Is this simply nothing more than a commercial for a perfume by a couple of well known directors or is this a tease at something greater? I’m too lazy to do the leg work on this one, so if any Third Row reader has any knowledge about this, let me know.
Here’s maybe a clue: I don’t recognize the gentlemen in the commercial/teaser, but I recognize the girl as the shop owner in Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. It’s this girl.
Whatever the case, neat little nugget from Anderson and Coppola…
UPDATE: OK, so I figured this out. It is an ad for Prada. The directors are doing a three part short for the company (reminds me of the BMW ads so long ago with famous directors all taking a crack at shooting Clive Owen driving fast). At any rate, Part 1 and Part 2 of the short is under the seats…
. The title of this posts says it all, enjoy this 1 minute, 20 seconds of bliss known as, A GOOD CLAY TO DIE HARD and save yourself from the 95 minute teal&orange nightmare that is the 21st century shell of the Die Hard franchise.
I‘ve been watching David Lynch do all of these various, personal projects for some time now (mostly courtesy of content over at Twitch). But I haven’t seen a feature length film since 2007 (unless you count his “Duran Duran” doc). Not that I care mind you; I’m not the biggest Lynch fan on the planet and much of these short films and online interview segments are actually quite a joy to watch.
His latest appears to be a brief look at a lithograph company called Idem Paris. An “old-fashioned” printing company he’s used to produce quite a bit of his own art. Nothing real involving here, but there is a sort of strange hypnotic nature about the short with its dialogue-free, pulsing machinery and hissing steam engine. It’s actually quite visceral and heavy; makes you want to watch out that your fingers don’t get pinched or mashed – though probably nothing more than a couple minutes of a look.
Hervé Chandès from the Fondation Cartier brought me over to Idem and introduced me to Patrice Forest. I see this incredible place, and I get the opportunity to work there. And this was like a dream! It just opened up this brand-new world of the lithography and the magic of lithography, the magic of the stones. And it was a great, great thing! This thing of lithography, this channel of lithography opened up and a bunch of ideas came flowing out and it led to about a hundred lithographs. I will say that Idem printing studio has a unique, very special mood, and it is so conducive to creating. Patrice has the greatest attitude for all the artists and he creates this space of freedom and this joy of creating. It’s so beautiful! And I think the place is very important—in other wors, the same stone could be moved to another place, and I think that the work that comes out would be different. It’s a combination of the stone, the place, the people, this mood, and out comes these certain ideas.
As has become the practice in the past few years, all of the Oscar nominated shorts are now streaming online. Many theaters around the nation/world are currently showing them on the big screen – which is probably the preferred way to check them out, but if you don’t live in a major city or are scrambling for dollars these days, you can watch them all right here totally free and legally.
We postedPaperman a few days ago for your viewing pleasure, and now here are the other four of the nominees in alphabetical order. The winners will be announced at The Oscar presentation show happening on February 24th.
Sunday evening was SUPPOSED to be Hong Sang-Soo’s In Another Country and the Shining conspiracy theory documentary Room 237, but again, timing didn’t work to our advantage (nor did the popularity of The Shining) and flexibility was the order of the day.
In Another Country
The last three AFI Fests have all included films from South Korean filmmaker Hong Sang-soo, and it’s a trend I certainly hope continues, because though he’s virtually unknown here aside from avid festivalgoers, his films are consistently delightful and refreshing. In Another Country has a framing device of a young Korean girl writing three versions of a story, each involving a Frenchwoman (Isabelle Huppert) visiting the same Korean seaside town; each time she’s a slightly different character in different circumstances, but with many similar experiences. Hong’s previous film The Day He Arrives was also interested in repetition with variation, but In Another Country feels more finished and polished than that film did. It’s also more broadly funny, with Hong exploiting the language barrier for all its worth (all the characters speak English with each other, as neither French nor Korean is a shared language), but never cheaply or meanly. It’s an utterly charming film that uses character interactions and conversations to drive its ever-so-slight plot (or plots), and Hong’s mastery of conversation-driven scripting is second-to-none.
