Ten Second Films
"The Ten Second Films Competition. What can you do in ten seconds?"
The 2003 Sundance Film Festival
kicked off last night in Park City, Utah, surrounded by alt-fests
as indie film steps center stage. But you don't have to be there to feel like you are, you can gourge on indie
coverage or biz news
from the trades
, aggregated news from major portals
or speciality broadcasters
... or just browse through all the pretty pictures
At the time of posting, Rotten Tomatoes
has 1 'rotten' review and 76 'fresh' reviews for Peter Jackson's The Two Towers
. I thought it was a superb film, but I hardly thought it would unite the critics like this. This has got to be one of the most universally praised films of all time!
"My Anus is Bleeding!"
Not for the faint of heart, this film is definitely on the fringe. Don Hertzfeldt's short animations
are all a little bit edgy, but then again, I tend to be drawn to these odd, over-the-top kinds of films.
1940s slapstick comedian, passed on over the weekend. the star of hail the conquering hero
and the controversial miracle of morgan's creek
was often regarded as the onscreen alter ego of pioneering writer/director preston sturges
. unfortunately, he correctly predicted that his appearance at film forum
would be his last.
Roger Ebert salutes Buster Keaton
in an article in which he says the Great Stone Face is "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies." High praise indeed! Any other Keaton fans out there? (This is from the Chicago Sun-times--I don't believe registration is required.) And if you want to see Buster smiling--sort of--here's a picture of him with one-time movie partner Fatty Arbuckle
Computer Screens in Films
are normally quite distinctive but can you indentify the films these are from?
[link from b3ta]
The Son of God and Mexican wrestler El Santos team up to fight evil in Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter
Snoop Dog to appear in Muppets Movie
"The two-hour film, which is currently in production in Vancouver, will feature cameo appearances by Oscar winners Sir Michael Caine and William H. Macy, Snoop Dogg
, Carson Daly, Jon Stewart, Kelly Ripa and Rachel Hunter, among others."
Unless The Muppets
has suddenly become a program for adults, not kids, what a horrible idea. Would Jim Henson approve of this? I know, let's put Eminem on the teletubbies show!
one: a space odyssey
here's a wonderful little film that manages to do kubrick's 2001: a space odyssey
in exactly a minute with lego. it's only flaw is it brevity, but it does cover all the major plot points cleanly. enjoy it on this lazy friday.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
is still in theatres three months after its release. After seeing it last night I understand the hype and great word of mouth it continues to receive. Will Hollywood wake up and take notice?
On The Road...
coming to a theater near you (scroll down in link). Francis Ford Coppola is working on a film adaptation of Kerouac's classic (?), starring Brad Pitt. Genius? Heresy? I can see the Barnes & Noble tie-ins now...
"I have been an accomplice to the murders of untold numbers of human beings..."
One of Hollywood's most notorious screenwriters claims he and Hollywood are partly responsible for the cancer deaths of smokers. Doesn't Hollywood usually claim they are not responsible
for their viewers' actions?
British Film Institute Top Ten Poll for 2002
is out. Compiled every 10 years by the folks who publish the Sight and Sound magazine, it asks 145 critics and 108 directors for their top 10 films ever. Both top 10s
are filled with the usual suspects - yes, we all know who always wins
. It's more interesting to browse the full list
of films voted for. Or read the individual top 10s and occasional comments by directors who voted
, such as Michael Mann
, Jim Jarmusch
, and Roger Corman
Freddy vs. Jason. Batman vs. Superman
. It seems Hollywood is done mining lame cartoons
for movie fodder and has moved on to pitting tired franchises against each other. What's next? Hercule Poirot
vs. Indiana Jones
? (Actually, that'd be good.) Personally, I'd like to see Bugs Bunny
. We know who'd win that battle. What movie battles would you like to see?
Don't watch this.
Dreamworks is starting up the hype machine for their remake of the Japanese horror film Ringu (aka The Ring)
, and it looks like they're taking the A.I. route with it. The movie centers on a mysterious videotape that causes those who watch it to die seven days later. Websites are popping up all over the place
that seem to connect to the 'mystery'. The first link up top goes to a flash teaser of the actual video from the film, but if you're brave, you can watch the whole thing
at iFilm. I'm curious if this will indeed turn out to be an online game like the Evan Chan mystery
from A.I., or just some better-than-average Web marketing for what looks to be a damn creepy movie.
Every wonder why most Hollywood movies completely stink?
It's 'cuz all the decent writers get put through the wringer like this guy, and give up. He hasn't given up yet, and does seem to at least be getting a lot of free Evian
at the production companies pitches at.
Director John Frankenheimer is dead.
