Thursday, August 15, 2002

Well, it looks like I was wrong. Neva and I were passing by at Greenbelt earlier tonight and found out that the Cinemanila Festival had been extended all the way to the end of the month (though they only had a makeshift schedule until the 19th). Which is great, because there are a lot of interesting films I didn't get to see (Harmful Insect, Peony Pavilion, Weekend Plot, What Time Is It There?, etc.), and I'll be able to continue bugging my friends to see some really great films (the Ring Trilogy, Following, the Takeshi Kitano films, etc.). Of course, this also means more financial difficulty, less gas, and thicker eye bags. Sigh.

There's a good interview with director Robert Rodriguez up at The Onion. I'm a fan of his -- El Mariachi was one of the films that made me want to become a filmmaker. It's also the film that made him famous -- he made the whole film, in full color, practically by himself, and with only $7,000. He'd been off the radar for a while, until he came back with last year's hit Spy Kids, which I enjoyed. In the interview he talks about Spy Kids 2, which he did for roughly the same budget (against the studio's wishes). But it's so nice to see him sticking to his indie roots. Even with a budget of $36 million, he still does practically everything himself-- on Spy Kids 2 he's the writer, director, editor, production designer, score composer, camera operator, cinematographer, sound mixer, sound editor, and special effects head. Not only that, but he wrote the script in 5 days, did pre-production in 2 weeks, and shot it in 7. Jesus. So go read it. His thoughts on art and technology are particularly thought-provoking. Besides which, he's one of the fervent proponents of HD.

Also laughed myself silly reading Conan O'Brien's 2000 commencement speech at Harvard, where he graduated. I'm trying to find a link but if you really want to read it drop me an email and I'll send it over.

Saw a French film with Neva and Quark -- Vidocq, starring Gerard Depardieu and directed by Pitof. What is it with one-name directors these days? You've got McG (Charlie's Angels), Tarsem (The Cell), and Kaos (the upcoming Ballistic), and that's just off the top of my head. Anyway, it's fairly good -- there's a brilliant twist at the end that I love, and it's got beautiful production design c/o Marc Caro, who used to be Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet's partner-in-crime (they directed Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children together). Though unfortunately, the production design is the best part of the movie. Decent acting, but the cinematography was a little claustrophobic for my tastes, full of close-ups and wide-angle shots (practically the whole film, actually). But it did have some brilliant shots, and beautiful colors. Good score, too. And a title sequence that looked like it was made by Dave McKean. Now if only I could find a decent copy of Brotherhood of the Wolf...

Quark also showed us his first cut of the new Monsterbot music video, which is, as always, hilarious. It's even got a complete short film in it. :)

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