Wednesday, June 25, 2008
How do you describe what makes a film a cult classic? It's not like there's a tried-and-true formula to achieving such a goal (many films have tried, only to fall by the wayside). Some would say that there's at least one rabid devotee for every film that gets made (which is possible, but at least in the case of Alexander & Karaszewski's Screwed, unlikely), but even that can't account for the widespread enshrinement that this no-budget Italian-American oddity has wrought over the past couple of years.
Thankfully, the Alamo Drafthouse's superawesome Rolling Roadshow has decided to swoop in with a thoroughness that makes the trash film lover in me swoon as if stricken with the vapors. It's happening this weekend, and I can't imagine a more action-packed place to be for fans of films that go splat in the night.
You've got an insane amount of the cast and creative team (including Director Fragasso), five rare screenings, and the kind of activities (a Molotov Cocktail toss? For real?) that no rational human being could soon forget. Plus, a trip to Utah! If the Belcourt's midnight programming continues to grow and expand, perhaps someday you'll see something like The Nilbog Invasion as part of our community outreach.
Just picture it: Michael Mann's The Keep in the Carpathian Alps (or better yet, deep down in the rock quarry in Box, England where they shot all the weirdness). Slava Tsukerman's Liquid Sky on the roof of a New York building. Or maybe Evil Dead in the middle of the Tennessee woods?
TROLL 2? You're soaking in it...
I'm happy to see reference to Cronenberg, Maddin, and Egoyan, and author Geoff Pevere opens up the debate further by getting into areas of distinctly Canadian character. But more time gets spent on current controversy magnet Young People F---ing than the upsetting C-10 funding bill (which could seriously suck all the twisted, provocative exploration from Canuck cinema). Personally, I'm shocked that any serious exploration of the nasty (north of the 49th parallel) doesn't mention the most pragmatic and entertaining sexual theorist and therapist working today, Canada's own pride and joy, Sue Johansen.
So let's have at it, Nastyville... What are your thoughts on Canadian cinema sex and the role of arts funding in the process of laying bare taboos?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
"The movie opening-credit sequence has become a lost art; so many movies today, especially action blockbusters, are content to plunge directly into the action and wait until the end to show you who made the film. Now, Screengrab has compiled a list, complete with YouTube clips, of the 12 best opening-credit sequences ever. It's a good selection of these mini-movies that expertly sets the tone for the feature that follows. A lot of credit buffs' favorites are here, including the ones for Scorsese's Raging Bull, Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, and David Fincher's Seven and Panic Room. Of course, you can't talk about film credits without mentioning the genre's master, Saul Bass, who revolutionized the opening credit sequence in the 1950s with his jazzy, fragmented-animation segments for such movies as The Man With the Golden Arm and Anatomy of a Murder. (Which gives me an excuse to embed this clip, which has been making the rounds this week, of what the Star Wars credits would have looked like had Bass designed them.)"
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Click here to hear.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Reports are trickling out the the legendary creature effects creator Stan Winston has passed away. Stan had his hand in creating some of the most memorable creatures, legends and effects of the current modern era of film. Stan's work added to the pantheon of legendary film creatures like the classic Universal Monsters and the legendary creatures of Ray Harryhausen, one of Stan's personal idols. Winston won the Oscar four times for his work on Aliens, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park, and AI and most recently worked on the brilliant visual effects in Iron Man creating the practical Iron Man suits. Winston was easily one of the greatest special effects and make-up visionaries to ever work in Hollywood and has created some of the most memorable special effects in cinematic history. This is truly a great loss and an incredibly sad day for Hollywood.
In addition to the four films that he won Oscars for, Winston worked on The Thing, Predator, Edward Scissorhands, The Monster Squad, Congo, Galaxy Quest, Big Fish, The Wiz, Constantine and lots more. You can see much of his fantastic work over at his studio's official website: StanWinstonStudio.com.
His legend, vision and attention to detail will be greatly missed.Ain't It Cool News has posted several tributes to Stan from James Cameron, Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, Frank Darabont and Joe Dante.
Friday, June 13, 2008
New this week - from the magical land of Vermont - MAGIC HAT #9
From Magic Hat Brewery - "Not Quite Pale Ale - A beer cloaked in secrecy. An ale whose mysterious and unusual palate will swirl across your tongue and ask more questions than it answers. A sort of dry, crisp, fruity, refreshing, not-quite pale ale. #9 is really impossible to describe because there's never been anything else quite like it. Our secret ingredient introduces a most unusual aroma which is balanced with residual sweetness."
ABV: 4.0 Gravity 1.047 Bitterness 18 SRM 9.5 YEAST: English Ale HOPS: Cascade, Columbus MALTS: Pale, Crystal
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Back in December 2006, about 100 people took a big chance on a film that we never thought we’d get the chance to show, and it wasn't until 26 reels arrived at our doorstep that the realization fully hit. Something of a holy grail for cinephiles, up there with Jacques Rivette’s OUT 1, Fassbinder’s BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ, Godard’s HISTOIRE(S) DU CINEMA by virtue of mammoth length, accomplishment and audience endurance, a rare screening of Hungarian director Bela Tarr’s SATANTANGO is something that we luckily found would even attract people from other southeastern cities willing to make the drive for a 7.5-hour slice of miserablism laid out in long, long takes. If you, the reader, were among the brave, feel free to chime in here, but I think it’s fair to say that most people found it a truly rewarding experience – one that would stay with them for some time to come.
That said, the reason for this post is that it seems that Facets is finally releasing the film on DVD on July 22 after two years of threatening to do so. I write this with baited breath, as the release date has probably been announced and cancelled more times than I can count on one hand, but Facets has recently added details regarding extras with their most recent date, which is encouraging.
For shucks and giggles and to fly in the face of previously stated viewing preferences, here’s one of the extras, PROLOGUE for the omnibus VISIONS OF EUROPE, in its entirety:
As is not necessarily evident in YouTube clips, Bela Tarr’s use of the elongated shot naturally brings the viewer to contemplate and appreciate even the smallest details of the frame. Even on the best of televisions, such things can be lost or, at very least muddied in the inherent compression of the DVD format. In addition, Facets has a history of releasing dodgy product, though it is said that the reason for the delay has been that the director has rejected previous transfers submitted to them by Facets. Having experienced the real deal myself, I'm somewhat exempt from the argument, but let us hope that this is the case. But is this the final resting place of this film, a film which for 14 years has managed to stay, at least in the
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
(very light spoiler ahead if you haven’t seen CRYSTAL SKULL)
The clear link is the shared subplot of the myth of
Also recurring are similar locations, or fake locations in the case of the CRYSTAL SKULL: Following the mummy scene, the journey diverts via plane to
One can argue that the creative team behind this edition of Indy had Herzog on the brain when plotting the details of CRYSTAL SKULL, and so it seems do others in Hollywood if we’re to believe that Werner Herzog is remaking Abel Ferrara’ BAD LIEUTENANT with Nicolas Cage. Say it ain’t so. Abel Ferrara does.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Here's a pic from the night, plus a picture of the boys as kids, a pic of me and Eric, the Raiders guys with Spielberg and the letter Spielberg wrote them after he saw a bootleg VHS copy of the film : O