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A new market for High Definition surveillance cameras?

RED ONE is a 12.6 megapixel digital film/HD camcorder developed by Jim Jannard, founder of the Oakley sunglasses company. The camera will retail for $17,500, and is alleged to outperform HD and digital film cameras from established companies like Sony, Arri, Panavision and Dalsa (whose offerings all cost well in excess of $100,000). The general consensus among pundits in media production circles is that Jannard's camera will be a true disruptive technology. Last night, no less than 24 hours after the very first publically available sample images from the camera's "Mysterium" sensor were posted to the RED Digital Cinema website, the company's development offices were broken into. According to Jannard, "Everything they took was camera and camera file related...there is no question all they came for was RED camera stuff." (Additional obligatory and annoying YouTube links: First public demonstration of the RED camera at the IBC convention in Amsterdam and the RED Q & A session that followed.)
posted by melorama on Sep 24, 2006 - 79 comments

the unbearable lightness of being

Sven Nykvist leaves us. A master at the subtle manipulation of light, the multiple academy award winner and longtime Ingmar Bergman collaborator (including Persona, and the Through a Glass Darkly/Winter Light/The Silence trilogy) has passed away at 83.
more obits [1] [2] more about him [1] [2]
posted by juv3nal on Sep 21, 2006 - 22 comments

Indiana Jones and the Escape from Development Hell

Chris Columbus's Indiana Jones and the Monkey King and Jeb Stuart's Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars are just two rejected sequel scripts for the Indiana Jones franchise. Tom Stoppard, Steven Gaghan, Jeffrey Boam, M. Night Shyamalan, and Frank Darabont each submitted treatments and scripts of their own, but Steven Spielberg and George Lucas (or, more probably, just George Lucas) swatted down every idea until finally Jeff Nathanson's concept was greenlighted--and even that's still being reworked by David Koepp. But with Harrison Ford now older than Sean Connery was in Last Crusade and Steven Spielberg still hobbled by other commitments, it's not clear that Indiana Jones 4 won't be just another false start. The only Indy movie that looks at all certain is the one that Daniel Clowes is making.
posted by Iridic on Sep 21, 2006 - 119 comments

Troll 2

Ever seen Troll 2? This movie is consistently in the top 5 on IMDB's Worst Films Ever list and is currently #1. There was a UCB screening for it in New York last week, and apparently it is starting to gain a pretty loyal and huge following.
posted by blueplasticfish on Sep 20, 2006 - 84 comments

Much Murch

The visual interplay of helicopters and fan blades in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now. The idiot-future soundscapes in THX-1138. The concept for the baptism montage in The Godfather. The actual cut of the "Director's Cut" of Touch of Evil. The man responsible for all of these is Walter Murch, one of the greatest film and sound editors of all time. More Inside.
posted by Iridic on Sep 19, 2006 - 20 comments

Free Movies Fallen out of Copyright

Free Movies, Documentaries, Cartoons, TV-Shows, Music & Comedy - 100% handpicked content chosen to inform, educate, shock and entertain you. Most of the old films and cartoons are in public domain: "when a work's copyright or patent restrictions expire, it enters the public domain and may be used by anyone for any purpose." The newer media is probably not in public domain, they are just freely available for some unknown reason. Tomorrow they could be gone.
posted by crunchland on Sep 18, 2006 - 19 comments

This is a historian’s dream, more than four hours of never-before-seen film...

Currie Ballard, a historian in Oklahoma, has just made what he calls “the find of a lifetime”—33 cans of motion picture film dating from the 1920s that reveal the daily lives of some remarkably successful black communities.
A Find of a Lifetime
Twelve different short excerpts of the film are linked
posted by y2karl on Sep 16, 2006 - 20 comments

Out 1 Finally Comes Out

This month, the Vancouver International Film Festival will screen the legendary Jacques Rivette film, Out 1: Noli Me Tangere, for the first time ever in North America. At approximately 750 minutes long, the work is the fourth longest film ever commercially released. A Holy Grail for cinephiles, the film was finally dug out of the vaults again for a rare British Film Institute screening, where New York film critic Dennis Lim made a pilgrimage to see it. Long championed by Jonathan Rosenbaum, the film finally makes its American debut at a complete Jacques Rivette retrospective at the American Museum of the Moving Image this November.
posted by jonp72 on Sep 14, 2006 - 7 comments

A New (Nuanced) view of the Two-State Solution

Last night I saw this short film at the Breckenridge Film Festival which was an inspired and low-key effort at encouraging the two-state solution to The Problem. You can watch the video if you can watch a thirty-minute movie on your computer (I can't), or you can order a free copy to watch and hopefully share.
posted by kozad on Sep 10, 2006 - 10 comments

“Yes, but in my film time is shattered.”

