Tag Archives | film

God’s Slave

Based on the actual events of a 1994 bombing in Buenos Aires still making headlines today, “God’s Slave” follows Ahmed, trained since childhood as an Islamic terrorist now assigned to execute a suicide bombing at a synagogue, and David, the cold-blooded Israeli special agent who will stop at nothing to prevent the attack. But neither man is defined solely by their extremist views. Ahmed, posing as a doctor, lives happily with his wife and young son; though David’s marriage is on the rocks, he remains devoted to his wife and daughter. With time running out before the attack, David zeros in on Ahmed as a suspect, his investigation culminating in violent, if unexpected, consequences.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

How Technicolor Changed Storytelling

Via Adrienne LaFrance at The Atlantic:

In the dawn of the age of cinema, adding color to black-and-white films was something like “putting lip rouge on Venus de Milo.” That is to say, it had the potential for disastrous, garish results. And that’s how the legendary director Albert Parker referred to the process of colorizing motion pictures in 1926, according to The New York Times that year.

Parker’s lipstick-on-the-Venus de Milo line wasn’t originally his—it was the same comparison famously used by silent film star Mary Pickford to lament the rise of talkies. As with sound, adding color to motion pictures represented a revolutionary shift in onscreen storytelling—and not everyone was convinced that change was worthwhile. Even those who were excited about color filmmaking felt trepidation.

“The color must never dominate the narrative,” Parker told the Times. “We have tried to get a sort of satin gloss on the scenes and have consistently avoided striving for prismatic effects… We realize that color is violent and for that reason we restrained it.”

Today, we’re accustomed to seeing color choices set the tone for a scene, a film—even an entire body of work.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Breaking Up the Narrative: the 2015 Philip K. Dick Film Festival

FilmFestivalDaniel Abella is the founder and director behind the Philip K. Dick International Film Festival, which just held its third annual event this January at Tribeca Cinemas, NYC. I spoke with him about Philip K. Dick’s ongoing, reality-bending influence on cinematic expression.

J: What compelled you to start a Philip K. Dick film festival?

D: I have been a big fan of Philip K. Dick since learning he was compared to Jorge Luis Borges by Ursula LeGuin. After reading VALIS, Ubik and The Divine Invasion, I found a writer of great depth approaching some modern day philosophers. Philip K. Dick represents a distinctive voice that speaks of a bygone era in science fiction where humanity is prized and valued. My first film feature The Final Equation(1) was inspired by Philip K Dick’s mind bending 2-3-74 experience of meeting an alien intelligence he called VALIS. Based upon the good reception of the film it occurred to me that other filmmakers may want a forum to express their ideas and stories.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

GIFs of Anthony Hopkins Trying on Different Hannibal Masks

Hannibal-Lecter-Raio-X-do-Canibal

When I think of Hannibal Lecter, the first image that pops into my mind is what’s pictured above. In fact, it’s probably the most definitive image of The Silence of the Lambs, save for the key art. Or maybe you’re more partial to Buffalo Bill’s notorious dance with what’s probably the most famous man-tuck ever. Regardless, the flesh colored face mask was surprisingly not the initial choice.

Thanks to the Criterion Collection, rare footage of Hopkins trying on different masks is available. Below you’ll find some GIFs. After watching these, it’s easy to see why the filmmakers chose the above mask. None of the others as effectively highlight Hopkins’ psychotic eyes.

Hannibal-Lecter-Screen-Test-1

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Lynch and Burroughs Release Best Photo Books of 2014

BurroughsLynch

In 1963, William S. Burroughs wrote down his photographic manifesto: “Take. Rearrange. Take.” For Burroughs, photography wasn’t an art form so much as it was a weapon he employed to disrupt time.

Ideas about the interactions between time, space, words and images will be familiar to any reader of Burroughs’ works, but it’s less likely that those same readers will recognize the camera-created images on display in Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs. Published by Photographers’ Gallery of London and Prestel, the book is co-edited by Particia Allmer and John Sears who curated a show of Burroughs photographs at Photographers’ Gallery earlier this year. The new book also features an essay by erstwhile Beat biographer Barry Miles.

The Taking Shots title refers directly to Burroughs’ no-nonsense approach to the camera, but also to the artist’s famous addictions to heroin and guns. Among Burroughs’ visual creations, his shotgun paintings are much more familiar than these pictures, but his collaged images created by re-photographing arrangements of photographs often burst and scatter with the same energy.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Interstellar: Bending Space-Time in the Name of American Exceptionalism

Interstellar American Flag

Still from Interstellar.

If you’ve already seen Interstellar, don’t tell me how it ends. I’ve been trying to avoid as many spoilers about it as I can, and once I do see it, to post as many spoilers as possible to annoy my friends.

But there are a few that have slipped through the cracks. For instance, that the soundtrack features an obnoxiously loud organ score. That the plot involves travelling through wormholes to save humanity after the planet is hit by massive droughts (it’s unclear to me if the droughts are attributed to climate change in the movie, though I imagine not, so that the movie’s producers could avoid setting off a boycott by Ted Cruz types). Once in the wormhole, trippiness ensues, promising to rival director Christopher Nolan’s earlier movie Inception in incomprehensibility.

A few more spoilers: The Atlantic has boldly proclaimed that “Interstellar Isn’t About Religion, and Also It Is Totally About Religion.” And Neil DeGrasse Tyson has been tweeting about it – a lot.… Read the rest

Continue Reading