A nicely lengthy interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Poitras was one of the key figures involved in the revealing of Edward Snowden as the NSA whistleblower; she has a film (Citizenfour) opening this week. Poitras discusses her role as a documentary filmmaker, as well as her unique perspectives on the War on Terror, NSA surveillance, her status as a high-profile dissenter, and being on the receiving end of government harrassment.
Who designed the tricorder, the flip-top communicator, the Vulcan lute, the the Romulan Bird-of-Prey? Wah Chang. Who made the Gorn and the salt vampire from M-113? Who commissioned the first 500 tribbles? Wah Chang. Who made Tarantula take to the hills? Who built the prototype for the time machine and created a monster too terrible to show on television? Who animated dinosaurs and adorned Cleopatra? Wah Chang, Wah Chang, Wah Ming Chang. [more inside]
After laboring as second bananas in Despicable Me 1 and 2, the Minions are finally getting their own movie.
Max Landis, son of John Landis and screenwriter of Chronicle, has shared a 436 page screenplay that he wrote as a 20-year-old: Super Mario World. Via CHUD.
The film that frightened me most - Guardian writers on their personal cinematic nightmares: Threads, Ringu, The Sixth Sense, The Blair Witch Project, The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Orphanage, Eden Lake, Watership Down, Psycho
Disclaimer: The facts are taken from the journal "Taste, Taboo, Trash: The Story of Ramsay Brothers" by Kartik Nair. I personally declare that the journal is only used as a reference & no intentions copying the content for any benefits, it's only to spread the knowledge regarding the working ways of Ramsay brothers. [more inside]
Film Crit Hulk is back with a long essay about more-than-gamergate. Building off his previous ethical criticism (especially his multipart James Bond series) Film Crit Hulk gives us his opinions on "THE VOID OF THIS PARTICULAR HOUR". [more inside]
The Dissolve's "Movie of the Week" on this week leading to Halloween has been The Blair Witch Project, which it describes as "the most widely despised great horror movie". They discuss the legacy of the film fifteen years after its release and the future of the genre that it helped to create: found-footage horror. And where are the people who made it these days? Heather Donahue is growing pot. Josh Leonard is still acting (Michael C. Williams less so). And the directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez seem to want to catch that same lightning in a bottle, but with very underwhelming results.
Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
LEMONADE WAR: a short film starring Patton Oswalt, Taylor Buck, Mo Collins and Werner Herzog. View more films here from We The Economy: 20 Short Films You Can’t Afford to Miss.
It was called a number of things in its fifty years of existence, but the RKO Forty Acres (which actually measured just over twenty-eight) was above all a prolific movie and television studio located in Culver City, California. It started off as a film studio during the silent era that continued prominent use in sound films including Gone With The Wind, The Magnificent Ambersons and King Kong. Later, it was widely used for television shows like Bonanza, The Adventures of Superman and, most prominently, The Andy Griffith Show. It even got used in a number of classic Star Trek episodes (and be sure to visit this site for some nice screen caps revealing Enterprise crew members walking around Mayberry). The RetroWeb has a very thorough history of the studio, complete with prodigious pictures.
Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space, the military, and biology are well represented, but so are pets, food, and outdoor recreation and survival. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films. And if you like women’s tennis, then you’ve just hit the motherlode.*I stopped counting at 480 [more inside]
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film Zulu, which depicts the Battle of Rorke's Drift (previously) in 1879. Here's a little history of the production, as well as ten things you may not know about the film and an argument that it's the best British war film ever made. Film Historian Sheldon Hall discusses the film's legacy, and Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi (who portrayed his own great grandfather in the film) reminisces about the shoot.
Figuring out some of the more obscure references in an episode of MST3k is a labor of love for some devoted fans. The folks over at The Annotated MST3k (previously) have been at it for eleven years now and have 113 episodes completely annotated. But for those who prefer their annotations in real time, you're in luck. The official YouTube channel for the show has posted two completely annotated episodes (Mitchell and Manos - The Hands of Fate) for your viewing pleasure.
Ladies and gentleman, by way of introduction, this is a film about trickery, fraud, about lies. Tell it by the fireside or in a marketplace or in a movie, almost any story is almost certainly some kind of lie. But not this time. This is a promise. For the next hour, everything you hear from us is really true and based on solid fact.Orson Welles' cinematic confidence scam, F for Fake, gets a new two disc Blu-Ray Criterion Collection release this year. Ben Sampson offers a visual analysis in two parts, breaking down the film's layers of paradoxes. [more inside]
In Final Cut: Ladies and Gentleman (IMDb) Hungarian filmmaker György Pálfi creates a feature length love story by editing together clips from some 500 different movies. This "recycled film" was screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. (SLYT, NSFW: This would probably be rated NC17; sexy-time scene with at least one clip from Deep Throat.)
