Herschell Gordon Lewis is best known for being a legend of gory schlock horror, but his resume also included two children's films. Of the two, the 'best worst' is the earlier by one year: Jimmy the Boy Wonder, featuring a low-budget Land-of-Oz-with-the-numbers-filed-off, a bizarre villain named Mr. Fig and a lengthy sequence of poorly-dubbed possibly-European animation. The other, The Magic Land of Mother Goose (aka Santa Visits the Magic Land of Mother Goose - guess who never appears in the film?), was the result of Lewis being hired to shoot a vehicle for a magician entirely on a high school stage. Both films are available for purchase from Something Weird Video (parts of site NSFW) as downloads and DVD-Rs.
Richard Linklater's Boyhood casts the same group of actors to shoot a movie over a 12-year period (2002-2014) portraying the coming-of-age of Mason, played by Ellar Coltrane, who speaks about the experience here.
After much critical acclaim, the dramatic jury prize at Sundance, the Fipresci prize at Cannes, and a 'national critical response for the ages,' Louisiana-produced Beasts of the Southern Wild opened yesterday. [more inside]
The Eagleman Stag is the 2011 BAFTA award winning Royal College of Art thesis film of director/writer Mikey Please. It's mostly made out of some strange white stuff, found in the back of a stress cushion.
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing — foreign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
"... we are sweeping everything under the carpet, but the oddness is cropping up all over the place. And then, the carpet starts to move…". Michael Haneke, "le manipulateur" who introduced his latest film, Caché, at Cannes with a half-amused “I wish you a disturbing evening”, is the proponent of a "cinema of disturbance". A cinema of loving self-mutilation, where time is non-linear and everything happens in long take shots; in Haneke's world, guilt destroys lives decades after the original sin. All his male characters are "Georges" and his female characters are either "Evas" or "Annas", "because I lack fantasy". Unsurprisingly, he is a Bresson and Tarkovsky fan. He'll direct "Don Giovanni" at the Paris Opera in early 2006: "In 20 years of working in the theater, I only staged one comedy, and that was my single failure".
Just in time, you’ve found me just in time. Richard Linklater, like Wong Kar-wai, is a lyrical and elegiac filmmaker. In many of his films, as in many of Wong's (and as in Ming-liang Tsai's What Time Is It There?), the subject is time -- the romance and poetry of moments ticking by, the wonder and anguish of living through and then remembering an hour or a day. In 1995 Linklater made Before Sunrise, the story of the chance encounter of two strangers (an American young man and a French young woman) on a European train and their sleepless night in Vienna. Now ten years have passed, and they meet again in Paris: they -- and the audience -- only have 80 minutes to make up for the time they lost, Before Sunset. Linklater's new film, shot in uncut Steadycam takes (the longest clocks in at 11 minutes), in a sense is about how we create selves just by talking. But it’s also about how we become prisoners of time. Towards the end of the movie, Celine, sitting in the backseat of a car with Jesse, starts to caress his head while he isn't looking, then suddenly pulls back, and that simple curtailed gesture carries in it a sense of tragedy, the consequence of the weight of time... (more inside, with Nina Simone)