Oh, hai. Where was I? How 'bout I start with viral Matty Damon, making mum Nancy proud? Bless his bleedin' fahkin' haaaht.
The Guardian's Stuart Heritage has been killing it with his close-reading of movie trailers. In fact, emulating him might not be a bad exercise for intro to film studies students. Especially if they come up with gems like this:
And here's the title screen, with all three of our heroes present and correct. There's Theodore, who's cruelly been pushed to the back because he's the fat one. There's Simon, who's done up like a kind of vacationing serial killer. And then there's Alvin, wearing the wraparound sunglasses and crooked baseball cap of the man from down your road who breeds rottweilers and sits outside his front door drinking cans of Fosters all day while swearing at his equally terrifying but quite sad-looking wife. This film is going to be AMAZING.
Recently on the Facebooks, a fellow teacher pointed to the latest entry in The Hunt for the Worst Movie of all Time, concerning one that many of our female students [inexplicably] adore: The Notebook, a.k.a. Shawshank Redemption for girls. TRUTH. It begins
I’m probably not the original intended audience for The Notebook. I know that. But who is the intended audience for The Notebook? Is it jerks? It must be jerks. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with liking The Notebook, but there’s kind of something wrong with liking The Notebook, you know? I mean, this movie is actual garbage. It doesn’t pluck at your heartstrings so much as it barfs on your diarrhea-strings. It would be one thing if The Notebook was a made-for-Lifetime movie, which it basically is, I guess, but also it is not. It is a movie that was in movie theaters, and that was an actual cultural event at a certain point in our collective history. Whoops on us! In the future, when the planet is covered in water, and we are sitting on our hover-porches with our future grandkids, we are going to have to explain a few things: our selfish abuse of the environment, Ke$ha, and why anyone ever thought The Notebook was even remotely watchable, much less actually romantic. Three EQUALLY DIFFICULT subjects.
Still more from the trenches of cine-academe, via Our Girl in Chicago: a totally lovely account of the U of C's Doc Films by a student insider
Unless you’re Tyler Durden, this isn’t the fun part: transferring the film onto show reels, rewinding the film, checking and repairing splices, and adding our own if necessary, noting the scenes where dots (those cigarette burns) appear to indicate the end of the reel, determining the print's proper sound format and aspect ratio.
Doc is dedicated to passing these skills on to new volunteers, and I let my APs do this prep work while I look over their shoulder or tend to the projectors. Hopefully, after three quarters of working under different projectionists, an AP will take the projectionist exam to become a PJ, running his or her own show the following quarter.
For 35mm film, we use a changeover system with two projectors, affectionately named Evelyn and Wanda for their east/west location. When the show starts, the film will run through Evelyn until the reel is almost empty—about 20 minutes. Eight seconds before the end of the reel, the dots will appear in the screen's corner for an eighth of a second–four frames-and I'll turn on Wanda’s motor and raise the douser to let the light flood into the chamber. In the print's final second, as the film is running through Wanda, a second dot will appear, and I'll step on the changeover pedal to project Wanda’s image instead of Evelyn’s, which is now just black filler, the reel’s “tail.” If everything goes well, the audience doesn’t notice a thing.
Here's the makings of a funsy, romantic excursion! What Are They Now: The Modern Locations of 'American Psycho'
Via Brainiac, a favorite subject chez cinetrix:
The movie plots that technology killed: Modern-day communications technology makes most classic movie plots utterly avoidable. "Before checking into the Bates Motel in a deserted California backwater, Janet Leigh consults Trip Advisor on her iPhone and reads: 'Smelly, dirty, really creepy owner, constantly talks to a mother no one ever sees. Filthy shower, manager's office smells of stuffed birds, no Wi-Fi....'"
Oddly, being a father, which is, technically, the result of heterosexual you-know-what and therefore, symbolically, proof of manhood, is looked at in movies as a state of emasculation. Becoming a husband and father turns a man into a baby or a woman, removed from the company of men by diaper duty and other antisexual domestic chores. Unless or until mommy takes off, either to a (usually off-screen) new man or the grave. Single dads seem to outnumber single moms in the movies (the reverse of real life), and widowers in particular are potent sources of pathos and sex appeal. A man rearing children in partnership with a woman is barely a man at all, but a man raising kids by himself is perfect.
Hamish Linklater of The Future [reviewed here by FOC Farihah Zaman] on getting analog with Miranda July:
I heard that the two of you made mixtapes for each other as sort of a relationship-building exercise?
I hadn't made a mixtape since back in the day when there were tapes. I actually didn't even know how to burn a CD, so I had to get technical support for making her mixtape. But Miranda made a mixtape for me that was just, like, outrageous. It was so filthy!
Looking to lose an hour? Movie Morlocks serves up a trove of French & Saunders movie parodies.
Still somewhat topical! David Lynch's short film about the debt crisis.
Even the most talented screenwriters, he says,
devote their entire time to work which has no more possibility of distinction than a Pekinese has of becoming a Great Dane: to asinine musicals about technicolor legs and the yowling of night-club singers; to “psychological” dramas with wooden plots, stock characters, and that persistent note of fuzzy earnestness which suggests the conversation of schoolgirls in puberty; to sprightly and sophisticated comedies (we hope) in which the gags are as stale as the attitudes, in which there is always a drink in every hand, a butler in every doorway, and a telephone on the edge of every bathtub; to historical epics in which the male actors look like female impersonators, and the lovely feminine star looks just a little too starry-eyed for a babe who has spent half her life swapping husbands; and last but not least, to those pictures of deep social import in which everybody is thoughtful and grown-up and sincere and the more difficult problems of life are wordily resolved into a unanimous vote of confidence in the inviolability of the Constitution, the sanctity of the home, and the paramount importance of the streamlined kitchen.
Finally, to celebrate snatching Pullquote from the maw of erroneous temporary suspension HELL, a little bit of glam. And why not?