Tired of movie sequels? Good news, The Sequel Is Dead -- The Universe Is Where It's At [more inside]
In 2001, long before he helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe juggernaut, Jon Favreau could reasonably be described as “that guy in Swingers”. But sometime between Swingers and Iron Man, Favreau used some of his clout to create and host a new show for the Independent Film Channel. It was called "Dinner for Five". [more inside]
A New Wave of Black Filmmaking: Experimental and Black Speculative Indie Films "A brief survey of the contemporary Black independent film scene yields a long and ever-growing list of experimental and Black speculative (including horror, Afrofuturism, sci-fi, fantasy, fan fiction) short cinema, film trailers, music videos and other projects. (/The Atlanta Black Star) [more inside]
"The evil lord Cat Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote minivan probes into the far reaches of the swimming pool... Ahem... Space."
In 2009, Casey Pugh asked Internet users to remake Star Wars into a fan film, 15 seconds at a time. In a few months time, thousands of fans responded with extraordinary creativity from around the world. Five years later, Star Wars Uncut (previously) was released. It was was such a success that in 2012 he solicited more fan-made films to create the next installment. A panel of 20 judges culled through over 1500 submission and more than 480 were chosen to create the shot-for-shot remake of the newest release, The Empire Strikes Back Uncut.
"Using footage from NASA's Johnson Space Center, filmmaker Fede Castro creates a captivating time-lapse video of Earth from space. In a little over four minutes, 'Nuestra Tierra—Our Earth' takes us around the world, sighting major cities and even catching the breathtaking aurora borealis." More from Fede Castro.
On the fiftieth anniversary of its theatrical release, Slate is taking a look back at the Cold War thriller Fail Safe (trailer), which stars Henry Fonda as a U.S. President who has to deal with a computational accident that risks nuclear war. The film was preceded at the box office by Dr. Strangelove, a film very similar in plot but drastically different in tone. Fail Safe bombed as a result of the comparison with Kubrick's masterpiece, but the story itself would have a second chance at reaching audiences come the year 2000. [more inside]
Coming soon to a theater near you, it's Tetris! The Movie.
Cowspiracy is a crowdfunded documentary now being screened that examines the environmental impact of animal agriculture and seeks to examine why prominent environmental groups have apparently not made it a focus of their efforts. David Robinson Simon, the author of Meatonomics who appears in the film, interviews filmmakers Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn. [more inside]
ComicsAlliance writer Benito Cereno has put together a collection of links to horror films available for streaming on Netflix this October: The Haunting of Netflix House 2: Your Sister is a Netflix
Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau speaking at UCLA 12/1/1971 (audio with rotating pictures, 45 min 25 sec) [SLYT]
Scarecrow Video (previously), also known as "the largest independent video store in the world", announced back in August that they were closing its doors. But Wait! There's More! Scarecrow also announced their plans to soon after re-open as a non-profit. And after a successful Kickstarter effort that ended two weeks ago, they have now launched the first phase of The Scarecrow Project with the "singular purpose of protecting the invaluable collection of Scarecrow Video under a four-pillared mission of preservation, access, education and community".
Kichwateli (Kenya, 2011; 07:46), The Day They Came (Nigeria, 2013; 03:59), The Tale of How (South Africa, 2006; 04:28; previously), Alive in Joburg (South Africa, 2006; 06:22; previously), Umkhungo (South Africa, 2010; 30:34; trailer alt. link), Evolve (Egypt, 2014; 24:17), Mwansa the Great (Zambia, 2011; 23:11; two trailers as alt. links), and Pumzi (Kenya, 2009; 21:51): eight short works of SF/fantasy via The Skiffy and Fanty Show.
Swedish fly fisherman and filmmaker Rolf Nylinder takes a trip to Slovenia with Kristian Matsson (Tallest Man on Earth) and friends. [more inside]
"Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift" by Anne Helen Petersen for Vanity Fair. (Warning: graphic description of car accident in the link.) [more inside]
The Eyes of Hitchcock (SLVimeo)
Inherent Vice trailer: [SLYT] “Inherent Vice” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first film adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel.
