Saturday, November 28, 2009

friday 27/11/09 & saturday 28/11/09: sitting around.

haven't done a whole lot. basically waiting to go on tour because it means:

a. i get to tour
b. i get to see more pals
3. i get to go home for like 2 weeks
d. i get to go on tour more, like a lot more, like pineapple a LOT
5. i get to see ze country

+ like 200 other reasons. at least 200. no i'm not going to list them all.

last few days i've watched:

- not that great. definitely not bill murray at the height of his powers. i think when he's locked into comedy mode he has a hard time pulling anything else off like anger. the bits in this where he gets angry are just...bad. the production design is kind of cool, very 80's which i love. that weird production design/not production design that looks real but fake. like that horror flick house. or re-animator. it was directed by richard donner which was a weird choice given he could have done a lot better (and HAS done a lot better). dude directed omen, superman 1 (and 2, though his cut only came out two years ago), all the lethal weapons, goonies...sigh. whatta guy. it ends with a stupid kitsch-y singalong that just makes you groan. oh well.

escape from absolom
- filmed in nsw which is kind of rad. ray liotta gets sent to a prison in the future where you never get to escape and the prison is run by a big corporation. never fear, liotta just baddies himself out of there and onto this island called absolom where there's tribal warfare and such. after baddie-ing himself out of one tribe and into another, he just continues to rule all over the place. this film isn't great but is kind of cool. initially you're like "hey, is that lance hendrickson?" and it is, and then you're like "IS THAT ERNIE GHOSTBUSTIN' HUDSON?" and it is. and then you're like "oh man, is that kevin dillon? dammit" and sadly, it is. martin campbell did this little doozy. who'd have thought he had goldeneye in him after this fun mess. side note: i'm a little cut it was filmed in 2.35:1 but the region 4 DVD is in 1:85. stupid oversight.

hard eight
- cool little flick from paul thomas anderson, his feature writing/directing debut. such a tight little story for the d00d who did boogie nights and magnolia (though i guess punch-drunk love and there will be blood didn't have many characters). i'm still not 100% sold on philip baker hall's acting. his presence is unquestionably awesome but some of his deliveries are a little stale. john c reilly does real well playing a dunder-head. gwyneth paltrow isn't bad as clementine, the sluzza with the heart of fake gold. for some reason, every character samuel l jackson plays that holds a gun at some point becomes the same guy. i see his arms dealer from jackie brown, i see julius from pulp fiction, i see d00d from snakes on a plane. oh well. i love paul thomas anderson (i don't know many people that do, sadly) and it was cool to see where he started before getting all robert altman for his next two features. he really divides people, it's hard to 'kind of like' his movies. love or hate. i like that.

before the devil knows you're dead
- i'm starting to become a legitimate sidney lumet fanboy. after seeing network, 12 angry men, equus, the verdict and dog day afternoon (a film i bought when i was about 13 and loved to death, not knowing who it was by) and now this, he's one of the greatest directors still alive. not the most consistent, for sure, but when he hits he really hits dead on. this film hits dead on. ethan hawke is good as a bitch, albert finney is super intense with that distinctive voice of his. philip seymour hoffman kills it, as usual, same with marissa tomei. i only noticed that it was shot on HD when ethan hawke is pulling away in the getaway car near the beginning of the film, the rest was indistinguishable, which took me aback. maybe sidney just knows how to use it properly. the structure is excellent and those breaking glass transitions are pure sweet 70's technique. could have done without seeing philip seymour hoffman and marissa tomei get it on though.

the deer hunter
- can't believe it'd taken me this long to see it. i suppose the infamy surrounding cimino's heaven's gate made me a little reluctant. can you blame me? this is a character piece, through and through. i was talking to aaron last night about it and he said it was slow, boring and draining. i think it was meant to be slow and draining, but i never found it boring. every moment in it built to the events that took place. i've never seen walken act so well (except for catch me if you can). de niro kills it, as usual., cazale. i wish he had lived long enough to make more flicks. every film he was ever in was nominated for best picture at the oscars. that's impressive role choice. meryl streep in like, her second starring role is real good too. cimino's direction is solid. the scene where michael refuses to lend stan his boots is one of the best in the film. i loved the first deer hunting sequence set to the choral kinda music. really beautiful. the vietnam sequences were brutal, amazing how little of the film they take up too. did well. shame about everything that followed.

double indemnity
- not much needs to be said about this. billy wilder really knows how to make a picture. i don't think i'd ever seen a 100% legit noir film and this is the grandaddy of everything anyone tries to do that's remotely noir. it's shot well, acted well, the production design is legit, the writing is great. just a sweet flick.

tonight i'm seeing paranormal activity. it will be scary. very scary.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

sunday 22/11/09 through thursday 26/11/09: stuffs.

