Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

Separated at Birth?

May 18, 2009

Jerry Lewis (left) made an appearance at the Cannes Film Festival yesterday to announce his role in the coming film “Max Rose.” In other news, a retrospective of painter Francis Bacon’s work will be opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 20. Does his canvas Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, (detail, right) remind you of anyone? I thought so. But what does it mean?

Lewis photo copyright Joel Ryan/Associated Press via New York Times.


OBJECTS IN COLOR: Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Bleu, Bialy, + Rouge

May 6, 2009


Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Trois Couleurs trilogy is not only his cinematographic tour de force, but is also a collection of well-choreographed objects. The mélange of objects that star in the film build bridges of memory through color and shape and place. Because of the blur of blue, white, and red that appear throughout, this essay employs a series of circular charts derived from the cataloguing of all of the objects that appear in the films.


Clothing in the Year 2000!

March 22, 2009

This short film was made in the 1930’s with a view of fashion in the year 2000. Some of the predictions have come true, making me wonder if Marc Jacobs watched it when he made his backward heel shoes.

Towards the end, a man is shown wearing a suit that contains several pockets for his accesories, including a telephone. And now here we are eighty years later, obsessively carrying our Blackberries and iPhones. Who knew?

How to Ruin My Childhood in 90 Minutes Or Less

March 18, 2009

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs was one of my favorite books as a kid. It’s still popular today, probably because of its undeniably charming story the ends with everyone sledding down a hill of mashed potatoes. I don’t know why Sony has to mess with a good thing but I wish the animation could have been inspired by the original illustrations of Ron Barrett. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Wanna Be A Member?

March 12, 2009

This is the real deal right here. Bimbo’s Initiation is the definition of animation: It’s insane, something out of your dreams, and beyond anything that could happen in real life. When I watch this cartoon, it reaffirms my opinion that animation is the most limitless medium out there.

In this short, Bimbo (Betty Boop’s boyfriend) falls into a manhole only to realize that he’s interrupted a cultish ceremony. He’s soon under pressure to join the club or face death. This short was eventually apropriated for a Squirrel Nut Zippers video, though I can’t say it has the same charm.


Financial Advice From A Melting Glob

March 12, 2009

This is the kind of stuff that really pushes my buttons. These Charles Schwab commericals are old news, but seeing one on my television tonight renewed my anger. This particular ad campaign makes use of rotoscoping, the process of tracing over a film, frame-by-frame. The result is a bizarre sort of animation that melts across the screen. By the time Charles Schwab adopted the technique, rotoscoping had become a systematic technique used by Richard Linklater in his film A Scanner Darkly. Not only do you have to film every scene, you have to hire several hands to work on every single frame. And why the marketing execs at Charles Schwab think that rotoscoping is perfect for discussing finances is anyone’s guess. But if anything good can come from this, it is the spoof videos on YouTube that respond to these silly ads. After the cut is my favorite, a spoof made by a group of 12 year-old boys. Even kids think these commericials are ridiculous!


Hair Related Accidents

March 8, 2009

World War II didn’t just put women into factories, it also changed their hairstyles. Working around high powered machines was dangerous for a person with long hair, therefore women were encouraged to pin back loose curls to avoid injury. Above is an incredible clip from U.S. News Review entitled Safety Styles to educate the new lady work force of the 1940’s.

Dog Days of Film

March 7, 2009


Has 20th Century Fox finally run out of ideas? We’re talking about the people who brought you the frightening computer animated version of Alvin & The Chipmunks. The latest news is even worse: 20th Century has secured the rights to make a live action version of Marmaduke. What should remain a mediocre comic strip will now make millions of dollars at the box office, delighting the same families who find Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties to be worthwhile entertainment. Is this really the best we can get?

Scared Out Of My Mind

March 5, 2009

Last House on the Left

One day I was sitting with a friend, deciding what movie to see, when he began ranting about the danger of horror films. For the past five years, there has been a steady stream of horror movies, many of which claim a spot on the weekly top ten box office rankings. Amidst my friend’s diatribe was an interesting question: Could regular viewings of horror movies cause a sort of Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome?