PARIS – It has been decided by the European Union that all French films will now be made in English in order to avoid ‘critical bias’.
The ruling came after years of complaints that, as Swiss critic Xavier Poulis argues, a lot of French ‘films were getting a free ride from Anglophone critics who go ga-ga over the Je ne sais quoi.’
And it’s not just the French films that get a free ride. The actors as well are considered amazing just because they can speak French. Look at Vincent Cassel. He’s got a face like a builder’s elbow. If that guy came from Des Moines, he’d be lucky to get a job as Heavy no. 5 in Walker Texas Ranger. But he has a French accent, and he speaks French so he has a long film career and marries Monica Bellucci. It just isn’t fair.
The judge in the European Court which brought the decision issued a statement saying:
France has a proud tradition of beautiful cinema from the nouvelle vague to Gerard Depardieu, but now a lot of it is frankly toilette and by having the films produced in English we will more readily discern this.
Although there have been some muted protests from the French artistic community, it is understood that the more commercially minded French film makers actually support the law. Luc Besson, Gasper Noé and Francois Ozon all blew that beguilingly irritating raspberry that translates as ‘whatever’.
The law will go into immediate effect and the first French film to be effected will be Asterix and the Large Teutonic Tube, due for release in 2016.
PARIS – According to a new book published in Paris today by noted film critic Xavier Poulis, film director and bon vivant Orson Welles was ‘not actually fat’.
The film critic and Welles expert said that everyone believes Orson Welles gained a lot of weight in his later years, but in reality he always maintained a perfectly respectable 170 pounds. Poulis writes in his introduction:
The legend of Orson Welles’ obesity came about during the filming of Citizen Kane, his first and perhaps most famous film. Welles loved playing the older Charles Foster Kane and made it his habit to go to the commissary dressed in costume and full make up, including the extra padding to make him look portly. It was hilarious and throughout the years Welles continued the practice. He played a large number of fat men and so there was always the opportunity to play tricks on the press. While filming both Chimes at Midnight and Touch of Evil, Welles got so into the habit of going out to restaurants in costume that on the few occasions he went out as himself nobody recognized him and he dreaded not being recognized.
Studio Exec contributor and Welles confidant, Sir Edwin Fluffer confirmed the truth:
Orson did enjoy eating, but he had such a zippy metabolism that no sooner had he wolfed down one five courser than he was all set for the next and never looked the worse for it. The fat suit was just a jape but it also protected him from some of the bitchier elements of this old town we love so. If some of the actors who had seen him with the feed bag on had also seen the slender Welles who I played tennis with on Wednesday they would have cut him dead out of pure jealousy and spite. Towards the end of life poor Twiggy – as his closest friends called him – felt he was possessed by the fat suit that now he had to wear almost twelve hours out of every twenty four. It is a sorrowful irony that the poor man died in the fat suit and not knowing any better the funeral people buried him in it as well.
Orson Welles: The Man, The Artist, The Waistline by Xavier Poulis is available on Amazon and from all good bookstores.
HOLLYWOOD – While promoting his blockbusting new film Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. hinted at a press conference in Quebec that he might be returning to acting after a fifteen year absence.
‘I do miss it,’ he said. ‘And should the right script come along I might be persuaded, but I am making a lot of money just being me with different names.’
In a moment of almost embarrassing candor he continued:
Acting is actually quite hard work. You have to get a character and maybe even research him or at least think about him and then pretend to have these emotions and experiences and what not. With Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes, I’m just me and then we swap the names in post.
Downey Jr. cited Chaplin as the film when he last put in a proper performance. ‘Since then it has been free-wheeling fun,’ he laughed.
Downey Jr. reacted angrily however when one journalist – Xavier Poulis of the French cultural magazine Chapeau – asked him if he would apologize for his participation in Shaggy Dog, a Tim Allen ‘comedy’ which caused widespread offence in the Islamic world because ‘it was shit’. Downey snarled:
As an artist I would defend anyone’s right to express themselves freely, and I think as a kind of hack, I ought to have the same rights as an artist.
