ltmurnau: (CX)
... ohhh pleasedontsuck pleasedontsuck....

From this morning's CBC:

Filmmaker Ben Wheatley is 'a cup of tea away from anarchy'
British director's new film, High-Rise, explores the intersection of condo life and class warfare
By Matt Meuse, CBC News Posted: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM PT Last Updated: Apr 16, 2016 8:00 AM PT

"They say you're only two meals away from anarchy," British director Ben Wheatley tells On the Coast host Gloria Mackarenko.

"You know, I like to eat. I'm probably about a cup of tea away from anarchy, usually."

Wheatley's new film, High-Rise, tells the twisted story of a utopian condo complex on the outskirts of a gentrifying city, and its rapid descent into chaos.

The transformation takes three months in the film. But in real life, Wheatley reckons it would be much quicker. In the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis, he realized he only had a day's worth of food in his house, and no real cash or valuables.

"I started looking around at the people in the street going, oh, I'd have to fight them, wouldn't I, for food," he said, laughing. "It would collapse really fast."

The film is based on a novel written by English author J. G. Ballard in the 1970s. Tom Hiddleston stars as Dr. Robert Laing, a resident of the titular High-Rise.

The book was speculative fiction at the time, but Wheatley finds it to be remarkably prescient.

"When I reread the book in my mid-40s, I realized that it wasn't predictive science fiction anymore, it was much more like I was reading pages out of a newspaper," he said. "It was a bit depressing."

To capture the feel of the novel, the film is set in a sort of alternate-history "super 70s," as Wheatley describes it — an ambiguous, highly-stylized representation of the era.

As if to highlight this, the film ends with an archival monologue from former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, whose right-wing economic policies dominated British politics in the 80s.

"Hearing Thatcher in the air [at the end of the film] is like the ending of John Carpenter's The Thing," he said, referencing a classic 80s horror film with a similarly bleak ending. "When I hear that voice, I get a slight twinge of fear. I find her disconcerting and terrifying."

"It's saying that the whole thing is cyclical and it will start again. And we have the hindsight of knowing what's going to happen next."

Parallels with modern Vancouver

The city in the film is implied as London, which is currently facing housing affordability problems not unlike Vancouver's. Prices are surging in both cities, and many blame investors who use real estate as a way of making and storing money.

Wheatley said the practice of treating real estate primarily as an investment has a devastating impact on cities.

"I always think of it as a bit like when these investors buy Van Goghs and stick them in a vault somewhere," he said. "The art gets turned into money, becomes abstracted and then put away, and it no longer serves the point it had in the first place. So, you know, if you do that to a city, you basically kill it."

"And what happens when no one can afford to live in the city? Do we all have to live on the outskirts and just look to it like Oz or something in the distance? I don't know, it's terrifying."

High-Rise was screened Friday night as part of the Vancouver International Film Festival, with a wider Canadian release on May 20. He'll be giving a master class as part of the festival Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Vancity Theatre.
ltmurnau: (CX)
OK, a brief post to show you how brilliant my cousin Hall is.
There are people in one's life that you just hold in awe - they are creative, smart, happy and great to be around.
My cousin is one of these, for me.
Ever since he was a boy, he was fascinated with dinosaurs, and film, and motion.
He has made a career of animating dinosaurs and much of his business involves preparing exhibits for museums etc..
But his latest little film is a fun little short, a hat-tip to Melies and done to inspire kids to use simple illusory tricks to make their own films.
This is the sort of thing he would have made at age 10, if he had had the tech kids do today.
But that was over 40 years ago, and he had to make do with 8mm film shot one frame at a time ... like I and my friends did, but didn't stick with as he did.

Anyway, have a look!

ltmurnau: (CX)
Found this in the Chronicle of Higher Ecducation, 7 Jan 2013.

***
Guns, Violence, and the 'Red Dawn' Films

By Aaron B. O'Connell

On July 19, 1984, the producers of Red Dawn had a problem. In less than a month, they were due to release the director John Milius's pro-gun, survivalist action film depicting a Communist invasion of the United States, and the theatrical trailer and movie posters—both of which featured Soviet troops in or near a McDonald's restaurant—were already completed. But those materials now had to be changed because the previous day, a well-armed paranoid survivalist named James Oliver Huberty had entered a McDonald's in San Ysidro, Calif., and killed 21 people (including five children) with an Uzi submachine gun. The movie's marketing team recalled some of the posters and removed the McDonald's scene from the trailer. (The opening scene, in which the invaders gun down kids in a school, was left intact.) Red Dawn went on to become a cult classic and helped lead a generation of young men—yours truly included—into the military.

