Best laid schemes?
Back in 1945 the Bruce Plan
[click on images for video footage] was a radical proposal to knock down, and then rebuild, the Victorian centre of the city of Glasgow. The city’s slums
* would be cleared; new towns
* would be established; Glasgow would rise again, triumphant, once again the second city of the Empire
*. In 1971
*, there were grand visions of the Glasgow of the future; the Glasgow of tomorrow would be a bright, shining new city, and the Clyde
* would once again be something to be proud of. A fascinating film archive of the Glasgow of the 20th century
*All links contain embedded video goodness.
posted by Len
on May 17, 2005 -
In 30 years of going to Cannes
, Roger Ebert has witnessed Francis Ford Coppola suffering from post-Apocolypse insanity and learned Jerry Lewis's secret for preventing riots--but the most interesting character he ever met there was a loudmouthed, fast-talking Texan named Silver Dollar Baxter with an uncanny gift for bluffing...
posted by yankeefog
on May 9, 2005 -
The Khronos Projector
interactive art installation allows users to send parts of a filmed projection forwards or backwards in time. Neat temporal waving follows.
posted by peacay
on May 6, 2005 -
The house in Amityville with the fan-shaped windows making an inhuman face is the Godzilla
of haunted house movies. The town and current owner of the house where the DeFeo family was murdered try to downplay
(registration required) its signficance. The trademark windows in the original have been replaced to disguise its identity, and lawsuits force studios to use a house-double. Although latest remake claims the status of "true story," the case has been widely dismissed as a hoax
and the 2005 film has even rased the ire of George Lutz
for how he is portrayed as the haunted father-figure. Other people involved in the case including convicted murder DeFeo are unhappy
with the new attention. Still, the story has its true believers
who argue the debunkers have their own agenda. Then again, Texas Chainsaw Massacre
was also claimed by the same production company to be "inspired by a true story."
posted by KirkJobSluder
on Apr 15, 2005 -
I don't know what "independent film" means. At a time when the Weinsteins are trying to extricate themselves from Disney
, it seems an appropriate question to ask. There are Indie films (non-industry money) that are
supposed to imitate fancy hollywood films, there are new studios being opened outside of LA by Wealthy Christians in Denver hoping to convert through CS Lewis movies
and there are Garden State
, Lost in Translation
, Eternal Sunshine
etc. which are like other Hollywood films: have stars, and studio money but are marketed as "Independent Films." What makes these independent? Finally, and seemingly too infrequently, there are privately financed and self-distributed unusual films like
which despite their obvious merits
and the critic's adoration
are presumably ignored by the studios, blasted by the brain-numbing EW
and distributed instead by the two young first-time filmmakers
Why can't we see more non-hollywood and non-hollywood espousing independent ART on the screen? Why do we let every other multi-million dollar romantic comedy be sold to us as "indy" just because it has a quirky soundtrack or aesthetic sensibility. What can we do about it? I'm going to the movies. You?
posted by tallbuildings
on Apr 15, 2005 -
Did The Wizard of Oz inspire Lord of the Rings?
"The first film version of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz was released in the summer of 1939, less than a month before World War II officially began. Though started as early as 1937, The Lord of the Rings was largely composed during the war years, but not published until somewhat later. Therefore, it is by no means impossible that J.R.R. Tolkien saw the magnificent MGM movie before he wrote most of his magnum opus. Could Oz have influenced his tale somehow, consciously or unconsciously?"
posted by Joey Michaels
on Apr 7, 2005 -
Better known for their modernist take on contemporary furniture design, Minneapolis furniture studio Blu Dot has just introduced a series of film shorts entitled Blu Dot Shorts.
Their first short film, Seven Twenty
(embedded Quicktime warning), was directed by Christopher Arcella
(Flash warning). While is is not earth shattering conceptually, it is a jaunty and fun little piece of cinema.
posted by ScottUltra
on Apr 6, 2005 -
Nation on film
Hundreds of short clips of British life through the years from the BBC, exploring the use of film as an eyewitness to history.
posted by brettski
on Mar 23, 2005 -
is a 12-minute dialogue-free film by director Virgil Widrich about a guy inadvertently duplicating himself over and over (320 x 240 streaming Real format download link
). The most interesting aspect of the short, however, is that it was made frame-by-frame of photocopies, manipulated for jarring visual effects and then shot with a camera to put together the final cut. (Mentioned
previously by film aficionado pxe2000.) Also see Widrich's photocopied short Fast Film
with even more calamitous, unraveling effects. Get this guy toner refills for his birthday.
posted by planetkyoto
on Mar 21, 2005 -
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 -