The first part of a multi-parter with MC Lars and Ash Wednesday of Hand Job Academy! Recorded the day before Easter, it's the part where we talk about what computers mean to their work, and stuff...
Intensity is impossible to fake. That is what separates decent performances from great ones. Some say it's focus, others say it's the ability to embody the emotional space of another. Any of these are true, but at other times it's simply the ability to interact with other actors in a natural way. I"m fairly certain that Tomorrow, Maybe... by Jace W. Daniel has actors who employ each of those techniques, and the result is a film that is gripping, clean, and most importantly, honest about what each character is feeling.
Lloyd was jsut released from prison, and he wants to reconnect with his daughter. She's married to a cop, and he's not a good guy. From there, the story goes into the trio of relationships there in a way that allows each of them to put out performances that are layered, complicated, and most of all, honest. Iris, played by Bethany Jacobs (who I've loved since seeing her in His Eyes) has to swing between extremes of hopelessness and defensiveness. Lloyd, played by the wonderful Robert Blanche (Grimm, and one of hte best shorts of the early 2000s, The Entry) has a combbination of fatherly protection, deep self-disdain, and a layer of questioning that makes his performance so damn powerful. The scenes he shares with Iris are excellent, and one in particular with her husband really turns the film into something massively impressive.
The ending is heavy, but not at all oppressive. It works and is just about the best emotional outcome a film like this could gave.
Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 9:30 p.m. as a part of Dances with FIlms at the TCL Chinese Theater in narrative feature competition. There will be a Q & A with Director Jace Daniel, writer/producer Roy Kirk, and stars Robert Blanche, Bethany Jacobs, Grant Davis and Brian Sutherland immediately after the screening. I hope you'll go; it's a brilliantly done film!
This is the intro to our talk about Rear Window at The Hive yesterday, and it takes my central belief - Rear Window is all about television and it's role in the early 1950s.
I believe that one role of both installation art and film is mesmerization. It is utterly important to be able to be captured, your mind held by what you're encountering, by what's enveloping you. The SUmmer Blockbuster does this, far better than any piece of intimate art film, but nothing does it as well as installation art like the multi-projector works of Jennifer Steinkamp, whose work Madame Curie is utterlty mesmerizing, even when only viewed via a YouTube video.
Today, Jim Hensosn is largely remembered for the Muppets. And why not? They were the formative players in the up-bringing of so many young people, me included. I went through a phase where I re-watched every Muppet thing I could find, and re-asserted in my mind the impressive power of them.
For work, I was sent a video - The Paperwork Explosion, which was an IBM industrial film that examined, in a way, the need for new accounting and processing concepts to deal with the new level of powerwork the modern world called for. Jim Henson directed it, and iI was more than a little surprized - it showed that Jim Henson was an avant garde filmmaker!
The entire thing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aIol21yI78brought to mind one of my all-time favorite films - Jonas Mekas' Notes on a Circus.
There is a movement within SciFi that has come to the front lately. Afro-Futurism is one of the most impressive genre cultural and aesthetic movements that I've come across. Writers like Minister Faust and Nnedi Okorafor have established the concept. I would put the dystopian visions of the brilliant British film Afro Punk Girl in that arena, and even more, that it establishes the emotional content within a visual style that calls to mind the best of of filmmakers ranging from Kieslowski to Brian Beheney.
Lil is our hero, a punk in a wasteland that is ruled by an incompassionate military. She meets Mr. Dandy, and he takes her on an emotional discovery. It is a beautiful film from so many different directions, especially in the way it looks at the vast empty and places it firmly within a context that makes a viewer consider our world, the horizon of our time, especially with the current political scene.
This is an exploration, and a marvelous one.
Afro Punk Girl will be showing as a part of the Silicon Valley Science Fiction Short Film Festival, and first shows at BayCon on May 28th at 2:30 at the Marriott San Mateo!
This is what video art is meant to be.
This is Tilda Swinton, in 1989, acting in a video art piece.
This is how I think she sees all of her work, as a video work.
