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A feast in a time of plague.

Friday, January 30, 2004

I guess the big news out there today is that Pixar has scotched talks with Disney. At least, I suppose that's bigger than Kofi Annan giving permission for Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn and Sydney Pollack to shoot a film at the UN.

I hadn't even heard of the French film Secret Things before stumbling over this pan, but now I think I'm sold.

Reuters runs a piece talking with Takeshi Kitano.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

CHeck out this bizarre graphical reimagining of Nicholas Roeg's Don't Look Now. Weird....

Shu Qi talks briefly about The Haunted Office. Oooooooooooooooo.

I wasn't such a fan of Gus Van Sant's Elephant, but here's an interesting piece on the relationship of photographer William Eggleston's work to this and other recent films.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Sure, it's Hollywood schmaltz--but being an inveterate horse racing fan, I'd be remisss if I didn't mention that Seabiscuit got an Academy Award nomination. And heck, while you're over at The Bloodhorse why don't you read about Mineshaft, Azeri and all the other 2003 horses of the year. Don't miss my new fave, Halfbridled.

Here's a pretty cool new site: MovieReviewIndex.com. It should get better as it adds sites as well.

Blue Underground has posted the specs for their DVD of Cronenberg's Fast Company. Lookin' good.

Don't forget about the Oscar noms for Best Foreign Language Film while perusing the Academy's picks. And please Harvey, don't bury Zaitochi.

Friday, January 23, 2004

The new Michael Haneke film (Le Temps du Loup) opens today in Austria, according to the official site. Word has it that at the Sitges Festival this was one of the most debated films shown--which should come as no surprise given Haneke's brittle style. Me, I can't wait for this film to hit the States.

Anthony Kaufman at the Village Voice has a nice piece on indie distributors. If it wasn't for outfits like this, the American distribution game would be dominated all the more by scoop-'em-up-and-bury-'em like effing Miramax.

The AMC-Loew's merger has been called off. And here's the quote from the article I hate most: "Theater advertising is a very small but fast-growing source of revenue for the theater chains". Great. Soon, you will get even more goddamned ads after you buy your ten dollar ticket. Now I hope attendance falls more than 4.5% this year too.

Mr Skin goes to Sundance and searches out the nudity. Someone's gotta do it.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Cabin Fever DVD is out in a spiffy new Special Edition. The flick is OK, though I was slightly disappointed in the final product. It's still entertaining, however, if you like postmodern horror films with a dash of humor, so it may be worth revisiting.

In other recent digital release news: George Reis at DVD Drive-in takes a look at MGM's blaxploitation releases for this month. Mondo Digital peeks at The Stendahl Syndrome. Hong Kong Digital takes on Cheng Pei-pei in The Shadow Whip (I'm waiting on mine now!). And DVD Savant spies Milestone's release of the silent film La Terre.

Actress Konkana Sen's next pic will apparently be called The Killing of a Porn Filmmaker.

Scientists abandon AI project after seeing The Matrix! Snicker.

Lastly, if you're needing a Sundance update just head right on over to Indiewire for a fix. With any luck you'll get to read about a Harvey Weinstein tirade or something.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Film Comment's regular writers have cobbled together their guilty pleasures from 2003. It's not nearly as entertaining as when John Waters or Guy Maddin did their gp's of all time, but there's a laugh or two here. And in theory this link should have their 2003 wrapup, but as of this AM it seems to be loading a blank page for me. Hopefully it'll come up soon--these are usually informative and interesting pieces.

Sundance news from Ty Burr of the Boston Globe. And from across the pond, Ian Mohr and Chris Gardner of Reuters weigh in.

Long time character actor and failed politician Noble Willingham has passed away.

The Singapore Straits Times laments about all the recent Hollywood flops by bigwig Asian directors and stars. John Woo does some whining, too. Are we really supposed to feel bad for him? Maybe he should try going back to Hong Kong.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Missed this one last week, but I'd be remiss not to point out the passing of Ron "Superfly O'Neal.

Don't miss kamera.co.ok's special Hong Kong issue, with lots of tasty tidbits on the state of the art. (Thanks to the award winning blog at Greencine for the tip on that one. They also hipped me to this interview with John Waters. Now wonder they won the damned award!)

The wife of HK stuntman Blacky Ko speaks about her late husband.

Director Joe Dante talks about the Gremlins Special Edition DVD's. The director's commentary track for The Howling was excellent, soooo....

Friday, January 16, 2004

San Francisco has the greatest film noir events of all, it seems--case in point being the Noir City screening of Detour featuring Ann Savage herself. It's not that often that I wish I was in the Bay Area, but with this fest coming up and the temp in these parts running -7, I wouldn't mind at all. Not to mention that over in Berkeley there's an insanely crazy Anthony Mann festival. Damn.

I won't be around to post on Sunday, so I'll send out early birthday wishes to XXX Hall of Famer Sharon Mitchell. While I'll have to confess that she was never in my pantheon of favorites from the seventies and eighties, there's just no denying the amazing career output or the smarts that make her one of the leading female figures of all time in adult film.