I don't want to make this out to be one of those "random celebrity dies and is suddenly hailed as a genius" things, but Frankenheimer's made quite a few damn good movies
(and, yes, some bad ones). While his later works
weren't nearly as great as some of his earlier films
, his gift for filming action never went away: his 1998 film Ronin
wound up on several lists
of the "best car chases on film". He was supposed to helm the upcoming Exorcist prequel
, but failing health forced him to step aside. Despite the dodgy source material, I would have really liked to see Frankenheimer's take on it. He'll be missed.
The industry-standard effects magazine Cinefex
has made some articles from their archives viewable online. One of them is this lengthy and fascinating look at E.T. from a 1983 issues.
Spider-Man "too violent for kids"
The British Board of Film Classification has given the Spider-Man film (which opens here in the UK today) a '12' certificate because of its violence, meaning no one under that age can see it. Some local authorities have exercised their power to reclassify it as a 'PG' to open it up to younger viewers.
The BBFC's argument runs that "The violence is set in a modern urban setting with a clear message that the use of violence is the normal and appropriate response when challenged." In fact, I'd say, the film suggests that an appropriate response when challenged is to put on an armoured exo-skeleton and fly around on a jey-powered glider. How can the BBFC not get the concept that this is a fantasy
Coming soon to a theater near you: Occupation 101
Digital projection coming to a theater near you.
"Lucas says the new format is cheaper and easier on viewers' eyes because it eliminates the pops and scratches from film wear and tear. He accuses the industry of resisting change the same way it snubbed talking pictures until "The Jazz Singer" signaled the end of the silent era."
Any other mefites planning on seeing Episode II at a DLP theater? [DLP theater list
Made spider sense tingle.
Four word film reviews that are sometimes better than the movie
French politicians polish cultural credentials. France's presidential hopefuls have begun pledging to defend the country's cherished culture, hoping to drum up support from artists worried that American films and music will steamroll finer French productions.
This rhetoric makes it sound like American films are picking up guns to massacre poor defenseless French culture. Maybe American films are so successful because they give people something that the "finer French productions" don't, and if so, then is that such a horrible thing? After all, we are just giving the people what they want, right? And if that takes money away from more artsy productions, then whose fault is that anyway?
About Sydney Poitier
Something one of my professor's brought up. He said, "I'm tired of everyone being politically correct in Hollywood. They say African-American because they are afraid to say Black." His point being that Mr. Poitier is from the Bahamas and not Africa. What do you think?
I was watching Charlie Rose this afternoon and to my delight, he was interviewing my old favorite James Garner
. Since I was young, I've considered Mr. garner to be the walking epitome of cool. He's been Bret Maverick
(twice!), Jim Rockford
. I always conside Burt Reynolds to be an pale imitation of Garner. Don't tell me I'm the only Garnerite in MeFi land.
Is President Bush Gay?
(Answer: No, but he says "fabulous" a lot.) Is Billy Joel washed up? (NYT required)
(Answer: Sounds like it.) Is Star Wars Episode Two any good?
(Answer: Yes, beyond your wildest dreams.)
Neo-Nazi movie reviews,
because neo-Nazis need culture, too. It's not all slurs against Jewish and black people (although there is a lot of that); there's also deep cultural insight, like:
- "Having odd sex or sex with odd things or odd people is very, very likely to make you not-ordinary" (American Beauty review)
- "Rage Against the Machine, which, if you're unfamiliar, is screechy Mexican supremacist noise." (American History X review)
- Kids are "quart-sized creeps: greedy, selfish, stupid all-consuming egomanaical tyrants who will drive adults crazy if they they let them" (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory review)
- Lord of the Rings is "a glimpse, here and now, of the kind of White culture we are working to create in the future"
[Via the April 2002 Esquire
, not online]
Here’s a nice addition
to your movie memorabilia collection. Would that I had the spare £15,000 lying around. If you could owe one little piece of a favorite cult film, what would it be?
Lord of the Rings sweeps Baftas
It must be wierd for Peter Jackson to be working on the final two acts of his trilogy when the first part is winning awards. I think this is what can be termed 'pressure to perform'.
Apple announced QuickTime 6 today
with MPEG 4 support but refused to release it. Apple, along with other members of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance
are not happy with the the MPEG-4 licensing scheme
. And they have good reason, among other fees, the plan
includes per minute charges for viewing content, with no maximum amount.
Is this the Moving Picture Experts Group
and their licensing partners
admitting that content will be worthless in 5 years? Is the financial future of the entertainment industry modeled on the utility companies?
Jennifer Connelly Happy With Nude Scenes
Hey, if she's happy, I'm happier. Actually, this is the happiest headline I have seen in a while.
