Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wild Fashion

With the release of Spike Jonze's loooong-awaited adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are only a few weeks away (we don't get it until December! argh!), fever for the film has officially reached a peak with a line of fashion collections inspired by the classic children's book. Urban Outfitters are selling Wild Things tops, dresses and t-shirts, but for bigger spenders, Christian Joy - the designer for Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O's crazy stage outfits - has produced 5 monster suits that'll guarantee to make you the talk of your Halloween party. If that's not enough, designer outlet Opening Ceremony are stocking a range of limited edition fake fur bits and pieces and jewellery designed in conjunction with Jonze. Would love one of those Ts from Urban Outfitters but they don't ship to NZ d'oh.

If you haven't seen the trailer, here it is - it's one of those trailers that leaves the hair on the back of your neck standing in joyful anticipation:

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ghanian Handmade Poster Weirdness

If you're as sick as I am of the Floating Head-style design of today's movie posters, feast your eyes on these handmade posters from Ghana! Utterly incredible, warped, beautiful, BIZARRE... it's hard to pick a favourite from those examples, but I might have to go with Cujo and John Woo's The Killer. Words fail. I'd happily hang them on my living room wall. Like all great outsider/folk art, they're charming and sincere in their primitivism. You can see more here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trailer: Paranormal Activity

There's so much buzz surrounding this low-budget horror flick it's too bad that seeing it might not be that easy. The backstory to the release of this Blair Witch-y movie is a knotty one: made two years ago by Oren Peli, it was originally picked up by Dreamworks, who didn't really know what to do with it but had plans to remake it, only to back off when industry insiders who saw it gave it the thumbs up (among them Steven Spielberg apparently). The film is now being handled by Paramount, who is giving it a limited release in the States (IMDB has NZ's release date as January 2010, but who knows if that'll stick at this stage?). Unfortunately they - or whoever organised the event - totally made a mess of a free screening of the film in New York that has angered a lot of people. Read about this horror story here.

Interestingly, they've devised an interesting strategy to gauge interest by allowing fans to "demand it" on this website. So if you want to see Paranormal Activity in your town - and if you're a self-respecting scary movie fan you will want to - please register your vote! Here's the trailer complete with night-vision audience reactions and all:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

School of Herzog

Imagine the coolest, most radical film school ever. Stop imagining. It's here: Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School. Forget your standard academic film-schoolly-type course. Apparently the director of such towering masterpieces as Aguirre: Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo "will not teach anything technical about filmmaking". Okay, it's not a school as such, but a series of weekend seminars that will first take place in Los Angeles but travel around the globe. The unusual topics you'll be taught include the art of lockpicking, travelling on foot and the athletic side of filmmaking.

Meanwhile, Herzog's Nic Cage-starring "remake" of Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant has played Toronto International Film Festival and from initial reports, it sounds like it's an altogether different beast - funnier it seems. Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman has called Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans "demon-rich, loopy, fascinating and improbably entertaining" while Twitch praised it "as fine an example of gonzo filmmaking you are ever likely to come across". Yes, I'm excited.

[Sorry it's been a while but I've just returned from a rather wonderful holiday in the Big Apple! Been adjusting, sorting out and catching up with admin stuff in the last couple of days]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Covin' In

Louie Psihoyos' disturbing dolphin-killing doco The Cove, which opened here last week, seems to be making quite a splash about the place. Which is what it's intended to do of course. The subject matter is so sensitive that the Tokyo International Festival has refused to screen it, citing the film's highly critical stance on Japan's environmental policies as the reason for the rejection. Psihoyos said the decision was "hypocritical", since the festival's theme this year involved protecting the environment.

Another side effect has been the parting of ways between the Australian coastal town of Broome and Taiji, the Japanese village where the dolphin killings take place. Broome and Taiji have been sister cities since the late 19th century, but pressure from residents in Broome have forced the town to sever their historic ties until the slaughter stops. It's also, unfortunately, invited anti-Japanese sentiment there - which is one of the concerns Psihoyos and a Japanese audience member raised when he spoke after the film's second screening at the NZ Film Fest back in July.

Although I don't think Psihoyos has made an anti-Japanese film in any shape or form - and he does point out that the average Japanese citizen does not know about nor do they condone these killings - such extreme, racially motivated reactions seem inevitable, since it depicts strong stuff that inspires strong emotions, and strong emotions often overwhelm reason and perspective.