Movie City Indie Archive for May, 2010

Dennis Hopper shoots

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[RIP] Dennis Hopper, Photographer.jpg
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Dennis Hopper was 74: sweet glimpses

“I mean, what are they going to say, man, when he’s gone? Huh? ‘Cos he dies, when it dies, man… when it dies, he dies, what are they going to say about him? What, are they gonna say he was a kind man, he was a wise man, he had plans, he had wisdom, bullshit man, am I gonna be the one that’s gonna set him straight, look at me! Wrong! You.”




Someday this world’s gonna end.
Below: A scene from Wenders’ The American Friend and Hopper at the opening of his recent Taos show.

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Oh, fern!! Trailering Winnebago Man


And it’s sweet…

IRON BABY

At the inception of (500) Days Of Fatal Attraction: a teaser


Oh show me the way to the next karaoke bar… or surely we must die, surely we must die.

Trailering Bruce McDonald's This Movie Is Broken


Written by Don McKellar and featuring Broken Social Scene; shot entirely across one Toronto day. Details.

Teasering Assayas' Carlos


En français. May roll-out with an ad. Nudity.

Toby Talbott on the New Yorker Theater at The New School


An older video, but new to me.

Sounds familiar….

Twitter parade, from Japan

harch_667.jpgA typo! A link that didn’t work! But now a parade: a way for Twitter users to immediately visualize how many spam accounts are marching in their wake. Insert your Twitter name here. Play loud?

Recreating The Shining elevator of blood in CGI just for fun

David Lynch's Lady Blue Shanghai


Marion Cotillard stars in David Lynch’s Shanghai-set contribution to Dior’s ongoing auteur-driven internet promo shorts. The FT’s Nicola Copping writes, “They called me up and said, ‘Would you like to make a short film for the internet? You can do anything you want, you just need to show the handbag, the Pearl Tower and some old Shanghai.’” For Lynch, it is clear the lines will continue to blur. “This falls between a regular film and a commercial. I liked that idea. There are ads and people get hit hard, and then there is this, where it is like coming at it from a different angle.” … It’s the third “Lady Dior” noir shorts, which all feature Cottilard, and began in May 2009 with Lady Noire, directed by La Vie en Rose‘s Olivier Dahan. “Lynch’s Lady Blue is twelve, enigmatic, weird but wonderful minutes crammed with Lynchian leitmotifs – flashing lights, flashbacks and a haunting soundtrack.”

Chris Markergrams

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One of Chris Marker’s latest projects is breaking Article 9 of the Civil Code by taking taking photographs of other passengers on the Paris Metro. David Thomson says he got The New Republic’s seven-picture portfolio via a mutual friend. “[H]e has been a photographer all his life, and in the last few years he has found a new subject—people on the Paris Metro—shot with a secret camera.” Like Marker’s other photo work dealing with faces and crowds, there’s an empathetic gaze and attention to the found moment; the means raises other questions. Thomson: “When he first started the project, [he] was an elderly gentleman, but still nimble and fit—so he was not often noticed. He may have been 89; he could not always remember… So he used to spend part of his days and nights on the metro. And he had noticed that an elderly gentleman on the metro could sit there with an empty look in his eyes, and under that cover he could gaze upon people and observe them without being detected, or reported as a spy or a Don Juan… [T]he metro… was all silent purpose and bored crusade. These people were all going somewhere. They had a mission, and their loveliness—he thought everyone was lovely in the metro’s white light—was their purpose…” [More prose and six other shots at the link.]

Movie City Indie

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin