film-dot-com:

THE DANGER OF WATCHING MOVIES IRONICALLY
Several years ago I attended a midnight screening of one of my favorite horror movies, David Cronenberg’s “The Brood”, a film I’ve always regarded as deeply affecting and scary. I don’t know exactly how I was expecting a rowdy group of twentysomethings to react to a relatively low-budget Canadian horror film from the late 1970s at midnight on a Saturday night—the kind of reverence and awe with which I’d long treated the film were probably too much to expect even in more somber circumstances—but I do know that the reaction the film provoked that night took me by surprise. The reaction was laughter. Within seconds of the film beginning, it became obvious that people had come to laugh at what they assumed going in was to be nothing more than a cheesy, stupid old horror movie, some hammy B-picture with stylized acting and dated effects. The constant ridicule which followed seemed only to confirm the assumption: “The Brood” was a film better watched ironically than in earnest.
It’s easy to laugh at something when you’ve decided in advance that it’s going to be funny. It’s even easier when a room full of people are laughing along with you. I’ve seen a person laugh at a new release horror film so loudly that you could almost feel the tension and dread in the room dissipating, as if the disruption had set a precedent for all who heard it that what followed was funny rather than scary, causing laughter to spread through the crowd. I’ve seen crowds whoop and holler through “Eraserhead” as if it were “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. I’ve seen boorish teenagers yell out insults at Shelley Duvall throughout Halloween screenings of “The Shining”. I’ve even seen a classroom full of Film Studies undergraduates laugh through George Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead”, practically bursting into applause when Duane Jones slaps Judith O’Dea across the face. There is no limit to how a room full of people will react while sitting through a movie they have decided not to take seriously.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON FILM.COM

film-dot-com:

THE DANGER OF WATCHING MOVIES IRONICALLY

Several years ago I attended a midnight screening of one of my favorite horror movies, David Cronenberg’s “The Brood”, a film I’ve always regarded as deeply affecting and scary. I don’t know exactly how I was expecting a rowdy group of twentysomethings to react to a relatively low-budget Canadian horror film from the late 1970s at midnight on a Saturday night—the kind of reverence and awe with which I’d long treated the film were probably too much to expect even in more somber circumstances—but I do know that the reaction the film provoked that night took me by surprise. The reaction was laughter. Within seconds of the film beginning, it became obvious that people had come to laugh at what they assumed going in was to be nothing more than a cheesy, stupid old horror movie, some hammy B-picture with stylized acting and dated effects. The constant ridicule which followed seemed only to confirm the assumption: “The Brood” was a film better watched ironically than in earnest.

It’s easy to laugh at something when you’ve decided in advance that it’s going to be funny. It’s even easier when a room full of people are laughing along with you. I’ve seen a person laugh at a new release horror film so loudly that you could almost feel the tension and dread in the room dissipating, as if the disruption had set a precedent for all who heard it that what followed was funny rather than scary, causing laughter to spread through the crowd. I’ve seen crowds whoop and holler through “Eraserhead” as if it were “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. I’ve seen boorish teenagers yell out insults at Shelley Duvall throughout Halloween screenings of “The Shining”. I’ve even seen a classroom full of Film Studies undergraduates laugh through George Romero’s original “Night of the Living Dead”, practically bursting into applause when Duane Jones slaps Judith O’Dea across the face. There is no limit to how a room full of people will react while sitting through a movie they have decided not to take seriously.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON FILM.COM

film-dot-com:

ANG LEE: AGE 28
(via @AwardsDaily)

film-dot-com:

ANG LEE: AGE 28

(via @AwardsDaily)

His Greatness Stemmed From His Passion: Roger Ebert 1942-2013

I struggled all weekend with the idea of writing about Roger Ebert’s death. For one thing, I disdain obituaries. Reading several textbook, pre-written Ebert obits from countless media outlets was truly depressing. Then I came across rogerebert.com Editor Jim Emerson’s piece. Emerson, having known Ebert for nearly 20 years, managed to be personal without being sentimental. It’s a truly poignant and beautiful piece (and not overlong). How could I write anything better? I might as well just provide the link to his piece on my blog (right here) and leave it at that.