Also, having Huppert on board is never a bad thing. She brings a slight melancholy to her three characters, each of whom is in Korea for a different but not necessarily happy reason, and inquiring curiosity about the folk around her (though some of that curiosity might be a front, trying to distract herself from her unhappiness). Even though we’re only with each one of her characters for about twenty minutes, it’s impossible not to be drawn right into her story each time. Meanwhile, the Korean actor who plays the lifeguard matches her in charisma, his upbeat cheerfulness and interest in her overcoming the linguistic and cultural barriers between them. Not a whole lot happens in the film beyond a lot of eating, drinking, and conversation, but it’s never less than enthralling.
Saturday at the Fest was supposed to include two shorts programs sandwiching Leos Carax’s highly-buzzed Holy Motors, but fate had slightly different plans, as it often does during festivals. More on that later on in the post. First off, I suspect a look at Holy Motors will be more interesting to most than a recap of a bunch of shorts, so let’s start with that.
I knew next to nothing about this film going in aside from some general buzz out of Cannes and TIFF regarding its strangeness and something about it being about cinema itself. Most of the time when a film gets labeled as being “about cinema,” it’s something like Hugo or The Artist or even Blancanieves – a film that either references specific films, is set in the world of film, or uses very specific techniques tied to certain eras or movements in film history. That’s generally not the case with Holy Motors (though there are a few specific references to be found), but I wouldn’t argue with the general classification. Holy Motors is about the art of the scene, the joy and sadness found in performance, and as the film itself puts it, “the beauty of the act.”
Frequent Carax actor Denis Lavant plays M. Oscar, who is driven around in a limo by Edith Scob (best known from her masked role in Eyes Without a Face), keeping various “appointments.” It’s unclear who set these appointments or precisely what their purpose is, but each one requires elaborate makeup and costuming which Oscar applies himself as they drive, and involves acting out a scene – anything from a beggar woman on a street to a mo-cap alien sex scene to an intimate deathbed conversation. He shuttles from one to another, fully immersed in each, but quickly moving to the next. What is going on? Are these film scenes? Are they being recorded? Who has written the scenes or hired him to do this, and why? Who is the audience? We aren’t told, which leads to a strange and intriguing combination of fascination and irritation with the film. Its mysteries are beguiling, but unyielding.
I‘ve always been one to enjoy (occasionally love) the films of Alejandro González Iñárritu. And I’m all for director experimentation (cue Soderbergh). But not so much when it comes to performance art and interpretive dance. Especially when it potentially puts his other feature film projects (The Revenant and Flim-Flam Man) further from my grasp/eyes. But hey, maybe you are.
So take a look at the video (yes, video) below and if you’re not into it about the 4 minute mark, you might as well give up. But if it’s your thing, enjoy; knowing that you’re pissing me off.
After being invited by Benjamin Millepied to a rehearsal for the L.A Dance Project’s premiere performance, Oscar-nominated director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Biutiful, Babel) was inspired to make a video-exercise that documents movement and dance in an experimental way, with a stream of consciousness narrative. Teaming up with choreographer, Benjamin Millepied (Black Swan), the result is NARAN JA (One Act Orange Dance).
Once again we get some returning film makers to Flyway and each year their stuff gets better and better. So good was their short this year, that it won best short film. And with the fantastic line-up of short films at this year’s festival, that is indeed a true honor. These guys are the most easy-going guys we’ve ever had the pleasure of talking with and it’s so great to have this level of craft at the festival. While it was fun discussing working with The Devil vs working with children, I think the highlight was working on English vocabulary and Matt and Andrew learning hard-core cursing in French. Good times.
