Some movies bend the rules or try to break them. This movie stretches them, squeezes them, then shapes them until it has formed its own set of narrative and visual rules. It is a film that could only be made in France, and even then, only by Michel Gondry. Of course it has cinematic antecedents of its own, almost all Gallic in origin as well; it feels at times that we are watching a three-way collaboration between the great talents of Jean Cocteau, Rene Clair and Jacques Tati. All the same, it belongs to that unique cinematic niche Gondry occupies, one that fellow countryman Jean-Paul Jeunet, frequent collaborator Charlie Kaufman and fellow acclaimed music video director and Kaufman cohort Spike Jonze inhabit as well, a distinctively modern cinema of the surreal. Continue reading “Movie Review: Mood Indigo”
After seeing the Europa Report (I thought it was a fantastic film), I believe we are seeing the future on two fronts.
The SciFi Front:
This film was an indie project. It was well written and acted. The special affects was neat and showed how hard space travel can be. It show one thing and it showed that good SciFi can be good without warp speed, aliens and shooting people up.
Traditional SciFi can be boring. How much shoot em up types can you show? How many actors with plastic foreheads can people tolerate?
What the Europa shows that with a good story, a show or movie like The Europa Report can succeed.
The Space Exploration Front:
On the space exploration front, I believe that deep space exploration will not be done by Governments, but by private industry. With budgets bursting around the world, space exploration will not be a priority. Private industry will take up the slack. It will happen when they do it themselves or by forming partnerships with different companies or with various Governments.
Will it be good or bad who knows.
Being immortal (and bored) the gods of the Celts often held contests among themselves and made wagers. Being the Celtic pantheon they were always hungry, and so the gods decided that one food must be chosen to represent their greatness. A wager was struck, and the gods agreed that Man would decide. Celtic tribes from all over Europe were gathered together to vote for which food would be the fit for the gods.
Each god spoke in turn to the people…
Lugh, the great thundering voice from the sky, declared, “The Bull of Heaven provides the heroes portion and STEAK is the food of the gods. because the cow can turn simple grass and straw into a meal fit for a king.”
Danu, goddess of Earth and Sea, laughed from her place among the waves. She declared, “SALMON is the food of the gods, because it always returned to feed the people each year. sacrificing itself for the good of all mankind.”
Morrigan, the goddess of death, sent a raven and it spoke to the people. “No my friends, the lowly CHICKEN is the food of the gods, for it gives not only meat for the table, but eggs, and when you are ever in doubt about what something tastes like it always tastes like chicken.”
Math, being the god of trickery and magic, knew that his voice would not be heard above all the great thunder from the sky, or the crashing of waves, or even the caw of the raven. So Math said not a word. He waited until the tribes had argued about which god or goddess had said the wisest words, and then he announced that, since he had not chosen a food for consideration, he would instead cook a meal of each dish and allow the people to taste the choice of each god in turn, so they may know which is truly the food of the gods.
So Math cooked hundreds of steaks, prepared piles of salmon, and thousands of chickens were baked, fried, and BBQ-ed for the people assembled. Each dish was perfect and the people could hardly contain themselves for the smell was maddening.
Math then said….”People of the Celts I have cooked only enough food for you to take one bite of each of the three dishes. You then must decide which of these is to be the food of the gods.”
The people came and waited in line, taking only one bite from each type of food…steak, salmon, and chicken. The arguments rose and fell. An entire day went by but no one food was judged the best of them all.
Math heated up the grill once again, because the people wanted another taste, but this time Math secretly laid one strip of BACON on each piece of Steak, Salmon, and Chicken. Again the people lined up and took one bite each of the three foods.
A cry went up. Something was wrong. The food had been perfect the first time. It had been the greatest mouthful of food that anyone had ever eaten… but this! This time the food was even better: Perfection had turned to heavenly delight…
Math stood before the people in his apron triumphantly as the people shouted, “BACON is the food of the gods, for only the pig can turn shit into sugar, and a perfect meal into something divine.”
The pig has since been the most holy animal of the Celtic people.
If you’ve been around the Internet long enough, you quickly learn that every genre and era of the cinema has its fans, and if you’re curious enough to read up on them, you learn to appreciate just why they have gained their adherents. For those curious about fantastic cinema of the silent era, an indispensable new book, American Silent Horror, Science Fiction and Fantasy Feature Films, 1913-1929, provides what is not just to date the most comprehensive collection of original reviews of American films of this particular genre and time period, but a fascinating journey into the film-making and -watching culture of a century ago. Four authors, John T. Soister, Henry Nicolella, Steve Joyce and Harry H. Long, along with researcher and archivist Bill Chase, undertook this massive project, and they were recently rewarded for their efforts with an Honorable Mention from the Rondo Awards, chosen by the on-line community of classic horror fans worldwide. We spoke with co-author Steve Joyce about the book and science fiction films of the silent era in general. Continue reading “Interview: Silent Film Historian Steve Joyce”