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"you froggin ashmole..."
-- words used to hide expletives in the tv rebroadcast of Theres Something About Mary
- dave 5-19-2001 3:17 am [link] [add a comment]

The LA Times and NY Times recently published articles on synthespians (all-digital actors); although both would be described as "think pieces," their main purpose seems to be hyping two upcoming movies: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and Simone. (By posting and mentioning those titles, I'm playing my part in the spin-cycle. Where do I pick up my check?) The LA Times piece is better, because it's more of a straight trade-mag account of the new processes and film industry responses to them. (I love that the article mentions Tron, even though I disagree that it "set back computer animation by a decade": its retro-futurist approach looks better than a lot of what's being produced now!) The NY Times piece, "Perfect Model: Gorgeous, No Complaints, Made of Pixels" by Ruth La Ferla, is more annoying, because it's hype disguised as criticism: lots of mock-profound gushing from people in the synthetic human biz, with the obligatory quote from a culture-studies prof. One concept mentioned in the LAT article is "the uncanny valley," a principle of robotics that says the more an android resembles a human, the more we focus on the minute differences between us and it. This makes sense, and would seem neatly to demolish the NYT's pitch about virtual models and actresses.
- Tom Moody 5-09-2001 4:24 pm [link] [3 refs] [2 comments]

vanishing point

- bill 5-02-2001 12:11 am [link] [1 comment]

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?
- jim 4-29-2001 4:30 pm [link] [2 comments]

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

- bill 4-28-2001 7:38 pm [link] [add a comment]