During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code
from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness
(1935), Reefer Madness
(1936) and The Cocaine Fiends
(1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Oct 15, 2012 -
Like James Bond movies? And box office grosses? And visualized data? Then today is your lucky day
posted by Egg Shen
on Aug 1, 2012 -
Long before the David Cronenberg film (NSFW: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
, before even the publication of the novel
, Harley Cokeliss
directed Crash! (1, 2)
- a short film adapted from the story in J.G. Ballard
's The Atrocity Exhibition
, starring Ballard himself and Gabrielle Drake (sister of Nick Drake
). (previously) [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Jul 29, 2012 -
A decade on, the Coen brothers' woefully underrated O Brother, Where Art Thou? [alt]
is remembered for a lot of things
: its sun-drenched, sepia-rich cinematography
(a pioneer of digital color grading
), its whimsical humor
, fluid vernacular
, and many subtle references
to Homer's Odyssey
. But one part of its legacy truly stands out: the music
Assembled by T-Bone Burnett
, the soundtrack is a cornucopia of American folk music, exhibiting everything from cheery ballads
and angelic hymns
to wistful blues
and chain-gang anthems
. Woven into the plot of the film through radio and live performances, the songs lent the story a heartfelt, homespun feel
that echoed its cultural heritage, a paean and uchronia of the Old South
Though the multiplatinum album was recently reissued
, the movie's medley is best heard via famed documentarian D. A. Pennebaker
's Down from the Mountain
, an extraordinary
concert film focused on a night of live music by the soundtrack's stars (among them Gillian Welch
, Emmylou Harris
, Chris Thomas King
, bluegrass legend Dr. Ralph Stanley
) and wryly hosted by John Hartford
, an accomplished fiddler
, riverboat captain
, and raconteur
whose struggle with terminal cancer made this his last major performance. The film is free in its entirety on Hulu
-- click inside for individual clips, song links, and breakdowns of the set list
's fascinating history. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 22, 2011 -
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba!
It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King
is at the top of the box office
. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance
, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg
Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting
tracks alongside the original video
), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action.
In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M
wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary
on scenes like this
; his work was later expanded
into a full album
, the Broadway stage show
, and projects closer to his heart
. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle
), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups.
Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Oct 1, 2011 -
Glengarry Glen Ross endures mainly as a spectacular display of verbal warfare and alpha-male gamesmanship. There’s a musical quality to it, with a great composer and a great chorus hitting the complicated runs of broken dialogue and solos that weave into profane poetry and nuggets of philosophical wisdom. Perhaps the greatest sign of the movie’s success, owed equally to Mamet’s script and this cast, is that it does a great sales job in itself, convincing us that there’s nobility to men who lie for a living — a bill of goods we’re all too happy to buy. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Sep 29, 2011 -
"'Postcards to Alphaville'
is a project dedicated to film characters featured in guest-made illustrations. Everyone participating in this adventure has to watch a film and make postcard portraying specific character from it. It is love-letter to films and those characters that brings us, the viewers, moments of joy, sorrow and revelation and sometimes seems more real than the neighbor next-door." via
posted by Sticherbeast
on Sep 28, 2011 -
Despite my absolute fidelity to Sade's text, I have however introduced an absolutely new element: the action instead of taking place in eighteenth-century France, takes place practically in our own time, in Salò, around 1944, to be exact. (some links extremely NSFW)
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 14, 2010 -
Coloring the Kingdom
: the story of the all-female “finishing school” of hand-drawn animation that worked behind the scenes to create the first animated full-length Disney feature, Snow White. (via.
posted by 1f2frfbf
on Feb 5, 2010 -
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.
posted by genghis
on Sep 6, 2008 -
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 -
I think he liked the new Spider Man movie.
Not only includes many arguments for why the movie is great, but goes so far as to say that Art is "culturally irrelevant," has been replaced by movies as the most successful reflection of our times, and that this movie will stand not merely as the best film of 2002, but might well be studied in the future as the creative work most symbolic of America in these troubled modern times. Wow. Now THAT's a good flick!
posted by conquistador
on May 7, 2002 -
Attack Of The 50ft. Website!
How do you kill a monster that never sleeps?! The monster created by atoms gone wild! All New! Thrills! Shock! Suspense! For your own good, we urge you not to see it alone! See the ghastly ghouls in flaming color! The greatest collection of classic science fiction and horror poster art on the net! Now showing in a browser near you.
This website has not been rated.
posted by riffola
on Apr 9, 2002 -