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).

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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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“I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how many recappers, while clearly over their heads, are baseline sympathetic to finding themselves routinely unmoored, even if that means repeating over and over that this is closer to “avant-garde art” than  normal TV to meet the word count. My feed was busy connecting the dots to Peter Tscherkassky (gas station), Tony Conrad (the giant staring at feedback of what we’ve just seen), Pat O’Neill (bombs away) et al., and this is all apposite — visual and conceptual thinking along possibly inadvertent parallel lines. If recappers can’t find those exact reference points to latch onto, that speaks less to willful ignorance than to how unfortunately severed experimental film is from nearly all mainstream discussions of film because it’s generally hard to see outside of privileged contexts (fests, academia, the secret knowledge of a self-preserving circle working with a very finite set of resources and publicity access to the larger world); resources/capital/access/etc. So I won’t assign demerits for willful incuriosity, even if some recappers are reduced, in some unpleasantly condescending/bluffing cases, to dismissing this as a “student film” — because presumably experimentation is something the seasoned artist gets out of their system in maturity, following the George Lucas Model of graduating from Bruce Conner visuals to Lawrence Kasdan’s screenwriting.”
~ Vadim Rizov Goes For It, A Bit

“On the first ‘Twin Peaks,’ doing TV was like going from a mansion to a hut. But the arthouses are gone now, so cable television is a godsend — they’re the new art houses. You’ve got tons of freedom to do the work you want to do on TV, but there is a restriction in terms of picture and sound. The range of television is restricted. It’s hard for the power and the glory to come through. In other words, you can have things in a theater much louder and also much quieter. With TV, the quieter things have to be louder and the louder things have to be quieter, so you have less dynamics. The picture quality — it’s fine if you have a giant television with a good speaker system, but a lot of people will watch this on their laptops or whatever, so the picture and the sound are going to suffer big time. Optimally, people should be watching TV in a dark room with no disturbances and with as big and good a picture as possible and with as great sound as possible.”
~ David Lynch