May 29, 2006

Gee, Never Saw That Coming

The story itself is a mind-bender of big issues: addiction, surveillance, paranoia and personal rights. Unfortunately, filmmaker Richard Linklater gets swamped by the book's grand philosophical pinions and resorts to verbal explication rather than dramatization.The Hollywood Reporter's thorough takedown of A Scanner Darkly at Cannes. "What touches me most about Waking Life, and about Linklater's work in general, is its devotion to a particular strain of American experience – the act of talking one's way to nirvana." - Kent Jones,...
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Posted by greg at 12:47 AM

May 26, 2006

Smithsonian Sells Archive To CBS For $6 Million

Why is that not the headline for any of the stories about the Smithsonian's exclusive TV programming deal with Showtime? Smithsonian officials signed a 30-year contract with CBS Corporation's Showtime division giving them rights of first refusal to any "commercial" films produced using the Smithsonian's collection, archives or experts in any more than an "incidental" way. Look back 30 years and ask yourself what changes have been wrought in the cable TV market, the Internet, and film production. How many...
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Posted by greg at 10:17 AM

May 17, 2006

The West Side Is Among Us Again

Whit Stillman not only lives, he writes in the Guardain about what the heck he's been working on all this time. Some adaptation that didn't work out, a script about Jamaican gospel churches... As I've gone from identifying with the protagonists of Metropolitan to the aging yuppie at the bar at JG Melon's in Metropolitan, I have to say, I'm a little put off by Mr. Stillman's apparently laconic--or wary, maybe--approach to filmmaking. But that's probably because I seem to...
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Posted by greg at 05:22 PM

Finally! A Matthew Barney Movie You Can Understand

Documentary director Alison Chernick's newest film, Matthew Barney: No Restraint, sounds like a must-see, and not just for the rare behind-the-scenes footage in includes from the set of the artist's own latest production, Drawing Restraint 9. [That's the new one. You know, the one with Bjork. The one shot on a Japanese whaling ship. The one that has people pretending sure, they knew what a flensing knife was before they read the production notes, didn't you read Moby Dick...
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Posted by greg at 02:37 PM

May 13, 2006

Cannes't Do

On the eve of the Cannes Film Festival, John Anderson takes a look at the phenomenally large amount of work that Palme d'Or winners Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne put into making their seemingly artless, effortless films. And he looks at the phenomenally small amount of money Palme d'Or winners seem to make from US theatrical distribution. [What he doesn't look at, though, is how much films like this will be dependent on DVD sales and rentals to make their actual...
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Posted by greg at 10:08 PM

May 04, 2006

Margene, What You Really Need Is HBO.

“Margene, just to let you know, Nicki is just pretending to have a baby in order to have more time with Bill. She’s still on the pill; she’s using Bill. I believe she knows about Bill and Barb’s affair. Nicki has a serious spending/debt problem. Also, I’m sorry no one went with you to the mall.” * Posted by: mississippigirl19 Apr 30, 2006 2:09 PM EDTGoldenfiddle pulls some actual [sic] comments from Margene's Blog on For those who may...
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Posted by greg at 11:21 AM

May 01, 2006

What He Really Wants To Do Is Not Direct

While he's been actively posing questions about vision and perception and exploring the relationship between the seen/felt/experienced and reality, I've still had a sense of Olafur Eliasson as a sculptural artist. That object/space/experience thing. And I mean that, even though it's photographs looming over my shoulder as I type this, not stainless steel artichoke-shaped kaleidoscopic pavilions. But after seeing his new show at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery over the weekend, Hal Foster's phrase "cinematic delirium" stuck in my mind. Foster used...
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Posted by greg at 08:43 AM

April 18, 2006

I've Got It! MiuTube! ... MiuSpace?

On the one hand, the posters for the OMA-designed dress exhibit actually call it the "Prada Epicenter." But on the other, she's smart enough to be wary. AND she does have a shrug decorated with the scalps of her two one-time biggest competitive threats, Helmut and Jil. So when Miuccia Prada tells NY Magazine's Carl Swanson that what she really wants to do is direct, well...:What is it about your brand that attracts people? [Sighs] Yes, it’s difficult to answer....
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Posted by greg at 01:09 PM

April 16, 2006

The Manchester Passion, Unplugged

BBC3 produced and aired "Manchester Passion" Friday night, a live retelling of the Passion of Christ, that was set on the streets of Manchester and which featured music from local bands made good like Joy Division and Oasis. The hype was definitely set: the Guardian published a lengthy article from the rehearsals. But I've heard precious little about how it actually turned out. Never mind finding any videos or torrents of the actual broadcast. YouTube, is there anything you...
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Posted by greg at 01:32 PM

Airport Movie Full Of Symbols

Iain Anderson's Airport is an animated short film made entirely of AIGA-standard travel icons. Very cute. Airport by Iain Anderson [ via boingboing]...
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Posted by greg at 01:12 PM

March 31, 2006

60-Second Films: The MoMA Stairway

David's a photographer--and the creator of the untouchably cool pre-pixellated logo clothing for reality TV contestants that burned through the blogs last week--who's started a little series of 60-second [give or take] movies. This one is of my favorite vista at Taniguchi's MoMA, across the atrium to the floating staircase with the Matisse at the top and the Diebenkorn at the bottom. Very busy, that staircase. 60 Seconds in the Life of a Staircase []...
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Posted by greg at 11:15 PM

March 30, 2006

Hiroshi Sugimoto Events We Will Unfortunately Miss, Vol. 4

Hiroshi Sugimoto created a stage for a Noh performance at Dia; unfortunately, it was in October 2001, not a real hot time for cultural diversions in downtown New York City. Missed it. The Noh stage was reinstalled at the Mori Museum at Roppongi Hills, which we also missed. Now, tonight at the Hirshhorn, two musicians are premiering a piece created for the artist's exhibition. Then after that, Sugimoto himself will perform as benshi, or stageside storyteller/narrator, for Kenzo Mizoguchi's 1933...
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Posted by greg at 03:08 PM

March 27, 2006

With All Due Respect...

Maybe it's just me, but whenever I hear a guy talking about himself in a documentary and he utters the phrase, "Never in the history of advertising," my BS detector goes haywire. Even if the rest of the sentence is, "has anyone thought to throw 250,000 balls down a San Francisco street." The Making Of minifeature for that Sony Bravia ad is interesting, but not as cool as the extended edit of the commercial itself, which isn't as good as...
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Posted by greg at 12:20 PM

March 23, 2006

Au Revoir, L'Enfant

The Dardennes brothers' latest film, L'Enfant, is about the inner and outer worlds of Bruno, a teenage hood who sells his newborn son. It stars Jérémie Renier, the same young actor from their last film, La Promesse. It's not love, really, because they're such a different kind of filmmaking, but I am really in awe of the Dardennes' work. It requires a different approach to filmwatching, but it's been worth it every time. From Manohla Dargis's review: The Dardennes' background...
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Posted by greg at 09:34 PM

Hey, It Does Rhyme With "Chick"!

You're making a short story about a couple of gay, white trash shepherds into a movie. The story's been optioned but undevelopable since it came out [sic]. In 2003-4, it looks like you might pull it together as "a low-budget, art house film, with no prospect of making any money," but only if you can pull in some actual star power, which, considering the subject matter, is no small feat. After all, only the bravest, most talented actors are willing...
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Posted by greg at 08:29 PM

March 21, 2006

Chinese Gold Farmers Docu On YouTube

"I suddenly realized that exporting virtual items through the Internet is the same as transmitting Chinese labor to America." That's how the owner of a "gold farming" company in China explains his business in Chinese Farmers In Gamedom, a documentary-in-progress by UCSD PhD candidate Ge Jin. The companies employ people to play video games all day in order to accumulate in-game gold or to build in-game equipment, which is then sold to American gamers for real money. One entrepreneur...
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Posted by greg at 01:02 PM

March 04, 2006

Empire of the Soundstage

JG Ballard writes in the Guardian about turning his childhood experiences and memories into Empire of the Sun, and then watching as Spielberg and co. turned his novel into a movie, and then watching as the movie and the book and the memories intermingle years later:Actors of another kind play out our memories, performing on a stage inside our heads whenever we think of childhood, our first day at school, courtship and marriage. The longer we live - and it's...
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Posted by greg at 03:49 PM

February 21, 2006

A Slacker Darkly

The trailer for A Scanner Darkly is up, and while it looks good--the rotoscope animation style is much tighter, and it coheres with a lot of the scenes and the vibe of the story--it's clearly a chatty Linklater joint. Plus, it looks like Robert Downey, Jr. figured that internalizing Henry Thomas, Jr.'s performance in Solaris was a good way to get this gig. And what can you say, but that he got it? Philip K. Dick's A Scanner Darkly, directed...
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Posted by greg at 07:54 PM

February 15, 2006

Winterbottom Goes Bubbley for Gitmo Movie Distribution

Michael Winterbottom's A Road To Guantanamo was produced for Channel 4, but they're opening it like a film, too. Like a Soderbergh film called Bubble, to be specific. A simultaneous DVD, Theater, and--hold on--online release next month. The film is a fantastical, unrealistic tale of some guys en route to a wedding who get swept up and dumped in Gitmo for two years, no questions asked. Then they're released. How implausible is that?? Oh, wait. [via kultureflash]...
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Posted by greg at 09:04 AM

February 12, 2006

How It Happened Here Happened

It Happened Here is a 1966 documentary-style account of a Nazi occupation of Britain, made over the course of eight years of weekends by Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo. They were 18 and 16, respectively, when they started production. All the accounts of the film describe the production design as fanatically authentic, and praise the evocation of its 1940 setting through a combination of montage, attention to mundane detail, and damningly plausible British political accommodation of fascism. The movie is...
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Posted by greg at 03:54 PM

February 03, 2006

With Apologies To Francesco Vezzoli...

I will quote goldenfiddle in full on this one, and just say that, Francesco, I was wrong. You were right. Fake trailers to non-existent films are an art form after all:Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez are teaming up to produce a bunch of fake trailers to non-existant kung-fu and sexploitation flicks, and maybe two short films that will suck to everybody except the directors themselves.New "Grind" update [] Previously: on Francesco Vezzoli and his Venice Biennale trailer for a...
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Posted by greg at 01:51 PM

January 27, 2006

A Post About Going To See Tristram Shandy

Granted, I haven't seen it yet, but isn't that in the spirit of Winterbottom's adaptation? Based on Tony Scott's review, I'd say this one is a classic....
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Posted by greg at 03:15 PM

January 18, 2006

You Gotta Fight. For The Right. Angle.

The Beastie Boys handed out 50 video cameras to fans at a November 2004 MSG concert, and have edited the footage they shot into a concert documentary called Awesome! I F***ing Shot That!:The film will cost the Beastie Boys about $1.2 million when the sampling fees are added in; the band returned all the Hi-8 Sony cameras (a step above a typical camcorder) to the stores where they were bought, in some cases for a full refund.The film debuts Saturday...
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Posted by greg at 10:04 PM

January 12, 2006

Bernadette Corporation Berlin Film Studio Boondoggle

I'm a fan of Bernadette Corporation, so even though it's not about results but about process, I'm interested to see what came out of their film gig in Berlin. That's where they ran Pedestrian Cinema, a temporary production center for DV and any other creative medium they saw fit to trot out. As they put it,Each day, Pedestrian Cinema will confront the question of fabricating itself. Is it to be based on history, dramatize the everyday, be documentary-like and specific,...
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Posted by greg at 09:58 PM

January 02, 2006

Syriana: The Screenplay

Warner Bros. has released a PDF version of Stephen Gaghan's script for Syriana, which we just saw last night. A very intense film, the story is perfectly matched with the fragmented, multi-threaded structure. In another filmmaker's hands, this movie would have repeatedly ground to a halt for some nonsensical expositional set piece speeches. Now I'm looking forward to seeing how Gaghan did it. Syriana-Screenplay.pdf [ via bb]...
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Posted by greg at 02:04 PM

2005 In A Norwegian Wood, 2005, dur. 3'40"

All through 2005, Eirikso shot photographs out of his window in Norway at random times and on random days. Then he merged them into a single, 3.5 minute or so movie using Photoshop and Sony Vegas Video. See the film, download the film [which he also output to 720p HD, for television viewing], and read about how he made the film at The Video Of The Seasons In Norway [ via boingboing]...
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Posted by greg at 01:48 PM

December 30, 2005

I Guess It Depends On What You're Searching For

Back in the day (Feb. 2002, that is), I requested clearance to use "Google" as a verb and to show search results screenshots in my first short. The head of Google's marketing sent me an email saying it was a-ok, and wishing me good luck. Now it turns out Google's founders Larry and Sergey bankrolled half the sub-$1mm budget for Stanford friend and Dreamworks CG animator Reid Gershbein's first live-action feature film, Broken Arrows. The fils is described as "the...
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Posted by greg at 12:36 AM

December 21, 2005

Image, Style, Taste, Clothes, Death, Prop. 13: NY Doll David Johansen Intervew c.1978

Have you heard of Wet Magazine? proto-Punk/New Wave LA deal from the late 1970's? I confess, my parents were just taking me to my first concert--the Osmond Brothers--in the late seventies. Anyway, in the Nov/Dec 1978 issue, an unnamed-but-hardhitting journalist from Wet sat down to breakfast with New York Doll David Johansen and really worked him over. The whole interview is about style, style vs. taste, image, clothes, looks, and death. And taxes. Seriously. It's one of the most deeply,...
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Posted by greg at 01:40 PM

December 15, 2005

Has It Really Been Ten Years Already?

From the website for Showgirls: The Best Movie Ever Made. Ever!:Please join us as we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of 'Showgirls'. The UCB Theatre is proud to present an evening with Mr. 'Joe Eszterhas' as he is interviewed by noted film historian, Jackie Flynn Clarke. Experience the power and sanctity of Mr. Esztheras' words live onstage. It’s half staged reading, half “Inside the Actor’s Studio,” and half female empowerment, Eszterhas style.Hurry up with the tickets. The last performance of the...
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Posted by greg at 02:36 PM

December 13, 2005

TiVlogs: We're All Producers Now

And here I thought Jeff Jarvis was the only one flogging vlogs. The NYT had an article over the weekend about the explosion of vlogging, and the distribution deal that slightly funny vlog Rocketboom made with TiVo. TiVo gives Rocketboom 50% of the revenue from ads it sells on their content. Then Andy picked up producer Kent Nichols' call of the coming--and monetizable-- "indie tv" wave, a combination of online and TiVo subscription vlogs and DVD sales, with existing TV...
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Posted by greg at 10:13 AM

December 06, 2005

Awesomest DVD Extra Of The Year Award Nominee: Steve Carell Chest-Waxing Docu

Unrated is the new Rated R. In addition to 17 additional minutes of edited-out footage, the New Unrated Version DVD of The 40-Year-Old Virgin contains "a four-camera behind-the-scenes look at Steve Carell's character, Andy Stitzer, having his chest waxed." I feel like I'm letting down my hairier readers, but I'm unfortunately not going to be able to make the "Hairiest Chest Waxing Contest!" promotional tie-in being held in 17 markets around the country on Tuesday. [Of course, if they threw...
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Posted by greg at 08:05 PM

December 04, 2005

Lelouch's C'etait un Rendezvous Online, With Bonus Netnerd Features

Although it was released on DVD last year, C'etait un Rendezvous, Claude Lelouch's classic/notorious underground film, has turned up online. The film is a Ferrari-eye view of a flat-out race across Paris, shot in a single 9-minute take using a gyro-stabilized camera mounted on the car. Now the web is filling up with stuff that should've been on that DVD. Folks have mapped out Lelouch's route [from Porte Dauphine to Sacre Coeur] and analyzed the car's average speed, landmark to...
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Posted by greg at 09:30 AM

November 29, 2005

Proulx on Lee's Brokeback Mountain: Happy As A Ranch Hand In Love. Er...

