04.09.09

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I know it was a long long while back that I wrote about Psst but all of the short films on their roster are now loaded for your viewing pleasure. There is some really amazing stuff to pick through.

Here is a little refresher about Psst:
PSST!3 is a collaborative film project of 17 films made by 51 teams of Designers, Directors, Animators and Composers.

The mission of PSST is to produce original short films through the collaboration of Designers, Directors, and Animators. Each film is comprised of three sections produced by three different teams: the beginning, middle & end. This process is the whole idea behind PSST! – a technique derived from the Dadaist game of Exquisite Corpse and the children’s game Telephone and applied to the arts of motion graphics, animation and film-making.

PSST! is curated and organized by Bran Dougherty-Johnson of Grow Design Work.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

04.06.09

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Rob wrote me to tell me that Little White Lies (a fantastic magazine all about good film) is now available in a digital edition. From the looks of the publication it is still probably worth ordering in print. The covers are all beautiful and so is the inside (judging from the digital edition).

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03.26.09


The preview finally dropped yesterday and director Spike Jonze appears to be in top form so far from the looks of the trailer. Where the Wild Things Are was an obsession of mine as a child. I used to draw the monsters and dream of going off by boat to a far away land just like in the book. I am really excited to see this brought to the big screen. I just hope they release a director’s cut of the movie when it is released on DVD.

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03.25.09

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The Disposable Film Fest has uploaded the entire library of their 2009 Shorts Program to Vimeo. 26 videos total that you can personally vote for in the running for the Audience Choice Award by LIKEing your favorite. Each voter will be entered to win a PLEO and the winning filmmaker will receive a Nokia N95. It’s a really cool little idea and exciting to see the net being used for something like this. What a brilliant way to put the filmakers in front of a global audience.

Uncovered via Yewknee which has become a daily check for me lately as a really great personal overview of interesting and happening culture written from a really likeable perspective.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

03.15.09

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It’s rare that I actually want to see a movie twice, but I sat through a second viewing of the Watchmen today and I was glad I did. The movie was honestly something I did not expect. I read part of the graphic novel as a kid, but more skimmed the surface of the material as opposed to actually really reading into what the story was really all about. In a way I am glad I didn’t reread the source material before watching the movie. I think it allowed me to take the movie in more as a work of film in and of itself and judge it more on those terms.

Watchmen is a much more densley layered movie than I expected and actually left me wondering and thinking more than the normal feeling of completion felt when taking in a relatively mindless blockbuster comic book action movie. There is spectacular visual effects in the Watchmen, so many in fact that you almost begin to disregard them entirely, and then you are either lost or completely absorbed by the story. I could definitely  see how some people would determine that the movie feels disjointed in parts, but I think if the film had been forced into an easily digestible mold it would have been yet just more Hollywood bullshit. And I don’t think the Watchmen fits that mold. Besides there are plenty of those movies coming out this summer. I am glad the Watchmen came out when it did so it wouldn’t be lost in that drivel.

Many are saying the film lacks a solid narrative voice, but I think that narrative has to be filled by viewer interpretation. Translation: Watchmen just isn’t for everybody and some people simply will not like it. If the film had been overly linear, I think it might have threatened some of the raw genius of the movie and the story. I am sure though that some will end up really hating this film, but I think when something or someone reaches for the level of art they often end up being hated by at least a few, if not many.

Its hard really to even write a succinct review of the movie.Violence abounds and the violence in the Watchmen is incredibly intense and absolutely unapologetic. I wondered though, especially after the second viewing, if the violence wasn’t there to make a point that the world we currently live in is incredibly violent and most of us just like to pretend that isn’t so, when honestly, that’s an absolute fact. The greatest thing about the Watchmen though is where it picks at some very deep questions about humanity and society. Its really a fairly sincere attempt to try to realize what it would be like if there were superheroes and how they would see and judge this world. If there was a person out there who was in effect a God and could do anything, how would he or she view humanity and this world? Would they deem us worth saving or are we already a lost cause? Why bother with saving us when we do almost nothing to save ourselves? If you could see and truly understand that time is relative and therefore all time (past, present and future) were happening simultaneously, would it even matter to you if humankind destroyed itself? In the context of the entire universe, what difference would it make? If you refused to compromise your ideology and believed in absolute justice, could you even survive in this society?

Yes, if you look into it, the Watchmen does ask some of those questions and go that deep. I really do think it is a brilliant movie that reaches much further than it can probably grasp, but I also think that’s a great thing. Its a quantum leap for director Zach Snyder, and I hope he can continue into deeper material after this.

