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April 15 2017

Zärtliches Licht

Michael Ballhaus bei den Dreharbeiten zu THE COLOR OF MONEY (USA 1986).


Für den Tagesspiegel habe ich eine kleine Widmung für Michael Ballhaus geschrieben, der am Mittwoch leider verstorben ist. Seine Filmografie enthält einige der besten Filme seiner Zeit, darunter MARTHADIE EHE DER MARIA BRAUN,THE COLOR OF MONEY, BROADCAST NEWS und  GOODFELLAS Das im Text erwähnte Revolver-Interview, das ich 2001 zusammen mit Hans Steinbichler geführt habe, kann man hier nachlesen.
the premonition (robert allen schnitzer, usa 1976)

Die Pausenzeichen des Westdeutschen Rundfunks (4)


[Aus Köln in die Welt. Beiträge zur Rundfunkgeschichte, hg. von Walter Först, Köln: Grote 1974; = Annalen des Westdeutschen Rundfunks, Band 2, Innenseite des vorderen Buchdeckels]

Note to self: Zwischen 27.4.1941 und 25.9.1945 keine Pausenzeichen?

Reposted by02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

April 14 2017

Reel FX and The Creative Team From Moonbot Studios Launch Flight School

Key members of Moonbot Studios have reunited to form a new studio that will focus on telling great stories across emerging tech platforms.

The post Reel FX and The Creative Team From Moonbot Studios Launch Flight School appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

wake in fright (ted kotcheff, australien/usa 1971)

Aspiring Comic Creators: CCAD is Launching a Comics & Narrative Practice Major

Be a part of the pioneering Comics & Narrative Practice major at Columbus College of Art & Design!

The post Aspiring Comic Creators: CCAD is Launching a Comics & Narrative Practice Major appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

death valley (dick richards, usa 1982)

Czech That Film II

i olga poster.png

The Denver Film Society is presenting a series of recent Czech films, part of a traveling series entitled Czech That Film. The curious part of this series is that while it is comprised of eight films in total, none of the host cities will be showing all eight films. For readers of this blog who live outside of Denver, but within the U.S., definitely look into the link to see what films may be coming your way. My coverage of this series will be limited to those films scheduled for Denver. With the exception of The Snake Brothers, released in 2015, the films listed here were released in 2016.

Tiger Theory (Teorie tigre), the debut film from former journalist Radek Bajgar, sets its agenda within the first few minutes. An older man, a veterinarian, is seen sewing up a neutered male cat following surgery. Cut to a female university professor lecturing on why men have shorter life spans than women. The man and the woman are revealed to married, and the film is essentially a comic drama about men feeling emasculated by their wives, while the wives are certain they know what's best for their husbands. Tiger Theory was popular in the Czech Republic. Some of the deadpan humor is amusing, with swipes at the former Communist government for good measure. The title comes from the name of the cat, reportedly an amorous pet when on the loose. The score by Jiri Hajek,which would not sound out of place in a film with an American rural setting, made me think of Ry Cooder and Mark Knopfler.

The Noonday Witch (Polednice) is one of the highlights of this series. A mostly psychological horror film, the story takes its inspiration from a Slavic folktale about a witch that appears at the stroke of noon to take away an unruly child. This is an assured debut by Jiri Sadek. That the main characters are a young mother and daughter bears some fleeting resemblance to The Babadook, but unlike that film, as indicated in the title, the horror takes place under the sun of an August heatwave outside a rural village. Sadek has also mentioned the inspiration of Jaromil Jires and Valerie and her Week of Wonders, the classic Czech fantasy from 1970.

A mother and daughter move to a small town, the childhood home of the woman's late husband. There are questions about the husband's death, and the daughter is kept under the impression that the father is away on business. The mother is unnerved by an old woman who claims she is trying to protect the daughter. The school age daughter takes part in an unexplained ritual with several kids about her age running out into a field at about noon. Sadek doesn't overplay the creepiness at an efficient ninety minutes. This is one film worth seeking out.

The-Noonday-Witch.jpg

The Teacher (Ucitelka) might benefit from a brief subtitle noting that the film takes place in 1983. The film takes place in Bratislava. The teacher, Maria Drazdechova, not only wants to know the names of her junior high age students, but also the occupation of her parents. The film is something of a parable about the abuse of power in Soviet era Czechoslovakia. Students and parents are do favors for the teacher in exchange for good grades. Most of the parents are easily persuaded to be helpful as the teacher is a ranking Communist party member. Several of the parents complain, with the bulk of the film cutting between scenes of the parents meeting, and flashbacks classroom scenes or the teacher's influencing of parents. Director Jan Hrebejk has made several films exploring the Communist past of the Czech Republic. Even if some of the specific political aspects of The Teacher are not understood,
patience is rewarded with a gut busting gag that must be seen and heard, that would be understood even by those unfamiliar with the Velvet Revolution.

