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Hollywood showdown: lefties v neo-cons

Hollywood fights back: is this the year Hollywood finally nails its political colours to the mast, or are we seeing just the latest salvo in a battle for the political heart of the industry? [NYT registration required.] In the red corner, "uninformed, misleading, money-hungry, two-faced, elitists" making films about gays, feminists and commies. In the blue corner, "towering intellectuals, hard-core conservatives, supermen and superwomen, and just good common people" making films about god, democracy and family values. And if you wonder what difference it makes anyway, just ask eBay founder Jeff Skoll. He thinks films have the power to shape public opinion, and has launched a website to galvanise support for social change.
posted by londonmark on Jan 20, 2006 - 41 comments

I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine

The Movie Deaths Database. 273 movie deaths, categorized and rated by greatness.
posted by washburn on Jan 19, 2006 - 52 comments

It's SUNDANCE time again!

If you can't be there in person, at least you can read the blogs of those lucky attendees. Share your preferred Sundance news sources here and/or by del.icio.us tag. If you are attending for the first time, you'll want to read the Virgin's Guide. Some think "Sundance shows too many "indie" films that are loaded with well-established talent in front of and behind the camera and ample budgets. It's not the place to go for new opportunities much anymore". (comment on page) See also: This year's titles sorted for your convenience.
posted by spock on Jan 18, 2006 - 12 comments

On "The God Who Wasn't There"

Doug TenNapel reviews "The God Who Wasn't There" in three parts: [1,2,3]. (Religion not your thing? He also does comics. And video games.)
posted by brownpau on Jan 15, 2006 - 36 comments

Try not to make any more sequels on your way through the parking lot

The follow-up to Clerks, the imaginatively-titled Clerks 2. After trying to kill off Jay and Silent Bob with the poorly received Jersey Girl, director Kevin Smith relented (more here) and has made a follow-up to his debut, Clerks. Clerks 2 (still about 8 months away) sees a lot of the old cast reunite for no-doubt weed, dick and gay jokes along with numerous Star Wars references. There's a trailer with Anthrax's "Among The Living" blasting nicely over the top and, as is the norm with Smith, loads of other web "stuff". Oh, and he also has his own blog. Snoogans, etc...
posted by TheDonF on Jan 10, 2006 - 127 comments

National Center for Jewish Film

"One could go on, and one will -- praising (...) the National Center for Jewish Film for releasing all four of Edgar Ulmer's Yiddish films in restored editions. But the DVD player is beckoning, and I think it is time for me to get back to the couch".
The National Center for Jewish Film (NCJF) is a unique nonprofit motion picture archive, distributor and resource center housing the largest, most comprehensive collection of Jewish-theme film and video in the world. In their archives you can discover the works of Leo Fuchs, the "Yiddish Fred Astaire", restored gems (scroll down) like "Motl the Operator" and re-releases like "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg". (More on Greenberg, the Jewish kid who challenged Babe Ruth’s homerun record here, more on the NCJF inside).
posted by matteo on Jan 9, 2006 - 9 comments

06/06/06

The Beast is coming. Director Brian Flemming prepares to bring to the silver screen what might be the most controversial film of the year (if not all time). The cast and crew are all sworn to secrecy regarding the film's actual content, and the central premise easily explains why: What if there was a massive conspiracy in the Christian Church to conceal the fact that Jesus Christ never existed?
posted by deusdiabolus on Jan 6, 2006 - 74 comments

Using fine-art images to promote movies

Using fine-art images to promote movies: "But it was Mr. Kessell's "Florilegium" (or "collection of floral images") daguerrotypes that caught Mr. Palen's eye: each image is close-up of a surgical instrument, so poetically rendered that it seems almost organic. Some of the macabre implements resemble exotic flowers. One, from a distance, could be mistaken for the horns of a gazelle. "We were sort of blocked, and all the pieces fell into place once I saw that image," Mr. Palen explained. A deal was made to use that daguerreotype [to promote the upcoming Tarantino-produced film "Hostel"], which actually shows a surgical clamp. [The poster] now appears in theaters and on widespread promotions. [Side: direct WMV link of Tarantino spazing out while introducing "Hostel's" director Eli Roth at a festival.]
posted by JPowers on Jan 4, 2006 - 12 comments

