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Director of "The Lizard" to make Iranian campaign ad

Kamal Tabrizi, Iranian director of "Marmoulak" (The Lizard), has been hired by to make a campaign ad for presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
posted by 445supermag on May 25, 2005 - 6 comments

edge of reality

There is a line we walk, a line between good and evil, between what is real and what is unreal, between sanity and madness and between life and dreams, a place we call...The Edge of Reality

There's something of the Ed Wood about Jeff Kirkendall and his buddies, and I find it really refreshing to see people just making films for themselves rather than thinking it's a stepping stone to a career in hollywood.

While it might not have the unsettling nature of Coven, a word I still pronounce like woven thanks to that film, there's no denying that The temptress and the edge of reality have a certain something. I have to admit I laughed at the trailer, but it seems that others see something I missed.
posted by ciderwoman on May 24, 2005 - 8 comments

Porn-again Christian

'I haven't seen a porno film in 20 years or more. No need to. I got my wife'.
Harry Reems tells about his struggle to survive Deep Throat.
posted by matteo on May 22, 2005 - 17 comments

The dear green place?

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 - 13 comments

An Open Letter To Tim Burton

“This is not a costumed event.” A writer for Twitch Films was invited to attend a marketing preview of Tim Burton's new film 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', but was turned away because the friends he had with him were goths. Don't they know Mr Burton's audience? It's all very ironic considering how Johnny Depp looks in the film.
posted by feelinglistless on May 17, 2005 - 140 comments

Deere John

Machine as romantic object. The short film “Deere John” explores how narrative archetype can humanize the inanimate (and is funny).
posted by stacyhall1 on May 17, 2005 - 10 comments

Broadsword calling Danny Boy

Channel 4's 100 Greatest War Films as voted for by their (generally more clued-up than average) viewership has plenty for you to disagree with, but much to recommend. Filmsite.org has a history of war films (as does Berkeley) for the completists among you. There are more war films from and about Vietnam and Indochina than you can shake a bayonet at (see also the 1999 NYT article, Apocalypse Then: Vietnam Marketing War Films to learn a little about the Vietnamese government's 1960s and 70s archive of war film). The [British] national archives have archived film from pre-WWI to the Cold War.
posted by nthdegx on May 17, 2005 - 74 comments

Sir Lord, meet Miss Boop-a-Doop-a-Dee

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 - 5 comments

Wiener

Todd Solondz interview. Writer/director Solondz, and Elvis Mitchell, (ex)NYTimes film critic, in a beautiful discussion of Solondz's films, the universality of Dawn Wiener, and Solondz's new film "Palindromes". From Mitchell's radio show " The Treatment".
posted by R. Mutt on May 9, 2005 - 21 comments

Khronos Projector

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 - 6 comments

"Kal-El, I am your godfather."

Phoning It In From 30 Years Ago. Parts of Marlon Brando's "Jor-El" scenes, cut from the old Superman II, may be resurrected in Superman Returns. (possible spoilers)
posted by brownpau on May 3, 2005 - 19 comments

21-87: George Lucas Under the Influence

"When George saw 21-87, a lightbulb went off".
"21-87" is an experimental film made in 1964 by Canadian avant-garde director Arthur Lipsett ,who committed suicide in 1986. "George" is George Lucas, who was obsessed by underground movies until "a little movie called Star Wars lured him to the dark side". (more inside)
posted by matteo on May 2, 2005 - 25 comments

The Clerks are with you

Kevin Smith reviews Revenge of the Sith [BIG spoilers] and goes head over heels for it, saying it rights all the wrongs of the previous two movies. We all know Smith is a diehard Star Wars fan who was just as disappointed by the prequels as the rest of us - viz his recent conversation with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for Empire magazine. But do we still trust him after Jersey Girl?
posted by LondonYank on May 2, 2005 - 60 comments

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms

Experiments in the Revival of Organisms 'Of course technique is everything...' Introduced by renowned Marxist scientist and geneticist JBS Haldane, this Soviet film depicts the artificial maintenance of individual organs, a severed dog's head, and finally a dog in toto (excuse the pun).
posted by derangedlarid on Apr 25, 2005 - 8 comments

