Cary Grant, who championed LSD’s therapeutic qualities. Photo via Wikimedia Commons My first experience with LSD was not pleasant. Six hours spent staring at bugs on London’s Hampstead Heath were punctuated by a fat man calling me a prick and someone showing me a book of autopsy photos. Read More
“Can movement tell a story? Sure, if you’re as gifted as Akira Kurosawa. More than any other filmmaker, he had an innate understanding of movement and how to capture it onscreen. Join me today in studying the master, possibly the greatest composer of motion in film history.”
Hitchcock Truffaut is a wonderful look at the art and craft of Hitchcock in his own words. The impact of Hitchcock’s influence on cinema is wide reaching and Kent Jones’ doc sheds new light on the 1966 encounter that birthed the quintessential book on directing “Hitchcock by Truffaut.” The doc opens in limited release this weekend and will roll out to additional cities in the coming months.
What list of forgotten ‘70s films would be complete without an appearance by great director Monte Hellman? His existential masterpiece Two-Lane Blacktop would be a likely choice, but it is not as forgotten as it once was. Instead, Cockfighter seems to encompass all the bases. Forgotten, overlooked and overshadowed, Cockfighter is a true diamond in the film rough. It was shot by Nestor Almendros, who was a great cinematographer, Academy Award winner, and a friend of Hellman
Warren Oates portrays a man who wants to become Cockfighter of the year in the sub-cultural world of game cockfighting. Oates, thought of as only a character actor, he carries the entire film. Like a monk, he has taken a vow of silence as penance for past sins. Oates is a good actor and shows it by spending most of the film with no dialogue, only hand gestures, and expressive face and body movements.
I’m a fan of projects that mix creative code and story. Andy Willis’ Spotmaps is a Python-based data / color mapping project…
The Colors From Your Favorite Movies, Mapped To 7,200 Pixels
What do your movies look like when each second is broken down to just one color? Fascinating, telling grids.
…inspired by Brendan Dawes’s Cinema Redux that simplifies each second of a movie into its most prominent color. These frames are then lined up 60-wide to designate a minute per line in a long tapestry of pixels that you could easily call art, or you could just as easily pigeonhole as a strictly scientific, anatomical view of a film’s color.
The most gratifying aspect of curating a film fest is being able to bring an under-the-radar gem you feel passionate about to an audience that might never otherwise see it. And as the director of programming for this year’s Santa Fe Independent Film Festival I was asked several times to name my favorite selection (which, of course, is like being asked to choose between kids). Nevertheless, I’d be lying if I pretended one film didn’t immediately leap to mind, a flick I’d fallen head over heels in love with when I caught it over the summer, courtesy of Rooftop Films. As I wrote in my program notes:
“The talk of the 2012 Berlinale and a hit at this year’s Rooftop Films Series NYC, West German director Marten Persiel’s This Ain’t California thrills on so many levels it ultimately defies description, much like its stunning skateboarding tricks caught on archival super 8 and set to 80s German synthpop. To call it a doc about a gang of skateboarders on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall doesn’t nearly do justice to this punk nostalgia trip and fragile time capsule, to this alternative history of the German Democratic Republic, and personal tribute to a lone teenage rebel with a universal cause.” – READ MORE