“Until the recent Great Rebellion, the Jedi Bendu were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of Jedi perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible Imperial Space Force which expanded the Empire across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the Great Rift. Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the New Empire by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, the Knights of Sith.” - The first draft of Star Wars... was awful.
Though film is not generally Andy Warhol's field of greatest fame, some see his long and storied history in film as "where Warhol's supreme achievement lies". And then there are the two horror films from 1973: Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (or Flesh for Frankenstein) and Andy Warhol's Dracula (or Blood for Dracula). The two films were filmed quickly and inexpensively in the Spring of 1973, using the Roger Corman method of filming two movies at one location using the same actors to decrease costs. Frankenstein was filmed first, using Space-Vision 3-D. But filming 3D footage was too expensive and time-consuming, so Dracula was shot in standard 35mm film. [more inside]
Lost At E Minor is an online publication of inspiring art, illustration, photography, music, fashion, film — basically contemporary pop culture.
An art student project slags the art school administration. (SLYT) An art student at the San Francisco Art Institute snuck a short film into the MFA show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that raised cheers from the packed audience. A black and white film, hand processed in Coca Cola, that portrayed the Art Institute as a ghost town and shamed the administration by name in calling attention to the fact that they are gutting the faculty and stealing valuable resources from students.
Dreams With Sharp Teeth – clips from a Sundance Channel documentary on science fiction writer (and somewhat litigious colourful character) Harlan Ellison. Harlan says pay the writer. (via)
Colin is a new British horror film told from a Zombie's point of view. It was made for £45 and apparently it went down well at Cannes . Peter Jackson's first film Bad Taste did a similar thing. This documentary features Jackson's parents talking about taking the film to France.
Perpetual Motions — for emerging filmmakers to make short calling-card films and for more experienced creators to explore the limits of animation on the web. From the National Film Board of Canada.
The David Lynch Interview Project. A 121-part documentary series featuring 3-5 minute portraits of ordinary (and sometimes extraordinary) Americans from all over the country starts on June 1. Here's a Preview.
Blanka is a collection of original, vintage, and limited edition posters and prints.
Since the mid 1990s, Don Hertzfeldt has been making animated shorts by hand. To date, his 8 primary films have an apprioximate runtime of 75 minutes, and in total have won 117 awards, all shot on 16 or 35 milimeter film. (There is another 8 minutes or so that was part of the Animation Show (previously).) His recent films have been shot on the same camera rig that recorded It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), as he noted in a 2007 interview (part of a Scene Unseen Podcast (direct link to the MP3)). Hertzfeltd is currently two thirds of the way through his most ambitious project to date, a trilogy of films which have been called "the closest thing on film yet to Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey." (Video links inside) [more inside]
The National Film Board of Canada's 5th annual online short film competition "Internet votes will decide the best film, and the winner will be announced at Cannes on May 21." NFB previously. [via Drawn!]
Kurt Vonnegut's perennial 1961 story "Harrison Bergeron" has been given a new film adaptation. (via)
Cult western classic One-Eyed Jacks (1961) is the only film ever directed by Marlon Brando, who happened to replace the original director, none other than Stanley Kubrick.
The SF Signal Mind Meld feature poses science fiction related questions to a number of SF luminaries and the scientist, science writer or blogger. Subjects have included the best women writers in SF, taboo topics in SF, underated authors and the most controversial SF novels of the past and present. The also cover lighter topics, such the role of media tie-ins, how Battlestar Galactica could have ended better (bonus Geoff Ryman) and the realistic (or otherwise) use of science on TV SF shows.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has put 675 reels of archival 16 mm film online via the Internet Archive. Most of the film is unedited, and stems either from Museum research, or was donated by interested amateurs. Much of it is silent, reflecting the technology of the day. One highlight are the four surviving reels of the long-running TV show 'What in the World" (look for the episode starring Vincent Price), but the archive is full of other hidden gems, such as the 1950s archaeological expedition to Tikal, a 1940 film "A 1000 Mile Road Trip Across America", and Glimpses of Life Among the Catawba and Cherokee Indians of the Carolinas (1927). The films are downloadable in various formats, including MPEG2, Ogg Video, and 512Kb MPEG4. Happy browsing! via.
