do you want to watch a movie?

7:35 DE LA MAÑANA from Morituri.

7:35 in the Morning is a short from 2004 that I think Andrew found through StumbleUpon before it was nominated for an Oscar. We used to have little Found Media nights where people would bring DVD’s or drives with videos they had liked and downloaded from the internet, like YouTube parties before the social networks caught up with our habits and everything was given over to the cloud, and I remember this one making quite the impression when we put it up on the screen. A bit like when we found The Hire BMW films in early 2002. (Called The Hire, we found them stripped of their context and named them The Driver series and loved them all the same.)

The internet is interestingly timeless, insomuch that what is old can be new again, as new waves of people discover old art. It’s strange to think that 7:35 in the Morning is from a decade ago. I haven’t seen Andrew in months, I couldn’t name more than five people who used to come to those parties, but here I am, tracking it down and posting it to my LiveJournal, just like I did ten years ago when I was twenty:two.

It came up this evening because I’m sending some of my favourite short films to a dear friend who’s at home with anxiety. It’s not the hair-dye girly party we planned, but I’m still managing to help her with her gluey, uncomfortable head-yuck, so I’m a little disappointed, but not as much as I would be if I couldn’t find a way to help.

Other films I’m sending her that you might like as well:

Johnny Express, by Kyungmin Woo – A slightly shady delivery gone terribly wrong. Animated with a nod to disaster blockbuster tropes, it’s a sweet yet efficient bit of ha-ha ouch sort of slapstick.

Hotel Chevalier, by Wes Anderson – Partner short to The Darljeeling Limited, Jason Schwartzman plays the same character, but before he got his emo heart all ker-smashed by his ex-lover, played by Natalie Portman. More atmosphere than plot, but nice.

Marilyn Myller, by Mikey Please – From the description, “A year in the making, the full six minute stopmotion short features the voice of Josie Long, one zillion hand carved tiny things, literally tens of carved foam puppets, two eye fulls of in-camera, long-exposure light trickery and a pair of tiny dolphins, smooching.” It also pointedly makes fun of high art while being, at it’s heart, high art.

The Centrifuge Brain Project – Lies, damned lies, and mock documentaries about scientific experiments. Contains nearly believable amusement park rides and a touch of death.

This Is a Generic Brand Video, written by Kendra Eash for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency – Made entirely of stock footage, (excepting the custom narration), this short gleefully skewers the poisoned well of advertising conceits it draws from so successfully.

Oktapodi, by gobelins school of animation students – Two octopi in love. One is captured, meant for a dinner table, the other must get it free. Chaos, of course, ensues just as ridiculously it should.

Trois petits points, by gobelins school of animation students – Supremely stylish, a seamstress sews things back together during and after a war, while her husband is resentful. Thick with myth, this one, and darkness.

C’est la vie, by Simone Rovellini – Attractive and bewitching, this working girl is especially charming if you’re a fan of Amélie. Similar whimsy and cinematic style, though very different plot. I will love this one until I die.

Drive: one of the only films ever to make me cry

“Have you seen Drive yet? You should.” I keep saying this, sometimes to strangers. It has become my sleeper hit, the film that sank into my skin and stayed there, an invisible tattoo just under the surface, built of silence, violence, and those terrifying, honest moments when you realize just how much you can mean to someone.

The plot is nearly forgettable, yet there were moments in the film that felt so honest that I can’t properly express why they were important, except to say that I miss some people, the same way all of us do. They’re far away or they’re dead or they don’t talk to you anymore and that’s just how it is. And this movie, Drive, a silly heist-gone-wrong movie with guns and blood and broken teeth, captured that completely.

He shyly smiles at her, then she looks out the window of the car as they drive through night-time L.A., (as you do if you live there, it’s just part of the experience, part of the mythology, as essential to the city’s identity as the palm trees that line every block), and he looks away and then, in that moment where they are both looking away and both of them are silent, only the radio plays, she reaches out and puts her hand on his on the gear-shift and it’s a revelation. He laces his fingers with hers and yes, I’ve been there, that precise feeling, I know it exactly, oh my chest hurts, this entire thing hurts, I want to cry, and the music swells up again and everything is just right.

Meanwhile the entire thing ticks on as calmly as it can, fueled by a killer, dreamy soundtrack, a quiet and efficient character piece dipped in low-rent Hollywood action. I’m a sucker for lovingly evocative images of downtown Los Angeles, but the true power of the film rests in how subtle the real story is, how intense its raw poetry. As far as I’m concerned, the title isn’t Drive for the expected reasons, but after the main character’s will and motivations, impeccably brought to life by Ryan Gosling. It’s a very fine trick for a revenge film, given how limiting the heavy narrative structure of a crime drama generally is, to have such a sincere respect for the complexity of human relationships, but underneath the cliché bag-of-money device and the scathing mob bosses, (played beautifully by Albert Brooks and an almost shockingly foul mouthed Ron Perlman), there runs an incredible focus on intimacy, interaction stylistically pared down to the basics. The film unfolds scene after scene like vivisection lessons on how much it’s possible to communicate without words. Even the clockwork-plot murders seem to be legitimate, less fiction than a memory that someone has chosen to share.

