bryant: (Shadow)

Should you ever happen to be in Singapore and desirous of spending a thousand bucks or so on me, this is what I want. It’s the nearly complete Shaw Brothers collection, 668 films, on one set-top box. Presumably there’s a hard drive in there. HDMI output, 720p picture quality, from the Celestial Pictures remastered rereleases. Man, that would be awesome. At a thousand bucks, it’s reasonably priced on a per movie basis, too. Alas, they won’t ship outside Singapore.

Mirrored from Population: One.

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Soderbergh’s thinking about a movie based on Moneyball. That is even goofier than making a movie based on Candy Land. I’m all in. Seriously, Soderbergh’s intellectual approach makes him a perfect fit.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

2009 is not exactly getting off to a good start with the news of Donald Westlake’s death.

He was a consummate professional. The guy knew how to write mysteries; his range went from the comic caper Dortmunder books to the hardboiled Parker novels. He was primarily a novelist, but he did a few screenplays too. The Grifters was probably too quiet a flick to get noticed a ton, but it’s one of my probably top twenty movies and the last scene still disturbs me like very few other cinematic moments.

Just a smart writer. The funny in his comic mysteries came from an understanding of darkness, I think. One of his later novels, The Ax, is about a laid off paper company exec and the lengths he goes to in order to get a job. It’s bleak and understated and oddly believable, particularly right now.

I’m really bummed out about this.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

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Peter O’Toole? What has become of you?

Thomas Kincade is the paints with light guy. And love. He paints with love.

16) Most important concept of all — THE CONCEPT OF LOVE. Perhaps we could make large posters that simply say “Love this movie” and post them about. I pour a lot of love into each painting, and sense that our crew has a genuine affection for this project. This starts with Michael Campus as a Director who feels great love towards this project, and should filter down through the ranks. Remember: “Every scene is the best scene.”

He wrote a memo explaining how his movie should look. Which is to say: gauzy, full of light, and dark at the corners so it’s more cozy. Like this.

Kincade!

Isn’t that nice? Peter O’Toole’s looking a bit desperate in the movie poster, I think.

Kincade!

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

I’ve been enjoying the Filmspotting podcast; decent opinions, good chemistry between the hosts, a wide variety of topics. One of the regular features is a movie marathon. Over the course of a month or two, they watch one movie per week from a given genre and comment on it. The idea is that listeners can follow along.

They just finished a heist marathon, and will be moving onto a 60s British Angry Young Men marathon in September, which sounds cool. So I’m gonna hop on board. I will no doubt post reviews here, and if anyone local’s interested in joining me and my Netflix queue for viewings, feel free to speak up.

For reference, the list:

  1. Look Back In Anger — Richard Burton and class warfare. A review of the original play coined the term “angry young men.” The play was filmed for television in 1979, with Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson, so I’m gonna watch that version too.
  2. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning — Albert Finney as an alienated factory worker.
  3. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner — a sports movie! Well, no, not really; it’s a movie about the oppressive nature of British society.
  4. The Sporting Life — Richard Harris, William Hartnell. More sports as the vehicle for social criticism.
  5. Billy Liar — early John Schlesinger, which is awesome by me.
  6. If… — classic allegory with Malcolm McDowell; directed by Lindsay Anderson, who also directed The Sporting Life, so it’ll be fun to compare. Really stoked for this.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

Who Games?

May. 9th, 2008 11:38 pm
bryant: (Default)

“It was Dungeons & Dragons, but I wouldn’t have owned up so quickly a few years ago. But it gave me a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance. You’re creating this modular, mythic environment where people can play in it.”

Jon Favreau, director of Iron Man

So there you go.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

15 movies, 15 quotes, no Googling. The last few answers have been supplied.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

This is the coolest graph I’ve seen in a while. It’s a picture of box office grosses per movie over time, from 1986 to the present day. Very clever. You can see the evolution of the summer blockbuster, not to mention the winter blockbuster trend.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

And the WGA more or less won. It’s been really interesting to watch; this is the first US strike I’m aware of in which the PR battle was fought on blogs. And when you get right down to it, the writers make a living writing persuasive prose, so it’s not entirely surprising that the PR went well. On the other hand, it’s also the case that this strike didn’t affect the majority of the public in the way that, say, a garbage collection strike does. That helped PR too.

Still, the next time the Teamsters strike, they ought to get the WGA to help out with their PR work. It’d be interesting to see if the same PR strategy works. You get so much mileage in this sort of struggle when people see you as a human being.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

For a lot of pretty good reasons, I missed a lot of movies in 2007. But this is why I have a big television in my living room, no? Yes.

In no particular order:

American Gangster
Eastern Promises
Son of Rambow
Charlie Wilson’s War
Michael Clayton
I’m Not There
The Orphanage
Gone Baby Gone
Darjeeling Limited
The King of Kong
Crows 0

I left off a couple of Phillip Seymour Hoffman flicks. I don’t know. He’s always brilliant, but can you hang a movie around that every time? Oh, hell.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

There.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

I’m finding the WGA strike really interesting, for reasons above and beyond the obvious fact that it affects a lot of my entertainment. (Equal link doctrine: here’s the AMPTP home page so you can read up on the other side’s viewpoint.) Perhaps predictably, screenwriters like to write, and that means there’re a lot of screenwriters with blogs, and that means this is going to be a heavily blogged strike. This is only appropriate given that the major sticking point is residual income for Internet-distributed television and film.

Worthwhile blogs on the strike include United Hollywood (a strike-specific blog), John August, The Artful Writer, Kung Fu Monkey, Jane Espenson, and I’m sure there are dozens more. Nikki Finke is not a screenwriter but what else is a Hollywood blogger going to be writing about?

It’s not just that they’re being pretty candid and frank about their opinions on the whole thing; it’s the arguments getting underway in various comment sections. The effect of this strike on non-writers will be significant — set dressers, location scouts, etc., etc are all gonna be out of work if this goes on very long. Those people aren’t shy about expressing their opinions by any means.

So what I’m seeing is evolving labor relations in the field of intellectual property, weighted towards the question of Internet rights, with a hefty dose of class consciousness included on the side. And it’s playing out in real time where I can see it. Yeah, interesting.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

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Oh, yay, the Weinsteins are investing money in Asian film…

“Titles slated for the fund include… a remake of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa’s 1950’s epic The Seven Samurai.”

What the hell?

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

bryant: (Default)

A while ago, I wrote about Stephen Soderberg’s desire to see movies hit theaters, DVD, and cable on the same day. I was wrong about him not making Ocean’s 13, but I was right about it being a trend.

$30-$50 is pretty ambitious pricing even for a first run movie, but (and I’m sure this is how the price point was set) it’s cheaper than taking a family of four to the movies, if you figure in popcorn and drinks.

Originally published at Imaginary Vestibule.

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