Cathedral or ‘Katedra’ is a short film based on a short story by Polish science fiction author Jacek Dukaj back in 2000. It was nominated for the Oscar in 2002 in the Animated Short Film category. Tomasz Bagiński made this, and at 6 minutes and 28 seconds manages the considerable feat of being both watchable and intelligent. I highly recommend you check it out:
If, after watching that, you are hungry for further information, Kuriositas.com has a great feature on this under-seen piece.
I love a good trailer. I love the way that a well-executed but still mysterious trailer can ramp up your excitement for a movie in sub 2 minutes. I love that feeling of unexpectedly seeing the first footage of a film you’re looking forward to, and I love the voice of that trailer guy, because it reminds me of good times in the cinema.
Recently, the trend for movie trailers seems to be to show you the entire plot of the film, and to ruin all of the money shots by showing them out of context. But even with that sizeable disadvantage, I still love them. Below, you’ll find a couple of embeds relating to trailers, that should be interesting. The first one is an ‘Honest Trailer’ produced by Screen Junkies that tells the ‘truth’ about The Avengers Assemble. It’s great fun and pokes holes in the film in such a good way, that even an avowed fan of the film such as I can enjoy it. Warning: spoilers abound from the get-go, so only watch if you have seen The Avengers Assemble.
The second video is the trailer for Jerry Seinfeld’s 2002 documentary Comedian, featuring Hal Douglas (the trailer guy) in a manner that sends up the formulaic trailer any regular cinema visitor will know and love. It’s an interesting film, showing the other side of comedy. But, it has to be said, the trailer is probably better than the film.
It’s no surprise that, in the aftermath of the gargantuan box office business that The Avengers (Assemble) achieved, Marvel authorised the development of a spree of sequels to the origin movies of its protagonists. Coming to an overpriced multiplex near you within the next few years will be Thor 2: The Dark World, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
When Iron Man came out, waaaaay back in 2008, it successfully launched one of the lesser-known Marvel superheroes, paving the way, eventually, for The Avengers (via Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger). Although Thor was less well received, it still had its share of admirers, following on from that, Captain America got more of a lukewarm reception. Although I enjoyed its Indiana Jones-lite period stylings and found Chris Evans to be a likeable lead, there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement, provided they can give depth to a potentially one-note character. Captain America was never a comic I read as a kid, so my knowledge of his mythology is fairly limited (I imagine I’m not the only one). All this meant that when the sequel to Captain America was announced, like most people, I just shrugged and carried on with my life.
But then IGN posted a short video describing the story of the titular Winter Soldier for comic neophytes like me, and I started to get more excited aout the film. With the new Thor film having an ominous title, Shane Black‘s involvement with Iron Man 3, and now this potentially interesting follow up to come out, I’m genuinely interested in how Marvel is going to achieve all this. A comic book studio effectively exploring their mythology in mainstream cinema is unheard of, and even if some will regard it as an abomination, I find it quite interesting. The link to the IGN video is below, check it out and leave us a comment.
Movie clichés. Everyone’s got their favourite. Maybe it’s when someone says “I’m too old for this shit”, or possibly it’s the fact that any character who mentions how close to retirement they are, or says that they’ll “be right back” will die before the end of the film. Sometimes, the clichés can be visual: in an action film, if there’s an explosion, there is an odds-on chance that the character who causes said explosion will walk away from it in slow motion. Usually wearing sunglasses. One of the most beloved clichés of film fans is the ‘Wilhelm Scream‘ a sound effect you can hear in films too numerous to name. Clichés aren’t always fondly remembered though; the ‘black character dies first’ trope has become a pop culture meme, and is an example of the less obvious and sometimes unintentional racism still present in society.
One of my favourite screenwriting clichés is the ‘two kinds of people’ line. A character will, in an attempt to sound worldly and wise, confidently state that there are only ‘two kinds of people in this world’, before putting forth a binary theorem that could never encapsulate all of humanity. Maybe the very self-evident absurdity of this statement is what makes it work? Who knows. All I know is that an obscene amount of movies use it. See the below video by the talented James Chapman for yourself to get an idea of its overuse, and let us know what you think in the comments.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a nostalgia film for me. You know what I mean by that, don’t you? One of those films that you watched so often that you wore out the video tape (for the kids: an even older way of watching films than DVD!). One of those films that is impossible to objectively assess, because your childhood love of it clouds your judgement at every turn. It’s one of those films you watched when you were at an age where it was more comfortable to be lie on the floor on your belly, than sitting on the sofa.
So, to see behind the curtain, and watch “Elliott” (Henry Thomas) audition is still a novelty and effective experience. Often in Hollywood, kids’ acting chops are secondary as to whether they look right for the part (I’m looking at you, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone), so it’s refreshing to see a child actor who can, you know, actually act. Check the video out below (credit to the talented folks at BoingBoing for the original source article), and let us know what you think:
I believe I have it right when I say that the cartoon before the main feature used to be a cinematic staple. Why, I just about remember seeing a film as a child that had a short before it, although I must have been very young. Looking back, I think it was the re-release of The Jungle Book. I can’t have seen many shorts (I’d seen enough to get the joke at the start of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, anyhow), before they did away with such entertaining nonsense. I remember being vaguely sad when I realised it didn’t seem to happen any more.
Disney’s Wreck it Ralph may have come out in the US and other territories last year, but it launches in the UK on February 8th. And on that date, when lucky cinema-goers settle into their seats, fistfuls of popcorn in hand, their feet adhering to the already sticky floors, they will be treated to the sight of Disney’s short film Paperman before the main feature, where it should be.
Showing a chance encounter between a man and a woman on a commute, Paperman eschews dialogue, all colour, except for greys, whites, blacks, and reds, and makes a central feature of its music. Featuring subtle CGI that coalesces delicately with the kind of charming, traditional animation with which Disney made its name, and nurtured the imagination of many generations of children. If this doesn’t brighten your day and put a spring in your step, then I’m afraid you’re a lost cause. For all the rest of us, hopefully we’ll have the pleasure of seeing it on the big screen, and rejoice in Disney-Pixar’s quest to revive the cinematic short before the main feature. I’m super-psyched about Wreck-It Ralph, too.
Vive la revolution!