But something was nagging at me. Emerson knew Ebert, he was a friend to him. I of course did not, yet I felt like he was an integral part of my life and my journey as a filmmaker. Ebert’s reviews meant so much to my 15-year-old self, who would devour his reviews, then head down to the local video store and grab the beat up VHS copy of The Maltese Falcon & Bonnie & Clyde.

It wasn’t just his writing ability (which was phenomenal) but his passion and genuine love for film as a medium that truly made his words as powerful as they were. There are reviews that he has written that I enjoy as much as the films themselves. That is the passion Ebert brought to his work.

After several days of struggling for the right words, someone better wrote them for me. This morning I stumbled upon James Berardinelli’s piece on Ebert, and this specific segment spoke directly to the heart of what I wanted to say:

Famous people die every day. Most of the time, we pause for a moment to acknowledge their achievements then move on. We don’t know them. We know what they did. With actors, we might recognize their faces and voices, but our memories of them are of the characters they played. With someone like Ebert, however, it’s different. Everything he wrote - reviews, columns, blogs, interviews, tweets, etc. - was personal. He didn’t hide behind an alter ego. So the sense that readers “knew” him wasn’t misplaced. And that’s why his death is felt so keenly by so many - not because he is “greater” or “more famous” than anyone else but because he let us get close. Even to those who never met him, he was a friend and companion.”

I never met Roger Ebert. But to me, he was a friend, and I will miss him.

 

maskednocturnalvigilantism:

Charisma as Natural as GravityBy Christopher Nolan

One night, as I’m standing on LaSalle Street in Chicago, trying to line up a shot for “The Dark Knight,” a production assistant skateboards into my line of sight. Silently, I curse the moment that Heath first skated onto our set in full character makeup. I’d fretted about the reaction of Batman fans to a skateboarding Joker, but the actual result was a proliferation of skateboards among the younger crew members. If you’d asked those kids why they had chosen to bring their boards to work, they would have answered honestly that they didn’t know. That’s real charisma—as invisible and natural as gravity. That’s what Heath had.
Heath was bursting with creativity. It was in his every gesture. He once told me that he liked to wait between jobs until he was creatively hungry. Until he needed it again. He brought that attitude to our set every day. There aren’t many actors who can make you feel ashamed of how often you complain about doing the best job in the world. Heath was one of them.
One time he and another actor were shooting a complex scene. We had two days to shoot it, and at the end of the first day, they’d really found something and Heath was worried that he might not have it if we stopped. He wanted to carry on and finish. It’s tough to ask the crew to work late when we all know there’s plenty of time to finish the next day. But everyone seemed to understand that Heath had something special and that we had to capture it before it disappeared. Months later, I learned that as Heath left the set that night, he quietly thanked each crew member for working late. Quietly. Not trying to make a point, just grateful for the chance to create that they’d given him.
Those nights on the streets of Chicago were filled with stunts. These can be boring times for an actor, but Heath was fascinated, eagerly accepting our invitation to ride in the camera car as we chased vehicles through movie traffic—not just for the thrill ride, but to be a part of it. Of everything. He’d brought his laptop along in the car, and we had a high-speed screening of two of his works-in-progress: short films he’d made that were exciting and haunting. Their exuberance made me feel jaded and leaden. I’ve never felt as old as I did watching Heath explore his talents. That night I made him an offer—knowing he wouldn’t take me up on it—that he should feel free to come by the set when he had a night off so he could see what we were up to.
When you get into the edit suite after shooting a movie, you feel a responsibility to an actor who has trusted you, and Heath gave us everything. As we started my cut, I would wonder about each take we chose, each trim we made. I would visualize the screening where we’d have to show him the finished film—sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we’d done with all that he’d given us. Now that screening will never be real. I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly.Back on LaSalle Street, I turn to my assistant director and I tell him to clear the skateboarding kid out of my line of sight when I realize—it’s Heath, woolly hat pulled low over his eyes, here on his night off to take me up on my offer. I can’t help but smile.