kept forgetting to do this before i went to bed.

last couple of days i watched the wild bunch (amazingly best best sweet), crash (cronenberg one...messed, bold and not see), the jacket (super impressive, see), the haunting (not great but looks amazing), T.A.P.S. (real good, flawed but real good), equus (crazily intense film with equally intense performances all around) and the colour of money/the hustler a few times. didn't do much else. saw ro do a bike race, he won. went to a mexican restaurant, awesome. been riding and walking a lot. like, a lot.

walked into the city and saw cloudy with a chance of meatballs today. it was so good. real funny script, good voice acting and it all looked super sweet. such good art direction.

watching new york stories at the moment. scorsese, coppola, allen. not too excited about coppola's, mainly cause i already know it's going to suck bad.

gunna walk into the city and see the invention of lying or new moon. we'll see.

until tomorrow (maybe), bye.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

saturday 21/11/09: bergmanonia.

woke up at 11ish. went for a walk, solid walk. shake (coffee again). settle down to watch wild strawberries. break halfway through to go get stereo with ro and weed. turned into pool session. cheated by eating 2 packs of grain waves and an oj. oh well, i'll just start walkin more. returned stereo because i'm stupid. came home, continued wild strawberries.

wild strawberries is about an old fella who's been crachety and cold his whole life. he's about to be given a high honour for his 50 years as a doctor and he's beginning to reflect on his life, not liking what he's seeing. he wanders in and out of dreams and reality while travelling to collect his new honour. it's such a beautiful little film. it was made in 1957 when bergman wasn't the oldest of men but he portrays the main character with such...understanding. it's just incredible. there.s a dream sequence where he's walking down a street alone, and it's a long shot and you can see his hands trembling...little details like that just sell the whole thing. visually bergman is like a humble fellini. he has understated flair that you just can't help but admire. great flick. and the transfer is AMAZING. i can only assume hopscotch got the criterion transfer because it's just immaculate.

next up, the silence. two sisters, one is quite a mother, smart and well mannered but physcially frail and quite sick. the other is beautiful, promiscuous and a little dull in the head. the plot centres around how the frail one prays but feels as if god is not answering those prayers, and quesioning why. this film - another bergman - is pretty unusual, almost feels like bergman trying his hand at surrealist thriller. there's a feeling of despair running through it all that you can't avoid. the addition of midgets and an old man who can't seem to speak any languages at all is inspired and creepy. it's not a horror, heck it's not even a thriller...just a really intense drama.

next up, through a glass darkly. the daughter of an aloof author has just been released from a mental health hospital. she is joined by her father, brother and partner by the beach in a house to spend some quality time together. as time goes on, however, she begins to have relapses into her delusional paranoid state and imagines that god is instructing her to do bizzare and suspicious things. this seems to be one of bergman's most mainstream films in terms of the amount of characters and how they're each explored within the story. it's complex but not as much so as winter light (1963) which only has 2 main characters and so can afford much more time to be spent on them. there are some amazing sequences including an above water shipwreck at the end of a rock pier in which the daughter is found midway through one of her mental attacks. as usual, well shot and acted (it won the oscar for best foreign film in 1961). bergman rarely puts a foot wrong.

finally, the virgin spring. the little known source material for the last house on the left (wes craven's 70's directorial debut), chaos (cheap ripoff version of TLHOTL) and obviously the 'reimagining' of TLHOTL put out earlier this year. in medievil times, a father and mother send their youngest virgin daughter to take candles by horseback to their church in the village. their older daughter who is pregnant dislikes her sister and decides to put a curse on her via odin (a pagan god). as the youngest is travelling she happens upon three herdsmen (two men and a boy) who are acting pretty downright creepy. as she is so innocent she is friendly and polite to them, however she is soon attacked, raped and killed by the two older herdsmen with assistance from the boy. the sister witnesses all this. her guilt festers, the herdsmen steal all the virgin's posessions and set off. they happen across the father and mother's house and ask to stay the night...

this film is hard to watch. it's hard to make such an old period work onscreen because it was a completely alien time to our own. max von sydow does really well as the father and he is the only actor of note. i believe this also won the foreign film oscar of its' year and it deserved it. it's disturbing, not the kind of flick you sit down to with popcorn, coke and a girl. bergman's camera doesn't flinch in portraying all the toughest part of the story but he is not cold or removed which is probably why you feel this film so much while you're watching it. draining but rewarding.

until tomorrow, bye.

Friday, November 20, 2009

friday 20/11/09: part 2.

alright so my day. i woke up at about 9:15, troy was running around trying to wake mark up to help him with some new fridge. i went for a walk, listened to mewithoutyou while i did. great walking music. came home, had shower and shake (coffee). nothing to do so i started watching hud.

hud is this amazing little gem of a film. paul newman and melvyn douglas rule all over it, acting wise. it was made by this director named martin ritt who's only other film of note was another newman western called hombre. so unusual that he pulled such a masterpiece as this off. it's just shot so beautifully, all the acting is dead on. there's music 3 times in the picture: the opening credits, the middle and right at the end. so effective. and the music is so nice...ugh. such a cheeky little film. i was watching it with ro and we were both commenting on how intensely unsettling paul newman is in it, and how amazing melvyn douglas is...all his lines just have so much conviction. and what lines! what a great script.

next up i watched a prairie home companion. such a strange little picture but really tastily done. the ensemble cast is pretty crazy: tommy lee jones, meryl streep, john c. riley, woody harrelson, lily tomlin, virginia madsen, kevin kline, lindsay lohan, maya altman manages to wrangle so many people still astounds me. i've heard that a lot of the time he'd leave actors to make certain decisions themselves in order to alleviate the pressure of him directing every single nuance of every single actor in his usually enormous ensemble casts...apparently this makes the actors feel great too, so everyone wins. the story itself was's more about the characters than the narrative. some of his camera moves are just...ugh. i have no idea how he manages to not get the camera in mirrors at times. see any of the scenes that take place in meryl streep/lily tomlin/lindsay lohan's dressing room.

there's mirrors everywhere, even opposing each other but somehow you never catch a glimpse of the camera as it goes around the actors. some of it must have been digitally enhanced but it's not obvious...either that or altman was really that good. he uses the dolly/pan/zoom effect almost constantly which gives the film a nice rhythm. i love seeing films like this because even if they're not the best the director has to offer, there's so much to look at in much technique going on. i watched the behind the scenes stuff and shook my heap with bewilderment at seeing paul thomas anderson sitting next to altman on set. i knew he was the standby director for the whole film (for insurance purposes this was required...altman was quite sick) but just seeing him there the whole time was so cool. he must have been in heaven.

then i watched spartacus. a stanley kubrick film but not. more kirk douglas' film. the whole thing was a bit underwhelming. some amazing shots, great acting from douglas, surprisingly good pacing for a film of its' length...but something was missing. maybe i'm just not a sword and sandal epic kind of guy. maybe that's why i have no deep desire to see ben-hur. but strangely, a massive desire to see lawrence of arabia. i understand why spartacus is a marvel of filmmaking but i just don't buy into it fully enough to be like YEAH SPARTACUS WOOOOO I AM SPARTACUS HELL YEAH GO DOUGLAS y'know. ah well.

then i watched the two jakes. for a sequel to one of the best films ever, this sucked. i knew that going in but i didn't realise just how average it really could be. jack nicholson directed it. robert towne wrote it (so why did it suck? urrgh). so many unusual scenes that had context but not enough to be really valuable to the narrative. i don't understand how nicholson sat down after locking the final edit of it and went "yes, this film works" cause it just doesn't., if you haven't seen chinatown, you gotta see it but it's like comparing...se7en to sheitan. seriously, that big of a difference...and for a sequel, that's bad.

then i watched platoon. i'd always known its' reputation. best picture winner etc. it started and i was like yeah, okay. war film. as it goes on it just gets better and better. it's like apocalypse now but more concise and realistic...and dramatically so. the scene that stuck with me the most is when kevin dillon's character bashes the head of a villager in and is threatening to do the same to a lady standing beside him...the savagery is just horrific. and shortly after, charlie sheen's character stopping some of his unit from raping a little girl. seriously intense stuff...wasn't expecting it. dafoe is great. this film demands a closer viewing, there's a lot in it.

then i watched picnic at hanging rock. peter weir is a master. how he's straddled so many genres to the ground is beyond me, his filmography reads like a dream. kind of like spielberg, but more understated. spielberg has been a little clumsy in his handling of the different genres but weir usually nails it. he rarely delivers lukewarm results. i'd always heard about picnic at hanging rock, even when i was quite young. always been interested in it. it's very creepy. understated and overstated all at the same time. it's uneven but not in a negative way. it's shot and edited really well. umbrella did a killer job with the restoration too.

then i watched easy rider. after reading everything about it in easy riders, raging bulls i had a lot of anticipation. it's pretty well made for a stoner kinda road movie. there's no real full on narrative to it to latch onto...just a bunch of places they go and a bunch of stuff they do. the style showed me where oliver stone got the visual style for a bunch of natural born killers. apparently dennis hopper took loads of drugs and went crazy during shooting. the film itself leaves me feeling a little...hollow. it comes from such a different era to me that it's obvious i wouldn't be able to fully get it. but it was better than i was expecting.

after 7 movies today, i'm feeling a little tired.

until tomorrow, bye.

friday 20/11/09: part 1.

so today i had an exchange with someone i didn't know through someone i knew's status update comments. the other person decided to delete all their posts, presumably saving face. i've replicated the conversation here for archive purposes and just because the process was so fun that i can't let it die with his post-exchange measures. i wasn't really on point the whole time but hey, you don't see me deleting what i wrote just because i looked a bit dumb. when someone starts getting all thesaurus on you it's interesting to see how far they can carry it.