Annie Proulx has seen "Brokeback Mountain" twice: once, when the characters and story originally made their way from her head to her short story in the New Yorker. Then again, when Ang Lee's film rose up before her on the screen. She's as happy as a woman can be about doomed gay cowboy love. The Village Voice's Jessica Winters has an account of the story's translation from the page to the screen: In transcribing a 10,000-word story onto a celluloid...
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Posted by greg at 07:08 PM

November 28, 2005

Madonna: What I Really Want To Do Is Tell Everyone What To Do

Presumably because he was made to by his editors, Andrew Pulver momentarily entertains the notion that a film directed by Madonna would somehow not be an utterly self-absorbed, epically unwatchable trainwreck:She certainly has the strength of will to become a film-maker, too. [Jonas] Akerlund is the credited director of [the widely panned as sycophantic] You're the Next Best Thing, but you can't imagine a single edit got in without Madonna's approval. And she knows the worth of a good photographer...
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Posted by greg at 10:57 PM

November 21, 2005

On Making Movies With No Money, Or Less

Bosnian filmmaker Jasmina Tesanovic writes in the latest issue of Make Magazine about turning her website, Diary of a Political Idiot, into a documentary--while her city, Belgrade, was being bombed by NATO forces in 1999. The schedule for each of the 19 days of shooting was determined by which sector of the city had power at any given moment. Editing took place on machinery cobbled together from a bombed out TV station, and the film was smuggled out to...
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Posted by greg at 10:13 PM

November 18, 2005

I'm A Sucker For A Good Tracking Shot

Like this music video, "Motorcycle," from The Rumble Strips, which involves a roundabout, some bikes, a delivery lorry [sic], one light, and a guy who sounds a lot like Lloyd Cole. "Motorcycle," directed by Harry Dwyer [ via waxy]...
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Posted by greg at 10:58 AM

November 16, 2005

Beck Programs Sony Robots To Do White Guy Shuffle

If the Washington Post, of all "can't dance" papers says someone "break-danced and jigged in a manner so lifelike they seemed like hip-hop aliens from the planet Funk," you're right to be wary. And yet we were seduced, at least for a couple of days. the underdelivery: the video for "Hell Yes" on the oversell: Beck Gets World's Only 'Dream Robots' Dancing To 'Hell Yes' [] qrio robot home site []...
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Posted by greg at 12:32 PM

November 15, 2005

Monkey Business

In attempting to "remove the clutter" that normally accompanies such "major tent-pole movies," Universal has pared down the marketing and product licensing partnerships for Peter Jackson's King Kong to the barebones minimum. Here's the list. If you start reading now, you may finish before a second Collector's Edition 3-version DVD pack comes out [which may include never-before-seen outtakes from the original Peter Jackson's Production Diaries 2-disc set.] King Kong - Business Monkey [kokogiak via waxy]...
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Posted by greg at 01:59 PM

October 26, 2005

Kubrick's Lost 2001 Talking Head Prologue

To differentiate 2001 from the "flying saucer pictures" that owned the sci-fi genre at the time, Stanley Kubrick planned to begin the movie by showing interviews with 21 real-world scientists about their predictions for the future and the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life. This prologue was dropped for length, and the footage has yet to be located, but recently discovered transcripts of the interviews will be published next month in the UK. The Independent reports that Carl Sagan was on the...
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Posted by greg at 11:21 PM

October 22, 2005

See? Even This Guy Wanted To Direct

Guy Debord's films have been getting re-released on DVD; the late Spectacle-hating French theorist had pulled them from distribution in the 1980's when, well, when they weren't succeeding in destroying the neo-capitalist movie industry from within, I guess."He was against film when it was a symptom of the bourgeois order, an oppressive instrument of capital, a soul-destroying high mass," writes [Le Monde's> Jean-Luc] Douin. "But he agreed to use film to extend his written work.""Dans le cinéma, Debord s'est toujours...
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Posted by greg at 11:34 PM

October 13, 2005

My Architects

James Venturi, son of architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, has made is making a film about them and their highly influential ideas and designs: This film is the story of their struggle, their ideas, and the meshing of the two in their architecture. The couple’s work and theories have been widely misinterpreted. While Venturi is credited as the father of postmodernism, he feels this movement perverted his ideas rather than embraced them. As Bob rose to fame, however,...
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Posted by greg at 01:51 PM

October 12, 2005

On The Apprentice

So I was stoking the fires of ill will against Martha Stewart by watching the last half hour of The Apprentice, and I'm thinking, "Damn, but that woman bugs the crap out of me," and "DAY-UM, but I hate the artificial claptrap of reality TV." And then I decide to clear my Netflix queue by finally watching The Five Obstructions, and damned if it isn't The Apprentice - The Lars von Trier Edition. It's got everything I hate to...
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Posted by greg at 11:30 PM

Show Me Some Penguins, Pierre

It's supposed to keep raining through Friday, when artist Pierre Huyghe is planning to shoot an element of a new video art work in Central Park's Wollman Rink. Huyghe is transforming the rink into a black ice floe, home for an albino penguin, apparently, and also to a 42-piece orchestra. The public is invited to come and participate as audience/extras during three run-throughs of the piece. Even as he held out the possibility of some kind of surprise ending, Huyghe...
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Posted by greg at 11:05 PM

October 06, 2005

Shlog-Hinten Mountain

So the new year's not starting off that great. I found this great vintage Jewish cowboy belt buckle on ebay... Beautiful old belt buckle has nice detail. Features the Star of David. It is intricately worked in sterling silver. The buckle is marked Plata de Jalisco .925 V.H.L.C. Guad. Mex. and also has the number 43 on the back buckle. This buckle measures aprox. 3.5" long by 2." Take a look. Nice from estate. Prominent Jewish family on Chicago's north...
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Posted by greg at 11:23 PM

October 05, 2005

Go On Location With Pierre Huyghe's Penguin Movie

What is it with French people and penguin movies? Next Friday evening, French video artist Pierre Huyghe will be filming the second part of "A Journey That Wasn’t," a musical based on a trip to Antarctica. The first part was filmed in June by a crew setting out from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego to an Antarctic island. The performance will be shot after dusk on Friday at Wollman Rink. The work will debut at the 2006 Whitney Biennial, presumably with...
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Posted by greg at 12:55 PM

September 28, 2005

Penguin Filmmakers Behaving Badly

Dateline, Paris [of course]:In Hollywood, meanwhile, the jockeying for credit on March of the Penguins was taking place. Last month, Jordan Roberts, a film director turned writer, claimed credit in a Los Angeles Times article for essentially "re-envisioning" the film by writing the narration and substituting a new soundtrack. Mr. Jacquet scoffs at that view. "There are millions of people around the planet who like the French version, my version," he said with a laugh. And like the penguin stars...
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Posted by greg at 10:45 AM

September 21, 2005

We Were Not Amused By This Dark Dancerwoman

Catherine Deneuve cares less about makenice the longer she's around (and I do wish her a long, happy, healthy, sexy, regal life, understand). Here's an excerpt from Close Up And Personal about the production of Lars von Trier's Dancer In The Dark:Read-through with Björk, who arrives wrapped up warm, in striped tights and clogs, a bit wild and shy, but fairly relaxed. Lars seems more or less happy. Nothing on the costumes, and me sick with flu. No reason to...
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Posted by greg at 11:19 AM

September 16, 2005

So You Want To Read "Brokeback Mountain"

I shouldn't be surprised that I'm getting this question a lot these days. Here's what Ang Lee told the NYT's Karen Durbin:"When I first read the story, it gripped me. It's a great American love story, told in a way that felt as if it had never been done before. I had tears in my eyes at the end. You remember? You see the shirts put away in the closet side by side." Who could forget? When Annie Proulx's short...
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Posted by greg at 07:34 AM

September 08, 2005

Donald Sutherland Naked On A Cold Day

I'm not the only one with a thing for the editing. Donald Sutherland tells the Guardian about what made that sex scene in Don't Look Now so, well, sexy. Hint: it wasn't Julie Christie. OK, it wasn't JUST Julia Christie:"About Don't Look Now, we shot that love scene in a room in the Bauer Grunwald early one morning with Nick Roeg and Tony Richmond operating two un-blimped Arriflex cameras and a bunch of wires going to the technicians on the...
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Posted by greg at 09:21 AM

September 07, 2005

Editing, Art or Science? Movie or Website.

I find that I remake a movie at least three times: when I write it, when I shoot it, and again when I edit it. The one I didn't realize--and that still seems wildly underappreciated to me--is editing. Well, here's hoping that has a long, successful run at Two Boots Theater and beyond. From A.O. Scott's review, this documentary about the history, theory, practice, art, and science of film editing sounds awesome. Inside the Editing Room, Where Movies Are...
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Posted by greg at 10:55 PM

Q: One Sheets To Get A Documentary Rolling

Turning from the descent of our country into unaccountable, repressive totalitarianism for a moment... A reader emailed a question that I thought would be interesting to open up to other readers, too. He's preparing to make a documentary on a band:So now as I approach this project, which I intend to direct and shoot primarily myself, I am having trouble organizing my thoughts into the right style treatment for something of this nature. I am aiming for a "one sheet"...
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Posted by greg at 10:33 PM

August 28, 2005

Akinori Oishi's Microfilms

Regine links to several examples of Japanese graphic artist Akinori Oishi's work, but my favorites are the micro films. Tiny loops formatted as animated gifs, they remind me of the best of the AIM buddy icon movies. These are older, though, from a pre-Euro Europe, around 2001. check out micro films by Akinori Oishi, also his blog [via WMMNA]...
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Posted by greg at 02:50 PM

August 22, 2005

Plays Well With Others: Needs Improvement

Lactaid Commercial [May 27] - Greenwich Street near 12th: Interior still shoot. Parking taken to unload cows. No complaints. ... Law & Order [January 28] - Commerce: Strikes again. Despite assurances that company wanted a better relationship with the community, another disruptive shoot & angry residents. Interfered with garbage pickup and mail delivery. Resident returning from Europe told his cab couldn't go to his home. ... Synergy- In Good Company —Universal City Studios [May 20] - MacDougal & Bleecker: Big...
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Posted by greg at 08:43 AM

August 21, 2005

The Marketing Of The Penguins

If it's any consolation, Japan looked like it had been plush carpetbombed by penguins, too. WPS1's Stephen Schaefer did an interview with Luc Jacquet, director of March of The Penguins, which was first broadcast on July 18th. [scroll down] Beyond The Subtitles: Luc Jacquet Interview []...
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Posted by greg at 02:39 PM

Strictly Murderball

Radar Online has a print-sized [i.e., too short] q&a with Murderball co-director Dana Adam Shapiro, but it's mostly about his novel [The Every Boy] and his childhood. It's interesting that filmmakers don't get asked how autobiographical their work is as much as novelists do. On A Roll [radaronline] Meanwhile, Murderballer Mark Zupan talks to WPS1's Stephen Schaefer as part of a cross-country, film-promoting, drink-a-thon, which he also blogs about on Zupan is like the wheelchair guy on Jackass, if...
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Posted by greg at 01:31 PM

August 18, 2005

On Shooting In August

I shot another short while I was in Japan; more on that soon, I hope, but one of the overriding impressions I came away with was that shooting outdoors all day in the deadheat of August is, well, hot. Seems like the crew of Diggers and I will have something to talk about. This winter.:“It’s kind of like Breaking Away … but with clams,” laughed Paul Rudd. He was sweating profusely on the set of Diggers, a coming-of-age film about...
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Posted by greg at 08:52 AM

August 08, 2005

Maybe They Should Read The Arts & Leisure Secion

The NYT Magazine has an excellent firsthand report from the set of Red vs. Blue. It turns out that a few scrappy creative types are actually making movies inside of video games. If this catches on, it could be revolutionary. I mean, it's pretty funny to imagine those faceless soldiers in Halo having inner lives and existential crises. haha. Now if only this upstart medium had a name... 8/05, 4,500 words: The X-Box Auteurs [nytmag] Previously: Waiting for Halo; 11/04,...
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Posted by greg at 02:22 AM

July 30, 2005

What Ere Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part

O me of little faith. Richard Dutcher, the guy who made the first Mormon niche film, God's Army, goes around making sure he's referred to as "The Mormon Spielberg." Meanwhile, the guys at HaleStorm seem to have set their sights on becoming "The Mormon Farrelly brothers," I guess. But with their new film, Church Ball, as they try to break out of the Mormon ghetto they helped define--and saturate with mediocre comedies--I think they're well on their way to earning...
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Posted by greg at 10:39 PM

July 29, 2005

"Films as Found Object"

Stefano Basilico's well-rounded exhibition on artists' use of films--not film--as a medium got a nice review from Roberta Smith in the NYT. My absolute favorite piece in the show--which was in Miami last winter--is Christian Marclay's Video Quartet. But Pierre Huyghe's smart, touching work, L'Ellipse also stands out for the way it toys with film's conventions of time and narrative. Huyghe filmed a 10-minute walk across the Seine that was implied by an edit in Wim Wenders' film, The American...
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Posted by greg at 09:37 AM

July 27, 2005

The Transom Finds The Level of The Last Days Room

The Observer reports from the premiere of Gus Van Sant's latest film, Last Days, which completes a teen trilogy of sorts, with Gerry and Elephant:On the red carpet at Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema, a reporter for a vapid monthly didn’t recognize rock royalty Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. Ms. Gordon plays the role of a music executive in the film, and Mr. Moore was the music consultant for the film. “Wait—so there are two people in the band?” There are five....
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Posted by greg at 11:08 AM

July 08, 2005

"Because acolytes are always the most penetrating chroniclers of greatness"

Architect and one-time actor Brad Pitt is making a documentary about Frank Gehry and the development of his billowing-skirt residential towers in Brighton, Eng-uh-land. PITT TO MAKE UK DOCUMENTARY [, via gutter, the source of that sweet quote above] Brighton and Hove's brave new world [bbc] Previously: How To Tell Me and Brad Pitt Apart...
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Posted by greg at 01:28 PM

July 07, 2005

On The World Losing A Teletype Artist

Jason writes about John Sheetz, a longtime HAM and a Teletype artist [who knew? which is precisely the point] he interviewed in 2003 for his BBS Documentary, and who passed away last January. How many life's works are biding time in cluttered New Jersey garages, forgotten by nearly all but their creators--and sometimes, even by them? A Silent Key [, via waxy]...
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Posted by greg at 04:15 PM

July 06, 2005

What Coudal's Doing On Their Summer Vacation

Making a "short feature film," just for the heck of it, it turns out, and documenting the production online:The very first thing that happened is that we dropped an expensive rented audio remote unit down three flights of stairs. Oops. I wonder if Kubrick had to take a conference call about an advertising project after finishing just three set-ups on the first day of shooting Barry Lyndon?Check it out: Copy Goes Here []...
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Posted by greg at 06:15 PM

June 30, 2005

Robert Melee? He Has A Huge Talent Show

A couple of snaps from Robert Melee's Talent Show at The Kitchen. With touches of Wigstock, Laugh-in, Blow-up, Moulin Rouge, Merce, Cher, Olivia Newton John fitness video, Puppetry of the--um--and Fischerspooner-meets-Spinal Tap, it's a NSFW riot. And don't forget Robert's mother. As if you ever could. There's one more performance, Thursday night at 8. If tickets are available, you should get them. Robert Melee's Talent Show 6/30, 8p []...
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Posted by greg at 02:17 AM

June 23, 2005

Mad Hot Clearances

Once again, a highly acclaimed documentary is nearly wrestled to the ground by the exorbitant cost of clearing the rights to music--including a ringtone--that appears in the film. Not talking about the soundtrack here, either, but the diagetic (i.e., in-story, on-camera) sound that permeates the real world where the filmmakers shot. This time, it's Mad Hot Ballroom, directed by Marilyn Agrelo and produced by Amy Sewell. The filmmakers spent $140,000, 45% of their budget, to clear the rights. Stay Free!...
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Posted by greg at 08:49 PM

June 22, 2005

Young, Dumb, and Full Of Coke

You have to admit, she does look rather mannish." For a brief moment in the early 90's, The Modern Review was really good, almost a smarter, smugger Spy, if such a thing can be imagined. Then it started to turn in on itself, then it imploded in a brawlful of recriminations between its two egomaniacal founders Julie Burchill and Toby Young [who both happened to bed the magazine's soap-operatically named would-be-usurper/editrix Charlotte Raven] and then--jump forward ten years so...
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Posted by greg at 11:43 AM

June 15, 2005

I Cut Thigh With A Little Help From My Flense

For the first time, Matthew Barney and Bjork have collaborated on a film and soundtrack called Drawing Restraint 9, after some of Barney's earliest, pre-Cremaster works. In DR9, the two visit a Japanese whaling ship in Nagasaki, undergo various Shinto wedding-inspired rituals, form and reform a large Vaseline sculpture, and then themselves transform into whales by cutting each others feet and legs off with flensing knives. Bjork's soundtrack incorporates Japanese instruments, vocalizations, and both folk and court music traditions. [No,...
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Posted by greg at 10:14 PM

May 24, 2005

On PT Anderson's Use of Color

The latest issue of Senses of Cinema includes Cubie King's intriguing look at PT Anderson's use of color in Punch-Drunk Love. In addition to the interstitial abstract animations by artist Jeremy Blake [which were originally meant to represent--is that too strong a word?--Adam Sandler's character's state of mind], King cites Anderson's recurring, particular use of red, white, and blue, and his inclusion of in-camera effects like washout lighting and lens flares. That's a lot. King asserts that Anderson truly comes...
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Posted by greg at 12:06 AM

May 16, 2005

Who Makes Movies? Well, Fluffers, For One.

Personally, every time I see those "Who Makes Movies?" spots where some lowly crew member is trotted out to say how Internet pirates are taking food out of his dyslexic kid's mouth, I want to say, "Actually, it's Canadians who are taking your job, pal, thanks to the studios moving over $10 billion worth of production-related economic activity out of the US in pursuit of lower wages, more pliable unions, and government-funded tax incentives. Oh, and they're the same studios...
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Posted by greg at 08:30 PM

May 10, 2005

Thought Thieves: The Most Dependent Filmmaking Contest Ever

You can't make this stuff up, folks. Microsoft UK is sponsoring a short film contest, with £2,000 worth of equipment vouchers. The theme: Thought Thieves. "The theme of your film should be about how intellectual property theft affects both individuals and society. Think about it: what would a world look like without protection for intellectual property?" [hint if you want to win: a glorious flowering of culture, peace and creativity is o-u-t.] Entries must be 30-45 seconds long and must...
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Posted by greg at 06:15 PM

May 03, 2005

Edward Jay Epstein, Hollywood Accountant

Move over, Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. In his article in Slate, "Paranoia for Fun and Profit: How Disney and Michael Moore cleaned up on Fahrenheit 9/11", Epstein shows how Moore played up Disney's refusal to distribute his Cannes-winning doc, and how Disney happily extracted some serious participation--they netted $75 million of the film's $228 million worldwide box office, plus another $3mm for DVD royalties-- from the distributors they "sold" it to. Given Disney's ongoing interest F9/11's performance, it sounds...
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Posted by greg at 10:59 PM

April 30, 2005

Socks, Fries & Videotape

The Guardian reports that Steven Soderbergh's new series of HD films will be released by Mark Cuban's and Todd Wagner's 2929 Entertainment simultaneously in the company's theaters, on their HD TV channel, and on DVD. Given the reach of the channel and the market for an unknown DVD, my guess is the initial buzz and revenue will still come from theatrical, but those ratios will change over time, both as the release and the series plays out and as more...
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Posted by greg at 03:00 PM

April 22, 2005

Daddy, Tell Me A Back Story

The problem is that Penn can't play just any agent trying to do his job. He has to have his own traumatic back story and overflowing well of grief over a dead wife, because what's a Penn performance these days without the actor emoting in close-up for a camera frozen in awe? (You can practically hear the director say, "And now, ladies and gentleman, the stylings of the premier actor of his generation.") ... After all, [Kidman] has a back...
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Posted by greg at 04:06 PM

April 21, 2005

From The Two Ends Of The Online Viewing Spectrum

Never the innovator, apparently, NEC commissioned a series of sponsored short films which debuted last fall. The theme(s)? "Ubiquitous" and "U Can Change." Let me just say, that slogan's no "Art of Speed." I guess they think it works alright in Japanese. Anyway, Venice, CA punk agency 86 the Onions produced a batch, which look to me like Western parodies of nonsensical Japanese commercials. "Cocoon" or "Karaoke" are probably the best, although the latter's too long. My favorite is "Wedding";...
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Posted by greg at 02:51 PM

April 16, 2005

Smells Like Cine Spirit

Gus Van Sant's new film, Last Days, is a fictional recreation of the impending death of Kurt Cobain, shot in the director's now-mature semi-documentary style. The trailer's up; Last Days opens May 16 in France, timed, presumably, with its debut at Cannes. Don't feel bad that France gets to see it long before the US, though. After all, Gerry didn't come out in France until after Elephant. Last Days trailer [, via mefi] a fluffy Cobainiac take on the movie...
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Posted by greg at 12:25 PM

April 11, 2005

Tomorrow Night at MoMA: An Evening With Marc Forster

Some of you have already gotten this in email, but tomorrow night (Tuesday, 4/12) is the fourth annual installment of A Work In Progress, where MoMA's Film & Media department celebrates a distinct directorial voice in cinema. This year's honoree is Marc Forster who will be talking with legendary post-structuralist film scholar Will Ferrell about his work (Finding Neverland, Everything Comes Together, that scene in Monster's Ball). There will be many celebrity guests [not counting me; I'll be working it...
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Posted by greg at 07:17 AM

April 05, 2005

Michelangelo's Last Judgment?

Now that's a deft review. While Michael Atkinson praises Wong Kar Wai's segment of Eros he largely ignores Soderbergh's contribution--and he totally pans Antonioni's in the most deferential possible way: "[Antonioni] 20 years into his post-stroke period and whoit must be said, should consider resting on his laurels and, perhaps, supervising the transfers and supplements on his old movies' DVDs." Triple X [vv]...
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Posted by greg at 08:52 PM

April 04, 2005

Blu Dot Films

Technically, The Year of The Dependent Short was 2004, but the people at Blu Dot are usually so far ahead of the curve, I'll cut them some slack. In conjunction with Daylight Savings Time, Blu Dot launched the first in a series of sponsored short films. Seven Twenty is directed by Christopher Arcella, and it's about, well, it's about the making of a clock. What, you think you're gonna hear criticism from a guy who made a short about ironing?...
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Posted by greg at 04:38 PM

April 03, 2005

DVD Players: The Making Of The Making Of

I want to say, "Finally!" The NYT reports on the players in the burgeoning medium of DVD extras: directors like Laurent Bouzereau (Spielberg) and producers like Mark Rowen (Shrek 2). Bouzereau started in the laser disc business and spent time at standard-setting Criterion--which gets short shrift in the article, by the way; The Matrix may have made the DVD business, but Criterion made the DVD extra--before setting up his own shop. He's the making of documentary and bonus material guy....
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Posted by greg at 11:12 PM

March 27, 2005

Gee, It Worked So Well With The Orchid Thief

Will Ferrell's last line in the trailer for Bewitched is, "How did this happen??!" I was wondering the same thing when I found out the movie's not a remake of the TV series, it's about making a remake of the TV series. Halfway through the trailer, you think you're watching When Harry Met Sam, and you are; Nora Ephron wrote the script. Actually, I think Meryl Streep is to blame somehow; she's played both Ephron (in Heartburn) AND Susan Orlean....
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Posted by greg at 10:49 PM

March 21, 2005

Francois Ozon Retreads The Flashback

What about Nolan's Memento? Fellow Frenchman Gaspar Noé's controversial Irréversible? The UK Observer's Phillip French conjures a half-baked history of movie storytelling in flashback in order to create some context for his review of Francois Ozon's half-baked 5 x 2. I've remained a faithful fan of Ozon's work, which can be unsettling and brilliant at best. But after Sitcom, 8 Women Water Drops on Burning Rocks [granted, from Fassbinder's play] and now, apparently, 5 x 2, I'm giving up on...
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Posted by greg at 11:54 AM

March 16, 2005

How To Draw My Attention

I finally saw John Walter's entertaining and transfixing 2002 documentary, How To Draw A Bunny tonight on Sundance Channel. Walter--an editor-turned-director--collages together the incredible story of the artist's artist Ray Johnson, whose life, art, and elaborately contrived 1995 suicide in Sag Harbor were inextricably connected. It's that rarest of things--a good documentary about an artist. [Since then, Walter's done another doc, Some Assembly Required, which also aired on Sundance, about protestors at the Republican Convention. Unfortunately, when it aired around...
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Posted by greg at 01:18 AM

March 15, 2005

Let The Name...'Moses'...Be Stricken From Every Public Obelisk...

So let it be written, so let it be done. Many of the thousands of Ten Commandments statues gracing public parks, courthouses and city halls around the country--including the one whose constitutionality is being considered by the Supreme Court--were placed by Cecil B. DeMille and the Fraternal Order of Eagles as a promotion for the film. Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, and Martha Scott attended many of the monument unveilings. Many Commandments monuments started out as movie promotion [dallas morning news,...
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Posted by greg at 10:09 PM

There Oughta Be A Reality Series

"{Dimension Films exec Andrew] Rona is only too delighted to play the heavy and play it to the Mephistophelean hilt. In fact, when the studio doesn't get its way in the selection of a director, he signals that he will make that director's life a living hell." Sounds like a nice plot for a reality series. Since Project Greenlight started burning $1 million/film on the corner-cutting ghetto end of the Hollywood production system, fifty, a hundred, actually good films were...
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Posted by greg at 11:26 AM

March 09, 2005

This Explains A Lot

The cannabis connections of the Ocean's 12 cast and crew [via kottke, party on, dude!]...
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Posted by greg at 09:38 PM

March 08, 2005

Ed Halter has a interesting take on how two Iraq documentaries may rehabilitate the image of the much-criticized embedding process as a means for creating accurate historical documents of the war. [Of course, that that's not at all how it worked out with the TV news embeds is also just fine with the Pentagon.] Gunner Palace's making-of experience is better known now, although Tucker has been rather specific in saying he and his crew were not officially embedded with the...
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Posted by greg at 09:28 PM

March 03, 2005

Unrelated Story an unmade Interpol short film

Rex's mention of Interpol's new video reminded me of the short film contest they threw last year for the release of their album, Antic. Winners got $1000 to make an Interpol-inspired film, not a music video. In fact, it didn't have to have music at all. They even used the phrase "think outside the box." [By which they meant, they explained, that "Black is not the only color."] Seven of the ten winners are on Interpol's site. For some reason,...
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Posted by greg at 04:10 PM

I'm Your Puppet

Interpol's video for "Evil" from their recent album "Antic" was directed by the artist/CG animator Charlie White. It features an Interpol-ish puppet--"pale, thin, with dark hair and a boyish-man quality"--that looks like White's trademark alien/troll figures in human drag. has some press junket-level technical details of the making of. Interpol's 'Evil' Is More Like 'Creepy' [, via fimoculous] Previously: on Interpol...
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Posted by greg at 03:59 PM

February 28, 2005

Tony Danza: A Tape I WANT To See

So while he is taping himself for "his talk show on skates," Tony Danza runs into The Gates and falls flat on his face. I don't know how to unpack this little gem of a story, though: Danza, Schmanza, is that Sony VX2100 alright? Who's got that tape? I'm supposed to believe there were really two paparazzi following Tony Danza around? A "talk show on skates"? Tony Danza Crash photo sequence [via Forward Retreat] Sony VX2100 Buy a [new]...
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Posted by greg at 04:29 PM

February 16, 2005

Converting to The Believer

I was an initial, albeit paying skeptic, then a non-practicant, then I bought the last issue of The Believer magazine primarily on the promise of its accompanying DVD filled with short films. That promise has not yet been filled--I have only watched Mike Mills' Deformer, the unassumingly homoerotic tale of the iconoclastic painter/skateboarding star Ed Templeton and his subject/wife from Huntington Beach, and I couldn't really get started on any others yet--but the interview subjects seem rather interesting. And the...
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Posted by greg at 10:47 PM

February 12, 2005

Heads Up, Head Down To See Jonathan Caouette Right Now

Art in General's hosting a screening of Tarnation at 3, and Jonathan Caouette will be entertaining your questions while you all drink their wine at around 6. Whatever you can get him to do in that mystical hour or so between when the movie ends and the reception begins remains to be seen. 3-6 PM Tarnation Screening Jonathan Caouette interrogations (dress: Basic Instinct) Art in General 79 Walker Street East of Broadway somewhere, on the SE corner of some street...
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Posted by greg at 02:16 PM

Christo Party

Jason's got his photos of The Gates up, I'm sure the rest of the camera-equipped world will follow. Albert Maysles talks on WPS1 about the 25+year-long process of making his film about The Gates, The Gates. Maysles is making this film with collaborator Antonio Ferrera for HBO, but he also made other Christo and Jeanne-Claude films over the years. [Actually, a lot of them at the time were just Christo films. I'll let the gender studies art historians figure that...
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Posted by greg at 01:50 PM

February 11, 2005

All The Vermeers In New York (Plus The One In Boston)

I can't quite say why, but I had a pretty intense Jon Jost phase when I first moved to New York. I saw his All The Vermeers In New York several times, lured in by the title, but kept there by the film's demanding and precise construction, and its underlying art-vs-money themes. [That said, I don't remember it too well; better add it to the rental queue.] Anyway, I'm sure--pretty sure. kind of sure. hoping--that when the Whitney Museum put...
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Posted by greg at 03:22 PM

February 10, 2005

Oh My Heck! Brother Greg Whiteley's New York Doll

I admit, a lot of Sundance went by me in a blur. No one I knew I knew was showing anything this year, and I knew non-film work would conspire to keep me out of Park City, so maybe I'm the only person who DIDN'T know about New York Doll. Well, in the last week, I've heard about it from three different people, each of whom called it one of the top films at the festival. Greg Whiteley started shooting...
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Posted by greg at 10:33 AM

February 09, 2005

Waiting For Halo

Microsoft has commissioned Alex Garland (28 Days Later, um, The Beach, but we don't talk about that) to write a script for Halo--a v1.0, if you will--which will be offered to producers along with with the game's film rights as a "turnkey" package. This is a brilliant, precedent-setting move for a multitude of reasons: As any software veteran knows, v1.0 is always the best. Producers love nothing more than buying a script that's ready to shoot--and for only $1mm! The...
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Posted by greg at 09:11 AM

February 08, 2005

Torture! Now Read The Book and Watch The TV Show!

You know how, for whatever reason, some ideas that once seemed like slam-dunks take so long to come to fruition, they fizzle out and disappear because the country's media parade has already passed by? Garfield: The Movie's a good example. Jeez, my heart goes out to those folks. Well, for a moment this morning, I worried that the same fate would surely befall C4's new TV special, "The Guantánamo Guidebook," which tells the true story of seven strangers, picked to...
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Posted by greg at 11:38 AM

February 07, 2005

Bunnies Multiplying Like Rabbits

What is it about bunnies and short films? First, the NY Times has a hi-larious, yet thoughtfully insightful interview with Jennifer Shiman, the creator of 30-Second Bunny Theatre. Then Chris Harding's 50's instructional film-style short for Hallmark features a hutchful of retro bunnies flogging greeting cards. Spielbunny [NYT, oh wait, I wrote that. Not that that taints my judgment or anything...] Classic films, re-enacted in 30 seconds by bunnies [] Make Mine Shoebox corporate video []...
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Posted by greg at 11:57 AM

February 06, 2005

Czech Republic, $@#! Yeah!

North Korea's ambassador in Prague has demanded that Team America World Police be banned from the Czech Republic; it depicts Kim Jong Il consorting with Alec Baldwin, which, he says, would totally NEVER happen. Replies Foreign Ministry spokesman Vit Kolar, "We told them it's an unrealistic wish. Obviously, it's absurd to demand that in a democratic country. And anyway, Alec Baldwin is still better than Vin Diesel." N. Korea Wants Czech Ban of Team America [guardian]...
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Posted by greg at 02:13 PM

February 04, 2005

On Not Writing Alone In The Dark

Blair Erickson writes about his experience working with director Uwe Boll on an early treatment and script for the Tara Reid vehicle [sic] Alone In The Dark. Even if it IS the Worst Movie Ever Of The Century Of The Week, it sure has generated a lot of ancillary entertainment opportunities. Blair Erickson - Behind the Scenes: Uwe Boll and Uwe Boll's "Alone In the Dark" [] Bad Review Revue: Alone in the Dark, funny funny funny []...
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Posted by greg at 08:40 AM | TrackBack

February 03, 2005

Madrid 11M: The Short Films

From the English press kit for Madrid 11M: Todos Ibamos en Ese Tren/Madrid M11: We Were All On That Train, a compilation of 27 short films produced by DocusMadrid, a non-profit organization which supports Spanish documentary films:On March 11th, 2004, Madrid suffered a chain of terrorist attacks on trains en route to the central station, killing nearly two hundred people and destroying or altering the future of thousands who were affected directly by the tragedy. A group of film...
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Posted by greg at 08:10 AM | TrackBack

Golden Gate Bridge Meets Its (Suicide Docu) Maker

After all, Eric Steel didn't say he wasn't going to film the jumpers off the Golden Gate Bridge when he applied for a permit to shoot the bridge all day, every day, for a year. According to the federal officials who issued him the permit, he described his project as, variously, "a day in the life" of the bridge or "a powerful and spectacular interaction between the monument and nature." Steel captured 19 jumpers on film, plus "hundreds" of unsuccessful...
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Posted by greg at 07:26 AM | TrackBack

February 02, 2005

We're Going To The Pan Pacifics, Fran!

"'We've been given the mandate to compete on a more aggressive level,' says [Paramount Classics co-pres David] Dinerstein, who also helped orchestrate the reported $2 million purchase of Mad Hot Ballroom, a Slamdance documentary widely described as Spellbound meets Strictly Ballroom." 1) One of the odd, still-annoys-me things was that Strictly Ballroom was vaguely a documentary, too. The early scenes were all "talking-head-and-captions," and then it just disappeared. Weird, edgy, or sloppy, whatever, it got him to Romeo+Juliet. 2) Every...
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Posted by greg at 07:57 AM | TrackBack

January 25, 2005

On Jem Cohen's 'Chain'

Chain, was directed by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Jem Cohen. The movie tells the story of a pair of women seemingly stranded in an instantly familiar, parking lot-filled landscape of big box retail stores, fast food restaurants and malls. It looks like it could have been made in one pass through AnySuburbanTown, USA, but it was actually shot in 11 states and seven countries over seven years. Don't miss the unintentional National Security subplot. Chain, dir. by Jem Cohen, is screening at...
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Posted by greg at 12:06 PM | TrackBack

January 17, 2005

Section 8: We Make Movies, Not Money

There's a long profile in the NYT of Section Eight, Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Warner Bros-based production company, whose deal is set to run out in a couple of years. I'm not quite sure what the takeaway is: George and Stephen were so focused on creating an environment where filmmakers could work free of studio meddling, that Soderbergh buddy and first-time director Ted Griffin got sacked during the first week of shooting from Untitled Ted Griffin Project and was...
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Posted by greg at 10:12 AM | TrackBack

January 15, 2005

Someone Hasn't Heard of 'Napoleon Dynamite'.,.

In this week's Arts & Leisure section, Adam Leipzig entertainingly/depressingly lays out the beyond-improbable odds of 1) having a successful independent film, and 2) getting your script made into a big studio hit. Not that I would EVER question the brilliance of the editors who this week afforded me the opportunity to speak with Pamela Anderson, but I worry that if Leipzig's arguments go unchallenged, too many doctors, dentists, and uncles will be dissuaded from investing in surefire hit films,...
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Posted by greg at 10:12 AM | TrackBack

January 13, 2005

Regarding at Regarding Clementine

Demonstrating a curatorial wisdom so vast it puts the [sic] in Sicha, Choire has put me in his show at the Clementine Gallery. I'll be screening and editing a new/old short, footage we shot in the summer of 2001 that I haven't been able to look at since, tomorrow (Friday) from 11-6. Stop by and say hi if you like, and ask me what the hell I'm doing. Not that I'll have an answer, mind you, but you're welcome to...
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Posted by greg at 04:13 PM | TrackBack

January 12, 2005

Your Dream Project, Our Nightmare

Caryn James barely scratches the surface with her article-cum-warning about directors' dream projects: "Here is a basic rule of moviegoing," she starts, "when you hear about someone's dream project, run from the box office fast." On the list of dreamers and their flops: Oliver Stone (Alexander), Kevin Spacey (Beyond The Sea), Scorsese (Gangs of New York, AND Last Temptation of Christ), John Travolta (Battlefield Earth)... seriously, there's a year's worth of articles to write on this. I'll leave the comments...
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January 07, 2005

To Do: Get Your Butt To The Reel Roundtable Monday

Remember? I'm turning the blog into a movie? Monday Night? Millennium Theater? 7:30 for chilling, 8:00 for starting? Here's the previously announced program, which will be musically, if not surgically, enhanced: Coming January 10: - the movie The Reel Roundtable site Elizabeth's IndieWIRE blog...
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Posted by greg at 11:15 AM | TrackBack

January 05, 2005

Hey, It Worked For Kinsey

The must-have vanity project for 2005: your own biopic. Andy Towle reports that the NY Post reports that W Magazine reports that Bill Condon's developing a script based on a 2001 Vanity Fair article for Tribeca Films. The subject: Pepe and Alfie Fanjul, the socialite sugar overlords. Which makes sense, because that NYT article a few weeks ago about Castro stealing Pepe's painting seemed like such a brazen movie pitch....
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Posted by greg at 07:59 AM | TrackBack

December 30, 2004

Check The Clearance, Clarence. And Make It A BIG Check.

The Center For Social Media conducted a study of the costs and effects of clearing intellectual property on independent documentary filmmakers. They look at the costs, the process, and the impact on how films are made and on what subjects. Then they make some recommendations. To any filmmaker who thought they were the only one who had problems with clearing an image, a trademark or--heaven forbid--a piece of music, take comfort: it's an expensive pain in the ass for everyone....
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Posted by greg at 08:58 PM | TrackBack

A-Clips: Anti-Sponsored Shorts

This just in, in time to seal 2004 as The Year Of The Sponsored Short, is A-Clips, a series of aggressively unsponsored shorts:A-Clip plays with the aesthetics of cinema commercials, which are reproduced, satirized or subverted. Each of them has a length of approximately 50 seconds and will be shown on 35mm film among the commercials at movie theatres, with the illicit co-operation of the projectionists and management of individual cinemas. Among the advertisements for lifestyles products cinemagoers are surprised...
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Posted by greg at 03:20 PM | TrackBack

December 29, 2004 the movie, Coming January 10th

Or maybe it's the videoblog. It's a veritable greg.orgy: everybody come! [uh...] On Monday, January 10th, I'm presenting a program of short films (including one of my own), video art, scenes from features, and other stuff, as part of The Reel Roundtable's Film and Blogs series. But more than an elaborate excuse to show and talk about my own work (don't get me wrong, it IS that), I'm interested in seeing how a weblog functions over time as a...
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December 21, 2004

It's Not Just Derek Jarman's Blue

From Peter Wollen's essay on Jarman's Blue, recently published in Paris/Manhattan and quoted at length on In Search of The Miraculous, one of Brian Sholis's millions of projects:However, there were more specific reasons for Jarman's growing fascination with Klein. Jarman always had an ambivalent relationship with film and particularly, as we have seen, with television. Towards the end of his life he made it clear that he was only interested in films which were deeply personal, which were about the...
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Posted by greg at 09:15 PM | TrackBack

SoHo Filmmakers Report #1: Noah Baumbach

At Filter Magazine, David Fear interviews screenwriter/director Noah Baumbach about his collaboration with Wes Anderson on the script for The Life Aquatic.How long did you guys work on this? About a year. We met every day at an Italian restaurant in Soho. We both keep odd hours, so we’d always plan to meet at 1pm then someone would show up late. Then one of us would anticipate that the other person would be late and the time would consistently pushed...
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December 15, 2004

Where's the When NBA Fans Attack DVD?