My only bone to pick was with some of the performances. There is some wooden acting in the movie and the most responsible culprit is the female lead, Malin Akerman. You can feel the energy and sincerity sucked out of several of her scenes just as soon as she opens her mouth and begins reciting her lines. Not to say that she is an absolutely terrible actress, but it would have been nice to see someone cast that was able to bring needed depth and conflict to her character. Especially in her scenes with the wonderful Billy Crudup (who plays the God-as-man true and only superheroe in the movie, Dr. Manhatten). Crudup’s character has some pretty profound things to say about the human condition, and it is hard to truely appreciate some of it when it is propped by Akerman’s sexy but empty backdrop.

Regardless, I still think the Watchmen is definitely worth a viewing. Yes it is long, weighing in just shy of 3 hours, but if you can hang in there and stick with it, there is a great movie there to appreciate. I think it will find a relevant place in film history and has definitely brought something new to the genre. Just don’t go to it expecting the normal mindless rollercoaster ride. And please, do not take your kids. This is a comic book movie made for adults and asks some serious questions that I think more people in this day and age should be thinking about.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

02.18.09

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The Paris-based production company Mr. Hyde has just launched an interesting new foray into the take on the short film festival. The project is titled, The Hyde Tube, and invites directors from all walks of the globe to submit work for inclusion into a juried online short film festival. Yeah yeah, woopteedo right? Well here is where it gets interesting:

“Clients will contact The Hyde Tube in order to pass on a project to a specific director, who is then free to decide whether or not to accept it. If accepted, the director will write a treatment or make an animated test within 3 to 5 days. For this work you will receive approximately 500€.

If the client is happy with the treatment and decides that the director will make the film, The Hyde Tube will connect the director with the client, and Mr Hyde or one of its affiliate studios will oversee the production until the film delivery.

The director’s fee will be 10 percent of the budget, the first half payable on the first day of production and the rest upon delivery of the finished film.”

I’ll be watching curiously to see how this works because if it does, I can bet you will be seeing more of this.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

02.08.09


I saw a poster for the film Gomorrah today and also found out that it has the backing of Martin Scorcese. It looks like a pretty amazing film and after watching this trailer I am even more anxious to see it. I am a big fan of mafia movies and this looks like it is going to be a tough one to beat. No pun intended. It appears to be in a similar vein to City of God (Cidade de Deus) and Slumdog Millionaire. In other words, a real story about the reality of crime and poverty in the modern era. I have been really pleased to see movies like this garnering more mainstream support. I think now is a potent time to bring attention to films like this that shed some light on what is going on in other corners of the world and hopefully put a dent in the protective American bubble. I know a movie isn’t necessarily a strong enough catalyst to shift public perception and force a crackdown within the ‘real world’ but it can do wonders to raise awareness and maybe get at least a few people to act on an issue. Unfortunately the reality is often that crime can become culturally embedded and its impossible to avoid when there is so much widespread poverty.

I know, I am a hopeless idealist.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

01.15.09

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I received an email about this the other day and it sounded like it could be a really great competition especially considering some of the judges involved.

TheCrane.tv, Discovery Campus and Reelisor.com are hosting a film competition for creative talents from all over the world in the categories: Culture, Art&Design, Lifestyle, Fashion, Ideas, Travel and “Green”. We reward creativity and encourage you to offer fresh, insider perspectives into your topic of choice. We would like to feel inspired and enriched by your contribution.

Launch: 18th November 2008 at the International Film School Festival, Munich
Deadline: 28th February 2009

Films: There are no boundaries to your creativity. The short videos can be non-fiction, fiction, animated or could be in a journalistic or documentary style

Jury:
Ora Ïto (Product Designer, ORA-ÏTO)
Karl Lagerfeld (Fashion Designer, Chanel)
Flavio Albanese (Editor in Chief, DOMUS Magazine)
Fernando Sulichin (Film Producer, Central Films)
Kirill Razlogov (Director of the Russian Institute for Cultural Research)
Laurent Claquin (Senior VP CSR and Executive Committee member, PPR Group)

Specifications: Between 1 and 5 minutes long, preferably in English (or subtitled) and all standard file formats

Submissions: Electronically via the upload portal on www.thecrane.tv

Here you can also register your email address to receive the latest news on the competition.

