Tag Archives | film

Kung Fu Movie Genre Inventor Run Run Shaw Dies At 106

run run shawVia the New York Times, pretty much all you could ask for in an eccentric billionaire movie mogul:

Run Run Shaw, the colorful Hong Kong media mogul whose name was synonymous with low-budget Chinese action and horror films — and especially with the wildly successful kung fu genre, which he is largely credited with inventing — died on Tuesday at his home in Hong Kong. He was 106.

Born in China, Mr. Shaw and his older brother, Run Me, were movie pioneers in Asia. In 1924 Run Run and Run Me turned a play called “Man From Shensi” into their first film. In Hong Kong, Run Run Shaw created Shaw Movietown, a complex of studios and residential towers where his actors worked and lived.

Mr. Shaw enjoyed the zany glamour of the Asian media world he helped create. He presided over his companies from a garish Art Deco palace in Hong Kong, a cross between a Hollywood mansion and a Hans Christian Andersen cookie castle.

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Rasta Zombie: Director Mitch Williamsmith On Legalization and the Undead

Rasta ZombieFull disclosure: I’m not a fan of zombies.  My favorite zombie film is still Night of the Living Dead and I only made it through about twenty minutes of the first episode of The Walking Dead before getting bored and switching to some cartoons.

I really didn’t think there was too much ground left to cover for stories about the undead.  We’ve seen proverbs of survival, criticism of consumer culture, and allegorical tales of human beings facing the personification of the primal lizard brain.

But zombies versus pot?  Scary.

Writer and director Mitch Williamsmith, along with producer Shaun Kennedy and cinematographer Brian Kennedy, are working on their new film, Rasta Zombie, which will combine marijuana activism, zombie apocalypse, and every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard.

But how can a zombie film successfully tackle a theme like marijuana legalization?  I cornered Williamsmith and demanded answers.

ISLA: Tell me about your plans for the film.Read the rest

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Badge Classes And Segregation Inside The Googleplex

Filmmaker Andrew Norman Wilson's eerie short Workers Leaving the Googleplex reveals his brief time employed as a temp in video production at Google's headquarters and how things went terribly wrong. Google fancies itself as creating the future, and its system of separating workers into white, red, green, and yellow badge classes reads like a preview of how society will be organized in some dystopian future. Wilson was fired and threatened with legal action after Google campus security caught him interacting with lowly yellow badge workers, who are not granted the privileges of red and white badge holders, such as riding Google bikes, eating free gourmet Google meals, setting foot anywhere else on Google's campus, or even talking to employees with other badge colors, many of whom do not know that the yellow badge class exists:
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Swedish Movie Theaters To Display Films’ Gender Equality Rating

theaters

This is probably more helpful than the current MPAA rating system in use here. Via the Washington Post:

Four Swedish movie theaters touched off a heated debate across Stockholm last month — and in the English-language media this morning — with the announcement that they plan to begin publicly labeling films that pass the so-called “Bechdel test.” The metric gauges whether a film meets a bare minimum standard for developed female characters.

Promoters are encouraging theaters to stamp its “A” logo on the movie posters and pre-roll screens of any film that (1) has at least two female characters who (2) talk to each other (3) about something other than men. A surprisingly high proportion of films fail this test.

In the weeks since, it has been covered in a dozen newspaper columns and earning the endorsements of Equalisters, Women in Television and Film and a popular cable movie channel and, controversially, the blessing of Anna Serner, who presides over Sweden’s state-funded film institute.

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David Cronenberg’s POD Implant For Your Brain

david cronenbergDavid Cronenberg has a new multimedia project involving a fictional mobile body-add-on gadget called "Personal On-Demand," or POD for short, ostensibly created by biotech startup firm BODY/MIND/CHANGE. Are you ready for your fitting?
MEET POD (PERSONAL ON-DEMAND), THE ULTIMATE RECOMMENDATION ENGINE. POD IS AN EMOTIONAL SENSORY LEARNING AND DATA-MINING ORGANISM. WE’VE REDESIGNED THE RECOMMENDATION ENGINE TO MAKE DISCOVERING THE THINGS YOU NEED, LOVE OR DESIRE EFFORTLESS. POD GROWS WITH YOU TO BECOME AN INTUITIVE COMPANION, FULFILLING YOUR DEEPEST DESIRES ON DEMAND.
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‘This Chicken is Gonna Die’: Kaparos Ritual Filmed in NYC

Leghorn_SaundersOur more sensitive readers may want to sit this one out.

Here’s footage of Kaparos, a controversial ritual performed by some Hasidic Jews on the eve of Yom Kippur. Kaparos is performed by swinging a chicken over the head of a participant three times and then ritually slaughtering the bird. The meat is then supposed to be donated to the poor to eat in a pre-fast meal. By doing so, the sins of the person under the chicken is supposedly transferred to the unfortunate hen.

What do you think, Disinfo readers? Can you really call this any more barbaric or cruel than industrial farming? If not, then is the rite any “weirder” than any other religious practice?

Via Animal New York.

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Fotamecus: The Chaos Magick Film You May Never Get to See

fotamecusIn 2001, Matt Lee, director and epic beard-owner, announced the Fotamecus Film Majik Project, a plan to make a “film about time and modern magick, a story about shifting perceptions of time.”  The film would follow six chaos magicians as they cast a spell through the use of a sigil to “construct a tool with which our subjective perception of time can be altered.”

The film’s title, Fotamecus, comes from the name of a servitor created in 1996 by a magician calling himself Fenwick Rysen.  In chaos magic, a servitor is an artificially created being with limited autonomy that executes a pre-programmed task.  In the case of Fotamecus, the the task was to literally condense or expand time, dependent on the needs of the operator.  Say, for instance, I was running late to an appointment.  In theory, I could call upon the entity to contract the amount of time it would take to get there, and the trip would shorten.  The problem, according to Fenwick, is that to contract time in one place meant that time had to be expanded in another.  To this end, the servitor was then programmed to self-replicate clones of itself as needed, creating a matrix of servitor nodes.  That way, if I needed to make my trip shorter, then a node would be created which another person could access if they wished to make another time period last longer (insert minute man joke here).  This would keep me from having to “pay” for my time.  With me so far?… Read the rest

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Clark: Making Duchamp’s Fountain Look Like A Urinal

Gonzmomentary.com just announced that “Clark: A Gonzomentary” has been accepted by the Philly Independent Film Festival.

Clark: A Gonzomentary will premier Friday June 28th, 2013, 5pm EST at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia PA. But you can watch the full early release of the movie on YouTube.

Some new outtake videos:

Clark explains why he creates phallic art.

Beyond The Art: Clark on Clark.

Beyond the Art: JC on JC.

Beyond the Art: Tito on Tito.

Beyond the Art: Daniel on Daniel.

The progression of an artist’s work.

Method acting.” (Handcam)

Dick guy.” (Behind the scenes handcam)

Hallucinogenic Minisode.

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The Explosive Pop Art Cinema Of Pramod Pati

Avant-garde filmmaker Pramod Pati created luscious, poetic, beautifully-scored short films on behalf of the Indian government (sometimes with social-educational purposes such as promoting family planning). Highlights include Abid, below, and 1968's symbolism-rich Explorer. The Seventh Art provides some background:
Pramod Pati, who died an untimely death at the age of 42, worked for the Films Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in India, which commissioned feature-length and short documentaries as well as short animation films for the purposes of cultural archiving and nationwide information dissemination. The documentaries generally consisted of profiles of artistes practicing traditional forms, educational films for adults, and simple moral tales and basic literacy courses for children. Although there was an obvious restriction on the type of subjects filmmakers can choose, the Films Division, like the Kanun in Iran, was free from commercial concerns and thus presented a higher scope for formal experimentation for directors.
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