A bleak tale of vampirism and famine, Asura is based on a dark manga set in a Japanese farming village. One screening only.
The masterpiece of analog cinema, Stanley Kubrick's 2001, simulated all levels of digital through unadulterated waveforms. HAL 9000, circuitry board repairs, guidance simulations, even picture-phone calls, all are imagined digital elements rendered through analog craft. A voice tempered Douglas Rain imitates a digital computer while thousands of hours on animation stands give screens the appearance of digital computation. Its insurmountable visual effects simulating space-travel were also rendered through time-consuming animation stand compositing. Original camera negative was sometimes stored for months as mattes were designed in multiple passes scheduled weeks apart. Never before or since have analog techniques been tweaked to such extremes. Now 2001 has made the crossover into a digital medium for large-scale projection. Museum of the Moving Image is screening the new DCP version of 2001 as part of its new See It Big! series (also making its DCP premiere Apocalypse Now Redux).
Legendary director Chung Cheng Wa presents his two great films Five Fingers of Death and his personal favorite The Swift Knight. Both are in 35MM and are shown at Lincoln Center's part of the New York Asian Film Festival. The master makes personal appearances at both screenings. Chung's mastery of plot compression and action potential is on full display. Humor parallels fortune, music is sung to augment themes, color and darkness are expertly played with. Treachery and righteousness go hand in hand as pre-Bruce Lee Lo Lieh masters baddies as well as his self. Despite his shooting speed (two films per year) Chung kept his visuals meticulous, saving close-ups for monstrous moments. His punctuations are carefully placed. Zooms that open fight scenes are precise. It's his style Tarantino copies predominantly in Kill Bill's kung-fu, but QT can't decide if he's parodying or paying tribute (imagine Kill Bill's MAD Magazine send-up, it doesn't need any new jokes). Both are must-sees.
The Guardian on Televisa's role in electing the favorited P.R.I. candidate in the upcoming national election. Their exclusive:
Televisa refused to meet the Guardian to discuss the allegations. It first ignored requests for comment, then proposed a meeting with legal counsel present. When the Guardian submitted a list of eight questions with a small sample document attached, a spokesman cancelled the meeting, saying the documents had not been not been submitted in a "timely" fashion.
I still have my dog-eared copy of Andrew Sarris's The American Cinema, and I used it efficiently to sift through Lightly Likeable and Strained Seriousness, but let's be careful to bury the dean of the auteur theory. This is the reviewer that began checking out of the American scene with his unapologetic pan of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, the same year his key text arrived. Coincidence? While the experimental cinema of the 60s was being merged with serials and John Ford and Kurosawa within the blockbusters of the 70s, Sarris was far more hypnotized by accented sit-coms like Erich Rohmer, 'realist' portrayals like Agnes Varda and self-conscious fare like Jaques Rivette. It's likely Sarris's full-view of American Cinema ended in 1968 (huh, just as the studio system was ending). He essentially abdicated full knowledge of the forces driving the studios, becoming more selective in the American scene. Sarris, though crucial to revising the perception of Lang, Welles, Stroheim, Dmytryk, Sirk, Losey, Tashlin, McCarey, Sturges, Roach, Keaton, and particularly Ford etc. may have spent the longest period of his career in coda-mode, where he seemed to have found his tastes inspired more by Europeans.
2-D tablets are a distraction for the next phase of the game, personalized language development. That will be the domain of the 3-D tablet, when keyboard is augmented and finally replaced by Kinect-type field manipulation. Each user will start gesturing a stable language then transform it, personalize it.
That's where Apple has to go, towards Kinect, they're playing catch-up privately, while Microsoft bungles its tablet prospects. This is long strategy, many are only looking at the next 16 quarters of the tablet. Think a decade.
Top: With the Curios, Bottom: In the Studio (1909)
From the Wm Cody Collection