"Brilliant! Best PowerPoint of The Year!" -Peter Travers, Rolling Stone. The Indianapolis Star has a play-by-play account of the investigation into the Pacers-fans brawl during the Detroit Pistons game Nov. 19. To announce charges against both fans and players, the prosecutor's office in Pontiac, MI created an elaborate PowerPoint presentation full of witness quotes, video clips, and a breakdown of the incident.My staff worked countless hours, and many nights past midnight," Oakland County Prosecutor David Gorcyca said. "I don't know...
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December 11, 2004

Edelstein: Throw It Back

Again, a thousand unposted excuses, I've been writing toward a rather cuh-razy offline deadline. Meanwhile, I haven't been seeing movies like The Life Aquatic. I DO plan to see it, but judging from David Edelstein's review in Slate, it may be quicker to just make it myself.It would be all too easy to Make Your Own Wes Anderson shot. Put a quirky person, dressed in loud but stylish colors, in the center of the frame; use a lens that spreads...
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December 08, 2004

Don Knotts. IS. Dubya.

When I saw this link the other day, I didn't click on it. Execution couldn't be any funnier than the concept, I figured. Boy, was I wrong. [via Jason, Andy, ]...
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Posted by greg at 07:09 AM | TrackBack

December 05, 2004

All I Want For Christmas Is Stanley Kubrick's Lens

In order to shoot interior scenes of Barry Lyndon entirely by candlelight, Stanley Kubrick had two extremely fast Zeiss photo lenses from NASA custom-adapted for a motion picture camera. There is a third Zeiss lens in existence, un-Kubricized, and Justin at Chromogenic would like it for Christmas, please. With a Nikon mount. I don't know if Justin has been naughty or nice, but he's sure gotta be nicer than Vincent Gallo, who had--and tried to sell on ebay--another lens Kubrick...
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Posted by greg at 09:13 AM | TrackBack

December 01, 2004

What We Think Of The Americans

"But enough about me, let's talk about you. What do YOU think of me?" I hate it that I have a line from Beaches burned into my brain, but once in a while, it comes in handy. I know what you're saying: "the last thing I need to hear is what a bunch of tea-sippin' euros think of Americans right now." Mercifully, The Americans being thought about here are not Robert Novak's, but Robert Frank's. On Friday, the Tate Modern...
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November 29, 2004

Maxi Geil tonight at Joe's Pub

Unlike that otherart rock band, Fischerspooner, Maxi Geil & PlayColt are actually still around. Also unlike FS, you might actually like hearing them play. [Other ways they differ from that flash in the 2002 pan: they're smart, but not in a stupid way; knowing, but not in an annoying way; they actually perform, and not in a lipsynchy way; and they're not tired; oh, and they don't blowwww.] Anyway, they've got a date coming up at their old haunt, Joe's...
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Matthew Barney Gets A Brazilian

For those who wondered how Matthew Barney was planning to top his five-part Cremaster Cycle... For those who wondered, after watching The Cremaster Cycle, if Matthew Barney was really a top... For those who want to top Matthew Barney yourself... Have I got a site for you: While there's plenty of Cremaster-related material, including fan photos and videos [!!], I like the news section the best. It's got reports on Barney's latest film, de Lama Lamina, which opened...
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November 24, 2004

Working Title: Le Corbusier via Pierre Huyghe at Harvard

The debut live performance of Pierre Huyghe's puppet opera was last week at Harvard's Carpenter Center, Le Corbusier's only building in the US. While it's not quite a review, Ann Wilson Lloyd's report in the Times gives more details of the production/exhibition, which runs through April 2005. The synopsis: it's Team America: World Police meets Adaptation meets My Architect. Says Huyghe, "I found myself in the same position as Le Corbusier," he said recently, "of someone invited to do a...
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Wes Anderson's Favorite Font

Jason's got some discussion/speculation about Wes Anderson's so-far monogamous relationship with Futura in his films, which continues into The Life Aquatic. Futura and Wes Anderson [] Related: new The Life Aquatic trailers at Talk about control: Anderson's next project is stop-action animation (what, no puppets?)...
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November 23, 2004

The NYT A&L Hegemony Continues

Sorry, your entire Sunday morning isn't enough. Now the NYT Arts & Leisure section wants your whole weekend. Jan 7-9, 2005, to be precise, far enough in advance that you can't pretend you have something else planned. Some program highlights: Sat (1/8), 6:00-7:15 p.m. "Bigger Roles, Smaller Films" Patricia Clarkson and Hilary Swank tell rockstar editor Jodi Kantor what it's like to work with Katie Holmes, ["that Oscar-nom-less little scene-stealer."] Sunday (1/9), 4:00-5:15 p.m. "The Prophet of a New Modern...
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Posted by greg at 11:55 AM | TrackBack

November 22, 2004

Forget The Trailer; I Want A Japanese Retail Cult

Is it a Hollywood perk trend, or just a by-product of working at The Directors Bureau? Whichever, director/artist Mike Mills is the latest auteur to attain that most incongruous of filmmaking achievements: his own blindingly trendy store in Tokyo. Humans by Mike Mills, located in Harajuku, right by the massive Roppongi Hills comples, is actually a "store cum gallery" [eww. there goes my Net Nanny rating...] and "more a conceptual experience than a shopping trip," according to Casa BRUTUS, one...
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Posted by greg at 09:13 PM | TrackBack

November 18, 2004

Fox Presents: Bocaccio's Decalogue

Now! From television's acknowledged experts in adultery, profanity, lying, and covetousness! According to Variety, FX SVP Gerard Bocaccio dreamed up the concept for 'The Ten Commandments,' a series of 10 one-hour TV movies which will "explore the spiritual and moral issues faced by modern America." Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's Section Eight will exec produce, and the two will be joined by eight other "A-list directors [sic, Clooney's A-list? how about 'up-and-coming'? Seriously, people]," and each will tackle a commandment....
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November 17, 2004

Dennis Lim Reviews Van Gogh's Submission

"Artists from Abbas Kiarostami to Shirin Neshat to Ousmane Sembene have confronted the misogyny of conservative Islam in ways that are at once more damning and less willfully profane." Still, just because it was at once outrageously incendiary and a lackluster piece of filmmaking, it's still chilling and despicable that Van Gogh was killed for Submission. The Day I Became a Martyr: Islam Protest Brings Fatal Fatwa [Village Voice] Related: entries for Theo Van Gogh...
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Posted by greg at 03:37 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

Dutch Oven

Scott MacMillan has a wide-ranging, disturbing roundup of the violent aftermath of Theo Van Gogh's murder and public cremation, including the 5-hour standoff--complete with gunfire and grenades--with militant terrorist suspects in The Hague. [Slate] Holland in Flames Religious violence and terror arrests stun the Netherlands in the aftermath of filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder....
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Posted by greg at 04:59 PM | TrackBack

Blogumentary Blog Blogged

Fimoculous has an excellent collection of articles, interviews [including Rex's own], and links for the premiere last week of Chuck Olsen's film/site/project Blogumentary . Check it out. Blogumentary [mitochondria at fimoculous] Blogumentary production blog...
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Posted by greg at 07:52 AM | TrackBack

First, BMWFilms, now Amazon Theater

From the team who ruined comes a new collection of dependent shorts, just in time for the holidays. Amazon Theater is a series of five short films "featur[ing] products you can purchase at Amazon." Someone's not getting it in a very deep way. On paper, Amazon Theater should be an ad/film/shoppertainment convergence dream-come-true: "Definitely available" actors, Minnie Driver, Daryl Hannah, Chris Noth, and Blair Underwood (now rebranded as "Amazon Theater celebrities") A database of every product every one of...
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Posted by greg at 05:59 AM | TrackBack

November 08, 2004

Manzanar Machinima at Margaret Mead

Huh, what're the odds? I just finished a piece for an offline publication about machinima, and the first thing I see at this year's Margaret Mead Documentary Festival is Beyond Manzanar, a video game-based exploration of the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII and political attitudes toward Iranian Americans during the 1979-80 hostage crisis. It was created by Tamiko Thiel and Zara Houshmand. Fortunately, America has moved beyond the dark era of racially based policies, into the crystal clear dawn...
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Posted by greg at 05:46 PM | TrackBack

November 04, 2004

Team France Harvard Opera Police

After the stunning success of Team America World Police [Hey, turns out they got the US political climate right after all...], puppet projects are breaking out all over. At Harvard's Carpenter Center for Visual Arts, the artist Pierre Huyghe is staging a puppet meta-opera that tells the stories of Le Corbusier's design for building and Huyghe's production of the opera. [That's the "meta-" part. And yes, the puppets have puppets.] The performance is November 18th at 6pm; a filmed version...
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Posted by greg at 09:54 AM | TrackBack

IC Moving downtown: Bart Walker jumps to CAA

ICM's Man in New York, Bart Walker is going to CAA. Walker is known for making it happen for filmmakers like Jim Jarmusch and Sofia Coppola. His "Jarmusch-style" foreign presale fundraising helped Coppola keep the copyright for Virgin Suicides and maintain final cut over Lost in Translation. [via filmmakermagazineblog] Related: Translating the deals into a movie [] Tokyo Story [fall 2003 Filmmaker Mag]...
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Posted by greg at 09:24 AM | TrackBack

More Arrests in Van Gogh Killing; Big Funeral Planned

In addition to the shooter/stabber, Dutch police and intelligence officials have arrested eight other men ages 19-26 in connection with the murder of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh. Several of them had been detained before in terrorism-related investigations. Meanwhile, the man caught at the scene is being questioned for terrorist ties; he reportedly had a testament with him, "indicating he anticipated being killed in the attack." Both politicians and the Dutch public are agitated over what may be the country's first...
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Posted by greg at 08:06 AM | TrackBack

Iceland: The Next Canada

No, that doesn't mean they're now recruiting Bush dodgers. It means they're promoting the country as an up-and-coming alternative location for film production. Here's a partial list of benefits to shooting in Iceland: At least four months a year, you don't have to shoot "day for night". Another four months, there's 18 hours of sunlight. You remember how Tribeca was just starting out, and you'd always see Bobby taking meetings at Tribeca Grill? Reykjavik's like that, except that it's Sigurjon...
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Posted by greg at 07:08 AM | TrackBack

November 02, 2004

Wait, I Thought Nobody WATCHED Short Films...

Dutch filmmaker and great grandson* Theo Van Gogh was murdered on an Amsterdam street today, ostensibly because of his short film, Submission. [That's the title.] Since Submission was broadcast on the VPRO TV network in August, Van Gogh and the film's writer, an "ex-Muslim" member of parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, had received numerous death threats and accusations of blasphemy. Seriously, what is up with these people? I can't believe anyone not related to the filmmakers actually watches a short...
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Posted by greg at 07:06 PM | TrackBack

October 26, 2004

Soldiers Pay: DOR on IFC

Just got a heads up from a reader at IFC: the network has picked up the tv rights to Soldiers Pay, the documentary by my boy David O. Russell, Tricia Regan, and Juan Carlos Zaldívar, which was originally produced for the DVD re-release of Three Kings. IFC is planning to air the doc next Monday night, on the eve of the presidential election. It'll be shown at around 9:30 PM, following an 8PM screening of Chris Hegedus' and D.A....
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Posted by greg at 05:16 PM | TrackBack

October 23, 2004

What About Joy Division Knockoffs?

Interpol Claims Designer Knockoffs Fund Terrorism [via village voice] related: Interpol announces short film contest...
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Tom Ford Channels Matthew Barney

Why didn't I think of that? After reading the page in Matthew Barney's film-financing handbook where he describes selling sculptures and limited editions to raise money for the Cremaster movies, Tom Ford has released his own veritable work of art. Actually, it's probably more of a catalogue raisonnee, but there is a white leather-bound limited edition for $350. Don't worry, Amazon knows you never pay retail; they've got it for $238. [There's also a pleather-priced edition, $85, down from $125.]...
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October 20, 2004

A Short Film Is Like...

...a black hole: the laws of matter are reversed. - Katariina Lillqvist ...a poem: it takes big themes and distils them. Less is more. -ScreenEast ...poems. - Pertti Paltila ...a poem: brief, still highly literate, and capable of making ripples in the thought processes that far outlast the piece. -Robert Frazier ...a joke: it's pithy and it has a climax. -Michael Hannigan ...a good joke...a bit of a story, all related around the same thing, no tangent, and it ends...
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Posted by greg at 08:34 AM | TrackBack

October 18, 2004

Parallel Lines, No Kidding

The Cinetrix has an engrossing review of an equally engrossing documentary, Nina Davenport's Parallel Lines. The New York director was away on a freelance gig in San Diego on September 11th and decided to film her way home. Through the fall and early winter of 2001, Davenport asked the dozens of people she met along the way about the terrorist attacks, a question which, more often than not, opened the floodgates to each person's most nakedly painful experience. Parallel Lines...
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Start With A Large Fortune

NYT fashion reporter Cathy Horyn goes to Hollywood to see what Tom Ford's up to. True to reports when he left Gucci, he's looking to make a small fortune in the movie business."If I'm going to get one shot to make an impression," he said, "I want to have around me at least the padding of professional organization. I would not be able to make a little film that will go unnoticed the way it might for other beginning directors....
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October 11, 2004

I wanna de world, Chico, n'everthin's'innit

On the long-anticipated convergence of films and video games: on City of Sound, Dan Hill points out GTA3: Vice City's remarkable multitude of similarities to Scarface, from the landscape, to the music, to the interior decorating details of Tony Montana's mansion. Scarface is Vice City is Scarface [City of Sound]...
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They Shoot Houses, Don't They?

My mother's house was recently scouted as a location for this season of The WB's Everwood. She didn't want all those people stomping across her limestone, so she turned them down. But according to the LA Times, some homeowners say yes, again and again. Says one location manager who has booked Pierre Koenig's Case Study House No. 22 for many films, "You can shoot a McMansion anytime you want, and no one will remember it. It just satisfies my creative...
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Posted by greg at 10:27 AM | TrackBack

October 10, 2004

Exclusive: La Mexicaine Le Interview

While the discovery of an underground cinema in the center of Paris has been widely covered, little or no attention has been paid to what the films actually played there. Les Arenes de Chaillot (The Chaillot Arenas) was created by La Mexicaine de Perforation, a group of self-labeled urban explorers who, for the last five or so years, have used the invisible and forgotten infrastructure of Paris as their own curatorial venue, putting on exhibitions, concerts, and, beginning last...
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Posted by greg at 10:30 PM | TrackBack

October 07, 2004

RNC Highlight Reel

Don't know the editor, but the actors are familiar, and the script, we all know it by heart now ("September 11th, Saddam Hussein, very dangerous, global terrorism"). BoingBoing points to a video that distills the 4-day message of last month's Republican National Convention into three or so rhythmic minutes. The award for Most Hysterical goes to New York's own Rudy Giuliani. How Do You Run A Convention On A Record Of Failure? [via BoingBoing]...
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October 06, 2004

MPAA: The Tenth Time's The Charm

And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm take children to see simulated puppet sex. Kudos to the MPAA censors--now sitting in their collective bed smoking a Marlboro Light--who made the producers of Team America World Police come ten times...
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Posted by greg at 07:21 PM | TrackBack

October 05, 2004

MPAA Fights to Preserve Quality of Puppet Sex

Call it Team ANTI-America, just the kind of devious attack you'd expect in an election year: The ever-patriotic MPAA is bravely taking a stand, seeking to protect the high-quality of simulated puppet sex [SPS] America's children know and love from cheap Hollywood imitations. For the last year or so, the Broadway musical, Avenue Q, has been offering Tony Award-winning SPS to Americas children for $95 a ticket. But now, a devious team of low-rent Hollywood types is seeking to flood...
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Posted by greg at 05:44 PM | TrackBack

September 25, 2004

FS: 'Mission Accomplished' Banner, Qty: One (1)

It's hard to remember now, but things looked so different back then. In August. When Sharon Waxman put David O. Russell on the deck of an aircraft carrier the front page of the Times Arts section for "Conquer[ing] the Hollywood Studio System." On Aug 16, Russell had turned Warner Bros. into his own personal Ahmed Chalabi, ready to do his bidding: The studio funded a "Where are they now? Actually, they're dead, or in Walter Reed or Abu Ghraib or...
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Posted by greg at 08:34 AM | TrackBack

September 23, 2004

As Rumsfeld Is My Co-Producer

David Robb slogged through decades of data--a veritable quagmire of documentation, including production notes, official memos, filmmaker and producer interviews, and screenplay drafts--to write his new book, Operation Hollywood. From the interview he gave to Mother Jones, it sounds like a fascinating story. That said, the interview gives me an odd feeling that the author--and maybe even Mother Jones herself--might be letting a strong political point of view slip through here and there. Nothing specific, though, maybe it's just me....
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Posted by greg at 12:21 PM | TrackBack

September 22, 2004

More Thanatos, Please

Speaking of Wong Kar Wai... Eros is a compilation of three great directors' short films on the subject of, well, eros, love, and sex. Early reports from Toronto say that Wong's is the only segment that's right. The others, by Steven Soderbergh and Michelangelo Antonioni, sound like a $5 handjob at the Port Authority and that 15 minutes window before the Spectravision hits your hotel room bill, respectively. Apparently, the only reason to not leave after WKW's short is the...
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Posted by greg at 01:33 PM | TrackBack

September 17, 2004

Libeskind Documentary on VPRO

[via archinect] Two extensive interviews with Daniel Libeskind--one contemporary, one from 1997, when he was working on the Berlin Jewish Museum--form the core of Rob Schröder's documentary for VPRO, the cool Dutch TV network. 1997 Libeskind's almost unrecognizable, the earnest academic geek you suspected was lurking behind those trying-a-bit-too-hard black frames. Except for a segment on the V&A extension (which was just cancelled, it turns out), the rest of the film tries directly or indirectly to understand Libeskind's relationship to...
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Posted by greg at 02:24 PM | TrackBack