Some people don’t like it, you might not, (one friend of mine went so far as to say it was like watching unlikeable robots), but the fact remains that you should see it anyway. If only for the soundtrack. Or the bit in the elevator. I’d marry that scene.

outlook dim

  • 2012 Movie Preview: Our 50 Most-Anticipated Films

    I had a bit of a failed evening on Friday night, in spite of great plans. First was a dessert themed birthday party, then an electro-swing event with live bands, stilt-walkers, fire, and a fashion show, and a BBQ at the batcave to nicely round off the evening. But then the toilet broke and flooded the bathroom, five different people cancelled on me, someone else stood me up at a bus-stop for an hour, and a homeless crackhead stole the box of strawberries I’d bought for the birthday party. So instead of forging forward and going to the wonderful events I still had time for, I went home, took off my pretty costume, and burrowed into my bed with home-made chinese food and the endings to every movie I’d fallen asleep in front of over the past month. (Gasland, I Love You Phillip Morris, Marwencol, Charles Darwin and the Tree of Life). Not the best or bravest reaction, but it wasn’t the worst, either, so there’s that.

    Sunday wasn’t much better, but at least I put together an entire box of clothing to donate and got a start on my taxes. Small steps. Almost productivity.

    Tomorrow is David’s birthday, (and it was just Ray’s and Lori’s birthdays, too), so we’re going to see John Carter tonight in 3D. Then the day after, I leave on the early train out of Vancouver to go down to Seattle for a week. Don’t have a solid plan on where I’m staying yet, but sometimes just about anywhere is better than here. It’s going to be nice to see my people there. It’s been far, far too long.

  • What would you do if you only had minutes to live?

    Filmography 2011, by Gen Ip

  • Films in order of appearance:
  • The Making of Filmography 2010: An Interview with Vancouver artist Gen Ip.
  • Filmography 2010. (I cannot even begin to accurately unpack just how glad I am that she made another one this year. These make me so happy.)
  • you monster (this is a triumph)

    Portal: No Escape

    A bit of interesting trivia: this short was scored by Mike Zarin, the person responsible for the soundtrack of the first Inception trailer, the one featuring the giant, iconic THRUM which laid the groundwork for Hans Zimmer’s score to the film.

    See also: The Gary Hudston Project, an elaborate in-game proposal level, and how it came into being.

    I just wanted to see adrian brody punch more dinosaurs

    I’m finding the newest Predators movie bizarre, as the formulaic genre pick-them-off is more than a teensy bit hilarious, (really, you just pulled out his entire spine with bonus! attached skull, okay then, and your leader wears a plastic goth-lego helmet with gold teeth on it, uh-huh), yet slathered with genuine moments of spookiness. Not what I was expecting.

    The Social Network aka the facebook movie:
    1. I had no idea I’m only two degrees away from Mark Zuckerberg.
    2. WTF is up with that freakishly shallow portrayal of women!! For reals, people. Sad!

    Yes, this is my literacy level at 4 a.m. I have a detailed and complex reduction of the various issues, but not the wherewithal to care enough to shove myself into the wakeful mental state required to properly unpack and spell them all out. Not that there’s anything wrong with “reals”, because there isn’t. At all.

    I mean, seriously, fail! It didn’t even, at bare minimum, pass the Bechdel Test.

    Beautifully shot though. Breathtaking. Truly masters of the craft. Fingers crossed that such movies will put an end to the loathesome blue/orange oversat nightmare that’s cursed this decade.

    EDIT: Aaron Sorkin explais the misogyny.

    VIFF is love

    The Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off this week, running from September 30 – October 15. I haven’t given the VIFF Film Guide & Schedule my usual care this year, but I’ve managed to find a number of interesting films through word of mouth, with thanks especially to Andrew and Keith. If there’s anything you think I might fancy that I don’t have listed, please feel free to make suggestions.

    Sat, Oct 2nd: Win/Win, 10:45 am, Empire Granville. The 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy, 10:45 am, Pacific Cinematheque. The Red Chapel, 12:30 pm, Empire Granville, (rush only). Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, 9:45 pm, Empire Granville.
    Sun, Oct 3rd: The Red Chapel, 10:45 am, Pacific Cinematheque. The Sleeping Beauty, 6:40pm, Empire Granville.
    Mon, Oct 4th: Ride, Rise, Roar, 9:30 pm, Empire Granville.
    Tue, Oct 5th: Turn It Loose, 1:15 pm, Empire Granville. Into Eternity, 3 pm, Empire Granville.
    Wed, Oct 6th: The Sleeping Beauty, 10:30am, Empire Granville. Transfer, 9:15 pm, Empire Granville.
    Thu, Oct 7th: Transfer, 1:15 pm, Empire Granville. The Sleeping Beauty, 4:15pm, Empire Granville.
    Fri, Oct 8th: Into Eternity, 1:50 pm, Empire Granville. Win/Win, 4:00 pm, Empire Granville.
    Sat, Oct 9th: My Words, My Lies – My Love, 9:00 pm, Empire Granville. Into Eternity, 9:30 pm, Vancity Theatre.
    Sun, Oct 10th: Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and The Magnetic Fields, 11:00 am, Vancity Theater. Ride, Rise, Roar, 2:30 pm, Empire Granville.
    Mon, Oct 11th: My Words, My Lies – My Love, 3:00 pm, Park Theater.
    Tue, Oct 12th: Ride, Rise, Roar, 6:40 pm, Empire Granville.
    Thu, Oct 14th: The 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy, 9:30 pm, Empire Granville.
    Fri, Oct 15th: The 4th Revolution – Energy Autonomy, noon, Empire Granville. The Illusionist, 9:45, Empire Granville.

    Of everything listed, the one I’m most invested in is The Illusionist, a film I’ve been enchanted with since the trailer leaked on-line last spring. “Based on an unfilmed screenplay by Jacques Tati, Sylvain Chomet’s animated follow-up to his worldwide triumph The Triplets of Belleville is a less manic and even more beautifully realized story of a down-on-his-luck magician in the 1950s and the young girl who is innocent enough to be spellbound by his talents. A true gem of whimsy and melancholy, graced by an extraordinary musical score.”

    Jeanet & Caro’s first film, The Bunker of the Last Gunshots, now available to watch on-line!

    Via Twitchfilm:

    Before The City of Lost Children, before Delicatessen, long before Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro would become international darlings, all the way back in 1981, the duo would make their live action directorial debut with The Bunker of the Last Gunshots. They had already collaborated on a pair of animated shorts by this point but Bunker was their first foray into the ‘real’ world and already their distinct style was fully on display. Running at 25 minutes, the start, seemingly post-apocalyptic film has been a hard one for fans to track down but the entire thing is now online and available for viewing. Take a look below.

    LE BUNKER from kapelaans.

    More than a couch, less than a rocket ship.

    I pulled back. Wait. With one hand on his chest, I reached down with the other and plucked our favourite caramel from the small, expensive box on the bed. Here, so we’ll always know what our first kiss tastes like. I put it between my teeth and held it there in my mouth, then leaned forward to his, and broke the dark chocolate into gooey citrus caramel just as our lips began to meet.

    The last few days have felt like a wonderful vacation from the various crushing worries that have been become the fabric of my recent life. Instead of worrying about rent or groceries or perpetually postponed photo sessions, I’ve been floating, spending time in Seattle with Tony, celebrating our one year anniversary with whatever pops into our heads. I arrived to find chocolates on the bed from Chocopolis, the place on Capitol Hill where the flavour of our unbelievably delicious first kiss came from. They no longer sell that particular sweet, but Tony bought approximations, and we fed them to each other like little bullets of joyful reminder, coated in smooth, delicious happiness.

    He also presented me with a copy of Taxidermia, so Friday night we stayed in, made supper, and let wonder unfold on the screen. Neither one of us had seen it before, but I’ve been quietly lusting after it for years, since seeing this clip when it was first posted. I warn you now, it’s one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen, but it’s relentless. I’ve been trying to think of a way to recommend it to people for days now, except I want to do so safely, so no one ends up traumatized. Describing it would ruin it. Telling everyone to see it would be a mistake. I mean, it’s heart-stoppingly gorgeous, but there is a man with a flame thrower penis within the first ten minutes. It needs one of those old thriller movie posters that didn’t bother with anything but NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!! in 89 point bright red type. Nothing else would be appropriate. I will say this, though, if you’re a squeamish sort of body, either watch it with someone who will tell you when to look or simply avoid it altogether, excluding the scene I’ve already posted.

    Since then, we’ve wandered downtown, had dinner at the Space Needle, saw lightning, practiced our massage skills with ebony current cream, enjoyed at least one sleep-in of epic proportions, played peek-a-boo with a baby giraffe at the Seattle Zoo, fed popcorn to squirrels, been rained on with some red pandas, were pleasantly defeated by steaks at Morton’s, and fallen asleep in front of Sonny Chiba movies and seriously vintage cartoons. Our love is awesome.

    ps. I also got him a present, but it’s not here yet, so mum’s the word until it arrives. Shh.