Tag Archives | film

How To Start Your Own Religion

One of the best films I saw at South By Southwest (SXSW) this year was Vikram Gandhi's documentary Kumaré, in which New Jersey-born and raised Gandhi decides to pass himself off as an Indian guru (he is of Indian descent) to see if people will buy into his fake persona as a spiritually enlightened teacher. He succeeds all too well and faces a dilemma when it's time to reveal the fraud. Essentially Gandhi's point is that spiritual gurus are frauds and anyone can be a guru if he can (so long as they are prepared to dress up, grow long beards, make up strange chants, etc.). With that in mind, I found a course on how to start your own religion, offered by 3rd Ward. I'm not sure if I'll take it yet, but they do say the fastest way to make a million dollars is to become a millionaire...
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Is Competitive Laughter Becoming A New Craze?

LaughologyThe documentary Laughology is helping set off a new fad with the discovery that competitive laughter can be entertaining.

The film makes the case that laughter itself is the primary motivator of laughter, so jokes aren’t necessary for people to have a good time. After a laughing contest in Montreal where the audience was in stitches, a competition made headlines in Tokyo. This Saturday a laughter contest hits America in the form of the California Ultimate Laughing Championship. Linda Massarella reports for the Toronto Sun:

So there was this American state called California with one of the highest unemployment rates on the continent and citizens fretting about losing their homes to foreclosure … when in walks this Canadian guy.

Yes, it’s Toronto documentary filmmaker Albert Nerenberg to the rescue of the depressed and anxious around here [San Luis Obispo, CA] next Saturday when he brings his movie, Laughology, to a film festival just north of L.A.

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DreamWorks Studio Buys Rights To WikiLeaks’ Book

wiki4It was only a matter of time there was a movie about Assange. Looks like Spieldberg’s studio got to it first. The Guardian reports:

Steven Spielberg‘s Hollywood studio looks set to oversee WikiLeaks: the Movie after securing the screen rights to WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange‘s War on Secrecy, the book by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding.

Reportedly conceived as an investigative thriller in the mould of All the President’s Men, the film will be backed by DreamWorks – the studio founded in 1994 by Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.

Leigh and Harding’s book charts Julian Assange’s life and times, from his itinerant childhood through to the creation of the WikiLeaks website in 2006. It also provides the inside story of Assange’s explosive partnership with the Guardian and the release, last December, of more than 250,000 secret diplomatic cables.

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said: “The Guardian’s unique collaboration with WikiLeaks led to what some have described as one of the greatest journalistic scoops of the last 30 years.”

[Continues at The Guardian]

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Brainsploitation: Rise Of The Neurothriller

Annalee Newitz writes for io9:
Inception cleaned up in the effects categories at the Academy Awards because they go to movies built around cool ideas. In this case, literally. The centerpiece of the film is a machine that allows clever intruders to enter other people's dreams and steal their ideas - or implant new ones. Inception is the latest standout example of the mind-manipulation movie, following in the tracks of Memento and classics like George Cukor's Gaslight. Call them neurothrillers.
What makes neurothrillers relevant now? Sure, we've always had psychological suspense flicks, but over the past decade they've been coming fast and thick...
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The Military’s Long-Lost Nuclear Apocalypse Film

The National Security Archive has the The Power of Decision posted in its entirety, making it available for public viewing for the first time ever. Produced in 1956-57 by the U.S. Air Force, it is perhaps the only government film depicting what the descent into nuclear holocaust would be like, a grim future in which "nobody wins a nuclear war because both sides are sure to suffer terrible damage," yet, "success" (i.e. the United States' prevailing with only some millions of casualties) is possible. It's not entirely clear why this was made -- perhaps to prepare military officers for confronting a nightmarish scenario:
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Preparing America For ‘See Something, Say Something’

The "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign that's so familiar to New Yorkers is going where no New Yorker can: Walmart. Scaring the crap out of middle America appears to be a priority for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, reaching into formerly safe havens such as the Mall of America. With that in mind, a group of independent filmmakers from New York have created a short film entitled Terminal Night that should help get the rest of America in the mood for the constant vigilance demanded of them by Janet Napoletano and the gang at DOHS.
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Prize-Winning Director Shoots New Film On iPhone

Photo: Park Chan-wook at the 2009 Cannes festival

Photo: Park Chan-wook at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (known for award-winning movies such as Oldboy and Lady Vengeance) shoots his latest film on his Apple iPhone 4s. Could this be the beginning to a new shift in film? Or just a quick gimic supported by Apple? Via Reuters:

Prize-winning South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s latest film, “Night Fishing,” has created a buzz in his native country — it was filmed using 10 Apple iPhone 4s, three of which he himself controlled.

Park, who won the Cannes Grand Prix in 2004 for “Oldboy,” also directed the 30-minute tale about a fisherman and a female shaman with his brother, Chan-kyong, and said the circumstances of its shooting gave making the film an unusual flavour.

“Movies that I directed before were meticulously planned ahead and shot just as pictured. Compared to that, shooting this film felt free, and everyone had an equal amount of say,” Park told Reuters in an interview at his studio in Goyang, north of Seoul.

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BMW Ad Uses Afterimage To Burn Logo Into Watchers’ Brains

A BMV commercial shown in German movie theaters uses a powerful photo flash to literally brand the corporation's logo into viewers' skulls, so that they see the logo upon closing their eyes. Surely other companies will soon follow suit with this cool advertising technique, and by cool, I mean awful:
"What do we see when we look straight at the sun and then close our eyes? That's right, a bright moving disk that lasts several seconds. Every child knows this afterimage effect. We use the afterimage effect for a completely new brand experience."
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Cell Phone Time Traveler In Charlie Chaplin Film?

With the DVD release of Charlie Chaplin's 1928 film The Circus, people have noticed a puzzling detail: a woman passing through the background of this scene appears to be speaking on a cellphone. Could she be a time traveler? The whole thing is even more unsettling than Chaplin's toothbrush mustache.
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