Annual, how about a selection of reader mail in the book? That would be hilarious.

I am sure that I'm not the only reader of FFC to say or think this, but I always look forward to seeing Reader Mail as it is always so entertaining.

Also might be instructive to look see what people were saying about a film at a particular time...

...of course you would have a disproportionate sampling of crazy people.

Max B. said...

I very much agree with Vikram on the reader mail.

A nice thing to do might be what Levitt and Dubner did with "Freaknomics." If you bought the book, you could go on their website and give them your name and address, and they'd mail you a plate (read: sticker) with signatures from the writers.

I'd love to have my FFC reader autographed.

Bill C said...

Just out of curiosity, what's the allure of Reader Mail? Is it schadenfreude?

Chad Evan said...

Bingo, Bill. I'll cop to it.

Vikram said...

I'm not sure that it is quite schadenfreude, in that from a reader (my) perspective I laugh at the ridiculousness and ernestness of the crazy comments that come through to you guys at FFC.

More specifically, I don't take seriously at all the meanness or looniness of the mail - I am more amused at the fact that people actually write that stuff.

I suppose that I might feel different if I were actually on the receiving end of the emails that flow through to you all.

Bill C said...

So I just sent the book to the printer, all 325 pages of it. As soon as Walt and I can get a look at a hard copy and sign off on it we'll put it on sale.

Anonymous said...

For me, it's the passion - I like how you guys respond to both the criticism and praise. The idiots sometimes give me a chuckle, but for the most, it's the actual dialogue with readers who have good ideas or good arguments - it's much better than, say, Ebert's Answer Man, which is so uncontroversial and friendly and gutless that it barely gets an interest, whereas you can all get the blood flowing. The reviews here are passionate and often ballsy, and we also see that in a lot of the responses to the mail.

Vikram said...

Great news Bill, looking forward to the book.

As an aside, thinking about this Mel Gibson business, I wonder if Hollywood makes people crazy or do you have to be crazy to make it in Hollywood?

Also, speaking of Reader Mail, I could see Mad Max submitting some loony email to the lads at FFC - might want to review your email Walter, after your The Passion of the Christ review

Chad Evan said...

I think ol' Mel is gonna be blackballed quicker than a commie in the fifties--but what the hell, he deserves it. And now he can truly concentrate on directing his insane films (I'm thinking a directors cut of Braveheart, redubbed into Scots Gaelic and showing the passion of the Scot unedited, complete with on-camera castration) without worrying about protecting any semblance of marketability or decorum. Remember how everyone laughed when, in his bid to save The Passion from charges of antisemitism, he said his next film would be about the holocaust? Now that his cover is blown he can make the one he really wanted to make: from the Nazi point of view.

Dave Gibson said...

I’m not surprised that Mel is as revolting as his last film, but I never thought he was that stupid. I’m still reeling at the myopia of many mainstream critics (including good old Ebe) who failed to notice (or simply ignored) the blatantly obvious anti-Semitism on display in PotC. However, I think Mel blackballed himself by design well-before his latest Goebbels impersonation. I don’t get the impression that he’s been interested in a mainstream career for awhile now. This incident will only serve to galvanize the apologists who agree with his viewpoints (“Mel Fans Unite!” is the clarion call on the Imdb. boards... yeecch) and further clarify what the rest of us knew already.

Seattle Jeff said...

I used to think South Park's portrayal of Mel was a bit over the top...now I find it understated.

Bill C said...

Sadly, I think I still like Mel better than Tom Cruise.

Bill C said...

Good ol' Vern on the Gibson fiasco.

Alex Jackson said...

I still like him.

Have to say that I felt validated when Quentin Tarantino said in an interview that he absolutely loved Passion of the Christ and thought Mel Gibson "the greatest visual artist of the sound era since Charles Laughton with The Night of the Hunter" or some such hyperbole.

Didn't feel that the film was anti-semetic either particularly since Caviezel's Christ seemed pretty damn Jewish. That scene with the table and his mother seemed to have distinctly Yiddish "Fiddler on the Roof" vibes with me.

Vikram said...

I can see where Bill is coming from - what kind of stuff would Tom Cruise say if he was drunk and caught on the record? He's as much a True Believer as Mel and just as crazy.

Ian Pugh said...

Is it just me, or has there been a pronounced malaise recently concerning a case of the celebrity crazies? Been a long time coming, I suppose, after our pal Mr. Cruise leapt on a couch and threatened to rip out Matt Lauer's throat with his teeth. Truth be told I really rather liked Mission: Impossible III in the sense that it actually embraces the idea of "Ethan Hunt is indestructible" and offers the James Bond aesthetic to a series which, intriguingly, has never had any common style with each episode of the series. Still, it was a relative failure, and the Tom-Kat media blitz is the only one to blame.

Moving up to today, even those who defended Passion of the Christ against the anti-semitism charges don't seem particularly surprised that Mel has gone on record now with some hateful commentary. People seem to be talking about it, but it's almost with a wearying inevitability. No idea how it speaks for Apocalypto, but it's easy to imagine that it will bomb horribly by its December 8 release date, after months of speculation and dissection from the tabloids -- they seem to be the only ones really all that interested, even in these opening days of the scandal.

Is it a sign that even Joe Sixpack has tired of celebrity culture? Maybe Lindsay Lohan broke the system.

Bill C said...

Thing is, I wonder if this might in some backhanded way help Apocalypto. It's a hard sell, that flick, harder than Passion, and the impression I get is that it's his get-out-of-jail-free movie (a la Gus Van Sant's follow-up to Good Will Hunting, Psycho) rather than something that was ever commercially viable in the first place. The trailer alienates people like nobody's business--I know I sat there waiting for the hook.

Chad Evan said...

Apocalypto might be great. As I said, Mel is insane, but he's got talent, and sometimes insanity is just what a movie needs.

Hollow Man Stuffed Man said...

What's wrong with What's eating Gilbert Grape?

Alex Jackson said...

What's wrong with What's eating Gilbert Grape?

I actually broke down and e-mailed Travis with my objections. He seems to think it too neutered (an understandable reading I guess, but through an entirely different set of peepers than my own), and while I think that his encounters with Hallstrom's previous work might have flavored his viewing (another aside, but this remains the only Hallstrom film I've seen and I'm not in a hurry to see another) I think that he sincerely doesn't like it. That line where he calls it "a major chore to watch" seems to indicate that he was genuinely bored and restless through the whole thing and he's not trying to rustle feathers for the sake of rustling feathers.

But yeah, for whatever it's worth I think Gilbert Grape is a classic.

Jefferson said...

Travis' review on Mondovino is a fine piece, but I think that doc came out in 2004, not 1993 as stated in the headline.

Hollow Man Stuffed Man said...

But yeah, for whatever it's worth I think Gilbert Grape is a classic.

Firstly, I agree.

I don't think it's neutered, I just think it's laid back and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

p.s. I don't know if anyone has noticed, but someone needs to tell these guys who make digital shorts and add the foggy/fuzzy filter that "It doesn't make it look like film ! It makes it look like a foggy/fuzzy video !"

Bill C said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Jefferson. 'fraid it's been a little difficult to think straight after burning the midnight oil on the book.