September 16, 2004

RNC Thugz Videomakers Found, Speak

Mission Accomplished (aka f***newyork, the name of the .mov file) was the hi-larious (so true, though, we're only laughing on the outside) video of a gang of private school wiggaz telling it like it was about the RNC takeover of the city. While the rest of the world just sat back and laughed at it, the folks at hip hop music tracked down the film's creators, writer Sam Marks and director Max Rockatansky (aka Matt Lenski) for an interview. It's...
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Posted by greg at 12:48 AM | TrackBack

September 14, 2004

A Handy Vanuatu Phrasebook

Slate's Kevin Arnovitz reveals some of the jargon he learned on the "set" during his brief stint as a "writer" on a reality TV series. One example: OTF (n) ["On the Fly"]: A quick, impromptu interview of a reality show contestant intended to convey the contestant's emotions and actions in the moment, as opposed to the more reflective sit-down interview. An OTF is always shot with a handheld camera, sometimes even in motion—while walking and talking—and often in a moving...
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Posted by greg at 10:46 AM | TrackBack

September 13, 2004

Aaron Eckhart IS Samson IN The Grizzly Adams Production OF

The Bible's Greatest Miracles. Yes, before he donned a wig in Erin Brockovich, but after his breakout performances in Neil Labute's In The Company of Men and Your Friends and Neighbors (and a supporting role in Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday), Aaron Eckhart, sporting a wig that must have required a lot of faith, played an almost Stoppardian Samson in this 1999 made-for-PaxTV documentary. I remember stopping dead in my channel surfing tracks when I saw my former BYU classmate,...
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Posted by greg at 09:18 PM | TrackBack

C'Etait Un Rendezvous: a pure Parisian chase movie

And I thought Ronin had the most jaw-dropping Parisian car chase scene. In August 1976, French director Claude Lelouch (who, it turns out, did the French segment of 11"09'01, the one where the deaf chick decides to break up with her boyfriend at 9:59 or something) had 9 minutes of film, a Ferrari 275 GTB, a gyro-stabilized camera and mount, and an idea. He set a route through the center of Paris, from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre and...
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Posted by greg at 06:53 PM | TrackBack

Tony Scott's first report from Toronto really gives you a feel for the festival's sprawl and cinematic frenzy, where you feel like you're missing movies more than watching them. Meanwhile, he only mentions one film, and he mentions the hell out of it: Gunner Palace, Mike Tucker and Petra Epperlein's documentary about US soldiers' lives in Baghad. Here's a taste:Gunner Palace is so startling because it suggests - it shows - just how complicated the reality of this war has...
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Posted by greg at 06:18 AM | TrackBack

September 12, 2004

Time Lapsing at the WTC Site

Jim Whitaker is the director of a documentary in the making of the changes taking place at the World Trade Center site. Project Rebirth, as it's called, has been taking time lapse imagery from various cameras perched on buildings surrounding the site since the Spring of 2002, after most debris was cleared away from The Bathtub. Now, in time for the third anniversary of the attacks, they've released a trailer, some time lapse segments, and a webcam. Begun with an...
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Posted by greg at 04:11 PM | TrackBack

September 07, 2004

Like Watching Wallpaper Dry

Wallpaper* founding editor Tyler Brule will host and produce The Desk, BBC4's "long awaited media show," a media-gazing TV gig even more prestigious than, say, Topic A with Tina Brown. Brule's strategy for getting the slot may give a hint of what to come; according to the Guardian, Brule first had to beat off some stiff challengers, and "he also beat off other more experienced media experts including Loaded founder James Wheeler, author Paul Morley and Newsnight's Kirsty Wark." Apparently,...
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Posted by greg at 11:45 AM | TrackBack

September 04, 2004

The Woman in the Hefty Bag Speaks

"We are starting to go buggy, just getting on one another's nerves," Mrs Mildred Mauney, 81, told The New York Times, after spending the night with some strangers in a classroom-turned-shelter in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Whatever, Millie. Join the club. Mrs. Mauney's must-have accessory for evacuating their mobile home, an inflated trash bag, reminded me of a Bill Cunningham snap of hard-core fashion muse Isabella Blow that was used to illustrate a NYT street photography story in 2002. I...
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Posted by greg at 02:27 PM | TrackBack

September 02, 2004

Triumph of the W.

So you're saying, if you suspend habeas corpus and pre-emptively arrest hundreds of pedestrians, I'll be able to drive my Mercedes [sic] to the Upper East Side from the Holland Tunnel in 10 minutes every day? I have to confess, it's a seductive proposition. [First they came for the carless, yet I did nothing...] And while I'm watching the giant flag behind George Patton Pataki--It's rippling!-- I'm thinking, "gots to get me one of those 3-story high monitors." [Then, they...
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Posted by greg at 09:23 PM | TrackBack

Film Directors 'Discover' Opera?

Irene Lacher writes in the NYT about the influx of film directors to the operatic stage. Lacher likes her movie directos old and in hollywood; she mentions Garry Marshall, William Friedkin, Robert Altman. Sure, Julie Taymor, who was directing operas long before Disney got her to direct Lion King...on Broadway, which was before she directed an actual film. And Scorsese, who's repeatedly told the Met the opera can wait as he heeds the camera's call. And she likes her opera...
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Posted by greg at 08:20 AM | TrackBack

August 21, 2004


Sharon Waxman has a report from the set of Team America: World Police, a $32 million puppet action film being directed by a couple of reluctant, foul-mouthed punks pulled from obscurity by Paramount. Somehow the pair of college buddies, named Matt Stone and Trey Parker, got their pitch--a 3-minute clip of The Thunderbirds with new dialogue dubbed over it--to producer Scott Rudin, and Paramount to greenlight it immediately, even though the guys have no previous puppeteering experience. Now enduring weeks...
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Posted by greg at 11:35 AM | TrackBack

August 17, 2004

Speaking of Losers Who Found a Bag of Mail

Despite the unmitigated embarassment of his last three directorial forays, the actor Kevin Costner still felt qualified, nay, compelled to let fly with the advice on the set of his current film, Untitled Ted Griffin Project. After wrapping for the day rather than engage in a duel-to-the-death on jet skis, writer/first-time director, Ted Griffin, got the axe. A Fly on The Wall has a gory report from the set [via Defamer] Now tell me first-time directors, what hurts more: 1)...
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Posted by greg at 03:08 PM | TrackBack

Observer: Two's an Undergound Trend

The UK Observer does a trend story on guerilla media, that starts with grafitti and small-house publishing, but is mostly a mashup on underground bands--kids playing gigs on the tube, for example--and indie filmmakers--like Outfoxed's Roger Greenwald, and Chris Jones and Genevieve Joliffe, authors of The Guerrilla Film Makers Handbook. According to the Observer, J&J "managed to cast Harrison Ford's little-known brother Terence as the male lead in The Runner," their 1992 sci-fi? thriller? horror? flick. Considering how hard he...
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Posted by greg at 12:24 PM | TrackBack

Republican "Switch" Ads, by Errol Morris

You've gotta see Errol Morris's commercials for MoveOn PAC, the unaccountable special interest division of Morris took the "Switch" concept he used for Apple, and shot ads of Republicans who discuss switching their vote to Kerry. Morris's straight-on interviewing style and deft editing manage to convey real peoples' nuanced, complex, and sincere perspectives. The word that sticks with me most: Betrayed. Of course, MoveOn's populist, anti-war-energized donors voted to run the ad about WMD lies, which strikes me as...
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Posted by greg at 11:01 AM | TrackBack

August 16, 2004

New Docu joins Three Kings for theatrical re-release

With the sole exception of South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut, no movie has provided as dead-on accurate a depiction of war as David O. Russell's Three Kings. Now, in an example of cautious "I told you so" prophecy-checking, Russell is co-directing a documentary that revisits aspects of his 1999 film about the first Gulf War. Sharon Waxman reports that the $180,000 film is being rushed out for both a new DVD and an unusual theatrical re-release of the original...
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August 14, 2004

But HBO is still the gig to get

While looking at film directors who are more than dabbling in television, the Village Voice's Joy Press puts the current trend into context. Turns out indie-types like Miguel Arteta (Six Feet Under) and Neil Labute (The L Word)(What's that? Sorry, don't have Showtime.) aren't the first, just the latest. It seems film auteurs have been happily trading "total creative control" for "a job that actually pays" at least since Robert Altman's days on Bonanza. No news there. And with the...
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Posted by greg at 08:33 AM | TrackBack

August 08, 2004

Plotting Jonah Freeman on the Matthew Barney -- Gabriel Orozco Axis

OK, do I shoot down that comparison in the first sentence, or later on? Starting with his sculpture and environmental pieces, and later with his video and photography, I've been a fan of Jonah Freeman's work for more than six years. But with The Franklin Abraham, his current exhibition at Andrew Kreps Gallery, I think he has reached a synthesis, a new mode that has implications beyond just his own work. I put Gabriel Orozco and Matthew Barney on a...
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July 30, 2004

Art, Movies, and The Heisenberg Effect

Last Sunday at the Hirshhorn, I saw a great documentary about one of my favorite artists. Juan Carlos Martin followed Gabriel Orozco around the world for three years, filming and taping the meandering artist's creative process, his installations, and the art world's reactions to his work. To my eyes, apparent slightness is one of the most powerful aspects of Orozco's work. Martin's film reveals the intensely sustained effort Orozco's effortless-looking art requires. Weeks of tedious fabrication in a small Mexican...
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July 27, 2004


"[Altman] then asked a reporter if he wanted to be an extra in the scene with Redford. The reporter thought for a moment about La Dolce Vita, in which an entertainment journalist ends up orchestrating a drunken orgy in the Italian countryside. 'O.K.,' he replied." -- Michael Agger reporting from several sets at once for The New Yorker Classically awful Showgirls now available in self-mocking DVD version, complete with drinking game and joke commentary. For which you pony up an...
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Posted by greg at 12:38 AM | TrackBack

July 23, 2004

Naturalist Bourne Killer

Slate's David Edelstein hitting for the fences on The Bourne Supremacy: "a virtuoso demonstration" of "the effect of cutting-edge video and documentary techniques on ho-hum movie material..." "...simply a tour-de-force of thriller filmmaking..." "The film has hand-to-hand battles so close and blurry and tumultuous that they summon up your primitive fight-or-flight instincts. It's as if the filmmaker (and the camera operator) are thinking on their feet alongside the hero, moving instinctively to keep up with their subjects for fear that...
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July 16, 2004

Geek My Ride: Dependent Filmmaking Ad Absurdum

30fps@140mph = f[(2*2.5GHzG5) + 3.5TbHD + FCP4.0 + 42in.HDTV + PS2 + IS300] Got that? It also equals the most ridiculous incarnation of dependent filmmaking this year. In the feat of boys-and-toys bravado that'll surely earn them front row seats when the revolution comes, tech superpowers, pimped geeked out a Lexus IS300 with a full 30fps HD video editing system, including a 42-inch flatscreen you have to put in the backseat (oops, there goes the sound engineer and PA). [See...
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Posted by greg at 12:16 PM | TrackBack

The Startling Music of Public Radio

My wife is leaving for Japan this morning, so our alarm was set for 5:40 AM which, coincidentally, was the precise instant WAMU, the public radio station in DC, started running a promo for Latino USA. So instead of being rustled awake by subdued, overeducated murmuring, we got Tito Puente's brass section as loud as a dorm room prank. But this has happened before. The gentle piano intros to NPR's Weekend Edition that practically brought your first Diet Coke of...
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July 15, 2004

Start Drooling. Canon Releases the XL2

I've been a Sony man myself (VX-1000, PD-150), but plenty of festivals have been entered, reels filled out, and development deals struck with the Canon XL-1. Well, that's all so much Fassbinder the bridge (it's ok, I'll wait...with me?) now. Canon's released the Canon XL2, which, according to Gizmodo's way-too-technical-for-me description, can sync settings between multiple cameras and "...there's just so much to this camera, though, it's sort of hard to explain." It's coming in around $5K. Time to dole...
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Are you sure Steven Seagal isn't involved?

Police in the Sicilian town of Trapani clearly don't read Gawker. If they did, they wouldn't brag so blithely about spy-camming the Oceans Twelve "beach scenes [where litigation-happy, bikini-clad-photo-squelching] Catherine Zeta Jones swims in the sea at midnight." The cops went to elaborate lengths to justify this surveillance, even "arresting" 23 of their cousins for being in the Mafia and plotting to extort money from the production. World Movie Magazine has the "official version," but we know what really happened....
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July 13, 2004

Riding the Dependent Film Gravy Train

Matador Records released the ten winners of, well, a $1,000 budget to make an Interpol-related short for the band's upcoming new album launch. The finished films are due August 15. Top on the list: Gregory Brunkalla, whose couch-slugs-in-spandex short was one of the funnier installments of Nike's Art of Speed series. Nice work if you can get it. Related: The Rise of Dependent Filmmaking Interpol film contest Art of Speed reviews...
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Posted by greg at 05:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Turn on Your Art Life

Fresh from his TV success FashionKingdom (aka Naomi Conquers Africa) Unzipped director Douglas Keeve has a new project. For the last six months, NYMag reports, he's been shooting a pilot for an art world reality show starring the Naomi of the gallery opening, Vogue's favorite art consultant. No, the other one. The white one. Yvonne Force Villareal, erstwhile backup singer for Fischerspooner (cue the crickets), who lavishly covered Grand Central in Rudolf Stingel's carpet (and who was lavishly covered in...
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Posted by greg at 07:32 AM | TrackBack

July 11, 2004

How to Make a Guerilla Documentary

NYT Magazine previews Robert Greenwald's latest documentary, Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War On Journalism, which starts showing this week. It'll be rolled out via selective and massroots screenings organized by and the Center for American Progress. It's the same model that quickly sold 120,000 copies of his last film, Uncovered, the critique of a certain Iraqwar-mongering administration. The production details for Outfoxed are kinda cool, if you have access to a lot of volunteers and interns: Greenwald set dozens of...
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Posted by greg at 07:56 AM | TrackBack

July 09, 2004

Blogging From Inside Project Greenlight

Art director Scott Smith is a directing finalist on the third season of Project Greenlight. He's keeping a weblog of his experience over at agency Coudal Partners, whose new slogan is either "we put the 'cou' in cool," or "no, our stylesheet's not broken." The weblog may go on for weeks, or, if he gets dinged, it may end tomorrow. For Smith's sake, I kind of hope he takes a clean second, earning enough recognition to get a real deal,...
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Posted by greg at 02:31 PM | TrackBack

July 07, 2004

TiVO and DV for 'COPS'

An AP story about the Tyler, TX police department, which recently replaced its tape-based in-car video systems with searchable, metadata-friendly hard drive-based DV. Using the system's cache, the "pre-event" feature also captures the 60 seconds before the officer hits the 'record' button. The system is from IBM and uses Coban Research & Technologies, manufacturer of the TopCam® visor-mounted camera....
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Posted by greg at 07:16 AM | TrackBack

Greeneland Travelogue

The British Film Institute's NFT just started a Graham Greene film program(me) as part of their Crime Scene series. Greene cast a strong shadow over British film and film noir. The series includes a preview of a new BBC documentary by Frederick Baker about the making of Graham's greatest cinematic achievement, The Third Man. Shadowing The Third Man tells stories of Orson Welles' on-location "shenanigans" to get more money, and, oddly, projects scenes from the original film "onto the very...
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Posted by greg at 06:44 AM | TrackBack

July 02, 2004

More Dependent Shorts: gettyimages

The trend continues. Gettyimages teamed with RES and others to have seven directors make 30-60 second shorts on about The Big Idea (whatever that is). The catch: they were to use Getty's own bank of 70,000+ images and clips. By default, collage, compositing, and digital manipulation rule. Making a film from pre-existing images refracts so many layers of intentionality, it makes my head spin. Marc Wilkins' explanation of his own short, To Long For, could apply to working from the...
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Posted by greg at 01:22 PM | TrackBack

July 01, 2004

Ono, Jishu Eiga, Kore-eda

I met Satoshi Ono in New York, when his excellent DV doc, Danchizake (Homemade Sake), played at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight Dec. 2002. Danchizake is an elliptical, self-effacing, yet powerful story of the filmmaker's own family and the emotional rifts caused by years of economic hardship. Midnight Eye reviewed it in the Spring of 2001. In the latest issue, ME does a roundup of jishu eiga, selfmade films, a burgeoning genre in which Ono is cited as a leading practitioner. [His...
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Posted by greg at 01:18 PM | TrackBack

June 30, 2004

Yeah, good thing you got a transcript

I heard Newsweek's Michael Isikoff barking on WBUR last night about how the shifty Michael Moore has not released a transcript of Farenheit 9/11, the easier to dispute the points he makes in the film. [Is irony really, truly dead after all, that so many of the tortillas being flung at F9/11 from the right-field bleachers are because Moore "makes inaccurate insinuations from unrelated facts and dishonestly leads people to jump to conclusions that are otherwise unsupported?" Matthew Continetti, the...
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Posted by greg at 03:46 PM | TrackBack

June 18, 2004

Let Them Eat Cake

Welcome to a very special tribute to lowculture:And I am an optimistic person. I guess if you want to try to find something to be pessimistic about, you can find it, no matter how hard you look, you know?- 7/15/04, George W. Bush, talking about what he never promised in the Rose Garden."You know what?'' she said. "I don't look at it that way. I'm a very positive person. I really always think positive. I think of good thoughts...
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On Finding Schindler's List and Making Period Films

In the Guardian, Thomas Kineally tells the rambling, sentimental story of coming across the Oskar Schindler story in 1980, when he dropped into a Beverly Hills handbag shop. Literally. And in a rambling rant that ranges from the importance of obtaining copyright clearance for period music to the size of Reagan's bowel movements (Hey, I report, you decide.), John Patterson gives crucial advice to filmmakers trying to authentically recreate the past on a tight budget. So what's he say? Beats...
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Posted by greg at 12:27 AM | TrackBack

June 17, 2004

A Tibetan Sand Mandala Movie

[via waxy] A Flash movie of Tibetan monks making a sand mandala, made by David Hirmes using photos from the U of C. Also on, the Lewitt Variations, three Flash animations of possible interpretations of the instructions for a Sol Lewitt wall drawing. [to find it, check the periodic table-looking menu in the lower right corner for 'Lw'.]...
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Posted by greg at 10:57 AM | TrackBack

June 16, 2004

How Farenheit 9/11 Changes EVERYTHING

And this, from just one piece in the Times about the Ziegfeld Theater premiere of Farenheit 9/11: 1. "Can an artist have a luckier break than someone in power declaring their work should not be seen?...It is our belief, seeing the crowd, that HARVEY WEINSTEIN should send MICHAEL EISNER a plant." Plants replace muffin baskets as the speed-dial thank-you gift of choice in Hollywood. With all the Atkins going around, muffins are now the f***-you gift. Unchanged: still unsure how...
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Posted by greg at 07:46 AM | TrackBack

June 15, 2004

On The Art of Speed

Last night while I was rendering some footage in Final Cut, ("Estimated time: about 2 hours...") I decided to watch the short films in Nike's Art of Speed series. The 15 filmmakers were asked to "interpret the idea of speed." Well, by the end of the first film, David Ahuja's Obstacle Course, MY idea about speed was, "Damn, I need a faster processor!" WMP generated so many video artifacts, Ahuja's film ressembled a futurist painting. As the camera followed the...
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Posted by greg at 11:46 AM | TrackBack

Napoleon Dynamite: Oh. My. Heck.

My heart is full this day, and I would be very ungrateful if I didn't get up and share my gratitude for Brother Hess, who has blessed us all so much this day with his special film, Napoleon Dynamite. Brother Hess was blessed with the opportunity to make a movie for $200,000, and he was blessed again with the opportunity to sell it to Fox Searchlight at Sundance for a truly special, inspired price, even $3-4.75 million. It's a truly...
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Posted by greg at 01:22 AM | TrackBack

June 12, 2004

A movie about 'attacking' museums

From the mixed up files of Mr Arthur Robins, an artist who sells his work in front of the Met: While visiting the Met, Robins was questioned in the recent guerilla attacks on that museum and the Guggenheim, where an unknown artist surreptitiously installed works critical of George W. Bush. Later, he was visited by a phalanx of police and Terrorism Task Force officers. He videotaped the encounter, and, well, I suggest you read Julie Salomon's account in the Times,...
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Posted by greg at 10:58 AM | TrackBack

June 07, 2004

The Rise of Dependent Filmmaking

It's only half over, but I feel it's safe to declare 2004 l'Année du Court Métrage Soutenu, The Year of The Sponsored Short. Nike got some, Interpol's buyin' some, and now, if you're a socialite, an I-banker, or just a run-of-the-mill moneyed narcissist (not, I admit, mutually exclusive categories), you can get one, too. For $25,000 (don't forget to ask for your discount), you can commission an animated short film portrait by artist/filmmaker Jeff Scher. Although we're assured "many celebrities...
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June 05, 2004

Because she's done such a great job with her own kids

Kathy Hilton is getting a reality TV show. She'll teach some young bumpkins what they really need to do to get head. A head. Ahead in NYC. How to please a man. Manhattan. How to please Manhattan Society. Bob Morris's Style section piece is so breezily damning, she'll probably think it's good and have it framed. Or not. After all, "Her friends say she is smarter than she appears." "Anyone who knows Kathy Hilton (and many society women do), knows...
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Interpol Short Film Contest

If it's too late for you to get the money and the inspiration for your short film from Nike--and it is--try Interpol. Matador Records will "fund" ten short films "inspired by the music and aesthetic of the band." I put "fund" in quotes because they're only ponying up $1,000, so no tsunamis flooding midtown. First, write a treatment, put a storyboard together, shoot a demo or a trailer, whatever you need to explain what you want to do. Get it...
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June 03, 2004

Weblog about Filmmaking about Nike

It's not just for banner ads anymore. Nick, Choire & co. launched Art of Speed, a weblog-formatted microsite for Nike that'll run for three weeks on Gawker. Art of Speed runs with ideas about filmmaking and web-based marketing that got a lot of attention in the BMWFilms campaign. Through Ridley Scott's production company, BMW commissioned established directors (John Frankenheimer, John Woo, Guy Ritchie) to create short films with independent narratives, but two recurring stars: the cars, and that guy from...
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Posted by greg at 03:22 PM | TrackBack

June 02, 2004

Graphic Designers & Screenwriters' Pity Party

On Design Observer, Michael Bierut initiated an interesting conversation comparing the collaborative arts of graphic design and filmmaking (initially, it was just screenwriting). Most discussion is about credit and credit-taking, and presupposes some ideal of creative--that is to say, individual creative--control. Not until Pauline Kael is evoked in the way down in the comments does that myth get debunked."The director should be in control not because he is the sole creative intelligence but because only if he is in control...
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May 30, 2004

The Polaroids of Andrei Tarkovsky

It seems hard to imagine Tarkovsky doing something so instant, but apparently he took Polaroids all the time. Looking at the few illustrated in the Guardian, though, they're uncommonly beautiful. The director's son provides brief comments, and he's collected several dozen photos into a book. Instant Light, Tarkovsky Polaroids, from Thames and Hudson (UK)...
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Posted by greg at 10:34 PM | TrackBack

May 27, 2004

The Making of Michael Moore's Passion

The similarities between Michael Moore and Mel Gibson, and Farenheit 9/11 and The Passion are worth noting. Let's see: zealots with messiah complexes? Yep. Threat of damnation if film's message isn't heeded? Check. Sensationalistic cineporn tactics to reach beyond true believers? Yep. Special guest star: Satan? Uh-huh. Out to make so much money their directors'll have an easier time passing a camel through the eye of a needle? Check and checkmate. At The Hot Button, David Poland gets all New...
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Posted by greg at 12:30 PM | TrackBack

May 24, 2004

When Assistants Can't Help You

Sometimes the part of me that wants to right wins out over the part of me that wants to be loved. It's at times like this when I want people to confirm to me that my movie/script/editing/whatever is not just cheese, but government cheese. The rest of the time, though, I want what everyone else wants: to be fawned over by people who don't mean what they say. At Hollywoodlog, Shane has compiled an interpretive guide for just such occasions,...
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Posted by greg at 11:36 PM | TrackBack

At least you could mention my URL

"There are people who use their blogs to write, like, 'Today I went to the cleaners,'" [aspiring blogger book agent Kate] Lee said. Besides, I see "Today I went to the cleaners" more as a movie than a book....
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Posted by greg at 11:21 AM | TrackBack

May 23, 2004

EU's Gone Wild II

Once again, an all-too-candid video camera has caused political turmoil in the EU. An Austrian Socialist member of the European Parliament, Hans-Peter Martin, claims to have shot over 1,500 hours of footage of his fellow delegates abusing (people, whatever you do, don't call it torturing) their extremely generous expense allowances--and worse, talking frankly about it among themselves. According to this Times report, perks can easily add EU150,000 to their salaries (which widely vary and are set by each member state)....
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Posted by greg at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

May 22, 2004

Whistle must be going into turnaround

The terminal bureaucracy squanders treasure (and, in the case of the state), life in pointless, oft times criminal endeavours, whose true purpose is nothing more than make-work for those employed to demonstrate, in their inactive mass - the power of the institution. The young, warped by an educational system selling them perpetual adolescence, mistake the battleground for the struggle: they believe that make-work in that one-time area of strife and creation, Hollywood, somehow conveys to them the status of actually...
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Posted by greg at 11:35 AM | TrackBack

May 19, 2004

Cannes, do it yourself

From J. Hoberman's halftime report from Cannes comes this description of Abbas Kiarostami's latest film: "[the] remarkably austere Five (after the number of shots) is a DV landscape study that might have been produced by a talented epigone of American minimalist Ernie Gehr." In Five, the director says, "an entire world is revealed to us. It's a work that approaches poetry, painting. It let me escape from the obligation of narration and of the slavery of mise en scène." [Kiarostami...
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Posted by greg at 09:19 PM | TrackBack

May 15, 2004

Hitchhiker's Production Blog to the Galaxy

Disney launched a production weblog for Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy this week. Let's see if they've learned anything since 2002, when Miramax published a completely artificial "weekly production diary" site for Full Frontal . The gap between between weeks 3 and 4 was like three months....
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Posted by greg at 08:03 PM | TrackBack

May 12, 2004

Buff and Bumble

Recently, in linking to this site, an otherwise highly accurate Internet publication called me a "film buff." And while I've been known to enjoy a film or two in my time, I have to confess, I'm not buff. Anyone at the gym could tell you that, if I ever made it to the gym anymore. But the question haunted me: if I'm not a film buff, what am I? When introduced, I say I'm a filmmaker, but sometimes I wonder...
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Posted by greg at 03:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 07, 2004

Location Scouting NYC's Alleys

The Times has an enjoyable story, " Creepy Space, With Rats, Just $10,000 a Day" about the recurring popularity among film and TV producers of the few photogenic alleys in Manhattan. But the story doesn't hold up and even misses the point, but not because the $10k location fee turns out to be blustery indie producer hearsay or because it lacks data of production that the Mayor's Film & TV Office could provide with a phone call. "The dilemma in...
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Posted by greg at 11:55 AM | TrackBack

May 06, 2004

Because it's fun to say

"Fiachra Gibbons meets Nuri Bilge Ceylan in his apartment in Istanbul to talk about Mehmet Emin Toprak." [via David Hudson, quoted by Greg Allen]...
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April 28, 2004

From The Spring Auctions

Inspired by Tyler@Modern Art Notes's to-bid-on list for the upcoming contemporary art auctions. I don't think I'll be bidding against him on anything, especially now that he's lining his pockets with all that ArtsJournal loot. Too rich for my blood. But a flip through the catalogues turned up at least one must-get work. If Sotheby's estimates are right for this storyboard Robert Smithson made for his Spiral Jetty movie, I may need to talk discreetly to someone about the street...
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Posted by greg at 02:30 PM

April 27, 2004

Sheena is a Punk Rocker's Lawyer

Bill Werde reports in the Times on the sad, dumb story of End of The Century, a highly praised documentary about The Ramones made by Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields. The article makes it sound like the two novice filmmakers are out more than $235,000 for production and post- to make their film, even though $150K of that is to Chinagraph, a post- house where Gramaglia's brother works, which is listed as a production company for the film. That's how...
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Posted by greg at 10:33 PM

April 25, 2004

Kevin Spacey also getting into shorts

This Guardian exclusive wins the award for best comic timing of the week. It's a diary of a young man who hooked up with Kevin Spacey online. Money changed hands. Drinks were plied. Gifts and trips were showered. Video was shot. But this time, apparently, no cell phones were stolen. According to the Guardian, Spacey has set up a whole website just to meet young men who are ready to "do what it takes" to break into the film business....
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Posted by greg at 09:36 AM

British Government puts hand in shorts

In BFI's May 2004 Sight & Sound, James Bell looks at the world of British shorts. His findings: proper support is very important, but hard to come by; when you need it most, there can be no reaction at all; when they can't get someone else to do it with, people turn to handheld electronic devices to help them shoot, then they complain that it's "not like the real thing"; people are going online for some action; the word "gag"...
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Posted by greg at 09:04 AM

April 15, 2004

Cinderella Story

The classic "Cinderella story" speech from Caddyshack was written as an interstitial camera shot...Ramis took Murray aside and said, "When you're playing sports, do you everjust talk to yourselflike you're the announcer?" Murray said, "Say no more," and did his monologue in one take. - Tad Friend's great piece on Harold Ramis in the New Yorker.When [I] asked about "the whole 'Cinderella story' from Caddyshack and that shot of Bill golfing under Mt. Fuji," Sofia didn't register. "I never saw...
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Posted by greg at 08:09 AM

Bill Murray at BAM

If you're planning to bumrush Bill Murray tonight at BAM to pitch him your 12-page script ["INT - ASSISTANT GREENSKEEPER'S HOUSE - NIGHT"], you're a bigger chump than your ex said you were: it was Tuesday. Don't worry, you can still send a message "to" Bill at The Bill Murray Message Board, "just in case that actor ever visits this site": Date: 2/12/2004 - 9:42 PM IP: Name: Mickey Comments : I am, at this moment, watching you on...
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Posted by greg at 07:46 AM

April 06, 2004

Reading Quentin, my New Bestest Friend

After a night of hanging out with The Man, and sipping from the firehose of his conversation (hey, whatever it takes to get the movie made, right? ahem.), it's no surprise at all that there are fansites dedicated to picking apart the film references in Quentin Tarantino's own movies. Now there's a festival, too: The Kill Bill Connection at London's ICA. The Guardian's Steve Rose is at first fascinated, then typically put off by QT's virtuosic-bordering-on-pathologic quoting, but his look...
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Posted by greg at 03:24 PM

April 05, 2004

Che Sera...Sera

[via GreenCine] Terrence Malick's on-again, off-again, on-again-next-year biopic, Che is on again, only it's now Steven Soderbergh's Che. Muy bien....
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Posted by greg at 10:53 PM

April 04, 2004

Blessed are the Filmmakers

OK, one more post about Mel's mammon from heaven, The Passion: The Guardian reports on the miracle of Matera: Gibson raised the Italian hilltop town from the economic dead when he chose it as the main location for filming. And Blessed are The Extras, for they shall obtain EU60-90/day Not only were 600 of "the swarthiest" locals picked as extras in the film, but the town has been born again as a Christian tourist site. Antonio Foschino documents the local...
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Posted by greg at 12:59 PM

April 01, 2004

More from An Evening With Sofia Coppola

Production Diary I grabbed an image from each of 35 massacre cuts in The Godfather's baptism/massacre sequence to use as reference for shooting. Given the conditions, however, and the fact that I was also a co-host, with a speech to give, and I had major ass to kiss, this served as only the roughest guide. I needed at least one shot of me, though, and so when my co-host Hilary and I went up to the podium, I gave...
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Posted by greg at 10:52 AM | Comments (9)

March 31, 2004


From the painstakingly organized files of Mr Stanley E. Kubrick: Stanley Kubrick filled his St Albans estate with over 400 fileboxes (specially manufactured to his own design) of notes, photographs, correspondence, drafts, props, and much, much more. The first authorized exhibition drawn from the estate opens today at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt. In fact, Christiane Kubrick and Jan Harlan are speaking in the cafe at 2030h, less than 5 hrs from now. [Seeing as how you missed that, though,...
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Posted by greg at 09:49 AM

March 30, 2004

An Evening with Sofia Coppola

I'm co-chairman of this gig tonight at MoMA, An Evening With Sofia Coppola. I was going to write my speech, but in the spirit of the director, I'm going totally improv. Then I'm going to kiss every ass I can. In the mean time, Sofia will show clips of and discuss her work with Elvis Mitchell. Look for pics and a making-of doc later. Related: More from An Evening With Sofia Coppola...
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Posted by greg at 04:01 PM

Souvenir Series, Sofia, and me

In the last couple of weeks, I've decided to shoot a fourth short film, which may be part of the Souvenir Series, or may not. We'll see. It was not in the original outline of the series, and it's out of the order I'd planned to shoot them, but the opportunity and idea presented themselves so clearly, I've decided to at least get it shot, then see where to take it. Long story short, it's a reconceiving of the baptism/massacre...
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Posted by greg at 12:09 PM

March 29, 2004

ND/NF: Captive by Gaston Biraben

I saw Captive, the debut feature from Gaston Biraben, at New Directors/New Films last night; it's a subtly powerful movie that gripped the sellout audience at MoMA Gramercy. Captive is a fictionalized telling of real events, a surreal, politically charged story of, "You're adopted...And then some." A 15-year old Buenos Aires girl's life is turned upsidedown when she learns her real parents were among The Disappeared, the tens of thousands of Argentines kidnapped, tortured and killed by the country's military...
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Posted by greg at 07:17 AM

March 22, 2004

Kevin Smith and Lars Von Trier, or reads the papers for you

Both in today's NY Times: Slate's Bryan Curtis interviews Kevin Smith in advance of the Jersey Girls release. Jersey Girls makes Kevin Smith sound like the perfect spokesmodel for, but Smith's best comments are about Mel Gibson, "fellow Catholic." [Damn, that's one big tent.] Tony Scott's got a very astute read/review of Dogville, Lars "Von" Trier's new movie. Scott makes some keen references to both Mayberry and South Park, while skewering the reactionary anti-anti-Americanism of reviews like Variety's. Jessica...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:42 AM | Comments (0)

March 16, 2004

Video replaces Paintings !?

