Tag Archives | Filmmaking

A Sneak Peek at Upcoming Philip K. Dick Movie ‘Radio Free Albemuth’

Radio Free AlbemuthScott Timberg writes on io9.com:

A new film based on Philip K. Dick’s posthumous, roughly autobiographical novel, Radio Free Albemuth, has begun some informal screenings around Los Angeles. We saw the film, and spoke to writer/director John Alan Simon about representing the author’s ambivalent life.

Radio Free is very independent in spirit as well as in style; it’s hard to recall a feature film made with so few frills and so apparently small a budget. This may suit the material: The novel is one of Philip Dick’s most personal but least well known, and offers not one but two characters who stand in for Dick himself. One, skeptical and hard-bitten, is played by an actor (Shea Whigham) who resembles the author almost uncannily — a working-class autodidact with a touch of Kerouac. The second, sunny, gullible and in love with patterns and ideas, is Dick as he might have become had his life taken a more commercial turn.

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California Science Center Sued Over Documentary Attacking Evolution

In the Los Angeles Times:

It may not have the dramatic sweep of “Inherit the Wind,” but a local court case involving a documentary film that addresses the origins of life on Earth has bigwigs in the museum world talking.

The California Science Center, located in Los Angeles’ Exposition Park, has been sued for allegedly canceling an October screening of a documentary that criticizes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

A group called the American Freedom Alliance has sued the L.A. museum, claiming that the center violated both the 1st Amendment and a contract to rent the museum’s Imax theater when it nixed the screening of “Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Fossil Record.”

The AFA, which sued the museum in L.A. Superior Court, is seeking punitive damages and compensation for financial losses, as well as a legal declaration from the court that the science center violated the United States Constitution and cannot refuse the AFA the right to rent its facilities for future events.

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Do Conservatives Hate ‘Avatar’ for Being Science Fiction With a Brain?

I'm posting part of this idiotic review from Big Hollywood here because no matter how badly the Democrats screw up, Republicans have to deal with voices like this in their Party:
AvatarSet in 2154, Avatar is a thinly disguised, heavy-handed and simplistic sci-fi fantasy/allegory critical of America from our founding straight through to the Iraq War... ...Visually Avatar doesn’t break any new ground. It looks like a big-budget animated film with a garish color palette right off a hippie’s tie dye shirt. Never for a moment did I believe the Na’vi or the world of Pandora was something organic or real...
So Big Hollywood prefers entertainment that doesn't question any societal norms or human history ... no matter where you go, there you are. What a terrible turn for society for Cameron to have this in mind ... let's listen to the big "liberal" himself talk about his new film on the Today Show: Science fiction with "thinking" — how strange — that's what I have always enjoyed about it...
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Polanski and Kubrick: Two Occult Tales

90sOccultMoviesJacques Vallee writes on BoingBoing:

In our age of rational science the occult has never been more in demand: Angels and demons are popular, the Da Vinci code and lost symbols fascinate audiences worldwide and Hollywood is eager to turn out more movies with a paranormal theme.

So why is it that so many of these stories seem flat, and fail to reach the level of insight into hidden structures of the world true esoteric adventures are supposed to promise?

Perhaps the answer has to do with the failure of gifted directors to come to grips with the enormity of the unknown issues of human destiny, or to pose the fundamental questions their esoteric subject would demand.

We go away charmed by artistic visions, dazzled by the pageantry of cardinals in red capes and titillated by women in black garters but the Illuminati only scare us because of the blood they spill, not the existential issues they should transcend.

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$500 YouTube Short Gets Unknown Filmmaker $30 Million from Hollywood

Hard to believe this only cost $500. Amazing. Posted on News Lite:
An unknown filmmaker from Uruguay has been given $30m by Hollywood studio bosses — to turn his $500 YouTube video of a giant robot invasion into a movie Would-be director Federico Alvarez, who runs a post-production visual effects house in Uruguay, filmed 'Panic Attack' with a budget of just $500 in his free time. The five minute clip — which he then uploaded to YouTube — shows an invasion of Montevideo by giant robots and had special effects which could rival many big budget movies. Once online it got the attention of thousands of movie fans… and (not surprisingly) studio bosses who wanted to meet with Alvarez to talk about his movie. The 30-year-old was whisked to LA where he was offered a $1 million directors fee and up to £30 million to make the film, by Mandate Pictures. The plans for the movie are said to have a "compelling original story" beyond big robots blowing stuff up. Alvarez has also been put up in a new apartment, given a new car and will work with Spider-Man director Sam Raimi on developing the film. (Read More: News Lite)
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Think Outside The Box Office

We don't often review books on the Disinformation site, partly because we're publishers ourselves and it might seem as though we have a competitive conflict of interest, but probably more because all our reading time is taken up with submissions, editing, and so forth. I have to make an exception for a book that arrived in the mail this morning: Jon Reiss' Think Outside The Box Office: The Ultimate Guide to Film Distribution and Marketing for the Digital Era. It's no secret that indie film has gone through an amazing period of growth for any number of reasons, not least access to cheap but high quality cameras and computers/editing systems. The way we watch indie film has changed drastically too, from art house cinemas to DVDs that arrive in the mail or from a kiosk in a supermarket, on demand via your cable or satellite TV provider, or online via iTunes, Netflix, Amazon.com or, gasp, Bit Torrent. When Disinformation entered the home video market in 2003 it was perfect timing (accidental, proving the old maxim, better to be lucky than smart) and we rode the wave of documentary films selling in big numbers on DVD. Now that the retail DVD market is dying we're finding new ways to bring our films to their intended niche audiences, and that's exactly what Jon's book is all about. What worked yesterday is failing today and won't work at all tomorrow. The only hesitation I have in recommending this book to every single independent filmmaker today is that armed with the information in this book, a filmmaker is potentially equipped to bypass distributors like Disinformation completely! But, in the spirit of 'information should be free,' go to Reiss' book site...
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Is This The End Of The Line For The Impartial Documentary?

It’s amazing that at least six years into the golden era of advocacy documentary filmmaking, a major newspaper with a thriving arts and culture section should feel the need to ask this question, but apparently there are some journalists and filmmakers who think any documentary film that does not try to be ‘objective’ somehow fails to deserve to even be categorized as ‘documentary.’

As the distributor of over fifty documentary films (can you believe that?!? Disinformation has been busy since our first DVD release in 2004…), here at The Disinformation Company we feel that the advocacy films we release are disseminating information and opinion to counter the mainstream and establishment views on the issues at hand (usually our filmmakers are reacting against a government or corporate whitewash). The advent of cheap video cameras and editing software has made it possible for some very bad docs to be made (believe me, we see a lot of them), but they’re still documentaries.… Read the rest

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