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Sketchbooks del Toro

Late in 2013, Guillermo del Toro released a voluminous book, entitled Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. As he explains in the video, the 256-page hardcover is a selection from his notebooks, where the director developed many of the monstrosities we’ve seen on screen. The Guardian notes that there’s something of da Vinci’s notebooks in del Toro’s records: the small, neat script, mixed in with the wonderfully detailed sketches, combine to give the impression of del Toro doing his best to record the torrent of his imagination before the thoughts disappear. In this post, we include a number of these images.
Previously [more inside]
posted by infini on Mar 5, 2014 - 4 comments

The Audience is Listening (when you're done with the code)

There are many, many random numbers involved in the score for the piece. Every time I ran the C-program, it produced a new "performance".... The one we chose had that conspicuous descending tone that everybody liked. It just happened to end up real loud in that version.
James Moorer relates the rather unexpected manner in which he composed one of the one of the world's best known pieces of computer generated music: "Deep Note" from the THX trailer. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo on Mar 4, 2014 - 15 comments

CG Mockbusters

The Asylum gets all the attention (and the lucrative gig filling time for "SyFy") but they're far from the only company out there making "mockbusters," those ultra low budget, direct-to-DVD movies named similar to big Hollywood blockbusters, in the hopes that an inattentive purchaser will buy their movie in the hopes they're getting something better. But The Asylum's not the only ones making them, and a prominent mockbuster subgenre is that of companies making really poor CG movies that resemble Pixar and Dreamworks hits only to the extent that they can maintain plausible, legal deniability, their profit margins relying on clueless grandparents getting something nice for the little ones.

Two of these companies are Video Brinquedo (trailer for their Little & Big Monsters and some clips from its sequel) and Spark Plug Entertainment (trailer for An Ant's Life). Far more of their output, including whole movies, awaits you than you could ever hope to stomach.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 26, 2014 - 35 comments

Tim Burton's Batman, the opposite of Pee-wee's Big Adventure

This year marks the 25th anniversary of 1989 Batman movie, which is remembered for everything from the logo "that helped set the course for superhero movies" to the ways the movie was true to the comics, or was really a "noir" update to the 1960s Adam West Batman. While preparing yourself for what may come in the lead-up to the June 23 anniversary date, enjoy Batman: The Making of a Hero documentary, a rare 25 minutes behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, from the folks at 1989 Batman, a fansite dedicated to the movie, and its sequel, Batman Returns. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 19, 2014 - 48 comments

An old view of the Old City

What did Palestine look like in 1896?
posted by flapjax at midnite on Feb 15, 2014 - 17 comments

I'd buy that for a dollar...

"If you want to predict the future, just think about how bad it could be and make a joke out of it, and there you go."
Ed Neumeier on the writing of the original RoboCop.
posted by mokin on Feb 14, 2014 - 73 comments

Disney's Lilo & Stitch, everything is blown up, more fun, also more real

Lilo & Stitch is an odd movie to come from Disney for a number of reasons: a rare work based on an original story, set in a realistic version of the "island paradise" of Hawaii, focusing on strong female characters who have a realistic/varied bodyshapes. For more insight into the making of the "affordable" Disney film, here's Lilo & Stitch revisited, Part I, interviewing the creators Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, and Part II, featuring master animator Andreas Deja. For a taste of the animation, here are four teaser clips of Stitch invading other Disney films, the official full version of the Lion King interrupted trailer, and making of Lilo & Stitch short docu-clip.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 12, 2014 - 90 comments

We stood in line for 120 minutes to receive thrilling punishment?

