Virtual Reality is the supposed next evolutionary step in filmmaking, so say the technocratic elite and sales teams from major manufacturers. I have always been personally hesitant to parrot such claims until a piece of content comes along which justifies such an epochal decree.
Matt Krol and I decided to take an interdimensional trip to the negative zone and check out Fantastic Four. True enough, we were both pretty negative about the film, but I still contend that its a film worth watching if only as a cautionary tale against film making by committee.
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After forcing Matt to check out “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence”, he returns the favor by making me check out the “Entourage” movie – take a listen and email us at email@example.com to win free AMC tickets!
Matthew Krol and I looked at every movie coming out this week and died a little inside. So instead of venturing to the multiplex to see The Rock save California or Bradley Cooper save Hawaii we decided to stay home and watch KUNG FURY on YouTube.
Check out our thoughts on short films, viral hits and yes… The Avengers…
Also, watch Kung Fury online now for free!
Apologies to David Sandberg for botching his name several times!
Its been many years since I last saw Four Weddings and a Funeral, but a dubbed VHS was on high rotation growing up. Rewatching the film tonight, it occurred to me how much of my own short “La Loteria” borrows from Mike Newell’s film.
Though it was seemingly part of a new age of romantic comedy (with frank self aware discussions of sex and sexuality) it’s easy to forget that the film was released in 1994, some twenty years before legislation recognized same sex marriage in the UK. Let that number sink in again… twenty years.
There’s something in the air, perhaps the lingering smell of a freshly lit joint or the rank stench of unwashed feet. Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, adapted from Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same time certainly revels in the distinct period design of late 1960’s California, specifically hippy central Gordita beach where stoner detective “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) lounges around in the back of a dentist’s office huffing nitrous while waiting for clients who need his special kind of investigative services.
It’s Oscar time again and there’s plenty of discussion going around about which film is the most ‘deserving’ and which got snubbed. In amongst all that noise is the celebratory comeback of Michael Keaton in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, a film that’s bound to be heaped with Oscar praise as we get closer to February 22nd.
I am obsessed with Welles and his work. As Welles himself comments here, an Italian waiter once asked him “Did you ever make a picture after Citizen Kane”. Here’s the irony about Welles’ work; not only did he make thirteen more films as well as several shorts, TV movies and unfinished pieces, many of them were just as masterful as Kane.
My personal favorite, “F For Fake”, a true work of genius which is both revelatory and painful reminder of the Welles that could have been had the business of filmmaking been able to keep up with him.
I’ve always maintained that I probably have the taste palate of a five year old. I don’t like coffee or alcohol or anything particularly subtle in flavor. However I do enjoy fine dining and all the hoopla around going to a fancy restaurant (and New York has an abundance of these). But truth be told the most memorable meals I’ve ever had tended to be very basic.
That’s why I love this short New York times video, directed by Spellbound’s Jeffery Blitz. NYT invited seven second graders from Brooklyn’s P.S. 295 to the Upper East Side’s Daniel, to try a tasting menu which normally runs at around $220 (without a wine pairing).
I’ve been digging Childish Gambino’s “Because of the Internet” for a while now. Standout tracks are Sweatpants, 3005, Worldstar, Crawl, The Worst Guys and Telegraph Ave. He dropped the video for Telegraph Ave this morning, and it is not what you think it’d be at all. Gambino and director Hiro Murai have been putting out some of the strangest hip hop videos for a while now. It’s not for everyone’s taste, but I like the off-kilter humor and dark overtones.
I just watched Post Tanenbras Lux, Carlos Reygadas follow up to his 2007 film Silent Light. While I’m not quite sure what to make of his latest effort, Silent Light made a much deeper impression largely because of this masterful opening shot. Yes, it is simply the sun rising over the plains of Northern Mexico, but the co-ordination of movement, exposure and light is breathtaking.
Living in New York, I often feel like I don’t take advantage of the amazing events held in the city. There’s a spoil of rich cultural happenings at every moment, most of which I have to skip because of work commitments. Last night however, was an event I simply couldn’t miss: A screening of There Will Be Blood with a live orchestral accompaniment conducted by composer (and Radiohead member) Jonny Greenwood.
Wow. Just staggering work here. Executive produced by Tom Lowe (TimeScapes), this pushes the “timelapse film” in a really interesting direction, especially the notion of recontextualising news into art via timelapse.
I was at a documentary discussion where someone mentioned “Darwin’s Nightmare” as an influence. I hadn’t thought about Hubert Sauper’s film in a long time, but back when I was a contributor to the Lumiere Reader I had the fortunate privilege of reviewing this astonishing film. I decided to drag it out of the archives:
Connecting the everyday to the celestial, this opening sequence from Cosmos by BBDG perfectly highlights everything that’s great about the new Seth Macfarlane produced update to Carl Sagan’s 1980 series. The show passionately encourages us to be curious about our world and the surrounding universe. Shot by The Matrix’s DP Bill Pope, everything about Cosmos seems to suggest this was a passion project for all involved, and the results are staggering.
I’ve been following Division 05’s tutorials with a lot of interest recently. The best thing about his work is that he’s taking a much more software agnostic approach to motion and design, discussing intention and outcomes rather than technique and details. The results are unlike anything out on the web right now, closer akin to the loftier subjects I took at university like “Editing for Meaning”.
I walked into Roy Andersson’s “Songs from the Second Floor” completely blind, without reading a synopsis or seeing an image, and today it still remains as one of my favorite cinema experiences. Andersson’s comic use of deep focus and deadpan humor still makes me giggle. His latest film, the absurdly titled “A Pigeon Sat on a bench reflecting on existence” is the final chapter in his “abstraction” trilogy which began with “Songs” and was followed by “You, the living”. Each chapter has poked fun at our flabby often times frivolous existence, but not without a good dose of oddball comedy (“Songs” featured maybe one of the best failed magic tricks ever filmed).
Andersson won the Golden Lion at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, which will hopefully ensure the film has a theatrical release in the US.
A horse is a horse of course… of course? In the twenty years since BoJack Horseman’s series “Horsin’ Around” got cancelled, Bojack’s been wandering the hills of Hollywood with the scent of his extinguished fame still lingering in the air.
In the spirit of Chris Marker’s borrowing of Sei Shōnagon’s quote “a list of things that quicken the heart”, I’m going to post random lists of scenes, moments, quotes which likewise, quicken my heart.
First up, Luisa’s final scene from Y Tu Mamá También, a perfect culmination of everything we’ve seen of her, minus that one piece of information which we’ll soon learn motivated her entire journey. It’s a beautiful piece of writing.
“Here was a torture that Greek inventors of the Feast and the Stone had omitted from their Hades: the Blanket of Self-Deception. A lovely warm blanket as far as it covered the soul in torment, but it never quite covered everything.”