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Peter saw his first movie when he was just a little boy, and has never gotten over that experience.

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Even Films Started Small

Posted February 22, 2008

Six Shooter Short film

While the Academy Award for Live action short is a badge of honor, one would think that it would also be a promise of things to come. Strangely, however, only a few directors have gone on to make a feature film, let alone a name for themselves. The exceptions are notable. In 1978, Taylor Hackford won for Teenage Father, and was back at the Academy Awards in 2004 with his bio-pic Ray. And while Andrea Arnold - who won Best Short in 2004 for Wasp -- hasn't been back to the American Academy Awards, in 2006 she swept the BAFTAs in Scotland with Red Road. And the winner in 2005 was Six Shooter, a shoot 'em train yarn directed by Irish playwright Martin McDonagh. And this year McDonagh has expanded his cinematic reach with the hitman comedy In Bruges (with his Six Shooter star Brendan Gleeson). In celebration of these short directors of great promise, International Shorts on itunes is offering a range of great short films, especially Six Shooter and other Oscar winners.

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The Secret Lives of Cars

Posted February 19, 2008

A recent trailer for a upcoming documentary (on Boing Boing) about a Swiss Police photographer, Crash Course: The Accidental Art of Arnold Odermatt, is a stunning film all , a Swiss police photographer

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The Way of All Fleischer

Posted February 18, 2008

Compulsion

As more and more filmmakers delve into the psyche of the criminal mind, Dave Kehr at the New York Times asks us to remember a filmmaker who was one of the first to explore that dark and dangerous space. "In a Corrupt World Where the Violent Bear It Away," Kehr praises Richard Fleischer, who is currently enjoying being part of the "Film Comment Selects" series at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Fleisher, whose greatest strength was probing people's weaknesses, made his mark with a series of very noir studies. His 1949 Follow Me Quietly introduced us to the "the Judge," one of Hollywood's first sociopath serial killers. His 1959 Compulsion dramatizes the famed "crime of the century," the kidnapping and murder of a little boy by the Chicago boy genius Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold - a story that was critically revised by Tom Kalin's 1991 Swoon. And his 1968 The Boston Strangler brought a stark, focused look at the man who had been writ so large on the covers of tabloids for so long. While Fleisher also made a number of big Hollywood pictures - 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea, Fantastic Voyage, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Soylent Green and Conan The Destroyer - his crime dramas remain his most memorable, partially for the way he treated criminals themselves. Were they the embodiments of pure evil? The byproducts of dysfunctional families? The bloody symptoms of mental illness? Or the pawns of a corrupt capitalist system? Fleisher's killers were all and none of this - they are sallow, blank-faced enigmas the reflect back to us questions that we may never be able to answer. All this from the son of Max Fleisher, the famous artist who created Betty Boop.

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Click to Bruges

Posted February 08, 2008

NYT Bruges 1

NYT Bruges 2

In Bruges hits the theaters today - with some lovely reviews from Rolling Stone and USA Today and lots of articles about the director Martin McDonagh and his trip of loveable killers - Brendan Gleeson, Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. But the unsung star of the film is Bruges itself, the post-card medieval city in which the characters find themselves trapped. As such, one of the more interesting pieces out there today is an audio slide show "In Conversation" (produced for the New York Times by Mekado Murphy) of McDonagh and Ferrell talking about the film, humor, and, of course, Bruges.

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Jenni Olson's Milk Route

Posted February 02, 2008

Jenni Olson

Jenni Olson, who has been a guiding light of LGBT cinema in San Francisco for years, has been keeping a blog "Harvey Milk Movie News" detailing the events around the current film production. On Friday, Olson took a stroll down memory lane, looking at the Castro and the legacy of Harvey Milk in the neighborhood he helped found. Along the way she meets up with the area's ghosts as well as the economic crisis it now faces. It's a beautiful post worth reading. Here are her final comments:

 

"I can't help but think of Brokeback Mountain -- as a huge gay-themed film that impacted mainstream audiences while at the same time resonating profoundly with gay audiences. Milk looks poised for a similar kind of impact given the team behind the camera and the cast in front of it. Perhaps they'll finish in time for a June premiere at the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, which is held just up the street from Castro Camera -- where Harvey helped process all the rag-tag Super 8 homo movies that launched the first "San Francisco Gay Film Festival" the very year he was assassinated. Godspeed."

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