This is a piece that feels as much of the mudium as the Icelandic Saga of which it speaks.
This is video art, though of the time when creating artistic work with narative on video automatically made it video art.
This is where we were in 1989.
This is amazing.
Listening to an older episode of the Noisy Ghost podcast, there was a mention of the comedy styling of Andy Kaufman, and specifically about his film My Breakfast with Blassie. That warmed the sub-cockles of my heart, as Blassie is still one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, and Kaufman was likely the most important influence on the formation on my love of absurdism.
I fired up the old YouTube (and the video features an intro from legendary ring announcer Jimmy Lennon!) and fell right into the groove I remembered from my youth, that My Breakfast with Blassie is a documentary about guys who have no reality.
Freddie Blassie is one of the all-time great pro wrestlers. He was a talker, and one of the best of all-time, but he was also one of those guys who moved beyond wrestling and got on in other arenas, including mainstream TV and even music. Andy Kaufman was a song-and-dance man, but his songs weren't necessarily his own, his dance not necessarily about movement. He was about the presentation, and his presentation was about the traansistor effect between the feed of the performer and the drain of the audience. The expectation is you've got to give the marks paying their ducats laughs, and instead Kaufman wanted to make the paying audience angry to give his real audience, those comics who worshipped him who were invariably standing in the back. That was a smart way of doing it if you are trying to become a legend. In a way, he lived his gimmick, he was weird any time you interacted with him, and weird in a way that would make you keep guessing what was the gimmick and what was him. That's classic wrestlers, like when Freddie Blassie would go to Japan and file his teeth as he walked through the airport.
The weird thing about the movie is that this is two guys, one of whom is living his gimmick, and the other is not. In fact, I really don't believe either of them are acting, even when they go through written material. They're both interacting with teh material as if they were working a Memphis wrestling angle, but they are specifically doing so to the booking of My Dinner with Andre. The comedy is there, it's really funny, but if you look at the way they are talking, and how Kaufman goes all nutty, and Blassie reacts to that nuttiness, they're playing it towards the confrontation, and in a way that makes more sense than Louis Malle did in his work.
Yes, the death of Jonathan Demme has led everyone to going back and re-watch Stop Making Sense, Something Wild, and Silence of the Lambs. Me, I went to one of the best animated shorts in my memory - the Jonathan Demme-narrated short I Thought I Told You To Shut UP!!! It's alook at the work of David BoswellReid Fleming: The World's Toughest Milkman.
Just watch it, and all the names it draws, and let us remember Demme as a man who loved film!,
Kids today won't understand what it was like. You had Saturday Morning Cartoons every week, and the syndicated blocks of cartoons in the afternoon, but they were all from Disney, Hanna-Barbara, Filmation, Kings World. These were usually pretty darned sterile, certainly 100% for kids, and that's not a bad thing.. until you aged out of 'em.
That's where Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation came in.
You'd go to the movie theatre and watch a shorts series, probably 20 or so animations, that were 100% for adults, though regularly attended by teens. The series had some stars - While not the true launching point for South Park and the shorts of Bill Plympton, this was certainly where they both became super-stars on their way to greater stardom.
IN 1995 or so, I went to Spike & Mike's like 10 times, and one of my favorite films was TOny Natoli's I Never Ho'd For My Father, in which Santa Claus is more or less a dirtbag thug, nailing the wives of his elves, doin' lines of coke, and slappin' folks around! He's awesome in a Joe Peschi sort of way. To me, this is the vision of what Spike & Mike's meant. The animation isn't great, it's not polished nor fluid, and th esound is weak, but it makes you laugh, hard. It's over-the-top, totally over-the-top, but it works so damn well.
The fact is today it's harder for these kinds of film to find that audience, and at the same time, it's easier for 'em to find viewers. YouTube and Vimeo are full of these kinds of animations for adults and they're getting tons of hits, but when you've got Archer and Adult Swim, you've not missing out on anything in the mode of mature animation. SPike & Mike's is still around, from what I understand, but it's no longer the stalwert.
Klaus at Gunpoint
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