In their 25 year career San Fransisco-based Kronos Quartet might be most famous for creating the go-to dramatic movie trailer music but they've recently courted controversy with their latest album, 9/11, with Steve Reich (NPR First Listen). The album is another in a long line of collaborations with composers such as Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, and Pēteris Vasks. And like any good instrumental ensemble, they've covered Hendrix, Sigur Ros, and Tom Waits. Oh, and they've been on Sesame Street. [more inside]
Cinevault has over 1000 full length streamable movies, most from the golden age of Hollywood.
1973's Messiah of Evil (aka Dead People, aka Revenge of the Screaming Dead) (trailer) is arguably the greatest Lovecraftian arthouse zombie movie ever to be written and directed by Oscar-nominee friends of George Lucas. [more inside]
"In other words, Judah Maccabee, his father, and his brothers, are like the heroes of every Mel Gibson movie."
Mel Gibson and Joe Eszterhas have announced their latest, Warner Bros.-backed epic: a film about 'legendary Jewish warrior' Judah Maccabee. American Jewish leaders are plotzing. Rumors about a Maccabee movie were raised in 2004, but nothing ever came of them. Back then, at Christopher Hitchens' direction, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic met with Gibson to (sorta, but not really) talk him out of it. [more inside]
From the Salon review: "There [is] all kinds of pop culture iconography floating around in Walter Hill's "Streets of Fire": rock stars; outlaw biker gangs; neon marquees; Dick Tracy-style police cars; diners that serve up coffee in Syracuse china; silent, tough-guy heroes; bars that are rowdy dives and bars meant for quiet, solitary drinking; leather; a battered wallet photo of someone's sweetheart; lovers' reunions; lovers' breakups; dusters; convertibles; pompadours; guns. "Streets of Fire" is nothing but iconography, an attempt to boil down 30 years of pop to its familiar essence and then contain the whole thing in a comic-strip B movie... If chrome could bleed, it would look like the colors that run together in the streets of this movie." [more inside]
blind is a short film (5:17 - in Japanese w/ English subtitles) set in post-nuclear Tokyo. The film may be viewed at the blind website, at Vimeo or at YouTube. Parents please be advised: although the film features a young child, viewing by young children is not especially recommended, as they may be frightened.
MST3kdbx: Six Degrees of Peter Graves. Did you know Coleen Gray was in The Leech Woman and The Phantom Planet? Like the IMDB obsessive cinephile friend you never friend MST3Kdbx indexes and connects together every actor in every movie shown on Mystery Science Theater 3000 [via mefi projects]
What's it like to have your film flop at the box office? "When you work "above the line" on a movie (writer, director, actor, producer, etc.) watching it flop at the box office is devastating. I had such an experience during the opening weekend of Conan the Barbarian 3D."
Chaos Cinema (Part 1, Part 2). The decline of extreme action in movies and the rise of overindulgent chaos. [more inside]
Though it is by far Peter Greenaway’s most well known film and, for all of the visceral and intellectual challenges it proposes, probably his most approachable, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover remains a difficult film to apprehend. (the beginning and the end, both NSFW)
Was Child's Infected? (Part1) (Part 2) An in depth analysis of John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing, focusing on the alien assimilation timeline, and, perhaps more intriguingly, an ending that may be less ambiguous than you would initially believe.
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow bears witness to German artist Anselm Kiefer’s alchemical creative processes and renders as a film journey the personal universe he has built at his hill studio estate in the South of France. [more inside]
Fan art, bootleg or both? Fan art, bootleg or both? Tom Papalardo sounds off on the ubiquitous "Minimalist Revisionist Poster" trend [more inside]
Stephen Strange was an arrogant doctor, until a car accident damaged his hands, leading him try every cure possible. Eventually he made his way to the East, where the story progressed, and now he's Doctor Strange, master of magic! His thrilling tale is set to be the first Marvel superhero movie since Marvel was purchased by Disney. But there has been much history behind the latest movie, including a period when Guillermo del Toro was involved and wanted to include Neil Gaiman, a draft script by Alex Cox (1990, 5.1 mb PDF; review), and a draft script by Bob Gale (January 21, 1986, 3.5 mb PDF; review). Along with these incomplete attempts, there was the 1978 Dr. Strange TV movie, which you can watch online (full movie with Portuguese subtitles, or YT playlist). If you'd like another take, head to 1992 for the direct-to-video movie Doctor Mordrid. Depending on who you ask, it's a more or less entertaining/accurate take (warning: spoilers) on Dr Strange. Modrid is also online.