"I would like to do better, to be better than I am". He's the French New Wave maverick and Academy Award winner (at 26, for his first short) who, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz -- with considerable personal pain and the admission that "no description, no picture can reveal the true dimension" of what happened in the camps -- made what François Truffaut called "the greatest film ever made", duly censored by French authorities. Four years later he baffled audiences with "the first modern film of sound cinema", shattering the rules of chronology to describe the “anguish of the future”: even if all he ever wanted was "to stop death in its tracks" (French language link), only for one minute. But he is also the unabashed lover of la bande dessinée who learnt English by reading comic books and in the Seventies dreamed (French language link) of making "Spider-Man" into a movie (the Hollywood studios were not convinced), the MGM old-school musical and operetta nut so in love with design that "half of the fashion photography of the past 40 years owes a debt" to him. Now, Alain Resnais' new work, just shown at the Venice Film Festival where his buddy David Lynch was awarded a lifetime achievement Golden Lion, is a French film inspired by an English play with 54 short scenes, music by the X-Files's Mark Snow. (more inside)
posted by matteo on Sep 8, 2006 - 20 comments

Synecdoche, NY

Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part is used for the whole or the whole for a part. It's also the title of the directorial debut of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, set to begin filming in Summer 2007. He's proven his writing chops and shown us his creative ingenuity with Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but this will mark the first film that will showcase his vision from page to screen. The story centers on an anguished playwright and several women in his life, and is set to star Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michelle Williams.
posted by defenestration on Sep 8, 2006 - 39 comments

Begone Dull Care

Norman McLaren's Masterpiece with music by Oscar Peterson. Each frame of this short was scratched directly onto the film in order to be in perfect synch with the pre-recorded soundtrack. This has been discussed before here and more generally here but I haven't seen this online until now. More on Norman McLaren.
posted by ob on Sep 6, 2006 - 34 comments

A quoi ça sert l’amour? - Live action version

"A quoi ça sert l’amour?" (previously) is an adorable cartoon set to a fantastic old song by Edith Piaf; recently, students at USC Film School set out to act out a live version of the cartoon, results here.
posted by jonson on Sep 5, 2006 - 15 comments

"Einsteinbrain!"

Japanese professor Kenji Sugimoto has a long-standing fascination with the brain of Albert Einstein. In the early nineties he travelled to the United States in search of it. This bizarre 1994 documentary (YouTube, multiple parts) by Kevin Hull (UK) chronicles his quest. Fake or real? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Sep 1, 2006 - 12 comments

Wizard of Oil

The Wizard of Oil Some well-done Photoshop fun to start the week - "Somewhere under the radar, way down low. There's a land that I heard of once, where the oil still flows. Somewhere under the radar, folks are screwed. And the schemes that you dare to scheme really do come through. One day I wrecked the family car, and daddy and my mummy Bar remind me, Of my troubles taking acid drops, the night they had to call the cops, And then they fined me. Somewhere under the radar, I'll get high. Drink Rye under the radar, Try, oh yes I'll still try Why, why must I be dry?
posted by jackspace on Aug 28, 2006 - 12 comments

I Think There Should Be Real War Against Bonanza

Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (1980)
posted by StopMakingSense on Aug 27, 2006 - 30 comments

Blemph-O! Gymnasium

Blemph-O! Gymnasium - tHE oFFICIAL pAUL nw pROCH wEBSITE?! More on pAUL pROCH, here, here and here. Warning: this site is so not web 2.0...
posted by mds35 on Aug 25, 2006 - 7 comments

The Trailer Mash

The Trailer Mash is the spot for movie trailer recuts and mashups. We've done the subject before, but now the subject has its own blog. Current new favorites: Garden State as a murder thriller and School of Rock as a kidnap film. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie on Aug 25, 2006 - 13 comments

To live is to remember.

Ilha Das Flores video "A tomato is planted, harvested and sold at a supermarket, but it rots and ends up in the trash. The end? No. ISLAND OF FLOWERS follows it up until its real end, among animals, trash, women and children. And then the difference between tomatoes, pigs and human beings becomes clear." A remarkable and devastating 12 minute film from director Jorge Furtado.
posted by maryh on Aug 18, 2006 - 15 comments

sunny day...

