Welcome to Slate’sSummer Movies Week. Once again, we enter the multiplex with hope in our hearts, searching for all that is good and loud and obvious in American cinema. Failing that, we will enjoy the free air-conditioning. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest may be poised to have the biggest opening in the history of movies, but we decided to lavish attention on a quiet little picture called Superman Returns. Tuesday night, Dana Stevens will kick things off by detailing why the new actor playing Superman doesn’t quite fill the tights, while, later in the week, Troy Patterson will confess his enduring love for gal reporter Lois Lane. In keeping with the obsessive mood, we also asked Spike Lee, Peter Farrelly, Kathleen Kennedy, and other writers and directors what movie they’ve watched the most times. All of the answers are delightful, and, incredibly, there’s nary a mention of a certain sextet with light sabers.
Not that we ignored sex. Christopher Kelly defends provocateur Larry Clark as the only filmmaker worthy of the exhibitionist MySpace generation. And Dave Kehr speaks for the Viagra set with a ringing defense of old directors. Bryan Curtis casts a cold eye the American Film Institute’s recent list of the 100 most inspirational movies, which includes such classics as The Karate Kid. Also, Tim Wu will reveal the ultimate Chinese pirate scheme: a plan to build their own version of Hollywood, complete with back lots and Botoxed executives. As your fortune cookie might say, we live in interesting times. Enjoy the issue, and see you in the front row.
“Copycat: Can China create its own Hollywood?” by Tim Wu. Posted June 30, 2006.
“The MySpace Director: Learning to love—or at least tolerate—the movies of Larry Clark,” by Christopher Kelly. Posted June 30, 2006.
“It’s a Wonderful List: Inspiring movies and what to do about them,” by Bryan Curtis. Posted June 28, 2006.
“Love Letter to Lois: Superman’s main squeeze, and mine,” by Troy Patterson. Posted June 28, 2006.
“The Viagra Auteurs: In defense of old movie directors,” by Dave Kehr. Posted June 28, 2006.
“Hacked to Death: Will the novelization survive the DVD era?” by Grady Hendrix. Posted June 28, 2006.
“Man of Stale: Superman Returns—now can we send him back?” by Dana Stevens. Posted June 27, 2006.
“Boringus Maximus: How the historical epic died with Kingdom of Heaven,” by Ross Douthat. Posted June 27, 2006.
“The Movie I’ve Seen the Most: Films that Spike Lee, Peter Farrelly, and Paul Schrader watch obsessively.” Posted June 27, 2006.
“Watching the Detectives: Richard Linklater adapts Philip K. Dick’s A Scanner Darkly,” by Joshua Glenn. Posted June 27, 2006.