Cassandra Emily Bird: ... Ok who's the cunt who called my house before pretending to be Dominic and pretending I was pregnant? Fucker.

Michael John Haydon: What's happened to you, Cassie?

Cassandra Emily Bird: ... Meaning what?

Michael John Haydon: You never used to sound like this...

Cassandra Emily Bird: No, I was always like this, I just hid it in certain places. Like church!

Daniel Cunningham: fight this fact in any fashion you may but it always seems to be someone on the 'outside' ( someone else ) who has the better view of who 'you' are...

Alexander Greenberry: Yeah Cass, you've changed.

Cassandra Emily Bird: ... And I've just realised nobody's with me on this one. Greenie, sif you'd know. Cuntingham, you too.

Daniel Cunningham: nice flawed defensive there towards me but if you had of let the other side of your brain take charge when launching that retort you may of noticed i gave a non-specific very generalized opinion giving no actual biased judgment on the topic at hand more so just something i have learned over time...

Michael John Haydon: You can only know a person based off how much they choose to reveal. So basically the only perception I have of you is that which you've chosen to give me.

Food for thought.

Daniel Cunningham: lamens terms 'one only can see what is visible'..

Brock Coombs: geez.. i agree people change and outsiders can see it more quickly depending on what we reveal. but cmon, if someone did that to you, you'd be pretty cut, no?

Michael John Haydon: I would be cut, but probably not cut enough to post it on Facebook like it will bring the culprit forward.

Daniel Cunningham: the in-ability to accept change within ones persona only shows one lacks a sense of realism within ones self... being 'cut' only makes someone look somewhat foolish and in denial...

Alexander Greenberry: This is a job for Batman.

Michael John Haydon: Daniel - what on earth are you talking about? Realism? I don't understand the context of what you were trying to say.

Daniel Cunningham: Michael : If someone cannot accept change within themselves would you agree and say they are not realistic?.

Michael John Haydon: Not realstic? Meaning them not accepting change is not realistic? Your question is ambiguous but I'll do my best: yes, if someone cannot accept change within themselves then a denial has taken place of what is most likely reality. Again. i don't understand the context.

Daniel Cunningham: Pragmatism... scroll up for enlightenment...

Michael John Haydon: Scrolled up - no enlightenment. Maybe if I sleep on it.

Daniel Cunningham: I would say so, i find my commentary fairly effluent. It baffles me as to how the context has eluded you.

Tom Prentice: English makes me happy, others sad. Your effluence has been most enlightenful, Sir Daniel, your command of the English language astounds and bewilders Michael and renders his immediate attention asunder. Truly, you are Grammar Incarnate!

Max Stekelenburg: Yeah so cassie's status is now about what now? prrrretty sure its not about cassie

Daniel Cunningham: of all the almighty epic fails Maximus, do you weild the fathomable capability that a conversation moves away from its point of origin as it transgresses into a discussion. Different people see a situation from different facets thus where we are now...

Max Stekelenburg: *coughwankercough*

Daniel Cunningham: --text missing--

Max Stekelenburg: And so your eloquent slander makes it more acceptable?

Michael John Haydon: First, Max can abbreviate to Maxwell, Maxamillion and even Maximo, but it is never abbreviated from Maximus, at least not in a formal sense, not to mention - unless there's something I'm not aware of - your leap in assuming his name was Maximus in full form as opposed to the alternatives. Second, you spelt wield wrong. Third, your use of 'fathomable capability' is ambiguous and ill-defined. Fourth, you started a question but failed to finish it with a question mark. Fifthly, your context of 'transgresses' is illogical as it implies a set of conversational 'rules' that is broken when a conversation 'moves away from its point of origin' and into a discussion, as if the two concepts are opposed or abohrrent to be compared to one another. Sixth, people cannot see from facets. Seventh, your use of 'thus' is poor grammar and the equal of saying 'so where are are now' which you'll agree, in context of the sentence, makes no sense in the English language. Eight, I just realised your first sentence does not allow the use of a comma as it does not flow logically from the first part to the second in a grammatical sense.

Try again.

Daniel Cunningham: not slander, an educated opinion based on the lack of perception show on your behalf in your initial comment... *cough* sub pseudo-intellectual...

