Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition asks “What is the most American movie?” Each writer was allowed to interpret that question any way they pleased. As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team.
/Film is experimenting with a daily podcast (you can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast and rss). On today’s podcast we are bringing you an audio version of /Answers: The Most American Movies. Subscribe now or listen below to hear us talk about the most American movies of all time!
If you’d like to share your pick for the most American movie, please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our choices below!
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Subtonix decided to create a map of the United States by pinpointing the movies which best represent each of the 50 states. For example, New Jersey is Clerks and Kansas is The Wizard of Oz. There will likely be some debate over some of these choices (is Fast Times at Ridgemont High the ultimate representation of California?) but it is an interesting concept none the less. It’s also interesting to note that more Coen Brothers films appear on the map than any other filmmaker. Hit the jump to see the whole map, and click to enlarge.
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Next month, one of my favorite independent and more outspoken directors of late, Ti West, will begin shooting a follow-up to last year’s breakout hit about Satanic Panic The House of The Devil. Filming on location in Connecticut (where THotD was also shot) and entitled The Innkeepers, the film is said to follow “the last two staffers at a hotel that’s going out of business”—a hotel that may have ghostly occupants. When I previously emailed West to see if The Shining would be an influence and whether the film addresses “reality” tv shows like Ghost Hunters, he wrote back: “This movie incorporates and comments on the trend of those type shows etc. but is also a very classic ghost story. I’m psyched. I think it blends the classic ghost story style with a solid modern twist. It will be really fun, fresh and scary.”
In a new chat with FearNet at SXSW, where West was speaking on a horror panel, he dished out more tidbits on the project. The haunted hotel that’s central to the story is actually the same hotel he and his crew stayed at while making THotD, and the plot will be informed by “a lot of [his] experiences there.” Similar to what he shared with /Film, West goes on to say The Innkeepers will be scarier than THotD, will also have a healthy number of jokes, and will “definitely be more commercial than THotD” but with an “indie sensibility that will make it unique.”
More details below. And we’ll go ahead and tack on a NSFW list of the top five things we dig about West’s Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, the super gory straight-to-DVD sequel he has disowned following creative differences with Lionsgate…
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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
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Bill Murray recently offered the following skepticism at a press junket, “I saw a guy talking about the end of the world a couple of years ago, and I haven’t seen that either.” Many notable critics feel that the new documentary entitled Collapse, from the well-regarded director behind American Movie and The Yes Men, more or less informs the world, Murray included, that the end in the form of total economic collapse is once again near. “No, this time it is. Really.” Based on surface impressions, Collapse‘s message sounds not unlike Michael Moore’s recent Capitalism: A Love Story, which is a turn off, considering that it’s rather obvious things are currently effed in America (the job market, health care, pundit-hungry media, two aimless “wars,” startling deficit, for starters). One need not prescribe to “doomist” theorizing in order to wave a frightened fist online, though multi-thousands do on a daily basis. But what separates Collapse from Capitalism is the man professing the nation’s and world’s anxiety-addled, certain doom: Michael Ruppert.
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