I know that American in-house television audiences being moronic is common knowledge, with their screaming and clapping and HA HA OVERTHETOP GENUINE ROFL LAUGHING, but, not having watched one of these shows in a while, I was taken back by how annoying it all is. It sounded as though audio from a roller coaster ride was being played in a pop-up internet window lurking somewhere behind my current one.
Thankfully, the clip I was watching was from a chat show interview with David Arquette, who I like even at the worst of times, and a surprise interruption by professional wrestler Chris Jericho. And then, in a way that only bored and stoned script writers could hallucinate up – in one of those rare moments of clarity which beg to be asked “Why the fuck hasn’t anyone done this before?” – Jericho challenges Arquette to a wrestling match for the now defunct WCW World Heavyweight Title, Arquette changes into an acid fusion of Randy Savage and drunk Scott Hall, for them to finally settle their dispute in a karaoke rendition of “Total Eclipse of the Heart”.
Arquette sings with a perfect mix of out-of-tune voice and slightly-too-late lyrics, allowing even the prim to reminisce over all the best drunken nights you’ve ever had. And Jericho, well, Jericho is the best in the world at whatever he does.
Watch here now.
This was from a while ago (about a month, the awards have already been given out and Precious gained the most) but I just stumbled across this trailer for the Independent Spirit Awards.
Funny or Die really is something else. However, I resent it heavily because I can’t figure out how to properly embed their videos. In the meantime though, here be a link…
Independent Spirit Awards Trailer
Reading Sight and Sound this morning I came across an article on Polish Film Posters. I’d been introduced to this a few months earlier at the monthly BFI film quiz in a fatal picture round. The concept is that all imported films have their posters designed by national artists. Free from commercial restraints, the designers can indulge in thematic abstraction, or even childlike simplicity. A few exhibitions run by Cinephilia have run over the last couple of months.
Then – reading The Independent this afternoon – I came across a like-minded article on the recent surge in graphic designers uploading their own interpretations of classic films (in poster forms) to the internet, to boost their own portfolios. They hark back to Bob Peak or channel Saul Bass and almost give the films they promote a moment of freshness, as if they are to be released this very weekend and the entire world would experience them anew.
It’s such a progressive and productive notion, and one that surely can’t be too harming to the film industry, to give movie posters the space and liberty to transcend into something more artistic – of a much higher caliber than the increasingly similar output mainstream currently provides. As Tim Walker noted, “Modern movie posters tend to follow a fairly banal formula…red and white for rom-coms, or cool blue juxtaposed with explosive orange for action blockbusters”.
Here’s a few examples of what could potentially decorate our billboards, provoking awe and thought, rather than our actor-filled, tag-line centered tosh…
and my personal fav, Ibraheem Youssef
A pretty hip fella by the name of Joe Corroney, who does a lot of the art for Lucasfilm and their MASS MERCHANDISE EMPIRE – not an intergalactic one, might I add – has put up some awesome looking propaganda posters for various causes in the Star Wars universe. Not like the WWE Universe. A real universe. Well, at least a long time ago, and very far away it was.
Here’s a link to his website, and here are a few examples.
Just one more – I gave the site a little browse, and fell in love with this piece. The cartoon-iness of a comic, but all the hurt of Sith Lord. Who ever said Darth is all machine?
Essay films are such a rich, stimulating part of cinema’s many strains. The French pretty much own it, but despite England’s near choking conditions when it comes to its film industry, Chris Petit can still make his extraordinary works.
His latest, which screened on More4 a week or so ago, is on 4oD. He has a brilliant mind when it comes to representing tangents of thought with images. He weaves them together, as he does with the ‘essay’s’ various themes and concerns, into a French plait – impossible to tell which section has come from where, and what observations those will then lead to. But when experienced as a whole, those seams cease to matter, and one is left with nothing answered and everything to consider.
And only 21 days left to do so…
Cinema began as a scientific medium. Marey and Muybridge used recording apparatus to study the movement of their subjects. In Muybridge’s case, it was the race-horse – an anecdote drilled into every film student from their first lecture. Marey, the fella who first achieved sequence photography (a moving image) in a singular device, used it to study birds and their method of flight.
Film then got hijacked by the arts. Fiction and documentary replaced study. These two approaches provided their own analysis of reality, but cinema – or more precisely, film – as a scientific tool has the superior objectivity. It’s easier to unintentionally manipulate reality when creating art. After all, a defining characteristic of art is its intention. Science, however, suffers no such constraints. It records only for evidence, very rarely allowing its aim to dictate results.
Although this looks like a documentary, and a spectacle, and inevitably to an extent, a fiction, seeing footage of our world and the infinite which surrounds it will surely champion this scientific approach to film. Subjectivity will never be removed from human practice, but the images recorded from the Hubble space telescope, looking out into an unexplored abyss – where human reach is neither noticeable or significant – will provoke feelings in awe of objectivity. That we are, in fact, very, very little, and our subjectivity counts for even less. And in that great void, as the trailer’s closing soundbite perfectly describes…
“Hubble shows us the size of the Universe, and the beauty that it holds. It’s beyond what we can comprehend.”
And then, even more poignantly…
“Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio”
College humour posted a video the other day which removed the character of Garfield from his last animated film. The aim was to make Jon appear schizophrenic, which it achieves rather well, but when watched with the brilliant Garfield – Garfield cartoon strip in mind, it’s hard to ignore the heavy helping of existentialism…
The College Humour (or ‘humor’, because American’s spell things wrong – bitter because I can’t embed this one) version:
Garfield Minus Garfield College Humor
The combined experience made me feel a little drunken on paranoia…