I'm not as enthusiastic about The Snake Brothers (Kobry a uzovky) as others have been. The brothers, nicknamed Viper and Cobra, live in a small town outside of Prague. The characters in Jan Prusinovsky's film live in the margins, getting by. Cobra, a drug addict and thief, always has vague plans for making money. Viper is enlisted in running a clothing store that is a front for drug smuggling. What is of interest is that this is a view of the Czech Republic usually not seen, neither the glamour of Prague, nor the more pictorial countryside, but instead, a community of run-down shops and houses, as attractive as a third rate strip mall. The brothers are portrays by two actual actor brothers, Matej and Kristof Hadek, both of whom have received prizes for their performances.

I, Olga Hepnarova (Ja, Olga Hepnarova) comes with the most advanced critical acclaim. Austere, filmed in black and white, the story is based on true events. Directors Tomas Weinreb and Petr Kazda follow Hepnarova from the mid-Sixties through 1973, when she drove through a crowd of pedestrians in Prague, up until her death by hanging in 1975. Hepnarova was the last woman to receive capital punishment in Czechoslovakia. Aspects about Hepnarova's life, her reasons for her crime, and death are still controversial and have even inspired a website.

Michalina Olszanska, recently seen as the vampire mermaid, Gold, in The Lure, takes on the title role of the troubled young woman. Parts of the Hepnarova's story are fictionalized, while the quotes from letters provided to two newspapers, explaining her anger at the world, are taken verbatim. Olga Hepnarova casts herself as a victim of bullying, as well as sexual and emotional abuse. As such, the film suggests that Hepnarova would also deliberately be self-destructive, and chose to be the perpetual outsider. The few human connections made include a couple of flings with other young women, and an older man, a drinking buddy, as close to a positive father figure in her brief life. The filmmakers, to their credit, keep enough distance to allow for open ended questions about Hepnarova's life and her response, labeling herself with the German word "Prugelknabe", also translated as scapegoat or doormat. The final shot of the film, of Hepnarova's family, offers a chilling coda to her story.

the teacher poster.jpg

Did You Know ‘Spark’ Opens Today? Don’t Worry, No One Else Does Either

Open Road Films launches "Spark: A Space Tail" in theaters today, but will anybody see it?

The post Did You Know ‘Spark’ Opens Today? Don’t Worry, No One Else Does Either appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

A Week Beats A Year: In Tribute To Toshio Matsumoto and FUNERAL PARADE OF ROSES (1969)


We have lost yet another movie-making giant. Toshio Matsumoto, one of the great cinematic rebels and non-conformists, passed away this week at the age of 85. Matsumoto was a great artist and fierce boundary pusher who challenged his viewers as much as he enlightened and entertained them. For my own little tribute, here is a piece I wrote about his absolutely breathtaking 1969 work Funeral Parade Of Roses back in 2013. It's a film unlike any other and Toshio Matsumoto was a filmmaker like no other. 




Thinking of Toshio Matsumoto's 1969 cinematic powerhouse Funeral Parade of Roses...a brick hurled through a window of complacency...a raging kick to the face of traditional narrative cinema...a retelling of Oedipus that transforms that classic legend into something altogether new.
The questions one gets asked after typically viewing a film are mute in regards to Funeral Parade of Roses.  "What's it about?" and "Did you like it?" have no place here and are like asking someone if they had 'fun' at a protest against oppression. 
Product of its time?  YES but in the best way possible.  This has the kind of passion and anger that simply no longer exist in today's cinema.  We've traded soul and intensity for a day at the mall glued to small films on small screens that fit in our pockets. 
The Plot of Funeral Parade of Roses doesn't hold my attention...instead it is the elements that it transcends in every frame that hits me (I beg for its punch time and time again).  Opening shot...blinding white light.  Is that a boy and a girl?  Boy and a boy?  Unclear until it pulls into focus and we are thrown into a labyrinth of confusion that questions gender, sexuality, family, life, death and beyond.
Relations?  Warhol, Morrissey...their deconstructive techniques are apparent.  Rollin's Rape of the Vampire is its bloody sister in arms from a year before.  Brakhage (sure), Deren (of course).  How about Kubrick, who loved Funeral Parade of Roses so much that he paid tribute to it stylistically and spiritually in his A Clockwork Orange a few years later.  Ultimately this is punk rock before the term was coined, exploited and made meaningless.  That brick through the window reflecting the student riots happening in Paris, Japan and all over the free thinking world in 1969. 
The art of deconstruction....destruction of our scripted roles in life, love and death.  It's that final shot of Godard's Weekend with the ominous "End of Cinema" flashing on the screen taken several steps further.  It's a beautiful monster that no modern special effects house could muster.
It's a party film with a wild youthful abandon breaking through every moment...Superbad for the art house as a celebration of questioned gender roles and rampant unhinged sexuality.  And that ending has the kind of visceral impact only perhaps Deodato later stumbled upon. 
It pops with an eye gouging intensity that builds and builds until a wonderful moment when an old man stumbles exhausted onto the screen and thanks everyone for attending.  Thank you and you are very welcome!  A little moment that could have derailed the film completely but this bold and audacious act is like the film itself...a joyous revolution turning a mirror back to the audience.  Toshio Matsumoto stating Lou Reed's "My Week Beats Your Year" in the purest cinematic way imaginable. 

