Saturday, February 14, 2015

quaint artifact links

---"With the death of RSS, blogs are quaint artifacts at this point." --Felix Salmon

---"There are no rules in art." --Tyler Knudsen responds to Godard's Breathless

---Film Noir Basics by Drew Morton

---Mise en Scene and Film Style, an excerpt by Adrien Martin

---Ozu / / Passageways

---Drive (2011)--The Quadrant System by Tony Zhou

---David Cairns analyzes the last long shot of The Graduate

---Mirrors of Bergman

---a shot by shot breakdown of Jaws

---The Problem With Action Movies Today

---The Evolution of Batman in Cinema

---"I have an office at home, I’ve written in a million hotel rooms, I can write anywhere now. My whole goal is to want to be at my desk. If the writing is going well, I don’t want to quit. I’m older and wise enough now that if something is going well, I don’t stop. I call and say I’m not coming home for dinner and just keep going. More than anything else, I want to want to go to my desk and to not be afraid of going to work." --Tony Gilroy

---trailers for Regression, Hot Pursuit, Aloha, Trainwreck, Faults, and Welcome to Me

---"How Technicolor Changed Storytelling" by Adrienne LaFrance

---Richard Linklater narrates a scene from Boyhood

---The Grand Budapest Hotel: Classic Hollywood

---"Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale."

---B. B. King on the Blues

---Unconditional Rebel

---the influences on Luc Besson's Lucy by Max Winter

---"Somehow, sensations woven into the fabric of the prose seem to arrive with something like the immediacy of real life. They can even get back to an ­almost prelinguistic moment, when all impressions felt 'fresh.' Maybe ­because of my grounding in visual art, I’m drawn to synesthetic vividness, especially to Joyce. His ability to implant images in the reader’s mind with what are essentially page-surface incomprehensibilities astonishes me—­poetic sensations in Ulysses that suggest certain shuffling sounds and grainy, hot ­impressions, and only by the end of the page does one realize Leopold Bloom has been walking on a beach.

Comics, in some ways, are already structurally more synesthetic than 'text-only' writing, with their combination of pictures and words inducing a flowing sense of movement and sound and sometimes even smell. The hard part is getting it all to work together on the page and in the reader’s mind, which sometimes involves all sorts of unpredictable seat-of-the-pants decisions, like adding in a panel or an image or a color so that something feels right, where before it felt suddenly false. There’s no predicting any of it, especially for someone as racked by self-doubt as me." --Chris Ware

---the screenplay for Dear White People

---6 filmmaking tips from Mike Leigh

---Every Kane in Citizen Kane

Friday, February 6, 2015

Space Kitsch: 10 Basic Elements of Jupiter Ascending

"Philistinism presupposes a certain advanced state of civilization where throughout the ages traditions have accumulated in a heap and have started to stink." --Vladimir Nabokov

1) Intergalactic pointy-eared warrior Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) swirls (air-surfs?) around in anti-gravity boots, just barely catching Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) in free fall from some very high place. This scene gets repeated (albeit with different locations) multiple times. Much of the plot of Jupiter Ascending consists of various reasons as to why Caine and Jupiter separate so that he can soon fly back into the scene to save her again.

2) Due to some genetic mix-up, many animalized people appear, including a humanoid lizard in uniform, a man/rat with a red nose (I thought he was part opossum), a fetching woman/mouse with very large ears, and a more obscure fellow with an elephant trunk who only appears when spaceships explode.

3) An extraordinarily jaded but otherwise stylish threesome of intergalactic aristocrats, the Abrasax family, appear to rule much of outer space. Floating in his gold chariot, Balem (Eddie Redmayne) speaks softly with chilling detachment of consuming humans for profit. The more blandly handsome Titus (Douglas Booth) participates in free-floating PG-13 orgies with various animalized humans when he isn't trying to marry Jupiter. Lastly, Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) takes a genetically-rejuvenating bath. One learns to expect much skullduggery from this snotty bunch.

4) Jupiter cleans toilets as a humble but disgruntled janitor on earth until she learns that she's in actuality the reincarnated queen of the universe! Later, she returns to cleaning toilets.

5) Channing Tatum tries to act manly and nonchalant with pointy wolf ears. One can sense that his character Caine is probably secretly delighted with Jupiter's interest in him (as she says, "I love dogs!"), but he would never show it. He's all about conveying Hemingway-esque cool as he swirls about, sliding across the morning Chicago skyline, shooting at space bounty hunters with his blaster pistol.

6) Jupiter somehow induces a bunch of farm bees to do a coordinated CGI dance around her upturned arms. This designates her as intergalactic royalty. As soon as space warrior Stinger (Sean Bean) sees this choreographed bee swarming going on, he kneels and calls her "Your highness" near a corn field that evokes Looper (2012).

7) Pretty, stylized Moebius-influenced spaceships float about, appear through clouds, assume reddish disintegrating interiors, explode into flames, etc.

8) We learn that the rich of the universe plan on harvesting the humans of our over-populated planet, somewhat in the same vein as the humans serving as a primary power source for The Matrix (1999).

9) Jupiter Ascending has an orange and teal color palette with red highlights that reminds one of the superior The Fifth Element (1997).

10) The Abrasax gang informs us that time is the most important currency of the universe, an insight that the viewer of Jupiter Ascending understands deeply as he keeps looking at his watch. Outer space can be such a null void.