The hot trend in Hollywood is to recast fairy tales as gritty, pathos-driven tragic emofeasts: Maleficent was symbolically raped as a youngster, Peter Pan was a lonely British schoolboy, and so forth. The Huntsman: Winter’s War is the latest and it's "90% terrible," reports Annalee Newitz.
There is something fascinating, in a purely sociological sense, about watching a movie like this. Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones may have reinvigorated epic fantasy filmmaking, but they are also inspiring their fair share of stinky knockoffs. Some of those knockoffs are silly fun, like the first Huntsman film. But this prequel-sequel abomination is barely good enough for hate-watching unless you want to see the purest expression of paint-by-dollars filmmaking to come out this year.
Great Evil Queen outfits, though! Also remarkable is the degree of lifting it does – of images and even phrases — from Game of Thrones. No-one's accusing it of plagiarism; it's just tacky, a dollar-store laser sword with a Star Wars price tag.
Steven Rea appears to be the only critic who likes it, if you'd like a second opinion. Read the rest
Don't miss this amazing film.
Read the rest
“A chance encounter proves fateful for 2 robots mining on a desolate planet.”
Read the rest
For decades, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru in Northern India was thought by most elite climbers to to unclimbable.
Read the rest
Alan Bishop, bassist/vocalist of Sun City Girls and global music collector, wrote an excellent post about his favorite film scores by legendary Italian composer Ennio Morricone. Read the rest
"Those Who Are Jesus" is Steven Eastwood's fascinating 2001 documentary about three people who have true delusions of grandeur based on "profoundly religious or revalatory experiences." Read the rest
The acclaimed British documentary filmmaker has released his latest film in unusual, forward-thinking circumstances.
Sistah Sinema aims to offer a wide selection of films by and about queer women of color. It's via a partnership with Indieflix which hopes to add about five titles per month to the platform while showcasing global diversity.
Memberships are only $5 per month, and Colorlines recommended films including Cheryl Dunye’s important 1997 film “The Watermelon Woman” and Kourtney Ryan Ziegler’s look at black transmen, “Still Black".
[h/t Elixher] Read the rest
See the true origins of the Alien xenomorphs through concept drawings along with plenty of other behind-the-scenes photos, designs, and illustrations in Alien: The Archive, a new hardcover art and photo book. Read the rest
Creepy cool Criterion Collection montage of the "Eyes of Hitchcock" films. Read the rest
Watch this Auralnauts video to see the importance of John Williams' bombastic score to Star Wars. (Thanks, Gil Kaufman!) Read the rest
Another important skill lost to history. (via Weird Universe) Read the rest
The long out-of-print Blade Runner Sketchbook (1982) of beautiful production drawings is available for purchase for around $300 or free viewing here. Read the rest
This weekend, David Cronenberg: The Exhibition lands at Amsterdam's EYE Film Institute. Celebrating one of my favorite contemporary directors, the show features props from the movies, original costumes, set photos, and screenings of all his films, from Shivers and Videodrome to Naked Lunch and Scanners (animated GIF below!).
Read the rest
Do you have experience with sleep paralysis? Many scientists believe that sleep paralysis is the biological answer to such mysteries as spirit visitations, alien abductions, incubi/succubi, and out-of-body experiences. My old friend Rodney Ascher, director of the excellent film Room 237 and other movies, is making a documentary about the phenomenon and would love to hear from you. Rodney writes:
I'm working on on a new film - it's about Sleep Paralysis, a surprisingly common phenomenon where people wake-up totally frozen from the eyeballs down, unable even to make a noise, and they frequently see sinister intruders and other disturbing visions. I've been obsessed with it ever since it used to happen with me (in my case, I saw sort of a living, 3D shadow looming over in me in judgement).
The film is going to be largely built on interviews with people who've had vivid, first-person experiences with it (and have given some serious thought to what's really happening to them) - if anyone wants to share their stories, the easiest way is to contact us via the film's Facebook page.
The Nightmare: A Nonfiction Film About An Unreal Experience Read the rest