Movie City Indie Archive for February, 2010

There will be sushi every day


Jeez, now it’s always springtime for Hitler. I mean, “Mein Kurator.” Oh, and “Vanessa Beecroft’s Tit Parade down Grand Avenue.”

Trailering Godard's Socialisme

The reel world: planet green screen


This reel of green-screen and blue-screen backdropped clips from television shows makes me unaccountably sad. It’s not magic, it’s black magic! It does suggest there are some very gifted journeyman shooters out there, though. And “reality” is what you make it. [Via Stargate Films.]
ADDED: The company was profiled today in the L. A. Times.

Adam Curtis' How We Have All Become Like Nixon

The official US Secret of Kells trailer

Prince rehearses "When Doves Cry"


Holy unholy… how long before this gets taken down?

The Vice Guide to Liberia


David Carr talks about Vice magazine in the New York Times today. The video on Liberia he cites, including the memorably named General Butt Naked, is embedded above. Here’s Vice’s introduction: “Welcome to The Vice Guide to Liberia. VBS travels to West Africa to rummage through the messy remains of a country ravaged by 14 years of civil war. Despite the United Nation’s eventual intervention, most of Liberia’s young people continue to live in abject poverty, surrounded by filth, drug addiction, and teenage prostitution. The former child soldiers who were forced into war have been left to fend for themselves, the murderous warlords who once led them in cannibalistic rampages have taken up as so-called community leaders, and new militias are lying in wait for the opportunity to reclaim their country from a government they rightly mistrust. America’s one and only foray into African colonialism is keeping a very uneasy peace indeed. In Part 1, Vice’s own Shane Smith provides a brief history lesson and some essential context for understanding what caused Liberia’s civil war and how things got so bad. Liberia was originally planned and founded as a homeland for former slaves back in 1821. But fast forward a bunch of years and a military coup and you find the First Liberian Civil War in 1989: yet another third-world regime change in which the US-backed opposition, led by Charles Taylor, overthrows a government unfriendly to US interests. Once in power, Taylor’s corrupt, dysfunctional government quickly finds itself under attack by local warlords, leading to the Second Liberian Civil War ten years later. From there things go from bad to “severely f—ed up… a post-apocalyptic Armageddon with child soliders smoking heroin and cross-dressing cannibals he’s had malaria more times than he’s had hot dinners. Link to the Vice Liberia page.

Gareth Wigan was 78

Gareth Wiganclr.jpgSony’s Steve Elzer sends along the news. I never met the man, but whenever his name’s appeared, it’s been a lot like these words: “Gareth Wigan, whose legendary half century career in the motion picture industry was integral to some of the most successful films ever made including Star Wars, passed away this morning after a brief illness. He was 78. Wigan’s distinguished journey as an agent, producer, studio executive and production chief is rich with notable and visionary achievements – from his work as a young production executive on Star Wars to his role as a pioneer in the growth of global cinema by championing such acclaimed filmmakers such as Ang Lee, Stephen Chow, Zhang Yimou, Guy Ritchie, Matthew Vaughn, and Feng Xiao Gong.
London-born Wigan was, first and foremost, a passionate cinephie, singled out by his colleagues for his immense taste, endless intelligence, elegance, preparedness, and grace. A graduate of Oxford who began his career as an agent in the UK office of MCA in the late 1950s, Wigan represented such artists as director John Schlesinger (Sunday Bloody Sunday, Marathon Man), Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night), and British rock pioneer Ronnie Harwood, among many others. In the mid 1960s, he formed his own talent agency Gregson & Wigan Ltd., with his business partner Richard Gregson. Representing some of the most renowned British writers, directors, musicians and producers of the era, Wigan became a trailblazer with the first UK agency to open offices in Los Angeles and New York.

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[Newsstand] A writer's passing moment: Kamp on John Hughes

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In the March Vanity Fair, David Kamp gets family and colleagues to talk about John Hughes’ last years, out of the public eye. Online, there are pieces of his pseudonymously published short fiction, as well as outtakes from Kamp’s interviews and a small gallery of Hughesiana. (The picture of a pile of some of his many notebooks, in the magazine, but not online brings a smile to a journal-keeping writer’s face.) The entire piece is worth reading, but the last two paragraphs have a distant tang of Peter Handke: what does a writer think? What does a writer do? What are a writer’s final…

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Trailering Atom Egoyan's Chloe in the UK


Advance word promises a silky, silly thriller, but does Toronto look great here or what?

Indie is transcribing into the night

Mornings

The Google Superbowl ad parodied


This was uploaded a few weeks after Google first uploaded “Parisian Love” in November… Cold. It’s by Andrew Bouve, whose “If Famous Directors Shot the Superbowl” appeared last week.

Tim Burton's Annie award acceptance

Don't look now in the mirror

Love in the time of Google: can they top this with their Super Bowl ad?


Meanwhile, Berlin pranksters GPS’d a Google Streetview omnicamera vehicle and track it live for passerby to make display. ADD: As it turns out, this sweetheart, posted in November, was the Super Bowl ad. Je me sens chanceux.

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Movie City Indie

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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