Film Essent Archive for January, 2010

Best. Comic. Ever.

Someone posted this to Facebook, and it totally made my day. Maybe even my month.
Ethan Nicolle, a comic/graphic artist, had the idea to collaborate on a comic with his five-year-old brother Malachai after a holiday family visit culminated in the two of them playing a story/game Malachai came up with about Axe Cop and Flute Cop. Ethan was so entranced with Malachai’s storytelling that he worked with him to develop the first four episodes of Axe Cop and put them online, and they are freaking brilliant.
Go check out Axe Man for yourself. You won’t be sorry, I promise. Seriously, how often do I send you anywhere?
Quick, someone option this before Uwe Boll gets the idea to do something with it! Axe Man. Love it.
Update: I read Axe Man to Luka, my six-year-old, and he totally dug it. Luka makes his own comics, most of them about Luka-the-Box, and he sells them (mostly to me) for $2 a pop. He’s clever already, that one. Neve (almost 13), who is really into comic and manga, is now pondering a collaborative effort with her brother, thanks to Axe Man.
So Luka wanted to send an email to Axe Man to say how much he likes it. I helped him send the email, and Ethan responded immediately. Which proves that either (1) Ethan is a very cool guy, or (2) that Ethan, like me and so many of my friends, spends way too much time on the computer and his therefore checking his email constantly, or (3) both. Anyhow, it was very cool of him to respond to Luka so quickly and to be encouraging of Luka’s own ambitions as a comic writer/artist.
Luka also wants to be a pizza man and a mountain climber, dual ambitions that he decided to combine into being a pizza man who delivers pizzas to people who live on top of mountains. I guess he’ll have to squeeze “comic book artist” in there somewhere. He makes movies too (and for the record, many of his movies are better than some of the dreck I’ve sat through at Sundance).

Update on Darius Goes West

If you’ve read me for very long, you are probably aware that I am a huge fan of the documentary Darius Goes West. If you’re not familiar with this film, it’s about a group of 20-something guys who take their friend Darius, who’s confined to a wheelchair by a devastating form of muscular dystrophy that has already taken his brother’s life and will, eventually, take his, on a cross-country journey. The film charts the friends’ journey as they take Darius on his first ever trip away from his hometown in a rented RV on a quest to make it to Los Angeles to try to persuade the folks at MTV to pimp Darius’s “ride” — a crappy wheelchair that’s falling apart.
Darius Goes West isn’t just a great movie because it’s about a kid with a disease, though; it’s a great movie because it tells a great story, and the story is about the friendship between Darius and these young men, and how that friendship lifts him up and makes something that would have been impossible for him, possible. There are many scenes in this film that are heartwarming, but my favorite by far is the first time Darius goes in the ocean. Suddenly, with his friends supporting him and keeping his head above water, Darius is free of the gravity that binds him. There is a joy on his face — and on the faces of all his friends — as he laughs out loud with a child’s delight.
Now Darius and the team behind DGW are on another journey, this time to raise money for research for Darius’s disease, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, in the Chase Community Giving Challenge. Out of 500,000 causes, the DGW team made it to the second and final round. Moreover, the Ginder family has agreed to match every vote cast for DGW in the Chase Community Giving Challenge with a $1 donation to muscular dystrophy research.
If you haven’t seen Darius Goes West, you can watch the entire film for free right here (and if you like it, buy the DVD, eh?) and while you’re there, you can cast your vote for this most worthy of causes. So go on, head on over there … what’re you waiting for? The DGW team needs YOUR vote to win.

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“With any character, the way I think about it is, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience… I thought it was one of the foundations of the role for John Wick. I love his grief. For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
~ Keanu Reeves

“I was checking through stuff the other day for technical reasons. I came across The Duellists on Netflix and I was absolutely stunned to see that it was exquisitely graded. So, while I rarely look up my old stuff, I stopped to give it ten minutes. Bugger me, I was there for two hours. I was really fucking pleased with what it was and how the engine still worked within the equation and that engine was the insanity and stupidity of war. War between two men, in that case, who fight on thought they both eventually can’t remember the reason why. It was great, yeah. The great thing about these platforms now is that, one way or another, they’ll seek out and then put out the best possible form and the long form. Frequently, films get cut down because of that curse in which the studio felt or feels that they have to preview. And there’s nothing worse than a preview to diminish the original intent.Oh, yeah, how about every fucking time? And I’ve stewed about films later even more because when you tell the same joke 20 times the joke’s no longer funny. When you tell a bad joke once or twice? It’s fine. But come on, now. Here’s the key on the way I feel when I approach the movie: I try to keep myself as withdrawn from the project as possible once I’ve filmed it. And – this is all key on this – then getting a really excellent editor so I never have to sit in on editing. What happens if you sit in is you become stale and every passage or joke, metaphorically speaking, gets more and more tired. You start cutting it all back because of fatigue. So what you have to do is keep your distance and therefore, in a funny kind of way, you, as the director, should be the preview and that’s it.”
~ Sir Ridley Scott