Monday, January 24, 2005


What have you read, heard, watched the last week?

Sundance Festival is now
Official Site here.

Crispin Glover is crazy.
If you need proof, here is the trailer to the new movie he made. Via boingboing.

Recognizing Dylan
Martin Scorsese's next movie will be a 3-hour PBS documentary about Bob Dylan. The Last Waltz is one of my favorite movies ever, so "No Direction Home" should be a winner, even though he won't be shooting fantastic concert footage like he did with The Band.
"American Masters" executive producer Susan Lacy said the show pursued Dylan for 10 years. Judging from the five-minute reel screened for critics, the payoff for that quest should be breathtaking.

"No Direction Home" will tap a glittering lode of hitherto unseen footage. The promo reel included what might be the earliest film of Dylan, taken in 1962 by John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers on his New York rooftop. The film will unearth performances from the '63 and '64 Newport Folk Festivals and outtakes from D.A. Pennebaker's "Dont Look Back" and "Eat the Document," shot respectively on Dylan's '65 and '66 tours of England. Even some Dylan home movies will be aired.

The most unexpected clip unspooled for the writers shows Dylan -- onstage in Manchester, England, on May 17, 1966, during his confrontational first electric tour -- reacting as outraged folkie Keith Butler yells "Judas!" from the audience. It's a legendary moment in rock history, and now we can see it.
I can't wait! Meanwhile Dylan's autobiography continues to get rave reviews (still haven't read it) and even award mention.

Clever Film Critic Qualifications
Via the Cinetrix, a snippet of "How to be a film critic" by Matt Groening, from 1985. Probably still holds true today.
Are you qualified to be a clever film critic?

Did you have no friends as a child?
Do you salivate at the smell of stale popcorn?
Do you thrill at the prospect of spending a career writing in-depth analyses of movies aimed at subliterate 15-year-olds?
Do you mind being loathed for your opinions?

The four types of clever film critics: Which do you aspire to be?

Academic type: boring, unreadable
Serious type: reveals endings
Daily type: nice plot summaries
TV clown: nice sweaters
The critics that reveal endings (or even the middle, or much past the 5th minute to be honest) are the ones I hate the most. I've always thought that film recommendations can be read before seeing a movie, but film reviews never until you've already seen it. In fact, henceforth Article 19's film "reviews" will be renamed "recommendations," as that is their proper intent.

New Video Releases
DVDs out this week include the documentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, which came up in last week's Media Monday. Has anybody seen it?

Brushes with Greatness
Or at least with New Orleans funkiness. One of my students this term was a replacement guitarist for about a year with "The Meters," now known as "The Funky Meters." He toured with Allan Toussant for a few years as well. Now, he's got a family and needs a college edumacation!

Paste Magazine on Wes Anderson
Paste Magazine posts all articles online. Most mags these days require free subscription at the very least. Their newest cover story details an interview with Life Aquatic filmmaker Wes Anderson.

Nominations are out!
For the worst films and performances of the year, that is. My money is on the Olsen twins to nab their first Razzy. But the Wayans make it tough in White Chicks. In their defense, though, I thought that film suffered more for the writing and the makeup than the acting, but it's hard to keep all that separate when you're busy rolfing up your popcorn.

Weekend Box Office
1. Are we there yet?
2. Coach Carter
3. Meet the Fockers
4. In Good Company
5. Racing Stripes
--No film in the top 5 sounds appealing to me. Still have Oscar contenders to watch, like House of Flying Daggers, Hotel Rwanda, and Million Dollar Baby (if it will ever open here)
--3:00 pm

One more example of the strangling effects of copyright on culture
Did you learn about the civil rights movement from the PBS Eyes on the Prize series like me? Chances are good that it may be lost forever or for many years at least. Why? Because licenses for much of the footage has run out and the cost for renewing is astronomical. For most documentary makers, costs like that are prohibitive. For an important series like Eyes on the Prize, it's just plain wrong.

Whistling Mashup
Via Boingboing, a clever masher has boiled together 2 dozen or so whistling excerpts from different songs/sources. The result is a big file (8 MB) but worth it if you have high speed Internet. Funny and creative.

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