Archive for 2012|Yearly archive page

The Blob

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm
Cover of "The Blob - Criterion Collection...

Cover of The Blob - Criterion Collection

The Blob – July 20, 1957. In the small Pennsylvania town of Downington, teenager Steve Andrews (Steve McQueen) and his girlfriend Jane Martin (Aneta Corsaut) are out parking and see a falling star. They drive out to try to find where the meteor landed. An old man (Olin Howland) has heard the meteor crash near his house. He finds the meteor and pokes it with a stick. The rock breaks open to reveal a small jelly-like blob inside. This Blob, a living creature, crawls up the stick and attaches itself to his hand. Unable to scrape or shake it loose (and apparently now in pain), the old man runs hysterically onto the road, where he is seen by Steve, who takes him to see the local doctor, Doctor Hallen.

They reach the clinic when Doc Hallen is about to leave. Hallen anesthetizes the man and sends Steve back to the crash site to gather more information. Hallen decides he must amputate the man’s arm which is being consumed by the Blob, calling in his nurse. However, the Blob completely consumes the old man. Now an amorphous creature, it eats the nurse and the doctor while increasing in size.

Steve and Jane return to the office and Steve witnesses the doctor’s death. They go to the local police and return to the clinic with the kindly Lt. Dave (Earl Rowe) and cynical Sgt. Bert (John Benson). However, there is no sign of the creature or the doctor, and the police dismiss Steve’s story. Steve and Jane are sent home with their fathers but sneak out and retrieve Steve’s friends and successfully enlist their help warning the town.

In the meantime, the Blob has consumed a mechanic, the janitor in Mr. Andrew’s grocery store, and a bar room of late-night drinkers.

Investigating, Steve and Jane are confronted by the Blob in the grocery store and seek refuge in the walk-in refrigerator. The Blob starts to ooze in under the door but then retreats. Steve and Jane escape and set off the town’s fire and air-raid alarms. The whole town gathers and demands to know what is going on. As the townspeople and police angrily confront Steve, the Blob enters the Colonial Theater which is showing horror classic Daughter of Horror engulfing and eating the projectionist before oozing into the cinema seating area.

The patrons run screaming out of the theater, alerting the assembled townspeople to the danger. The Blob leaves the theater, but Jane’s little brother appears from the crowd to confront the Blob with his cap gun before running into the adjacent diner. Jane and Steve run in after him but become trapped along with the owner and a waitress.

The Blob (now an enormous mass from all the people it consumed) engulfs the diner and begins to ooze in through the windows while the occupants seek refuge in the cellar. The police try to kill the Blob by dropping a power line onto it, but this fails and only sets the diner ablaze. Defending themselves inside, the diner’s owner uses a CO2 fire extinguisher attempting to put out the fire, which also causes the approaching Blob to recoil. Steve remembers that the Blob retreated from the refrigerator, too, and tells Lt. Dave that the Blob apparently cannot stand the cold (“CO2, Dave, CO2!”). Jane’s father, Mr. Martin (Elbert Smith), takes Steve’s friends to the high school to retrieve fire extinguishers which are used to freeze the Blob. Dave requests an Air Force jet to transport the Blob to the North Pole to keep it frozen. A military plane is shown dropping the Blob into an Arctic landscape. The film ends with the “The End”

Directed by – Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.-
Russell S. Doughten Jr.

Theodore Simonson and
Kate Phillips

Original idea
Irvine H. Millgate

Russell Doughten
Jack H. Harris

Steven McQueen
Aneta Corsaut
Earl Rowe
Olin Howlin
Steven Chase
John Benson
George Karas
Lee Payton

Original Music
Ralph Carmichael

Thomas Spalding

Alfred Hillmann


Steve Niles’ Remains

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Steve Niles’ Remains – The story centers on two lone survivors of a bizarre accident that reduced most of the world’s population to zombies. They take refuge in a vacant casino and fight a losing battle against the undead.

Directed by – Colin Theys – Writers – John Doolan – Steve Niles – Producers – Ted Adams – Bonnie Farley-Lucas – Andrew Gernhard – Richard J. Lucas – Steve Niles – Shane O’Brien – Zach O’Brien – Kevin Shea – Justin Smith –  Thomas P. Vitale – Cast –  Miko Hughes – Lance Reddick – Grant Bowler – