Stanley Kubrick on the Moon

Yesterday we marked the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and today we’re reminded of the first human footprints on the lunar surface. What may have been a “small step for man” may have been an epic studio production for cinematic sorcerer Stanley Kubrick. According to researcher Jay Weidner, we actually landed on the [...]

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In 1999, the documentary film American Movie captured the day-to-day struggles of Milwaukee based independent filmmaker Mark Borchardt. At the beginning of the film, Borchardt outlines a feature film he’s struggling to make. That film is called Northwestern, but Borchardt switches gears and decides to finish his short film ,Coven, in hopes that a successfully [...]

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The Animated Tom Waits

Pioneering animated filmmaker Ralph Bakshi had already produced landmark films like Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic and The Lord of the Rings when he approached John Lamb at Lyon Lamb Animation Systems about building a rotoscope set-up that worked with video instead of film. Rotoscoping involves drawing and painting over images projected from live footage [...]

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Mystery Train at 25

It’s hard to believe, but Jim Jarmusch’s film Mystery Train debuted at Cannes 25 years ago in the spring of 1989. The first of the director’s anthology films, Mystery is also the first film Jarmusch shot in color. The film features three separate but interconnected stories about foreigners who find themselves crossing paths at the [...]

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Kill Bill Deconstructed

While “deconstruction” is the buzz word we always hear associated with all things postmodern — art, architecture, food — it often carries with it intellectual and analytical implications that aren’t necessarily a part of the application of the process of “deconstructing.” Sometimes, deconstructing a literary theme, or an architectural movement or a Thanksgiving dinner can [...]

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Jodorowsky 1.0

Nashville, TN is experiencing a Alejandro Jodorowsky renaissance this month with the Belcourt Theatre’s screenings of some of the auteur’s most important works, leading up to the local premiere of his new film, Dance of Reality. My fellow local film writers and I all respect the master’s outlandish visuals, his passion for the surreal and [...]

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Apocalypse Again: Coppola & Milius

Several posts back I mentioned that this year is the 45 anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s production house American Zoetrope. It also happens to be the 35th anniversary of the 1979 film Apocalypse Now which was written by Zoetrope man of letters, John Milius and directed — of course — by Coppola himself. Fellow Zoetroper [...]

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The First Horror Flick

According to the Filmsite page, 1908 was a big year for the movies: the first film industry union was organized, D.W. Griffith began making movies, and A Visit to the Seaside, the first natural color film was released. It was a banner time for the still-new medium, and perhaps the most important milestone of the [...]

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Happy Birthday Magical Mystery Tour

This year we celebrate the 45th birthday of the U.S. release of The Beatles’ psychedelic, experimental film, Magical Mystery Tour. The band’s third movie, Tour was released in theaters in America, but it was actually a made-for-television project when it debuted on sets across Britain on Boxing Day, December 26, 1967. The best Beatles flicks [...]

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Bukowski Goes Hollywood

25 years ago Charles Bukowski published Hollywood — the poet’s fictional account of adapting the screenplay of his novel Barfly for film. This all gets a little meta, but Buk wrote a screenplay adaptation of his novel and then adapted his experience of making the Barbet Schroeder film — featuring Mickey Rourke and Faye Dunaway [...]

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