...more recent posts
Not too sure what to make of this, but BMW is now in the film business. Or at least on the edge of it that rubs up against the advertising business. John Frankenheimer leads off an impressive list of directors (also: Ang Lee, Wong Kar-Wai, Guy Ritchie, and Alejandro González Iñárritu) all producing 5 minute shorts to be shown on the BMWfilms site. The Frankenheimer is already there (in Quicktime, Real, and Windows Media formats.) And you guessed it, each piece features a BMW automobile. Is this the future of free content? High end commercials? And if it is - and keeping in mind the relative quality of television shows compared to television commercials - is this a bad thing?
Cinema of Transgression
"Where Evil Dwells' was about suburban life, kind of crashing in on itself. Ricky Casso was a high school kid. He grew up in the suburbs and he went to some extremes to get some attention. He talked a bunch of his friends into doing these rituals. They killed cats and dogs and shit like that. They tried to get into the satanic world because other kids would be scared of them, fear them, respect them. Ricky eventually killed Gary, who was a friend of his, supposedly because he stole angel dust. So then, Ricky said if he ever got caught,he would chase Gary's soul to hell and track him down. Which is what we did in 'Where Evil Dwells', after the other kid gets killed, he finds Gary and the devil and that's where the movie ends. He's happy; 'cause he like, got what he actually wanted."
- Tommy Turner
and the rest
Find Terry Southern.
The new issue of Cinefex (#85) is out. The feature article is on the making of Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Oddysey. Author (and Cinefex senior editor) Don Shay began the article 24 years ago by interviewing many of the film's technicians (some of whom are no longer living) but until now could never seem to get around to finishing it.
Loads of rare color stills and some even rarer production shots make this one of the most beautiful publications I have ever seen on the subject.
As the title implies, Cinefex is dedicated to the subject of special effects. These days of course it mostly focuses on digital effects. It's nice to see 42 pages of text and photo's devoted to the purely analogue mechanics of one of the greatest technical achievments in human history.
$9.50, find it at Barnes and Noble or any comic book shop.
filming for wasp 2001 in my office building this week. sightings thus far are tea leoni and george hamilton.
camera obscura rooms
I had not heard too much about the upcoming mega-movie AI (Kubricks last project, now taken over by Spielberg) until a few days ago. Now the hype machine is being severely cranked up, and it appears to be one of the more delicate, involved, and downright clever hype machines in movie history. This is making the Blair Witch stuff look positively old school.
Apparently, if you download the movie trailer, and watch it way too close, you might "notice the second frame of credits is 'Sentient Machine Therapist-Jeanine Salla'. Searching for this on google.com leads to a plethora of pages seemingly outlining some fictional murder mystery having to do with robots." Except all of these pages are part of the promo machine. Some seem like real corporate pages, some seem like very personal sites, some seem like, well... see for yourself (click on that google search and start digging.) It's a whole world. Very very nice.
For the very lazy, just go here, where Ain't It Cool News wrecks the fun by pointing you to the highlights.
Yesterday I killed 2 rats with one hawk: I saw the re-released Japanese animation classic Akira and my first DLP (digital widescreen) movie. Akira is playing at the AMC 25 on 42nd Street, which is a spectacle in itself if you haven't been. It's a five-story, high-tech, high-kitsch multiplex with stadium seating, perfect sound, and NO CUSTOMERS! It's like the home entertainment system from heaven--GO, before AMC declares bankruptcy and lets the whole thing get run down.
Anyway, about DLP: Everything is in sharp focus, the colors are bright and true, there are no hairs or specks, but there is a faint, evenly-distributed grain that runs through the entire image. After a half-hour or so you don't really notice it. No eye-strain, no headaches; like CDs, in some ways it's superior to analog and in some ways not. I'll have to see a non-animated movie before I completely judge the process.
And about the re-released Akira: WOW! I've seen it several times on murky VHS and wasn't prepared for the Blade Runner-like depth and complexity of the widescreen version. The movie's been cleaned up and digitally remastered and everything's bright and sharp. The scenes of Neo-Tokyo are incredibly densely-layered, and when Tetsuo turns into a giant, mutating, HP Lovecraft Mecha-blob at the end, you can see all the horrible, sublime stuff you only thought you were seeing on the video. The little snots at Time Out call the movie "incoherent," but I prefer the Voice's "hermetic." One goes to anime for gorgeous drawing, surreal imagination, and lightning-fast action, not Raymond Chandler-like plotting. Animes are always delphic, weaving together post-WWII nuclear terror, cyborg speculation, and weird meditations on childhood trauma. One thing I'd forgotten about Akira: the characters are naturalistic (i.e., Japanese-looking)--no Bambi-like, swimming-pool eyes. Don't get me wrong, I love the eyes and exaggerated coiffure, but it's interesting that Akira broke the mold back in '88 and '90s productions didn't follow suit.
The Harry Smith Archives site has a message board in case you want to ask him somthing.
'Blow,' 'Pokemon' Open
Johnny Depp plays a cocaine kingpin. And 100 new Pokemon make their big-screen debut.
--from Netscape News