Clearing Tabs – Here Are Links To Some Articles I’ve Found Interesting Lately

I’ve actually already posted links to a few of these over on the DurnMoose Movies Facebook page, but I figured I’d go ahead and do an actual round-up of them for those of you who haven’t yet “liked” the page – and again, if you’re one of those who haven’t, why not? It really is the best way to keep up with what’s going on here, and quite often I’ll also post these kind of links to articles that I haven’t written myself but find interesting there – and include a few more.

ITEM! The “Screwball Comedy” has been one of my favorite movie genres ever since I was first introduced to it by the classic “His Girl Friday”. Here’s a fun article from Flavorwire that outlines a number of the typical characters that populate these movies, and also includes some terrific examples of movies that you can find them in.

ITEM! One of the more interesting ideas that I found in this article is that some of the “found footage” movies that have become popular over recent years, such as The Blair Witch Project could also fall into this category. I hadn’t really considered that, but yeah, I guess it’s true.

ITEM! As someone who writes about what I’ve always considered “Pop Culture” and enjoys and writes about what I suppose could be considered both “high” and “low” culture, I found this article on the conflict that has often broken out between the two at times quite disparate camps rather fascinating.

ITEM! Since I’ve covered a couple of his movies recently in my continuing journey through the Sight and Sound Top 250 Movies and also just finished a complete re-watch of Twin Peaks, I found these insights from film maker David Lynch very interesting.

ITEM! For those interested in the ongoing war between copyright holders and ISPs over what exactly the term “copyright infringement” means and just what the responsibilities of ISPs are towards those who are accused (that’s accused, not convicted) of infringement are, this lawsuit should be not only of interest, but deep concern.

ITEM! Here’s an intriguing audiovisual analysis/exploration by Kevin B. Lee of the development of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s use of steadicam and the tracking shot through five different scenes from his movies.

ITEM! LOLA brings us an article examining a topic that I’ve only relatively recently (as in, say, the past six or seven years or so) become more aware of and intrigued by: the importance of European film makers and immigrants (especially, in this case, German emigres) on the development of what we consider to be American films,but which actually have as much to do with where they have come from as where they eventually settled, with a special focus on the films of the 1920s through the 1940s. It’s long, but definitely a worthwhile read for those interested in the history of films from that time period.

ITEM! I’m not going to link to a specific article here, but I do want to note that the latest issue of the online Senses of Cinema journal is now out. Yes, this is one of those “Cinema Journals” that can sometimes be far too pretentious for the more casual reader, but there are always at least one or two articles that I find worth taking the time to read.

ITEM! Volume 18 Issues 6-7 of OffScreen is also now online (I’m using the singular even though the numbering seems plural because it appears as a singular issue covering two months, thus the odd numbering). Again, I haven’t had a lot of time yet to fully delve into it, but since the subtopic is “Issues of Gender in the Horror Genre” I suspect there’s going to be some interesting reading.

ITEM! I was only recently led to the Reel Fanatics podcast through a link from David Borwell’s site which connected to his recent discussion there on narrative and storytelling, but I look forward to checking out other episodes as well.

ITEM! Speaking of David Bordwell, his Observations on Film Art website has turned up a couple of articles that have caught my eye recently, especially this one on what he calls “forking path” narratives that explore the concept of the consequences of characters making different choices during the course of a film and how that would have changed the outcome of them, and this one on what are generally called “Oscar Bait” movies.

ITEM! Moving away from the more academic side of things, Gizmodo has a look at the newly redesigned Oscars website and some of the things that can be found there.

ITEM! Tiny Zhou comes through yet again with an audiovisual exploration of the camera work of David Fincher and the things he does – and doesn’t do – to make the most of “small scenes”.

ITEM! The question of what makes a movie a “film noir” is one that has been addressed many times and in many ways. Here’s yet another audiovisual essay on the topic.

LAST ITEM! Finally, for those who may have missed the link earlier in the week, most of you who have been around for awhile know that I’m a big fan of Old Time Radio, and Earbud Theater is working hard to bring back the spirit of those shows with a series of what they call “podplays”. Go give them a listen!

Go Check It Out – Movies, Silently

A delightful image from the Movies,. Silently site

A delightful image from the Movies,. Silently site

It’s probably about time for me to do another link dump post where I just give ya a whole bunch of links to articles and sites that have caught my eye lately, but I think I’ll probably save that for the weekend. There are, however, a couple of things lately that have crossed my desk that I definitely wanted to go ahead and share.

I’ve only recently run across Gwen Kramer’s site Movies. Silently, but I definitely dig what she’s doing there. Gwen really seems to have a love for the movies of the silent era, and her affection for them is contagious. She’s the kind of writer who posts something and makes me think “Yeah, I wanna check that out for myself now”.

Another of the wonderful images to be found on the site.

Another of the wonderful images to be found on the site.

Another thing that Gwen seems to do quite often in her reviews is to compare and contrast a silent movie with its later “Talkie” remake. One review in particular where she did this recently was her review of 1921’s The Indian Tomb which she then compared to Fritz Lang’s 1959 talkie version. Which came out on top? Sorry, I’m not going to give anything away here, except to note that Gwen may have written my favorite line of any review I’ve read this year in talking about the film’s female co-star, of whom she says “Debra Paget is lovely but I can’t imagine why anyone would think she is an Indian temple maiden. She couldn’t look more American if she had an apple pie tattooed to her fanny.”

Another recent post that I enjoyed was one entitled “About Silent Movies #6: Kinetoscope, Vitaphone, Part-Talkie…. huh?” in which she does a very good job of explaining just what some of the somewhat mystifying terms many of us who have been writing or talking about early film for awhile just kind of throw around, but which can be quite mystifying to anyone new to the conversation. This is something, really, that all of us need to keep in mind, and she does a good job breaking these terms down and explaining them.

Anyway, once you’ve read and loved everything here, I definitely suggest you check out Movies, Silently. Even if you don’t think you like silent or black and white or whathaveyou films, I have a suspicion that Ms. Kramer may just make a convert out of you. And even if she doesn’t, her writing is, I think, guaranteed to entertain.

The Dump Bin: 14 Links To Help You Pass Your Sunday

It’s Sunday again, which means it’s time to close some tabs. Time to point you to some interesting stuff I’ve run across on the interwebs the past week or so. Yep, it’s time for another trip to the Link-Dump bin.

1) Let’s get things started this morning by breaking the fourth wall. Here’s a great compilation of scenes from 54 different movies that in various ways acknowledge the fact that they are actually in a movie or otherwise acknowledge that there is an audience “out there” watching their actions:

2) From Cinephilia and Beyond – a roundup of free and open-source software for aspiring film makers that includes things to take you all the way from screenwriting through editing, working on sound, to distributing your final product.

3) Film School Rejects has a new podcast up discussing exactly what is going on with SFX houses – more specifically why, when movies seem to be becoming more-and-more dependent on them, so many seem to be failing and/or filing for bankruptcy.

4) Want another look at the upcoming Star Trek movie? Ok, here’s the latest teaser trailer. just for you:

5) Speaking of upcoming movies, one of the ones I’m most looking forward to is the new Evil Dead remake. It premiered this past weekend at SXSW in Austin, and the early reviews are starting to come in, which means it’s time for me to stop reading about it, because I want to go into it relatively cold. I will, however, go ahead and point you to this one from the guys over at Criterioncast. The bottom line? “…this film will be just what the doctor ordered for a generation of horror fans who have become fed up with CGI blood and those looking for something that is simply genuinely frightening. Aggressive, brutally unflinching, and with a mix of fan service and a fresh tone, Evil Dead is simply the horror film that we have all been waiting for.” Yeah, that’s all I need to know.

film-twilight-zone6) Dangerous Minds presents this “lost” interview with television pioneer, screenwriter, and Twilight Zone creator and host Rod Serling.

7) Here’s a red-band trailer for those of you who don’t think vampires should sparkle in the sun or spend their time pining over barely legal high schoolers. Kiss of the Damned is supposed to hit theaters in early May of this year, but I suspect you’ll probably have to search it out, as it probably won’t hit many screens.

ap_edward_burns_tyler_perry_jp_121017_wblog8) In the guise of a review of Tyler Perry’s 2012 movie Alex Cross, Daily Grindhouse’s jonnyabomb takes a look at the phenomenon that IS Tyler Perry and asks a question that only his fans can really answer: why and how does he keep “crapping out” 2-3 movies a year, and why can theaters expect full houses for them? I don’t know the answers, but I do know it’s true.

9) All the Boys Love Mandy Lane is actually a pretty good slasher film with a neat little twist or two in the post-Scream tradition. At least it was when it was first made seven years ago, and when I first saw it about five years or so ago. Here’s a look at the trailer for it that was made “way back when”:

So why is it only now getting a US release? Bleeding Cool has the skinny.

10) San Diego’s KPBS has a report on what sounds like a very interesting experiment: Drive-By-Cinema.

11) For sale: one slightly-used, but VERY special lion costume.

12) For your amusement, here’s a “Bad Lip Reading” cut featuring Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy from last year’s Amazing Spider-Man:

goreywaroftheworlds113) 20th Century Fox is prepping a new version of Frankenstein which will apparently be told from the perspective of the hunchbacked Igor. No word yet on who’s playing the doctor or the monster, but according to Geek Tyrant, a certain wizard has been lined up to put on the hump.

14)  Finally, why am I including this link to Brain Pickings’ article on Edward Gorey’s illustrations for H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds? First, because I find the concept fascinating, and second, because of my love for this:

The Dump Bin: Some Links For Your Sunday Afternoon

Time to close some tabs. Time to point you to some interesting stuff I’ve run across on the interwebs the past week or so. Yep, it’s time for another trip to the Link-Dump bin.

1) Let’s start today with a short film sci-fi film which asks some interesting questions about life, existence, and memory, HENRI. Starring Kier Dukkea and Margot Kidder, here’s the plot description from the website:

Hundreds of years in the future, a derelict spacecraft, controlled and powered by a human brain, floats aimlessly in the outer reaches of space. HENRI, the name of the ship’s power system, is an acronym which stands for Hybrid Electronic / Neuron Responsive Intelligence, and was the first of Earth’s Neuro-Tech space exploration research vessels. Trapped in the cold, mechanical prison of the vessel, the “brain,” which has no recollection or concept of self, gradually begins to experience disjointed images of its former life—images it cannot understand. Carrying the remains of a crew long dead, and becoming increasingly self-aware, HENRI experiences the instinctual desire to be free. Yearning for freedom and yet unable to move, the brain devises a plan to build itself a mechanical body from parts of the ship. Maybe then it will understand the images it is seeing—maybe then it will feel alive.

The trailer for the movie is below, and more info can be found at the website here.

Doin' it Bogie style.

Doin’ it Bogie style.

2) Over at Movie Morlocks, Richard Harlan Smith has a great post outlining things he loves about older movies posted as a series of questions (with accompanying pictures) he says he’d like to ask in response to people who ask him if he’s seen a movie that’s currently in theaters. While I don’t reject newer movies in the way he does, it seems we both share a lot of reasons for wanting to spend more time with movies from the past and the things that make them great.

3) Speaking of new and/or upcoming movies, here’s a look at a very interesting immersive promotional experience for Sam Raimi‘s upcoming Oz: The Great and Powerful. Unfortunately, you’ll have to plan a trip to London to see it.

How could you NOT want to head to the drive-in to see this flick?

How could you NOT want to head to the drive-in to see this flick?

4) Bleeding Cool reports that the next Paranormal Activity movie may be taking a page from the William Castle playbook. I have no idea how this would work, but I do miss this kind of showmanship.

5) Noah Smith on his noahpinion blog chimes in on why Django Unchained is actually a white instead of black revenge fantasy. It’s a very interesting take.

6) There is a Bride of Frankenstein Study Guide available for free download or viewing on iTunes.

Dig it!

Dig it!

7) Cult Cinema Sunday shares some great prints that are available for sale, including the terrific one for Evil Dead II you can see at the right.

8) Finally, “demolition by neglect” – that’s a phrase you will hear in this traiker for a new documentary project currently in pre-production from Sterling Rock Productions entitled The Cost of History. Here’s a description from the website for the project:

What if America’s treasured historic buildings were actually costing the community?

Movie Palaces and theaters, Institutions like hospitals, schools, rehabilitation and asylum facilities; shipyards, libraries, colleges, glorious buildings built by legendary architects are falling into disrepair and ruin and while we argue to “save” history, we have to ask ourselves what is it really costing the community?

When these mammoth buildings fall into abandonment we see poverty, crime, and abuse quickly following in their footsteps, and when these buildings are cost prohibitive to tear down, communities must redefine “Preservation of History” in order to kick start a starving economy suffer the consequences.

With expert opinions, heartfelt stories of the building’s history and a little creative thinking, thanks to the beauty of computer graphics, The Cost of History will reveal these buildings present conditions and explore how they can have a second life and drive the local economy forward, or come to terms with their date for demolition.

Here’s the trailer:

Okay, that’s it for the Dump Bin this week, and just a taste of some of the interesting links I’ve been running across. Let me know what you think about them, and share your own interesting finds either in the comments, by email, or on the Durnmoose Movie Musings Facebook page (and hey, while you’re there, why not go ahead and give us a like? It’s one of the easiest ways to keep up with everything Durnmoose).

Thanks as always for reading, and until next time, Happy Viewing!

The Dump Bin: A Few Movie-Related Links

Yep, it’s link-dump time. Here are a few articles that I’ve enjoyed looking at lately that really don’t need much comment fr0m me, so I’m just passing them along.

1) First up is an article from Movie Morlocks entitled Forgotten Oscar: 1928 -1934 Edition. In it they discuss early Oscar nominees that have unfortunately been lost to the ravages of time. Here’s an excerpt:

Eforgotten-oscar-the-racket-01ach year the Oscars ignite arguments between movie lovers between what did win and what didn’t win, what could have won and what should have won.  And more often than not, by the very next year, they’re all forgotten.  Since the Oscars don’t exactly measure true quality, most movie lovers take the whole dog and pony show with a grain of salt.  It’s peer recognition and we all understand that which is why it’s so disconcerting to see such hyperventilated fights each year about the winners (seriously, who cares?).  But when we say that “next year no one remembers who won” that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten the movie, just the award.  Even if the general public doesn’t know many of the Best Picture winners from yesteryear, most cinephiles do. However, if you go back to the twenties and thirties, you’ll find some of the nominees have been tragically lost, ignored and all but forgotten.

To read the rest of the article, just click on the link above.

2) Next, from one of my favorite time-sucking sites, Cracked.com, a list of 5 Annoying Trends That Make Every Movie Look the Same.

From #5, Movies are Color-Coded by Genre:

What’s Going On?

27914It’s called digital color correction. Back in the day, if you wanted your movie to have an artistic, stylish color palette, you had to go through the pain in the ass process of using filters on your lights and camera, or get the footage exposed just the right way. It was expensive, it was difficult and it was limited to people who really knew what they were doing. So if someone took the trouble, it meant they had a good reason, dammit.

Now? If you’re a Hollywood director, with a few clicks of the mouse you can immediately look stylish and artsy by making the audience feel like they’re watching your movie through a pair of novelty sunglasses. Hell, if you’ve got a Mac and a thousand bucks, you can get a color-correction program and give your home movie of a toddler farting on a cat an otherworldly green tint.

The Coen brothers didn’t invent it, but Oh Brother, Where Art Thou was the first movie to heavily use digital color correction, to the point that every frame was digitally colored to give it that old-timey sepia tone.

Again, the entire article is available at the link above.

3) From Grand Old Movies comes an article detailing why 1933 may be Hollywood’s Second Greatest Year.

33-pictureWhile most film scholars, critics, and fans consider 1939 to be classic-era Hollywood’s greatest year (start with Gone With The Wind and work up from there), New York City’s Film Forum is making a case for the year 1933 as the cinematic annus mirablis. Beginning Friday, February 8, 2013, the city’s pre-eminent revival cinema is running “1933: Hollywood’s Naughtiest, Bawdiest Year,” a four-week series on the films released during the year that can be thought of as the depth of the Depression and the height of pre-Code. The result was a torrent of some of the most freewheeling, energetic, and radical movies ever to sizzle on this country’s screens.

4) Next, Film.com lists The Top 50 Movies Never Nominated For Best Picture at the Oscars. This is from the intro to the list:

In the last month before the Oscars, you’ll race through as many Best Picture nominees as you can, resting assured that you’re tackling the best that Hollywood has to offer for the year. Well, not so fast. We put together this list of 50 amazing movies that weren’t nominated for Best Picture, and you won’t believe some of the films that never even got close to the Academy’s highest honor.

Cutting this list down to 50 was a painful task, but we went the extra mile, ranking them in descending order. The truth, of course, is that all of these movies could fit neatly in the top 10. Our writers Laremy Legel, Elisabeth Rappe and Joe Reid make the case for why Oscar was a fool to leave these gems out.

5) Finally, one that’s more for your viewing, instead of reading, pleasure. I mentioned time-sucking sites above when I was talking about Cracked, but as far as film-centric sites that you can completely get lost (in the best of ways) in, there may be none mre incredible than Cinephilia & Beyond. Here’s just one post which links to what they call “All the essential documentaries on Alfred Hitchcock“. Now whether this really is all of them I can’t say, but there certainly are a lot. Here’s the list:

tumblr_mdjf1iFFVE1rovfcgo1_1280All the essential documentaries on Alfred Hitchcock, including Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999), The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock (1973), Reputations: Alfred Hitchcock (1999), In the Master’s Shadow: Hitchcock’s Legacy (2008), Paul Merton Looks at Alfred Hitchcock (2009), American Masters: Hitchcock, Selznick and the End of Hollywood (1999), Alfred Hitchcock Directs ‘Frenzy’ in 1972, Hitchcock: Alfred the Great (1994), Alfred Hitchcock – Masters of Cinema (Complete Interview in 1972), and A Talk with Hitchcock (1964).

And yes, most of the docs are right there on the page for your viewing pleasure, along with notes.

Okay, that should give you plenty to read and/or view either while you’re waiting for tonight’s Oscar broadcast, or as an alternative to it. Hopefully you’ll find something here that you like. And if you have suggestions for great movie-related sites or articles, don’t be shy, let me know in the comments below.

And, as always, Happy Viewing!