Late in 2013, Guillermo del Toro released a voluminous book, entitled Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. As he explains in the video, the 256-page hardcover is a selection from his notebooks, where the director developed many of the monstrosities we’ve seen on screen. The Guardian notes that there’s something of da Vinci’s notebooks in del Toro’s records: the small, neat script, mixed in with the wonderfully detailed sketches, combine to give the impression of del Toro doing his best to record the torrent of his imagination before the thoughts disappear. In this post, we include a number of these images. Previously [more inside]
posted by infini
on Mar 5, 2014 -
Between Peter Jackson’s penchant for cartoonish unserious gore and Bob McCarron’s off-screen makeup effects manipulations,
Braindead achieves something that approaches inspired genius in the heretofore unknown artform of human carnage. The film is filled with moments of joyous slapstick tableaux... And then there is that moment where
Braindead finally breaks through to achieve a transcendentally surreal glory of excess where Tim Balme wades into battle against the zombies armed with a lawnmower, drenching an entire room in showers of blood. (
Braindead holds the record for the greatest amount of artificial blood ever used in a film). The film is a work of perverse genius.
- Richard Scheib
posted by Egg Shen
on Dec 8, 2012 -
Those Americans who are familiar with the name Claude Lanzmann most likely know him as the director of “Shoah,” his monumental 1985 documentary about the extermination of the European Jews in the Nazi gas chambers. As it turns out, though, the story of Lanzmann’s eventful life would have been well worth telling even if he had never come to direct “Shoah.” In addition to film director, Lanzmann’s roles have included those of journalist, editor, public intellectual, member of the French Resistance, long-term lover of Simone de Beauvoir and close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, world traveler, political activist, ghostwriter for Jacques Cousteau — I could go on, but it’s a good deal more entertaining to hear Lanzmann himself go on, and thanks to the publication in English of his memoir, “The Patagonian Hare,” we now have the opportunity to do so. (previously)
posted by Trurl
on Apr 16, 2012 -
Both an ingeniously choreographed crime film and a moral drama influenced by Dostoyevsky’s
Crime and Punishment,
Pickpocket marks the apotheosis of Bresson's stripped-down style. There’s little or no psychological realism or conventional drama at work in Martin La Salle’s portrayal of a master thief who plies his trade at the Gare de Lyon and easily outwits the cops who seek to ensnare him. See it once to appreciate the spare elegance of the pickpocketing scenes, and then a second time to appreciate how subtly Bresson accomplishes the story of a man’s self-willed corruption, his liberation through imprisonment and his redemption through love, all in less than 80 minutes.*
posted by Trurl
on Jan 6, 2012 -
Until the End of the World was conceived over most of the ’80s, filmed on four continents (including video smuggled out of China), and foresaw a future abetted by such diversions as mobile viewing devices, proto-GPS and a highly sought-after contraption that records images for the blind. Starring William Hurt, Sam Neill, Solveig Dommartin, Jeanne Moreau and Max von Sydow among an international ensemble of actors, the film also skyrocketed to a $23 million budget and found its distributors — including Warner Bros. in the United States — requiring cuts that reduced it to barely a quarter of Wenders’s original vision. Later locked in at just under five hours, it’s the type of material that today would be a shoo-in for a cable miniseries that could probably win Emmys for everyone involved. Twenty years on, however, it’s relatively lost to the mainstream, with Wenders’s directors cut as yet unreleased outside two territories in Europe.
posted by Trurl
on Dec 10, 2011 -
How does a director follow up the highest-grossing R-rated film of all time*? (*adjusted for inflation)
He remakes a French classic - taking an international cast to a Caribbean nation ruled by a military dictatorship, where hurricanes, irascibility, other difficulties take him far over a budget already large enough to be shared by two studios. The result
is his personal favorite
among his films. But deceptive marketing and cute robots
contribute to its making back less than half of its costs. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 7, 2009 -
The Room: The Movie.
Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau
made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room
and various scenes
), "a blend between a
softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay."
Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking
an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to
grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny"
the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that
prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even
30 minutes have passed." - Variety
), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs
of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals
Audience members, including comedian
, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit
sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself"
as the film
played monthly for years
in Los Angeles. Available on
DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the
shout out their own commentary
, hurl spoons at the screen
and singalong to the soundtrack
. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium"
and stage "Room"
. If you look at the marketing campaign
or survived a screening
you might see The Room as "a seminar on how
NOT to make a movie."
posted by boost ventilator
on Jun 1, 2006 -