Iron Man 3 something something money money.
GENEVA – Today Swiss cinema and cheese expert, Xavier Poulis tries to resolve one of the most difficult question in philosophy: does God exist?
God, Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, L. Ron Hubbard. We all have different names for God and different relationships to him. Richard Dawkins doesn’t believe he exists and George W. Bush talks to him frequently. One of these intellectual giants is telling ‘le whopper grand’ as we say in the cantons of Switzerland. So I’ve decided to settle the matter once and for all, after which no more talking, etc. Just bide by my words. And enough with the talking and silliness.
Arguments for God.
- Woody Allen’s early output, especially Love and Death and Manhattan.
- Scarlett Johansson.
- Jean Luc Godard.
- The Empire Strikes Back.
- Robert de Niro in Raging Bull and Taxi Driver.
Arguments against God.
- Woody Allen’s later output, especially Scoop and Curse of the Jade Scorpion.
- Scarlett Johansson singing.
- Jean Luc Godard.
- The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith and Ewoks.
- Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.
- Adam Sandler.
So there we have it. God doesn’t exist. Carry on.
Our resident cheese expert and Switzerland’s foremost film critic Xavier Poulis profiles an unsung come back.
GENEVA – The unprecedented creative revival of Steve McQueen has gone largely unnoticed in critical circles and it is time to set that right. Born in March 1930, Stephen McQueen had a troubled childhood, but found release in music and acting. He was to become the epitome of cool, jumping fences, driving fast cars and exuding a calmness that belied the personal demons and sometimes tormented emotional life of the human being. The Great Escape, Bullitt and Papillon proved him to be an actor of range as well as commercial pulling power.
Following his death in 1980 of cancer, the star of such films as The Blob and The Towering Inferno as well as the under-rated Tom Horn, withdrew somewhat from public life. Obviously considering his options and mulling over what many actors would have considered a terminal setback, it is now clear that McQueen was simply biding his time. Eschewing his former trade, McQueen came to realize he was more inclined to work behind the camera, as he thought his presence there would allow him to avoid the glare of the media which had so plagued him in life.
His first film Hunger won a debut prize at the 2008 Cannes film festival. It starred Michael Fassbender and this would begin a fruitful collaboration. Upon winning the prize it became apparent that the appearance of the long dead McQueen would cause problems especially with the IRS, so in a bid to avoid this he applied for British citizenship, put on some weight and became black. Shame his second film proved just as critically popular as his first and yet very few connected these bold visions of cinema with the young man who had burned a hole in the screen on Wanted: Dead or Alive. His new film 12 Years a Slave will be the moment when the critical community – led by me – will finally reveal the astonishing breadth of what was and still is an astonishing career.
|Shhh, or they’ll all want some
DENVER – Enormously talented film and motion picture actor, Edward Norton has long had a reputation for eccentricity, but yesterday he announced that he was as normal as the next man and to prove it unveiled a new cheese he had invented: Chedward Nortshire.
‘I was sitting in my private jet waiting to get clearance to take off and fly to Hawaii and I thought to myself, I just want to give something back to the ordinary people,’ said the Birdman, 25th Hour and Red Dragon star. ‘But what? And then it came to me. They like cheese.’
Of course my first worry was mice. I mean what if the cheese was so nice that the mice wouldn’t be able to resist. They’d be all over the cheese, and people would buy cats or try to kill the mice and although understandable that would NOT be cool. But then cheese and mouse expert Bryan Singer told me that the idea that mice go crazy about cheese was actually a racist myth.
Our resident cheese taster Xavier Poulis had a slice of Chedward and gave his verdict:
Stings the mouth. Holds. Still there. Gummy glue feeling about the teeth. Tacky. Yes gone.
Coincidentally these were the exact words Roger Ebert used in his review of Edward Norton’s performance in the Italian Job remake.
BERLIN – A revealing new biography of iconic ‘Scottish’ actor Sean Connery is to claim that Edinburgh’s most famous son was actually born in Dresden and was baptized Helmut Zuller.
