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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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch