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Weekend End Reading #8: Warner brothers, BD LIVE, Michael bay transforms, Andy Warhol

11 Jul

Warner brothers attacks kids

“All I wanted to do was set up a site for fans of Harry Potter, like myself, and now I’m being attacked by a large corporation who know I don’t have the financial means to defend myself,” {link}

BD Live: Live audio commentaries

“Chris Nolan just hosted the live, on-demand substitute for a Dark Knight commentary track last night. So why was I left unsatisfied after squinting at my TV for two and a half hours? To refresh, BD-Live is the Blu-ray technology that allows for more interactive special features on your disc, like being able to arrange “screenings” with your friends or record commentary tracks yourself.” {link}

Micheal Bay transforms into a baby.

Michael Bay: Classy gent

Michael Bay: Classy gent

His pre release jitters are pretty amusing considering how much that AWFUL SEQUEL has gone on to earn. {link}

1979, Andy Warhol and “Nurse Ratchet” (One flew over the cuckoos nest) have a chat

AW: Nashville was really great. I met a lot of product names there. I met Jack Daniels. I met Maxwell House Coffee.
LF: These were people?
AW: Yes, they were great. In Birmingham they’re a lot of famous brands, too, but I guess I didn’t know who they were.
LF: That’s what makes you happy?
AW: Well, Jack Daniels is my favorite drink so to meet the person who owns Jack Daniels was so exciting. {link}

Why do our films make no money? Why don’t Australians see Australian films?

“WHEN Antony Ginnane, the president of the Screen Producers Association of Australia, said last year that people would rather jump out of a plane than watch an Australian film, many may have dashed for the emergency exit with him. “We’ve been making, in the main, dark, depressing, bleak pieces that are the cultural equivalent of ethnic cleansing,” Ginnane told the association’s conference on the Gold Coast. “Nobody goes to see them … We cannot continue to simply expect $100 million-plus worth of support a year to be handed over by Government if our share of the theatrical box office remains an appallingly low 2 to 3 per cent.”” {link}


Weekend Reading #7: Ricky Gervais, Piracy top 10, Scientology and Murder

12 Jun
This is the first picture of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash in Iron Man 2. Looks a bit like Jeff Bridges. Ho Hum.

The first picture of Mickey Rourke as Whiplash in Iron Man 2. Looks a bit like Jeff Bridges. Ho Hum.

1. This is fantastically cheeky, and must be infuriating for the major film studios. While flaunting the immense amount of flagrant illegal downloading of their properties, it’s also useful information in terms of a films popularity. Torrentfreak publishes top 10 lists of the most downloaded (pirated) films each week. And the choices by users don’t necessarily mirror the similar box office charts. This weeks top 10 has He’s just not that into you and Friday the 13th beating Wolverine and Terminator Salvation. Romance wins the day?

1 (6) He’s Just Not That Into You 6.5 / trailer
2 (…) Friday the 13th 6.1 / trailer
3 (2) Push 6.4 / trailer
4 (1) Coraline 8.1 / trailer
5 (…) The Pink Panther 2 5.0 / trailer
6 (…) Confessions of a Shopaholic 5.7 / trailer
7 (3) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (R5) 6.8 / trailer
8 (4) Fired Up 5.3 / trailer
9 (…) Terminator Salvation (Cam) 7.2 / trailer
10 (9) Crank: High Voltage (R5) 7.6 / trailer

Full lists {here}.

2. Ricky Gervais is a busy man, Empire talked to him about his new 3D film

“I’m going to play the lead character, a Puddloflaj called Puddy. It’s great fun to work on and it’s really weird. Flanimals was a little thing I used to do when I was 15 to make my nephew laugh. And now this is happening…The good thing about owning everything is I can give myself the lead role. The Puddloflaj is a fat useless blob. He’s a sweaty, purple-faced, cowardly wobbler. And he’s got a Reading accent. Brilliant! And it’ll be 3-D. Posh! $80 million was the last count. Crazy, isn’t it?” {link}

3. Their is no signature style in the way murder is filmed these days according to David Thompson:

Are we weary of the great authors who signalled themselves with point of view? Has the era of personal passion gone out of film-making? Or are there yet other reasons? Fifty years ago, there were great critical battles fought over “authorship” in film. So style mattered then. Is it possible now that the innate impersonality of film (a mechanical means of reproduction) has become dominant? Think of it this way: a paragraph of Hemingway, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Joyce, Nabokov or Faulkner could likely be identified by any well-read person. So why are so many films nowadays so anonymous? Is that something film-makers have settled for, or is it our wish? {link}

4. Scientology and South Park, but mostly scientology (This isn’t entirely film related, i just like hearing about the insidious ways of this dubious fellowship):

Last year, Church of Scientology operatives received an alarming tip: During the upcoming 2000 MTV Movie Awards scheduled for June 8, a short South Park film parodying Battlefield Earth would feature the character Cartman wiping his ass with a copy of L. Ron Hubbard’s sacred text, Dianetics. The tip was erroneous. Cartman would actually be wiping his ass with a Scientology personality test.

