Newsbites: Deadly! Expelled! Indiana! Golden!

Time for a few new quickies.

1. Glenn Erickson has a fascinating item up at DVD Savant on the restoration of Kiss Me Deadly (1955) — which I saw in film class in the mid-’90s, before it was restored — and the possibility that a blatant act of censorship may have been interpreted as a sign of artistic genius, with far-reaching consequences for cinema.

2. The New York Times reports that some scientists feel they were tricked into appearing in the upcoming documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which features Ben Stein as a champion of so-called Intelligent Design theory. The film’s producers have responded at their blog, but without linking to the Times story or even specifying which newspaper published the article — which doesn’t bode well if anyone was hoping the film would promote good research habits or open and transparent dialogue.

3. Ain’t It Cool News reports that the set on which Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is currently shooting just happens to be the warehouse where the Ark of the Covenant was stored in a crate at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Make of that what you will, but if it’s true, that would seem to confirm certain rumours. (Note also the Egyptian props mingling with the Mesoamerican props in the photos at Harrison Ford Web.)

4. Yahoo! Movies has a fun new featurette on the development of the “daemons” in the upcoming film of The Golden Compass.

5. Kyle Smith at the Wall Street Journal looks at the rise of action movies, vigilante movies, and similar violent movies that come from the left-leaning end of the political spectrum.

6. The Canadian Press says the town of Vulcan, Alberta is lobbying to host the premiere of Star Trek XI. I happened to visit that town with my family a couple months ago. ‘Twas kinda silly, but fun.

The Dark Is Rising changes its title again?


Nearly two months ago, I noted here that Fox-Walden’s adaptation of Susan Cooper’s The Dark Is Rising had been rechristened The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising. Now, Jeffrey Overstreet at the Looking Closer Journal reports the title has been purged of its darkness and reduced to its shortest word-count ever, and the film is now known simply as The Seeker. Indeed, the film’s official website would seem to confirm this — though the trailer embedded there still uses the longer title. Curiously, Jeffrey says he first noticed that the title had been trimmed when he got his invitation to a press screening in Seattle — but the invitation I got four days ago for the Vancouver press screening used the longer title. Obviously someone, somewhere, hasn’t gotten some sort of memo yet.

The Game Plan — the review’s up!

My review of The Game Plan is now up at CT Movies.

Shake Hands with the Devil — the review’s up!

My review of Shake Hands with the Devil is now up at BC Christian News.

How to treat a lady (even when she’s a sex doll)


Variety recently hosted a screening of the much-buzzed Lars and the Real Girl, followed by a Q&A; with director Craig Gillespie and actor Ryan Gosling. The latter plays a man who has a reportedly sweet relationship with a “woman” he met via the internet — who just happens to be a latex blow-up doll. I love these quotes:

The “Lars” duo also took time to chat about their synthetic co-worker, Bianca, who made a strong impact on the cast and crew in her debut role.

“I said since the beginning that Bianca is an actress in this movie, so we will treat her that way,” said the director.

“When I first met Craig, I asked him, ‘How you are going to shoot Bianca?’ “ commented Gosling. “And he said, ‘I’m going to shoot her as though she has a nudity clause in her contract.’ “

Incidentally, believe it or not, this movie is being promoted to the religious media. Must have something to do with the fact that Lars believes his “girlfriend” is a former missionary! Reports from the Toronto film festival — such as this and this and maybe this — also indicate that Lars is a devout, sexually abstinent churchgoer.

OCT 5 UPDATE: Click here to watch the movie’s trailer.

VIFF 2007 — movie-going schedule

This year’s edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival kicks off in an hour or so, so it’s about time I posted the first draft of my movie-going schedule. As with the schedules I posted in 2006 and 2005, this list is highly flexible and will be revised continually often over the next two weeks, as I juggle family and work obligations and the Thanksgiving holiday and so on. Any films that I do not end up seeing will be deleted from this list. Any articles I write shall be linked to from here. And as I blog the films that I see, I shall link to those posts from the titles listed here.

ARTICLES

‘Christian ‘niche marketing’ an Almighty flop?,’ BC Christian News, Sep 2007 — my monthly film column highlights The Monastery: Mr. Vig and the Nun, In Memory of Myself and One Hundred Nails.

‘VIFF films explore cults, homosexuality and forgiveness,’ BC Christian News, Oct 2007 — my monthly film column highlights Secret Sunshine, Join Us and For the Bible Tells Me So.

4 Months unflinching, Real Girl an endearing parable,’ BC Christian News, Nov 2007 — my monthly film column includes a review of a festival screening of 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days.

SCHEDULE — LAST UPDATED NOV 4, 12:54PM.

FILMS I SAW IN ADVANCE:

Atonement (dir. Joe Wright; UK, 123 min.)

THU SEP 27
Busy with work.

FRI SEP 28
10:00 — GR7 — My Kid Could Paint That (dir. Amir Bar-Lev; USA, 81 min.)

SAT SEP 29
18:20 — GR4 — You, the Living (dir. Roy Andersson; Sweden, 92 min.)
21:30 — GR7 — The Savages (dir. Tamara Jenkins; USA, 113 min.)

SUN SEP 30
Church, busy with work.

MON OCT 1
10:00 — GR7 — Persepolis (dir. Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud; France/Iran, 95 min.)
12:15 — GR6 — Shattered (dir. Mike Barker; Canada/UK, 91 min.)

TUE OCT 2
16:00 — GR7 — Redacted (dir. Brian de Palma; USA, 90 min.)
19:30 — GR1 — Jellyfish (dir. Etgar Keret, Shira Geffen; France/Israel, 78 min.)
21:15 — GR7 — Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (dir. Sidney Lumet; USA, 123 min.)

WED OCT 3
Press screenings, busy with work.

THU OCT 4
Busy with work.

FRI OCT 5
Press screenings, busy with work.

SAT OCT 6
Thanksgiving with family. Watched Elijah (dir. Paul Unwin; Canada, 88 min.) at home.

SUN OCT 7
Thanksgiving with wife’s family.

MON OCT 8
19:00 — GR7 — 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days (dir. Cristian Mungiu; Romania, 113 min.)
21:30 — GR2 — Operation Filmmaker (dir. Nina Davenport; USA, 95 min.)

TUE OCT 9
Busy with work.

WED OCT 10
Press screenings, busy with work.

THU OCT 11
Busy with work.

FRI OCT 12
Busy with work.


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