The winning films will be selected by our accomplished jury and announced at the international launch of TheCrane.tv in March 2009. The rewards for Laureates include cash, equipment and TV broadcast. All entries will be available for viewing on www.thecrane.tv when the competition is over.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

01.13.09


Pretty cool little film here.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,


An art-house circuit sensation, this feature-length documentary is visually arresting and possesses a clear, pro-environmental stance. Koyaanisqatsi is composed of nature imagery, manipulated in slow motion, double exposure or time lapse, juxtaposed with footage of humans’ devastating environmental impact on the planet. The message of director Godfrey Reggio is clear: humans are destroying the planet, and all of human progress is pointlessly foolish.”

Yes this is the full length version of this amazing film. I saw this in a film class in college and it blew the brain out of the back of my head. Probably better to watch it on Blue-ray if they have it. Amazing imagery.

 

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

11.14.08


I don’t care if it’s nerdy. I cannot wait to see this.

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11.06.08


In his continuing effort to promote creative harmony and healthy literary ecosystems, Dr. Ronald Chevalier has offered his insight on relaxation techniques. However, you should be careful while engaging not to threaten your seed.

Enjoy and let the harvest begin.

written by Christopher | tags: , ,

09.11.08

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I wrote about this last week but the Toofy Film Festival is fast approaching this weekend and you can see a preview of some of the films above. The nice guys behind Toofy decided to offer an added incentive for those of you who want to attend the show by offering a discounted pass through Changethethought along with a free t-shirt. It’s a pretty good deal for an entire weekend of independent film. You can read more about it below. I also did the advertising, including writing the copy for and designing the posters this year. You can see those above along with a preview of some of the movies at the show. It should be a beautiful weekend this weekend in Boulder, so it should be a great place to be.

The Toofy Film Festival has teamed up with changethethought to provide you with a Toofy Film Festival pass for only $20 (a $30 value) AND A FREE TOOFY T-SHIRT. A portion of the proceeds goes back to support changethethought. This pass will get you into all 6 Independent Film Showings plus the Toofy After-Party Fashion Show taking place on Saturday night. Visit <http://toofy.com/changethethought/ for more information. This offer is ONLY available through this webpage and can be extended to your friends and family so be sure to forward this email to them.

HOW TO PICK UP YOUR FREE SHIRT:
Give your full name to the person behind the counter in the Boulder Theater box office to pick up your pass. Once you have your pass, enter the Boulder Theater and go to the Toofy merchandise booth. Present your printed PayPal receipt at the merchandise booth and pick up your free shirt. One free shirt for each pass sold. While supplies last.

ABOUT TOOFY:
Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14.
Toofy loves movies and he wants to share the finest independent flicks from around the world with you. The Toofy Film Festival is taking over the Boulder Theater on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14. After the film programs, stick around for the Toofy After-Party Fashion Show. To learn more about Toofy, please visit <www.toofy.com

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

08.30.08


I have been working to help promote the Toofy Film Festival this year because I think it is a good thing and helps forward the independent art and film community. Consequently they did a little interview with me this year that has been running locally (here in Denver and the Colorado area) on the Altitude network. You can watch it above.

Since I did a little work for them the boys at the Toofy Film Festival have teamed up with changethethought to provide you with a Toofy Film Festival pass for only $20 (a $30 value) and a portion of the proceeds actually go back to help support Changethethought. This pass will get you into all 6 Independent Film Showings plus the Toofy After-Party Fashion Show taking place on Saturday night.

I was personally really impressed by the festival last year and that is why I got involved this year. It’s a very laid back atmosphere and it is a really fun event to attend. Not to mention Boulder is beautiful this time of year and always a nice place to visit.

You can visit the Toofy Changethethought page for more information. This offer is ONLY available through this webpage and can be extended to your friends and family so be sure to forward this email to them.

ABOUT TOOFY:

Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14.

Toofy loves movies and he wants to share the finest independent flicks from around the world with you. The Toofy Film Festival is taking over the Boulder Theater on Saturday, September 13 and Sunday, September 14. After the film programs, stick around for the Toofy After-Party Fashion Show. To learn more about Toofy, please visit the Toofy website.

 

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,

07.18.08

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I was lucky enough to grab a couple last minute tickets tonight for my wife and I to attend The Dark Knight. I reserve the right to swear on unique occasions and the only words to describe it are ‘fucking brilliant’. It’s just a downright amazing movie on all fronts. To try to compare it to other comic book movies, even those released so far this summer like Hulk and, dare I say, Ironman is just outright laughable. The Dark Knight is playing on another level that those movies never even intended on trying to ascend to. Nolan saw an opportunity to delve deep into the very heart and psyche of why comic book heroes even exist and he aims for that heart with a knife.