This Thanksgiving, Red Dawn emerged again, but without Milius's explicit Second Amendment politics. And like the original, the new Red Dawn is in the awkward position of celebrating gun-toting teens on the screen as America mourns a mass slaughter of children in real life.

In the days ahead, we may finally start a serious conversation about gun violence in America. That conversation should include these films, for they are part of the problem, too. They, and similar films and video games, break down the barriers between violent fantasies and violent action, strengthen the entrenched opposition to common-sense gun laws, and contribute to the continuing militarization of American society and culture.

The conversation about gun violence should include these films, for they are part of the problem, too.
Read more... )
Aaron B. O'Connell is an assistant professor of history at the U.S. Naval Academy, a member of the Marine Corps Reserve, and author of Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps (Harvard University Press, 2012).
ltmurnau: (Default)
Last night I took Aki out on his 18th birthday (Eighteen! Once there was this little baby I could hold in two hands, now there's a man living in my house who calls me Dad....) for dinner and a preview screening of the remake of Red Dawn (I scored tickets in a promotion by Monday magazine).

The inestimable [livejournal.com profile] sabotabby has taken apart the original here: http://sabotabby.livejournal.com/479383.html and
here http://sabotabby.livejournal.com/479521.html and
here http://sabotabby.livejournal.com/480067.html

and while she wrote the gut-bustingest review ever, after seeing the remake I think I prefer the hokey original, after all.

Why is that... I think in the end, I can say that I prefer it because it's more honest - more honest in the consistency of the mad logic of its paranoia, more honest in the effort it took to make, more honest in the authenticity of its overt manipulation, ham-handedness and earnest simple-mindedness.

The remake was originally made in 2008-09, I'm not sure why but perhaps they were looking to capitalize on some 80s nostalgia. The film was "updated" to revolve around an invasion by the People's Liberation Army. MGM, the production company, was to release it in 2010 but went bankrupt and restructured, delaying the film's release until 2011. When advance publicity came out, there was hue and cry in Chinese media and MGM, who wanted MGM movies to play in Chinese theatres one day (not this one of course, but MGM makes a lot of movies), yanked it again, to change the enemy from China to North Korea, a truly pariah nation.

According to Wikitoolazytolookfurtherpedia, the change took less than $1 M (on a production budget of $75 M) as they reshot a few scenes and changed all the Chinese insignia to North Korean in digital post-production. This alone reminds me so much of the event in Nineteen eighty-four where Winston Smith is at a Hate Week Rally and a speaker changes the enemy from Eurasia to Eastasia mid-speech - within a few minutes, after the posters and banners that had been put up by the agents of Goldstein have all been torn down, the crowd is back hating, just at a different enemy - and poor Winston has a week of overtime work and revision ahead of him as they have to prove that Eastasia has always been the enemy. Except that Winston is not manufacturing lies for ideological and political consistency, he is doing it so his employer does not lose market share.

I mentioned honesty in paranoid logic and honesty in effort with respect to the earlier movie. Of course the premise is ludicrous and logistically impossible, this is a fantasy movie after all - but in the original film they made some effort to draw up some backstory, made some reference to world events outside the USA, and made prodigious efforts to create realistic props, do research on uniforms and weapons, and even teach the actors and extras some infantry fieldcraft so the film has some military verisimilitude (I even recall reading at the time an admiring article in Soldier of Fortune magazine about how hard John Milius had tried to get the look of things right). In the remake all the vehicles and many of the weapons are actually American - the Korean invaders are driving around in Hummers and an M-1 tank - and while they are usually carrying AK-47s, the uniforms they are wearing appear to be variations on the digital camouflage currently used by the US Marine Corps (though there are lots of civilianized variations, the Korean People's Army does not wear anything like it). Certainly this does not mean anything to most people, but to me it is just one more measure of the film's half-assedness.

The original film was a loud, stupid action movie that was not afraid to stand up on its hind legs and bray about how stupid and manipulative it was - e.g. scenes like where Harry Dean Stanton and other prisoners, about to be gunned down by the invaders, start to sing America the Beautiful. The remake is much louder, the camera work far more jerky and kinetic, but there is a curious emotional detachment about it all. This is shown especially well in the original film, where there are a few attempts to humanize the enemy - e.g. the scene where C. Thomas Howell makes his first kill, the scene where they execute one of their own and a Russian prisoner, and the character of that doubtful-emo Cuban Colonel Bella. In the remake, the adversary is one Captain Cho, who does nothing but scowl at people and bark in Korean - and he's the only enemy we even hear speak with subtitled Korean, all the others are essentially faceless First-Person Shooter video game faceless ciphers who yell and fall down.

This emotional detachment extends to the "good guys" as well - the original film had some real actors in it, character actors like Powers Boothe, Judd Omen and Harry Dean Stanton but also young actors who mostly went on to longer if not exactly distinguished careers. And while you didn't exactly care about them, they could at least emote, and made some kind of personal adjustment during the course of the film. In the remake, the actors (who all seem to have been in quite a few movies and TV shows already) may change clothes from time to time, they don't change as people - consequently you care as little about them as you do the faceless enemy.

So in summary, the remake was just half-assed. From the interchangeable enemy altered in post-production, to the laziness of the film's art direction, to the general lack-of-affect involvement with any of the characters, the film just comes across as a left-handed job that was made because someone decreed that it be made, in the hopes that it would make money. At least John Milius had his crazed convictions to sustain him through the original film's absurdities and drag home an emotional carcass of a B-movie; this was just a waste of time that had learned nothing from its predecessor and was not intersted in making any new mistakes, either.

While copies of the original Red Dawn will still be on the shelves in years to come (preferably the Special Edition with the in-screen "Carnage Meter" that ticks up everytime someone gets killed), I don't think anyone associated with this project would care to remember it.

Fooled ya!

Nov. 2nd, 2010 12:33 pm
ltmurnau: (Default)
Ah ha! Two posts in two days.
Don't expect me to maintain this killer pace, though.

I forgot to note some other things - we went to see the Yes Men (http://theyesmen.org/, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Yes_Men) at UVic and were sorely disappointed. They started late, and - what they? there was only one Yes Man! At that, he made a few general remarks and for the most part played some videos from his laptop of some media coverrage of past Yes Men pranks and a rough cut of workshop participant reactions to an unnamed future event in Chicago. In the middle of the presentation, he gave up talking entirely and just asked audience members to break into groups of 5 or 6 and talk about getting things done. Yeah, I know that might have been his point but it still seemed lazy to me. Not impressed.

Anyway, we ducked out of that just before it ended and went across to the other side of the Student Union Building to see "We Don't Care About Music Anyway", (http://reelnrock.blogspot.com/2010/04/we-dont-care-about-music-anyway-hot.html) a film about avant-garde musicians in Tokyo. None of the really big names like Masami Akita, they did have some interesting performers playing in some interesting settings. Personally, I think it's a lot more fun playing this kind of stuff than it is watching a film about it later. The experience of the film was spoiled though because the monkey running the DVD player in the projectionist's booth didn't know how to set the "aspect" of the screen, so the subtitles were all cut off.

This film was part of this year's Antimatter Film Festival, first time I've gone to one in several years becuase frankly the selections before this year were pretty crappy. I did see a good selection of short films a few days later that included a half hour documentary on Delia Derbyshire, the woman who worked at the BBC Radiophonic workshop in the late 50s and early 60s and composed the original theme music to Doctor Who. No electronics then - these were processed sounds worked on tape recorder, and no way to mix tracks, so all the different sounds were an equal number of tape recorders playing at once and you hoped they would stay in sync!

Last night we went to Bolen Books to see William Gibson read from Zero History, his newest book. It's funny, he's lived in Canada for 40 years and still has that Carolina drawl. He sounds slow and a bit stupid, but he has a wicked and very dry sense of humour. It's a treat to hear him read. He took questions later too. [livejournal.com profile] epexegesis was there too!
ltmurnau: (Default)
Top 100 science fiction movies of all time, as discerned by the Online Fim Critics' Society. Bold the ones you've seen. In all cases the movie title refers to the original, not the shitty remake (exceptions: Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing):

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension - This movie is God.
A.I. - Artificial Intelligence
Akira
Alien
Aliens
Altered States
The Andromeda Strain
Back to the Future
Blade Runner
Brazil

The Cell
City of Lost Children - this was brilliant, I liked Delicatessen too.
A Clockwork Orange
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Contact
Dark City
The Day The Earth Stood Still

The Dead Zone
Donnie Darko
Dr Strangelove (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Bomb)
- one of my favourites!
Edward Scissorhands
The Empire Strikes Back

Escape from New York
ET: the Extra Terrestrial
eXistenZ
Fahrenheit 451
Fantastic Voyage

