Freedom on the Fence: The Polish Poster.
While we're at it: The history and culture of the Polish poster
and an analysis of American Films in Polish Posters
. Or, if you'd prefer, The Classic Polish Film Poster
database (where the Disney/Children's film posters
are quite lovely). Also, The Wallace Library
at the Rochester Institute of Technology has a fantastic searchable and browse-able database, with many hi-res images. Finally, some other Polish Poster Galleries. (What's that? You want more? You want artist-specific galleries? Okay. Here's work by Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Piotr Kunce, Wieslaw Walkuski, and Jan Sawka. Oh, you wanted Communist-era Polish propaganda posters? Fine. Here ya go.) [previous MeFi discussion on Polish film posters; also, some of the images from these links may be NSFW, depending on how S your W environment is.]
posted by .kobayashi.
on Mar 13, 2005 -
, no monoguing
, and no ex machina
. Brad Bird's 'The Incredibles
' notched the clichés of the superhero genre - if not all action/adventure movies - with a thick red marker. These lists have apparently been circulating since 1994. Why do (bad) writers persist in using these plot devices?
posted by vhsiv
on Mar 11, 2005 -
Eastwood wins. Clint Eastwood
got the double dipper tonight with Best Pic and Director. Not that Scorsese isn't badly due one, but the fact is, The Aviator is not one of Marty's top five films, while Million Dollar Babies is top five among Eastwood's pics. It's that simple.
My thought: I think this film and Mystic River proves, once and for all and without argument, that Eastwood is among the top American directors ever, up there with Scorsese, Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen, and the others. (He's actually better than Allen). I think all of the critics like Pauline Kael who dissed Clint without thinking over the years have to eat it and eat it hard.
posted by Leege
on Feb 27, 2005 -
Big Fun in the Big Town
Incredible German-produced documentary on hip hop and NY street culture from 1986. Features interviews and performances from Grandmaster Flash, Doug E Fresh, Run DMC, Roxanne Shante & Biz Markie, Schoolly D, and more.
posted by svidrigailov23
on Feb 26, 2005 -
Ten best film list a critique of the U.S?
The venerable [some say notorious] French film magazine Cahiers du Cinema
unveiled their ten best films of 2004
Other than their list typically leaning toward films by auteurs
- such as Ingmar Bergman
and Hou Hsiao-hsien
] - they also included The Village
by M. Night Shyamalan. With that choice are they rewarding the artistic merits of the film [which most critics view
as minimal] or are they making a statement about The United States? In short do they view the U.S. like the characters in the film - an isolated bunch of paranoid [Puritan] villagers living and acting off of their fears? Or is there some other reason they would choose the film as one of the year's best?
posted by Rashomon
on Feb 24, 2005 -
For lovers of the hard-boiled crime story, life began with the black bird.
It's a tale of greed and a wisecracking gumshoe. The femme fatale is a liar. The object of the hero's search is a statuette of a falcon. Published exactly 75 years ago
on Valentine's Day, Dashiell Hammett
's private-eye novel "The Maltese Falcon
"' immediately won critical acclaim. And when it was made into a 1941 movie
starring Humphrey Bogart
, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre (and directed by a rookie
), Hammett's story found a worldwide
audience and his hero, Sam Spade
, became a household name. Now
, three-quarters of a century later, that's still the case
. More inside.
posted by matteo
on Feb 14, 2005 -
To live in a pristine land ... to roam the wilderness ... to choose a site, cut trees, and build a home ... Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.
In 1968, at 51 years of age, Richard Proenneke retired to Upper Twin Lakes, Alaska
and using nothing but hand tools, built a cabin
where he lived for the next 30 or so years. He filmed
the cabin's construction (as well as much of nature's wonder) and kept meticulous notes on the back of wall calendars. In 1973, Sam_Keith
produced a book (One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey)
based on Proenneke's journal entries and photography. In 1999, at the age of 82, Proenneke could no longer endure the harsh winters of Alaska and moved to California to be with his family. He
on Easter Sunday, 2003.
posted by a_day_late
on Feb 10, 2005 -
The Unhappy Medium.
If you like modern silent films like Doc Hammer's Rub
, linked here previously
, you may also enjoy the work of Chelsea Spear
. Her Alphabet
is a short about math, music and a precocious child, while The Unhappy Medium
, set in the 1920's, is about spiritualism, fraud, adults and children. And some good news for the would-be filmmaker: Kodak still makes Super-8 film
, and there are plenty of cameras both old
posted by box
on Feb 6, 2005 -
The Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Documentary
is going to be an interesting project. Filmmaker Eric Steel applied for a permit to film the Golden Gate Bridge
in San Francisco for a year, saying he was trying to "capture the grandeur" of the bridge. But what he actually ended up doing was capture 19 suicides and many attempts. He is now working on a feature-length documentary about these suicides, and has 100 hours of interviews with family members, psychiatrists, and some of the people who attempted suicide but didn't follow through. Now that he's revealed what his documentary is and what it will be about, a lot of people are pretty ticked off.
posted by jscott
on Feb 2, 2005 -
We Were All On That Train
If any adventurous film festival directors happen to be reading, a Spanish production company called Docus Madrid has just released a fine documentary
, comprising 24 short films, about the terrorist train attacks in March. The pressbook can be downloaded from the home page in MS Word, in English: otherwise, it's all in Spanish. Ticket money goes to relatives of the victims.
posted by Holly
on Feb 2, 2005 -
"It's Linklater's faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly, which is being brought to full paranoid life via Bob Sabiston's gloriously surreal software abilities, which, as in the team's previous Waking Life, utilizes hi-def filmmaking overlayed with a rich, rotoscope-inspired animation. Thirty-plus animators, and, here's the catch, so pay attention: They need more." [via
posted by gsb
on Jan 26, 2005 -
Everyone is talking
about Clint Eastwood's new movie, Million Dollar Baby
). What you may not know however is that the movie was based on a short story in a book by the name of Rope Burns: Stories From The Corner
by the late F.X. Toole (aka Jerry Boyd). The book by the way was called, "...the best boxing short fiction ever written," by James Ellroy
of L.A. Confidential fame. Back in 2000 Toole gave an amazing interview
on Fresh Air about spending the last 20 years of his life as a cut man and the last 40 years of writing while trying to overcome his fear of rejection before getting his first book published at age 70.
posted by pwb503
on Jan 18, 2005 -
Into the realm of Henry Darger
When Henry Darger died in Chicago
on April 13, 1973, he was a destitute man whose final days were spent at a home for the elderly. Now, 30 years later, Darger ranks among the greatest outsider artists
America has ever seen
Found in the astounding clutter of Darger's one-room apartment was a 15,000-page fantasy epic, bound by hand in 15 volumes, titled "The Story of the Vivian Girls
, in What Is Known as the Realms of the Unreal, of the Glandeco-Angelinnian War Storm, Caused by the Child Slave Rebellion
." Along with this were three separate volumes filled with 300 drawings, including 87 multi-sheet horizontal panels
, some 12 feet long with drawings on both sides
The discovery of Darger's NSFW work
spawned numerous books, a play, a British rock band (the Vivian Girls
), and an excellent y2karl MetaFilter post
. And now there's also Jessica Yu's documentary
"In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger
," a portrait of the reclusive artist
that has been shortlisted for the upcoming Academy Award nominations
. Again, Darger's art can be disturbing and must be considered not safe for work (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Jan 14, 2005 -
"Do you like this, the greedy scrabbling in greasy boxes, the whole herd determinedly chomping and chewing and slurping . . . don't you feel even a little bit as if you're in the pig barn, at exactly the moment the big trough full of ground intestines slops over for all to rush towards and snuffle in?"
Why movie going sucks
by Russell Smith of the Globe and Mail
posted by Quartermass
on Jan 13, 2005 -
Charles Eames (1907-78) and Ray Eames (1912-88)
gave shape to America's twentieth century. Their lives and work represented the nation's defining social movements: the West Coast's coming-of-age, the economy's shift from making goods to the producing information, and the global expansion of American culture. This Library of Congress exhibit outlines major themes of the Eames' life and voluminous works, including architecture
, and the film Powers of Ten
. It is wonderfully illustrated with artifacts
of their life and work, and examples
from the Eames' collection of 350,000 slides
posted by carter
on Jan 12, 2005 -
The Mitchell and Kenyon collection
consists of 800 rolls of nitrate film documenting scenes of everyday life in England between 1900 and 1913. This extraordinary archive, now painstakingly restored
by the British Film Institute, includes footage of trams, soup kitchens, factory gates, football matches, seaside holidays and much else besides. Here are some sample images
and a short clip of workers at a Lancashire colliery
, all astonishingly evocative and reminiscent (to me) of Philip Larkin's poem MCMXIV
: 'The crowns of hats, the sun / On moustachioed archaic faces / Grinning as if it were all / An August Bank Holiday lark .. Never such innocence, / Never before or since .. Never such innocence again.'
posted by verstegan
on Jan 7, 2005 -
Unproduced Screenplays "The Writers Guild of America registers approximately 30,000 screenplays every year, most of which never make it anywhere near the silver screen. Some of these are by "big name" writers like James Cameron and The Wachowski Brothers."
Presented here for your reading pleasure are: "Edward Ford"
by Lem Dobbs, "One Saliva Bubble"
by David Lynch & Mark Frost, "Red, White, Black, and Blue"
by Andrew Kevin Walker, "Carnivore"
by The Wachowski Brothers, "Alien 3"
by David Twohy, "A Crowded Room"
by James Cameron, and "I Am Legend"
by Mark Protosevic.
posted by miss lynnster
on Jan 2, 2005 -
"Me, I fart loud - I can't be a hypocrite. I get these parts, but I never get to play 'em because I fart out loud. Why can't we all fart together? Let thy arse make wind!"
It is my pleasure
the late, great Timothy Carey
, possibly the weirdest
of all Hollywood character actors. A follower of Salvador Dalí
and Le Pétomane
, Carey was a Method actor
who was pals with John Cassavetes
, a muse of sorts for Stanley Kubrick
, alleged discoverer of both Frank Zappa
and Ray Dennis Steckler
, and one of the dedicatees of Reservoir Dogs
. Not only that, he wrote, directed, and starred in one of the all-time strangest American films
, The World's Greatest Sinner
, and wrote and directed the world's only Dalí-inspired play about death by flatulence.
Against all odds, Timothy Carey has a website
, and if you're interested, you can buy his movies, posters, and other odds 'n' ends
(warning: doesn't appear to have been updated particularly recently).
Truly, in the words of his tombstone
, "A Super Nova of Original Thespian Talent."
posted by Dr. Wu
on Dec 29, 2004 -
last silent film, Woman in the Moon
, has just been released by Kino Video
in a lovingly restored and remastered edition, expanded to its original running time of 169 minutes. (Prior releases of the film in the US had as much as half of the original footage removed, with altered title cards that completely changed the storyline.) Woman in the Moon
is considered to be the first real attempt to depict a flight to the moon in film
that wasn't completely fantastic
, thanks to the technical input of Hermann Oberth
, who later went on play a key role in the development of the German V-2 rocket.
As a piece of futurism, Woman in the Moon
gets a few things wrong (the Moon of the film has a breathable atmosphere, for one thing), but it's also surprisingly prescient as well (the rocketship that voyages to the moon has multiple stages). Its most significant contribution to popular culture is the reverse countdown to blastoff, which was invented by the filmmakers as a dramatic device.
posted by Prospero
on Dec 19, 2004 -
"When one is in prison, the most important thing is the door".
The precise coordination of every element of filmmaking
-- camera distance
, human action
-- so that it functions with rhythmic clarity: that is the cinema of Robert Bresson
, who died five years ago aged 98
. A "Christian atheist
" by his own description, he made only 13 films
(and a short) and created a cinema of paradox
, in which "the denial of emotion creates emotionally overwhelming works, the withholding of information makes for narrative density
, and attention to 'the surface of the work
' produces inexhaustible depth". Paul Schrader
, the most famous
among Bresson scholars
, wrote that
"Bresson has seemed like God himself; distant, beyond communication. Now, like God, Bresson is dead". More inside.
posted by matteo
on Dec 13, 2004 -
Mother of the Matrix?
What if everything we experience is actually being delivered to our catatonic bodies by superintelligent robots? On a more practical note, what if the Wachowski brothers ripped off the ideas for their high-grossing trilogy from an unknown screenwriter who claims to have submitted it in response to a 1981 ad the brothers placed "requesting new sci-fi works?"
(registration required, but it will deliver the goods while saving you the pain of parsing intentional spelling errors in "Da Ghetto Tymz"). Does the fact that the author claiming infringement is a black woman
change the character of this story? It does seem like, considering where the case has gone, that it would be considered news
. Just how long is the arm of Time/Warner/AOL/Skynet? In other stories, how many times will
The Terminator be sued?
posted by nanojath
on Dec 6, 2004 -
Don't believe the hype
Debunking the so-called genius of Prince, The Sopranos and 'Blade Runner'. Amusingly harsh yet convincing cases all round. Can I add 'Goodfellas' to the list? Never has so much been written about a film so lacking. I prefered 'Casino'.
posted by feelinglistless
on Dec 4, 2004 -
It's that time of year again.
When everyone comes out with their lists of the best movies, albums, TV shows, books, etc, etc. Fimoculous has a page that lists them all so you don't have to search around the web. (And it will be continuously updated for the next month or so, so keep checking back)
posted by braun_richard
on Dec 3, 2004 -
"A glance at this list, and at the daunting array of actors who have worked with him over the years, many repeatedly, suggests that Mr. Nichols is not only smart but also the cause of intelligence in others. One of the reasons his movies reliably yield pleasure in spite of their limitations is the quality of the acting on display."
It seems that Mr. Nichols is also able to inspire profoundly interesting reviews such as this one
in the NYT.
posted by semmi
on Nov 28, 2004 -