Halloween Pumpkin Carvings 2007-2012

Trying to get into the spirit of Halloween…here some pics from our annual Pumpkin Carve-o-thon.

2007

BEFORE

AFTER

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

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Siegfried Kracauer on the role of the Film Critic

“The film critic of note is conceivable only as a social critic. His mission is to unveil [enthüllen] the social images and ideologies hidden in mainstream films and through this unveiling to undermine the influence of the films wherever necessary.”

“The Task of the Film Critic” The Weimar Republic Sourcebook, Siegfried Kracauer (1932)

#Inspiration

Found in the recent collection of Siegfried Kracauer’s American Writings: Essays on Film and Popular Culture

Review: CLOUD ATLAS

Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and the Wachowski siblings (Matrix trilogy) set out several years ago to find a way to film David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel Cloud Atlas . The author considered his book unfilmable due to it’s structure, a Chinese box hidden in a Russian-doll. It is also a centuries-spanning tale spread out across many continents with a lot of characters. The six stories in the book begin chronologically from the middle of the 19th century to far into the future after “The Fall” of modern technology man. In the book each story is told in a different literary style from letters to journal entries to a story-within-a-story, with each one influencing the next story. Each story is separate and not arranged into a  cross-cutting of the action. The stories link organically which by the time you go into the future and back gives the book a depth and richness rooted in the pleasures of reading of each different style. Big caveat – don’t read the book right before the movie, it will significantly alter your expectations. Good for the book, not so good for the movie. If you like the movie then read the book.

How can you film all of those stories while keeping the magic that Mitchell created in his book? You can’t. The filmmakers decided to use a more standard movie narrative technique of cross-cutting between the action of the six stories. The real unique wrinkle the filmmakers give to the book is to have the actors play multiple characters in each f the six storylines. Sometimes they are good, sometimes they are bad. The cast includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving (Wachowski fave), Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Hugh Grant, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, James D’Arcy and the marvelous Jim Broadbent. Almost like a one those tent-pole 70’s disaster films like Towering Inferno or Poseidon Adventure.

Read the rest of the review at MILE HIGH CINEMA

Hangover = Police Academy. Sorry Zach.

From a August, 2009 interview at IGN, Zach Galifianakis was asked about a sequel to the massive hit The Hangover:

He (Todd Phillips) is writing the script. But I haven’t seen the script. I’m not running to do The Hangover 2. I told Todd, the last thing I want is the Police Academy chain all of the sudden, where I’m only known from… You’ve got to be careful with something like that. The movie’s really good, why bother with a sequel? And I’m not saying that I’m not going to do it. I’m just posing these questions. These are things I ask Todd. Obviously, the reason is executives have Bentleys to pay for. I would love, love, love to work with those guys again. The script has to be good! But I’m working with Todd on a movie we’ll be shooting in about six weeks. So I’ll do that first, and then we’ll see how it goes.

Today video footage has surfaced from  The Hangover 3:

Seriously Zach, WTF?

The Hangover 2 was beyond terrible, a few minor chuckles in a dark, xenophobic, anti-LGBT movie and now there’s zoo animals involved in part 3?

Where did this guy go?

Maybe you are doing Hangover 3 to raise money so you can film your fat Baby Jesus script.

Wanna Learn How to Be a Screenwriter?

Then join the ranks of the millions and millions of writers out there. Don’t be scared, becoming a successful screenwriter is slightly easier than winning the lottery.

Slightly.

One thing you can do right now is head over to Slant Magazine’s House Next Door section and start reading Tom Stempel’s Understanding Screenwriting columns. There are loads of books on screenwriting you can buy and websites you can read right away. Stempel’s columns are great place to start for aspiring screenwriters and moviegoers who simply want to learn more about storytelling. Stempel has also written several books, with Understanding Screenwriting: Learning From Good, Not-Quite-So-Good and Bad Screenplays being a favorite.

Review: ALEX CROSS

It should be called – Alex Cross-Dresser and boy is it one weird, messed up movie. Having never seen a Madea movie before, I went into this movie cold. I try to limit my reading on a film before I see is so as to keep the story fresh. That said, I did read somewhere that Madea (her real name is Mabel Simmons) was cross-dressing as a man for this film in which she stars in the titular role of Alex Cross, whom we should all know is from those ridiculously popular series of books by James Patterson and all his co-writers these days.

Alex Cross-Dresser is confusing since Madea, in drag as a man here, pretends to be a detective in Detroit who also happens to be married with two children. I distinctly remembering seeing a few other Alex Cross movies with Morgan Freeman in the lead role so I guess I will need to really willingly suspend my sense of disbelief. I think they call this a reboot, or something. Anyway back to this new and improved Alex Cross.

Read the rest of the review at MILE HIGH CINEMA.

Review: DETROPIA

Is Detroit the proverbial canary in the coal mine for all of the dying Rust Belt cities? This is a question asked by Detropia, the new documentary from directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp). This powerful, elegiac film examines many of the main issues afflicting Detroit – loss of manufacturing, decline of the population and the gridlock between government & business which has made recovery not only difficult but seeming out-of-reach for many of the residents. The documentary lets Detroit residents speak from their heart about the long, slow death of their beloved city and its profound impact on their lives. It also shows that Detroit is not alone in this, it just serves as the first major American industrial city being written off as an externality of late-stage capitalism and free-trade.

Eschewing the normal focus on the beautiful ruins alone (‘ruin porn’), Detropia looks into lives of several people – a crusading video blogger, owner of a local tavern near a GM plant, newly-transplanted artists living near downtown, president of local UAW union, the embattled mayor and other voices, which is a strength of the film.

Read the rest of the review at MILE HIGH CINEMA

Go see the film this weekend! Bring friends.