Monthly Archives: June 2010

Edinburgh Film Fest Daily Roundup (part 8)

*I go into the dark to find out about The Dunwich Horror

*My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done is dream cinema

other news

Scrambling around to find more films to watch as the festival comes to a close: Press screenings end Friday, festival officially ends Sunday.  Crazy.  When you’re in the middle of it you lose all sense of time.

Between screenings I’ve taken some pictures around Edinburgh.  I’ll have some up tomorrow.

reviews to come

The Hunter, Snowman’s Land

Herzog/Lynch Film “My son, My Son” takes us through crazy-town

If you even know of filmmakers David Lynch and Werner Herzog, you approach their co-production* prepared, just as a runner stretches in preparation for the track.  Their respective bibliographies are less narrative oriented and more akin to impressionist paintings.  Everyone will have their own spin on their stories, but anyone presenting conclusive meanings is on a fool’s errand. Continue reading

H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror: An Audio/Cinema Tale

The idea for this event is to create a radio play out of H.P. Lovecraft’s short story The Dunwich Horror, and use the audio system of a cinema to exhibit this story of the mind.

The concept is cool, but I didn’t find it to be well executed.  Most of the audio came straight from the front of the cinema instead of fully utilizing the surround sound capabilities.  Where the surround sound was used, it was sparingly.  I thought that trapping a room full of people between speakers would allow a world of possibilities for making the audience jump or be generally creeped out.  Unfortunately,  the production failed to deliver.*

*It also didn’t help that the cinema had no air conditioning, so asking your audience to close their eyes in a stuffy screening room makes not falling asleep the main battle

Edinburgh Film Fest Daily Roundup (part 7)

*Police, Adjective teaches me the finer points of the Romanian dictionary

*Putty Hill displays clunky melancholy

*Cigarette Girl has some issues

*Vindication finally arrives with some insider info on the production of Public Enemies

other news

The three films listed above were excruciating to watch out of the hardcore boredom factor.  It didn’t help that I watched them back-to-back.

My reviews may prove interesting for Police, Adjective‘s discussion of Romanian politics or Cigarette Girls issues of sex and violence, but they aren’t worth watching.

The unlucky selection of such bad films make me concerned for the rest of the festival.  As mentioned in the Police, Adjective review, there are films specifically known as “festival films.”  These are bad films with no distributor interest that get a few screenings as festival filler.

After the weekend, I’ve noticed fewer industry and press people around the festival, which increases my concern.  The strongest parts of the fest were definitely on display in the first five days, but this week includes a greater number of lesser known films.

reviews to come

H.P. Lovecraft’s The Dunwich Horror (an audio film of his story), My Son My Son What Have Ye Done?

“Cigarette Girl” sells sex and boredom

Cigarette Girl: you could watch it for a cool credit sequence and to ogle the nearly naked Cori Dials (playing the Cigarette Girl), but you’re better off re-watching Sin City than this Walmart bargain-bin piece of cinema.  The acting’s bad, the story isn’t nearly as cool as it could have been (dystopia where smokers are put in ghettos and cigarettes cost $60+), and the lead character just seems like an object for sexualization and violent fantasies.

Continue reading

Avoid “Putty Hill”

The tears of pretty people were the film's highlight.

This was just a bad, bad, bad movie. Continue reading

“Police, Adjective” lacks pulse

My current spate of reviews come from the Edinburgh International Film Festival, where I believe I just encountered my first dreaded “festival film” which  one writer described as:

“the submerged nine-tenths of the film production world that gets only one or two screenings in its lifetime, in a near-empty cinema in downtown Gdansk or wherever.”

I say this because watching Police, Adjective was more dull than spending three hours in hospital waiting room.*

Continue reading

Public Enemies was plagued by cast and crew tensions, technical blunders

For those of us who tried to warn the public that they were being swindled into buying tickets to an unfinished product with last year’s much anticipated Public Enemies (weak sound design, amateur framing, visuals that “looked like a wedding video” as my friend put it), the following offers some (belated) vindication.

A source at the Edinburgh International Film Festival said that technical details plagued the production of Public Enemies, thanks to Michael Mann’s mistreatment of the crew and poor management skills.

Crew members were financially and personally poorly treated and simple technological protocols (correct cables, lenses) were flouted.  The results were disastrous: A production designer quit, Johnny Depp had Mann apologize to the crew for his behavior, and the studio spent “$20-30 million dollars” in post-production trying to save the film.  Depp “hated Mann” for the way he ran the production.

It seems the crew got the last laugh though: The same source said that “thousands of dollars in office supplies” from Public Enemies were stolen and put to use for a film currently at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.  “You could say it’s a Michael Mann financed film.”

I’m a huge fan of Mann’s Heat and Collateral, but was dismayed by the poor production values of Public Enemies.  Though the film came out a year ago, I think it’s important to know the history surrounding a production so as to understand a film’s successes or failures.  There is the possibility that the person I spoke to could be some disgruntled crew member out to tarnish Mann’s image, but this person’s comments seem a reasonable explanation for the unusually bad quality of such a major Hollywood film.

EIFF Daily Roundup (part 6)

*I fall for Au Revoir Taipei

*Sir Patrick Stewart makes it so

other news

Au Revoir Taipei was a great break from multiple dramas in a row.  The Patrick Stewart interview was completely packed and it was cool to see him have such passion for his work (and the work of others) after so many years.  After the talk it made me want to start watching Star Trek: The Next Generation.  If DVDs and Netflix allow whole seasons of TV shows to be accessible, it would be interesting to go back and watch some older shows (especially Quantum Leap).

reviews to come

Police Adjective, Putty Hill, Cigarette Girl

“Au Revoir Taipei” is light hearted goodness

Every now and again, it’s really nice to just see a simple, fun movie.  Enter Au Revoir Taipei. Continue reading