Monday, May 16, 2011

For your consideration — "Hues of cobalt and magenta" edition

Scheduling around here has been bearish lately, but more posts on SIFF films are coming, including, I hope, a few more write-ups on pre-SIFF press preview screenings. The festival kicks in full thrusters this Thursday, so once the opening galas and other champagne-and-confetti events are out of the way I'll get cranking again, especially as this year there's a SIFF theater right here in my neighborhood. Titles of interest include Salvation Boulevard, Sound of Noise, Amador, Young Goethe in Love, On Tour, Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, Copacabana, Another Earth, LOVE, Littlerock, The Trip, Love Crime, High Road, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Whisperer in Darkness, Douglas Fairbanks' The Thief of Bagdad ("re-imagined by Shadoe Stevens with the Music of E.L.O."), and, oh, who knows what else?

The great Ben Hecht's lost James Bond screenplay found — "The 'Shakespeare of Hollywood' wrote it, but the original screenplay of Casino Royale sat unread for years. Could it be the finest 007 thriller never made?"

Rhapsodic reviews for Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris are still coming in. As a long-time Woody fan who has chewed his lip in dolorous heartache ever since Celebrity clubbed my baby seal before my eyes in 1998, I've been despairing that his long, slow derailing was unstoppable. Now my spirits are lifted thanks to the likes of Glenn Kenny and Kent Jones, and I'm anxious to see Midnight in Paris. What a relief to be able to type that.

Roger Ebert: How Sequels Are Killing the Movie Business — "According to Brandon Gray of Box Office Mojo, who ran his own numbers, 2011 will see a record 27 sequels."

NPR: Myth, Art Life, Science And ... 'Thor' — I haven't seen Thor yet (and frankly will likely wait until it's available via Apple TV), but as a former planetarium writer-producer-educator I appreciate Adam Frank's stance in this piece:
"As an astronomer, I couldn't miss the variegated interstellar clouds in hues of cobalt and magenta that make up much of the film's cosmic background. They are taken right out from images captured by telescopes like Hubble, Spitzer and Herschel. Best of all (for me at least), at the end of the movie the filmmakers take us on a long, rolling journey through these light-year long sculptures."

Speaking of Thor, the dude's now got a webcam.

Cannes Film Festival: Can Harvey Weinstein take a silent movie to the Oscars? -- "Funny, sly, touching, nostalgic, and interestingly relevant, The Artist will be a unique presence in this year’s awards race to say the least." The Sun Times' Barbara Scharres wasn't as impressed. (She also reports on the film Code Blue: "...a large part of the audience simply decided that they'd had enough and started streaming out. I've never seen anything to match it at Cannes. So many people were leaving that the guards had to prop open the exit doors although the film wasn't over.")

io9: Tom Waits is a freaky bird creature, in the teaser for The Monster of Nix

How philosophy explains why Steven Moffat's monsters are seriously fucking scary.

Thanks to Glenn Erickson, I'm now addicted to "Trailers from Hell." Just about an hour ago, Elizabeth and I were enjoying several TfH selections together when I clicked on The President's Analyst, a favorite film that I've given the Open the Pod Bay Doors, HAL treatment to here. At TfH, the trailer gets a fine narration/appreciation by screenwriter Larry Karaszewski (Ed Wood, Man on the Moon). Little did I know that he'd open his commentary by noting, "A critic once wrote, 'If Philip K. Dick worked for Mad magazine he might have come up with something like The President's Analyst'." That critic was me, from back when I wrote that sort of thing for more remunerative venues. Mr. Karaszewski's exegesis fills in some behind-the-scenes info I was not aware of when I wrote my original review or the subsequent Pod Bay Doors post. Wowza! Now I'm famous on the Internets! (And I just friended him on Facebook.)

Oh, speaking of Glenn, he sent me this:

Music: Bill Evans
Near at hand: Sounders FC season members scarf