Xavier Poulis – Swiss cinema expert and professional cheese taster – writes: ‘Zuller grew up fascinated by all things Scottish and would walk the streets of Dresden wearing a kilt, much to the hilarity of other citizens and the chagrin of his relatives.’
According to Poulis, Zuller decided that he would adopt a new identity when he killed a sailor in a knife fight and decide to escape the forces of the law by adopting the dead sailor’s identity: Sean Connery.
Throughout his career Connery was terrified he would be recognized and that is why to this day none of his films have ever been shown in his native city. The Dresden Clause became a staple of all of Connery’s contracts, leading director Brian De Palma to ask: “What do you have against Dresden?” and receive an open palmed slap across the face in reply.
The news that Connery is in fact Zoller has been met with disbelief in Dresden. Local historian Martin Stat said:
It sounds like phooey to me. Everyone knows Zoller was killed in a knife fight with a sailor called Sean… Wait a minute!
For more news as we get it, follow us on twitter, like us on facebook or just stick your head out of a window and shout ‘STUDIO EXEC! DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW NEWS?’
Leading Swiss cinema theorist and bon vivant Xavier Poulis casts his weary Alpine eye over events in cinemastan.
The 85th Academy Awards? pffffff! Argo? pffffff! Ang Lee? pffffffff. Life of Pfffffff. Daniel Day-Lewis? Okay, we all like Daniel Day-Lewis, no pfffffff for him. But all the same. Pffffffffff. But I hear you scream at the top of your anglo-lungs ‘WHAT ABOUT THE FASHIONS?’
- Naomi Watts was wearing a blue dress by Ralph made of bags and the tears of chronically unhappy children. Every dress Ralph makes costs a Chinese child three fingers which the fashion maverick cuts off with a knife to add a frisson of tragedy to each creation.
- Hey, Jessica Chastain, where are you going with that shovel? She’s going to the 1930s graveyard to dig up a starlet and steal her gown. It’s cheap, ecologically responsible and – except for the whiff of decay – elegant. Bravo!
- Halle Berry pays tribute to supermarkets everywhere with her beautiful Bar Code dress by Sad Boy, with minglings of stick of rock. Sexy in aisle 12! Ha ha! Pfffffff.
- Anne Hathaway caused delight and consternation in equal measure when her nipples blinded spectators and her elfin features made Wayne LaPierre of the NRA seriously question his sexuality: ‘I don’t which way to turn’ he whimpered.
- Jennifer Lawrence went radical wearing a dress designed by a heterosexual. However she was also victim of a fashion disaster when – on going up to accept her award for something – the dress completely failed to fall off. She managed to cover her blushes by falling over.
|Xavier Poulis walks away
And in conclusion, what do these fashions mean for women shopping in the real world? Nothing! You are all ugly slaps in the eye, Hobbits all, compared to these goddesses. Hide yourselves! Pffffffff.
HOLLYWOOD – Ben Affleck’s multiple award winning film Argo is at the centre of a row similar to that which recently engulfed Django Unchained.
A company from North Carolina has produced a range of action figures based on the Iranian hostage drama. Some critics such as Xavier Poulis have argued that the commercialization of the film’s subject matter is ‘entirely inappropriate’.
Poulis Switzerland’s leading film expert stated in an article for French culture magazine Chapeau:
This was a terrible time in American history and to give children toys with which to play hostage rescue is unbelievable trite. Little girls and boys should be playing cowboys and Indians and not Hostages and Terrorists.
Ben Affleck who was in London last night to pick up several more awards to put in his bulging award sack said that he thought the idea was great. ‘It’s educational,’ said Good Will Hunting’s dumb pal. ‘And we get 23 percent of the profits. So what’s not to like?’
Swiss cinema expert and self-proclaimed genius Xavier Poulis has formally accused Japanese film director Akira Kurosawa of plagiarism in a new book J’Accuse Akira. In the book, Poulis argues that Kurosawa began his career by imitating classic westerns like The Magnificent Seven and A Fistful of Dollars and ended it by ripping off William Shakespeare, a noted Seventeenth Century ‘playwright’.
Poulis orders the fondue:
I first suspected something was wrong when I watched Rashomon, Kurosawa’s break out hit that wowed the Venice Film Festival in 1950. The film tells one story and then another character tells the same events but in a totally different way. And then again. It’s like he can’t think of anything to say so he just copies himself.
So all of his major films are copies?
Absolutely. Seven Samurai was ripped off Magnificent Seven and Yojimbo was Fistful of Dollars, he even managed to copy Star Wars years before Lucas thought of it.
But all Kurosawa’s films pre-date the films you say he copied?
Well, how can he have copied them? Surely, it’s more likely that they used his films as inspiration.
That would be the conventional view and would make a lot of sense. But I am a film theorist and influenced by Deleuze and so I fully subscribe to the notion of retrospective plagiarism.
But that doesn’t make any sense!
It doesn’t need to make sense it is theory.
It was confirmed today that the CIA will be awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 85th Academy Awards (also popularly known as the Oscars) which will be dished out on the 24th of February, 2013. The award comes after a hugely successful year for the Intelligence Service which has been picking up award after award for its operatives. The New York Critics Circle gave Agent Bigelow a prize for her film Zero Dark Thirty, Agent Claire Danes and Special Agent Jessica Chastain both won awards at the Golden Globes earlier for their roles in respectively Homeland and Zero Dark Thirty.
Another agency operative Ben Affleck has also gained critical recognition for Argo, in which Mr. Affleck plays a man wearing a beard.
Some are arguing that the announcement of the award is an attempt to free up the field for other films, but others counter that it represents changing attitudes to the CIA and that America has learned to love its spooks. Resident expert Xavier Poulis had this to say:
If you look at the past we have The Good Shepherd and Three Days of the Condor, films which are very critical of any intelligence service. But now everyone loves a spy. There is a sense of immense gratitude and the Oscar award is proof of that.
The flood of Hollywood counter intelligence seems set to continue with a new Transformers film due to start filming this year.
Many people think that directing is all about under standing the text of the script, having an individual visual style and motivating actors. All that’s bullshit. It’s about wearing the right hat. Proceed resident Swiss Cinema Expert and millinery muffin, Xavier Poulis:
Charlie Chaplin always directed films in his favourite hat which was loaned to Alfred Hitchcock, or Hitch – as he preferred to be known – while directing The Birds, to huge acclaim.
Marty Scorsese never wears hats these days and spends thousands of dollar a year on his wiry locks, but in the free and easy days of the seventies and under the influence of Roger Corman, Martin wore this little man from Delmonte number.
Steven Spielberg has no money and so often has to resort to advertising his own films on the top of his head and just above his petulant face. Look at how bitter he is. An angry disappointed man, what in Switzerland we would call a ‘man’.
Howdy there! Mr David Lynch, no Eraserhead he! But rather a full on Stetson that the crazy squirrel sandwich eater sports with a happy go lucky grin as he prepares go ape shit at a ho-down. Yeee-Ha!
What a Maverick! When he’s not busy criticizing films he hasn’t actually seen, Spike Lee rocks in this erm… What the fuck is that? To forsake his usual baseball cap for this is bizarre get up is truly the act of a rebel but on the other hand, well, it is very, very funny. Go for it, Spike! Just for once, Do the Wrong Thing!
And finally Kathryn Bigelow shows that it isn’t only the boys who can have fun. One night in Baghdad and no head gear to hand, the Bourne-like Bigelow steals into a local carpet shop and Voilà! No Muslim need feel offended at her Western decadence! And let the torture commence!
Yesterday evening in London, the London Critics Circle announced their awards at a ceremony attended by text messages and emails from the actors and directors so honoured.
This comes after the Oscar warm up of the Golden Globes, named after Robert Redford’s blonde testicles, the New York Critics, the Baftas etc. etc. and so it is time to consider, amidst the accolades and acceptance speeches, the champagne and the frocks, are there too many award ceremonies, too many nominations and too many awards?