One Hundred Years, One Hundred Scores. The Hollywood Reporter and a jury of film music experts select the 100 greatest film scores of all time. One of the jury is Dan Goldwasser, editor of Soundtrack.net, which publishers interviews with composers, reviews of soundtracks and keeps a valuable list of trailer music - for when a new trailer uses old film music and you can't quite remember where it's from. [more inside]
Women losing their shoes, mostly high heels, appear to be a common theme in movies and TV serials... This list one is the first, consisting of what I term “Prime” shoe loss scenes... [more inside]
Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style. A video essay in five parts by Matt Zoller Seitz. (Links go to the text of the essay; click on the embedded video to view.) [via]
"Once upon a time there was a game that nobody ever played, sitting on the floor in the back room of an empty arcade. The game was full of life and strife, mega-monsters and robot fights. We Are The Strange was the title. Now meet the players who live inside, idle." The story of filmmaker M dot Strange and his solo indie masterpiece, We Are The Strange. [more inside]
One for the fans. [A]t the Fantastic Fest Star Trek event at the Alamo Draughthouse Theater in Austin, Texas on Monday night. Star Trek filmmakers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Damon Lindelof kicked things off by telling the crowd of around 200, that they would be seeing the Star Trek preview after Wrath of Khan. Two minutes in to the showing of TWOK, the film appeared to have ‘melted’ and the guys came back out on the stage and appeared to be stalling for time while the film was fixed…and then, wearing a ball cap, Leonard Nimoy came out in front of the audience holding a film can. Nimoy noted to the crowd that it just didn’t seem fair that people in Australia were the fist to see the film and asked them "wouldn’t you rather see the new movie?"
Clerkdogs works surprisingly well versus other web-based recommendations, partly because paid enthusiasts are involved, and partly for its intuitive interface. [more inside]
"Shown backwards it is a heroic film about human experience: A man trapped in the logic of ghosts, trapped in a grayscale 2-D flat world, a photograph inside history, frozen in spectral finity: is unfrozen, and is lured outside of a maze where both his wife and son proceed to ‘undouble’ him and assist him in his war with his self and is finally able to drive away from the Overlook, from the lunarscape of this unreal summit and into a perfect mirror, earthmade."An excerpt of a large-scale guide to the inner workings of The Shining. [more inside]
Dominated by the Villain, […] Fleming’s woman has already been previously conditioned to domination, life for her having assumed the role of the villain. The general scheme is (1) the girl is beautiful and good; (2) has been made frigid and unhappy by severe trials suffered in adolescence; (3) this has conditioned her to the service of the Villain; (4) through meeting Bond she appreciates human nature in all its richness; (5) Bond possesses her but in the end loses her. A fantastically in-depth analysis of the sexual politics of James Bond. With charts!
...[Change of scene. We are looking out of a car window; it is raining, or has recently rained. Shops go by.] I treated myself to a taxi. I rode home through the city streets! There wasn't a street--there wasn't a building--that wasn't connected to some memory in my mind. There I was buying a suit with my father. There I was having an ice-cream soda after school. When I finally came in, Debby was home from work. And I told her everything about my dinner with AndréAnd here is Sergio Leone and the Inside Fly Rule's meditation on the only possible other candidate for Best.Movie.Ever. [more inside]
"What you're looking for as a retoucher is a broom, something that covers your tracks, some way of obscuring where you've been. The first thing [most] people take out is bloodshot eyes. That's the last thing I take out—the last thing I'd, like, just wipe, because that just makes it look retouched." -- from Jesse Epstein's video op-ed for the NY Times, based on her film Wet Dreams and False Images ("I know that's not airbrushed. I could put a million dollars that's not airbrushed."), one of three related short documentaries on physical perfection. "Each head has to be identical to the other head, so we don't want anybody putting sandpaper to the head." -- from 34 x 25 x 36. Via the latest installment of Shakesville's Impossibly Beautiful series. (Previous posts on retouching.)
Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt
Trailer for Brüno, the upcoming film by Sacha Baron Cohen, formerly known for his characters Ali G and Borat.
Remember Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? You might enjoy this documentary about the movie. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: After They Were Famous part 1 [more inside]
Maurice Jarre (September 13, 1924 – March 29, 2009) was a French composer and conductor. Although he composed several concert works, he is best known for his film scores for motion pictures, particularly those of David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984). All three of these scores won Academy Awards. - Wikipedia
Digital Poetics is a film blog with a proposal for an interesting experiment called 10/40/70: write a film review of a DVD with three screen captures taken at arbitrary intervals (10, 40, 70 minutes into the film) and see how it changes the way you look at films. This 10/40/70 approach has led to some interesting interpretations of The Conversation, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Blue Velvet, Godard's Vivre Sa Vie, and 12 Angry Men, as well as a contrarian appreciation of Hudson Hawk. The blog Spectacular Attractions has even upped the ante by using a random number generator to determine where to select screen caps. Results include Jaws Randomised and This Is Spinal Tap Randomised with Two Brains. It's like Dogme 95, but for film bloggers.
The trailer for producer Spike Jonze's troubled adaptation of the award-winning children's story Where the Wild Things Are has been released. It's been a long time coming. If you don't have time for the videos, here's the poster. [more inside]
Over twelve years in the making, filmed on five continents, with a running time of over nine hours, easily the most terrifying flatware horror movie released this year. A Richard Gale film. [via]
"R, and G, and B" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami.
Die Hardererer by Nicholas Chatfield-Taylor. Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard edited down to only the frames containing fire. NSFW.
The Oscar-nominated "Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello" is an "adventurous tale of a navigator’s journey to save his ailing wife set in a beautiful world of Victorian science-fiction" and one the many fine film shorts and videos available to watch at shortof theweek.com - a site dedicated to "finding those few [video] gems amongst the enormous heap of garbage they're buried in..." [more inside]
Lifting it's script from the abandonned fourth movie, Mad Max will be returning, sans Gibbo, as a 3D animated feature. I'll see you on the road, skag!
Southern Comfort is a 2001 documentary film about the final year in the life of Robert Eads, a female-to-male transsexual. Eads, diagnosed with ovarian cancer, was turned down for treatment by two dozen doctors out of fear that treating such a patient would hurt their reputation. You can watch the film here, part 1 through 10.
After creating four successive masterpieces in the 1970s, culminating in the tortured production of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola began the 1980s by directing "a romantic comedy, a musical fantasy and an erotic love story set amidst the neon glitter of Las Vegas on a Fourth of July weekend." [more inside]
The drama behind the making of The Godfather is nearly as intriguing as the movie itself. A recent Vanityfair piece recounts "how the clash of Hollywood sharks, Mafia kingpins, and cinematic geniuses shaped a Hollywood masterpiece." A follow-up article tells of a fateful dinner between the film's stars and members of the famous Genovese crime family. [more inside]
After 20 years in development, Watchmen has finally had it's premiere. The reviews--both geek and mainstream--have begun to trickle in. Is it a masterpiece or a disaster? Dave Gibbons likes what he's seen. Alan Moore still won't comment (well, about the movie, but he does go on.)
New Yorker Films, the only US distributor of many of the films of Jean-Luc Godard, Ousmane Sèmbene, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and many others closed operations yesterday. Many of the films they distributed remain unavailable on DVD, and thus completely unavailable to Americans for the foreseeable future. Coming on the heels of the eviction of Film-Maker's Co-Op, New York's venerable distributor and archive of avant-garde film, New Yorker's closing raises questions not only about the symbiotic importance of repertory film exhibition for film preservation efforts, but about the future of film culture and the possible role of the arts in the future economy.