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'Film' Archive

“The Fall” Makes Love to your Eyes

A long time ago, there was a movie called “The Cell“. It had Jennifer Lopez before she had kids, Vince Vaughn before he started doing dick-joke comedies, and Vincent D’Onofrio before he was on Law & Order and was only known for Full Metal Jacket. It was visually very strange, even beautiful. It was directed by Tarsem Singh—who pretentiously goes by Tarsem—and was his first feature-length film. I think the plot had something to do with being stuck in a serial killers mind but that’s not important. The visuals were really amazing. Check out the trailer at the bottom of this post.

In 2006 Tarsem made his second film “The Fall” which debuted at the Toronto Film Festival and freaked out all the distributors and got buried, never again to see the light of day. (Editor’s note: At this rate, his next film will be called “The Hill” followed by “The Poll”. I can play with vowels and consonants!) Now David Fincher and Spike Jonze have thrown their support behind it and it’s getting a limited re-release. It also helps that the lead, who was an unknown in 2006, is Lee Pace who is now much more marketable having gained success as the lead in another whimsical role: Ned the Piemaker on Pushing Daisies.

Here is the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQt0QjWHUjY

Watch that again. And again. And again.

Damn. This movie has the same crazed, artistic cinematography as The Cell. Apparently the director shot the movie piecemeal, financing it out of his pocket and piggybacking on commercial shoots in remote locations (which is pretty punk-rock.)

Maybe this movie was ahead of its time—since 2006 we’ve had a few blockbusters that rely heavily on visuals (300, Pan’s Labyrinth, Sin City) so that could mean that America is finally ready for Tarsem.

I need to figure out what “limited release” means exactly. Why’d I move to NYC if I can’t go see movies that only play “in selected cities” (that phrase was, incidentally, the bane of my existence growing up in a small town.) Anyone know when/where this movie is showing in the city?

via WWTDD and NY Mag

The Cell trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5sC3LisvAfY

You might know Tarsem from his earlier music video work. Such as this classic:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7vs21ZKrKM

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Michel Gondry

Michel Gondry (not “Michael Gondry”) is a French filmmaker know for his odd, dream-like style. His most recognizable work was probably the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which showcased his unique visual style. He’s also directed numerous music videos and commercials, many of which have the same style. I’ve always liked his work because of the way he manages to visually express the non-linear nature of dreams. Situations, settings, and people in dreams change abruptly and without logical structure. With blurred edges, a dream is not dominated by any real-world rules. This makes the effect Gondry achieves even more impressive. Like dreams, much of his work stays with you, subtlety gnawing at your subconscious.

Music Videos

The White Stripes - Fell in Love With a Girl

The Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be

Radiohead - Knives Out

Gary Jules - Mad World

In closing, here is a short video of Mr. Gondry solving a Rubik’s Cube with his nose. I have no idea of the context for this clip, if there is any at all.

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1-18-08

1-18-08

The newest motion picture project from J.J. Abrams is creating a lot of hype online. The trailer is now up on Apple and it’s ominous, vague, and awesome. Home video footage of a going away party captures what seems like an earthquake followed by a deep growl. The camera man goes to the roof with the rest of the crowd in time to witness a major explosion that rains down shrapnel across the NYC skyline. Once on the street, chaotic bedlam has set in. The trailer ends with the head of the Statue of Liberty rolling through the street after having been thrown through the sky.

The marketing behind this movie is what I find most interesting. The film has been produced in secret and didn’t have a real name until recently (before this only its codename was known: Cloverfield.) There is a web site that is frustratingly vague. There seems to be some crazy Internet connections being made across various (fake?) corporation sites and myspace pages as well. The discussions online seem to be centered around what the monster in the movie might be. Some say Godzilla but international licensing seems to suggest that to be false. Others are claiming Voltron which, to me, makes no sense at all. There’s a solid theory suggesting Lovecraft characters or at least allusions to them. Personally, I hope they never show the monster which would be much, much creepier.

This is classic Abrams. I love what this guy does with viral marketing. All this reminds me of The Lost Experience. He really relies on fans to figure out his secrets, leaving digital breadcrumbs for them to follow across many sites that don’t appear to be anything other than blogs, social network profiles, and corporate sites. Even with the information discovered so far, Abrams suggests that the best is yet to come.

I’m excited about this movie. That promo poster (above) is creepy as hell. It’s got some good actors in it, with a lot of unknowns. I noticed Lizzy Caplan in the trailer which got me all a twitter. She was great in Mean Girls and Freaks and Geeks but her standout performance as bitchy art-girl Kat Warbler on last year’s short lived sitcom The Class is what really sold me on her.

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How the makers of Ratatouille made sure they got it right

Ratatouille Kitchen Concept Art
Image via Disney.go.com

I saw Ratatouille over the weekend and I loved it. I was especially impressed with the attention to detail Brad Bird and company paid to the kitchen details as well as Remy’s character, mainly his love for food and fastidious attention to detail.

In order to inhabit Remy the rat with the soul of a true chef, Pixar hired Thomas Keller (French Laundry, Per Se) as a consultant on the film. A former French Laundry employee has recently spoken out about how much of Keller is in Remy (spoiler alert: a lot).

One of my other favorite parts of the movie were the cool little taste animations used to display how food “feels” as well as tastes. Each ingredient on its own had a unique style, like a visual chord, that would change and become a greater melody when the food was paired and tasted as a whole. I find this to not only be wonderfully artistic but also a great-and simple- way for kids to familiarize themselves with tasting and the concept of food as transcendental experience. The creator of these animations, Michel Gagne, has a wonderfully detailed blog about how these animations came into being. There’s even video!

via NY Magazine

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