Don't tell the Whitney Biennial folks. That trademarked slogan comes from a series of video loops designed for your giant flatscreen TV that are "100% narrative free with strong visual aesthetics" called Souvenirs from the earth [Ahem. A series called Souvenir? I hope you kept the number of that trademark lawyer...] You can buy their DVD for $50 from Dynomighty, on east 10th st, or, like Alain Ducasse did for Mix, you can commission a custom version. They're also...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:52 AM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2004

Chad's Dads

Chadian filmmaker Mahamat-Saleh Haroun talks to David Kehr about Abouna, his second feature and only the third film to be made in his native country. There is no commercial cinema in Chad, yet films--and particularly US films--have a powerful influence on the imaginations of young people living in impoverished isolation. An ardent admirer and student of foreign directors like Abbas Kiarostami, Hou-Hsiao Hsien, Kitano Takeshi, and Clint Eastwood, Haroun is an uncommon internationalist in the nascent African filmmaking industry. He's...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:34 PM | Comments (0)

Sky Captain: Not Some Studio Kitsch After All

When I first saw the trailer for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, I was fascinated, then confused. It looked like Fritz Lang's Metropolis, but it had... Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow? It's some weird studio stunt, I figured. But I was wrong. Turns out Sky Captain is the culmination of one man's nearly impossible-to-believe vision. Kerry Conran worked for four years, alone, to produce the six minutes of seamlessly melded CG and live action footage that ultimately led...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:00 AM | Comments (0)

March 05, 2004

Buy it and make something good with it

[via Gawker] It'll cost you, but this may be the closest you'll get to a hummer from Chloe Sevigny. Director/actor/antagonist Vincent Gallo is selling his meticulously assembled and tuned film production package on ebay. According to the sale, Gallo designed and assembled and fine-tuned the package after Buffalo 66 and has shot 60,000 feet of film with it for Brown Bunny. According to Gallo, The package would have to include everything needed to make the film: 2 cameras, a high...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:52 AM | Comments (0)

March 04, 2004

My Architecture

[via Archinect] In Metropolis Magazine, David D'Arcy looks at an onanistic genre of film (as if there were any other kind): "the making of the building" documentary. These now-de rigueur films share a common dramatic arc: "The process is depicted as tough but triumphant, the architect is 'visionary,' the trustees who funded his work 'courageous,' and the public overwhelmingly grateful for the new building." "I've come to think of them not as films but home movies, institutional metaphors for the...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:07 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2004

The WTC Films of Etienne Sauret at Film Forum

Two films by Etienne Sauret, including the eerie WTC: The First 24 Hours, [which screened on the program with my first film at MoMA's Documentary Fortnight] are showing at Film Forum today through March 16. Etienne will introduce the films tonight at 6:15 and 8:00. Mark Holcomb reviews them in the Voice and gets cranky about the FDNY. Stephen Holden reviews them more straightforwardly in the Times....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 20, 2004

Learning at Errol Morris's Knee

Last week, in the Sony Classics offices on Madison Avenue, I sat down to talk with Errol Morris, whose current documentary, The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara, was nominated for an Academy Award. Morris's films are best known for the intensity of the interviews he conducts. He invented the Interrotron, a teleprompter setup that gets the interviewee to look and speak straight into the camera. I, in the mean time, didn't have...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:03 PM

Ford Exploring

Tom Ford has signed with CAA agent (and longtime friend) Brian Lourd to find films to direct. The NYPost's Suzanne Kapner pitches him a really edgy story: Robert Evans called. He wants his schtick back... "For his last Gucci menswear show, there were scantily clad dancers with big hair and heavy eye makeup gyrating around stripper poles and worldly gentlemen with tumblers of whiskey. Keep an eye out for such images in a future film - perhaps a cross between...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:22 AM

February 19, 2004

Che Sera

Doin' it for the children of the revolution: Malick's directing another movie before these kids graduate from college. Production is set for four months, starting in July--this July, 2004-- for Terrence Malick's next film, Che, starring Benecio Del Toro as the world's most logo-friendly marxist. Malick's writing and directing. Del Toro and Steven Soderbergh (I thought he was taking a year off?) will produce the $40 million picture, which comes--if you calculate by Malick-Time-- almost 14 years ahead of...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:01 PM | Comments (1)

Stop-Action Knitting

[via Fimoculous] Michel Gondry's new video for Steriogram is all stop-action knitting. There's a little too much Peter Gabriel going on, but the shots where the band's watching a knitted movie are brilliant. It reminded me of a piece at the Whitney's "Into the Light" exhibit of American video art, Anthony McCall's 1973 Line Describing A Cone, where a projected image of a circle created a cone of light in the smoke-filled gallery. I just watched all Gondry's videos, and...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:09 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2004

Our (Film) Town, or Pale-Cheeked Pinkos

Don't know how I missed this. The Guardian/Observer's Damon Wise goes on a revealing to Filmbyen, or Film Town, a Danish hive of suburban movie production, founded by Lars Von Trier and his producing partner, Peter "The Eel" Jensen. (That nickname'll be TMI in a minute, by the way.) Dogme95 co-conspirator Thomas Vinterberg has also set up shop in "town." At the agressively but unsurprisingly unconventional Filmbyen, VT and The Eel insist on various musical and flag-raising rituals and on...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 15, 2004

On Finishing a Film Without the Director

After British director James Miller was killed--shot in the neck by an Israeli army sniper in Gaza in May 2003--while filming an HBO documentary, his wife Sophy, field producer Dan Edge and other crew members felt compelled to complete the movie. Her story is in the Telegraph, and Edge writes in the Guardian about making the film--and watching Miller get shot in front of him. The finished documentary, Death in Gaza, is a fly-on-the-wall account of a young Palestinian boy...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

February 10, 2004

"[Strauss] recently signed with William Morris for feature film and television representation."

[via Gothamist] The Style Section article a few weeks ago where Neil Strauss plays wingman to some David Blaine wannabe named Mystery (Seriously. You think the Times didn't factcheck something so goofy?) has been optioned by Columbia Pictures (along with a book based on the piece). The price? "In the low six figures." Strauss will advise, but not adapt....
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Posted by greg allen at 12:52 PM | Comments (2)

K Street: Who's Acting Now?

For the ever-popular Law & Order, the producers mine today's headlines for new story ideas. HBO's K Street is just the opposite. Not in the "what, it blew and nobody watched it?" way you're thinking, in the "life imitates art" way. In one K Street plotline, the actress and former Cheneyac Mary Matalin worried about being investigated by the Feds for leaking a CIA operative's identity. At the time, the subject was innocuous or implausible enough to pass the...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:55 AM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2004

The All Too Real World

Mary-Ellis Bunim, the co-creator of The Real World, which revolutionized television while destroying civilization, died of breast cancer at age 57. Bunim also produced The Real Cancun, which, while better than Justin and Kelly, was not as entertaining as the reviews of it. Take some solace, at least, knowing she probably had fun making it. Very related: Support the fight against breast cancer...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:10 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2004

Roger Avary: "I reveal too much of myself"

If screenwriter/director Avary doesn't reveal enough for you in his Q&A session with the Guardian, go to his weblog--which he must deplore. And when you view his webcam, he may flip you off personally. He was working on the script for David Fincher's remake of Dogtown and Z Boys but the Guardian has him adapting Bret Ellis's Glamorama now. But since I missed his garage sale (an army of professional rummage sale zombies rummaged it clean as soon as the...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:02 AM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2004

Like I was saying about Mormon Cinema and...

Filmmaker reports that in the face of religious boycotts, the missionary-meets-boy tale, Latter Day, was dumped by its Salt Lake venue, Madstone Theaters. Actually, this is good news; it means they might be open to dumping Mel Gibson's controversy-baiting The Passion of Christ, which is scheduled to open Feb. 25. In the Village Voice, Ed Halter hears the good news about Mormon Cinema. [O me of little faith...] I think I may have been friends with one of the silly...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:58 PM | Comments (0)

January 19, 2004

Look over there! Filmmaker Magazine!

Gotta run, but before I do, the fine fine folks at Filmmaker Magazine timed the launch of their weblog to the opening of the under-the-radar Sundance Film Festival. Sundance is not, as its name suggests, held in a warm, sunny place, but in Park City, in the state of Utah. It may not be of any interest to you, but if it is, the festival has a little website. Also at Filmmaker this month, the makings of a great short...
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Posted by greg allen at 05:04 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2004

First, Movies in DC, now Making Movies in Miami

I see through fellow Best NY Blog nominee Lockhart Steele's feeble ruse to get me to post more non-NYC stuff. Even as I'm powerless to thwart it. Tommy Ryk's documentary, Work Sucks, I'm Going Skiing follows the antics of a New York hotel developer in South Beach. No story there, folks. Throw a rock in SoSoHo (as I called it in 1990, when then-friend Tony Goldman put me up in the Park Central) and you'll hit a New York hotel...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2004

Fake Documentary-making in The Court of The 5th Baron of Saling-in-Essex

Christopher Guest talks at length with the Guardian's Richard Grant about the incredible levels of authenticity required for making fake documentaries. Hilarious anecdotes from This is Spinal Tap and A Mighty Wind ensue. If Grant's right when he calls it "the funniest film ever made," the DVD of Spinal Tap is twice that funny; the outtakes and deleted scenes are easily as long and as good as the original version. A Mighty Wind opens next week in the UK. Oh,...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:31 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2004

Yet Another "Largest Film Ever Edited on Final Cut Pro"

On another site, the headline would read, "Walter Murch edits Cold Mountain, but on MacCentral, the headline is "Final Cut Pro used to edit Cold Mountain." Posthouse DigitalFilmTree set Murch up on four full FCP stations and several PowerBook-based "satellite stations, " which they used when there was massive amounts of footage. DVD Studio Pro was used to burn and distribute the dailies to everyone, and special effects went back and forth for review via Quicktime. Apple, thankfully, lets Murch--who...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2003

Make a film in 24-hours two months ago

Just ask Dharma. According to the Formula, you can have only one creatively named character per sitcom. Fortunately, Wired Magazine articles have no such limit. And so, in this month's wacky episode edition, Choire and Xeni team up to report on NYC Midnight, a DV Dojo -sponsored contest to write, shoot, and edit a film in New York, all in 24 hours. What's that, the contest was in October? And it started in May with a rewritten press release on...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:57 PM | Comments (0)

December 17, 2003

More On Dependent Filmmaking, or Barney Cam II: White House Boogaloo

[via Gothamist] Jimmy Orr, the Choire Sicha to George Bush's Nick Denton, has posted his new short film, Barney Cam II: Barney Reloaded, on his weblog, Elizabeth Bumiller, the Times' specialist on the dependent film industry, gives it a glowing review and talks with Orr, who co-produced Barney II with Bob deServi. DeServi is best known for his work as the key grip on many of Scott Sforza's productions, which are being shown on TV everywhere, all the time,...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:29 PM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2003

Combat Camera

Finally, someone's asking the right questions in Iraq, like, "how'd they get that shot?" Virginia Heffernan reports in the Times on the ultimate embeds: the soldiers who go into battle armed with digital video cameras ("the camera is our first weapon") to record US military activity. Like Saddam Hussein's medical checkup, which includes shots--like the glowing underside of Hussein's tongue--that Heffernan rates as high art. what's the opposite of independent? Film, that is. image: images These combat camera crews...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:44 PM | Comments (0)

December 10, 2003

Gus Van Sant's Go-to Guy

Gus Van Sant, Elias McConnell, and Dany Wolf at Cannes 2003, image: There he is, scorched in Death Valley and on the Saltflats of Utah; in a mold-closed school with a barebones crew on scooters; and on the Palais steps of Cannes, where he accepted the Palme D'Or this year for Elephant. Gus Van Sant? Sure, he's there, too, but I'm talking about Dany Wolf, the producer. The guy who actually has to figure out how to make...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:59 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2003

Havana: about making films, about art

Excellent story in the Guardian by Chris Payne about a film school outside Havana whose students' production--an actually independent feature film-- doesn't officially exist, but nonetheless is getting plugs for Sundance. There's more story here to be told. Also from Havana, the Biennial. Maria Finn's Times article has an interesting angle: the economic impact of international art world attention on Cuban contemporary artists. Even emerging artist-level prices (ie, in the thousands or low five figures) enable artists to live like...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2003

Neil Labute, Amanda Filipacchi, and me

Hide your peasant bread, people. the half-assedly Atkinsing Neil Labute just landed in New York, and he's loaded for bear claws. Yesterday in his Slate diary, Labute wrote about an eating a meeting for his next project, a screen adaptation of Vapor, the second novel from Amanda Filipacchi. Amanda Filipacchi picked me up at the 10th Street Lounge many years ago, and we went on a date. We saw an HBO-sponsored movie at Bryant Park. It was pleasant, but there...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 08, 2003

On Making Deals to Make Movies

Finally, POV is back, and in a relevant way. By relevant, I don't just mean talking money. But that's what she's doing, with a post about fundraising for independent films. Liz reviews the Money Matters issue of The Independent, which is published by the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers....
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Posted by greg allen at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2003

"We can easily believe that Gus Van Sant is worth ten Greenaways."

Gus Van Sant's the center of the universe, you see, or you will see, by the end of this post. [Before, I'd been forced to the alarming conclusion that the universe revolved around Norman Mailer, so you'll understand if i'm eager for a replacement.] Anyway, if you were dazzled by my groundbreaking interpretation of Gus Van Sant's Elephant and Gerry you'll be double-dazzled by Scott Macaulay's excellent interview in Filmmaker Magazine with Van Sant on the inspiration, ideas, and...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2003

Fixing K Street

It's the dialogue, stupid. (Or is that, "It's the dialogue. Stupid."?) After only three episodes, I'm getting fed up with the uncertain, equivocating, sometimes borderline incoherent dialogue that constitutes the majority of HBO's K Street. I know it's improvised, and that non-actors are supposed to be non-acting, but unless the unacknowledged agenda of the producers is to show that no one in Washington knows what the hell they're talking about--ever--something needs to be done. Politicians are expected to deliver content-free...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:17 AM | Comments (0)

September 26, 2003

Translating the deals into a movie

Anne Thompson has a very informative artlicle in this month's Filmmaker Magazine about the hustle to get Lost in Translation made. Sofia Coppola's first finished draft of her script--the one they used to raise money--was only 70 pages long, which freaked a lot of funders out. Still, such a short script (1 page = 1 minute is the filmmaking-as-usual rule of thumb) suited Coppola's (and Bill Murray's) improvisational, intuitive shooting approach. [For a writer-director, the link between script and location--and...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:08 PM | Comments (0)

September 25, 2003

The Suntory Commercials of Akira Kurosawa

Nothing wrong with bigname film folks making commercials. Errol Morris (whose The Fog of War I just saw and will write about soon) directed the Apple Switch ads. Swedish master Ingmar Bergman made some cake by selling cakes of soap. Hell, Spike Lee's got a whole agency, SpikeDDB, to sell out through. And as Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation shows, Japanese commercials are a great way for stars to pay their jumbo mortgages. Coppola mentioned she got the idea...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:01 AM | Comments (1)

September 14, 2003

K Street: Pushing the Metrosexualist Agenda

A friend showed me a website for a DC spa that was so hilariously and transparently metrosexual, I almost posted it here last week (at the risk of either reigniting the whole tired metrosexual discussion, or, far more likely, being woefully behind the curve). But I resisted. Until I saw the Grooming Lounge make a huge, sponsor-like appearance on tonight's premiere episode of K Street. [F'rinstance, the Lounge pitches a manicure with this butched up rationale: "After all, your mitts...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:57 PM | Comments (0)

K Street: A Man with a Camera

HBO's K Street is shot in DV and makes the most of the saturated blues (outdoor) or yellows (indoor) that come from shooting with available light. Even though the processes are very different, the photography is reminiscent of Traffic. That's because director Steven Soderbergh used the same cinematographer--one Peter Andrews--on both projects. On the Traffic DVD, Soderbergh criticizes Andrews' work, wondering aloud why someone didn't fire him. Still, Andrews is credited with the camera work on every Soderbergh film since...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2003

"The Real World: Washington" hits a snag

Apparently, only real lobbyists have unfettered access to the halls of power. TMN points to a Roll Call story that the Trent Lott, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee has deemed shooting of Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney's new HBO series K Street a "commercial or profit-making purpose" and banned them from using any Capitol locations. One solution: get the crew--and the talent-- some press passes and slap some CNN logos on those cameras. The show's on-the-run, "shoot and air...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

August 16, 2003

On the Growing Influence of DVD's on Filmmaking

David Kirkpatrick's got an interesting article in the Times about how DVD sales are an increasingly important factor in greenlighting films. Net net: men buy action blockbusters. No one buys anything else. DVD sales projections drove the glut of pathetic action movie sequels this summer. If anyone buys those things on DVD, we are all doomed....
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Posted by greg allen at 09:49 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2003

talking about filmmaking, v2

I'm working on a couple of new features, or Features, interviews with some interesting filmmakers. Greencine must know that, because they're throwing up so many interesting filmmaking reads, including: Steven Soderbergh and Richard Lester's Getting Away With It: Or: The Further Adventures of the Luckiest Bastard You Ever Saw, and Lawrence Grobel's Above the Line: Conversations about the Movies . Read an Austin Chronicle review for excerpts....
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Posted by greg allen at 08:55 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2003

Director's Readin' Roundup

From David@GreenCine's, Summer reading list (hint: print them out for the Jitney): Graham Fuller's 1999 NYT look at directors who make a city their own. For the more hardcore, try Michael Wood's London Review pretty followable, ecumenicist recap of anti-Deleuzian film analysis (you've been warned). Via TMN: David Sedaris' tips for reading Moby Dick. Not a read, exactly, but food for thought. In his Voice review of Boys' Life 4, Dennis Lim gets fed up with the splitscreen-because-you-can school of...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

Dreamworks swears by CG, swears off hand-drawn animation

According to a NYTimes article on the recent poor performance of several expensive, hand-drawn animation films, and the success of such CG films as Pixar's Finding Nemo, Dreamworks (with voice provided by animaster Jeffrey Katzenberg) is calling hand-drawn animation "a thing of the past." Another nugget of apparently accepted wisdom: as the poor box office of Sinbad, Treasure Planet, and Titan A.E. demonstrates, animated action films targeted at boys will fail. Hmm. Or else, these three films blew chunks. As...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:51 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2003

Robert Rodriguez swears by HD video, swears off film

Wired interviews director/etc. Robert Rodriguez, a young master of the atypical production process, for the launch of his new film, Spy Kids 3-D. It's less than a year since Spy Kids 2, when the NY Times' Rick Lyman looked at Rodriguez's one-man-band approach to movies. (Director is only one of seventeen different credit categories in his imdb profile. More than almost any other director, a Rodriguez film is literally, a Rodriguez film.) But yet he's not really considered an auteur....
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Posted by greg allen at 05:05 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2003

Production links from all over

Jonathan Van Gieson has launched a team production weblog for his off-off-Broadway show, Buddy Cianci: The Musical, wherein "more than 20 people (10 cast members plus a sizeable staff) all working their asses off to get "Buddy" up and running by August 9th," will stop being polite and start being real. [via Lockhart Steele] It's Wit Capital-meets-HSX. (i.e., sounds a lot like 1996) In the LA Times, Josh Friedman reports on Civilian Pictures' plan to fund Billy Dead, an...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:03 PM

Filmmaking in New York now cool again

Rebecca Traitser writes in the Observer that the tide has turned (again), and studios are coming back to New York to develop new films. As John Lyons puts it, "I think there is a little sense of exhaustion creeping in with all the high-concept action-sequel movies." Mr. Lyons, it turns out, was just named president of production for Focus Features (Congratulations, Mr. Lyons. Muffin basket's on the way.) , and is staying put in New York, where ex-Good Machiners David...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:10 AM | Comments (0)

July 09, 2003

Shoot sequentially, post asynchronously

Don't know how I missed this; in Feb., Gus Van Sant talked to The Onion A.V. Club about making his films. The sequential filming mode from Gerry was used again on Elephant; with a small, light crew, Van Sant was practically flying along, shooting whatever he wanted. It was an approach he'd missed since his first feature, Mala Noche. One review of Gerry deadpanned that Los Angeles is enough of a desert itself, why go to Death Valley; since...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2003

Documentaries officially hip. So where's my trucker hat?

via GreenCine, although I should be reading Indiwire more regularly anyway. We all should. Howard Feinstein pays homage to First Run/Icarus on the distributor's 25th anniversary. "Now officially hip, documentaries are gaining more and more converts among aficionados of fiction." I know what you're thinking. Hasn't Greg made started a series of Slacker-meets-À la recherche du temps perdu documentary-like narrative short films? Riiight. As if. You're actually thinking, so what's showing at the Anthology this Saturday at 3:30? Why, it's...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:40 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2003

101 Cameras: Lars von Trier and Me

For almost three years, I've carried a little red movie ticket in my wallet, the old-fashioned pulpy kind, from a big roll. It says "Emergency Re-admit" on it. It enables me to return and see Dancer in the Dark, which I went to see one weekday afternoon in 2000. After 15 confusing minutes, I snapped and decided I'd better get back to work, and I hastily, if temporarily, abandoned the controversial film. Last night, I watched it on DVD, and...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:49 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2003

Everyone's Making Movies

Well, Jason is, anyway. It's a love story. Believe me, you'll laugh, you'll cry....
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Posted by greg allen at 05:03 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2003

ISO: Warner's Little Brother (or Sister?)

