my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Casting By
Director:   Tom Donahue
Year:   2013
Genre:   Documentary
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   11.08.13

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
11.08.13DVRThis Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2013
A chill wind blows through Austin. Night falls earlier, owls hoot their foreboding warning to varmints and trespassers alike. Is it the beginning to a spooky movie? Nah it's just MOTHERFUCKING NINTH ANNUAL DVRFEST 2013!!!!

Hopefully your mind added some explosions and fireworks to that, and since at this point my readership is now just me 8 years from now bored at work thinking back on good times I can bet that you did!

But seriously, I've just gotten home from work. I stopped off and bought enough junk food to make me sick. Molly says she'll busy herself with her own stuff. That means I have a date with my empty couch, a Pringles can, and a DVR full up with movies.

This year, I think I have lots of movies in the DVR, a backup of three Netflix discs and an Internet's worth of streaming possibilities if i'm still hungry for more. for those of you who are new to this private ritual of mine (me 30 years from now when i'm senile and don't even know what i'm reading), this weekend is a celebration of another year maintaining this site. It's also an opportunity to clear out all the movies I saved on my DVR thinking "Oh I want to see that" but then never sit down to watch. It's also lately been a singular event to force myself to stop doing anything else I usually do for fun on a weekend (I'm looking at you, GTA5) and binge on some movies like I used to do. Basically every weekend for my friend Jarrette. The unwritten rules of programming the fest state that I only get one slot for a movie I've seen before; everything else must be new to me. This means sometimes the movies suck, but I'm the only one in the audience so who cares.

Pleasantries aside, let's dive in!

For tonight I'm watching a triple feature of documentaries about the movie business. I've heard all three of these are good so I'm excited, although I still don't know which one I'm watching first...

...and it's Casting By! An HBO doc about the unsung art of casting directors and a more thorough examination of notable pioneer Marion Dougherty who basically found every good actor from 1954 to 1989.

It's well constructed and has the suitably impressive amount of talent interviews needed to make the case for the profession, but also kind of feels like two shorts shoved together. The grudging stuff about how the position gets no respect in Hollywood's (or evil Taylor Hackford's) eyes is one thing, but the Dougherty biopic stuff is almost separately another. I mean I get that they are making an example of her career to prove their point, but considering she raised up a whole generation of talented casting directors who have spread Dougherty's method of casting across the industry, I could've used one or two stories about how they were awesome as well. If the cool casting anecdotes that drive this movie (seeing stars while they're super young or hearing about the other people who were up for now-famous roles or learning how particular roles were adapted through casting such as making Murtaugh in Lethal Weapon black are definitely the meat and potatoes of this movie) came from a multitude of casting directors rather than just one - like how Visions of Light showcased handfuls of great cinematographers - it might make the argumentative case stronger albeit at the loss of honoring Dougherty quite so much.

In any case, I'm a sucker for movies about movies so this still worked for me. Nice opener!

Coming up next: another HBO doc, this one much more recent!
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