Archive for General

Anniversary Tribute Video!

The site’s been up for a year now (Remember, Remember the Fifth of November!)

So here’s a video, celebrating many if not all of the people I’ve worked with in films since I’ve started this crazy journey. I honestly could not have gotten this far without you guys. I owe it all to the stars.

This was actually made a year ago for my Television Production class, hence the low quality (the teacher put it on MiniDv for some reason), so don’t exactly expect much from this. HOWEVER there is ONE SCENE of new footage hidden within! So I hope you guys enjoy!

Top 50 Dystopian Films of All Time

So I was talking to the guy who helps run this site about a paper I’m writing for Film History. My paper is going to be a comparison of two films you might not expect: Battleship Potemkin, Eisenstein’s most worshiped depiction of Soviet Montage, and V for Vendetta, a controversial comic book adaptation by the team that brought you one of those top Dystopian films, The Matrix.

Mad Max 2

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just skip to the good stuff and put in the top 10, but you can go to the website, snarkerati.com .

Children of Men

    10. Delicatessen (1991)
    9. Minority Report (2002)
    8. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)
    7. The Matrix (1999)
    6. Children of Men (2006)
    5. Blade Runner (1982)
    4. Wings of Desire (1987)
    3. Brazil (1985)
    2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    1. Metropolis (1927)

Metropolis

A futuristic look at the schism created in mankind as industrialization and technological advancement serves to alienate the humans from one another. People are divided into two groups: the thinkers–who make plans, yet don’t know how to operate machinery, and the workers–who forward production without having any overview vision. Completely separate, neither group is complete; however, together they make a whole. When one man, a “thinker,” dares to journey to the underground, where the workers ’slave away,’ he’s surprised at what he sees. (Directed by Fritz Lang)

Here’s their take on their number 1 choice, the silent film classic, Metropolis

So there’s this one blog I read quite frequently, by John August the writer of Go, Big Fish, Charlie’s Angels, and the writer and director of upcoming “indy” hit, The Nines starring Ryan Reynolds.

One of his more recent blogs was a response to a comment made by a 16 year old girl named Veronica, who is pretty darned lost in her course right now. Here’s an excerpt from her letter:

    I’m 16 and have wanted to pursue a career in filmmaking since 8th grade. I’m sure you’re not too old to remember what it was like to be 16 years old and trying your best to not ruin your own life forever. (I really don’t want to be a receptionist.)And here I am. Terrified that I might be making all the wrong moves. Should I have taken drama and bitten my tongue every time that insane teacher opened her mouth? Should I be doing more after school type programs? And, of course, should I go to film school?

John’s response contains this parcel of information:

    You’re sixteen. Go out and experience life. As interesting things happen, write them down. If something other than screenwriting appeals to you at some point, pursue it with full abandon and no regrets. You’re at an age when you don’t need to be making any firm decisions, or beating yourself up about missed opportunities. A bad high school drama class is a bullet dodged, in my opinion.

Of course there’s more to their conversation, and you should definitely check it out.

I also wrote a response in the comments, and since its my own writing I’ll post my thoughts right here for anyone in the biz at my level or around it to read. Tell me your thoughts on the subject in a comment though, and maybe I’ll post yours on the main page, with a link to your site as well!
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I can really sympathize with this girl.

I am a 20 year old communications major who is just now on his second year of digital film making, learning studio work, been out in the field etc. I started the work on my own and learned it on my own.

Film making consumes my life.

That’s a problem because it means I learn less about life and more about film making. The strength of that is that I can look at everyday situations and talk about them as film, but it also makes a weakness in the communication to some people- I don’t think in linear conversation, I think in movie angle vision, always trying to throw people off.

My point is it wasn’t until last summer where I literally just dicked around in my car, had no money, met with a bunch of younger people (and same aged and older) who were just sitting around, doing and selling drugs, fighting each other and trying to cause problems in the most white-bread area ever, that I learned where my Voice comes from.

You need to find your voice. I pray that you get out of the movie-watching business and start life watching.
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I didn’t really find this particularly interesting, but there were some choice moments listed in AOL’s most recent “top 25.”