[Two Guys] decided that they have spent too much time in paradise and decide to take a vacation to Japan. Through the entirety of the film, there is no major conflict, there is no primary antagonist, there is no massive plot that involves saving the world or some other thing like it. It is a simple, but comic, slice of life story, their small daily adventures while exploring a modern Japanese culture, such as shopping, going to amusement parks, saunas, and pools, with it all ultimately culminating in a celebration of the Christmas holiday and a ushering in of the new year. Saint Young Men, a buddy/room-mate comedy anime about Buddha and Jesus that is perfect for the online GIF culture. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 8, 2014 - 11 comments

Death of a Playmate

Here is a 1981 Pulitzer Prize winning article about the death of Playboy Playmate and rising star Dorothy Stratten.
posted by reenum on Feb 8, 2014 - 22 comments

Best thing since Time Magazine named you Person of the Year

Happy birthday Facebook! To celebrate ten years, Facebook has created a special "A Look Back" movie for each user with some highlights of the user's timeline. (Requires Facebook account.)
posted by grouse on Feb 4, 2014 - 178 comments

Hitler! He's the worst criminal of all time.

Kung Fury is an upcoming action-comedy movie from Swedish director David Sandberg. The trailer, at least, is a pitch-perfect celebration of everything that made 80s action movies ridiculous and wonderful. [more inside]
posted by escape from the potato planet on Jan 25, 2014 - 48 comments

Uncle America

Blood Brother (2013) focuses on an American man who, after initially visiting as a tourist, moved to India to volunteer at the Arias Home of HOPE, a home for HIV-positive children in Acharapakkam, near Chennai. He eventually became an Indian citizen by marriage. [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jan 23, 2014 - 7 comments

Баллада о солдате

In 1959, MOSFILM released "Ballad of a Soldier," made during the Khrushchev Thaw . It chronicles a young soldier, Alyosha, and his six-day trip home from the front during World War II, which "sweeps you, with feeling, into the physical and psychological world of Russians at war."
And it is on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 18, 2014 - 2 comments

Oh Gosh.

The Dissolve (previously, previously) looks at the Coen Brothers' 1996 "homespun Midwestern murder story" Fargo: Masculinity And Mike Yanagita, Keynote: Fargo in Five Quotes, Morality And The Coens
posted by The Whelk on Jan 13, 2014 - 84 comments

Making Up Hollywood

Cinema tends to make beautiful people look more beautiful, but it wasn’t always so.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 6, 2014 - 47 comments

Logan, The Girl Who Follows You Around Is Here!

After being successfully Kickstarted into existence by fans, the long-desired Veronica Mars movie (previously) finally has an actual official trailer.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 5, 2014 - 51 comments

The First Entirely New Experience in Entertainment Since Pictures Talked

"The rise in popularity of television is credited with inciting the move to the widescreen systems that flourished throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This is only partially true. In the early 1950s, studios did begin to compose their movies so that the top and bottom of the picture could be chopped off and a wider screen would show the center of the old 1.37:1 frame. The aspect ratio used by the various studios varied from about 1.5:1 up to the common 1.85:1. But the real reason for the birth of a multitude of widescreen and large format systems was the 1952 opening of a movie made in a process that had its roots in a World War II aerial gunnery trainer. This Is Cinerama (modern YouTube trailer; Wikipedia) shook the industry to the core. The public and reviewers loved it. Its giant screen filled with three oversized 35mm images and an incredible new sound system called Stereophonic were a marvel to behold, and the studios immediately rushed to find something that could do what Cinerama did (Google books preview of the August 1952 issue of Popular Mechanics)." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 4, 2014 - 22 comments

Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely stellar as the Mad Hatter

Ranking all the James Bond movies from the universe where Bond faced off against all of Batman's villains
posted by The Whelk on Dec 30, 2013 - 32 comments

"Some stories start at the end."

