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The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #100

8 April 2012 4:56 PM, PDT

Second #4700, 78:20

“Donny! Donny! Donny, no! No! Donny mommy loves you!” This is moments after Frank has said, in reference to Dorothy, “Let Tits see her kid.” The tenderness of her hand upon the door molding. A glimpse of a woman in pink in the room with Donny. “What the real world is: that is a very difficult problem” (Haruki Murakami, IQ84). The two lamps in the corner of the room. Who puts two lamps in the same space? Dorothy’s hand, again, the elegant length of her fingers, and the hands of the woman sitting beneath the light switches. Donny’s home is not his home. Ben’s “place” is not a home, although its interior architecture is familiar. Donny is hidden in a home that is not his own.

Freud’s discussion of the uncanny initially focuses on two meanings of the German word heimlich. The first has various associations with the homely, »

- Nicholas Rombes

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What’S In My Instapaper: Sunday Morning Links, 4/8/2012

8 April 2012 8:13 AM, PDT

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, but now that the new issue is shipped and off to the printer, here’s what I’m catching up on.

What’s one measure of good dialogue? According to the Physics arIXv Blog at MIT, it’s the memorability of its quotes. A Cornell University study found that there’s a reason lines like “You had me at hello,” “You can’t handle the truth” and “Hasta la vista, baby” lodge themselves in our memories.

“The cloud” — that system of networked and very terrestrial computers that store and stream are data — may have a name that connotes a product of nature, but for Slavoj Zizek it’s simply another privatized space:

Apologists present cloud computing as the next logical step in the “natural evolution” of the Internet, and while in an abstract-technological way this is true, there »

- Scott Macaulay

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“All In – The Poker Movie” Director Doug Tirola On Documentary Relevance, His Marketing Dilemma And Fighting IMDb

5 April 2012 12:34 PM, PDT

Last week, I wrote on the Filmmaker blog about the dilemma faced by director Doug Tirola in the marketing of his new film, All In – The Poker Movie. As promised, Tirola has written an expansive first-person piece describing in more detail the situation he faced.


All In – The Poker Movie opened at the Cinema Village on Friday March 23rd 2012 and is now rolling out to over 40 markets including Los Angeles and Chicago. The film was originally shown at a festival in 2009, but over the past three years has undergone some distinct and important changes. However, included in the marketing materials for the film’s release is the fact that the film won a Grand Jury Best Documentary award in 2009 from its festival appearance. I hope the following explains our decision to include that fact in our press notes and trailer. To be clear, it was a decision that as producers we discussed, »

- Nick Dawson

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The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #99

5 April 2012 11:32 AM, PDT

Second #4653, 77:33

The sidebar exchange between Frank and Ben, and an exchange of money, too, and a mysterious slip of paper. Ben drops a pill into Frank’s mouth. Frank, in return, says something cryptic about Detective Gordon (Fred Pickler). Another frame-within-a-frame, as the doorframe moldings serve as movie screen curtains. In his essay “Theater and Cinema, Part II,” André Bazin wrote that

a screen is not a frame like that of a picture but a mask which allows only part of the action to be seen. When a character moves off screen, we accept the fact that he is out of sight, but he continues to exist in his own capacity at some other place in the décor which is hidden from us. There are no [theater] wings to the screen. There could not be without destroying its very specific illusion, which is to make of a revolver or of »

- Nicholas Rombes

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“Your Brother. Remember?” — A Hammer To Nail Review

5 April 2012 8:29 AM, PDT

(Your Brother. Remember? opens for a theatrical run in NYC at the reRun Gastropub on Friday, April 6, 2012. Visit the film’s Facebook page or Oberzan’s official website to learn more.)

