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Movie City Indie Archive for May, 2012

Beasts of the Southern Apprenticeship: Benh Zeitlin’s First Film, GLORY AT SEA (25’48”)

While the short’s been online for over three years, advancing publicity for the summer release of Beasts of the Southern Wild make Glory At Sea worth a second (or first!) look.  [Via Wholphin.]

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A Single-Take Steadicam Shot Behind Scenes Of HUGO

Steadicam by Larry McConkey, who also shot the club sequence in Goodfellas.

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Paul Schrader posts on his Bret Easton Ellis project, THE CANYONS

THE CANYONS. “The material is classic BEE. Character driven, dialogue driven, explicit in word if not action. Two visual poles are emerging in the low budget world: on one side, Wong Kar-Wai’s Fallen Angels. On the other Xavier Dolan’s Heartbeats. Both styles mix approaches, use hand held, work economically. Both are composed as opposed to faux vérité. You could distinquish them by saying Fallen Angels aspires to the characters’ POV, Heartbeat to the director’s. A third path? Better examples from the microbudget world?”

John DeFazio will be the DP for The Canyons. John and I are now discussing possible approaches. Many things are possible on a microbudget. Some things are not. For example, you have to plug in for power rather than bring a generator. That limits the amount of artifical light you can use. Which means in turn that post-prod color effects may be more practical than onset gels. And so on. “Undoing” is just one style of cinematography we are dicussing. Any thoughts what the “look” of Canyons should be. Hard or soft? Back or front? Hand held or tripod? There are no longer any rules in cinematography, only choices.” (The project has 11 days left in its Kickstarter campaign, but is already 50% over its funding goal.)

 

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Clipping ON THE ROAD: Kirsten Dances; Kristen Drives

 

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Lurhmann’s Eckleburg

[Click twice.]

And his “Zeigfeld.”

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Holy HOLY MOTORS!! 9 images, video, press kit extracts

  The tweets after the first screening: c’est incroyable!

Epigraph to the press kit: “History adds that before or after dying he found himself in the presence of God and told Him: “I who have been so many men in vain want to be one and myself.” The voice of the Lord answered from a whirlwind: “Neither am I anyone; I have dreamt the world as you dreamt your work, my Shakespeare, and among the forms in my dream are you, who like myself are many and no one.”

— Jorge Luis Borges, “Everything and Nothing”

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Teasing THE MASTER

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Trailering Bond 23: Hello Roger Deakins!

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56 Seconds Of THE SOUNDS OF ARONOFSKY

[Kottke.]

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Aaron Sorkin’s Syracuse Commencement Speech (16’27”)

“Thank you very much. Madam Chancellor, members of the Board of Trustees, members of the faculty and administration, parents and friends, honored guests and graduates, thank you for inviting me to speak today at this magnificent Commencement ceremony.

There’s a story about a man and a woman who have been married for forty years. One evening at dinner the woman turns to her husband and says, “You know, forty years ago on our wedding day you told me that you loved me and you haven’t said those words since.” They sit in silence for a long moment before the husband says “If I change my mind, I’ll let you know.”

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“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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