For our Metroless day: public transit videos from our collection

In an unprecedented move, the entire Metro system is closed today. Whether or not this was the right choice, it means that DC is spending the day without its main form of public transit. There isn’t a documentary about the DC Metro (as far as we know) so we’ve gathered together three timely media items … Continue reading “For our Metroless day: public transit videos from our collection”

In an unprecedented move, the entire Metro system is closed today. Whether or not this was the right choice, it means that DC is spending the day without its main form of public transit. There isn’t a documentary about the DC Metro (as far as we know) so we’ve gathered together three timely media items about this unusual transportation problem.

Firstly and perhaps most seriously, you can stream Subway City, a documentary about all the people who pass through New York’s underground rail system. It’s not just about the commuters who use it to get to work but “those who work there, those who live there, and those who commit crimes there.” Infrastructure on the scale of a subway system changes a city, and this film is a neat peek at what that cultural indentation looks like. (And today, you’re seeing what happens when that system disappears.)

Next, for a bit of a laugh, the old newsreel Futuristic Transportation Needs (also streaming) features brief clips of vehicles meant to be the future of transport that missed the mark by a mile. Our favorite is the Aérotrain, the giant Flash Gordon-looking hovertrain pictured above.

And just for good measure, we also have a copy of the How I Met Your Mother episode Subway Wars (HU DVD 11576, Disc 1) in which the main characters try to out-race each other using whatever transportation they can find. The subway-riders don’t win, though mostly because of an emotional forfeit.

The Metro may be increasingly dangerous, but be glad that you don’t have to ride the Aérotrain. Hopefully we’re back to normal tomororw

Spotlight’s director talks about filmmaking failure

Tom McCarthy won deserved accolades for his directorial and screenwriting work on this year’s Best Picture winner, Spotlight. But only months before, McCarthy also wrote and directed The Cobbler, an Adam Sandler-starring dramedy about a shoemaker who learns life lessons by literally walking in others’ soles. The Cobbler was roundly considered one of the worst … Continue reading “Spotlight’s director talks about filmmaking failure”

http://www.vulture.com/2016/03/tom-mccarthy-adam-sandler-the-cobbler-spotlight-oscars.html

Tom McCarthy won deserved accolades for his directorial and screenwriting work on this year’s Best Picture winner, Spotlight. But only months before, McCarthy also wrote and directed The Cobbler, an Adam Sandler-starring dramedy about a shoemaker who learns life lessons by literally walking in others’ soles. The Cobbler was roundly considered one of the worst movies of the year, both for its maudlin tone and its surprising racism.

McCarthy has maybe the largest single-year quality swing of any filmmaker in history, and somebody finally asked him about it. The director’s interview with Jada Yuan in Vulture comes off as defensive, with McCarthy insisting that people actually enjoyed it. But eventually, he offers some wisdom to people having to ride through a failure. “You’re that athlete who’s a good pitcher and gives up a home run, and you might think no one’s ever going to forgive you for it,” McCarthy says. “But you’ve gotta be like, ‘All right! Next season!’ and you go back to work.”

Not everyone gets that opportunity, least of all first-time filmmakers, but the advice is well-taken for anyone facing creative rejection. Sometimes your work will be poor, and you have to push on through to whatever comes next. It probably won’t be Spotlight, though.