In the the Observer's "Satisfying Mr. Soderbergh", Rebecca Traitser writes about Warner Brothers' drawn out search for someone to head up their long-planned specialty film division. One of the key requirements of the job: make Steven Soderbergh happy by releasing his films properly. One name that being bandied about was Elvis Mitchell, the aim-for-the-blurbing-bleachers NYTimes critic. But whoever the new studio head is, Traitser lays out a combination of director-sympathy and strategy-awareness that makes me think she's gunning to succeed...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:22 AM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2003

Badass Buddy Icons and the Honda Element

Thanks to a 13-year old niece of Boing Boing, I found Badass Buddy. It's a site with 1,200 AIM free buddy icons, a collection which, over 2+ years, has evolved from simple riffs on the little AOL dude (you know, the one who hooked up with Sharon Stone) into a unique medium of it's own. In addition to the predictable ones--Fart, Spongebob, Jackass, School Sucks-- BAB has created little narratives that are HI-larious, timely, touching, and pretty damn cool. To...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:27 PM

May 09, 2003

On Getting Gawker Stalked

Wave UFO, Mariko Mori for the Public Art Fund image: Tom Powel, INT - DAY, IBM BAMBOO GARDEN, 56th & MADISON A promising DIRECTOR wanders into the atrium to examine Mariko Mori's Wave UFO, a large, shiny pod-looking art object nestled among the towering thickets of bamboo. A YOUNG ARTIST mills about, hesitant to approach him. YOUNG ARTIST Um, Excuse me. DIRECTOR Huh? YOUNG ARTIST Did you have a film in the MoMA Documentary Festival? DIRECTOR (shocked, confused,...
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Posted by greg allen at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2003

Boxing Isabella: Guy Maddin's Production Diary

Also from the Voice: I have no idea what to make of Guy Maddin's production diary for his newest film, The Saddest Music in the World, but it's good readin'. Something to do with a legless Isabella Rossellini. Don't let the film's absence from Maddin's IMDb entry get to you, either. (I mean, if Charlie Kaufman's brother can get nominated for an Oscar...) Maddin's got a joint at the Tribeca Film Festival and a Dracula: The Ballet movie opening...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:39 AM | Comments (0)

On What are you working on?

I don't mean in the sense of "So, what do you do?" for people whose profession (e.g., writers, filmmakers...especially writers) might not appear to involve actually doing very much. I mean in the nosy sense. A boss or busybody or fisher of insider information might ask you what you're working on, leaving you to wonder what, exactly, they're getting at. To avoid the appearance of micromanaging, hovering, or intrusion, the passive aggressive boss might install cameras ("They're just webcams!" he...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:14 AM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2003

On First Films

John Malkovich has been doing the media circuit for The Dancer Upstairs, his directorial debut, and it sounds pretty respectable. It got me thinking, so I made some Amazon lists for your blogger-/info-/shopper-tainment: Directors' famously first movies What I really want to do is direct, movies by ____-turned-directors. Bonus links [thanks, Fimoculous]: 25th Hour author David Benioff writes in the Guardian about adapting his nearly unpublished novel, first for Tobey Maquire, then for Spike Lee. He sounds a lot tougher...
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Posted by greg allen at 05:42 PM | Comments (0)

April 26, 2003

On The Real The Real Cancun

"Who wants to star in The Real Cancun 2?" image: As a maker of documentary-looking films, I was a reluctant fan of New Line's The Real Cancun once I figured out what it was. Now that I've read Joel Stein's hi-larious review in New Line's corporate sibling pub, Time, I'm now a fan of entertainment synergy, too. The real Real Cancun sounds even better than the film itself:...[the film's 16 thrown-together non-actors] indirectly deliver the requisite moral lesson...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:51 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2003

A Report From An Overcast Magic Hour In NYC

Last evening, 7:30, heading to a tour a friend gave a museum group of her art collection, I was momentarily freaked out by the light. At first, I figured it's how streetlights turn on before it gets dark, but no. The sky was mottled, completely overcast, a bright, diffused, grey>>faint plum lightbox. It was that post-sundown interlude cinematographers call magic hour, except you never hear about "cloudy magic hour." For some reason, the light was cold, and every streetscape detail...
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Posted by greg allen at 02:17 PM

March 02, 2003

On Relieving Payne, On Power And Behind-The-Scenes

from r: Jane, David, Nancy, Swoosie First, the good. Star photographer-to-the-stars Patrick McMullan has posted Billy Farrell's party pics from the Alexander Payne event last week. Then, the lame. In a bit they call House of Payne, the Daily News pretends that Alexander Payne was a pain in the ass and that "he should get over himself," slamming him for his "snippiness" toward good friend and interviewer, UA chief (and legendary indie film producer/distributor) Bingham Ray. But it's totally...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

February 24, 2003

The New Yorker On Making Movies, On Remembering War

Tad Friend attends the hilariously useless Jean Doumanian seminar on "How to Get Your Play or Movie Produced." Here, Doumanian ("You may know me from such films as "Woody Allen sued me and my bankrolling boyfriend.") advises an attendee on getting distribution for her film: "Try to get a European sales agent," Doumanian suggested. "There's a fellow named John Sloss—" "How do you spell it?" "I don't know," Doumanian said. "I've never worked with him." Roger Angell writes with reticence...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:04 AM | Comments (1)

February 19, 2003

If Ric Burns Calls, Tell Him You're Busy.

Today's Guardian asks twelve actual historians to lend their authoritative-sounding accents on politicians' arguments that Iraq is the next [check all that apply] 1939 Germany 1956 Egypt 1967 Israel 1991 Iraq 1963 Vietnam 1899 South Africa 1936 Ethiopia A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Naboo As someone who made a movie (S(N01)) about looking at the past (WWI) to make sense of the present (Sept. 11), I'm interested. One big lesson is best expressed by Simon...
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Posted by greg allen at 06:42 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2003

Washington, DC Is The Kind Of Movie Town Where

when someone sneezes during the movie, six people-- from around the theater, as if in THX Surround Sound--say, not "SHHH!" but "bless you." when you ask to see the manager about the sound that, annoyingly, kept shorting out, he thanks you, chuckles, and walks off, thinking you were trying to make a helpful suggestion, not complaining and expecting apologies and/or restitution....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:40 AM | Comments (0)

January 27, 2003

Can't Wait To See It

Anthony Lane on Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe's documentary, Lost in La Mancha: "For anyone who suffers from the wish to make movies, or who fears that this terrible condition may strike at any time, here is the cure."...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:56 AM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2003

Look At The Camera: Cyan Pictures Developing

Now that S(J03) is locked and getting ready for color correction and film transfer, I thought I'd catch up with the guys at Cyan Pictures, who I'd been in only intermittent email contact with for the last few weeks. They're both walkin' the walk and talkin' the talk, in that order. They're in production with Adam Goldberg's feature I Love Your Work, which emerged from veteran indie Muse Productions on. Their first short, Coming Down the Mountain, has been accepted...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:34 AM | Comments (0)

December 31, 2002

Putting the Director in Director of Photography

Sifting and digitizing footage for S(J03) until the batteries in my camera ran out, when I watched two DVD's back to back, XXX and Don't Look Now. At a stretch, I can say XXX is research for the Animated Musical. Nicolas Roeg's 1973 thriller, though, is a concentrated course in editing in general and intercutting in particular. When I cited the seduction scene in Out of Sight as inspiration for intercutting scenes 1 and 2 in Souvenir, a couple of...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:43 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2002

Guess J. Lo Was Busy, or The Adaptation of About Schmidt

Louis Begley spoke before a screening of About Schmidt last night. An extremely genteel guy, he explained why he's quite pleased with the film, even though it differs significantly from his novel. For Begley, "write what you know" means Schmidt ("known as Schmittie to one and all") is an Upper East Side lawyer, recently retired to Bridgehampton, something, presumably, a vast majority of the screening audience knows well, too. Consistently for Alexander Payne, "film what you know" means a studied...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:48 AM | Comments (0)

November 05, 2002

Hey! They shot that scene in the church on my corner

The Opposite of Sex and The City, by FTrain's Paul Ford....
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Posted by greg allen at 06:03 PM | Comments (0)

November 04, 2002

Some Quotes and Links

"Asbury's book is a tribute to the magical power of naming: long stretches of 'Gangs [of New York]' are taken up by lists of gangs and villains and even fire engines, and, like the lists of ships in the Iliad, they are essential to the effect...We read of Daybreak Boys, Buckoos, Hookers, Swamp Angels, Slaughter Housers, Short Tails, Patsy Conroys, and the Border Gang, of Chichesters, Roach Guards, Plug Uglies, and Shirt Tails, and we melt." -- Adam Gopnik discussing...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:54 PM | Comments (0)

Director's Cut? That, My Friend, is TMI

On the set of Starship Troopers: DP Jost Vocano, director Paul Verhoeven, star Casper Van Dien, writer Ed Neumeier Yesterday's NY Times Magazine is a veritable toolbox (and I use that word deliberately) for film, all you want to know, and more. First, what you want to know: There's the Cinderella-story of indie director Joe Carnahan's tremendous success on the Bel-Air Circuit, where Narc, his ignored-at-Sundance cop flick became the favorite film of (among others) Tom Cruise and Harrison...
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Posted by greg allen at 09:40 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2002

On Seeing Jackass: The Movie; Souvenir (November 2001) Press Updates

Whatever else it may be, Jackass is possibly the purest cinema experience ever. It is undiluted, unadulterated and unambiguous. It will make you run. You certainly don't need me to tell you, though, if you should run toward or away from the theater; whatever your pre-existing inclination, you will do well to follow it. Jackass will not mislead you. Hustled out to Queens to get press screening tapes of Souvenir (November 2001) to MoMA's Film Department. Falling a little...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2002

Real Men, Rank Bulls, Raw Sport (and Glidecam)

So I'm watching the PBR Bud Light Cup World Finals, and there's a camera guy in the ring, all decked out like he's, well, like he's going to the biggest bullriding rodeo event of the year, thank you very much, and he's got a Glidecam, just like we used in France....
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Posted by greg allen at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2002

Independent Film Distribution, or The Crisis of The Decade of The Week

In this article in Moviemaker Magazine, David Geffner lays out the latest crisis in independent film: distribution. Sure, DV and laptop editing may have spurred a renaissance in indie production (Hi, nice to meet you), but in the same period, a whole swath of veteran indie distributors “flamed out” or were bought out by studios. Non-studio box office dropped as a pct of total [use whichever data source will get someone else to pay for your drink]: says it's...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2002

Possibly the most recursive film weblog ever, and Bret Easton Ellis on American films

Jason Kottke made a weblog on Susan Orlean's site about Adaptation, a movie Spike Jonze directed based on Charlie Kaufman's script about adapting a Susan Orlean book about orchid thieves. It's OK to go back and read that sentence again. From a interview with Bret Easton Ellis about The Rules of Attraction, his favorite adaptation of his (favorite) book: The most terrible thing about American movies right now is that people who love movies aren't making them — lawyers...
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Posted by greg allen at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)

October 08, 2002

Porn ('n Chicken) on the Internet? What'll they think of next?

James "Sweet Jimmy the Benevolent Pimp" Ponsoldt was a co-founder of Porn 'n Chicken, a Yale timekiller-cum-media spoof-cum-Comedy Central movie. (If that sentence doesn't get this weblog banned by your corporate firewall, it'll at least get you a reprimand at your performance review.) Tad Friend's New Yorker piece contains Jimmy's description of his latest project: "It's 'Long Day's Journey Into Night' set in rural Appalachia," he said, "with themes of rifts between generations, loneliness, becoming a man, and OxyContin addiction."...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:16 PM | Comments (0)

September 30, 2002

keep the curvoisier, pass the maker's mark

Congratulations to the guys at Cyan Pictures for getting their rough cut fedexed to Sundance just in time. [Technically, they could've eked out a whole other day by flying the tape to the festival office in person, so they had a huge time cushion, but hey, that's enough dramatic tension.] Their short film, Coming Down the Mountain, is set and was shot in/around Hazard, Kentucky, which is near Troublesome Creek. Last night, on, I read about the Fugate family,...
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Posted by greg allen at 12:09 PM

September 08, 2002

What you really want to do is direct??

Dateline, Malibu: Directin' ain't easy, even for Stephen Gaghan, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Traffic, a man who has Steven Soderbergh on his Buddy List (and IM's him for advice on "Super-35 blown up to anamorphic" or not). He writes about his unblinking-but-not-too-pity-inducing directorial debut in the NYTimes. Gaghan also tells a good story (ahem, surprised? He's an O-winning screenwriter.) on the Criterion DVD for Traffic....
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Posted by greg allen at 11:21 PM | Comments (0)

September 01, 2002

On Robert Smithson, film, and finding the way

The Spiral Jetty is back. Although it was submerged when we checked in July, my college senior sister said it was visible from the hill above it when she took a first date out to see it a couple of weeks ago (talk about a litmus test; it's a 3+ hour drive one way, half on rutty dirt paths.) Sure enough, the SL Tribune has an article about it (Thanks, Artforum.) Read Smithson's own comments on making the Jetty here....
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Posted by greg allen at 07:42 PM

August 06, 2002

On Scripted vs Ad-libbed or Improvised in re Full Frontal and the President of the United States

This weekend, after seeing Full Frontal, we discussed the dialogue at length. My (grew-up-on-the-stage) wife spotted a lot of weak improv, or weakly directed improv--actors left to figure it out for themselves and, more often than not, not pulling it off. Besotted Soderbergher that I am (nothing like three DVD commentaries in the last two weeks to make you feel like you know the director.), I'd argued that surely Soderbergh knew what's up; he's shooting a script that's written to...
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Posted by greg allen at 01:25 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2002

On Full Frontal and the opening of Hollywood's kimono

The reviews of Full Frontal are coming in, and it's not sounding good. Here's a broad cross-section from the global media: New York Press ("Even a bad Steven Soderbergh movie is worth seeing, and Full Frontal is worth seeing."); New Yorker ("...perhaps the most naïvely awful movie I've seen from the hand of a major director."); the New York Observer("...reminds me how new movies like Full Frontal bring out all the Old Hollywood in me. Still, I liked seeing...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2002

The Look of DV: Tadpole vs. Full Frontal

"The advantage of [shooting on digital video] is that nobody knows, or at least cares, that you're making a movie; the that the end product appears to have been filmed through a triple layer of bubble wrap." - from Anthony Lane's New Yorker review of Tadpole, the latest from IFC Productions' InDigEnt. Compare this to the complicated process Steven Soderbergh used to get "enhanced graininess" on his new DV movie, Full Frontal (from an article): Finish FotoKem received...
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Posted by greg allen at 04:22 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2002

Traffic School

I may be the newest proponent of home schooling, home film schooling, anyway. Spent the afternoon watching the Criterion Collection edition of Traffic, which--in addition to three complete commentary tracks (dir./writer; producers, consultant/composer)--has a supplemental DVD with 25 deleted scenes, piles of additional footage (Soderbergh shot everything on two or three cameras) and editing, dialogue and film processing details. [Just stop dithering and buy it now. Amazon's at least as cheap as any store.] 1) I'd forgotten what a watchable...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

June 28, 2002

Welcome to the party! This

Welcome to the party! This week, another weblog launched documenting the conception, birth and life of an independent film. Cyan Pictures is the brainchild of two guys, Joshua Newman (aka "a veritable Doogie Howser") and Colin Spoelman (aka, a veritable Vinnie Delpino, I guess). As Newman notes on his personal site,, their's is the "the web's first moviemaking weblog." [of the week, I guess. I added them to the short list.] They, too, are starting with a short and...
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Posted by greg allen at 03:21 PM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2002

Yeah, yeah, I'm working on

Yeah, yeah, I'm working on a post-preview screening post, but in the mean time, There's this crackup exchange from the courtroom where Woody Allen gave testimony in his lawsuit against his one-time producers and friends (as excerpted in the NY Times): [Woody Allen] would have answered them at considerably greater length had Justice Gammerman not frequently, if good-naturedly, cut him off. When Ms. Weiss asked Mr. Allen if he was now working on a movie, he replied, "Yes, and that's...
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Posted by greg allen at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2002

Director's Headshot

One of the reasons I'd delayed submitting to some festivals was (of all things) my lack of a "director's photo (B/W)," which some festivals require. Last week, Roe Ethridge, a friend and artist whose work I've collected for three-plus years, took some photos of me. In the pinch, I scanned in a Polaroid and printed it out for the submission packets, but there are real prints on the way. Roe works as a photographer for a huge pile of magazines....
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Posted by greg allen at 01:06 PM | Comments (0)

August 05, 2001

Since I made the decision

Since I made the decision to actually go forward and shoot this film project (rather than just ruminate over it and periodically outline it), I've been watching films in slightly changed light. Now, I'm much more conscious of really parsing out: what a director's intentions were, when something was executed (i.e., writing, acting, directing, setting, editing, etc.) how he/she did it (i.e., technical processes, decisionmaking process). I basically have gotten into full "influence/tool/idea absorption mode. The result so far is...
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Posted by greg allen at 05:54 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2001

Some links I've found as

Some links I've found as I familiarize myself with to-date research and thought on how culture, worldview, personality, and behavior patterns develop or are transmitted: Faces of Culture [via] this appears to be an introductory anthropology course comprising a series of films/tv shows. Interesting-sounding episodes include 204 Language and Communication, 205 Psychological Anthropology, and 206 Alejandro Mamani: A Case Study in Psychological Anthropology. Developmental Theories of Crime and Delinquency: Advances in Criminological Theory A dense but intruiging-looking essay on...
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Posted by greg allen at 08:49 PM | Comments (0)