Last week, Toronto filmgoers were given a very special treat courtesy of James McNally and his labor of love since late 2009, Shorts That Are Not Pants. The latest edition of the screening series, which is exclusively devoted to short films and occurs at various points throughout the year, was held in a brand new venue for the first time: the newly renovated Carlton Cinema, located in the heart of Toronto near Yonge-Dundas Square. With the closing of the series’ previous home, the NFB Cinematheque, and the recent announcement of the Worldwide Short Film Festival’s indefinite hiatus, such events devoted to independent and short films are more important than ever in a city that seems to be becoming increasingly problematic for film programmers and festival curators outside of established players like TIFF and Hot Docs. But thankfully, all the signs point to Shorts That Are Not Pants only continuing to thrive, as not only did last week’s screening get a great turnout, but all seven films shown were very well-made and enjoyable and the whole program clocked in at just under seventy minutes, a perfect running time for a shorts program. There’s no doubt that James has cultivated a real knack for preparing these marvelous events, and I can’t wait to see what he’ll have planned for the program’s next edition, which will hit Toronto in January 2013. Until then, here are some of my thoughts on the assorted gems I recently got to see.
As my classic film buddies on Twitter were so kind to remind me, today would have been Buster Keaton’s 117th birthday, and what better time to break out a classic Keaton short than that? Not that you ever really need an excuse, but hey, when one presents itself…
You might expect the still above, with Buster riding toward the camera on a locomotive’s cowcatcher, to come from his best-known feature, The General – but look closer. He’s not wearing his Johnny Reb Civil War outfit from that film, but his familiar porkpie hat and a regular suit. Nope, this is from the 1921 short film The Goat, a film which has much in common with his well-known short Cops, but for my money, this one is even more hilarious and manic. Here, a down-on-his-luck Buster is mistaken for an escaped criminal and spends the rest of the film on the run from every cop he can find. It doesn’t have the sheer volume of cops in the chase that Cops does, but it’s totally non-stop and has an above average number of both incredible stunts and hilarious sight gags. It’s one of my favorite Keaton shorts, so enjoy and celebrate this man who’s been entertaining us for 95 years.
No it’s not a short version of the Lone Scherfig film with Anne Hathaway. But because the description is in French, I don’t know a whole lot about it – it’s just something I stumbled upon that I think is very well done, creative and touching. Seems like the submitter has done many other short animations. Just thought I’d share this bit of warmth on this Monday morning…
I wanted to make a fan film for a character I’ve always loved and believed in – a love letter to Frank Castle & his fans. It was an incredible experience with everyone on the project throwing in their time just for the fun of it. It’s been a blast to be a part of from start to finish — we hope the friends of Frank enjoy watching it as much as we did making it. -Thomas Janes
Thomas Jane played Frank Castle, better known by The Punisher, back in 2004. Reviews were poor and the box office was a modest $55 million. Yet, I remember the debate back eight years ago. I remember fanboys arguing. Some said for an R-rated Punisher film, the violence was too light. Jane’s Frank Castle was too, if not kind, compassionate. Others said that they saw a film that was good, considering it was only given a $33 million budget (which according to the director only $13.5 million actually went towards the shooting) with a very short 52 days to film.
I haven’t watched the film since it was released back in ’04, but I remembered thinking Jane did a fine job as Castle, but the movie lacked severely everywhere else. I remembering thinking that there could have been a good film there somewhere had they had the resources, a more polished script, and someone other than John Travolta as the villain.
According to Film School Rejects, Marvel has had the rights back to the character since 2011. In this short film titled Dirty Laundry that was screened at Comic Con 2012, Jane once again reprises the role of Frank Castle. Could this be his cover letter expressing his interest to Marvel? All I know is that they get bonus points for having Ron Perlman – and it certainly lives up to the “needs more violence” standard that fans complained about.
I think most comic book fans would love to see Marvel take another stab at this character. Would it make sense for Marvel to bring Thomas Jane back? On the bright side, they already have their origin story with the 2004 film. On the negative side, it will always be associated with the 2004 film, if they choose not to reboot it completely.
Check out Jane’s 10 minute film below. Then let us know what you think: do you want to see Jane as Castle again? Or should Marvel go in another direction?