For those of us who, as adults, continue to take the preposterous cliff-jump that is making movies with nary a paycheck in sight, there are almost certainly VHS/Hi-8/mini-dv tapes hidden somewhere that contain our earliest “work.” Most of this “work” can be categorized as such: backyard/basement/garage variations on—or outright recreations of—whatever big-budget spectacles we had most recently encountered. As a combination performance artist/filmmaker in his mid-30s with just two features under his belt—Flooding With Love For The Kid and now Your Brother. Remember?—Zachary Oberzan has done the unthinkable. Rather than exploiting these past transgressions for comedic purposes, he has embraced them to the point where they define his peculiar artistic vision. »

- Michael Tully

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Nanni Moretti, “We Have A Pope”

4 April 2012 3:11 PM, PDT

Deeply shrouded in mystery, the election of the Pope is a strange amalgam of modern democracy and ancient ritual. It is also a circumstance that seems ripe for farce. At least Nanni Moretti, perhaps Italy’s most revered contemporary filmmaker, seems to think so. His newest film, We Have a Pope, which premiered last year in Cannes as Habemus Papam, is an often funny, sneakily moving investigation of the Vatican’s less-than-infallible process of choosing the divine, and one man’s rejection of his supposedly divine calling. Starring Michel Piccoli as a would-be Pope who disappears after his election and Moretti himself as the psychoanalyst charged with helping the new Pope through his post-election panic, We Have a Pope finds the director, as he did in 2006′s veiled Berlusconi biopic Il Caimano, pondering the inner life of one of Italy’s most powerful, iconic men.

Since his 1976 feature debut, I »

- Brandon Harris

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The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #98

4 April 2012 4:45 AM, PDT

Second #4606, 76:46

Frank has just hurt Jeffrey, and now it’s Ben’s turn. A casual sort of hurtfulness. The frame comes from second number 6 in a shot that lasts just over 53 seconds. In the background, staring back at the camera (at us) is the same Party Girl from earlier. The frame, cut vertically by the curtain and Dorothy’s right arm, is pulled apart by a clash of gazes and lines of vision: Dorothy’s and Frank’s leading our eyes toward Ben, and Ben’s and Hunter’s leading our eyes towards off-screen Jeffrey.

In Barry Gifford’s 1990 novel Wild at Heart (directed by Lynch that same year), Sailor and Lula stay at The Host of the Old South Hotel:

The room was small but cheap, sixteen dollars. The plaster on the walls and ceiling was cracked and there was an ancient Motorola TV with rabbit ears hulking in a corner. »

- Nicholas Rombes

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Sony Pre-announces The Nex-FS700

3 April 2012 7:25 AM, PDT

Just when you’d think speculation about Nab releases would be starting to appear, Sony goes and ruins the surprise by pre-announcing a camera two weeks before the show!

The Nex-FS700 is the big brother of the Nex-FS100, and it appears that Sony intends to continue selling the FS100, with the FS700 “fitting in” between the $5k FS100 and the $14k Pmw-F3. The FS700 resembles the body of the FS100, but the barrel that the lens is attached to is much larger, and adds a hump on the side to accommodate Nd filters. It continues to support Sony’s E-mount.

The FS700 offers four significant improvements over the FS100; built-in Nd filters, 4K “support,” high frame rates and HD-sdi connections.

Built-in Nd Filters

When the FS100 was released, a lot of people were disappointed that it didn’t include built-in Nd filters. If you’re shooting with a large-sensor camera, »

- Michael Murie

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Ghosthunting At Sundance

2 April 2012 9:21 AM, PDT

Take that, SyFy Channel! Producer, distributor, Cinemad founder, Sundance programmer and occasional Filmmaker contributor has passed along the second of his “Mike Plante’s Home Movie Show.” In the show notes, he writes: “Sundance 2012 filmmakers Brent Green, Don Hertzfeldt, Nicholas McCarthy and David Zellner go searching for ghosts in Park City. We find some ghosts but learn more about people who want to see ghosts.” If you are paranormally-inclined, check it out.

… Read the rest »

- Scott Macaulay

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The ‘Blue Velvet’ Project, #97

2 April 2012 8:16 AM, PDT

Second #4559, 75:59

Could it be that Dorothy is gazing not at Frank, but at Ben, the one who holds her son hostage in his apartment? If so, it’s not a meaning that registers upon watching the movie in real time. But at this moment—the moment of the isolated frame—a different layer of information is revealed. Separated from the frames that come immediately before and after it, does the solitary frame mean something different when studied as an image in its own right? Is a single film frame from a movie with over 170,000 frames the equivalent to a single word in a novel? A single letter? A single sentence?

The frame captures a moment just after these lines have been spoken:

Frank: Let’s drink to fucking. Let’s say, here’s to your fuck, Frank.

Ben: If you like, Frank. (pause) Here’s to your fuck. Cheers. »

- Nicholas Rombes

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