the search continues

Roger Ebert:

Some traditions remain (at Cannes). Before every screening at the Auditorium Debussy, for example, someone in the dark is sure to call out “Raoul!” There’s laughter and a little buzz as old-timers explain to their neighbors that once in dim antiquity a moviegoer entered after the lights went down, was unable to find his friend, and shouted out “Raoul!” The search continues.

supporting artists

The Telegraph on extras:

… (Ben Hur) features a trumpet-playing extra who forgot to take his watch off.

…(Gandhi‘s) funeral sequence alone required 300,000 extras.

In Gladiator, they used 2,000 live actors to create a digital crowd of about 35,000 people.

One big-mouthed extra working on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull spilt all the film’s major plot points when he was interviewed by his hometown newspaper in Oklahoma, even though he had signed a nondisclosure agreement. A ‘furious’ Steven Spielberg then got his own back by cutting the extra’s only scene.

this jew bites

Neil Gaiman:

But Dance of the Vampires has that wonderful moment where Alfie Bass as the Jewish innkeeper has been bitten and transformed by the vampires. He comes back, he creeps into the bedroom, and she holds up the cross, and he says, ”Lady, have you got the wrong vampire.”

similar idea in I am Legend (the book)

Naked Youth (1960)

– And you still want other men to look at me and desire me like animals.

– I thought if I beat up some idiot, you’d feel better.

– This is a cruel world and it destroyed our love.

– Apart from your theories, the fact is that you like money.

– We can only sell ourselves in order to go on living. No matter how I fight it, that’s what the world is like.

a review

it doesn’t matter

(From booklet accompanying the Criterion Collection of Le Samouraï)

John Woo on Jean-Pierre Melville:

The great thing about friendship is that you can really love someone without feeling the need to let him know; you just do what you can do for him. Even if you die in loneliness, and no one knows about it, it doesn’t matter—you have done what you had to do. Melville’s characters behave like that…

cinema is a desire

Catherine Breillat on the nouvelle vague:

They taught me that cinema is a desire, not a school. Cinema just happens, full stop. Nobody can tell you how to do it or what the rules are. And you do it with new faces. Personally I don’t like actors who have already been the bearers of other withered desires. Isn’t the camera more suitable for discovering than for filming – for discovering the inner soul through those big, big, mystery-revealing close-ups of which I am so fond?

i quite enjoyed it even though…

I wrote the following synopses:

Lion’s Den

A star-turning performance and a breathtaking climax feature in this gripping prison drama.

Incarcerated for a crime she may not have committed, Julia (Martina Gusman) languishes in a ward for expecting mothers and mothers with young children. Possibly a victim of abuse and abandonment, she is aloof and desolate but eventually finds a little happiness with the birth of her child, Tomás. But when she is forced by the State to surrender custody of Tomás, she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Considered one of the leading exponents of the New Argentine Cinema, Pablo Trapero’s fifth feature film examines the plight of children born in the prison system. Expertly lensed and confidently paced, the star of the film is undoubtedly Martina Gusman’s uncompromising performance which carries the film to its unforgettable conclusion.

Selected as Argentina’s official entry for the Best Foreign Film Category in this year’s Oscars. Shown in competition at Cannes (2008).

Who is KK Downey?

Hipsters, hairstyles and humor dazzle and delight in this madcap midnight movie.

Terrance and Theo, life-long losers and buddies, have had enough of ridicule and rejection. When Truck Stop Hustler, Theo’s fictional and very graphic account of a male junkie prostitute is rejected by his publisher, the duo decide to turn the book into an autobiography with Terrance claiming to be KK Downey, the story’s protagonist. An overnight literary sensation ensues. Connor, a jealous music critic and major fashion victim smells a stinker and investigates further.

Outrageous, over-the-top and quite vulgar, the film offers a surprisingly intelligent look at media hype and the hipster subculture.
Inspired by the real life “great literary hustlers” of recent times,  JT LeRoy and James Frey, this marks the feature film debut of the acclaimed Montreal comedy group Kidnapper Films.

Won the New Vision Award at the Cinequest Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Boston Underground Film Festival.

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i quite enjoyed it…

i wrote the following synopses for the film festival:

Let’s Fall in Love

A fantastic documentary on love and marriage that startles with truth and sparkles with tenderness.

The subject is love, not the heartwarming, quixotic, groovy kind of love but one that is draggy, agonizing and messy. Indeed the unflattering, painful and downright awkward do not faze the brave married men and women interviewed in the film. They talk to one another and to the camera about their struggles and disappointments in the relationship, with great openness and vulnerability.

Helping these couples build a life together is Consultant Chen, matchmaker extraordinaire and exceptional crusader of the human heart. She works her brand of magic with tireless passion, old-school wisdom and solid straight talk.

Some documentary filmmakers keep their distance but director Wuna Wu shares her own painful past as transparently as she tells the stories of others. It must have been quite a wet editing room.

Real, moving and timeless, this is recommended for everyone with a heart.

Gulabi Talkies

A triumphant lead performance anchors this richly ambitious and entertaining masterpiece.

Gulabi is too busy watching movies and delivering babies to be miserable over the husband who abandoned her and the village folks who mistrust her. When she is gifted the village’s only satellite television, she is suddenly popular. But television brings along news of war which stokes communal tension in a village where Gulabi is an outsider.

When you take the daring, defiant women of the post-modernist writer Vaidehi and blend it with the soulful, sensitive film-making of Girish Kasaravalli, you know you are in for a treat. Gulabi Talkies is a thought provoking, masterfully executed and socially responsible film on the effects of mass media on a rural community.

Widely acclaimed director Girish Kasaravalli has been making films for 30 years. His first film at age 27 astonished Satyajit Ray for its profound maturity.

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“Wendy and Lucy” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has some swearing, a little drug use and a brief implication of violence, but no nudity, sex or murder. The rating seems to reflect, above all, an impulse to protect children from learning that people are lonely and that life can be hard.