Ernest and Bertram --short film, formerly one of the best films you can't see after debuting at Sundance in 2002, with Sesame's lawyers then cracking down and forcing it to be pulled--now on youtube.
posted by amberglow on Aug 15, 2006 - 27 comments

Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase

Mona Lisa and other classics in clay animation. Joan C. Gratz is the talented artist behind this and other projects. This particular short film won an academy award for best animated short film in 1992. I am surprised to have never viewed it before today. Wikipedia has next to nothing on Gratz or her works.
posted by jkafka on Aug 14, 2006 - 6 comments

Flying tonight

Tonight is the world premiere, at the Edinburgh film festival, of "The Flying Scotsman", a biopic of Graeme Obree, the Scottish cyclist who broke the world hour record on a bike famously made from washing machine parts. Obree has faced many problems in his life, and the film has too, many of the participants haven't been paid yet. Of course, you could just buy the book.
posted by aisforal on Aug 14, 2006 - 3 comments

“Our films are not about heavy-metal for 45 minutes, guys giving the middle finger and guys showing off their tattoos."

The art film at the bike shop: praise is building for Roam, a 16mm film shot by Vancouver area filmmakers, the Collective. Roam and the Collective's eponymous first film are credited for taking bike films to a wider more mature audience. Sophisticated camera work, a compelling narrative and an appropriate soundtrack take the place of the gnar factor and loud hip-hop/metal soundtrack that are the defining factors of most bike films. Comparisons are already being made to the 1966 surf film Endless Summer.
Google Video clip of ROAM
posted by [expletive deleted] on Aug 11, 2006 - 38 comments

Laszlo Kovacs, Vilmos Zsigmund, and the Hungarian Revolution

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. A key documentary artifact of the uprising is Magyarország lángokban (Hungary in Flames) [embedded .wmv], partly composed of footage shot by two young film school students using whatever equipment they could find. Narrowly avoiding capture by the Communists, the duo smuggled 10,000 feet of film out of the country in spare tires and potato sacks; there's much more to the story, but better to hear Vilmos tell it in his own words. [.rm] Eventually, they made their way to America, where László Kovács, ASC (Five Easy Pieces, Ghost Busters, more) and Vilmos Zsigmund, ASC (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Deliverance, more) became two of the most prolific cinematographers in Hollywood history. [more inside]
posted by milquetoast on Aug 8, 2006 - 7 comments

transformations

Ishu Patel’s created a number of animated short films. The Bead Game (YouTube), is a brief history of adversaries and energy. The tabla (YouTube) sound track by JP Ghosh.
posted by nickyskye on Aug 5, 2006 - 6 comments

Archive.org's feature film collection

Full films for legal download: Archive.org has a large number of movies with expired copyrights for download. My favorite is 1936's Things To Come. Other nifty things include classic feature films like Battleship Potemkin and His Girl Friday, and shorts such as Max Fleicher's Superman, Three Stooges and Buster Keaton.
posted by jiawen on Aug 5, 2006 - 21 comments

Hollywood Squashes CleanFlicks

CleanFlicks closes up shop and liquidates as Hollywood wins content-rights battle. Should a rental store have the right to remove offensive material before renting the DVD out to its customers?
posted by JPowers on Jul 31, 2006 - 155 comments

Cool Film Blog: Your Humble Viewer

Perfection and Eraserhead. Discussing Singing in the Rain and Goodfellas with prisoners. The link between Pasolini, Blind Willie Johnson and Carl Sagan. If you like hanging out at the corner of Film and Word, you might enjoy spending time in the archives at Your Humble Viewer, a wide-ranging, well-written, funny and literate film blog.
posted by mediareport on Jul 31, 2006 - 10 comments

Snakes on a train. Apparently there is more to say.

Blasphemy on a train. We've talked all about the movie epic of our generation, Snakes on a Plane, before, but now that its within a month of opening, most of us can't even sleep at night. What to do? Placate your anxieties with the direct-to-DVD low budget rip-off from The Asylum. What better testament to capitalism than a company like this succeed riding on the coat-tails of real movies about codes, pirates, and gorillas.
posted by allkindsoftime on Jul 28, 2006 - 24 comments

(blip)

The 1 Second Film. 12 giant frames. One giant movie. 90 minutes of credits. All profits to the Global Fund for Women. It's all part of a plan.
posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 21, 2006 - 13 comments

I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately

"I had come to Spain with some notion of writing newspaper articles, but I had joined the militia almost immediately." – George Orwell, writing about the revolutionary war which started 70 years ago yesterday: July 19th, 1936. Also: Anarchism and the Spanish Civil War. The Visual Front: Posters of The Spanish Civil War. Photos from the Spanish Civil War. Films from the CNT (National Confederation of Labour), 1936-1938.
posted by Len on Jul 20, 2006 - 28 comments

Cthulhoid Celluloid

Cthulhu: The Movie. Filmed not in Providence, but on the other side of the country in Astoria. Starring nobody I've ever heard of. Featuring a cameo by Tori Spelling. Given that previous attempts over the last forty or so to capture Lovecraft's mythos on film have been more miss than hit, all these signs point to yet another missed mark. But I must confess ... the last tracking shot over the water in the trailer compels me.
posted by grabbingsand on Jul 20, 2006 - 69 comments

Animated Canadian Shorts

50 Animated Shorts from the National Film Board of Canada Focus on Animation. Including René Jodoin, Norman McLaren, Caroline Leaf and more. [streaming quicktime]
posted by MetaMonkey on Jul 16, 2006 - 19 comments

mo||erf||cker

Motherfucker: The Movie to document the well known travelling party in NYC. Is it a "turn of the century Studio 54" or a "scene even beneath most hipsters"? And will we ever see a film of Michael T's other project, Rated X: The Panty Party? [photos here -- NSFW]
posted by rottytooth on Jul 14, 2006 - 86 comments

What is John Guilt?

Keep on Shrugging: apparently the planned film of Ayn Rand's much-beloved Atlas Shrugged -- a chief vehicle for her philosophy "Objectivism" -- is moving ahead. It's now planned as a trilogy and has a studio, a (draft) script, funding, and (tentatively) Angelina Jolie as Dagny Taggart (the star) -- she's apparently a big fan. For background, here's the Objectivism Mockery links page, including the brilliant, now-vanished "Objectifism."
posted by grobstein on Jul 13, 2006 - 107 comments

30 short films...

CON-CAN Movie Festival is an online international short film festival connecting creators and viewers all around the world. (Win/Mac compatible)." Thirty international short films available in the screening room.
posted by dobbs on Jul 12, 2006 - 1 comment

I got Madonna's big sound comin' outta my left ear, and Toby the chap... I don't know what comin' outta my right

Remember cleanflicks the outfit that digitally sanitized films? The Directors Guild of America recently won their lawsuit against them and companies like them for copyright violation. Prev
posted by Smedleyman on Jul 11, 2006 - 62 comments

Hot Town, Cool City

Hot Town, Cool City : You live in the best city in the U.S. and you want to go back to Houston, Texas? Maureen McNamara came home from San Francisco and has now produced a web "treasure map" and a film about the hidden gems of Houston. Love it, hate it, is Houston worth it?
posted by Robert Angelo on Jul 9, 2006 - 48 comments

Call It Blood If You Will

Stanley Kubrick's "lost" first movie, Day of The Fight, has apparently been found. Assuming it's real, this 16-minute 1951 reel is the director's debut. Sadly, unless you're a fight fan, that's about all it has to recommend it.
posted by The Bellman on Jun 29, 2006 - 16 comments

Whitey Goes To Bollywood

As Bollywood goes global its becoming more cosmopolitan - and embracing one of the most controversial aspects of globalization - "Westerners will do a lot of things on camera that Indian's just won't do," says Kaneez F. Khan, a Chennai-based producer. "It's easier just to outsource the role to someone who doesn't have anything at stake." (via.)
posted by Jos Bleau on Jun 22, 2006 - 22 comments

Comme YouTube pour les Grenouilles! Yeh yeh!

Ques ça c'est? Scopitones were film jukeboxes in post-war France. See Jacque Brel and Johnny Hallyday in vivid couleur! (via)
posted by klangklangston on Jun 21, 2006 - 13 comments

Think leg warmers with guns

Son of Rambo (not to be confused with Rambo IV: Holy War/End of Peace) is a Hammer and Tongs film about two kids in the 80s making a home video sequel to First Blood. No teaser or trailer available as of post time, but there is a showcase of illustrations by hand-picked and contributing artists that claim to cover the era, themes and content of the film.
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 20, 2006 - 6 comments

What happened to Baz?

"the silly old buggers gone bloody missing" A yobbo cane toad learns the dangers of being one of the less adored icons of the Aussie landscape.
posted by dg on Jun 15, 2006 - 11 comments

"I wanted to direct Head-On with an unbiased mind."