The Fifth Element - ???
The Fly (1986) - Great Cronenberg!
Forbidden Planet
Gattaca
Highlander
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
The Iron Giant
- c'mon, everybody cried when the robot died....
Jacob's Ladder
Jurassic Park
King Kong (1933)
Mad Max
The Matrix
Men In Black
Metropolis (1926)
On the Beach
Pi
- brilliant movie! A-and it has Go in it!
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Return of the Jedi
The Road Warrior/Mad Max 2
Robocop
Seconds
- saw this a few weeks ago and it was very good! Scenes had imprinted on my mind from when I saw some of it on TV over 30 years ago, once.
Silent Running
Sleeper
Slaughterhouse-Five
Solaris (1972)
- finally watched it but I still can't see what the fuss is about.
Starman
Starship Troopers - ???
Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home
Star Trek - First Contact
Star Wars
Strange Days
Superman - The Movie
The Terminator
The Terminator 2
They Live
The Thing (From Another World)
John Carpenter's The Thing
THX 1138

Time After Time
Time Bandits
The Time Machine (1960)
Total Recall

Tron
The Truman Show - not SF if you ask me
12 Monkeys
2001: A Space Odyssey
Until the End of the World
Videodrome
Village of the Damned
War of the Worlds


And some "zero star" flicks, from the Sci-Fi Movie Reviews page: http://www.scifimoviepage.com/movies.html

Alone in the Dark
Anaconda 3: Offspring
Batman (1966) - C'mon, it's campy fun, and certainly not SF
Communion
Cyborg
DeepStar Six
Eve of Destruction
Future Fear
Masters of the Universe
Meteor
Red Sonja - Well, I agree it was dumb, but so was Conan
Robot Carnival - ??? Aki and I liked this a lot when he was little
The Shadow Men
Within the Rock
XTRO - I have this on VHS at home somewhere; I'll have to look at it now
Young Einstein - this I'm prepared to take on faith
ltmurnau: (Default)
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/guides/worst_of_the_worst/ for covers and plot poionts and stuff.

How many of these have you seen? Bold them, BOLD THEM!
In order, from the least very worst to the very, very worst:

Read more... )

Quite frankly, I have never heard of most of these movies, or remember them only vaguely from TV ads or pawing through the $5.99 bin at Rogers Video.

Well, go on, make it a meme!
ltmurnau: (Default)
Tim Burton is making Alice in Wonderland — expected to be released in March 2010. The casting looks good:

Alice: Mia Wasikowska (never heard of her)
The Mad Hatter: Johnny Depp (better leave his Michael Jacksonesque Willy Wonka behind)
The Queen of Hearts: Helena Bonham Carter (who was always kind of scary anyway)
The White Queen: Anne Hathaway
The Knave of Hearts: Crispin Glover (yikes!)
The Cheshire Cat: Stephen Fry (OK, not bad)
The Caterpillar: Alan Rickman (I could see that)
Tweedledee and Tweedledum: Matt Lucas (fat guy from Little Britain, yep)

I sure hope this will be good, because Tim Burton has disappointed of late. Though I am firmly of the opinion that nothing, but nothing, could ever top Pee-Wee's Big Adventure.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Well, I probably would have been disappointed anyway:... stuff about other things snipped:

Penn drops Stooges, Cartel films for personal time-out
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Comedy fans eager to see Academy Award-winner Sean Penn as one of the Three Stooges appear to be out of luck, as the actor has dropped out of his upcoming film projects.

Penn, who won Oscars for his roles in Mystic River and Milk, is taking a break from acting and withdrawing from the Farrelly Brothers' film The Three Stooges as well as the crime thriller Cartel, a spokeswoman for the actor has confirmed.

Mara Buxbaum did not give a reason for the decision, but added that if the start dates of the productions were postponed, the actor could remain involved.

According to industry reports, Penn, 48, is taking an extended leave from Hollywood to deal with personal issues. [snip]

The Stooges project is a longtime labour of love for the Farrellys, who garnered much buzz in March with news that Penn had been cast as Larry, Jim Carrey as Curly and Benicio del Toro as Moe.

Before Penn's announcement, the comedy had been slated to start filming in August and released in 2010.

[snip]

relates to http://ltmurnau.livejournal.com/201978.html
ltmurnau: (Default)
Yoinked from [livejournal.com profile] jefferyab.

The Yahoo! Movies editorial staff has created this handy checklist to track the "100 movies you must see before you die" (released before March 2009). Bold the ones you've seen, make a comment if you like, double points if you saw it first run at the theatre!