A piece in the Salt Lake Tribune details how 42 of the 137 features at this year's Sundance are documentaries. I don't have any idea how many of these were shot in digital video, but I'm betting that it's a lot of them. Farewell, celluloid. You had your day.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

MHVF's Peter Martin previews the Asian entries at Sundance. It's not the most spectacular of lineups, but there are certainly a few gems here. Martin also notes something that I did not know--that Palm Pictures has the rights to Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Bright Future.

Wow! Schlock film producer Charles Band is back at it! Never say die, Charlie. Never say die.

Och, laddie. It's time for a movie about the Loch Ness monster, supposedly produced by David Foster. But ya nae canna beat me at the pipes.

Cool news from Masters of Cinema that BFI will be releasing some old films by Otto Preminger. I've been waiting on a couple of these for a while (notably Whirlpool), and now that I'm reading Street With No Name, I'm even more excited for these.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

"An orgasm is better than a bomb". Now there's a sentiment that I think we can all agree on, uttered by Bernardo Bertolucci when he found out that his new film The Dreamers would actually be getting an uncut release in the United States. It'll be NC-17--which might not be great for business--but I now have some respect for Fox Searchlight for deciding to allow the director's vision to be shown. If only more studios operated in this manner, the world woul be a better place.

Coverage of Anita Mui's funeral as the great star is laid to rest.

Fangoria has some news on some upcoming releases from Blue Underground, as well as a late January Cronenberg retrospective at the American Cinematheque.

Lastly, don't forget--it's time for Sundance! We'll probably have more to come on this one soon, so watch this space.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Actress Paula Raymond, who was in films like The Beast From 20000 Fathoms and Blood of Dracula's Castle, has died at the age of 79.

Anchor Bay has a whole batch of incredible double bill discs hitting the street today, and Creature Corner has the rundown. I always loved Quatermass and the Pit, so since it's paired with Quatermass 2, I guess I'm sold on that one. And I've never seen The Lost Continent, but this synopsis sure whets my appetite.

In yet another body blow for 2D animation, Disney is shuttering its Orlando studio. "Some" of the 258 employees are said to be getting offers to move to beautiful Burbank, but not all.

Monday, January 12, 2004

The Grey Lady hops on the Anna May Wong bandwagon with this piece in yesterday's Sunday edition. This early film star has been getting a lot of overdue recognition of late--but let's see some more of her work on DVD, please?

Last week, I stumbled on a web presence that I had somehow previously missed entirely--the daily blog from Greencine. Wow, is this ever a great resource--I'll admit I was fairly jealous of it when I found it. Tons of great links (though perhaps a few too many are just in-house links to their own film personality bios) every day pointing to interesting articles and events. This apparently has been up since May--why did no one tell me?

Another thing that I stumbled on this weekend while researching some 2004 flicks for an upcoming BOP piece was this interview with bad boy director Bruno Dumont, whose Twentynine Palms hits US screens this year.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Actress Ingrid Thulin, a star in films by directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Tinto Brass, Luchino Visconti and Vincente Minelli, has died at the age of 77.

Indiewire has a list of the top 20 films for 2003 that never recieved distribution. Read it and weep.

SOme ex-Disney folk who still believe that classic animation can work are setting up their own studio. Good luck to them, but unfortunately their day may have passed.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

It's the Christina Lindbergh 45 from the 1970's! (Not safe for work, and thanks to Niclas Bäckar for the tip).

Lion's Gate has supposedly picked up the French film Dead End for domestic distribution. Excellent.

The LA Times has a nice little piece on the people who pirate movies.

If you consider yourself any sort of film fan, you ought to be reading Slate's Movie Club, a dialogue on last year's movies from a number of distinguished critics. Essential.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

This site's just getting off the ground, but it looks like it'll be a nice resource in months to come. It's CinemaThai, dedicated to Thai cinema in all its forms. All I know about Thai cinema is that I really, really want to see Last Life in the Universe.

Time Asia has a farewell tribute to Hong Kong's fallen "sour beauty".

Larry Flynt his own self will be on hand January 15 to induct Sharon Mitchell into the Hustler Hollywood Porn Walk of Fame on Sunset Boulevard.

The Annie Award nominations have been announced. Winners will be awarded on February 7.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I may have mentioned this one before, but if you live near UCLA don't miss the retroespective of the films of the great Anna May Wong.

Bollywood is going global. More and more productions are now set outside the subcontinent, it seems.

Director Mike Nichols has become a distinguished honoree, garnering a lifetime achievement award from the DGA.

Lastly today, check out Mondo Erotico for some word on a few 2004 releases.

Monday, January 05, 2004

It's the year in film's top 20 nude scenes!

Hollywood ticket sales
by 4.5% in the past year. That's pretty steep--I wonder if the rise in prices is actually starting to crimp sales, or if people just weren't that thrilled with the product. All I know is that any business where sales fell by almost five percent didn't have a great year, even if their inflated prices allowed them to tread water.

The next Miyazaki film has been delayed. Rats.


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