Rest In Peace, Heath.April 4, 1979-January 22, 2008

maskednocturnalvigilantism:

Charisma as Natural as Gravity
By Christopher Nolan

One night, as I’m standing on LaSalle Street in Chicago, trying to line up a shot for “The Dark Knight,” a production assistant skateboards into my line of sight. Silently, I curse the moment that Heath first skated onto our set in full character makeup. I’d fretted about the reaction of Batman fans to a skateboarding Joker, but the actual result was a proliferation of skateboards among the younger crew members. If you’d asked those kids why they had chosen to bring their boards to work, they would have answered honestly that they didn’t know. That’s real charisma—as invisible and natural as gravity. That’s what Heath had.

Heath was bursting with creativity. It was in his every gesture. He once told me that he liked to wait between jobs until he was creatively hungry. Until he needed it again. He brought that attitude to our set every day. There aren’t many actors who can make you feel ashamed of how often you complain about doing the best job in the world. Heath was one of them.

One time he and another actor were shooting a complex scene. We had two days to shoot it, and at the end of the first day, they’d really found something and Heath was worried that he might not have it if we stopped. He wanted to carry on and finish. It’s tough to ask the crew to work late when we all know there’s plenty of time to finish the next day. But everyone seemed to understand that Heath had something special and that we had to capture it before it disappeared. Months later, I learned that as Heath left the set that night, he quietly thanked each crew member for working late. Quietly. Not trying to make a point, just grateful for the chance to create that they’d given him.

Those nights on the streets of Chicago were filled with stunts. These can be boring times for an actor, but Heath was fascinated, eagerly accepting our invitation to ride in the camera car as we chased vehicles through movie traffic—not just for the thrill ride, but to be a part of it. Of everything. He’d brought his laptop along in the car, and we had a high-speed screening of two of his works-in-progress: short films he’d made that were exciting and haunting. Their exuberance made me feel jaded and leaden. I’ve never felt as old as I did watching Heath explore his talents. That night I made him an offer—knowing he wouldn’t take me up on it—that he should feel free to come by the set when he had a night off so he could see what we were up to.

When you get into the edit suite after shooting a movie, you feel a responsibility to an actor who has trusted you, and Heath gave us everything. As we started my cut, I would wonder about each take we chose, each trim we made. I would visualize the screening where we’d have to show him the finished film—sitting three or four rows behind him, watching the movements of his head for clues to what he was thinking about what we’d done with all that he’d given us. Now that screening will never be real. I see him every day in my edit suite. I study his face, his voice. And I miss him terribly.

Back on LaSalle Street, I turn to my assistant director and I tell him to clear the skateboarding kid out of my line of sight when I realize—it’s Heath, woolly hat pulled low over his eyes, here on his night off to take me up on my offer. I can’t help but smile.

Rest In Peace, Heath.
April 4, 1979-January 22, 2008

(via davidfincher)

life:

45 years ago today, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C. See amazing photos from the set of the film here.
(Dmitri Kessel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

life:

45 years ago today, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” premiered at the Uptown Theater in Washington D.C. See amazing photos from the set of the film here.

(Dmitri Kessel—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

(via davidfincher)

Let me tell you a story. The day after Columbine, I was interviewed for the Tom Brokaw news program. The reporter had been assigned a theory and was seeking sound bites to support it. “Wouldn’t you say,” she asked, “that killings like this are influenced by violent movies?” No, I said, I wouldn’t say that. “But what about ‘Basketball Diaries’?” she asked. “Doesn’t that have a scene of a boy walking into a school with a machine gun?” The obscure 1995 Leonardo Di Caprio movie did indeed have a brief fantasy scene of that nature, I said, but the movie failed at the box office (it grossed only $2.5 million), and it’s unlikely the Columbine killers saw it.
The reporter looked disappointed, so I offered her my theory. “Events like this,” I said, “if they are influenced by anything, are influenced by news programs like your own. When an unbalanced kid walks into a school and starts shooting, it becomes a major media event. Cable news drops ordinary programming and goes around the clock with it. The story is assigned a logo and a theme song; these two kids were packaged as the Trench Coat Mafia. The message is clear to other disturbed kids around the country: If I shoot up my school, I can be famous. The TV will talk about nothing else but me. Experts will try to figure out what I was thinking. The kids and teachers at school will see they shouldn’t have messed with me. I’ll go out in a blaze of glory.”

