19 April 2011
  new trailer: the help

the new trailer for upcoming awards season hopeful the help was released this week, and i am a little bit surprised. reading imdb synopses can really confuse you, because i was expecting this to be a sort of drama. the trailer makes it look like a light dramedy in the vein of the julie & julia or vintage rob reiner maybe. in any case it definitely looks decent and i stick by my earlier prediction that viola davis and octavia spenser are sure to be supporting actress contenders.
  a plea for m. night shyamalan

okay, okay, i give the people behind this website some credit for their creativity in attempting to raise money to send m. night shyamalan to the nyu film school AND i am certainly sympathetic to the over 500people who have thus far donated money as part of this effort. however, i must plead with anyone reading this, PLEASE DO NOT DONATE MONEY TO SEND "FILM"MAKER M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN BACK TO FILM SCHOOL. first of all, i do not support any public effort that may enable this man to continue making movies. and secondly, i don't really think that he could get into nyu even if he wanted to. instead, i plead in the reverse that the public should band together in agreement that we will no longer give this man any means to continue in his artistic pursuits. this means, we all must stop renting, purchasing, and attending screenings of his movies, even if we are doing it ironically. no good can come out of furthering this man's career.

although he is certainly not the only one in his boat, i am so irritated with this handful of big budget filmmakers (read, shyamalan, bay, emmerich, et al.) who continue to get investors to donate buckets of cash to the trash they are putting out there, while so many smaller films go viewer-less and certainly in want of funds. it would be in everyone's best interest if we took that money we were going to spend to send shyamalan back to film school and spent it to go see kelly reichardt's upcoming low budget indie work meek's cutoff.
13 April 2011
  yea for comeuppance!

sasha stone at awards daily posted this short documentary today, and everyone should watch it whether or not they are into film simply because it is extremely entertaining. the overwhelming message behind this film is "don't treat people like dirt or it will come back to haunt you." and who doesn't like a story where bad people face some serious comeuppance.

the story is: some guy named bhindi was running this very successful scam by holding faux film festivals all over the world. the scam was that he accepted all films submitted to his festivals, but charged filmmakers 30 dollars for each acceptance. then, he gets a local school or small theater or whatever to donate space. he then shows all of the accepted films basically on a loop in small classrooms or closets or whatever is available with no schedules. that is, unlike a real film festival with "screenings," there is no schedule or anything at these festivals and bhindi just shows the films whenever and wherever he can in order to technically fulfull his end of the bargain. on top of that, there is absolutely no money spent on promoting these festivals, and thus there is no audience present outside of the few filmmakers that show up. then, on top of all of this, bhindi tops off his scheme by holding a black tie awards reception at the end of the festival which, you guessed it, forces filmmakers to pony up additional fees. the whole thing is essentially a fairly low tech version of those "who's who in american high schools" books, this time in film festival form.

now the comeuppance: two filmmakers from california recently attended bhindi's swansea international film festival in wales in order to promote a documentary they had filmed. they were of course shocked upon arrival to realize that there was no schedule of when the films were to be shown, so they couldn't invite anyone to their film's screening. they are simply given an estimate of when the screening might take place, and the time happens to be opposite the time when the festival is holding a party at which all the filmmakers are expected to be in attendance. the documentarians politely bring their concerns to bhindi's attention. his response is to rudely accuse them of being poor filmmakers who have an inability to attract viewers to their poor work.

unfortunately for bhindi these filmmakers turned out to not be so inept after all. in fact they proved their talents by making this short documentary about the absolute failure that is swansea. the film has garnered a significant audience, especially among those who were previously involved in the festival. all of the celebrities affiliated with the festival, the media involved, the local government and the groups that donated facilities dropped out. the scam has garnered national media attention in wales, and bhindi's operation is more or less squashed.

the lesson to be learned: if you're fucking people over the least you can do is try and be nice about it. i guess this lesson seems pretty commonsensical to us in the u.s., but then again we have congress.
08 April 2011
  melancholia trailer
just yesterday i was thinking how boring the movie universe had been lately, and today i wake up to the trailer for lars von trier's melancholia.

maybe it's just the score playing over the trailer but this seems like it could be different than anything he has done before-- von trier's experiment in melodrama maybe? in any case, it looks like he might have gotten the kirsten dunst to deliver the best performance of her career. time will tell.
Luke and John talk about movies

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