Head-On is a riveting 2004 German film which garnered spirited praise and quite a large share of hype. The film went on to win numerous awards. Days after receiving the Golden Bear, some colorful information about the film's female lead broke in the German tabloids and led to a reaction from her traditional Turkish family nearly identical to actions of her eponymous character's parents in the movie. Is this simply a case of life imitating art, or perhaps an inevitable repercussion of casting someone who's life so closely coincides with that of her on screen persona?
posted by kaytwo on Jun 13, 2006 - 21 comments

What? No Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo?

"See that pile of money on the floor? There's a hundred million there. All you have to do is pick it up. That's right, bend over, pick it up, and it's yours." Novelist and film critic Stephen Hunter on sequels, including his "Sequel Showdown." (via)
posted by bardic on Jun 11, 2006 - 50 comments

The Netflix Rolling Roadshow

The Netflix Rolling Roadshow, "Imagine watching 'Jaws' from a raft in the ocean just off the Martha's Vineyard beach where it was filmed . . . or watching 'Escape from Alcatraz' in the cell block where Frank Morris, played by Clint Eastwood, was locked up...This August, the Netflix Rolling Roadshow celebrates classic American movies by screening them at the locations they made famous. Each screening is an interactive special event (think scavenger hunts, road rallies, a high school prom, even spending the night on Alcatraz Island). Some screenings will also include cast reunions and question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers." My favorite: Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. That is going to be a surreal experience.
posted by JPowers on Jun 8, 2006 - 38 comments

Tulse Luper knew that without a God, the Universe could be considered to be even more amazing.

Tulse Luper Update: Twice before we’ve discussed Peter Greenaway’s “upcoming” multimedia project The Tulse Luper Suitcases: three movies, two books, a VJ tour (.wmv interview about a similar project, Nightwatching, to give you some idea of what a VJ tour is), and more. With the recent launch of the online multiplayer game, The Tulse Luper Journey , perhaps the project is no longer upcoming at all. The story centers on 92 suitcases related to the life of Greenaway’s alter ego Tulse Luper. Discovered in various locations around the globe, the suitcases illustrate the history of Uranium (and by extension the history of the 20th century). Read Greenaway’s lecture on the project here, hear an interview focused on the VJ performance here, or read stories attributed to Tulse Luper here. [More Inside]
posted by jrb223 on Jun 6, 2006 - 12 comments

Heaven's Gate: a -career- suicide

Coming off of The Deer Hunter, and Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, Director/Screenwriter Michael Cimino looked like a rising star. His next film, Heaven's Gate would prove so disasterous as to change the industry forever. [more inside]
posted by Ogre Lawless on Jun 5, 2006 - 58 comments

The Room: Best/Worst/Best Vanity Project Ever

The Room: The Movie. Triple-threat (actor/writer/director) Tommy Wiseau made his cinematic debut in 2003 with the The Room (see trailer and various scenes), "a blend between a softcore porn flick and a Tennessee Williams stageplay." Wiseau ("who's not just one of the most unusual looking and sounding-with an unidentifiable Eastern European accent-leading men ever to grace the screen, but a narcissist nonpareil whose movie makes Vincent Gallo's "The Brown Bunny" seem the apotheosis of cinematic self-restraint...may be something of a first: A movie that prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back-before even 30 minutes have passed." - Variety), allegedly raised $6 million outside Hollywood to cover production and marketing costs of the self-described "black comedy about love, passion, betrayal and lies" (see various rough dress rehersals). Audience members, including comedian David Cross, have been "marveling at the bizarre editing, bad bluescreen, uncomfortably explicit sex scenes and, of course, the enigma of Wiseau himself" as the film played monthly for years in Los Angeles. Available on DVD, diehard "roomies" swear by the theatrical experience, shout out their own commentary, hurl spoons at the screen and singalong to the soundtrack. Some call it "The Rocky Horror of the New Millenium" and stage "Room" parties. If you look at the marketing campaign or survived a screening you might see The Room as "a seminar on how NOT to make a movie." [Inspired by Boing Boing]
posted by boost ventilator on Jun 1, 2006 - 28 comments

And the Book says we may be through with the past...

Photos from the production of Paul Thomas Anderson's next film, There Will Be Blood. Based on the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, Anderson's film is being shot near Marfa, Texas.
posted by mattbucher on May 31, 2006 - 23 comments

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