In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of “explaining” them. I commended the policy at the Sun-Times, where our editor said the paper would no longer feature school killings on Page 1. The reporter thanked me and turned off the camera. Of course the interview was never used. They found plenty of talking heads to condemn violent movies, and everybody was happy.

— Roger Ebert (via squid-skywalker)

(via wilwheaton)

Thinking about submitting something for this…
fakecriterions:

-TWELVE DAYS LEFT TO ENTER OUR SECOND ANNIVERSARY CONTEST-
CAGE MATCH - The Films of Nicolas Cage
Pick your favorite Cage film. Make a cover. Photoshop it, draw it, make it out of cardboard and macaroni, whatever.
- ONE entry per person, so choose your film wisely and design it creatively.- E-MAIL ENTRIES ONLY. You can tag it on Tumblr if you’d like, but only entries received via email will be considered. Send them to fakecriterions[at]gmail.com, with the subject line “Fake Criterions Cage Match.”- ONLY THOSE ENTRIES RECEIVED VIA EMAIL BY 11:59PM EST NOV. 28 WILL BE CONSIDERED.
Our Judges (in alphabetical order):- Kasia Cieplak-von Baldegg, The Atlantic- Molly Eichel, Philadelphia Daily News, The AV Club- Jake Fogelnest (jakefogelnest.com), Sirius XMU, The Fogelnest Files- Lacey Mitcalef, lulinternet- Paul Scheer (paulscheer.com), NTSF:SD:SUV, The League, How Did This Get Made- Chris Sims, Batmanologist & Senior Writer- Comics AllianceThe Prizes:1st: In the process of being acquired.2nd: TBA3rd: A wonderful collectible Nicolas Cage postage stamp from an exotic land.
Again, thanks to Zach Osif and Brice Baum for their wonderful Cages for our poster. DOWNLOAD AND PRINT FOR YOUR HOME OR OFFICE: Here’s the PDF.The fine folks at Criterion have nothing to do with this.

Thinking about submitting something for this…

fakecriterions:

-TWELVE DAYS LEFT TO ENTER OUR SECOND ANNIVERSARY CONTEST-

CAGE MATCH - The Films of Nicolas Cage

Pick your favorite Cage film. Make a cover. Photoshop it, draw it, make it out of cardboard and macaroni, whatever.

- ONE entry per person, so choose your film wisely and design it creatively.
- E-MAIL ENTRIES ONLY. You can tag it on Tumblr if you’d like, but only entries received via email will be considered. Send them to fakecriterions[at]gmail.com, with the subject line “Fake Criterions Cage Match.”
- ONLY THOSE ENTRIES RECEIVED VIA EMAIL BY 11:59PM EST NOV. 28 WILL BE CONSIDERED.

Our Judges (in alphabetical order):

- Kasia Cieplak-von Baldegg, The Atlantic
- Molly Eichel, Philadelphia Daily News, The AV Club
- Jake Fogelnest (jakefogelnest.com), Sirius XMU, The Fogelnest Files
- Lacey Mitcalef, lulinternet
- Paul Scheer (paulscheer.com), NTSF:SD:SUV, The League, How Did This Get Made
- Chris Sims, Batmanologist & Senior Writer- Comics Alliance

The Prizes:
1st: In the process of being acquired.
2nd: TBA
3rd: A wonderful collectible Nicolas Cage postage stamp from an exotic land.

Again, thanks to Zach Osif and Brice Baum for their wonderful Cages for our poster. DOWNLOAD AND PRINT FOR YOUR HOME OR OFFICE: Here’s the PDF.

The fine folks at Criterion have nothing to do with this.

As you wish….

As you wish….

bryanwashere:

Can we talk about how great the Carnegie Mellon University H. John Heinz III College Error Page is? If you don’t get the reference, we should not be friends.

bryanwashere:

Can we talk about how great the Carnegie Mellon University H. John Heinz III College Error Page is? If you don’t get the reference, we should not be friends.