-Jeremy Richey, 2013-


Funeral Parade of Roses remains unreleased on disc in The United States.  Region 2 imports are available. 
Reposted by02mysoup-aa 02mysoup-aa

Jean Rollin's ZOMBIE LAKE World Premiere Soundtrack CD

The Omega Productions is preparing to release the world premiere of Daniel J. White's soundtrack for Jean Rollin's Zombie Lake.  


From the press release the CD, which will be limited to just 500 copies, "will be remastered for the first time ever, with the help of Daniel Lesoeur, producer of the film and director of Eurociné. It will contain 22 (+ bonus) tracks, included sound design (the "bird's song") and quotes".  While the film itself remains, arguably, the absolute lowpoint in Rollin's filmmaking career, this soundtrack is a very welcome release and the early shots of the accompanying booklet look wonderful.  For ordering information on this release, please visit this page.

‘Extrapolate’ by Johan Rijpma

In this hand-drawn animation a line is being extrapolated through a grid…

The post ‘Extrapolate’ by Johan Rijpma appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

killer’s moon (alan birkinshaw, großbritannien 1978)
slaughter’s big rip-off (gordon douglas, usa 1973)

the looks, not the books

Buchhinhweis: Ein Vortrag mit Zugaben von Sissi Tax

lb

"einiges, was mit den projektionen des geschlechterverhältnisses - dames and guys - in einigen hollywood movies auf sich hat, in verbindung oder in nicht-verbindung mit dem medium buch"

http://www.institutbuchkunst.hgb-leipzig.de/en/series/10#106

 

April 13 2017

Indie Animators Are All Over The Late-Night Talk Shows

This doesn't happen often, but animators Kirsten Lepore and Bill Plympton have been the subject of discussion on recent late-night talk shows.

The post Indie Animators Are All Over The Late-Night Talk Shows appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

Review: Terence Davies' "A Quiet Passion"

A Quiet Passion
Though set nearly 150 years ago, Terence Davies' exquisite Emily Dickinson biopic A Quiet Passion is vitally relevant, as it spans centuries to reveal an agile female intelligence and willful body unable to fit into this prejudiced world. The pleading desire for contentment and the strangling despair of disappointment lays upon the American poet, played briefly in her youth by Emily Bell and for the rest of the film by a magnificent Cynthia Nixon. Abutting a society that constrains so many possibilities for her gender, Dickinson weighs the world and finds it wanting for a pathway to a woman's fulfilled happiness.
Davies, as always mining the past for its reverberating, ailing souls and tragic social repression, finds in Emily Dickinson a subject for rigorous, almost austere inquiry. Conversations on the nature of religious dogma, God's touch and distance, marriage, family, artistic creation and more flush A Quiet Passion with a forceful, spiritual and sparring dialog akin to the films of Carl Theodor Dreyer. In candlelit and sun-flooded interiors alike, coy intellectual banter within Dickinson's unusually intelligent family segues over time to hypocrisy, bitterness and dejection, as parents age and siblings grow into complex adults. (Dickinson's mother, played by Joanna Bacon, is practically afforded her own micro-film—and a very moving one—in honor and sorrow for the suffering of silent mothers.)
Though revealing its spare production resources in occasionally unforgiving ways, Davies' film is never short of fierce spirit and barely suppressed outrage at how such a talent, a person, and a soul could be so restrained and twisted by her time. Often sublime and carried by Nixon's performance, which blooms ever more yearning as Dickinson grows in isolation and ruthless interior self-inquiry, A Quiet Passion attains that rare balance of being an elegy without resignation. And while the the walls of her family home may come to define and restrict her place in the world, the film carries Dickinson's poetry as its outlet and its echo. The desperate, gasping death that befalls the poet in the end is a shriek that still can be heard today.

Cartoon Network Looks To India For ‘Lamput’ Series

"Lamput" is a fresh look for Indian animation. We spoke to creator Vaibhav Kumaresh to learn how he connected with Cartoon Network for the series.

The post Cartoon Network Looks To India For ‘Lamput’ Series appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

slaughter (jack starrett, usa 1972)
rollercoaster (james goldstone, usa 1977)
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