Architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham loved Los Angeles. (Last link is a BBC documentary, circa 1972, 52 minutes -- NSFW at 47 minute mark) [more inside]
Death To Film Critics! Hail The CelebCult! "A newspaper film critic is like a canary in a coal mine. When one croaks, get the hell out. The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child for the self-destruction of American newspapers, which once hoped to be more like the New York Times and now yearn to become more like the National Enquirer. We used to be the town crier. Now we are the neighborhood gossip."
The Thirties in Colour is a four-part series using rare colour film and photographs to give poignant and surprising insights into the 1930s. [Previously] [more inside]
"There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. On this, the anniversary of Mishima's transformation into a headless god, a collection of video links. [more inside]
David Samuel "Sam" Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984) was an American film maker who directed 15 major motion pictures, and created the television series The Westerner, starring Brian Keith and John Dehner. His second film Ride the High Country, " [Starring aging Western stars Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott in their final major screen roles, the film initially went unnoticed in the United States but was an enormous success in Europe. Beating Federico Fellini's 8½ for first prize at the Belgium Film Festival, the film was hailed by foreign critics as a brilliant reworking of the Western genre.] [more inside]
Blindspots is a continually-updated collection of movie reviews based around one very interesting concept -- how accessible they are to the visually impaired. [more inside]
Poladroid is a free app for your mac that lets you drag an image onto the polaroid camera in the corner of your screen. it then spits out a polaroid image that develops on your desktop. there's a flickr group for these shots already. [more inside]
A Matter of Loaf and Death is the new BBC Christmas short from Nick Park and Aardman. In the mock murder mystery, Wallace and Gromit start a new bakery business, Top Bun. The short, Park's first since 1995, will introduce a new love interest for Wallace, Piella Bakewell, a bread enthusiast.
Super Powers, winner of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short (possibly NSFW - a couple of swear words and adult theme)
Make this Christmas special. Spend it in Ralphie's house! Bunny suit and Lifebuoy soap included. For an extra fee, the owner will convince you to lick a metal pole and then shoot your eye out. [more inside]
Animatsiya in English is weblog (warning: livejournal) with a narrow focus: tracking the production of Russian animated feature films. Russian animation has a long history with output both abstract and obstructed; from the early influence of the Russian avant-garde and the work of small groups of enthusiasts, through Stalin-era Socialist realism and a style known as Éclair that was marked by the use of extensive rotoscoping, to the 1960's and beyond when surreal and politically charged (and unfortunately, in this case, anti-Semitic) as well as unconventionally structured, emotionally fueled films found release. Fortunately, when Pilot Studio—the Soviet Union's first private animation studio—decided to relegate parts of that history to the dumpsters out back, the people were ready to sift through the mess. [more inside]
In 2005, Margaret Pomeranz interviewed Wong Kar Wai. In 2007 GoldenDragonPictures posted the unedited footage to YouTube [parts 2 3 4 5 6] wherein he discusses his career to the point of 2046. [more inside]
China Film Journal "a bilingual website dedicated to Chinese-language cinema from around the world."
First published in 2003, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die is a reference book which provides blurbs for a list of critically acclaimed films. YouTuber matthiasheuermann has begun an ambitious, collective project to set selections from each of the films to music. [more inside]
The Little Shop of Horrors movie was originally intended to be.... very different. Three-part YouTube link. Amazing.
It was a dark and stormy campaign... A film theorist's thoughts on the narratives of Barack Obama and John McCain. [more inside]
The DiVincenzo Code [youtube trailer, geekery]. Faced with a strict demand from a funding agency to allocate research funds towards the dissemination of research ideas to the public, an experimental physics group at the University of Oxford produced a feature-length (55 min) action thriller about murder, ancient prophecy, tea breaks, and quantum computation. [more inside]
Director Peter Watkins' web site describes the filming, distribution and critical reaction to each of his controversial films, including Punishment Park, the rock star satire Privilege, The War Game, La Commune and more. He also offers a 10-part critique of "the media crisis" that marginalizes non-mainstream ideas via the Hollywood monoform and the Universal Clock, a style he claims structures almost all of the messages delivered to the public, but which sharply limits the range of relationships possible between media producers and audiences. [more inside]
Eric Skillman, art director / designer of many of Criterion's DVD packages, has a design process blog. There, he often discusses his work for the company.
Here is the post. Here is the post. Here is the perfect post.
How does such a number function? What kind of thing is it?
We will look into that. We will investigate that.
How does such a number function? What kind of thing is it?
We will look into that. We will investigate that.
Original character designs for Watchmen, including a (dropped) full body suit for Rorschach, by Dave Gibbons. (Also it looks like the movie version will have a different ending, so fears of a non-sucky Alan Moore film can be put to rest.)
One minute and four seconds in London, 1904. Birkbeck College professor Ian Christie rediscovered this footage in an archive in Canberra, shot for a travelogue by film pioneer Charles Urban.
The City of Absurdity - The Mysterious World of David Lynch
The Princess of Nebraska premiered on YouTube this weekend (unrated by MPAA, but 18A+ rating, but on YouTube, so maybe mild NSFW). Often focusing on Chinese immigrants in America and culture gaps (NPR interview; text and audio) between both their new country and across generations, director Wayne Wang has returned to his roots after several more traditional Hollywood movies (Wayne Wang Is Missing). (Known for "Chan Is Missing" and "The Joy Luck Club", he has made movies such as "Maid in Manhattan" recently.) "Princess" is intended as a double feature with traditionally released "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," "Princess" might "be the first feature feature film by a major director to premiere" only on the internet. Both are based on short stories by Yiyun Li.