12 Angry Men (1957)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
400 Blows (1959)
8 1/2 (1963) -
The African Queen (1952)
Alien (1979)
All About Eve (1950) -
Annie Hall (1977)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
The Battle of Algiers (1967)
The Bicycle Thief (1948) –
Blade Runner (1982)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blow Up (1966)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Breathless (1960)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) -
Bringing Up Baby (1938) -
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Casablanca (1942)
Chinatown (1974)
Citizen Kane (1941)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Die Hard (1988)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Duck Soup (1933) –
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
The Exorcist (1973)
Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
The French Connection (1971)
The Godfather (1972)
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
Goldfinger (1964)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)
Goodfellas (1990)
The Graduate (1967)
Grand Illusion (1938) -
Groundhog Day (1993)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
In the Mood For Love (2001)
It Happened One Night (1934) -
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Jaws (1975)
King Kong (1933)
The Lady Eve (1941)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
M (1931)
M*A*S*H (1970)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
The Matrix (1999)
Modern Times (1936)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
Network (1976)
Nosferatu (1922)
On the Waterfront (1954)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Paths of Glory (1958)
Princess Mononoke (1999)
Psycho (1960)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Raging Bull (1980)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
Rashomon (1951)
Rear Window (1954) -
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Rocky (1976)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Schindler's List (1993)
The Searchers (1956)
Seven Samurai (1954)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Star Wars (1977)
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
The Third Man (1949)
This is Spinal Tap (1984)
Titanic (1997)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Toy Story (1995)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Vertigo (1958)
When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Wild Strawberries (1957)
Wings of Desire (1988)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Women On the Verge of Nervous Breakdown (1988)
The World of Apu (1959)

***
56, not bad I suppose. But I wonder about some of the choices.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Yet another entry in the "Nice Idea But You Know It's Just Going To Be Bad" department:

Stooges film chases trio of knuckleheads: Penn, Carrey and Del Toro
Last Updated: Thursday, March 26, 2009 | 10:51 AM ET CBC News

The Farrelly brothers are near to signing a trio of A-list actors as cast of The Three Stooges.

And what an unlikely crew it is: Sean Penn will play Larry, Jim Carrey could be Curly and Benicio Del Toro is being sought to play Moe.

Peter and Bobby Farrelly, creators of There's Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber, have signed Penn and are in talks with Carrey and Del Toro.

Carrey, who will need to recreate the physical comedy of Curly, is reported to be ready to shave his head and gain 40 pounds to play the comedian. Curly died before the height of the Stooges' success, suffering a stroke in 1946.

Penn, who won an Oscar for playing Harvey Milk, is to play Larry, a wire-haired wisecracker who plays a Stradivarius. Del Toro, who the directors are still pursuing, would be the gruff head-rapper Moe.

The Three Stooges began as a vaudeville act and became famous with their series of short comedy films for Columbia Pictures in the 1930s and '40s.

Their slapstick humour became beloved by the television generation after the shorts were broadcast, usually in time slots aimed at children, in the 1960s.

The Stooges also made several films, including Have Rocket, Will Travel and The Three Stooges Meet Hercules.

The Farrelly brothers have been trying to create a Three Stooges movie for more than 10 years and finally found a producer in MGM. They have written the script and will direct.

Production is expected to begin in early fall, according to Variety, with release in 2010.
***

I wish they hadn't mentioned the movies, they were all truly awful, even the one with Adam West.
ltmurnau: (Default)
This one yoinked from [livejournal.com profile] absotivity.

219 movies in a list, and if you have watched more than 85 of them, you have no life. (I'm not sure why these 219 particular movies, and why 85 is the limit.)

Tick away!
Read more... )
Total: 88 (not counting originals + remakes)

So I have no life (just about). Of course, it probably doesn’t help that I’ve watched many, many more movies than the ones on the list.

Movie meme

Jul. 23rd, 2008 02:43 pm
ltmurnau: (Default)
Yoinked from [livejournal.com profile] caliedoscope.

Read more... )
ltmurnau: (Default)
On Saturday I did some testing of my new urban counterinsurgency game (government fell and fell hard because they let the gringos in to do the fighting for them, though the insurgents did not have a lot of popular support).

Later we went shopping, and I got an air rifle for Aki - he wants to shoot a "real gun" this summer while he is here, so I thought to get him an air rifle to teach him how to shoot (body alignment, breathing and trigger control, etc.) first. The one I got, an Airmaster 77, looks good and got good reviews, but firing it requires it to be pumped several times for more power - I probably should have got the "break-barrel" type that cocks a piston and makes it ready in one motion.



Speaking of which, I spent a hot and busy Sunday working over the garden. Filling in those trenches (http://ltmurnau.livejournal.com/108002.html) was a lot harder than digging them in the first place, but that's the general rule with defensive earthworks. I finished the clearing out of sod (the neighbour suggested I lay down tar paper to keep the grass out of the garden), dressed the soil with lime, bone meal, steer manure and "pink" fertilizer, laid down some new dirt (in beds edged with old boards) and sowed seeds. This year I'm planting (from left to right, not that it matters to you):

- potatoes, grown in tires
- broccoli
- two rows of snow peas
- carrots
- cucumbers
- spinach (a bushy type that is supposed to resist bolting)
- two rows of corn
- five "hills" of zucchinis
- two "hills" of watermelons
- sunflowers on the ends of the rows, for birds and fun

My deer protection plan this year is to get a roll of "deer fence" from Home Depot - it is a black plastic 1" square mesh and stake it out with rebar at the corners so they can't jump it (yeah, I know, famous last words), and leave some kind of gate in the edge so I can get in and water/ weed it. And I have an air rifle now, too.

It is so great to have a garden, and be able to grow even a little of my own food. I'm lucky. (You'll be lucky too, in August when I have 35 pounds more zucchini than I can possibly eat!)

That took most of the day, I was really tired. I went in, made burgers for us and we watched the new Romero, Diary of the Dead. It was interesting, quite grisly special effects but it is mostly a meditation on media/ new media, spin, the observer and the observed, truth in life vs. truth through the lens, got a little self-referential too (there was one point where the audio track in the background was the TV broadcast from the original Night of the Living Dead talking about "Civil Defense Authorities", something that does not exist today).
ltmurnau: (Default)
This one's from [livejournal.com profile] jackbabalon23 who got it from [livejournal.com profile] halfass_johnny:

1. Pick 15 of your favorite movies, or as many as may be easy.
2. Go to IMDb (or Wikiquote) and find a quote from each movie. (or in some cases, just remember them.)
3. Post them here for everyone to guess.
4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it correctly and the name of the movie.
5. NO Googling/using IMDb/Wikiquote search functions to get the answer. Guess, dammit!


1. "Restate my assumptions: 1. Mathematics is the language of nature." Pi, [livejournal.com profile] zulko
2. "Fools, they've cut their own throats!"
3. "Take Major Danby out and shoot him."
4. "Be happy in your work."
5. "Who lives a million years? A million people, every twelve months."
6. "Birdie num-num. Birdie num-num. "The Party, [livejournal.com profile] rosminah
7. "They say, dear Francis Hinsley/ They say that you were hung/ With red protruding eyeballs, and black protruding tongue."
8. "They got you too? They got me a long time ago."
9. "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are." Repo Man, [livejournal.com profile] jackbabalon23
10. "NO PRISONERS!"
ltmurnau: (Default)
The other day I sent my friend Eric a news bit about how Hasbro hopes to recoup some financial losses, spurred by the loud and flashy movie now playing.

Thank you very much for the Surrealist Games book!
Oh hey, Hasbro think it's going to make millions of resurgent sales of Transformer toys:
http://www.cbc.ca/consumer/story/2007/06/19/toys-movies.html.
They are working on a GI Joe movie and maybe a Monopoly-themed movie too. (I don't know how that last one would work)

Brian


He wrote back:

Yeah, I heard about the Monopoly movie... and guess who's attached to direct?

Ridley Scott

I kid you not.


So I thought to write:

(cue Gilbert & Sullivan style piano)

Sir Ridley Scott?
He kids me not!
This really is a stunner
From the man who made Blade Runner
Ah, well but then again
He's the one who made GI Jane!
From Hannibal to Monopoly
It's just a short leap, you'll see
For when he -

(Something heavy falls on the singer. Sounds of a struggle. Tape ends.)


But his high-quality rejoinder crushed me utterly:

Ridley Scott!
I kid you not!
Overblown visuals and a simpleton's plot!

Forego the story
Not part of the plan
Just stare hypnotic'lly
in the whirling fan

Praise the light
And damn the word
With the right lens filter
he can polish a turd

(chorus)
Ridley Scott!
I kid you not!
Overblown visuals and a simpleton's plot!

