Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: Somewhere, My First Piece for Nomad Editions Wide Screen

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Somewhere, My First Piece for Nomad Editions Wide Screen

by Tony Dayoub

It's disappointing to conclude that writer-director Sofia Coppola’s latest, Somewhere, causes me to reassess her earlier film, Lost in Translation, in addition to her own potential as an artist. It's not that Somewhere is bad, or even dull. The strong performances by its two leads, Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, along with Harris Savides’s handsome photography of a lustrous West Hollywood give one plenty to admire. But the superficiality of a tale rooted in the privileged director’s navel-gazing overwhelms the tender story of the relationship between a young actor and his daughter.
So begins my latest review. Posting here has been light this past month, but it doesn't mean I haven't been writing. My piece on Somewhere appears in a new digital weekly, Nomad Editions Wide Screen, edited by MSN's chief film critic, Glenn Kenny. I am pleased that Wide Screen allows me to share the company of such highly regarded writers as Simon Abrams, Kurt Loder, Farran Smith Nehme, Vadim Rizov, and others.

Here's the concept behind Nomad Editions (which also offers both a food and a surf weekly, with other titles on the way), as explained by founder Mark Edmiston:

Two years ago, Nomad Editions founder Mark Edmiston decided to try reading on his iPhone. Before long, he’d finished several books, despite the fact that the stories he was reading – everything from “The Thirty Nine Steps” to “Wolf Hall” – were spelled out on a screen the size of his palm.

Realizing that mobile devices had the capacity to deliver satisfying reading experiences, Edmiston (a former Newsweek CEO) began brainstorming ways to create and present high-quality journalistic content that readers could access anywhere, on almost any device.

Aware that the advertising-fueled print media model was struggling, Edmiston envisioned a group of digital magazines powered not solely by ads, but by reader subscriptions, and based on the conviction that editors and writers should share in their magazines’ revenue. Nomad Editions is the product of that vision.

Nomad’s digital magazine software automatically resizes and reformats the pages of Nomad’s magazines to fit the device you’re reading on. Whether on a desktop computer, a tablet or a smart phone, Nomad subscribers can access these multimedia magazines wherever their travels take them, no app required.

Nomad seeks to provide original, exceptional content at a fair price, and it is proud to be a pioneer in the new world of mobile reading.
All of the Nomad Editions weeklies are running a special charter subscription rate of $6.00 per quarter (12 weekly issues). They even give you a free chance to sample all the weeklies first, for one month. That's four issues free and with no obligation.

So you only have yourself to blame if you miss out.


Jason Bellamy said...

Congrats on the new gig, Tony.

From the intro, it seems we're of like mind on Somewhere. I keep trying to get into Nomad, to subscribe or do anything, but all I get is a page trying to load.


Tony Dayoub said...

I'd try resetting your cookies, Jason. If not, get in touch with Nomad. I haven't experienced any of those problems myself, but it's possible that this might have to do with Nomad's recent start-up. They might still be working out some kinks.

Joel Bocko said...

Great news - and a great idea. I'll try out the Nomad page and see if I have better luck than Jason (so far, so good...).

As for Sofia, she's probably my favorite American filmmaker of that generation, but I haven't seen Somewhere yet. Perhaps it's a misalignment between a distinct auteurist sensibility and the type of story that would be better serviced by a more hidden-hand craftsman/woman?

Joel Bocko said...

I'm now doing a free trial of Wide Screen and Wave Lines (I'm something of a lapsed surfer, i.e. I've been riding waves for 15 years but I only get out a few times a year nowadays). I also subscribed to U+Me which unexpectedly piqued my interest. I like the design of Nomad, and the idea behind it - and with the lineup of writers you mentioned, I'll probably like the content too. Thanks.

Tony Dayoub said...

Thanks for subscribing, MovieMan.

As for Coppola, in SOMEWHERE at least, I got the sense of an auteurist sensibility which curiously matched the film's opening shot (a point which Jason makes in his piece), that of a cool looking sports car, coming in and out of frame as it goes in circles in the desert for what seems like an interminable length of time. The film is as pointless, blank and meandering as that. Someone on Twitter wondered if critics would be having the same issue with the film's slow pace if it were directed by a European (c'mon I loved I AM LOVE and THE AMERICAN; slow is not the issue). To that I responded, "True. I liked [SOMEWHERE] better when it was called "Toby Dammit" starred Terence Stamp & was directed by Fellini."