"We're fighting our own terrorist war,"
says Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America. David Rocci conters: "There's a huge difference in what people think copyright is and what the corporations think copyright is. I'm not so sure it's morally wrong for someone to go [see] 'Lord of the Rings' in the theater two or three times and then download it because they like it." (NYT link)
So what are your Top Ten movies for 2001? The NYT's Elvis Mitchell
cites "In The Mood For Love" as the best and David Kehr
chooses "The Royal Tenenbaums." Then there's Roger Ebert
who's #1 is "Monster's Ball" and Harry Knowles
who picks, surprise surprise, "The Lord of the Rings."
This year's Oscar race is shaping up to be populated entirely by dark horses
. In the absence of any clear shoo-in nominees, the disputes among Oscar voters (as well as the marketing campaigns mounted by the studios) are growing increasingly heated.
The real hero of "It's A Wonderful Life"
as viewed through neo-conservative goggles.
I have noticed that Christmas movies, especially made-for-TV Christmas movies, come in two flavors: someone discovering the "true meaning
", or somebody saving Christmas
. Sometimes the two are combined
. Are there Christmas movies out there without
The Godfather Mystery Goof
is now solved
. Thanks to Roger Ebert, Francis Ford Coopola, and Mike Spearns from Newfoundland.
The Oracle of Bacon
is prehaps the greatest waste of time ever. Go from Akira Kurasowa to Kevin Bacon in just three degrees of seperation.
Is Amelie a racist tract?
Yes, it paints a homogenous portrait of Paris, but it's also obviously a fairy tale. Jeunet's other films have had a similar cultural makeup yet were never decried as racist - but they were not this successful. Does the outrageous success of the film mean that it should be more representative of France? Should we demand a retroactive revision of a film's intent as it does more business?
Real Cinephiles Prefer Reading "Cahiers du Cinema" to Going to the Movies:
I stopped reading Cahiers du Cinema
- the famously dogmatic French film journal where Godard, Truffaut, Resnais and Rohmer cut their teeth - a few years ago, when it got too arty-farty for its own good. Well
, it's slowly becoming essential again. Their website is trés chic
, intelectually challenging and a welcome antidote to the usual online movie-reviewing clowns. Or is it still a load of pretentious rubbish? (In French, but with a lovely intro, lots of cool stills and a Quicktime interview, in English, with underrated director Paul Verhoeven
Holy Torgo! When did this
come out on DVD??? Manos: the Hands of Fate
is the best movie ever made by a fertilizer salesman, which makes it one of the worst movies
ever made (and therefore perhaps the best MST3K episode
). If, like me, you are tired of waiting for the 30th Anniversary Edition
of this "movie," be sure to read this fascinating behind-the-scenes look
at the world of Torgo, with the movie's cinematographer and stunt coordinator (ha HA!) as your guides. ("ThE MASter wouLD't ap-p-pROVE
Channel 4 (in the UK)'s 100 Greatest Films of All Time. Star Wars
at Number 1 - it's a great film, but is it really *that* great? This is not the only recent poll to place it there. (Sorry - the link's a little flaky at the moment - I'm sure they'll sort it out.)
Escapism, Star Wars style
- The new Star Wars Ep II trailer, "Mystery" is out there - not the 'breathing' teaser, but a longer one. It's supposed to be unlocked by EP I DVD owners only, but of course there are mirrors. Post others inside if you find them. Star Wars haters can just move along, there's plenty other news today.
If I see one more ad for K-Pax
, I'm going to snap. 2001, with the exception of Waking Life
, has been an awful year for movies. And having this tired rehash of both Starman
and The Fisher King
(oh, Jeff, we can't always be The Dude, now can we?) being foisted on me is not
helping. Are there any movies that you're looking forward to? Any you're actively loathing? Discuss.
The Movie Spoiler
is a good site that'll save you a few bucks. [Warning: It contains spoilers and does reveal movie endings.]
Filmmakers let the Pentagon edit their scripts
in exchange for rights to use government land and military equipment. Great article complete with hilarious "military mind" quotes. Need more government/pop culture collusion? N'SYNC is getting $800,000 in tax payer's money for an anti-drug campaign.
to bring Spirited Away, Japan's currently largest grossing film, to thje states. Disney owns the domestic rights to all of Hayao Miyazaki's films (think Princess Mononoke) and has no plans to release Spirited Away.
Daema kicks some serious ape butt
The sequels to Pierre Boulle's original Planet of the Apes
novel are, apparently, leaving something to be desired. Lets invent some and raise the tone, shall we?
Planet of the Jeeps:
An astronaut lands on a planet and gets rammed in his Nissan Micra at an intersection by a Simian driving a Sport Utility Vehicle. Director Tim Burton gets slated by the critics - "Good Science Fiction should show us things we've never seen before"