Robert Redford's Restless Solitude
Redford started Sundance because the movies he wanted to see – ones with story and characters – weren't being made in Hollywood. The only problem is he was so successful that Hollywood decided to devour his Xanadu, with premium vodka parties and assistants scouring the Park City Albertsons for Fiji water. "It makes me fucking nuts," says Redford. He has physically distanced himself from the film festival, making only occasional cameos. "It has moved out of what I had as a comfort zone. It's moved beyond, to where I'm uneasy about it." Redford talks with sadness about his wayward film child, ticking off the rise of ambush marketers and swag bags, as if it is all out of his control, a stance that Redford's skeptics claim is evidence he sees himself as a reluctant, tragic hero – not only in his movies but also in the story of his life.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 17, 2013 - 29 comments

Blade Runner in 12,000 animated watercolor paintings

"I've seen things that you wouldn't believe."
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Nov 18, 2013 - 39 comments

Grizzly and Grizzly II: (The) Predator: The Concert, the workprint

"Even from its earliest scenes Grizzly plays like a cheap B movie version of Jaws and that's really what it is." Somehow, Grizzly was actually released less than a year after Jaws was theatrically released. Unlike the quick turn-around for the first Grizzly movie, filming for the sequel didn't happen for another 7 to 9 years, and the movie was actually shelved before it was completed. Generally, the sequel to a knock-off wouldn't be too interesting, but Grizzly II: The Predator (also known as Predator: The Concert) is notable for early appearances of George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern in small supporting roles, and the workprint features songs by Michael Jackson as a place-holder soundtrack. This existence of the workprint was a myth told by horror movie nerds, until a copy leaked out in 2007. As described in the Twitchfilm review, "there are two things to watch this footage for, and a grizzly bear is neither of them. Activity #1 would be the "Holy shit, that's actually {actor X} right there!" game ... and Activity #2 would be gaping, slack-jawed, with a pulsating vein in your forehead, as the outrageously awful mid-'80s synth tunes cascade across your unwitting cranium." For your viewing (dis)pleasure: Grizzly and Grizzly II: (The) Predator: The Concert, both in full on YouTube.
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 16, 2013 - 11 comments

Django Jesus Telekinesis Bird Wow

Behold the trailer for The Visitor, which is now being re-released by Drafthouse Films. Co-financed by the notorious Film Ventures International, whose founder's whereabouts are currently unknown, this Italian-American co-production features John Huston, Shelley Winters, Sam Peckinpah, birds, Franco Nero, and Neal Boortz. It is also an amazing piece of work that has befuddled and delighted many.
posted by Sticherbeast on Nov 13, 2013 - 28 comments

Metafilter: Everything has a point

The Point! (1971) is the animated TV adaptation of singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson's fable about a boy named Oblio, the only round-headed person in the Pointed Village, where by law everyone and everything had to have a point. Despite his round head, Oblio has many friends. But an evil count, jealous that Oblio is more popular than his own son, says that without a pointed head, Oblio is an outlaw. Along with his faithful dog Arrow, Oblio is exiled to the Pointless Forest. There, he has many fantastic experiences (including encounters with a 3-headed man, giant bees, a tree in the leaf-selling business, and a good-humored old rock). From his adventures, Oblio learns that it is not at all necessary to be pointed to have a point in life. Directed by Fred Wolf and narrated by Ringo Starr, the film features all the original songs from Nilsson's album of the same name. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Nov 12, 2013 - 41 comments

This never happened to the other fellow

Steven Soderbergh shares his thoughts on his favourite James Bond film, ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Nov 4, 2013 - 71 comments

"Here's Johnny!" vs. "Boo!"

In celebration of Halloween, The Dissolve has devoted three long posts to The Shining: a keynote examining the film and King's relationship to it, a staff discussion, and a critical comparison of the film with the 1997 TV miniseries written by King. (Scrubbed the show from your brain? Let this episode of Nostalgia Critic refresh your memory.)
posted by Going To Maine on Oct 31, 2013 - 38 comments

PRESS START

8 Bit Cinema: The Shining [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 28, 2013 - 13 comments

Luckily I was able to quickly sample my screams of pain

Banjo Gyro, one of the weirder videos on YouTube, is a short film about three restaurant employees—Sammy, Bill, and Finger—who hunt demons. Sort of like Invader Zim meets David Lynch's "sitcom" Rabbits.
posted by Rory Marinich on Oct 22, 2013 - 6 comments

