Ray Harryhausen passed away last week. This has been noted by people more qualified than I to discuss the master of stop-motion magic—Rick Baker, Adam Savage, Todd Masters, George Lucas, Peter Jackson, and more. The superhuman talent and perseverance evident in a Harryhausen effects sequence can easily be seen in countless visual effects artists since he first brought his creations to frame-by-frame life on the big screen. That makes sense. So how can I really say anything of worth when I say that I was also profoundly influenced by the artistry of Ray Harryhausen? With modesty, and a story about Clash of the Titans. Continue reading…
At the School of Visual Art, Greil Marcus delivers a commencement speech discussing “high art” vs. “low art,” art, and influence. (Thanks, Andrew!)
At The Comics Journal, Joe McCulloch speaks to the legacy of Comics Alliance. The Beat‘s Steve Morris writes about what Comics Alliance meant to him. ” If Comics Alliance was known for anything – aside from the much-needed essays on prejudice and progression, aside from discussion of Batman punching people with car parts, aside from [...]
Jim Emerson collects and breaks down the criticisms of Room 237, a documentary of people who obsess over Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. And Drew Morton created a visual essay in response to the film.
“Room 237 is like an act of revenge from a filmmaker upon the critics,” writes Robert Greene in his review. And The Verge’s Adi Robinson interviews Room 237 director Rodney Ascher on The Shining, interpretation and conspiracy theories. “[Room 237 is] about what happens when the movie leaves the filmmaker’s hands, and the audience is [...]
The Gutter’s own Carol writes about Roger Ebert, art and adapting: “I’ll miss Roger Ebert. He was complicated and messy and smart and talented and human.”
Matt Singer explores two elements that recur in all of Sam Raimi’s films, Pandora’s box and, “The Classic,” a 1973 Delta 88. “Using The Classic to play Uncle Ben’s car may have just been a fortuitous way for Raimi to shoehorn in his beloved trademark, but in the larger context of his career, it imbues [...]
As Popshifter has pointed out, Suzy Menkes’ article about fashion, could apply to so many other cultural pursuits now: “It is great to see the commentaries from smart bloggers — especially those in countries like China or Russia, where there was, in the past, little possibility of sharing fashion thoughts and dreams[.] But two things [...]
Monster Island Resort Podcast celebrates Women In Horror Month with a reading of horror forerunner, Romantic and Gothic novelist Ann Radcliffe’s “The Supernatural in Poetry.” Terror vs. Horror. Gore vs. No Gore. Realism vs. Atmosphere. It’s all discussed.
J. Robert Lennon has some advice on writing a bad review, including, “provide context,” “have a little fucking humility.” and “don’t be a dick.”
“Comics are yours, and they belong to you. Don’t let anyone — anyone — tell you differently. I never did, and it worked out pretty ok for me.” Laura Hudson steps down as Editor-in-Chief at Comics Alliance.
Beth Loves Bollywood responds to Firstpost‘s “My favourite bimbo: Why America loves brain-dead Bollywood”:
Lonely serial killer and film smarty Harry S. Plinkett reviews the Star Wars prequels: The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. Trenchant analysis aside, current favorite segments are his love advice to Anakin and “Citizen Vader”–starts here and continues. (Trigger warning for those sensitive to ladies held captive in basements [...]
In memoriam, a letter Adam Yauch wrote to The New York Times as Nathaniel Hörnblowér, his nom de direction for Beastie Boys music videos. TheDose.ca has a collection of Mr. Hörnblowér’s work. excluding “Sabotage.” And here’s an interview with Mr. Hörnblowér.
The Belated Nerd reprints a 1961 Time review of Hammer and American Intertnational horror, including The Pit and The Pendulum, Curse of the Werewolf and Black Sunday. “Those who cannot bear the tension may be grateful for the Fright Break, during which they may ‘follow the Yellow Streak to the Coward’s Corner and have the [...]
Brutal as Hell features an editorial by Keri O’Shea about reviewers and the film industry, specifically reviewers and makers or horror film. But it is worthwhile reading for anyone interested in the relationship between pop culture writers and pop culture marketing and industry. (via @ruemorgue)
Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott defend the slow and the boring film, giving as examples, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Dargis sees them giving space for thought. Scott sees “protests against the deep…[as] mask[ing] another agenda, which is a defense of the corporate status quo.” And [...]
Science fiction author and feminist and queer critic, Joanna Russ has died. She was probably best know for her novel, The Female Man and her critical text, How To Suppress Women’s Writing. Feminist Science Fiction, Fantasy & Utopia has more about Russ and her work.
At the Vault of Horror, B-Sol ponders the age old question of payola–in the form of bloggers providing good reviews for screeners, tickets and just to be nice. There’s a good discussion in the comments as well.
Salon has an excellent piece on the death of stunts in Hollywood movies, exploring everything from the history of film stunts, the reliance on CG effects and new-fangled “intensified continuity” editing. The piece also mentions Michelle Yeoh, Tony Jaa, Zoe Bell and Yakima Canutt. (Thanks, Brian from Shelf Life CC).
Mubi has a lovely, thoughtful post on Jean-Claude van Damme in honor of his 50th birthday. ” But what does that make of an action-star-inverse like Van Damme, who’s at his most interesting when he’s at his most vulnerable and who does not, unlike Stallone or Willis, wield that vulnerability as a weapon, but presents [...]keep looking »