Tag Archives | Movies

In Risu Veritas: Ten of the Funniest Movies Ever + Three Just As Funny Foreign Ones

In Reflections on the Death of Mishima, Henry Miller, after singing the praises of both the Japanese author who put an end to his life with a ritual suicide by seppuku (abdomen-cutting) and nipponica in general, noticed: “His utter seriousness, it seems to me, stood in Mishima’s way.” In itself, the observation sounds like a joke. Mihisma, dead serious (indeed) about everything, would have disapproved vehemently. Humor has been frowned upon for centuries, in fact millennia, in our own western tradition, too.


Plato censored the enjoyment of comedy in Philebus as a form of scorn. “Taken generally,” he wrote, “the ridiculous is a certain kind of evil, specifically a vice.” In Rhetoric, Aristotle stated that wit was educated insolence, while in the Nicomachean Ethics he admonished: “Most people enjoy amusement and jesting more than they should … a jest is a kind of mockery, and lawgivers forbid some kinds of mockery—perhaps they ought to have forbidden some kinds of jesting.”

Needless to say, early Christian thinkers objected to humor and laughter, too, a trend that continued through the Middle Ages.… Read the rest

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The 25 Most Important Zombie Movies Ever Made

dawn of the dead main 25

Jim Vorel via Paste Magazine:

From the living dead to the walking dead to the typing dead, zombies have completely and utterly suffused 21st century culture. And that’s a pretty weird phenomena, when you think about it.

It’s not like this was always the case. Go back to the ’80s, and to wax poetic about George Romero-esque zombie films would have been the hallmark of a nerdy, acne-ridden high school student in a John Hughes movie. The idea that a TV show like The Walking Dead could be one-upping Sunday Night football in TV ratings? That would seem patently impossible.

Yes, zombies have come a long way, as has our appreciation for them. We live in a society that has become profoundly geekier in the last 15 years, and adopted the once secretive and insular totems of geek culture as its own. But it’s not just us who has evolved, it’s the zombies themselves—the creatures, their films and the people who made them.

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It’s Groundhog Day All over Again! – Living in the Era of the Ontological Movie

peake“It’s like The Matrix, isn’t it?” We’ve heard the phrase many times and probably said it ourselves. We live in a time when mind-bending perspectives on the nature of reality are both commonly abroad in the culture as well as entertained by cutting-edge scientists. But it wasn’t always the case.

The mainstream success of movies such as The Matrix, Groundhog Day, and Inception have spread the word that was previously only heard by philosophers, hippies and adherents of eastern mysticism. So, what does it mean to live in the age of the ontological movie?

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Why are stoners always portrayed the same in film?

Still from "Dazed and Confused"

Still from “Dazed and Confused”

Over at Dazed Digital, Charlie Graham-Dixon explores the “stoner” stereotype that’s heavily reinforced in cinema.

via Dazed Digital:

You guys, entrenched perceptions around weed are changing. Via seven short films and one feature-length documentary, The New York City Cannabis Film Festival aimed to showcase “entertaining and educational films about cannabis that further transform, stimulate, change, and share the expanding horizons of cannabis culture in the city of New York.”

Weed and movies have always been inextricably linked. From bombastically OTT anti-drug propaganda films like Reefer Madness (1938) and Assassin of Youth (1937)  through to modern day rehashes (geddit?) of stoner comedies like Pineapple Express (2008) and the Friday films – Hollywood has proven its fascination with getting high. And as American attitudes towards weed have fluctuated from shrieking negativity to shoulder-shrugging acceptance, so too has Hollywood, the lightning rod of America’s preoccupations and anxieties.

For many, the bond between film watching and smoking is strong.

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A Short Vision (1956)

This short animated film is Peter and Joan Foldes’ second and last film together. Its bleak subject – the end of the world caused by a nuclear apocalypse – reflects a widespread preoccupation in 50s Britain which would soon lead to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). The film is composed mostly of still drawings, creating a terrifying effect amplified by a sombre commentary spoken in the style of the Bible. The film had a very strong impact on audiences, in particular across the Atlantic, where it was shown on primetime television to millions of American viewers and reportedly produced one of the biggest reactions since Orson Welles’ ‘War of the Worlds’ broadcast in 1938. (Christophe Dupin)

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Original Psycho Door from Wisconsin Funeral Home Up for Auction


The iconic door from Norman Bates’ home in Psycho will be going up for auction next week with an estimated buying price of anywhere from $20-$30,000.

Up until recently, the Dallmann-Kniewel Funeral Home Rib Lake, Wisconsin was using it as the front door.

Charlie Hintz via Cult of Weird:

At the end of this month, Profiles in History will be auctioning off a trove of Hollywood history. Many are props from beloved horror movies – things like a monster from Ghoulies, the Hellraiser puzzle box, Herman Munster’s head, the mask of Frank the Bunny from Donnie Darko.

But one in particular is worth taking a closer look at, not only because it is a great piece of film history, but because it has an odd connection to the story it was used to portray…The original door from the house of Norman Bates in the 1960 Hitchcock classic Psycho.

And up until recently, it was being used as the front door of the Dallmann-Kniewel Funeral Home in Rib Lake, Wisconsin.

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Remembering Wes Craven

Cinema lost a giant last night as horror master Wes Craven passed away from brain cancer. Craven was a powerhouse in the horror world, bringing us classics such as The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and the Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream franchises.

While we horror aficionados will lament his passing, we can rest assured that his legacy will live on.

Notable Quotes:

“I believe the cinema is one of our principal forms of art. It is an incredibly powerful way to tell uplifting stories that can move people to cry with joy and inspire them to reach for the stars.”

“I think there is something about the American dream, the sort of Disneyesque dream, if you will, of the beautifully trimmed front lawn, the white picket fence, mom and dad and their happy children, God-fearing and doing good whenever they can, and the flip side of it, the kind of anger and the sense of outrage that comes from discovering that that’s not the truth of the matter, that gives American horror films, in some ways, kind of an additional rage.”

“The horrors of retirement.… Read the rest

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