April 2007

Getting sensible about cinema

We felt it was idiotic that what is basically a very good film and very well made, on a difficult but social issue, should be prevented from being seen by the audience it was targeted at.

- Bristol city councillor Ron Stone on the local authoritys decision to lower the rating for Shane Meadows This Is England from 18 to 15.

John Carpenter on Censorship

Speaking at New Yorks Tribeca Film Festival on the subject of film violence, John Carpenter pointed out:

Real life causes this, fake life does not cause it. The reason for a lot of these movies is the culture that we live in, the events that have gone on in our world.

Censorship never works, you cannot destroy an idea. You can hide, you can try to cover it up, but you cant destroy it, it will be there and it will bubble up again.

I know its a rather obvious point to make, but its one that does need to be made - especially in the current climate and especially in the US where VT hysteria is blaming a film for the activities of a psychopath and the FCC is trying to grab unprecedented powers to determine what can and cant be shown on TV.

Meet your daemon

The website for the film version of The Golden Compass (via) is running a quiz in which you answer 20 questions and then get to meet your own personal daemon - that’s a walking, talking representation of your soul as described in the His Dark Materials trilogy on which the film is based.

Mine is a chimpanzee called Calista.

An Inconvenient Irony

Poster for An Inconvenient Truth From The Guardian:

Government plans to distribute the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth throughout British schools have met with staunch opposition from a lone group of parents in the New Forest.

Residents of the New Forest will today be basking in temperatures reported to be up to seven degrees above the average for this time of year.

Striking shots

Every now and then, while trawling through endless promotional material, I see an image that is so arresting that - on its own - it is enough to make me want to see a film.

The most recent case was Fay Grim, which I heard about some time ago. The film - which was written and directed by Hal Hartley - is a ten-years-later continuation of Henry Fool in which Parker Posey plays Fay Grim, a single mother afraid her 14 year old son, Ned, will grow up to be like his father, Henry, who has been missing for seven years.

When the CIA asks Fay to travel to Paris to retrieve Henry’s property her mission becomes a sprawling con-game, pitching Fay deep into a world of international espionage.

which is all well and good, but what Im really interested in is the story behind this image.

Chinese Whispers

Film Ick told me that Monkey Peaches told them that Sina.com told them that Chow Yun Fat has pulled out of John Woos The Battle of Red Cliff.

Reportedly, out of the objection of an US-based insurance company, financial backers of the costly project have decided not to accept some demands, including a lump-sump payment of an unknown figure, from Chow Yun-Fat. Another reason for his departure is that he is too old for play her role, Zhou Yu, who is supposed to be a young man.

Hopkins to howl?

1941 Wolfman poster You may or may not be aware that there is a remake on the way of the 1941 The Wolf Man in the way. Up to now, this is a film about which I have been largely neutral: on one hand it is yet another remake; on the other hand, however, the film is being directed by Mark Romanek - who did an excellent job with One Hour Photo - from a script by Andrew Kevin Walker (Se7en, 8MM and Sleepy Hollow). And with Benicio Del Toro in the lead role, this is one remake that does have some serious talent involved.

And its just become a little more interesting with the news (via) that Anthony Hopkins is in negotiations to play Del Toros father.

And while Im on the subject of Anthony Hopkins, now is probably a good time to mention that the one fantasy film I am really looking forward to seeing this year is Beowulf. With Ray Winstone in the title role and Crispin Glover playing Grendel in a film that brings together the scripting talents of Neil Gaiman and Roger Avary The only thing that worries me is the director.

Now I know why that Grindhouse poster looked vaguely familliar

Thanks to ImpossibleFunky.

Tied Together

Say what you like about Penn Teller, theyre not afraid to put their money where their mouth is.

This weekend, not only will they be taking part in the Las Vegas AIDS Walk - and inviting people along (via) - they are also promising to to match dollar-for-dollar any money their supporters raise.

And, if you raise over $500, they are also offering complementary tickets for a special VIP night along with a backstage pass and a private magic lesson. If youre in the area, what are you waiting for?

Boll-ocks

Ive mentioned Uwe Bolls impending train wreck of a film, Postal, a couple of times now, but Dan Vinton says what Ive been trying to say far better than Ive said it:

The whole thing really leaves me with nothing to say, other than Im not really outraged, as Im sure so many will be. It simply is what it is- a budget production trying to be comedically offensive.

Boll isnt some avant guard comic visionary. Hes a technically inept member of the Daily Mail tendency who thinks that cracking some schoolboy jokes about Bin Laden and flying a CGI plane into a building somehow amounts to a challenge to his straw man concept of political correctness. It doesnt and neither Boll nor his film deserves any more than a collective shrug.

Next