Movies in movies: A montage (SLYT).
Chicago Sun-Times editor Robert Elder asked 35 film directors to name the movies they most admire that have been panned, forgotten or ignored. Some nuggets from the TOC: Todd Solondz is sweet on The Honeymoon Killers, Peter Bogdanovich finds Trouble in Paradise and Danny Boyle shouts Eureka.
Do you turn off Old Yeller before the end so you can pretend that he lived a long and happy life? Did a cute pet on a movie poster make you think it would be a fun comedy but it turned out to be a pet-with-a-terminal-illness tearjerker instead? Are you unable to enjoy the human body count in a horror movie because you're wondering whether the dog's going to kick the bucket? Have you ever Googled "Does the [dog/cat/horse/Klingon targ] die in [movie title]?" If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then welcome - DoestheDogDie.com is here for you! [more inside]
Former Great Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il was a noted cinephile with a personal video library of over 20,000 movies. In 1970, he said "The motion picture industry, when dealing with the socialist reality, has not yet reached the standard set by our Party." To help it reach the standard, the Dear Leader wrote a treatise On the Art of the Cinema (PDF), took an interest in minute details of film production (as recounted by film stars), revamped the Taedongmun Cinema House, and kidnapped a director (previously 1, 2.) But did this lead to better movies?.... [more inside]
The same kind of numbers analysis that has reshaped areas like politics and online marketing is increasingly being used by the entertainment industry. "A chain-smoking former statistics professor named Vinny Bruzzese – "the reigning mad scientist of Hollywood", in the words of one studio customer – has started to aggressively pitch a service he calls "script new evaluation". For as much as $US20,000 per script, Bruzzese and a team of analysts compare the story structure and genre of a draft script with those of released movies, looking for clues to box-office success." His research has lead to conclusions like "If it's a targeting demon, you are likely to have much higher opening-weekend sales than if it's summoned. So get rid of that ouija board scene." and "Bowling scenes tend to pop up in films that fizzle"
The various Star Wars movies have been translated into at least 39 languages (as also seen here in a set of 16 international logos for Attack of the Clones), but the Navajo Nation is set to be the first Native American tribe to officially dub the original Star Wars film. [more inside]
@UnfinishedS is a Twitter feed in which comedian Gavin Speiller posts the first pages of his unfinished screenplays, covering genres such as science fiction, family dramas, mysteries, financial dramas, mob movies, alien invasion films, heist pictures, spy thrillers, biopics, and everything in between.
Bug Art - Steven Kutcher creates paintings using bugs as living brushes. He's probably more noted as the working entomologist on a number of Hollywood films, including Arachnophobia. Bonus: Steven's E-Z Bug Collector Method (via FLUXO)
"Oh, Anne! With your small head and pert nose and oversized, ready smile and glossy pixie cut and squeakily tuneful speaking voice, uttering lines like “It came true!” as you gaze at your newly won Oscar with moistened doe-eyes, wearing a powder-pink Prada gown adorned with diamonds and bows: Why are you so annoying?"
Without visual effects the average blockbuster movie would look like this. However as Hollywood comes under financial pressure they are putting the squeeze on the VFX industry that they rely on, who are in turn passing the pressure onto workers. Now VFX workers are organizing a protest in time for the Oscars, which will be celebrating visual effects as the companies responsible for them close down. [more inside]
From The Weyland-Yutani Archives:
During Alien's pre-production, Ridley Scott drew up a story board presentation of Alien for 20th Century Fox. These storyboards are known as 'Ridleygrams'. This story board presentation contains scenes and FX shots that were later re-written or dropped due to budgetary reasons.[more inside]
The Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS. The majority of Nollywood films are still sold offline, in outdoor markets from wheelbarrows or by the roadside from street vendors. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online. iROKO, one of the first companies to take Nigerian films online, is carefully tracking the viewing patterns of its growing audience. While Nigerian internet access is often subpar, streaming services are catering to the international diaspora. iROKOtv is a hub for streaming movies, with plenty of free movies alongside movies available as part of monthly membership. Their website grew out of their YouTube channel, which had over 400 movies online in 2011, though recently they are mainly posting trailers. If you're not sure which movies to see, Nollywood Forever has plenty of reviews, and Nollywood.com has a ton of African movie trailers.
The Snipist - a post-apocalyptic nightmare set in a post-rabies Britain (warning: absolutely bleak). A Gun For George - a short film about crime-writer Terry Finch, author of the 70s Kentish fiction masterpieces The Reprisalizer. [more inside]
RIP Michael Winner, director of the Death Wish series among others, restaurant critic, Esure advert star (remix) and clean underpants wearer.
Links to 30 Screenplays from films released in 2012, including Django Unchained, The Master, Looper, Lincoln, Amour...
Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie. The movie in question is The Canyons, the Kickstarter-funded erotic thriller written by Bret Easton Ellis and directed by Paul Schrader. There's no release date yet, but the film does have several retro-themed trailers.
Michael Caine is frank about his experiences on the set of The Muppet Christmas Carol. [more inside]
Turns out many of Ridley Scott's Prometheus' flaws were the result of shoddy editing and mismatching elements from essentially two different scripts.