But agents of the church’s shadowy Office of Special Affairs didn’t know that. They only knew they had a public relations nightmare on their hands.

Battlefield Earth had already turned out to be a colossal embarrassment for the church. Its star, celebrity Scientologist John Travolta, had denied there was any connection between the movie, which was based on a 1980 science fiction novel by Hubbard, and the controversial religion, which was based on Dianetics, Hubbard’s 1950 self-help book. Despite Travolta’s denials, however, ordinary Scientologists had anxiously awaited the film, hoping it would improve the image of their founder and his faith. Instead, it was panned as the worst film of 2000 and one of the worst science-fiction films of all time. The New York Times suggested that although it was a bit early to be making such judgments, Battlefield Earth could turn out to be the worst movie of the new century. {link}

5. Business of Cinema is news site from india which covers both Bolly and Holly. It’s an interesting time over there as Hollywood tries to crack the active and increasingly affluent, western looking market.  Well written and researched, with plenty of scoops. Check it out {here}.

6. Great article from David Cox in The Guardian on how to make Science fiction popular again, and why the recent Terminator Salvation failed so badly at the box office:

On the face of it, the hostility that Terminator Salvation has evoked seems a bit unfair. Its action outclasses that of better-received films, its devastated landscapes are striking and its plot is relatively cogent and comprehensible. Nonetheless, it clearly fails to excite. Something important is missing.

The film takes its franchise’s war between men and machines to a new level by infiltrating the people’s resistance forces with a human/cyborg hybrid. Unfortunately, the spectre thus paraded isn’t remotely scary. After all, these days, few of us are racked by fear that machines will try to kill us. {link}

7. Remember that brilliant show, Front up, where Urban Cinefile creator Andrew Urban would go up to random people and ask them to tell him about their lives? Junkies, business men, virgins and housewifes who were possibly all three would feature on the show, and Urban would slowly illicity confessional gold from them. Well he has done a bunch of brilliant interviews for the Australian Film Television and Radio School as part of a project called “The knowledge”. It feaures producers, writers, actors, distributors, media executives, composers, and publicists who all work in our local, reliably unprofitable cinema industry. Good on ’em. Listen to their wise words {here}

8. Sweden has abolished its censorship board. Oh and they have maximum age restriction of 15 (no R18+) Lets party. {link}

Weekend Review #6: Commies, Zombies, and Steve Mcqueen

6 Jun

Ah those Russians

“A movie made by a homeless Russian man who admits he hasn’t washed for 19 years has been admitted to the Cannes Festival first selection tour. Leonid Konovalov’s movie is called “I + People = ?” and is characterized by its creator as an “erotic and philosophical film. The homeless man’s film was sent to Cannes by Konovalov’s daughter, who the paper says lives abroad with her husband. The Festival responded with a letter saying that the film is up for selection, and inviting him to visit the participants’ press conference.” mmm erotic AND philosophical {Link} 

Colour blind Communists

Anti-colourisation movement gaining steam “Russian Communists have created a movement against colorization of old black and white films, saying the colorization is inexcusable ridicule of the Soviet legacy.” {link}

The other Steve Mcqueen

Steve Mcqueen (dir: hunger) has a new work in the venice biennale. “Adrian Searle takes a first look at Steve McQueen’s new film, Giardini, at the Venice Biennale and is stunned by its ethereal melancholy” If you can bare listening to Searle talking about the film, breathing heavily and sounding like a privileged, indulgent wanker t click here {link} or for the AFR review of Hunger click {here}

Phrase of the week: Arthouse Stud Monkey


Looking for nits

Looking for nits

From Catherine Shoards article in the guardian:

“A new species was sighted at the Cannes film festival this year. At first, everyone was foxed: who was this lovely creature scampering up the Croisette? What was its genealogy? On the final weekend, critic Leslie Felperin of Variety nailed it: what we had witnessed, she wrote, was the arrival of the “arthouse stud monkey”. Male leads who were well-groomed, sensitive, cultured and endlessly selfless in bed starred in three of the 20 films in competition. Was it any coincidence that they also happened to be the only three films directed by women?…” {read more}


Why does the public love zombie films so much at the moment, where is cultural resonance stemming from? Let us ponder this with Anne Billson who writes a feature piece in in the guardian this week.

