To follow up a global blockbuster that features an evil robot throwing a building into another building, noted car-wash fetishist Michael Bay has decided to pump the brakes. In an interview with MTV News at the Moscow premiere (!) of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Bay announced his intention to make a “smaller” movie next, namely a dark crime comedy called Pain & Gain, based on a 1999 Miami New Times story about bodybuilders turned criminals. No 3D. No stilted, mechanical performances. And definitely no robots. (Burn, Rosie Huntington-Whitley! High five!)
What do auteurs Michael Bay and Terrence Malick have in common — other than that they’ve both made Megan Fox wash their cars in a bikini in lieu of auditioning for a role? (Fox got the part in Bay’s Transformers but her performance as "Celestial Dinosaur No. 3" was sadly cut from Malick's of Tree of Life.) They’ve both written letters to projectionists, advising them on how best to present their 2011 films! While the letters themselves strike differing tones (Malick terms his a "fraternal salute" to a "forgotten art" while Bay, unsurprisingly, uses capitalist logic – "your theaters invested a lot of money in this equipment" — in his plea for 3-D perfection), they are the latest missives in a trend that stretches at least as far back as noted control freak Stanley Kubrick, whose own letter re: Barry Lyndon also recently surfaced.
But this epistolary practice goes deeper than most cinephiles realize. Grantland gained access to some other recently-penned letters to projectionists from the directors of a few of summer 2011’s other prominent releases. We are proud to share excerpts of them with you now.