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  • Double Double Feature

    Posted on August 12th, 2009 Jeremy 1 comment

    Carrie and I have been enjoying the excellent Summer Film Series at the Paramount Theatre. On August 3rd, we saw both The Black Cat (1934) and The Mummy (1932). This was our first time seeing both films. The Black Cat has a pretty weak plot –  A couple has car trouble, winds up in a creepy house, and hijinks ensue. It is watchable because it features both Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi as adversaries, delivering strange lines and creepy stares. The Mummy, on the other hand, not only features Karloff as the mummy Im-ho-tep, but has an actual story to tell. It is fascinating how little could actually be shown on screen in the 1930s – it cuts away right as a doctor is about to give a patient a shot in the arm, and we see the husband flinch. In lieu of actual gore, there are lots of suggestive shadows, screams, and reaction shots.

    The Mummy

    On Sunday, we spent our afternoon enjoying cold air conditioning and watching a sci-fi double feature: First up was The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), followed by Forbidden Planet (1956). Again, this was our first time seeing both films, and they were both great. Day was definitely the more serious of the two, delivering an anti-violence message with a tough love attitude. Forbidden Planet had a message, but it was more about exploring a strange alien world. With tigers. The theremin was in full effect in both films, used for both music and sound effects – very cool stuff. Of course, the real question here is: Which robot would win in a fight? I am pretty sure that Gort could take out Robby the Robot, but you have to admit that Robby has a lot more charm. Plus, he makes good booze and fancy dresses. What more could you ask for in a robot?

    Forbidden Planet

  • SXSW 2009: Film Report

    Posted on March 28th, 2009 Jeremy 1 comment

    Here are a few of my favorite films I saw at this year’s SXSW Film Festival:

    • Lesbian Vampire Killers (Trailer, IMDB) – Narrative. As the name implies, it was awesome. To clarify, the vampires are lesbians, and there are people who attempt to kill them (as opposed to a group of lesbians who attempt to kill vampires). Destined to go down as the Shaun of the Dead of vampire movies.
    • Trimpin: The Sound of Invention (Trailer, IMDB) – Documentary. There is an artist in Seattle who makes cool musical sculptures, and his name is Trimpin. This is his story. I have added him to list of people I would hire if if I got rich –  Trimpin would be in charge of doing Awesome Musical Stuff. The next time I am in Seattle, I will have to stop by the Experience Music Project and check out the gigantic self-tuning guitar sculpture. Apparently a few of his pieces were on display during the fest, but I missed seeing them. Dang!
    • Anvil! The Story of Anvil (Trailer, IMDB)- Documentary. Yes, this is a documentary, not a mockumentary. It follows a Canadian metal band that’s been around since the 80’s but never broke through. Just watch the trailer. Oh, and here’s an interview with the lead singer, Lips.
    • The Dungeon Masters – Documentary. Follows the lives of three different Dungeons & Dragons game masters. This is one of those documentaries that starts off focusing on an interesting topic and then quickly pushes it to the background in order to do a character study. Regardless of the quality of the film, this style always feels like a bait and switch to me. While I think that the filmmakers chose some very interesting and strange people to focus on, I am not particularly thrilled that they are effectively representing the gaming scene. Hopefully audiences will realize that not all gamers like to paint themselves black and have extremely large dice collections – For example, my dice collection is only medium-sized. That being said, I did enjoy the film.