Mr Whaite designs animated neon movie signs for classic films such as The Shining, Jaws, and Beetlejuice. [more inside]
The Saddest Movie in the World (starring Ricky Schroeder) has been used to make people cry in scientific studies, as we recently discussed, and the runner-up sad movie starred a famous animated deer. The scientific list of saddest (and most amusing, and scariest, and most disgusting) is now 16 years old, so Slate wants to update it. Their current suggestions to make people cry are these scenes from Finding Nemo, Dancer in the Dark, and Mystic River, but they are looking for others. Perhaps from the AV Club's films too disturbing to watch twice? [Warning: sad scenes are sad, gross scenes gross, scary scenes scary, and the funny one amusingish]
Mortys. (Vimeo) A short, animated film in French with English subtitles. Also on YouTube and DailyMotion [more inside]
How do you make someone cry for science? A Smithsonian magazine talks about a 2-minute 45-second clip from The Champ, starring a young Rick(y) Schroeder. [more inside]
The Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain has a tradition of airing humorous celebrity "PSA" bumpers urging theatergoers not to talk during the movie. Will Ferrell. George A. Romero. Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. Danny DeVito. R. Lee Ermey. Governor Ann Richards. Recently, Drafthouse owner Tim League sat down for an interview with The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg and attempted to get him to record a "Don't Talk" PSA. It did not go as planned. (Previously.)
One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads, including David Byrne and Tina Weymouth. Later, Byrne passed Tobolowsky on his bike and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head. The song was heard by Thom Yorke and became the name of his band. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence. [more inside]
Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death. Elizabeth Stevens asks:
What if, in 1990, instead of recasting Kermit—something that had been done to Mickey and Bugs Bunny before him—the Muppets had continued on Kermit-less, as "The Simpsons" did after Phil Hartman died. Recall Susan’s words on "Seasame Street" about Mr. Hooper in 1982: “Big Bird, when people die, they don’t come back.” Let’s say Robin showed up saying his uncle Kermit had passed away? Or, if that was too dark for Disney, what if Kermit had left show business to go off to start a family with Piggy? Someone else could lead the gang of weirdoes..
It would’ve made more artistic sense than what happened
Monster Shack is a b-movie review site that also contains an extensive collection of classic movie posters, old news reel reviews and an Atari shrine.
SI has written an oral history about the making of the movie "Major League". Charlie Sheen was also interviewed for this piece.
The Soundworks Collection gives a behind-the-scenes look into the work of talented sound teams working on feature films, soundtrack scoring, and video games with a compilation of exclusive interviews, awards shows / event panel coverage and sound stage / studio room videos. Vimeo Channel. YouTube Channel. [more inside]
The B-Master Cabal is a site that aggregates some of the best bad movie review sites on the web and puts together for themed movie roundtables. Most of the sites focus not only on mocking bad films but also praising obscure horror, fantasy, action and science-fiction. B-Masters Roll-Call! Teleport City covers everything from Turkish spy movies to kung-fu rarities to Japanese whiskey. 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting has in-depth, critical reviews of classic horror and genre films. And You Call Yourself A Scientist! examines who movies handle from the perspective of a female scientist. Badmovies.org features a Marine dissecting crap film with copious quotes and clips. Jabootu.net posts excruciatingly long reviews of excruciating films, and is one of the few sites to cover contemporary trash like Gigli. The Unknown Movies Page unearths films too obscure even for the rest of the cabal. Cold Fusion Video, Stomp Tokyo, and Brain Eater round out the group
The Washington Post asks: Can Mutants And Humans Really Co-Exist? Metafilter's own Mightygodking responds.
Cinema chain posts audio of anonymous angry voicemail from customer who was kicked out for breaking one of their two golden rules. No talking. No using mobile phones. [via /film who also have an alternative embed of video] [more inside]
Robert Khoo, the business whiz who took a chance on the web comic Penny Arcade and turned it into a media empire for its creators, Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, has now extended his reach to Hollywood. Paramount has announced that its next animated film is in the works and will be based on Penny Arcade's single-page concept comic, "The New Kid."