An analysis of the covert action teams in Munich

The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams is a very interesting 1995 military paper for background and analysis of the Israeli response to the slaughter of Jewish Olympians in 1972. This hot topic is at issue in Spielberg's controversial new film Munich. The film is based on a book by journalist George Jonas and a self-proclaimed Mossad agent, Yuval Aviv. The book also served as the basis for the 1986 movie Sword of Gideon.
posted by dios on Dec 27, 2005 - 58 comments

The Making of King Kong

King Kong's Post Production Diary - videos of weekly progress, on all aspects of filmmaking, starting from the first day of post-production, upto the premiere.
posted by Gyan on Dec 19, 2005 - 18 comments

Kong Bomb?

Is it too early to start throwing out the phrase "Kong Bomb?" Is Peter Jackson the next Michael Cimino?
posted by JPowers on Dec 16, 2005 - 162 comments

Le Roi et L’oiseau

Le Roi et L’oiseau - is an old school “anime” by Paul Grimault, the script and score were contributed to by Jacques Prévert. If those two names are not good enough for you then I also submit for your approval that the style in this film has been referenced as a source of inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki. Although the wikipedia article doesn't back it up, so ill link to another site that does. At any rate watching this movie will leave you wondering just how many people have ripped it off over the years.
posted by sourbrew on Dec 15, 2005 - 29 comments

Refuge of Last Resort

Refuge of Last Resort is a documentary shot in the wake of Katrina. They've got a trailer up showing a quick overview of the project and they're even offering raw footage shot in hi-def. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie on Dec 13, 2005 - 14 comments

Big Screen Version

Big Screen Version [.mov, 9.5MB - 3 min.] is the title of a short film described as "Split-screen talking heads and flying graphics collide in a musical homage to the self-righteous rhetoric of Fox News." made by film and videographer Aaron Valdez. Other gems of his include Politics, Any Way You Slice It, and his regularly updated vlog.
posted by nitsuj on Dec 12, 2005 - 16 comments

39 Pounds of Love - a short film

39 Pounds of Love "is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of Ami Ankilewitz, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor's prediction of life expectancy by 28 years and counting. Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand."
posted by Gyan on Dec 9, 2005 - 14 comments

Homecoming

Homecoming - anti-war movie from National Amusements featuring the ungrateful dead. This will possibly invoke some controversy.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred on Dec 2, 2005 - 21 comments

Picture Palaces in Peril!

Picture Palaces in Peril! and a few hardy survivors from the golden age of Scottish film going. One of the most beautiful of all, The Cameo, apparently a favourite of Quentin Tarantino, is under threat from its new overlords - who've grabbed the majority stake in Britain's main independent cinema company. Can our heroine be rescued from the railroad tracks of venture capitalism at the 11th hour? Save The Cameo are trying.
posted by Flitcraft on Nov 29, 2005 - 5 comments

Bike Kill 2004

Bike Kill 2004 - a 5 min QT clip documenting the Black Label Bike Club’s annual Bike Kill in Brooklyn, recently shown at Bicycle Film Festival 2005. These guys party hard. via in case of mishaps
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 28, 2005 - 15 comments

The Image Culture

The Image Culture - a discussion of the history, manipulation, desensitization and supplanting of language skills by the ubiquity of images. And no, there are no pretty pictures.
posted by peacay on Nov 19, 2005 - 38 comments

Michael Haneke, a Cinema of Disturbance

"... we are sweeping everything under the carpet, but the oddness is cropping up all over the place. And then, the carpet starts to move…".
Michael Haneke, "le manipulateur" who introduced his latest film, Caché, at Cannes with a half-amused “I wish you a disturbing evening”, is the proponent of a "cinema of disturbance". A cinema of loving self-mutilation, where time is non-linear and everything happens in long take shots; in Haneke's world, guilt destroys lives decades after the original sin. All his male characters are "Georges" and his female characters are either "Evas" or "Annas", "because I lack fantasy". Unsurprisingly, he is a Bresson and Tarkovsky fan. He'll direct "Don Giovanni" at the Paris Opera in early 2006: "In 20 years of working in the theater, I only staged one comedy, and that was my single failure".
posted by matteo on Nov 18, 2005 - 19 comments

Loose Change

Loose change A one hour analysis of 9/11 and how it is more likely than not that the government was actually behind the attacks. A documentary analyzing the footage and presenting an alternative view to the official version.
posted by zeerobots on Nov 11, 2005 - 115 comments

The White Diamond

The White Diamond was one of three documentaries released in theaters this year (in the U.S.) by legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog (the others being the more widely seen Grizzly Man, about a man who studied bears in Alaska, and Wheel of Time, about the practices and rituals of devout Buddhists). In The White Diamond, Herzog introduces us to Dr. Graham Dorrington, a professor of aeronautics who is obsessed with weightless, floating flight, and who is testing the design of a new airship in a large hangar outside of London. Herzog and Dorrington travel to the rainforest of Guyana, where Dorrington hopes to fly the small dirigible over the jungle’s canopy and study the innumerable plants and animals living there with the hopes of finding new species and potentially discovering plants with pharmaceutical and healing benefits – a practice he calls “canopy prospecting”. [more inside]
posted by billysumday on Nov 10, 2005 - 14 comments

Parasitic Subway Projector

Parasitic Subway Projector: High concept German art students cram a Mac mini and a projector into a suitcase and mount it to the side of a subway car with suction cups. The resulting images, projected onto the tunnel walls, make for a fascinating work of public art. [QuickTime] Link via: The Unofficial Mac Weblog
posted by aladfar on Nov 5, 2005 - 61 comments

Star Wars as pomo metafilm

The Force. Some see it as a religion, some as an academic discipline to be studied. But what if it's really a manifestation of metatextual authorial intervention? Three decades on, the kids who grew up playing with Luke Skywalker action figures and carrying Princess Leia lunchboxes may be startled to discover that Star Wars is really just one big elephantine postmodern art film. (more within)
posted by whir on Nov 3, 2005 - 38 comments

I won't take this lying down

Heiterkeit (12 meg quicktime movie) is an utterly charming German music video about all the other fun things you can do lying down. (Yes, it's entirely safe for work, unless your workplace forbids quirky charm.) If you enjoy it, check out Transsylvanische Verwandte(12 meg quicktime movie), another work by the same director. For a look behind the scenes of both films, there's this making-of video. (The making of video is a realplayer file, and it's in German--but I don't speak German, and I got the general idea.) Via Antville.
posted by yankeefog on Oct 28, 2005 - 12 comments

7:35 de la manana

Last night I didn't fall asleep until early in the morning. And I've got a long day ahead of me. So, what the hell is making me smile at seven thirty-five in the morning? (embedded quicktime)
posted by still on Oct 28, 2005 - 57 comments

Small format film magazine

Filmgeeks -- and I know there are many on MeFi -- may wish to check out smallformat, the magazine for Super8, Single8, and 16/9.5/8mm enthusiasts. It's mother is the long-established German magazine of the same name. First issues went out the door only a few days/weeks ago.
posted by five fresh fish on Oct 26, 2005 - 14 comments

Night of the Hunter

"[A] nightmarish sort of Mother Goose tale" are the words Charles Laughton used to describe the only film he directed, The Night of the Hunter (1955). Although James Agee is credited with helping to write the script, most critics agree that Laughton discarded Agee's effort for his own interpretation of the novel on which the movie is based. A fascinating series of rushes survive from the making of the film, showing Laughton's rapport with the actors and his own interpretations of the characters. In 2003 a detailed description of the making of the film was published as Heaven and Hell to Play With. Ebert on the movie. Margaret Atwood on the movie.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 25, 2005 - 26 comments

From 'Anchors Away' to 'Zuzanna's Anal Rampage'

British Board of Film Classification - the BBFC is a non-governmental industry body responsible in the UK for rating films depending on their content. Their site provides listings of recent film and video classifications (even in RSS format!), along with guidelines for each classification possible. There's also an interactive children's version (with an article on how the last Harry Potter film was rated), and one aimed at students (with case studies regarding 'controversial' films such as A Clockwork Orange and Crash.

And they have their own private cinema...
posted by robzster1977 on Oct 24, 2005 - 7 comments

The *Original* King Kong Model is Animated One Last Time

The *Original* King Kong Model is Animated One Last Time (large Quicktime video).
posted by JPowers on Oct 22, 2005 - 16 comments

Only you can prevent a giant nuclear explosion.

Last Best Chance is a docudrama that shows the threat posed by vulnerable nuclear weapons and materials around the world and underscores what the stakes are. The plot: al Qaeda terrorists steal nuclear material to make bombs, and then sneak them into the US. The 47 minute film airs tonight on HBO, and is also available as a free DVD. More interesting are the powerful figures behind the film. It was produced by The Nuclear Threat Initiative, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to reduce the global threats from WMDs. NTI's board is co-chaired by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn (D-GA). The hope is that appealing directly to the public will force politicians to act. The film and its creators were profiled yesterday on CBS News Sunday Morning.

(And to help our discussion here, they've even provided a discussion guide.)
posted by clgregor on Oct 17, 2005 - 22 comments

"Filmmakers like Gilliam keep coming to the Canadian talent trough for child actors because our kids, by all accounts, tend to be easy to direct, manage, and mould.

Sarah Polley, the little girl in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, finds out that another little Canadian girl is about to star in another Terry Gilliam film, and writes--and warns--about her experiences. Gilliam responds.
posted by amberglow on Oct 2, 2005 - 93 comments

A Load of Bollocks: Film Director Uwe Boll sets the web ablaze

"If you must see this movie, do yourself a favor and wait until it's in the bargain bin at the video store. If there's any justice in the film industry, one of the main actors will be there to rent it to you." A quote from a review of Alone in the Dark. Dr. Uwe Boll is developing quite a reputation as a terrible film director; and ruiner of valuable intellectual property with his videogame adaptations. Something Awful's look behind the scenes of Alone in the Dark makes for grim reading: "I know English is not his first language, but Jesus Christ, I'm not even sure this man has a first language", but for many the trailer was enough to put people off. According to Wikipedia, "he is currently in a bidding war for rights to Half-Life and Metal Gear Solid, and ... may be after the rights to Fallout and Castlevania as well". Before legions of gamers collapse under the strain, you should know it isn't all bad news. He isn't without fans; and Boll is apparently an active member of online discussion forums including imdb and IGN; so it is possible to tell him that he sucks directly; not that doing so has had any effect thus far.
posted by nthdegx on Oct 1, 2005 - 55 comments

Good Night, and Good Luck

Next month, I'll be paying to see a black and white movie for the first time since 1974's "Young Frankenstein". This time the subject this time is slightly more serious: Edward R. Murrow vs Senator Joseph McCarthy. Listen to Walter Cronkite recount the historical (and historic) events of 50 years gone by. The jury is still out, but after just his second film we can venture that George Clooney might have the makings of a pretty good director (as well as one who can raise the level of debate regarding whether fear should be used to take away civil liberties). A recent Salon interview with Clooney and (of course) you've got to see the trailers (Windows Media and QuickTime).
posted by spock on Sep 30, 2005 - 43 comments

Region 4 Vs The World

Region 4 Vs The World "Well I for one have had enough. I have a voice and it’s time that it was heard." Frustrated film fan in Australia reports on their dvd scene.
posted by feelinglistless on Sep 20, 2005 - 31 comments

enjoy the silents

Neomuet films. Look old; are new.
posted by scody on Sep 19, 2005 - 5 comments

San Francisco in Film Noir

San Francisco in Film Noir. Conversation with Nathaniel Rich, associate editor of the Paris Review and author of San Francisco Noir.
posted by matteo on Sep 16, 2005 - 5 comments

Aleksandr Sokurov's "The Sun"

The Emperor's Bunker. "The Japanese, with sadness and irony, stressed that Hirohito couldn't even speak properly. This was partly to do with the fact that he didn't have to speak - people spoke in his name and he was isolated from real life". "The Sun", the third part in Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov's 'Men of Power' tetralogy after the gloom of Moloch (1999), about Hitler and Eva Braun, and the despairing tones of "Taurus" (2001), focused on the wheelchair-bound Lenin in his death throes, "The Sun" seems almost upbeat. This, after all, is a film about reconciliation. More inside.
posted by matteo on Sep 13, 2005 - 21 comments

One Guy's Life 12 days per second

One guy's life, 12 days per second *embedded video* (Quicktime 7.0 required). Just to distract from the rest of it . . . "Each day of my life passes so quickly. What did I look like a week ago? To me nothing changes, and yet I feel a constant desire to remind myself of my own life passing it's way to that inevitable end (not that it is doing me any good)."
posted by punkbitch on Sep 2, 2005 - 25 comments

Snakes on the motherfucking plane

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing is the new blog by screenwriter Josh Friedman. Not much there yet but what is is fun, especially parts one and two of his adventures with arbitration on War of the Worlds. (Of note: Friedman is the writer who adapted James Ellroy's The Black Dahlia for David Fincher Brian De Palma.) {via The Screenwriting Life}
posted by dobbs on Aug 21, 2005 - 9 comments

Make EVERY day VD Day!

"This is a war story!" (warning: direct ifilm video link)
Don't play VD roulette! Watch Disney's 1973 educational film "VD Attack Plan" and fight those damned G & S soldiers! Lady killers? Really can kill ladies!
Features whimsical cartoons and really icky photos.

posted by miss lynnster on Aug 18, 2005 - 7 comments

"There was no one ever in American life who was remotely like Truman Capote", says Norman Mailer

Truman Capote's Blood Work Two soon-to-be released films on Truman Capote's life, Capote and Have You Heard? begin as the novelist drops into rural Kansas to begin work on what became "In Cold Blood". More inside.
posted by matteo on Aug 18, 2005 - 11 comments

w/ Hollywood: web-Dreams can come True

MY DATE WITH DREW - Follow up to this past thread.
Though the first post's linked page has changed since the last discussion. What happened to the web journal behind this movie?
posted by thomcatspike on Aug 17, 2005 - 15 comments

Winnetou und Shatterhand

Unless you are German you may not have heard of Winnetou and Old Shatterhand, characters created by Karl May. A possible D.I.D. sufferer, he had never set foot in America and began to write his Wild West stories whilst in jail. Popular with readers across Europe, his books have been translated into over thirty different languages. Spaghetti Westerns partly came about because early 60s films [test your knowledge] based on his books, inspired Italian producers to invest in Westerns. His life story was made part of Syberberg's trilogy in 1974.
posted by tellurian on Aug 9, 2005 - 26 comments

coperture della colonna sonora

A huge, comprehensive collection of Italian soundtrack covers. With print runs as small as 300, some of these soundtracks are impossible to find nowadays. Some of the cover art is really fantastic. There's a pretty extensive collection of French, German, American, English and Japanese soundtracks too.
posted by tellurian on Aug 8, 2005 - 4 comments

In a world...

In a world... where the success of an industry depends upon the creative ability of a few, greatness must be recognized. Imagine... five of the top voice-over artists in our country all in one car! Dan LaFontaine's car!
posted by Robot Johnny on Aug 7, 2005 - 26 comments

Wicker Man, Man!

"The music to The Wicker Man is quite extraordinary. I think it is probably the best music I've ever heard in a film. All the songs are so totally different from each other and yet they sum up the atmosphere of the scenes perfectly. What Paul Giovanni achieved is quite amazing and absolutely beautiful." -- Christopher Lee, July 2002
posted by ford and the prefects on Aug 7, 2005 - 23 comments

The Internet Is The Future

The Future Is Just Like You Imagined. Somewhere in California, director Richard Kelly is filming his next movie.
posted by grabbingsand on Aug 1, 2005 - 35 comments

Desi Redux

Cornershop's "Brimful of Asha" and Panjabi MC's collaboration with Jay-Z don't mark Desi's lone inroads into mainstream European and North American culture. The creative hybridizaton might not be widespread, but the impact is felt well beyond pop music, from examples that often range from the comedic to the dramatic to the controversial, giving a glimpse into the ongoing conversation between widely disparate cultures and traditions, going beyond convenient media stereotypes.
posted by Rothko on Aug 1, 2005 - 5 comments

Mysterious Skin.

Mysterious Skin. After years of offending the mainstream, director Gregg Araki's controversial new film (trailer) is getting a surprising degree of critical acclaim, with an 8.3 rating on IMDB, and a 90% rating amongst Rotten Tomatoes "Cream of the Crop" reviewers. It also features a soundtrack that will delight Cocteau Twins fans, as it features a shimmering score by Robin Guthrie (who apparently has a blog) and Harold Budd, reminiscent of their work on The Moon and The Melodies.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jul 28, 2005 - 50 comments

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