Daniel Cunningham: THAT is slander...learn the difference

Daniel Cunningham: HAHAHAHAHA show me where it says illogical in the dictionary... and you want to try and correct ME!?.

Daniel Cunningham: It's amazing, one nights sleep and you go from questioning a mere understanding to typical keyboard warrior. --this was posted and deleted before i could see it, i only discovered it while going through my facebook emails to fill in the blanks--

Max Stekelenburg: k man you win life. I forfeit this conversation to your unreachable people skills. Go make some money writing Frasier episodes or something...

Michael John Haydon: You put ! before ? in your showing of outrageous surprise when it's traditionally the other way around, and you also put a period after that mistake.

I suppose the difference is, I never held myself up as a beacon of eloquence.

Daniel Cunningham: The hell you didn't. Your no better than any other individual cussing at strangers in a chat room as if to prove a point. If you are feeling somewhat in-adequate in life then do something productive with it and you still failed to tell me where this mysterious 'illogical' came from...

Michael John Haydon: "You're", not your. Were you addressing me in regards to the cussing comment? Cussing is a slang term for 'cursing' which I've not done any of in this 'discussion' (as opposed to a 'conversation'...wink). You seperated inadequate with a dash when it requires none. I tell ya, when you cut me down before I just...well I just felt so inadequate! You really cut right to the heart of me, Daniel. My life is killer and considerably productive, feel free to ask me about it if you'd like proof. "You've still failed", not 'you still failed'.

Oh, and I've failed to address your correction because it is incorrect.

Daniel Cunningham: you are FUCKING PATHETIC!... so far immature you have forgotten what this discussion is all transgressed from a simple 'i don't understand your context' to 'lets be a typical keyboard toughie and stand over all who mean nothing to me like seriously dude...'no matter how well you play and win, you have already played there game and lost'...correct me again i really could not give a fuck ey...

Cass: you affiliate with some wankers...

Michael John Haydon: Nice of you to throw in some of that 'cussing at strangers' you repremanded me for. 'So far immature'? Remove 'far' and add 'that' between 'immature' and 'you' you've got a cohesive sentence. You've really got to look up 'transgressed' before you use it again. Read your reply immediately after Max's first comment to discover who first emerged as a 'typical keyboard toughie'. You failed to close your inverted comma before 'like seriously dude'. Did you use the game playing quote to make me feel like I've actually lost whatever game you're implying this is? Bit of a last ditch effort invoking the old 'I could care less' schtick, too.

And you still failed to tell me where this mysterious 'illogical is not spelled right' thing came from. You want to correct people but you can't stand it when people return the favour.

The only 'sub pseudo-intellectual' here is you.

Daniel Cunningham: and he continues... you and cass should get along fine =) ... both supremacists of mini victories only dif is shes not pathetic little individual like yaself... anywho head on down to fap town... i aint posting or reading here any more...

Michael John Haydon: Ah, the calm exterior. A keen tactic. 'She's not a pathetic little individual' not 'She's not pathetic little individual'. Sad to say I have no business in 'fap town'.


admittedly, about halfway through i just started baiting him but it's amazing how quickly someone can lose their cool once the tables have turned. maybe i'm a wanker for keeping all this but hey, i enjoyed myself.

more later.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

thursday 19/11/09: stupid pinky toes.

woke up at 9am. alarm was set for 9:15. got up and ready and went for a walk. listened to hell or high water which went for 28 minutes, perfect length. shame the shoes i borrowed were worn away at the edges inside so my stupid wide feet made my pinky toes get insane blisters. ridiculously large. came back, conference call which was alright. gary is legit. we didn't do much after that really.

in the afternoon jord laid down some electric guitar on spell my name while i sat in. after that i watched flags of our fathers.

it's impressive how frequently clint eastwood makes such complicated productions and pulls them off. every film he's made in the 2000's so far has been a challenge for him to make, the audience to watch or both. i think he's entering his best years, and considering he's 80 next year that's pretty remarkable. gran torino made 270 mil worldwide! who does that at 79? clint, that's who.

anyway, flags of our fathers was pretty good. the scenes i found the most impacting were the battle scenes but i suppose that's a given. barry pepper rules. the visual effects were great. eastwood shoots in 2.35:1 which is my favourite format and he really uses it well. shoots simple, shoots strongly. he knows what to show you and what not to show you. the scene where ryan phillipe's character enters a bunker to find a fellow soldier killed in a particularly gruesome way, eastwood stays on phillipe's face and uses the flashlight to indicate his reaction. it's much stronger than just's like he wants you to feel it instead of be assaulted by the image. seems like an elementary observation of an elementary technique but sometimes that's all that's needed, and it moved me.

next up: letter from iwo jima. i think the general consensus - and i think i agree - is that this is the superior of the two companion films. perhaps it's the language (the film is spoken entirely in japanese) or the operatic and earnest acting style all the japanese actors employ. the story is more raw emotionally and there's more interesting things going on underneath the surface. the involvement of the japanese's intense honour system (till and into death) and how this extends into their military tactics makes everything more heightened and the cultural differences become massive. these are two very different films.

then we had a practice. learned western a bit more. finally, i watched candy.

candy is a hell of an australian film. uncompromising. both leads firing on all cylinders. this is what australian film wants to be like but 8 times out of 10 doesn't even approach. there's not much to say about it except that you need to be in the's a rough ride. i'll be watching this director closely, and i wish heath ledger was still alive.

until tomorrow, bye.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

wednesday 18/11/09: good film day.

woke up at 9 something. had a shower, did my washing, made breakfast, got water. downstairs, record some claps for western. break fo lunch, chille con carne. amazing! watched in the valley of elah.

i already talked about tommy lee jones yesterday so i don't need to do it again. he's much better in 'in the valley of elah' than 'the hunted'. charlize theron is pretty awesome too. was stoked to see jason patrick in there...james franco...josh brolin! amazing supporting cast. roger deakins killed it too. i'm a little annoyed though - my tv formatted the picture to 1:85 but it was shot in 2.35:1. still don't know why it did that. brutal story, well directed. see it if you feel like feeling sad.

then i came out of my room and we jammed on a new song. the guitar part is pretty intricate. needs both guitars to make it sound complete. drums are weird. after that i had a bar for dinner and settled down to watch the boxer. i was distracted and had trouble engaging in the flick so i turned it off when joe came around and put on road to perdition.

it's easily one of the most beautifully shot films i think i've ever seen. and so well directed! sam mendes really killed it. tom hanks was reliable as always. paul newman owns all over everything. jude law played against type and did so awesomely, same with daniel craig who's voice and manner were nearly unrecognisable. the music was stellar too thanks to thomas newman. can't say enough good things. the scene where tom hanks confronts paul newman in the rain is just...ugh. never seen anything like it before or since. i could watch it over and over. i don't think mendes can really top this. hasn't since, at least.

next up: jackie brown. never seen this before which is weird. incredible ensemble cast. on the whole it's all a little underwhelming. well executed but just not all that compelling. robert de niro is amazing and he just SITS there. barely does a thing. pam grier was solid. samuel l. just walks all over the thing...he has the most fun out of anyone. surprisingly shot in 1:85 as tarantino's aspect of choice is usually 2.35:1 (which inglourious basterds was shot and looks amazing in). i think cinemascope suits him better...jackie didn't have a whole lot of style about it. at least not compared to everything else he's made. quentin works better with his own material too.

finally: boxcar bertha. scorsese's first real film, a roger corman quickie. firstly, barbara hershey is a babe. it's weird seeing carradine act now that he's dead. funny that i don't feel as weird seeing paul newman...maybe it's just cause of how carradine died. changes the way you view everything in relation to that person. i'm amazed at the transfer of this mediorcre old mgm dvd release. the negative must have been in mint condition cause all the colours are so vibrant for a 60's film (albeit a late 60's film). obviously as it's marty's first flick it's a little shakey but promising. it's shot really well but that'd be mostly due to his planning...they shot it in 22 days on something like $300,000. inspires me a lot.

until tomorrow, bye.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

tuesday 17/11/09: productive?

woke up. drove to chemist warehouse, bought chille con carne, chicken korma, coffee shakes, pumpkin soup, cherry/choc bars. enough meal replacement to last me nearly a month. intense. came back, put down some percussion for western. not much, a bit. break for lunch, i went and bought a dirty clothes hamper and a water filter from castletown. both are rad. came back, didn't do much. watched lust for life.

lust for life is about vincent van gogh. it's amazing how much kirk douglas looked like him once he had the haircut and colour. gave a pretty amazing performance. production was a little too "mgm in the 50's & 60's" for my tastes...they should have it to someone like raoul walsh or john ford. a western director, someone who wouldn't ham up the character development, but i guess it's based off a real dude. anthony quin was good but not as amazing as everyone makes his performance out to be. they made the transfer from a theatrical print, not the negative, which is a shame given how much was written up at the time about how brilliant the colours were. the film stock they used was notorious for losing colour vibrancy faded significantly over time. as i watch more and more early films i come to understand the true value of film preservation. it's depressing to think that 50% of the films made before 1960 are completely lost, either lack of negative/distribution print or faded to red.

then i watched barry lyndon. what a film. i'd never had the balls to sit down and absorb it all in one sitting but man, it's worth it. cannot WAIT for a restoration of that baddie (dvd is from a theatrical print) on dvd and blu-ray. it'll knock the socks off everything (except perhaps baraka). some of the scenes are just masterworks in every possible way. and shot on 65mm...i'll be watching it again a few times over the next couple of weeks, for sure. with every new kubrick film i see (i've only got paths of glory and the killing to go) i feel like i've seen 10 from any other director. i think spielberg said that once actually and i couldn't agree more. watch dr. strangelove and as soon as it's finished, you will want to watch it again. seriously itching for that barry lyndon restoration. pheeyoo.

finally i watched the hunted. i should have saved barry lyndon for last cause the hunted was average. i wish you could edit dvds cause i'd cut the film down to the chasing and the knife fights, both of which were great and the only thing worth watching about it all. benicio del toro is so totally underwhelming you're shocked he won an oscar previous to this film. tommy lee jones could read the phone book and i'd be stoked so i enjoyed him, as always. there's just something about him. william friedken has really gone downhill...turning into just an action d00d. rules of engagement was OKAY but not great. he hasn't made a solid goodie in a while, and for a new hollywood director that's saddening.

my feet are freezing. we got formally invited to play south by south west in austin, texas next march. that's going to be pretty flipping rad.

until tomorrow, bye.

Monday, November 16, 2009

monday 16/11/09: not much.

woke up. shake. hang with mark/jord/ro upstairs. get down to business, finish western. structure at least. break for lunch. go to wow with jord, buy escape from absolom and baraka (which i'd been waiting for to come down in price..13 bucks is a steal). come home.

baraka is already up there with the most amazing motion pictures ever for me. such a beautiful film...some of it is almost too much to watch. the whole sequence set to dead can dance's 'the host of seraphim' brought tears to my eyes. so powerful, can't wait to see it at the astor. i can't believe the director made his own camera to shoot it. in 65mm! astounding. the dvd itself is among the best looking i've ever seen too. such's ridiculous. go out and buy this disc, it will blow your mind.

started watching high plains drifter. shake. practice. good practice. hang with weed for a bit. finish high plains drifter. weird movie. made very quickly and cheaply but with clint eastwood's trademark classicism directorial flourish. waste not want not is the rule of thumb in his pictures. not an amazing western but a merely interesting one. some great one liners. troubling attitude towards women too, but i suppose that's characteristic of the western genre as a whole. which sucks.

sleep now. tired. chemist warehouse in the morning for some bars and meals. been thinking about pizza all night. sucked.

until tomorrow, bye.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

sunday 15/11/09: movies and germans and movies.

the transfer on the french connection dvd was weird. like it was interlaced or something. it's strange, because it was shot on film so it should have an analogue source. it's like when they were doing the restoration (which is quite poor) they made a digital intermediate that was produced as interlaced...which is really unusual. also some sequences are clearly shot on 16mm blowup instead of 35mm like the second unit ran out of money for film stock or something. that film needs another look in terms of the picture...bad dvd.

so today i woke up and watched judgement at nuremberg. not a real cheery flick to watch first thing but i was really impressed. it goes for 3 hours but doesn't seem drawn out. spencer tracey rules as always, burt lancaster is amazing. judy garland was a weird addition for sure. only gripes were the dvd was mastered in 4:3, not 16:9. i looked at the back and the editon i have is dated 2004, which makes this anamorphic oversight kind of inexcusable (unless - and this is likely - it's just a direct copy of an initial release dvd from the 90's or something with new packaging). also, the transfer was made from a distribution print, a black and white positive instead of from the negative. you can tell because the reel change marks appear. this happened with the original dvd transfer of michael mann's heat aswell which was puzzling considering they had the negative for the re-release anyway. why don't they just nail things like that first time around? pretty disappointing, but it wouldn't surprise me if mgm lost the original judgement at nuremberg negative. i guess we'll see whether or not when they do a re-release (which they will do).

then i watched brick. now when i shared a room with jono he was always hassling me to check this flick out cause it was one of his favourites. turns out it rules. well shot, well acted, well written. impressive for such an ambitious idea. the noir touches were obvious but still quite sneaky. joseph gordon-levitt is a great actor and it was sweet to see richard roundtree in there (shaft!). the interview with the director was the only extra on the dvd but it was pretty good. for a half hour of the guy just talking it was better than expected. it took him 9 years to get his film finished...that's daunting but inspiring.

then i watched rounders. i'd forgotten this film even existed until recently when i saw it at JB for like 6 bucks. i think REL have bought up all village roadshow's distribution library in australia cause they're re-releasing all the films as exactly the same discs but with very slightly altered packaging and mega cheap. all the usual village hallmarks are there but it's just an REL release now. reminds me of miramax's releasing strategies in the 80's...anyway. rounders is about poker and it's flipping sweet. matt damon is rad as always, edward norton too...martin landau, nice surprise. john malkovich is hilarious as a russian poker joint owner named kgb. production design was great and it was shot so well...amazing a film like this slipped under the radar. so good.