California Dreamin

The Dissolve spends a week talking about Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express:
[more inside]
posted by juv3nal on Oct 19, 2013 - 29 comments

Sounds of the wanderers

Whether or not all cultural historians agree with the premise that Rom people came to Europe originally from India, or whether or not the portrayals of Rom musicians in the film are always *accurate* or *authentic* ones (some have indicated they're not, or are too heavily draped in over-stylized Exotica), there is surely no denying that the film is a treasure trove of fantastic musical performances. You've probably guessed by now that we're talking about Latcho Drom, which you can see it in its entirety here.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 15, 2013 - 36 comments

"There were some good looking chickens there, Jack."

"Midnight Run" celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, so its prime time to take a look at what may be the pinnacle of the Action-Comedy genre. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 8, 2013 - 34 comments

YOUR MAGAZINE ON THE SCREEN

How Are Animated Cartoons Made? A 1919 silent film explains! (9:53)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 5, 2013 - 5 comments

Hey, let's go see that movie soon as we get off the plane!

Swinging Sixties Film Posters from Japan - Bootleg Film Posters from Ghana - Retro Film Posters from Thailand
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 2, 2013 - 8 comments

Don't Look Down

Why Gravity Director Alfonso Cuarón Will Never Make a Space Movie Again
posted by Artw on Oct 2, 2013 - 164 comments

Also Johnny Castle. And Those Pants

Dirty Dancing is A SUBVERSIVE MASTERPIECE and here are four reasons why. "While I loved it as a mushy romance starring a relatable heroine and a dreamy guy, a huge portion of the plot flew right over my tiny unworldly preteen head. But it was only as an adult that I realized how RADICALLY subversive and politically bananas this movie really is." [more inside]
posted by juliplease on Sep 24, 2013 - 61 comments

The X-Shaped Scar

On April 11, 1994, a red-headed wandering swordsman appeared on the pages of the Weekly Shōnen Jump. It was ten years after the end of the Boshin War, and Himura Kenshin no longer answered to the assassin's name Hitokiri Battosai. At his side, he wielded a sakabato, a katana with the cutting edge along the inside of the blade, in his heart an oath to never kill again, and on his cheek, two intersecting scars that formed an "X." In the the years that followed, Nobuhiro Watsuki's creation, Rurouni Kenshin, jumped from the pages of the weekly magazine onto television screens and finally into theater screens as a live action movie. [more inside]
posted by Atreides on Sep 24, 2013 - 22 comments

Samuel R. Delany's "The Orchid"

Samuel R. Delany's 1971 film The Orchid is on YouTube. According to K. Leslie Steiner (aka Samuel R. Delany), when it "Primiered [sic] at the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago that September (Delany himself was not present), it caused a riot. Outraged fans tried to shout the film off and even pulled down the screen." Sci-fi writer Scott Edelman explains why: "Imagine that you're 16 and collapsed in the film room of an early '70s Phil Seuling Comic-Con, dazed from a day storming the dealers room and attending panels. You're with your friends enjoying Star Trek bloopers and installments of old Captain Marvel serials and maybe even Bambi Meets Godzilla ... when all of a sudden you're staring up at Bernie Wrightson's junk!" And he explains how you can get a much better copy of the film, along with a doc about Delany.
posted by goatdog on Sep 19, 2013 - 44 comments

And this is why we torrent

Disney has announced plans to rerelease The Little Mermaid to theaters on September 20. However, the rereleased film has been synced with an iPad app that gives users the ability to play games, sing-a-long to the movie and interact with the characters. While in the movie theatre.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 11, 2013 - 106 comments

60 years in 5 minutes

"And then one day you find ten years have got behind you..." It's a long slow five minutes, and you don't even know it's happening, but it is. Slowly but surely, the inevitable march of aging happens before your very eyes. Don't skip ahead, just let it unfold.
posted by symbioid on Sep 10, 2013 - 57 comments

Good Job, Bub!