Gregory Crewdson

The photographs of Gregory Crewdson are variably described as disturbing (nsfw,) otherworldly, filmic and sometimes just technically stunning. He readily acknowledges the influence of David Lynch and Steven Spielberg, so it's no surprise that some of Hollywood's finest are queuing up to appear in his big budget images of skewed suburbia.
posted by fire&wings on Apr 24, 2005 - 25 comments

Tales of Armada

"I want them to remember me with a shudder." Filthy's mind often wanders when reviewing films in his hometown of Armada, Colorado, regailing us with occasional snippets of wage slavery, sympathy, Larry, Jimmy, Gooden, the Harelip of the Armada Tavern, and growing up.
posted by AlexReynolds on Apr 20, 2005 - 11 comments

1 + 2 = high drama

The Mathematical Fiction Homepage is a collaborative attempt to "collect information about all significant references to mathematics in fiction." Feel free to add classic or recent works in any medium to the collection, or rate existing entries on their mathematical content and literary quality.
posted by mediareport on Apr 18, 2005 - 8 comments

Amityville Horror, revisited

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 and psychics 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 - 12 comments

"Independent" Film. What is it?

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 Assisted Living 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 - 30 comments

Who Wants to Be a Hamburger Millionaire?

If you won a hamburger for every ten seconds of a feature film, you'd be a hamburger millionaire.
posted by bigbadem on Apr 12, 2005 - 4 comments

Follow Follow Follow Follow Follow the Paths of the Dead

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 - 35 comments

Seven redux

The final scene of "Seven" performed by stuffed animals.
posted by oldleada on Apr 7, 2005 - 48 comments

Because Distractions are Fun!

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 - 15 comments

Sin City: From the Comics to the Screen

Sin City: From the Comics to the Screen - Film Rotation offers up a side-by-side comparison of stills from the movie's trailer to panels from Frank Miller's comics.
posted by Robot Johnny on Mar 31, 2005 - 59 comments

Larry Clark: Punk Picasso

The Cheerful Transgressive Ever since 1971, when Larry Clark published Tulsa, an austere series chronicling his meth-shooting pals in sixties Oklahoma, Clark has made it his mission to document teenagers at their most deviant, their most vulnerable, their most sexually unhinged (possibly NSFW). And now “Larry Clark” the first American retrospective of Clark’s work, currently on display at the International Center of Photography, demonstrates the richness with which he’s mined this single subject (NSFW). More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 31, 2005 - 48 comments

Hitchcockian Horrors

On this day in 1963 Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" was released into the world, causing us to forever tread lightly around pigeons. Anyone wanna lend me $18,950 so I can celebrate?
posted by shoppingforsanity on Mar 28, 2005 - 21 comments

Alvy's back

Vincent Canby never saw a Woody Allen [nyt reg. req.] movie he didn't greet with a superlative. The director's new Melinda and Melinda opened in Brooklyn yesterday. Critical reaction has ranged from lukewarm to quite negative. Alternet and n+1 call this a case of miscastration. Is the shark dead or has it been jumped? [n+1 and suicide girls interview via gawker.]
posted by oldleada on Mar 24, 2005 - 21 comments

British shorts

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 - 3 comments

Copy Shop: short film with unorthodox photocopy technique

Copy Shop   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 - 14 comments

Parent's Guide to Anime

A Parent's Guide to Anime includes a few hundred informative and opinionated reviews, organized by rating. Found via this thread at the Christian discussion site Arts & Faith, whose users included Waking Life, Bad Lieutenant, Life of Brian and Fight Club in their list of the Top 100 Spiritually Significant Films.
posted by mediareport on Mar 21, 2005 - 26 comments

Piles of Polish Posters (Plakaty) Posted Presently.

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 - 10 comments

The UK has the best advertisements.

Tim Thornton-Allan is a film editor who's collaborated with the best advertising and short film directors around the world.

Some other favorites: Cherry, Arcade, and Hong Kong
posted by bigtimes on Mar 13, 2005 - 8 comments

No capes

No capes, 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 - 85 comments

EP3 Trailer

EP3 Trailer Awesome.
posted by jimjam on Mar 10, 2005 - 87 comments

"When you see your own photo, do you say you're a fiction?"

