A bleak tale of vampirism and famine, Asura is based on a dark manga set in a Japanese farming village. One screening only.
Master mathmetician Roger Penrose intersects math, physics, neuroscience and cosmology to attempt to answer "the big question." While he gets as close as anyone could have in 1990, he fails tantalizingly to convince readers that outerspace and the brain's innerspace are integrally related. Like a fundamentalist he begins with Turing and using that as a model for the human brain's A.I., he ventures from algorithm to particle theory to cosmology to neuroscience. His detractors (like Edelman) make mincemeat out of his simplistic computational aspects of the brain, but Penrose is going for the biggest picture possible: space/geologic-time. Like Tipler-Barrow's Anthropic Comsological Principle, which he cites repeatedly, Penrose has built a key foundation for time-travel in multiple dimensions.
Top: The big-bang eventually splinters into black hole singularity Bottom: Particle-wave theory. Two slits reveal how photons (light) behave like particles AND waves.
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.
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.
The biggest budgeted film of 1977 was 20th Century Fox's $17 million dollar hoped for tentpole Damnation Alley, a brawny action flick starring Jan Michael Vincent (White Line Fever) and George Peppard (Breakfast at Tiffany's). Director Jack Smight was b.o. gold since he'd helmed hits Airport '75 and Midway, but the effects were poorly planned and the film spent 10 months painting in glowing skies. It bombed in the wake of half-its-budget sleeper Star Wars, itself given little chance of success by the Fox brass. Rarely, maybe never screened, this megabudget oddity is being shown at Anthology Film Archives June 17/23.