The Fall of Rome
The Great Crusades
Committed to celluloid iiiiimage
A Japanese mob
Hauer's platinum bob
Sigourney's heinie cleavage

But is it art?
Or simply commerce
To make a Hannibal movie
For all the Jeffrey Dahmers?

(chorus)
Ridley Scott!
I kid you not!
Overblown visuals and a simpleton's plot!

(Something heavy falls on the singer and is caught by multiple
camera setups and in slow motion, for good measure. Doves fly
through scene... and fade to black)


OK, well, I thought it was cute, and I really liked The Duellists.
ltmurnau: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] victriviaqueen gave me "P", so now I post ten things I love beginning with that letter.

Ask me for a letter in the comments, I will give you one and you post the response in your own LJ.

pantzooka - I gave form to this minor (very minor) legend of Burning Man. One must give Pants to the Pantsless.

papermaking - I've done a bit of this and woudl like to do more. Been saving lots of dryer lint against the day.

Pee Wee Herman - I loved his show, and would love to believe in a conspiracy that brought him down, but I think it was just loneliness and hubris. He will return.

Pere Ubu - O I would have loved to have seen these guys in concert, back in their Cleveland days. I know someone (through wargaming) who, concidentally, lived next door to the house they used to practice in back then. "My Mom threw me out till I get some pants that fit/ She just don't approve of my strange kind of wit--"

Philip K. Dick - not the easiest SF writer to get into. I like his short stories best.

Pizzicato Five - Japanese commercial music! So cool! Let's big the amenity!

poppies - I grow them, when and where I can. Only flower I have much of a use for. I like them when they bloom, and then they are gone.

postcards - I grab up weird ones when I can, if they are cheap. I don't collect them but when it costs almost a dollar to mail one to the US, there's less and less impetus to share them.

block printing/printmaking - I liked to make my own postcards and small prints, like Artist Trading Cards. Again, the high cost of postage has kind of killed this off.

puppets - I love puppet shows but will never me a puppeteer myself. Not coordinated enough.

***

We saw 300 on the weekend. I think Yukio Mishima would have loved this film. Otherwise, there once was a country called Sparta and an empire called Persian, and a place called Thermopylae - the rest of this film is all invention.

Also on the weekend, we did a major reorganization and cull of our videos. They are now stacked in a couple of cabinets, organized by genre. Will make finding things a lot easier, or it should. Hauled out six or seven bags of old, unwanted, or duplicated VHS films.

My coffee tree has had no fewer than four blooms in the last few days! One fell to my desk and I ate it. Very sweet, like clover - remember sucking the nectar out of the clover blooms when you were a kid?
ltmurnau: (Grandpa Munster)
Recalling my earlier clipping:

Borat plaintiffs want DVD halted
Last Updated: Friday, December 8, 2006 | 12:10 PM ET
CBC Arts

The future DVD release of the recent hit Borat could be jeopardized as a judge weighs the complaints of two frat boys who claim they were duped into making racist and sexist comments in the movie.

Read more... )

Again, sympathy for drunken Yahoo frat boys is pretty sparse 'round this here blog. What difference does it make if they were told, falsely or no, that the film would not be shown in the States?

There is an old Japanese proverb: "tabi no haji wa kakisute", which literally means "scrap the shame from your shoes" but is better translated as "the shame incurred while traveling can be easily discarded and forgotten." Not exactly applicable here but it explains why people feel that as long as it's overseas, it's acceptable.
ltmurnau: (Default)
Borat's humour lost on unwitting victims

Erin Carlson, The Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2006

NEW YORK -- While teaching American humour to a gregarious and absurdly out-of-touch foreign journalist, Pat Haggerty realized something was off -- who WAS this guy?

Haggerty, a public-speaking coach from Washington, D.C., is one of the unwitting co-stars of the surprise hit movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit of Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Haggerty has no hard feelings toward Borat, a.k.a. comedian Sacha Baron Cohen -- but the same can't be said for others who were humiliated or even lost their jobs thanks to the awkward fellow with the bushy moustache.

Their embarrassment over the film's hilarious, cringe-inducing blend of fiction and improvised comedy is magnified by its success -- Borat has topped the box office two weeks in a row, earning a total of $67.8 million.

Last year, Haggerty agreed to be filmed for what he thought was a benign documentary on his client's journey across America. He hurriedly signed a release form, was paid $400, and the lesson began.

As cameras rolled, his client told raunchy stories in garbled English and laughed heartily at the expense of handicapped people. "And then, I'm starting to smell a rat," Haggerty told The Associated Press. "Each passing minute I'm going, you know, this can't be real."