Probably the greatest part of the movie, aside from Heath Ledger (who I will get back to in a moment) is the use of the city of Chicago. It was as though the obscenely genius Director, Christopher Nolan examined every corner of the city and decided exactly how to use each nook and cranny for maximum support of his amazing script. It becomes not just a backdrop but almost a character unto itself. It takes on the metaphorical persona of the average urban denizen and as those citizen begin losing their minds with fear the heroes and villains are pushed and pulled by that palpable grip. It was amazing just how much the city of Chicago let Nolan and his crew get away with to generate this effect and it works to make the intensity of the film almost unbearable at times. The men sitting next to me literally moved forward and sat at the edge of their seats by the end of the film. Yes, it was indeed that good. Someone behind me involuntarily exclaimed, ‘wow’ at the close of the film.

Next in line of course is the performances. They are all brilliant and it would be hard to think of a better casted movie in recent memory. Each character is in full form bringing about their exposition with razor precision. I am sure they have the Director to thank for some of that but the cast is jam packed with brilliant actors. Top to bottom. Bale is the perfect Batman, and he is better and more comfortable in the role this time around and it shows. He understands the dichotomy of the character now in a more resolute way and the conviction and commitment to that duality is absolute. Batman is a symbol and must remain both real and symbolic in the eyes of Gotham and we are offered a much more real and complete view of that in Dark Knight. The person responsible for forcing this examination is of course the Joker. Heath Ledger takes the role of the Joker to a place no actor ever dared. From his hunched shoulders, compulsive lip-smacking and wounded animal limp he has worked out every eccentricity to create a character no one will ever forget. I could have watched two more hours of Ledger in his performance without ever even needing to blink. He was amazing. It only saddened me more that he has since passed. Hollywood lost a true prince in his death. The Joker is an ‘engine of chaos’ and Ledger created a character that was exactly that in every line of dialogue, mannerism and gesture.

The real weight of the film, at least to me and maybe I will be alone here, was the larger metaphor for how many of us find ourselves in the throes of a world gripped by wild egos with too much power and too much money. Chalk this film phenomenon up to a post 9/11 world if you must but the world was like this before and remains so today. There will always be those out there with too much who think they know best for the rest of us and this idea is at the heart of Dark Knight.

If you only go see one movie this summer. Go see the The Dark Knight.

written by Christopher | tags: , , , ,


I wrote about this film earlier this year. It is being released next year (2009) and is being directed by rising star filmmaker Zak Snyder who rose to international fame after the epic massive fanboy extravaganza 300. Well, this one looks even more spectacular and outrageous. The movie is based on one of the most popular graphic novels of all time. The original Watchmen comic also signaled a shift in comic book trends towards a darker grittier realism.

This trailer was just released and it is smoking hot. It looks like it is going to be the big-budget action superhero movie to beat next year.

Here is a short plot synopsis (and a link to the first post I did about this film):
“Watchmen is set in 1985, in an alternative history United States where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union (the Doomsday Clock is at five minutes to midnight). It tells the story of a group of past and present superheroes and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own.”

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,

06.01.08


This looks absolutely hilarious. The trailer alone is worth watching for Steven Segal as the cockpuncher.

written by Christopher | tags: , ,

05.11.08

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Filming began last month in Shreveport Louisiana on a new film by Oliver Stone simply titled ‘W’ (dub-yah). The movie will chronicle the formative years of George Bush along with the highlights of his administration. As I am sure you can imagine the movie is already causing a stir by people on both sides of the aisle in American political circles. Apparently Stone has had troubles casting the role of Dick Cheney and is denying allegations that Robert Duvall turned down the role. The script has undergone several drafts as well and is still being worked on even as filming has already gotten underway. The movie is set for a fall release which will of course be at the very height of next year’s presidential election. Stone has plans to possibly begin running ads for the movie alongside McCain’s presidential commercials later this summer. Already a lot of people are arguing as to whether Stone will be a help to the election process or a sore. There is talk that the movie could be ready as early as October but a November release sounds more likely at this point.

Stone’s movies rarely fair well at the box office and the movie is apparently being privately backed and their is talk that Lionsgate will handle the U.S. domestic release.

You can have a look at the cast below:
James Cromwell as George Herbert Walker Bush
Ellen Burstyn as Barbara Bush
Elizabeth Banks as Laura Bush
Josh Brolin as George W Bush

You can read more about the production and the some bits of the script at Entertainment Weekly.

written by Christopher | tags: , , ,