Film


I guess Gerrit wants to make sure his share of front-page headlines doesn’t decrease:

Wilders said his new film would focus on the threat of Islam and the impact ‘Islamisation’ has had on Europe and the United States. The film would also focus on the principle of freedom of speech and should be completed before the end of 2010, he added.

I, for one, am shaking. Not necessarily due to the overwrought notion that somehow the West is being “Islamisized.” More at thought of the world of “documentary” film, defiled by another of these pale offerings.

Advertisements

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Michael Bay’s Show West Award clip reel via Risky Business Blog

Earlier this year I wrote a rant on the current state of the horror film. In today’s copy of The Independent, Johann Hari does much of the same, only a thousand times better. Hari writes:

Movies aren’t a cerebral medium; they are visceral. The first people to see a film screamed in terror and ran from the room – and these movies bring us back to that first, primal response.

[…]

All the years I have loved horror films, I have asked myself: why? Why do I like watching this stuff, when what it represents is so foul? Is horror morally corrupting after all?

This is the question at the heart of the best horror film – and quite possibly the best British film – ever made: Peeping Tom, released in 1960. It follows a serial killer who films his own murders of young women and obsessively rewatches them. The film constantly forces the viewer to ask: why is he watching this? What pleasure can he get? Are we like him? It was such a disturbing question that the film was pulled from the cinemas in a great national retch, and the career of the genius director Michael Powell ended overnight.

Aristotle believed that by experiencing the terrifying vicariously through monster-stories, we are purged of our fears and hatreds – and our desire to act on them in the real world. It is a safety valve. In Greek mythology, Perseus has a polished shield that enables him to look indirectly at the Gorgon – and thus slay it. Are horror films our shield of Perseus, enabling us to see our monsters, and wipe them out? Is my grandmother so gentle precisely because she can exorcise her natural sadistic impulses before a screen – and is she an exception among horror fans?

As I gaze out over my small mountain of horror DVDs and contemplate watching The Evil Dead for a 10th time (highlight: a woman is raped by a demonic tree), I wonder: when we peer into the dark, do we become darker – or do we leave lighter?

Read the whole thing.

The title pretty much says it all.

I’m outraged that they would be so flippant about Ghostbusters. A better argument could be made for it’s conservatism, it’s liberalism – whichever. But the fact that they were private contractors alone is weak.

I do, however, think Brazil is an interesting and fairly accurate choice.

Anyone who knows me also knows that I love horror films. I love the whole spectrum of horror, and I appreciate the various corners and caveats to the genre. In addition to that, I love the psychology – or the meta-horror, dare I say – that goes along with being a true fan of horror.

The author’s name currently eludes me, but I recall reading a film theory essay in college on the aesthetics of the slasher film. This author distinguished, at length, the difference between horror and the sub-genre known as the ‘slasher’ film. Whereas the former sticks to pretty standard principles of psychology (unnatural, anomalous occurrence + violence + YOU = unpleasant and startling impulses), there’s in fact something more craven and deep-seeded in the latter. In its truest form, the slasher film, so the argument goes, is about tearing down and destroying institutions and cultural mores that we the viewer lack the courage to do ourselves. Our avatar, our champion, becomes a blade-wielding killer, monster or both; and our victims the frivolous, selfish, thoughtless and promiscuous teenagers who ultimately fall victim to our surely misunderstood and neglected champions. Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees…these men aren’t monsters. They’re working-class heroes. They are prophets of piety and asceticism – much like Moses, or Howard Beale in a hockey mask.

(more…)

The Illusionist
Director: Sylvain Chomet, from a script by Jacques Tati

French Canadian animator Chomet, best known for his brilliant 2003 feature The Triplets of Belleville, understands the value of quiet. Operating in a low key, haunted mode, his feature and Oscar nominated short (The Old Lady and the Pigeons) owe much to the total cinema of Jacques Tati. So it is no surprise that his new project is the closest thing we are going to get to a new Tati film.  Based on an unproduced Tati script (given to Chomet by Tati’s daughter when he was seeking permission to use his image in Belleville), The Illusionist is about stage magician whose audiences are being stolen by the encroachment of rock stars. But when he meets a young fan that thinks his magic is real, his life changes.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

If you don’t know the German/Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin, you should. With his searing film Head-On (2004) he ascended to the front ranks of the young European directors, and made one of my favorite films of the decade so far.

His films are consistently about human relationships: men and women, parents and children, and most interestingly Westerners and the Arab world. As a German born of Turkish parents he has an intriguing perspective on European and Turkish dynamics.

Plus his films are frequently really funny! His new project is going to reunite him with his frequent collaborator and co-lead of Head-On, Birol Ünel as well as “German actor Americans know the face of” Moritz Bleibtreu. I can’t wait.

h/t Twitch

Next Page »