“This fascination with zombies may seem perplexing to the uninitiated. If vampires are the aristocrats in the world of the walking dead, zombies are the lumpen proletariat…At their most basic level, zombies represent anarchy, threatening to upset the established order. Whereas a decade or so ago this might have seemed undesirable, now we’re not so sure, because the established order hasn’t been doing us any favours lately…

Take a look at the footage of the G20 demos in London, which shows crowds of people herded, clubbed and beaten back by heavily armoured police. The establishment is treating people like the zombies in Romero’s films – as a faceless mass, less than human, a tide of contagion to be stemmed at all cost. They are no longer just reminders of our mortality. They are us. We are all zombies now.” {link}

This one’s for you Tim:


AFR Weekend reading #5

30 May

"If I stare at this goat hard enough...errrhhh"

"If I stare at this goat hard enough...errrhhh"

Interesting article on a personal feud in Melbourne’s art scene at the moment. {link}

They are reworking Jon Ronson’s hirarious book, The men who stare at goats, (which is a factual book about bizarre Military experimental divisions) into a movie. {link} {imdb}

Christian film review site, surprisingly insightful and open minded. {link}

Woody Allen has resolved his legal battle with American Apparel. {link}

One of the child actors from Slumdog Millionaire has had their Mumbai dwelling demolished in a slum clearance. {link}

Synecdoche: I loved the movie, but how do you say it? {link}

Keanu Watch: The many stoney faces of Keanu Reeves: Pictorial from LA Times. {link} 

Terry Gilliam speaks about his new film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus{link}

Sequel watch: Flight of the Navigator 2? Oh noes! {link}



Weekend reading #4

23 May

And so another weekend is upon, each disappearing like so many grapes down a Roman emperors alimentary canal. What interesting things have happened this week?

gnglHere is an illuminating interview with a film poster designer gifted with a wry humour and humbleness about his craft. {link}

Some great looking new films coming from England with Film4 funding. Including one from my favourite comedian, Chris Morris, and other one about Scottish aliens!  {link} 


While the shoot is a wrap, Spike Jonze’s blog for Where the Wild Things Are lives on. {link}

And here is the HD trailer in case you haven’t seen it yet: (I personally think the monsters aren’t menacing enough)


David Lynch has a promising looking interview project, here is the introduction by the silver fox himself {link}


Weekend reading #4: Fantastic Four, Sony hates the internet, Gilliam no longer lost in La Mancha?

16 May

fantastic four

Terry Gilliam to revive his trouble plagued project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for a 2011 release  (see Lost in La Mancha (2002) for the backstory). Depp said to be involved. {variety} {imdb}

Sony hates the internet.”It seems to have done damage to every (part) of the entertainment business.” Are they talking about us? {link}

The very sad story of the unreleased Fantastic Four film made by Roger Corman for 1 million dollars. The studio made it to renew their licence on the title and never planned to release it, only they didn’t tell anyone involved. Heartbreaking for the young actors who thought they were getting their big break {article} {wiki}

White Lillies is a great film review site. Nice design too. {link}

Weekend Reading #2

2 May

1. Making a film involves dealing with a large group of people with different controlling interests. It can all go terribly wrong. The recent case of Margaret (Keith Lonergan‘s follow up to his art-house hit You Can Count on Me) shows what happens when you finish a film, those people start bickering, and you can’t release the film. 3 years hardwork down the gurgler, career effectively on hold. Pretty tragic. {link}


2. Enfant terrible, Russell Brand is set to do a remakes of Drop Dead Fred and Arthur. He sparked controversy recently on his radio show when he rang up Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel in Faulty Towers, and described sex acts he had done with his grand daughter. Brand and co host Jonathan Ross were fired and banned from the BBC, while Sachs has recently stated the stunt has been good profile raising publicity for him. {link}

3. 20th Century Fox and Oliver Stone to make a Wall Street. The inestimably bland Shia Lebouf (Transformers, Indy 4) to star as Gordon Gecko’s apprentice. I hope they do something interesting in light of the BFC (Big Friendly Crisis) {link}

4. Speaking of sequels, here is the Stupid Idea of the Week – Hansel and Gretel: Witch hunters {link}

5. Christian Bale explains his crazed rant from the set of Terminator 4, he feels trust has been violated by sound guys. I like him {link}.

6. Two sisters, daughters of English gangster Les Falco, have just released a documentary about London’s east end criminals called The End. While mostly talking heads with their dad and his mates, this looks like it might offer fascinating access to a world popularised recently by Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and Lockstock and Two Smoking Barrels. {Guardian interview} {Variety review}.

7. Here is an article that argues we should teach the ‘seventh art’ (Cinema) in schools. {link}

8. And finally, here are Professor Walton’s Boxing Cats: