Posts Tagged ‘movies’
… 9 Film Frames aims to distill that truth even further: ”an attempt to showcase a film by using only 9 of it’s frames.”
Many more reminders of why we want to see all of the movies at 9 Film Frames.
* Jean-Luc Godard
As we head for the nearest rep house, we might send fantastic birthday greetings to L. Frank Baum, born on this date in 1856. After trying his hand at acting and marketing (he was a pioneer in the then-fledgling field of “store displays,” founded the trade magazine The Show Window, and helped start the longest continuously-running trade association in marketing, what’s now known as The Society of Visual Merchandising), he found his true calling, creating Dorothy, Toto, the Wizard, and the “Wonderful World” he ruled. In the end, Baum wrote wrote fourteen Oz novels, and a host of other works: 55 novels in total, plus four “lost” novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, and an unknown number of scripts (pursuant to numerous attempts to bring his works to the stage and screen). Something of a futurist, his works anticipated such century-later commonplaces as television, augmented reality, laptop computers (The Master Key), wireless telephones (Tik-Tok of Oz), women in high risk, action-heavy occupations (Mary Louise in the Country), and– in a return to his roots– the ubiquity of advertising on clothing (Aunt Jane’s Nieces at Work).
“Art at its most significant is a Distant Early Warning System that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it”*…
Psychoanalyst and philosopher Slavoj Žižek has become potent public intellectual. Variously called “the Borat of philosophy,” “the Elvis of cultural theory,” and “the world’s hippest philosopher,” he’s published more than 50 books, countless articles, and starred in several documentaries. Indeed, there’s already a journal, The International Journal of Žižek Studies, devoted to his works.
As cultural theorists and critics go, Zižek is among the more accessible. Still, he brings out the impenetrable in his followers; to wit, a typical quote from a book entitled (apparently un-ironically) Žižek: A Guide for the Perplexed: “Žižek finds the place for Lacan in Hegel by seeing the Real as the correlate of the self-division and self-doubling within phenomena.”
Žižek himself is a little more plain-spoken, as readers can see in this Dutch documentary…
But it is as a film critic– indeed, a film fan– that (R)D invokes the Slavic Savant. Žižek writes often about movies, and hosted a the three-part documentary series, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, directed by Sophie Fiennes (sister of Joseph and Ralph). The Pervert’s Guide places Zizek in original locations and replica sets of several classic films—David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and Hitchcock’s Vertigo, to name just a few. Zizek’s scenes of commentary are edited with scenes from the films to give the impression that he is speaking from within the films themselves… To what ends? Well, readers can see for themselves in this clip on Vertigo:
* Marshall McLuhan
As we move closer to the screen, we might spare a thought for Virginia Katherine McMath (whom we knew better by her stage name, Ginger Rogers); she died on this date in 1995. Rogers worked in vaudeville, then on Broadway, and made over 70 films; but she is surely best remembered for the nine RKO musicals she made with Fred Astaire between 1933 and 1939. Starting with Flying Down to Rio, and including Top Hat, Swing Time, and Shall We Dance, they revolutionized the Hollywood musical. Astaire was a grateful fan; in an interview with Raymond Rohauer, curator at the New York Gallery of Modern Art, he said, “Ginger was brilliantly effective. She made everything work for her. Actually she made things very fine for both of us and she deserves most of the credit for our success.”
Have you ever seen a place that calls itself “ye olde whatever”? As it happens, that’s not a “y”, or, at least, it wasn’t supposed to be. Originally, it was an entirely different letter called thorn, which derived from the Old English runic alphabet, Futhark.
Thorn, which was pronounced exactly like the “th” in its name, is actually still around today in Icelandic. We replaced it with “th” over time—thorn fell out of use because Gothic-style scripting made the letters y and thorn look practically identical. And, since French printing presses didn’t have thorn anyway, it just became common to replace it with a y. Hence naming things like, “Ye Olde Magazine of Interesting Facts” (just as an example, of course).
More castaway characters at “12 Letters That Didn’t Make the Alphabet.”
As we ink our quills, we might send beautifully-written birthday greetings to Joseph Leo Mankiewicz; he was born on this date in 1909. A producer (e.g., The Philadelphia Story), screenwriter (e.g., A Letter to Three Wives), and film director (e.g., Julius Caesar), Mankiewicz won 4 Oscars, 4 DGA honors, and 3 WGA Awards during a long Hollywood career. He’s probably best known as the writer-director of All About Eve (1950), which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won six. (His elder brother, screenwriter and drama critic Herman Mankiewicz, won an Academy Award as co-author of the screenplay for Citizen Kane.)
I got a job at Metro and went in to see Louis Mayer, who told me he wanted me to be a producer. I said I wanted to write and direct. He said, “No, you have to produce first, you have to crawl before you can walk.” Which is as good a definition of producing as I ever heard.
From the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, “Top 10 Movies Made in the Parks.” (Readers should be sure to scroll through the comments, to see– indeed, to add– alternative suggestions…)
[TotH to friend MK]
As we slip popcorn into our picnic lunches, we might send culture-capturing birthday greetings to Norman Percevel Rockwell; he was born on this date in 1894. Famous as a painter and illustrator in the U.S. through much of the 20th Century, Rockwell created such iconic images as the Willie Gillis series, Rosie the Riveter, Saying Grace(1951), The Problem We All Live With, and the Four Freedoms series. Perhaps because he published in such settings as Saturday Evening Post and enjoyed so much popular acclaim, Rockwell was dismissed by serious art critics in his lifetime. But as The New Yorker ’s art critic Peter Schjeldahl said of Rockwell in ArtNews in 1999: “Rockwell is terrific. It’s become too tedious to pretend he isn’t.”
How can we accept that we are changing?
How can we accept we hardly recognize ourselves in certain situations?…
Barcelona-based PoL Úbeda Hervàs has answered his own questions with a series of photographs in which, as he observes, “my shadow is there but I erase myself because I don’t know who I am any longer…”
See them all at his Flickr stream “I’m Not There.”
[TotH to Laughing Squid]
As we put away the sunscreen, we might send vividly-imagined birthday greetings to Federico Fellini; he was born on this date in 1920. A screenwriter, director, and producer who began in the Italian Neo-Realist movement, Fellini moved beyond realism to make such fantastic, dream-like films as La Dolce Vita, 8½, Juliet of the Spirits, Satyricon, Casanova, Amacord, and City of Women. Widely-honored (among his many prizes, a Lifetime Achievement award from Cannes and five Oscars, one for Lifetime Achievement), he was also widely-influential: he’s been cited as an inspiration by film makers including (in no particular order) Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, John Waters, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, David Lynch, Terry Gilliam, Pedro Almodóvar, Dariush Mehrjui, Darren Aronofsky, Asghar Farhadi, Nanni Moretti, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Emir Kusturica, Glauber Rocha,Jean-Luc Godard, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, Girish Kasaravalli, David Cronenberg, and François Truffaut.
You exist only in what you do
- Federico Fellini