Waggish would be one of the choicest blogs around if he updated more, but I suppose I can settle for what there is. If you've never read it, you'll know how good it is when I tell you about a few of the coolest posts: an inquest on "left-brained" literature, a short review of John Williams' Stoner, an appreciation of the great Shohei Imamura and three part coverage of the ultimate film, Béla Tarr's Sátántangó.
Harold "Herk" Harvey, a director of educational and industrial films for the Centron Corporation, was driving through Utah when he spotted the derelict Saltair Resort squatting on a mudded lakebed. The sight charged him with ideas, and when he returned home he recruited his Centron colleages and an unknown method actress to make a psychological horror movie. The atmospheric result, shot over three weeks at locations in Kansas and Utah, was 1962's Carnival of Souls. [more inside]
If you've never heard of Adam Cadre, then Adam Cadre is the best internet writer you've never heard of. He's a novelist and interactive fiction (a.k.a. "text adventure") author, but his site is packed with some of the clearest, most entertaining (and most personal) cultural writing around. It's a blog-esque sort of deal with posts prompted by films, books and other. Choicest articles include a to-the-point takedown of Stranger in a Strange Land, thoughts on Lanark and trolls who have never known love, an exegesis of the virtues of The Sweet Hereafter and the story of his near-lifelong relationship with Cosmos.
Antrepo Design have created an alternate set of film posters regarding the 'brand integration' ie product placement in a number of movies. Lynch on the matter (NSFW).
It was the 80's. We were younger then, and anything seemed possible. So it all seemed part of Destiny when my very first screenplay was bought and produced; fame and fortune was surely just around the corner. HA! Fat chance.- The making of Forever Evil.
Doomed Moviethon exists as an excuse for Richard Schmidt to go on insane, caffeine-fueled horror movie benders and record his impressions as sanity erodes... Could you do 28 Giallos in 60 hours? [more inside]
The IMDB is hosting movies and TV. If the expanding collection doesn't yet do it for you, there's always http://www.moviesfoundonline.com/, or, for your silent film needs, plain old youtube.
The Green Lantern movie is back on! Minus Jack Black! Early concept art is looking exciting, though sadly we’ll never see Paul Newman in the role of Hal Jordan.
Superman rebooted! - The next Superman movie will be ignoring 2006’s Superman Returns, something that has been suggested by comic book writers when asked how to save the franchise. Mark Millar has his own idea of what Superman needs: Mark Millar.
Black & white films to be remembered.
RocknRolla, isn't by all accounts a great film, but it does have a rather nifty title sequence (hi res), courtesy of Danny Yount of Prologue films. [more inside]
What does the artist do to a machine? There's a hammer lying here. Suppose we consider the computer a tool very much like the hammer, only we don't know what to make with it or what to do with it. [more inside]
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: "You're never too young to learn about the idiocy of racism and the folly of prejudice." [more inside]
Apparently whenever US movies were released in Soviet-era Poland, the posters were discarded and replaced by new versions by Polish artists. Alternately disturbing and frickin' awesome, and often containing political comments of varying subtlety. Previously.
Storyboard is an almost-real-time, behind-the-scenes look at the assigning, writing, editing, and designing of a Wired feature. The Birth of Storyboard is a (minimally edited) video of the conversation that spawned the project. The feature—that will be published in November—is about screenwriter Charlie Kaufman. In the past he has woven the process of creating his work into the work itself, so Wired writer Jason Tanz thought it would make sense to do the same. Looking to promote his directorial debut, Kaufman has agreed to take part in the project.
Bruce McDonald, respected Canadian indie director, announced his plans last week to make not one, not two, but three sequels to his low-budget 1996 cult favorite Hard Core Logo, essentially turning it into a franchise. Hard core fans will no doubt hope that the films are either great enough to live up to the original, or that it's all a publicity stunt timed for the TIFF premiere of his new film Pontypool, a horror flick about zombies who spread infection through conversation. [more inside]
The Guardian has compiled a list of their top fifty arts videos, the majority being from either rare or obscure sources and uploaded onto YouTube.
Between 1908 and 1931, French philanthropist Albert Kahn funded The Archive of the Planet. He sent out still photographers and motion picture cameramen who returned with 72,000 Autochrome colour plates, 4,000 steroscopic views, and 600,000 feet of film. BBC4's startling series allows us all to see Edwardians In Colour.
"It's a human drama thing." This is a documentary film about a group of people in Texas who enter a competition to win a new "hardbody" pickup truck, merely by keeping one hand on the truck the longest. (via Kottke via waxy) [more inside]
Oliver Reed. Movie star or hellraiser? Actor or alcoholic? But it was probably not as simple as that... The Real Oliver Reed (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (Poss. NSFW Brief nudity) [more inside]
Pieter Hugo photographs the Nigerian film industry, where a digital camera, 2 lights, nine days and $20k translates into a feature film. NSFW. [more inside]
A film adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Hugo Award winning novella, Coraline will be out (in 3D) in early 2009. [Previously] [more inside]
Voting is open for the Portable Film Festival. A curated collection of the year's best short films, music videos, animation, and features, from high-quality amateur films to hard-to-find professional releases. The international festival is delivered completely online: all entries are available for download, with awards decided by user ratings.