When P.I. Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin… well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the `60s, paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is one of those words going around, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s way too overused–except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists... Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp–all Thomas Pynchon.
“Alien 3 was flawed from its inception and it was certainly flawed—actually, pretty fucked up—well before we started shooting. So there you go. Take all of the responsibility, because you’re going to get all of the blame.” — David Fincher [previously]
"Pride", a critically-acclaimed new film given a limited release in the US today, tells the true story of how a small group of LGBT activists became the biggest fundraiser for the year-long British coal miner's strike of 1984-85. The miners faced a pre-meditated, organized, thuggish, dishonest, deceptive, and illegal surveillance and smear campaign by the Thatcher government, which froze all mining union funds, cancelled their unemployment, and denied food and housing welfare to their wives and children, in an attempt to starve them out. For the first time, the British government trained Britain's police into a paramilitary force, bused in at great expense and in great numbers to overwhelm the protesters, using violent, repressive, and corrupt tactics against non-violent protesters, with prolonged police detentions and the indiscriminate arrest of over 11,000 British citizens. The government was supported by the rightwing tabloid media, who used sensationalist, crude headlines to shape public opinion. LGBT activists reclaimed one such headline as the name of their most successful benefit. Although the miner's strike was broken by the Thatcher government, the miners kept their promise to support the LGBT community, by marching alongside them at the front of London's 1985's Pride parade.. Later that year at the Labour Party conference, a motion was tabled that supported adding equal rights for gays and lesbians as part of the Party's platform. This motion was opposed by Labour's executive committee, but the motion went to a vote – and passed, thanks to the votes of the National Union of Mineworkers and their allies.
"Dave Beeth-Oven. Maxine of Arc. Herman the Kid. Bob Genghis Khan. So-Crates Johnson. Dennis Frood. And, uh... Abraham Lincoln." Hadley Freeman revisits Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure with Alex Winter, and Ben Child reports on the long-awaited follow-up to Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey.
KillBillreference is a YouTube account (apparently defunct) that curates clips of a handful of the movies that Quentin Tarantino has drawn reference from. Primarily these are references from Kill Bill, but other movies like Pulp Fiction sneak in as well. For example, Elle Driver's whistle song as it first appeared in Twisted Nerve, the music from O-Ren Ishii's origin story as it first appeared in I Lunghi Giorni Della Vendetta, an eye plucking scene from Five Fingers of Death, and Mia's square gesture from Pulp Fiction as originally performed by Betty Rubble. [more inside]
The New York Review of Books recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding (previously), growing out of an alliance between Harpers editor Robert Silvers and writer Elizabeth Hardwick to find a place for what she called "the unusual, the difficult, the lengthy, the intransigent, and above all, the interesting." Known as the New York Review or the NYRB, it is also known to fans as the best magazine in the world. Next Monday, HBO will air The 50-Year Argument, a documentary by Martin Scorsese about the history of the magazine and what makes it special. [more inside]
What's that you say? You like to read movie and music related lists on the Internet? Well here you go: The Movies' 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments from the folks at The Dissolve.
The final film in the Atlas Shrugged trilogy (previously) is now in theaters and the reaction has been a stupendous... meh. [more inside]
Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza has just been named as the voice of Grumpy Cat in the upcoming movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. This is not the first time Plaza's acted in an Internet meme turned movie: she was in Safety Not Guaranteed (based on a personal ad hiring a time-travelling assistant) (prev) as well as CollegeHumour's fake Daria trailer (prev). Will it do better than The Slender Man or Snakes on a Plane?
In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real [New York Times] ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO documents an Attack in Kenya.
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back. The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers.[more inside]
In 2004 Joseph Kahn directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
No, the above quote is not the answer to “How many total episodes are there of the various “Law & Order” franchises?”. In actuality, those nine words conclude one of the most exciting films of the 1940’s (and the direct ancestor of Dick Wolf’s prolific franchise). Welcome to “The Naked City”. [more inside]
You may not agree with this list of memorable cars of Hollywood, but it sure is fun scrolling through it.
A lot of the world’s most powerful people look like Lester Burnham: white, male, middle-aged, well off, and bored to death. There are Lester Burnhams in public office, in the Supreme Court, at billion dollar corporations, at record labels and movie studios. These people in power aren’t happy, and this movie gives them what must be a very comforting message: let go of your responsibility, but not your power. Don’t worry about what the world will look like after you die. You’ll be happy if you help yourself — not the people who need you.Fifteen Years Later, 'American Beauty' is Just a Bad, Pretty Movie