For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence." For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con. For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them." For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension." For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it. For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists." It spent thirty years in development, three in editing and, yes, it contains dinosaurs. The Tree of Life, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick , won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States. [more inside]
He told me his gorilla suit had been taken by his landlady in Pensacola, Florida because he could not pay his back rent. She kept his trunk with all his possessions as well. So his movie days were over...A brief, thoughtful recollection of the last days of the elusive Emil Van Horn, who, with pioneers like Charles Gemora, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Steve Calvert, George Barrows, Janos Prohaska, and Bob Burns, established the golden age of Hollywood gorilla men.
"the oompa loompas did not have their blueberry driver's licenses... they were shorter than I was wide"
The Making of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Most quotes are from the "making of" documentary from 2001, now on YouTube in four pieces: 1, 2, 3, 4 (also see featurette). The cast reunited on Today show earlier this week. [via]
I don't know what you're referring to, but maybe if certain older, wiser people hadn't acted like such little babies, and gotten so mushy, then everything would be ok..
Alexander Payne's 1999's movie Election originally had a much more awkward and true to source material ending that was shot and then discarded after testing poorly. It remained a rumor until someone found a VHS copy at a Farmer's Market in Wilmington, DE for $5
Machete Maidens Unleashed! is a documentary about Filipino exploitation films of the 70s and 80s. It features interviews with Roger Corman, Joe Dante, John Landis, Sid Haig, Eddie Romero and is directed by Mark Hartley, who also directed the Ozploitation documentary Not Quite Hollywood. The film was started by Andrew Leavold and grew out of his as-yet-unfinished 'Search For Weng Weng', about the midget James Bond of the Philippines who starred in For Your Height Only and Impossible Kid (and inspired the Weng Weng Rap). You can follow Andrew's adventures through the world of Filipino filmmaking on his blog, Bamboo Gods and Bionic Boys. Several Filipino genre films are available online, including TNT Jackson (NSFW).
Finnish YouTube user Ishexan has uploaded seven English subtitled movies in parts: Broken Blossoms (1919), Aelita (1924), The Gipsy Charmer (1929), The Tragedy of Elina (1938), The Activists (1939), The Wooden Pauper's Bride (1944), and Sampo (1959), which is based on the epic poem The Kalevala. The films are mostly Finnish, though Aelita is a silent Russian sci-fi film, and Sampo was a joint Finnish and Soviet production. More film clips inside (mostly Finnish documentaries and "dorky musical numbers"). [more inside]
Have you ever gotten lost in the Myst-inspired architecture of Anthology Film Archives’ website, or struggled awkwardly with the Chinese puzzle box-construction of BAMcinematek’s calendars? Have you ever circled the block at Lincoln Plaza in search of the secret entrance to the fabled Walter Reade Theater? (Hint: look behind the waterfall.) Have you found yourself asking time and again, “What the fuck is Union Docs?”The brainchild of critic Paul Brunick, Alt Screen is a new site billed as "a comprehensive digital resource covering film exhibitions and related special events in the New York City area." The contributing editors include blogger Jim Emerson, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [previously] and Nathan Lee (apparently coming out of retirement).
Atlas Shrugged and so did I. PJ O'Rourke has seen Atlas Shrugged (the movie - part 1) and ... [more inside]
"Most actors will go their entire careers without doing a movie like Stand By Me, or working with a director like Rob Reiner. I got to do both when I was 12. For a long, long time, I felt like I needed to top or equal that, and it wasn’t until I was in my early 30s that I accepted that it’s unlikely to happen -- movies like Stand By Me come along once in a generation."The cast of Stand By Me(link has autoplaying sound,) recently recorded some interviews to promote the re-release of the movie on Blu-Ray. Wil Wheaton has blogged about reuniting with the cast and missing River Phoenix. (Via)
"My name is Blinky, and I just want to be your friend!" A well-crafted short film by Ruairi Robinson (slightly gory CGI ending may be NSFW).
Top Secret! is a 1984 film from the makers of Airplane!, parodying WWII spy movies and Elvis movies amongst other subjects. One of its more famous scenes took place in a Swedish bookstore (proprietor played by Peter "Grand Moff Tarkin" Cushing). The eerie nature of the scene comes from having been created to be watched backwards. Here is that scene, now reversed, as in played forward, and acted backward.