Palladium Boots has a 3-part documentary about Detroit on their website with host Johnny Knoxville. The 30 minute film is upbeat, inspiring, and features an interesting mix of interviews and locations.
Criterion recently released a restored version of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 masterpiece Red Desert (il deserto rosso) [Amazon | Netflix | IMDB]. On the second viewing, I made screen captures of scenes where the composition caught my eye — mainly focusing on the theme of people set against industrial settings. Many of the still images could stand alongside work from my favorite photographers.
Those of you attached to fast moving modern films with plot may find this film difficult — I hope the still images convince you that a viewing will be rewarding. The cinematography and use of color are amazing, and Monica Vitti’s performance is riveting.
The slideshow is set to a song by the group Sabbath Assembly who have a new release called Restored to One [LP |MP3 | CD]. The album is a modern response to the music of a cult called The Process Church of the Final Judgement. Psychedelic gospel music by way of The Family and NNCK? And Jex Thoth has an amazing voice.
The video is best watched full screen at 720p — it may take a minute to load, but it’s worth it.
There’s your dog; your dog’s dead. But where’s the thing that made it move? It had to be something, didn’t it?
On Netflix, you can now stream the classic 1978 Errol Morris film Gates of Heaven. I’ve seen a lot of Morris’ work, but somehow missed this one. Ostensibly, the film is a documentary about two pet cemetery businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But there are many layers going on here, and I have more questions than answers at this point. If you’re interested in people photography, Gates of Heaven is a must see. There were so many moments where I wanted to jump up and make a screen capture — the subjects, framing, and backgrounds are superb. And the stories — you couldn’t make this up. Morris has the complete trust of his interview subjects. But is Morris’ tongue located in his cheek, or is he sincere? Here’s a great review where Roger Ebert explores some of these issues. And a short clip from the film:
This was Errol Morris’ first film. Werner Herzog made a bet with Morris that if he could complete a feature film, Herzog would eat his shoe. Morris made Gates of Heaven, and Herzog fulfilled his promise by actually eating his shoe (cooked by Alice Waters). Below is a clip from the Les Blank film, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.
I hope you enjoy Gates of Heaven, and look forward to hearing what you think. If you dig this film, you can also stream some other great Morris titles on Netflix including: Vernon, Florida, The Thin Blue Line, and Fast, Cheap & Out of Control.
Just heard from Stephen at the amazing Oddball Film & Video that the film Guest of Cindy Sherman is now screening in San Francisco at the Roxie Theater in the Mission District [Map]. Here’s an interview with filmmaker Paul H-O on salon.com, and a write up from Oddball’s private screening last Fall. If you live in the Bay Area, Oddball’s email list is highly recommended. Here’s the Guest of Cindy Sherman trailer:
Here’s a few quotes from the film:
“Overall the art world is bullshit.” – Eric Bogosian
“It’s one blow job after another.”- David Ross, Whitney Museum of Art
“I like the elitism of the art world. I think art for the people is a terrible idea.” – John Waters
Update: I saw the film and it’s thought provoking and recommended. The funny thing is that Cindy Sherman seems like the nicest most down to earth person, and filmmaker Paul H-O seems like a whiney complainer. According to this 2008 interview with Paul H-O, Cindy Sherman had quite a bit of control over what got shown in the final film and what didn’t. A little bit of further research yielded a great article on The American Prospect called Portrait of Misogyny that has some very interesting commentary about art world bubbles and gender roles. Guest of Cindy Sherman runs through Thursday at the Roxie.
A prop car from the movie Knight Rider 2010 shot at last week’s Pearsonville night photography workshop. The lighting is a combination of moonlight, sodium vapor streetlights, flash through the rear window of the car, and flashlight to light the store and equpiment signs. Exposure time was 2 minutes at f/8, ISO 200 — allowing just enough time to get all of the light painting done in one take without too much moon movement. Check out this car in action in the movie trailer below: