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Filtering by Tag: The Dissolve

Cut to Black: The Dissolve, 2013-2015

Chris Klimek

I just got home from attending a two-week criticism institute, wherein I was one of 14 working arts journalists, aged twentysomething to fiftysomething, to benefit from the instruction of critics for The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Guardian, and other influential publications. That's where I was on Wednesday morning when I got a mass e-mail from Scott Tobias indicating that The Dissolve was shutting down, effective immediately. In its two years of life, that site had firmly established itself as the best place on the web to find smart, enthusiastic, formally inventive writing about movies new and old, famous and obscure. I'd declined a review assignment from Scott only days before, citing my wall-to-wall schedule during the institute.

Scott's e-mail came just as I was heading into a session on restaurant reviewing conducted by Sam Sifton, the Times' food editor. I've always had a chip on my shoulder about food coverage. I don't usually read it, and I often find it precious and/or pretentious when I do. To me at least, it's obvious that food is not art. Yes, it's an important component of culture. Yes, cooking is an admirable skill. But a meal cannot express emotion. An entree cannot communicate an idea. There are sad songs and sad paintings, but there are no sad foods, unless you're buying your dinner at a 7-Eleven.

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Waves of Regret: Dawn Patrol, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

I reviewed a movie called Dawn Patrol for The Dissolve. Not the Howard Hawks one from 1930. Or its Errol Flynn-Basil Rathbone-David Niven-starring remake from 1938 (pictured). This one is a grimy little indie revenge drama that was shot two years ago in Ventura and Oxnard, Calif., the beautiful seaside region where I lived for four-and-a-half years in the very early aughts. It was directed by the writer of Beverly Hills Cop and stars Clint Eastwoodson, better known to the world as Scott EastwoodHere's the review.

The Ongoing Failure of the PG-13 Rating: The Movie

Chris Klimek

In perhaps the strangest milestone of my I-guess-you-could-call-it-a-career, The Dissolve has adapted an essay of mine that they published back in December into a very clever two-and-a-half-minute animated short. Keith Phipps, who edited the original essay, wrote the script.

I'm honored. The original piece is here. Please note that it cites Guardians of the Galaxy as the top-grossing picture of 2014 in the U.S., which it was at the time of publication; Guardians was subsequently out-earned by The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and American Sniper. Anyway, my thanks to Keith and to animators Mack Williams and Benji Williams and their team for doing such a beautiful job with this. I've embedded the video above, but please go watch it on The Dissolve, where it's accompanied by a behind-the-scenes video wherein Mack Williams pulls back the curtain on how he turned a script into a cartoon.

Prose and Retcons, or Don't Fear the Rewind, or Mulligans' Wake

Chris Klimek

"Well, everyone knows Ripley died on Fiornia-161. What this ALIEN movie presupposes is... maybe she didn't?"

I have a long, long "Exposition" essay up at The Dissolve today inspired by (uncertain) reports that District 9 director Neill Blomkamp's upcoming Alien movie may be a ret-con scenario that undoes the events of 1992's Alien-little-three, or Alien Cubed – anyway, the one where Ripley died. The piece is about retconning in fiction in general, and why it doesn't much impair my ability or inclination to suspend my disbelief at all.

If you're quite comfortable in your chair, and you're stout of heart and nerdy of temperament... Onward!

 

 

Enter the Drag: Kung Fu Elliot, reviewed.

Chris Klimek

Elliot Scott is the delusional subject of a documentary by Matthew Bauckman & Jaret Belliveau.

Elliot Scott is the delusional subject of a documentary by Matthew Bauckman & Jaret Belliveau.

Kung Fu Elliot, a documentary about a man who aspires to be the Canadian Chuck Norris, turns nasty enough quickly enough to call its makers' intentions into question. I reviewed the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winner for Documentary Feature for The Dissolve.