“The problem is not to make political films but to make films politically.”
In "Tout Va Bien", just released on Criterion DVD, four years after May '68 Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin examine the wreckage: fading workers' empowerment (page with sound), media fatuity, capitalist sprawl, global imperialist mayhem, interpersonal disconnections. "Tout Va Bien" is the story of a strike at a factory as witnessed by an American reporter (Jane Fonda) and her has-been New Wave film director husband (Yves Montand). Included on the DVD is also Letter to Jane (1972), a short film in which Godard and Gorin spend an hour examining the semiotics of a single, hypnotizing photograph of Fonda as she shares feelings with a Vietnamese villager. More inside.
posted by matteo on Mar 8, 2005 - 18 comments

Cinematic Evangelical Outreach

Motive Entertainment has staked out a niche in marketing to Christian audiences and they have been working with Disney in promoting The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to evangelicals. They previously worked on the Faith-Market campaigns for Passion of the Christ and the Polar Express.
posted by Arch Stanton on Mar 7, 2005 - 15 comments

A Butler...For You Head!

Hey, let's ask the Head Butler! A newish site devoted to giving you book, music, and film recommendations, and more. (more inside)
posted by braun_richard on Mar 7, 2005 - 12 comments

Whyy??!

Sequels, prequels and remakes, oh my... First Bugs, now Lamar. Having just heard that there will be a new Revenge of the Nerds movie next year, I really wasn't prepared for the coming onslaught.
posted by hellbient on Feb 28, 2005 - 27 comments

Clint's the auteur

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 - 115 comments

Balance - animated short film

Balance is an animated short made in West Germany in 1989. I saw it at an animation festival years ago and am now pleased to see that Milk & Cookies has posted a link to a Flash version of it. I hope you enjoy. [7 mins, Flash]
posted by scarabic on Feb 27, 2005 - 18 comments

National Film Board of Canada's Ryan.

Ryan, the Best Animated Short for the 2005 Academy Awards, is fully viewable in 3 different video formats through the National Film Board of Canada (along with a preview of the Best Documentary (Short Subject) of Hardwood). The 14 minute piece tackles the life of NFB animator Ryan Larkin, who himself was an Oscar nominee back in the 1960s for the classic Walking until eventually becoming a panhandler. (prior discussion without full film) [cont'd]
posted by myopicman on Feb 27, 2005 - 20 comments

The End Of Sexual Taboos: Erotic and Pornographic Cinema

The End Of Sexual Taboos: Erotic and Pornographic Cinema. Not safe for work.
posted by nthdegx on Feb 26, 2005 - 9 comments

Big Fun in the Big Town

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 - 18 comments

French Film Critics

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 list recently. Other than their list typically leaning toward films by auteurs - such as Ingmar Bergman and Hou Hsiao-hsien [and Tarantino] - 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 - 38 comments

La Feline

"You can fool everybody, but landie dearie me, you can't fool a cat. They seem to know who's not right". The psychoanalyst calmly explains to his patient that her idea that she is turning into a member of the cat family is a fantasy; she silences him with fang and talon.
Val Lewton made his name as a producer with the horror film Cat People, produced for RKO on a minuscule budget and directed by Jacques Tourneur. The star? French actress Simone Simon, who died today in Paris aged 93. More inside.
posted by matteo on Feb 23, 2005 - 6 comments

Makes Keanu look like Olivier

Straight outta Belgium, it's "The Matrix: The Beginning". This is a see-it-to-believe-it occasion. [20m WMV; Trailer for those with a lower tolerance for this sort of nonsense; Main site]
posted by Pretty_Generic on Feb 20, 2005 - 40 comments

Not just for Trekkies anymore...

Fandom is, at the core, neither good or bad. It simply is. [+]
posted by FunkyHelix on Feb 16, 2005 - 17 comments

"What do you want me to do, learn to stutter?"

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 - 33 comments

Naturalist, Old Skool Blogger

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 died there on Easter Sunday, 2003.
posted by a_day_late on Feb 10, 2005 - 16 comments

"I'd rather play a maid than be one"

Call her Madame. Among the old-timers, the story went like this: a woman known to everyone as Madame came to California from Kentucky with her children and her husband. But once they were in the Gold Rush State, her husband left her. Desperate to find work, she introduced herself to a movie director named D. W. Griffith. He not only cast her in his movie, but the two became friends for life. And with this woman, called Madame Sul-Te-Wan, what we now call Black Hollywood began -- as a new book by historian Donald Bogle explains. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Feb 7, 2005 - 6 comments

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