Vice has posted the entirety of Lil' Bub and Friendz, a movie about Lil' Bub and the culture and business of online celebrity cats and memes.
posted by Pope Guilty on Sep 7, 2013 - 33 comments

We Don't Joke About Such Things Here

The 1991 CBs made-for-TV movie adaptation of Shadow Of A Doubt and the 1943 Alfred Hitchcock version are based on the same source material and contain many of the same lines, beats, and scenes. So why is one considered a classic film noir and the other a flop? The Dissolve puts the two movies next to each other and tries to find out.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 29, 2013 - 15 comments

A Handsome Movie About Men In Hats

Miller's Crossing, 20 Years Later Photographing (and finding) the exact filming locations for the Coen Brothers' New Orleans classic and comparing them to present day. [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 27, 2013 - 54 comments

YouTube Hall of Drunk

Grantland writers put in their two cents on the all-time great drinking scenes in TV and movies (Available on Youtube Edition). [more inside]
posted by dry white toast on Aug 21, 2013 - 51 comments

"I coulda played a great street urchin or ragamuffin. Or just been one."

Let's Go Apartment Hunting With 'Orange Is The New Black' Star Natasha Lyonne
posted by The Whelk on Aug 5, 2013 - 53 comments

The Daily .WAV -- drowning officemates with soundclips since 1999

The Daily .WAV has been online for at least fifteen years, bringing you fresh soundclips every day! Search the vast library to your heart's content.
posted by not_on_display on Aug 2, 2013 - 11 comments

To me, my X-Men!

The 50 greatest X-Men stories of all time, as picked by CBR readers. Direct links to the Top 10: 10-7, 6-4, 3-1. Fans of number 2 on the list may be excited to see what Trask Industries is up to. Bonus Link: Chris Claremont critiques The Wolverine.
posted by Artw on Aug 1, 2013 - 89 comments

They are called RANDOM patrols for a reason!

That's not a plot hole. Allow me to explain. Scott Nye discusses a movie trend that, once seen, cannot be unseen.
posted by The Deej on Jul 26, 2013 - 263 comments

The Constant Traveler

In the same way that the detective movie is a fantasy about city life, the spy movie is a fantasy about tourism.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jul 22, 2013 - 39 comments

Dear Mr. Watterson

Joel Schroeder, with the help of Kickstarter, has finally finished a documentary about Calvin and Hobbes and its creator, Bill Watterson. It's scheduled to be released on Nov. 15, 2013.
posted by reenum on Jul 16, 2013 - 36 comments

The jury's in... and they can't deny that view, either.

A month after its release, Naughty Dog's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us is being hailed as one of the best games of all time, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics. Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps fungus (previously), leaving behind lush wastelands of elegant decay teeming with monsters and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies. Into this bleak vision of desperate violence journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future. Boasting tense, immersive gameplay, compelling performances from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men to Cormac McCarthy's The Road, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite and Half-Life 2 as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages. And don't miss the 84-minute documentary exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 14, 2013 - 81 comments

John Hodgman On Full Metal Jacket

"But The Shining speaks to what makes Kubrick such an interesting and, for a lot of people, troublesome filmmaker, because he does not give you what you want. At all. He does not give you a Vietnam movie set in the jungle, and he does not give you a horror movie that is just like Stephen King’s The Shining. He doesn’t even give you scares for a long time, [just] ominous foreboding. And it takes people a while to figure out, “Oh, maybe I don’t know what I want. Maybe this is better.” - Mefi's Own Jon Hodgman talks about Full Metal Jacket with Scott Tobias for "The Last Great Movie I Saw."
posted by The Whelk on Jul 12, 2013 - 75 comments

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