Slamdance is not the most organized, most popular, or best laid out festival in the world. It is, however, a festival within the Sundance film festival. It’s like festivalception. And that joke is warranted here since Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, had his groundbreaking film Memento at Slamdance. Other films such as the film that Netflix has the hardest time recommending based on viewers’ previous viewing habits, Napoleon Dynamite, have premiered here to great success equal or greater than their more popular Sundance cohorts.
Posts Tagged ‘film’
It wasn’t until arriving at Sundance that I began to really understand the term ‘film junkie’. So, I thought I would try to provide some tips to ensure that you will have a positive experience without having your eyes clawed out by the merciless beasts that want to get into every film before you. So read these three tips and rejoice! So what if they seem pretty obvious and not all that helpful? That’s just your opinion. You haven’t even been to Sundance yet so why am I listening to you? Or maybe you have in which case this really isn’t for you. Either way I don’t care what you think. That’s a lie, I do care. I guess I’m just insecure. Shut up. Now you’re probably thinking: “What is this guy talking about? Is he actually going to give his stupid tips or not?” So, without further ado, let’s get started. (more…)
Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook is an interesting take on the “haunting” sub-genre of horror. It tells the story of Amelia, who was widowed by a horrible car crash on their way to the hospital to have their son. Seven years later, her son Samuel is a social outcast who suffers from night terrors, and she is haunted by images of her dead husband and her desire for companionship. After finding a disturbing book in their house, a presence begins to haunt their every waking moment.
Like the best horror, this film is deliberate and slow. The disturbing tone is established early on, but not overtly so. In the beginning, their house has the creepy feel that many old homes share, with it’s creaking doors and a sinister basement. It is made clear that Amelia ignores Samuels many developmental issues, choosing to take him out of school when the headmaster suggests he be given a personal aid after bringing a homemade crossbow to campus. We also find that she chooses to have his birthday two weeks early with his cousin because she doesn’t want to celebrate anything on the day her husband died. In fact, Amelia’s obvious failings as a parent before the haunting are the part that personally unsettled me the most, and work well within the overarching narrative.
It’s almost time for the Sundance Film Festival. Know what that means? Lots and lots of those groovy “independent” movies all the kids are talking about! But if you’re reading up on indie films, you may find yourself wondering just what makes one particular film “independent.” Independent from what exactly? Are some movies dependent on something? And what is that thing? Aren’t we all dependent on everything else around us, coexisting symbiotically in this big, beautiful organism we call Earth, unless, of course, you’re the subject of Kelly Clarkson’s classic song, Miss Independent?
Maybe. I don’t have all the answers. You could try asking that guy Jeeves, but my little Kelly Clarkson reference was still relevant the last time anyone went to that site. (more…)
It’s hard to say what Being John Malkovich is really about. I guess that’s often the case with well written films and this is certainly one of them. It’s about being married but in love with another who doesn’t love you back. It’s about what it means to be a puppateer, an actor or, for that matter, a writer. It’s about what it would mean to occupy another’s skin emotionally and even plays at what the metaphysical implications of such phenomena might be. Yet Kaufman (writer) is able to navigate all of these subjects daftly through one of the strangest plots ever to achieve success in Hollywood.
With Being John Malkovich, Kaufman wrote one of the most structurally inventive screen-plays of our time, yet, rather than feeling enigmatic or foreign to viewers, it’s fun. The story is hard to summarize, as you might imagine, but I’ll try here for the sake of whoever still hasn’t seen it. (more…)
“This town has always had its share of crazies. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
“Slacker” is one of two films - the other being “Dazed and Confused” - that established Richard Linklater as one of the premiere indie filmmakers of the early ‘90s and put Austin’s film scene on the map. The 1991 film, made with a budget of $23,000, has aged like a fine wine and is now thought of as somewhat of a cult classic. Just last year, the Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.
On paper, Robert Rodriguez’s El Mariachi (1993) seems ludicrous. A transient mariachi comes to the city of Acuña, Mexico, where an enormous hit squad confuses him for their mark –an assassin whom the local drug lord has put a hit on –because, like the mariachi, this assassin wears all black and carries a guitar case, though his holds only weapons. Armed with a guitar and whatever weapons he can recover from the gangsters he kills, the mariachi spends the film successfully fighting off his attackers while trying to figure out just why everyone wants him dead. (I know what you’re thinking; No, his music was excellent, so it couldn’t have been that he was just annoying.) Additionally, El Mariachi had a production budget of only $7,000. Thankfully, Rodriguez’s fast paced, grab-and-dash editing makes the film hugely exciting and forces viewers to suspend all disbelief.