Came across this on this site about all well made and trendy American things...
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
Friday, 24 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
I really enjoyed I'm Still Here. I can't say it was a great movie, because it isn't, but it is a pretty cool idea and it shows Joaquin Phoenix is truly a great actor....it also made me laugh...lots!
It is no surprise that the whole thing was a hoax, but maybe a hoax is the wrong word? In the sense that Joaquin quit acting to pursue a hip-hop career then yes it was a hoax, but the scenes in the film are real and largely improvised and spontaneous. The rumors of the hoax had been following the project from the beginning, (the idea of it being a hoax is openly referenced within the narrative of the film) so in a way the hoax became the reality that they were trying to fake. Therefore extending Phoenix and Casey Affleck's intension to make a film that is a comment on celebrity and media culture in this weird modern age.
How successful I'm Still Here is at doing this is up for debate (like I say, it isn't a great film by any means). Some may claim it is a mere vanity project taken a bit too far and the artistic output and/or critique of the media it was trying to portray lacked any major punch.
But whatever you say about the project, you must give credit to the film makers. They had an idea, an original idea to do something new and unique regarding filmmaking and they followed it through...thoroughly. Not just in terms of living a lie for a year and half but also Phoenix's physical change, and his maniacal persona are convincing as a reality and also extremely intriguing to watch. He does make the viewer laugh, cringe, sympathise, empathise with and too his character. Yet he is also often (most of the movie) comes across as a complete arse-hole, rude, obnoxious and petty. But despite his erratic and multiple personalities in the film, they all complement each other as this 'character' ('Joaquin'/'JP'...whatever!) and that could be this film's major triumph. Wether Phoenix was putting this on or not doesn't matter, the 'character' of the film remains and he is actively engaging for an audience.
The film's social comment on todays horrendous media and celebrity culture are perhaps still unclear. Casey Affleck has said that he has found promoting this film hard, not just because he has has to consistently lie about the 'truth' of the project, but because he just wants people to see and wait a few weeks until a real discussion and dialogue on the film can begin.
Joaquin Phoenix has now come out (looking shaved and slim..see video below) and said that he and Affleck wanted to try a new approach to filmmaking. And it seems that Affleck especially wants to try something new regarding how films are publicised. Perhaps in a more held back and natural way, instead of this urgency of opening weekends and audiences knowing everything about the film before they see it. Let the movie have time to get through to people....
Whatever the immediate response to I'm Still Here it is promising to see two young talents in Hollywood directly questioning the system and industry they work in. The world of Hollywood and show biz is a constant struggle and tension between art & expression and business & money, and that conflict of often contradictory ideas that splinter opinion and thoughts on modern culture are here in this film and laid bare, here for the viewer to pick at and ponder if they so choose.
I'm Still Here throws a lot of these ideas up in the air, but maybe fails to catch any again. Regardless of the catching is always interesting to shake things up and see what happens, in this case I guess you left with more questions and wonderings than answers, but you do certainly laugh through a lot of it.
One final note....you gotta give credit to the man...that beard was one hell of a commitment and very thorough he was with it too.
Here is Joaqiun Phoenix explaining more on David Letterman last night (22/10/2010)
I'm not sure that this Letterman guy is the right person for this interview....he really doesn't seem to get it...but I guess that is the whole point?!...Maybe the project of 'I'm Still Here' is on-going?....and yes Dave I think if there is a joke here it is aimed at you...not 'you' as a man, but the nature of your work. Don't take it personally, for it seems were all a part of this one.
Just keep laughing along with it....it might be OK in the end!
Brighton's Duke of York's cinema had it's hundred birthday last night! Now I am a little fuzzy in the head!
But a great night was had by all and thanks to everyone who turned up. A highlight of the night was a special screening of footage from the new Brighton Rock movie. Optimum releasing were gracious enough to exhibit several scenes from the upcoming film.
This version of Graham Greene's novel is set in the 60s and uses the clash and conflict between the mods and rockers as a back drop for a tale of young love and restless misplaced idealism (with some sociopathic tendencies) in a violent gangland culture.
The opening title sequence echoes the moody atmosphere of Scorsese's Shutter Island and film opens with a tense and violent knife fight underneath Brighton's famous promenade in the pouring rain.
We also see well acted and awkward (purposely so) scene between Pinky (Sam Riley) and Rose (Andrea Riseborough) at a dance. (Both seem perfectly cast)
A highlight was a wonderful crane shot following Pinkie riding his moped through the streets, as he turns a corner the camera rises and reveals a whole convoy of mods on mopeds cruising down the seafront. (It maybe Eastbourne seafront, but lets face it thats one of few places that can still pass as being in the 60s without some major CGI!)
Overall the scenes that were showed looked very promising, the set design, costumes and lighting all were strong and bold and complemented each other well. The film appears to have a certain look and feel that makes it stand out as slick (with girtty feel) and made to a very high standard. It comes across as having a clear and realized aesthetic that will help to convey the emotional core of of the story, through it's setting and look. It also looks like it could be a really good genre movie and not another middle-of-the-road British movie that are all too common currently.
The film also stars Helen Mirren, Andy Serkis and John Hurt....always a good thing.
It's coming out in early February and the Duke's is going to be involved with the launch....something special!...watch this space....
Monday, 20 September 2010
(Dir: John Hillcoat)
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis back with the resurrected Grinderman!...this time they've gone against the beautiful melancholy melodies of their recent film scores and gone a bit like the Bad Seeds again, but Grinderman is a stripped back 4 part ensemble. There's some dirty loud distorted revered blues riffs with more of Cave's soulful, eloquent and suggestive lyrics, with enough righteous facial hair to make seventies porn stars and news readers weep with joy!
Check out this video....there's lazers coming out of eyes and the band are dressed as Roman centurians!
www.youtube.com/ (some swine wont let me copy it!)
But here's what made Grinderman leap out a few years ago....
NO PUSSY BLUES
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
The fine folk at Palladium have gone urban exploring again and this time they've commandeered Johnny Knoxville to join the ranks of intrepid journalists and explorers to wander the brittle remains of one of America's once most prosperous cities.
The situation in Detroit is now well documented (including on here), but this particular piece is focusing on the future and not the past!
It effectively picks up where Julien Temple's evocative Requiem for Detroit left off. This doc shows what a new young generation of entrepreneurs and artists are doing to reclaim the city and make something real and unique with do it yourself attitude and a focus on community and creativity.
To quote Bruce Springsteen...."everything dies baby, thats a fact/but maybe everything that dies someday comes back" (thats about Atlantic City but you get what I mean!?)
This is only part 1 of 3, but go to the Palladium website for the rest....and some other explorations and some damn fine shoes.
Monday, 13 September 2010
These things have nothing to do with each other as far as I can see. But there all good.
This from a flickr that I like by someone called Megan McIsaac....the kinda stuff that makes you wanna move to Portland and smoke cigarettes and grow a beard....etc etc....
Burger King's new marketing campaign....I like it. It should catch on!
FLORA sent me this...I didn't get it at first ...cos I was being thick....
Can't remember where I saw this and it really isn't that good, but it reminded me of Sam
VBS.TV have got up a new doc about avante-garde surrealist film maker Jack Bond. A British film maker who worked with Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol, created bizzare features, docs and music videos. I had heard about him last year when news broke that he was finally allowing his back catalogue of films to shown again.....I had not heard of or seen the films in question, but the idea that a man who had kept all his art locked away from public for over 30 years and finally released them in his old age is an enticing and and engaging story in itself....I still have not seen the films, but after watching this I will indeed be seeking them out!
I'll let the show and the man speak for themselves but there are some great (and tragic) stories here. He also comes across as true gent!
Dali and Bond
Saturday, 11 September 2010
Three good things here....great band, great director, great actor.
Ray Winstone talks about getting struck by lightning while John Hillcoat driects the imagery to UNKLE's music...tri-fector of cool shit right here!
UNKLE - The Answer
Monday, 6 September 2010
I first heard of this show over a year ago and I'v been eagerly awaiting it since. Boardwalk Empire is a new HBO series from Terence Winter (head writer of The Sopranos) and Martin Scorsese. It's set in Atlantic City in the 1920s and deals with one of the major social issues of the time - prohibition (a period of 13 years when the US government thought it would be a good idea to criminalize the selling and consumption of alcohol - it basically didn't turn out to be a good idea!) With prohibition came gangsters, with gangsters comes corruption, cars, cool clothes, money, woman and some pretty slick bars, parties and speakeasies!....all this points to what should be one killer show!
No doubt with the combined talents of Scorsese and Winter at the helm, this show will be more than style over substance. But for now simply idea of the setting and aesthetic is enough to get the excitement going!...check out these promos for the show and a time capture video of the incredible looking set they built in a Brooklyn dockyard.
Boardwalk Empire airs on HBO in the states later in September.
Read more here....www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/arts/television/05empire