Sunday, September 26, 2004

George Lucas vs. The Stormtroopers

As I've posted earlier on this blog about the changing notions of ownership of film and pop culture phenomenon in "Ownership: or, Why DVD Isn't Going Away". I would say that I also defend the "auteur" theory of art, that the piece of art owned by the artist.

The current debate over the new DVDs of the films is facinating. Consider the fascinating arcticle I've excerpted below. Check the out the link above to read the rest of the article.

America's highest-grossing movie series continues to reflect the culture -- this time, with alarming implications. Because the pictures were changed to suit George Lucas, Mr. Lucas' Star Wars trilogy, which premiered on DVD this week, has unleashed a storm of controversy.

The opposition to Mr. Lucas' changes shows how far America has slipped off its foundation -- the idea that the individual has inalienable rights -- and is teetering on the brink of the sort of evil Galactic Empire that he imagined for the silver screen.

Before the DVD's release, there were signs of hostility -- not merely to the esthetics of his changes, a legitimate grievance -- but primarily toward the concept that the creator owns his work.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's SIN CITY

There have been a lot of comic book movies in the last few years. Some good (Spider-man 2), some bad (Daredevil), and some people didn't even know were based on comic books (or the more mature sounding "graphic novels") like Road to Perdition. But never have I seen the world of a specific comic book brought to life like this!

OH MY GOODNESS! I'm a Rodriguez fan, and a Miller fan (Frank Miller wrote my all time favorite comic book, The Dark Knight Returns), so this is amazing to me. Even if you're not a comic book fan, any fan of film noir and gritty crime thrillers should be thrilled to see this. I can't wait!

Monday, September 13, 2004

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls Pt. 1

So today I started reading Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood and it's already one of the best film related books I've ever read. The ordeal of Warren Beatty trying to get Bonnie and Clyde made, the casting of Mike Nichols' The Graduate, George Lucas's horrible shyness, and Francis Ford Coppola going through his "Castro Phase." This is amazing stuff, and I'm only 40 some odd pages in. I love it.

"Some friends of mine were saying that the '70s was the last Golden Age. I said 'How can you say that?' They replied, 'Well, you had all these great directors making picture after picture. You had Altman, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas...'" - Martin Scorsese

Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise

It appears that Richard Linklater's Before Sunset has finally made it's way to Saskatoon, courtesy of the folks at the Broadway Theatre. I've been looking forward to this one for quite a while due to the non-stop good reviews I've heard as well as the fact that Linklater is one of the best director's working today (Dazed and Confused, Slacker, Waking Life and School of Rock). However, before diving into his latest, I figured that I had better check out the first film, Before Surise, to which Sunset is a sequel.

I can basically sum up the film by saying that I'm sad I hadn't encountered it earlier. It's great. Possibly Linklater's finest work I've seen. It combines the briliant setting and character realism of Dazed and Confused with the ideas of Waking Life, but better than either. The basic story is that Jesse (Ethan Hawke) meets Celine (Julie Delpy, a beautiful French girl that every guy dreams of meeting) on a train, while travelling around Europe on a Europass. Jesse then convinces Celine to spend one night in Vienna with him, his last night in Europe. The connection they form, and the wonderful conversations they have form the bulk of the film, that ends ever so ambiguously. The characters of Jesse and Celine are so well realized, they feel real. As a young person in my early 20s, I can totally identify with both of them. This is just a wondeful, wonderful little film. I can't wait to see Sunset.