Confused, he ended up playing along. He later figured out -- thanks to his son, an HBO-watching college student -- that he'd been duped.

"They were exercising a First Amendment right," said Haggerty, adding that he enjoyed the movie. "And this Sacha Cohen guy's going to make 87 gazillion dollars. You know, good for him. I'm just sorry that he had to do it in such a way that he allowed people to make jerks out of themselves exposing their character flaws."

Two of Cohen's targets -- fraternity boys who made drunken, insulting comments about women and minorities -- are suing 20th Century Fox and three production companies. The lawsuit claims that a production crew took the students to a bar to "loosen up" before participating in what they were told would be a documentary to be shown outside of the United States, and that they signed waivers after drinking heavily. Studio spokesman Gregg Brilliant said the lawsuit "has no merit."

Cohen's behaviour also wasn't funny to Dharma Arthur, who claims she was fired as a morning show producer in Jackson, Miss., after being duped into giving Cohen air time. Cohen's live appearance, in which he said he had to go "urine" and hugged a bemused weatherman, led her life into a downward spiral, she told the AP. She is seeking an apology.

Kathie Martin, who runs an etiquette school in Birmingham, Ala., was also left out of the joke. Even though she was gracious and calm when Borat showed her nude photos of his son, Martin admitted she was "taken aback" by his shtick during their on-camera meeting.

"Unless you can figure it out for yourself, you have no way of knowing you have been tricked into being part of a childish prank with an R rating attached," she told the AP via e-mail.

"And even if you figure it out, you've signed a release that Mr. Cohen's people say relinquishes any rights on your part to take action against them."

Ronald Miller, of Natchez, Miss., was baffled by the ruse. He and his wife attended a dinner at a plantation house, which they were told would be an interview with an "Eastern European television reporter coming to Natchez to film social customs in the South," he told the AP.

Cohen's kerfuffle with Vancouver Island's Pamela Anderson, however, did make the cut. The Baywatch babe was attacked by his alter ego at a book signing, and he later chased her through a parking lot.

Did she learn of his antics in advance? Anderson's not telling.

"Unfortunately, Pamela is not doing any press interviews for Borat," her spokeswoman, Tracy Nguyen, wrote in an e-mail.

"Regarding if it was a surprise or not, we'd like to leave it to the imagination. Pam loves Borat and Borat loves Pam."

© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2006

Several lessons here foax:

1. Read the goddamn fine print when you sign a waiver.
2. Behave yourself in front of the camera if you don't wish any consequences.
3. Better yet, don't get in front of it in the first place.
4. Especially if you are a drunken frat boy or closet racist.

Pontecorvo

Oct. 13th, 2006 09:29 am
ltmurnau: (Default)
From CBC News today:

Battle of Algiers director dead at 86
Last Updated: Friday, October 13, 2006 | 10:45 AM ET
CBC Arts

Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, who is best known for his 1966 film The Battle of Algiers, has died at age 86.

Pontecorvo died at the Polyclinic Gemelli hospital in Rome on Thursday night, a hospital spokesman said. No cause of death was given, but he had recently suffered a heart attack.

Although he directed fewer than 20 films, Pontecorvo was regarded as one of Italy's greatest directors.

The Battle of Algiers was a documentary-style black-and-white film that showed brutality on both sides in Algeria's war of independence from France.

It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and was nominated for three Oscars.

The film still resonates today in the fighting against the insurgency in Iraq.

In 2003, the Pentagon screened the film to officers and civilian experts, promoting it with a leaflet that said: "How to win a battle against terrorism and lose the war of ideas."

He was born Gilberto Pontecorvo on Nov. 19, 1919, in Pisa to a wealthy Jewish family.

In 1938, he moved to France to escape Italy's fascist racial laws. He became an anti-fascist activist in France, then returned to Milan and headed a Resistance brigade during the Second World War.

He studied chemistry and worked as a journalist before taking up directing, starting with documentaries.

Pontecorvo maintained strong political passions that were reflected in his movies.

His 1959 film Kapo told the story of a Jewish girl attempting to escape a concentration camp. Qeimada, made in 1969, starred Marlon Brando in a tale against colonialism.

His 1980 movie, Ogro, was set in Spain in the years of dictator Francisco Franco.

When he wasn't directing, Pontecorvo worked behind the scenes, including serving as director of the Venice Film Festival from 1992-94.

***

I really like this film! Definitely one of my inspirations to get my game on Algeria done and Out There.

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