then some german backpackers came over cause they're staying for a few days. two girls and a guy. jord's registered on and they saw us on there. they were rad. they taught us about german stuff for like 2 hours. beer, geography, dialects...the works. at times it was awkward to search for things to talk about but that's to be expected. i look forward to hanging out with them in the days to come.

finally i watched buffalo 66. it's a film that really sneaks up on you, that you can't judge in the first 20 minutes or so. you're not quite sure what to think of it. christina ricci is great, so is gallo. everyone in it rules in some way. even jackie treehorn from the big lebowski is in it! nuts. cool music and some great scenes, especially the bit where ricci tapdances in the bowling alley...heaps rad. the film looked...70's. must have been the stock, i don't know what it was. it almost looked like they shot on colour positive film. actually i think i read that somewhere. everything looked so warm and lush but muted, if that makes any sense. awesome.

now after nerding out, i gotta sleep.

until tomorrow, bye.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

saturday 14/11/09: haven't posted in a while.

so i guess for the most part i've been slack on this blog for the last month or so. when you get behind, you begin to forget.

a run down of the last month:

- flew to melbourne
- went to mark and leah's engagement party
- played pool
- saw the final destination in 3D
- saw robocop at the astor
- played a show for myspace with tme that went alright but then they brought this food out and it blew my mind. little noodle boxes with fish and chips (and little bits of lemon!), mini-burgers, beer,
- played pool
- hung out
- changed my flight from 28th of october to the 11th of november
- hung out
- went to bentley's 21st which ruled
- played pool
- saw the shining and a clockwork orange at the astor
- saw the box
- saw this is it
- saw saw VI with riz
- saw the imaginarium of dr. parnassus
- played pool
- visited my dad/grandma with my sister
- gave dad a drum lesson
- swam
- ate
- swam
- saw all the lord of the rings' at the astor...breathtaking (and exausting)
- saw the box again
- had a birthday
- saw the box again
- saw a christmas carol (in 2D)
- ate salsas (oh boy!)
- flew to townsville which is where i am now.

since i've been back (got home on the night of the 11th) i've watched some movies:

- apt pupil. pretty interesting if really implausable flick. ian mckellen is amazing in it. great performances all around actually, especially from david schwimmer in a sweet dramatic role.

- the faculty. rad little sci-fi/horror directed by robert rodriguez and written by kevin 'dawson's creek/scream' williamson. surprisingly fun with a rad ensemble cast and cool effects. pure silly schlock.

- ed wood. can't believe i'd never seen it before. tim burton's best directed film without a doubt. and the black and white cinematography...gosh. one of johnny depp's best roles and martin landau is just flipping incredible as bela lugosi.

- stander. surprisingly cool movie about this south african cop in the 70's who becomes a major bank robber. true story too. thomas jane is naked in it more often than clothed though.

- mulholland drive. it'd been a while since i'd seen david lynch's 2001 baddie. naomi watts is amazing and so is laura harrin. justin theraux isn't so bad either and as usual, all of lynch's bit players are note perfect. the score is super rad but it's a shame the focus puller wasn't doing his job properly: half the shots fall out of focus part way through. sigh.

- the last tempation of christ. can't believe i'd never seen this before either. made me pretty emotional, very intense take on the subject and difficult to watch. dafoe just rules all over it...such commitment to his role. i watched it again with commentary which is something irecommend everyone who enjoyed the film should do.

- the aviator. i'd seen it a few times before but decided to watch it with commentary. it will go on to be a classic film not just in martin scorsese's body of work but in all movies. so solidly made and amazing work from everyone involved. probably scorsese's best production designed film besides age of innocence and casino. all three of those films just look so great.

- sheitan. besides vincent cassel's performance which is a riot, no one should bother with this flick. it's just nasty and badly made. eeyuck.

- celtic pride. besides one funny gag at the start, this movie is disappointing considering who's involved. judd apatow wrote it for crying out loud, what went wrong? i couldn't even finish it. jord and i were most displeased.

- the french connection. confusingly paced and edited but with some great moments. doesn't really approach friedken's best directing...exorcist still probably takes the cake for that.

gearing myself up for a black and white intense film marathon tomorrow. judgement at nuremberg and intolerance here i come. both happen to be 3 hours long each which should be interesting. we jammed on a few songs yesterday but besides that, just waiting around to get going on more recording. we only have 3 more weeks to use before we dash off on tour. when i leave townsville on the 3rd of december, i don't get back until the 8th of feb. that is a heck of a long time. i'll need to pack clever.

until tomorrow (maybe), bye.