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Monday, April 26, 2004

Free NFB Posters
I just found out that that the National Film Board of Canada is giving away free posters. There's currently eight to choose from. I got this one:
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/26/2004

Monday, April 19, 2004

Blogger Meets Tarantino, Blogs It
Hollywood-based blogger Christen Nelson recounts her meeting Quentin Tarantino in a shopping mall. Of course, there's no way to verify the authenticity of the report, but it's awfully inspired to be a hoax.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/19/2004

Kill Bill in Mindjack
Jesse Walker reviews Kill Bill Vol. 2 in the new issue of Mindjack.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/19/2004

Saturday, April 17, 2004

QT in LA Weekly
John Powers interviews Quentin Tarantino in LA Weekly.
So you saw The Passion of the Christ?
I loved it. I'll tell you why. I think it actually is one of the most brilliant visual storytelling movies I've seen since the talkies -- as far as telling a story via pictures. So much so that when I was watching this movie, I turned to a friend and said, "This is such a Herculean leap of Mel Gibson's talent. I think divine intervention might be part of it." I cannot believe that Mel Gibson directed it. Not personally Mel Gibson -- I mean, Braveheart was great. I mean, I can't believe any actor made that movie. This is like the most visual movie by an actor since Charles Laughton made The Night of the Hunter. No, this is 15 times more visual than that. It has the power of a silent movie. And I was amazed by the fact that it was able to mix all these different tones. At first, this is going to be the most realistic version of the Jesus story -- you have to decipher the Latin and Aramaic. Then it throws that away at a certain point and gives you this grandiose religious image. Goddamn, that's good direction! It is pretty violent, I must say. At a certain point, it was like a Takashi Miike film. It got so fucked up it was funny. At one point, my friend and I, we just started laughing. I was into the seriousness of the story, of course, but in the crucifixion scene, when they turned the cross over, you had to laugh.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/17/2004

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Warner Announces Film Noir Collection
Warner Home Video just announced The Film Noir Classic Collection, to be released July 27th. The set includes The Asphalt Jungle, Murder, My Sweet, The Set-Up, Out of the Past and Gun Crazy. Suggested retail price is $50.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/15/2004

Monday, April 12, 2004

DVD Roundup: Breathless, Russian Ark, Z
The new issue of Mindjack is up, with my reviews of Breathless, Russian Ark, and Z on DVD.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/12/2004

Charting the Tarantino Universe
Dave Kehr charts the universe of Kill Bill in The New York Times.
Ever since "Kill Bill Vol. 1" was released last October, Internet movie message boards have been buzzing about the numerous references that Quentin Tarantino's action revenge film makes to the rich tradition of Asian genre filmmaking — both Hong Kong kung fu movies and the Japanese swordfight flicks. With the release on Friday of "Kill Bill Vol. 2," Mr. Tarantino's grand design becomes clear: where the first part of his epic took place under the sign of the East, the second is largely devoted to the West — that is, the American and European traditions of revenge movies, particularly the American western.

( registration required for link)
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/12/2004

Sunday, April 11, 2004

The Martial Artist's Guide to Hong Kong Film
Just found on DVDTalk, this looks like a great guide to kung fu films. I love that the ratings aren't about the quality of the films, but of the martial arts:

0- No martial arts in the film
1- Obviously poor martial arts; at times unintentionally funny.
2- Sloppy or below-average martial arts
3- Average skill; watchable
4- Above-average martial arts; solid performance
5- High martial arts skill; worth watching in slo-mo
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/11/2004

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Yellow Layer Failure
Here's a great new column by film restorer Robert A. Harris.
At the other end of the problematic preservation spectrum one will find a film like Meet Me in St. Louis*.

Produced in 1944, sixty years ago, and with high quality surviving elements, Warner Bros. has taken the three-strip Technicolor records and created what (to my eye) is the most perfect representation of the three-strip process yet to hit DVD.

To give this DVD anything less than a rating of ten on a scale of ten would be understatement. It should probably rank an eleven for perfection.

he DVD of Meet Me in St. Louis* is nothing short of amazing, and kudos should go out to the entire team that took these elements through the digital process, as well as those who gathered the additional material found on the disc and worked to make them available. The huge list of extras is inclusive of the pilot episode for a TV series and a Vitaphone short entitled Bubbles, the earliest surviving material on the Gumm sisters, apparently originally produced in two color Technicolor, but surviving only in black & white.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 4/08/2004

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