"...the first decade of the 21st century can be viewed as a singularly male-dominated era in American cinema."
New York Times Magazine "Hollywood Issue": Hollywood’s Year of Heroine Worship. Accompanied by an online web series of 13 original, short films: Wide Awake, each starring an actress whose performance helped 'define the year in film.' [more inside]
"Voice over of Mickey Rourke rambling platitudes over images of soldiers and/or rare birds at magic hour may be out there somewhere."
Every Thursday, Film School Rejects posts things "learned from the commentary tracks of an iconic movie": Commentary Commentary [more inside]
After 65 Years The Hollywood Reporter addresses its role in the hollywood blacklist, including an apology from W.R. Wilkerson III, son of THR founder Billy Wilkerson whose "A Vote For Joe Stalin" editorial named writers such as Dalton Trumbo, Lester Cole, Howard Koch and John Howard Lawson as communist sympathisers.
IMDB top 250 (+ 53 ) films in 2.5 minutes. (some NSFW content)
The Red Letter Media guys have a miserable time watching the entire Resident Evil film series when the ending of Resident Evil: Afterlife simply breaks their minds. Watch the full review.
From director Jeff Feuerzeig, The Dude is a documentary short that follows Jeff Dowd to a Tampa Lebowski Fest. Dowd was a friend of the Coen Brothers and the real-life inspiration for the iconic film character in the Big Lebowski. (Previously: Jeff Dowd of the Seattle Seven is the model for The Dude in The Big Lebowski)
Like James Bond movies? And box office grosses? And visualized data? Then today is your lucky day.
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]
Louis C.K. on eating pressure and providing an alternative to The Man - "I ask him to think about what he really needs; when he tells me, I give him a little more. It buys me goodwill with this person; I feel good about what I'm paying them. I like to give people a little more than they want, and I like to ask people for a little less than they're willing to give." [more inside]
Lewis Bennett wants to "make a short film about something going on in the province of British Columbia - a person, a place, or a subject". [more inside]
"At a time when most old films were still protected by copyright and studios were urging the FBI to prosecute individuals owning copyrighted films, movie collecting was a largely underground and somewhat dangerous activity." In 1977, for example, a 20 year old film collector was visited by the FBI. The agents, posing as fellow collectors, entered his home and seized his collection. His case wasn't unique. Even the stars — most famously, Roddy McDowall — were subject to the legal wrath of the very studios they worked for. Still, some collectors got away with it (including one J. D. Salinger). [more inside]
Fishbowl, live cam at the Blue Cavern, Aquarium of the Pacific. Live cams at explore.org: Moon jellyfish | tropical reef live cam. [more inside]
AIRBOYD.tv has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Then there's the Nuclear Vault: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films. Last but not least is US Auto Industry, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films, including commercials from Buick, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
Blimp waterskiing! Ice tennis! Blindfolded boxing! Baby boxing! Extreme sports of the mid-20th century, from the vaults of British Pathé (previously).
The 50 best David Lynch characters. And David Lynch films - from worst to best. And David Lynch's best music moments. Craziest David Lynch moments.
James McBride talks about The Help, Hattie McDaniel, why black women are still winning awards for playing maids, how black culture is appropriated and represented, and whether marginalized groups in America all serve the purpose of "cultural maids". [more inside]
In 1962, the New York Times called it a masterpiece, and it won the Oscar for best foreign film that year. If you can't see it any other way, one reviewer on IMDB will rent a theater and screen it for you - if you don't mind a trip to Melbourne. Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray) is worth tracking down, however you manage. [more inside]
Wielder of Darth Vader's lightsaber at 60 years of age (while wearing 6" platform shoes under the black cloak to match the character's height); swordplay instructor to Errol Flynn and the cast of Lord of the Rings; swordmaster on dozens of films, including The Princess Bride, Highlander, the modern Zorro franchise and Alatriste: Bob Anderson died today. A highlight reel of some of his work: part 1 and 2.
In the Cut: Piecing Together the Action Sequence. A video essay in three parts by Jim Emerson.
- Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight)
- Part II: A Dash of Salt
- Part III: I Left my Heart in my Throat in San Francisco
Portrait of a Handmade Artisan: Korehira Watanabe The Sword Maker (one of a number of films by Etsy) [more inside]
The Formula for Complete and Utter BAYHEM or, How Michael Bay has Made Billions in Box Offices Worldwide. SLInfographic (the last graph is particularly depressing)
Are small theaters punching a ticket to oblivion? Radical changes in the traditional structure of the lab processing and exhibition sides of the film industry have been filling the lives of small theater operators with uncertainty and worry for the last few years. Will filmstock be the next Kodachrome? (And what will that mean for the future of film preservation?) [more inside]
Metafilter Favorite Stephen Fry announces that he is now the president of mental health charity MIND, in part because of his 2006 documentary: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. [more inside]
Simply the Worst. Film blog Reverse Shot is looking this month at the worst (by various criteria) films of some major directors, including the Coen Brothers' The Ladykillers, Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Woody Allen's Anything Else, and more.
Six Dialogues with Leuco by Cesare Pavese. The Flood, The Beast & The Witches, three dialogues by Cesare Pavese. Poems. Poems. Poems. Poems.