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Movie City Indie Archive for June, 2011

Happy 71, Victor Erice

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Trailering Spielberg’s WAR HORSE

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Picturing Rodman Flender

My favorite photograph in a long summer weekend of image research and writing: photographer-editor-director Rodman Flender as spy-on-the-wall for his doc, Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop. Casual geekdom and casual privilege align in a hotel room: photographer photographed. Team Fiji Water! (Do not ask what is wrapped in plastic.)

[Photo Credit: Aaron Bleyaert.]

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Francis Coppola’s Twitter Icon

TRUSTED.

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Peter Falk Über Berlin: From WINGS OF DESIRE

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Review: GENERAL ORDERS No. 9


Robert Persons’ General Orders No. 9 is an essay film at least partly about the urbanization of rural Georgia, reminiscent of Patrick Keiller’s lovingly dyspeptic but visually striking London and Robinson in Space or Terence Davies’ brooding memory musical Distant Voices, Still Lives. It’s more in that school than Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, the convenient reference point in some reviews of its New York week-long run. (The free-floating character of the narration doesn’t distill itself to the many voices of so-similar inchoate spiritual yearning in the Malick film.) Haunted beauty, a majestic trance: it’s deeply invested in what Greil Marcus called “old, weird America.” Daniel James Scott interviews Persons at Filmmaker. Of overt influences, he tells Scott, “Gosh, I’m sort of all over the place. But there were certainly a lot of films that we used to reference—a lot of Tarkovsky films, Herzog films, Chris Marker, John Grierson docs, the British Film Unit, David Lynch and Harry [Everett] Smith. There were also a number of novels and books. One in particular was this bit of naturalist writing from the 18th century, William Bartram’s Travels. He was a Philadelphia naturalist who travelled through the southeast and was really the first to write about it while drawing pictures of plants and animals. His writing is very effusive, and has a lot of sense of wonder in it. I liked the idea of someone going around recording things. And I saw my film as an updating of that in a sense.”



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R.I.P. Peter Falk

Mikey and Nicky.

“The last time I trusted a dame…”

A Woman Under The Influence.

“Serpentine! Serpentine!”

“For Chrissakes, get me a good hat here.” Wings of Desire.

From Jean Genet’s The Balcony.

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NO REFUNDS ON AUTEUR CINEMA

From Stamford, Connecticut’s Avon Theatre.

[Via Jim Emerson @jeemerson and @nextprojection. The apparent original poster is here.]


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The Further Adventures Of Hannah Hart

Playing dangerous drunken stunts in the confines of her kitchen, comedienne Hannah Hart just got noticed by TIME:

“Do you really get drunk in all of your videos, or are you faking it?
“I really do get that drunk. It takes about an hour to shoot each video, so I’m actually the drunkest after it’s over. For the ice cream one, I was with my sister and her husband, and I really just let myself go. I finished the video and I remember walking over the couch and lying down. I woke up hours later with a plate of chicken nuggets on my chest and my sister leaning over me going, ‘Eat these.’ The sun had already set and everything.”

[Earlier on indie.]

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Previewing Robert Kramer’s Long-Unseen MILESTONES (5’30”)

“Icarus Films, a leading distributor of documentary films since 1978, is proud to have acquired two landmark films by the radical leftist filmmaker Robert Kramer. A founder of the storied 1960s Newsreel collective, Kramer (1939-1999) traveled through Latin America and Vietnam, and later lived for many years in France, where he enjoyed his greatest appreciation as a filmmaker. The subject of 2009 retrospectives at Anthology Film Archives and Harvard Film Archive, Kramer’s concerns about the intersection between the personal and political take viewers to the 1960s and 70s with vivid intimacy.”

MILESTONES (1975, color, 195 minutes, by Robert Kramer and John Douglas) is a lilting, free-associative masterpiece that follows dozens of characters–including hippies, farmers, immigrants, Native Americans, and political activists–as they try to reconcile their ideals with the realities of American life. In intimate discussions of subjects from communal living to parenting, pregnancy to family, Vietnam to Cuba, city life to country life, and the workplace to the bedroom, the film’s diverse protagonists negotiate jealousies, relationships, and the logistical challenges of their rapidly changing world. Shot in vivid color 16mm, using innovative layered sound design and editing techniques as well as slides and archival footage, Milestones tracks its subjects through scripted and unscripted moments. It follows them as they share their emotions and dreams, their idealism and disillusionments, their triumphs and defeats of the past, as well as the possibilities for the future.”

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Trailering QUICK (퀵)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X36QkuVHCuc&feature=player_embedded

The Fast and the Over-reacting.

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Scottish Summer Weather: Chance Of Heil

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LIVt9RFvE4&feature=player_embedded

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Trailering Fred Schepisi’s THE EYE OF THE STORM

It is about time. One of the undersung modern masters of widescreen composition and cutting has almost finished a new film. Let’s hope it’s a corker.

The non-embeddable trailer is here.

Plus: Schepisi on the characters from Patrick White’s epic Aussie novel, played by Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis, Colin Friels and Dustin Clare. The release down under is set for September 8.

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Movie City Indie

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“The core fear is what can happen to you, personally. Your body. That’s what horror films deal with, precisely. We are a very thin skin wrapped around a pumping heart and guts. At any given moment it can come down to that, be it diseases, or somebody’s assault, or war, or a car wreck. You could be reduced to the simple laws of physics and your body’s vulnerability. The edged weapon is the penultimate weapon to disclose that reality to you.”
~ Wes Craven, 1996, promoting Scream

MAMET
Well, that, to me, is always the trick of dramaturgy; theoretically, perfectly, what one wants to do is put the protagonist and the audience in exactly the same position. The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always what does the protagonist want. That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants. What gives rise to the drama, what is the precipitating event, and how, at the end of the play, do we see that event culminated? Do we see the protagonist’s wishes fulfilled or absolutely frustrated? That’s the structure of drama. You break it down into three acts.

INTERVIEWER
Does this explain why your plays have so little exposition?

MAMET
Yes. People only speak to get something. If I say, Let me tell you a few things about myself, already your defenses go up; you go, Look, I wonder what he wants from me, because no one ever speaks except to obtain an objective. That’s the only reason anyone ever opens their mouth, onstage or offstage. They may use a language that seems revealing, but if so, it’s just coincidence, because what they’re trying to do is accomplish an objective… The question is where does the dramatist have to lead you? Answer: the place where he or she thinks the audience needs to be led. But what does the character think? Does the character need to convey that information? If the answer is no, then you’d better cut it out, because you aren’t putting the audience in the same position with the protagonist. You’re saying, in effect, Let’s stop the play. That’s what the narration is doing—stopping the play… It’s action, as Aristotle said. That’s all that it is—exactly what the person does. It’s not what they “think,” because we don’t know what they think. It’s not what they say. It’s what they do, what they’re physically trying to accomplish on the stage. Which is exactly the same way we understand a person’s character in life—not by what they say, but by what they do. Say someone came up to you and said, I’m glad to be your neighbor because I’m a very honest man. That’s my character. I’m honest, I like to do things, I’m forthright, I like to be clear about everything, I like to be concise. Well, you really don’t know anything about that guy’s character. Or the person is onstage, and the playwright has him or her make those same claims in several subtle or not-so-subtle ways, the audience will say, Oh yes, I understand their character now; now I understand that they are a character. But in fact you don’t understand anything. You just understand that they’re jabbering to try to convince you of something.
~ David Mamet

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