Movie City Indie Archive for October, 2010

A Music Review By Iceland’s Sindri Eldon Goes Gloriously Off The Rails

Writing for the Reykjavík Grapevine, Sindri Eldon shoves several gigs at the Airwaves music festival into a blender, presses “puree,” and sets down a music review gone gloriously off the rails—a little Harmony Korine, a dash of Lester Bangs, a touch of HST and maybe a second glance of Glenn Kenny. And a lot funny. He doesn’t write about movies… yet.

“Do you think you can distract him before I jump over the bar? I keep some guns in my gig bag.”

“What? Guns?” I say in a fierce whisper. “Some guns, plural? What are you, insane?”

“Can you or can you not distract him?” she says, anger creeping into her voice. [More.]

The Sound of CARLOS

Cinema: son + lumiere. From Glenn Kenny‘s “The Terrorist Has All The Best Tunes“: “The music is mostly tensile, edgy, guitar-based punk or “alternative” rock. It’s appropriate to the action, yes, creating a particular kind of trebly tension that’s like a more “New Wave” version of the feeling created by Scorsese’s classic-rock-with-cocaine sequence near the end of Goodfellas. But the temporal evocations the music carries are just as significant to making its themes felt.” Kenny leads with this citation of Manohla Dargis‘s knowing notice on Carlos: “Just as startling is the thrum of electric guitars revving up in the 1981 song “Dreams Never End,” by the postpunk band New Order, which accompanies Carlos as he throws the bomb and hurries away. The music feels dangerously off-putting at first because it’s unclear if Mr. Assayas is trying to sex up the violence, its perpetrator, both or neither. But as the guitars carry over into the next scene—a seemingly unremarkable yet crucial pause in the action in which Carlos listens to a report about the bombing and then clutches his genitals while gazing in a mirror—the music feels a lot less like an empty device, one used simply to pump the story, and more like the soundtrack you might expect to be playing inside the head of a world-class self-mythologizer like this one.” [A video with a live version of the song is below; both articles zing to its accompaniment.]
Read the full article »

Banksy Stencils Springfield

What’s the best turn? Banksy’s unicorn? Or the Fox perimeter? (Nice rat.) [If it gets pulled from YouTube again, Argentina’s Clarin has it embedded.]

Opening Credits Of ENTER THE VOID, One More Time

TRANSCENDENCE IS SUBJECTIVE; RESULTS MAY VARY. In Gaspar Noé‘s three features (plus medium-length Carne), the Argentine-born French filmmaker traffics in shock, but I’d argue he’s reaching for a meaty, elemental view of the human condition: we’re not just human, not only animal, but flesh and blood, readily rent and torn. The raging butcher of horseflesh, a madman for sure, in his first two films, Carne and I Stand Alone, is tormented by voices, by his thoughts, what Noé has called the “radio in his head.” Him against the world, protecting a daughter, hating a wife. In Irreversible, a murder and a rape are markers in a chronologically backward narrative that ends-begins on sweetness and light and the hope of progeny (as well as the image of the Star Child from 2001: A Space Odyssey on a poster above a marital bed). The need for children to be protected, shielded from the violence of adults, whether attaining womanhood, or unborn, yet-to-be-born, just conceived, is an insistent undercurrent. What lies beneath Noé’s sensorium of heightened perception in his visceral filmmaking is a ferocious sense of vulnerability, blood, sweat and fears, more blood, the human state as man as flesh but also the hope of some kind of transubstantiation; birth, regeneration, persistence of DNA. He doesn’t strive to be the caveman painting in the cave; he strains to be capture the first shadows against the wall on the back of the brain. The daffy, woozy Enter the Void, like Noé’s other work, is a kaleidoscopic, pyrotechnically urgent mix of life, death and visual and sonic invention. His instincts splice Godard and Dostoevsky: piercing style and mortal dread. Enter the Void is seen from the perspective of its protagonist, a punk drug dealer (Nathaniel Brown) protecting his beloved sister (Paz de la Huerta), a stripper—even after his own murder—in a neon-day-glo nightscape, inside a pachinko-on-DMT Tokyo where the club scene seems to exist in dark interiors, in the streets, in the mind. He and his memories float above the city, and the distorted landscape fascinates: the camera builds a rhythm from unexpected explorations.The imagery blooms with gaudy, seedy beauty even when the sex is wall-to-wall and the English-language dialogue turns to melodrama. The trip culminates in what is probably both apocalypse and reincarnation.

[And here is a frame-by-frame breakdown of the credits.]

1 Comment »

Aaron Sorkin On The Internet And Filmmaking, 2007

“Too many people are watching how you make the sausage now—and there is an assumption that your motives, whether it’s overcutting a scene or reshooting a scene or putting in a new scene or changing this line to that, are somehow sinister or mercenary or motivated by fear… I am all for everyone having a voice, I just don’t think everyone has earned the microphone. And that’s what the internet has done.” [Here.]

On Geoff Boucher on Michael Mann

Ah, Michael Mann. Geoff Boucher profiles the Chicago-bred lion, and he gets the best from a man who can be reluctant to show his cards. Writes Boucher, Mann “also records the interview himself and requests permission to review his direct quotations, a bid for some control, since, in this case, he can’t have a say in the edit. Over the course of a two-hour, far-ranging interview at his office, he was at a loss for words only once. The man who expounds on European adventurism of the 18th century, the narco-politics of Latin America or the cultural effect of the video game Halo stammered only when he was asked how he is a different man today than he was a decade ago. “I think I’m drawn to… I think I’ve always been drawn towards being impactful — cinematically, emotionally, dramatically impactful,” he said after searching the ceiling for some kind of answer. The director doesn’t like close-ups, so he changed the point of view back to the world and away from him. “People are less dependent of the kind of setup that we all thought was mandatory. We’re freer, because of where audiences are, to insert you, to parachute you right into a fast-moving stream if the story is carefully architected.” He looked down at his desk, where he had handwritten notes to himself. “I don’t know,” Mann said, “if that answers the question…” [Link.]

Read the full article »

1 Comment »

Dan Gordon-Levitt Was Also Known as “Burning Dan”

… and this is why.


INCEPTION, from the studio that brought you CASABLANCA (plus 3 more parodies)

Of course, there’s also “Team Inception: Dream Police”; “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Inception” (“From Stephen Herek… The Director Of Mighty Ducks…”) and the Asian remake…

Read the full article »

Richard Curtis’ Bloody Carbon Emissions Shock Short

Mr. Creosote is Not Amused. The story behind its making and removal, from The Guardian.


Stephen J. Cannell, 1941-2010

[Via The Awl.]

1 Comment »

Movie City Indie

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon