Sunday, June 17, 2018

Romanian director's homage to Woody Allen


Variety
reports that Romanian director Paul Negoescu made his new film, Summer Lover, as a homage to Woody Allen.
The eponymous anti-hero of “Summer Lover” is the philandering Petru, an adjunct math professor who splits moral hairs with mathematical precision when he justifies bedding co-eds half his age. (They’re not his students, he insists.) Content to continue reaping the benefits of an open relationship, his endless summer comes to a jarring end when his girlfriend suddenly announces she’s pregnant...
Though Negoescu’s original screenplay mined that unexpected pregnancy for all its dramatic worth, script doctor Jacques Akchoti steered him toward comedy instead, during workshops at the Jerusalem-based Sam Spiegel Intl. Film Lab. Studying the filmography of Woody Allen, Negoescu soon found himself channeling the neurotic protagonists of the director’s early works, casting Alexandru Papadopol – star and co-producer of “Lottery” – as Petru, a “hypochondriac, paranoiac [who’s] questioning everything around him. 
“I never thought I could make a film in [Allen’s] style,” Negoescu says, although he’d always admired the director’s movies. “[‘Summer Lover’] is not only inspired by Woody Allen’s films, but it’s an homage to him.”

Read it here: https://variety.com/2018/film/global/paul-negoescu-summer-lover-1202828820/#article-comments

Saturday, June 16, 2018

How long do most movie careers last?


I was listening to the Thought Spiral podcast. Comedian Andy Kindler talked about his early attempts at being a singer songwriter. He seemed hurt that no one supported him in that endeavor. Josh "Elvis" Weinstein pointed out that Kindler has had a thirty-year career in comedy, something that rarely happens in popular music.

With movies, I've noticed, looking at imdb.com, how many people have one or two credits and go for years between jobs---people who made one movie in the '60s, one in the '70s, and that was it. Each is a major achievement no matter how inconsequential it seemed to the viewing public.

Then there are the successful ones. I'm mainly interested in the extreme low end of cinema, like Ray Dennis Steckler who worked various jobs--he was a janitor at one point and was manager of a furniture store as I recall. Herschell Gordon Lewis went into direct marketing. Dean Stockwell was and still is a successful actor and has been since childhood, but I read that he gave up and became a realtor when was called back to star in Quantum Leap.

The sad cases are people like Ed Wood, Jr, who should have given up on movies but didn't.

Alfred Hitchcock told Francois Truffaut about the time he ran into his old boss, the guy who gave him his first job in the British movie industry, working as a location scout.

I've thought about all the film students going into debt to get a degree in film. Most want to be movie directors, but how many people in their 20's direct movies? They'll be forty before anyone trusts them with the amount of money that goes into a movie, but I didn't really think about the other end of it----it'll take years to build a career then you'll find yourself washed up in a few years.

That's not really true, of course. There are TV commercials, industrial films, TV shows. Do they still make After School Specials? But you don't have to go to USC to do that stuff.

But what do I know.

Andy Kindler just landed a big movie role, by the way.

Friday, June 15, 2018

North Korea



I saw a clip on YouTube of a North Korean martial arts movie. It seemed pretty good. I know next to nothing about North Korean viewing habits, but it's been reported that bootleg videotapes of South Korean soap operas are popular there. That was a few years ago. They may have switched to DVD by now.

This came up again when that pro-assassination "comedy" made by sex-offender James Franco and blood-thirsty Zionist Seth Rogen was made. The US government wanted to movie produced so copies of it would find their way into North Korea.

If you look at the RT website you may be able to find a documentary about North Korea that had some focus on their movie industry. The documentary followed North Korean rules----for example, any images of North Koran leader has to be shown in full---it couldn't be at the edge of the frame only half-visible. This meant that they couldn't pan away from a picture of him. If there was picture of the guy in the background of a shot, they couldn't pan past it.

I saw on one news report that children in North Korean schools were reading To Kill a Mockingbird. They're not Marxist-Leninist, by the way. The works of Marx and Lenin have been banned there for years. As I understand it, their national ideology is a mix of Korean mysticism and Confucianism. Mao Tse Tung denounced Confucianism as reactionary.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the North Koreans using old Lincoln limousines at Kim Il Jong's funeral. The North Korean auto industry exports cars, mostly to Vietnam, but it doesn't sound like they produce anything interesting or retro. If the US were to start importing North Korean cars, I'm sure I would be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

DA considering charges against Sylvester Stallone

He doesn't SEEM guilty, but he's an awfully good actor.
The LA County DA's office is reviewing a sex crime case referred to them by Santa Monica police against well-known pornographic film actor Sylvester Stallone. Stallone is perhaps best known for his starring role in 1970's The Party at Kitty and Stud's. He played Stud.

They won't say what the case is about, but Stallone was accused late last year of raping a woman in the 1990s. The victim filed a report even though it was way past California's 10-year statute of limitations.

We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Ray Liotta, Woody Allen


Ray Liotta said in a recent interview that he doesn't believe the accusation against Woody Allen and would drop everything to work with him:
Guerrasio: Who is the director you would drop everything right now and go work with, that you have never worked with yet?

Liotta: Woody Allen, I would.

Guerrasio: Even despite the allegations against him?

Liotta: I believe what he says. I don't think he did what they accuse him of. He's too — for his particular case I don't buy it.
Refreshing his simply dismissing the "allegations" without any nonsense about separating the art from the artist or not knowing what really happened. Anyone who cares to look into it has an excellent idea what happened, that the accusation was false.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cinematic folk art

Long ago, Iraqis were producing DVDs which I guess had some popularity. They combined patriotic music and scenes of resistance to the U.S. occupation of their country. There was an Iraqi filmmaker with a camcorder who started production of a more conventional movie. I was always curious about those. I wanted to see some, some cinematic folk art.

Then there were Thailand and Burma. Thailand's capacity to make sound movies was snuffed out by World War Two. For years, the country's movie production took the form of silent 16mm films with live narration in the theaters. Francois Truffaut mentioned this during his discussion of Psycho with Alfred Hitchcock. By the late '60s, spurred by the popularity of Indian musicals, all Thai movies were 35mm with sound and color.

Burma had a couple of major studios that produced only silent movies at least into the 1970s.

And there were reportedly 16mm silent films being made in San Francisco for audiences in Chinatown.

I'd like to see those movies. I've been curious about them for years. I might be disappointed.

I was disappointed by the few Nollywood movies I've seen. I have this fascination with "no budget" movies, but they're usually not that good and you don't really know what they mean by "no budget". I've heard of serious cinematic works made for $50, but some of these "no budget" movies cost tens of thousands of dollars. That sounds like a budget to me.

I did see what I thought were some pretty good movies made by kids on Community Access TV.

One was made during the Anne Rice craze. A silent movie. We see a high school student at his locker. He stands there. He looks around. The looks at his locker again. He looks around again. An intertitle tells us that he's planning to go out that evening.

We see him walking through a cemetery where he's attacked by several girls who are vampires who drag him into the cemetery. The last half of the movie (it was half an hour) shows the girls getting a celebratory tattoo, which made me wonder if they were high school kids or college kids, or maybe high school seniors, since I prefer to believe that children under 18 can't legally get tattoos.

There was another made by a middle school kid. It had a little plot. It was done as a school project so there was nothing remotely rebellious about it. Something about a kid who's reunited with a friend at the beginning of the school year. There's a brief food fight. They're required to write essays about why fighting with food is bad. Some kids are confused by other kids who aren't part of any identifiable social group. The movie was an hour long but might have had twenty minutes worth of material, so they padded it with long takes of classroom scenes with pop music playing on the soundtrack.

And there was a movie I've only heard about made by a five-year-old. The main character spends much of the movie fighting, then eats and takes a nap.

And there were movies that sound less interesting but I still wouldn't mind seeing.

Like, there was a married couple who Mike Kuchar discussed somewhere. They would go into the financial district in New York. If you go there in the early morning before places open for business, the streets are deserted. I saw this in areas of downtown Boston. It's kind of cool.

But this couple would go there and make movies where the woman was walking down the street and a man would run up to her and rip her dress off. I don't know if there was any more to it than that. Kuchar mentioned it because the woman appeared in Sins of the Fleshapoids and she insisted on a scene where the Fleshapoid tears her dress off.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Roseanne: The Green Party really dodged a bullet



It seems like it might have been a good idea for the Green Party to have a big celebrity like Roseanne Barr as their presidential candidate. In 2012, she ran for the Green Party's presidential nomination but she was already known to have a couple of screws loose--she claimed in 1991 to have recovered "memories" if being sexually abused by her parents. She herself dropped that accusation and said it was the biggest mistake of her life.

Jello Biafra who failed to get the Green Party nomination in 2000, told her to use her humor. Biafra claims to somehow be both an anarchist and a Zionist--I didn't know he was in the Green Party, too.

The Greens are more serious-minded than these guys gave them credit for. Ralph Nader easily beat Jello Biafra and Jill Stein defeated Roseanne Barr.

Barr ran that year on the leftist Peace and Freedom Party ticket instead. I don't know if she actually campaigned.

So what's her excuse for suddenly turning right wing? As if the mainstream of the Republican Party (and, for that matter, the DNC) isn't bad enough, she became an ultra-Zionist Trump supporter.

Looking at her anti-BDS speech, she may be a pretty typical neo-con, a Jewish leftist turned violent right-winger in order to better serve Israel.