One would think it the most obvious thing in the world, but the opening and closing credits of a movie lay the emotional foundation and tone of a movie. Apparently this wasn’t clear until Saul Bass came along in the 1950s with his style of opening and closing credits as well as his movie posters accompanying the movie. I suppose now when I think about it that when a movie from the 1930s and 40s opened up, it was general orchestra music and canned credits flowing by before the first scene of a movie.
Bass was also an animator and won the Oscar for best animated short in 1968 for his cartoon “Why Man Creates.”
The passing of Roger Ebert last week has reminded me again how wonderful both he and Gene Siskel were to movies. They were very often the opinions that mattered most to me when considering whether to see a movie or not. And their TV show “Siskel & Ebert” was a great give-and-take on movie opinion.
Here is a wonderful collection of outtakes for a commercial plug for their TV show. In it you see not only their flubs trying to speak their lines but also the biting jokes that accompany it. While the two were frenemies, they clearly had a dynamic that brought out the best of both of them.
The creator of Ren and Stimpy, John Kricfalusi, is creating a new cartoon with the help of Kick Starter. The video below is a hilarious description by Kricfalusi of what the cartoon is about and what it’s influences are.
A wonderful little documentary on someone’s attempt to bike the tour taken by the Tour de France. He makes it, but it’s certainly a trying experience. Makes you realize how insane people like Lance Armstrong are.
This is an amazing wall display used to promote the TNT show “Perception”. I think this would add a whole new dimension to airline arrival/flight display boards at airports.
Made up of over 40,000 physical dots spinning from black to white at 15 times faster than originally designed to, the screen not only reflects back a unique image of anyone walking by, but allows you to actually hear those movements thanks to its mechanical nature.
Open Culture has the first episode of the epic documentary “Hollywood – Celebration Of the American Silent Film“, narrated by James Mason and released in 1980. After making it through the 13-part documentary, be sure to watch Unknown Chaplin, also narrated by James Mason and probably the best documentary about Chaplin that ever was.
I saw “The Avengers” last night, which was okay. First half was rather slow and tedious, but the battle scene in the last third of the movie was not so bad. But anything nowadays that includes the Hulk reminds me of the greatest movie review ever written. I never saw the Hulk movies, but I can’t imagine them being nearly half as entertaining as this review that appeared in The Guardian:
Hulk. Smash!” Yes. Hulk. Smash. Yes. Smash. Big Hulk smash. Smash cars. Buildings. Army tanks. Hulk not just smash. Hulk also go rarrr! Then smash again. Smash important, obviously. Smash Hulk’s USP. What Hulk smash most? Hulk smash all hope of interesting time in cinema. Hulk take all effort of cinema, effort getting babysitter, effort finding parking, and Hulk put great green fist right through it. Hulk crush all hopes of entertainment. Hulk in boring film.
Tim Roth come on. As evil soldier. Fighting Hulk personal for him. Roth typical evil Brit. Roth supposedly working for US army. Yet Roth Brit. Critic annoyed by stereotyping. Roth get injected with serum. Become Hulky supervillain. Smash cars. Tanks. Only with no trousers. Roth groin area ambiguous. Groin area look lumpy. Bumpy. Perhaps odd penis. Perhaps odd trousers. Critic … not sure.
I can’t think of a review more to the point than this one.
The storyboard is the genesis of most films, and sometimes it’s an entire art form all by itself. Here Ridley Scott describes the making of storyboards and how they help frame a movie before shooting begins. Pixar has really stunning story boards.
The world is full of stuff and the internet has a ton of it. It has a little of everything, enough stuff for one to sift through for a lifetime. I, Daniel Swartz, like to post the perceptions, sensations, notions, intuitions I have when coming across this stuff. Hopefully this stuff is also interesting to you.
stuff [ noun, verb, idiom ] - The essential substance or elements; essence: "We are such stuff as dreams are made on."