“Really creepy”: Watching Movies With Julianne Moore. “This used to terrify me, just terrify me,” said

Julianne Moore, popping a Milk Dud into

her mouth and staring at the television

screen with happy, fearful anticipation. “It’s

like a mother’s lullaby, only really creepy.

Look at the Dakota, how terrifying it looks,

and yet normal at the same time. I used to

live a block from there on 71st Street.

Wow, I love the beginning of this movie.”

While Ms. Moore can be very analytical,

particularly when discussing the

performances in the film and the way Mr.

Polanski’s direction accentuates them and

pulls viewers through the story, more often

she is simply caught up in the experience of watching the film again. “Wow, isn’t

that great?” she will say after a shot that impresses her, or, “Look at that, did you

see that?” after an acting moment that strikes her as particularly subtle and

difficult. For her, watching Rosemary’s Baby is a pure pleasure, and watching it

with someone else is a cause for sharing the pleasure, not for beating it to death

at every turn with analysis.” [After all why bother?] New York Times

The NY Press‘ film critic sends up The Sopranos whle extolling new British “gangster-horror film” Sexy Beast [via Robot Wisdom] While Sexy Beast sounds interesting, the faux-populist rant about The Sopranos seems largely incoherent anti-elitism to me. And just who does he think reads the NY Press; Daily News readers??

“These Bush years need some truth-tellin’. Needs some critiquin’.” — Cornel West. How to Be a Better Playa. An invitation-only “Hip-Hop Summit”, with rappers and record executives counseled by African American elders including Cornel West, Congressional representatives, and Louis Farrakhan, resolved to turn hip-hop’s dominant cultural position into political clout through a hip-hop political action committee, moves to get out the hip-hop vote, the creation of a hip-hop think tank at Columbia University… Nagging doubts about the genre’s capacity to transcend gangstah-ism and misogyny remain. Washington Post [via Robot Wisdom]

Red Planet Viewer’s Guide: Earth and Mars Converge. At its June 13th opposition, it’ll be the closest it’s been in the past 12 years. “At opposition, Mars will no longer be a morning star — it’ll be a dazzling ‘all-nighter’, rising near

sunset and reaching its highest point in the sky at midnight. Modest telescopes will reveal normally

invisible details including Martian clouds and icy polar caps.”

Guided Tours of Hell. Writer Denis Johnson’s attempt at nonfiction is reviewed by author Ted Conover, who it appears must not like Johnson. He damns the writing with, at best, faint praise, and he dwells at length on negative aspects of Johnson’s self-revelation in these essays. It works; I didn’t like Johnson much either after reading this review. New York Times

Sony Admits It Used Employees as Bogus Fans — “Still reeling from revelations that its

advertising department had concocted

a phony film critic and used him to promote

four Columbia Pictures releases, Sony

Pictures Entertainment has now admitted

that two of its own employees posed as

ordinary moviegoers in on-the-street

interviews to promote another Columbia

release last summer.” New York Times Should moviegoers take this evidence of an unprecedented degree of manipulation and mindfuck with complacency, or has anyone proposed a boycott of Sony/Columbia pictures? The lawsuits viewers are bringing, claiming they’ve been damaged by being so misled, will probably be thrown out as frivolous, but if a significant change in the company’s profit/loss data were identified publicly as a consequence of the company’s actions, would other companies’ film executives take pause before they crossed a similar line? Do we believe there haven’t been similar instances of manipulation by others already?