Included are scenes from Don’t Look Now, Out of Sight, Monster’s Ball, as well as embarrassments to film such as American Pie.

Here’s one of the better scenes to make it onto the list:

You can see the full list here, although I think its incomplete- from what I’ve heard, there’s not one but TWO coital shoot outs in SHOOT ‘EM UP! , a movie I still have yet to see!

Yep…cinema’s gotten pretty messed up. Would you have it any other way?

RIP Ingmar Bergman

Bergman
INGMAR BERGMAN
Ok, in all honesty I haven’t seen more than 1 of his films, but apparently this man, Ingmar Bergman, is one of the most celebrated and influential film makers in history. Today I flipped to IMDB and the breaking news was that he died today at his home in Faro, Sweden, at the age of 89.

From IMDB:

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish director considered one of the most influential and acclaimed filmmakers of modern cinema, died at his home in Faro, Sweden, on Monday; he was 89. The death was announced by the Swedish news agency TT and confirmed by Bergman’s daughter, Eva, and Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, though an official cause of death was not yet given. Nominated for nine Academy Awards throughout his career and honored with the Irving G. Thalberg award in 1971, Bergman was cited as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, with his bleak, unsparing yet highly emotional explorations of the human psyche and its relation to life, sex, and death, in both highly symbolic and intensely personal films; he most notably influenced Woody Allen, who considered him the greatest of filmmakers.

The one film of his that I was fortunate enough to see at least most of (I was exhausted in class and fell asleep), had some amazing imagery and breathtaking mis-en-scene. This movie was his 1982 holiday classic, Fanny och Alexander (Fanny and Alexander). This epic children’s fairy tale about death, loss, and rebuilding life was very, very powerful and for the scenes that I was conscious to I was treated to some of the most influential shots I had ever seen. Here’s a clip from the film provided by YouTube

Here are a few citations from his personal info on Wikipedia

Technique
“As a director, Bergman favored intuition over intellect, and chose to be unaggressive in dealing with actors. Bergman saw himself as having a great responsibility toward them, viewing them as collaborators often in a psychologically vulnerable position. He stated that a director must be both honest and supportive in order to allow others their best work.”

It is a strong insight like that which creates a powerful and potential-releasing relationship between Director and Cast/Crew. That is something to strive for.

His Message to Young Film Makers

“Bergman encouraged young directors not to direct any film that does not have a “message,” but rather to wait until one comes along that does, yet admitted that he himself was not always sure of the message of some of his films.”

I’ve made a lot of random films, and in the end they will be shelved for personal viewing pleasure, not to be made for audiences to gain anything except laughs from. However, I would push to strive to be in this kind of position- to live up to his expectations that people want to communicate ideas through film- thus unleashing the true potential of the Art.

AWARDS

Ingmar at Work

Academy Awards

In 1971, Bergman received The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award at the Academy Awards ceremony. Three of his films have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film: The Virgin Spring in 1961; Through a Glass Darkly in 1962; and Fanny and Alexander in 1984.

Many filmmakers worldwide, including Americans Woody Allen and Robert Altman, and Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky, have cited the work of Bergman as a major influence on their work.

* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Smultronstället (1960)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Såsom i en spegel (1963)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Viskningar och rop (1974)
* Nominated: Best Picture, Viskningar och rop (1974)
* Nominated: Best Director, Viskningar och rop (1974)
* Nominated: Best Director, Ansikte mot ansikte (1977)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Höstsonaten (1979)
* Nominated: Best Original Screenplay, Fanny och Alexander (1984)
* Nominated: Best Director, Fanny och Alexander (1984)

Sources include IMDB.com, Wikipedia.com, YouTube and Google Images.

However I highly recommend this link, from the people who would really take the care and time to know- Turner Classic Movies, and they also report that the next showing of his films will be Octorber 14th at 2:00 AM, Fanny Oct Alexander will be playing.

However you should get out there and rent one of his fantastic titles and bone up on your knowledge of film! I think I’ll check out a few myself before going back to college. He is obviously worth the time.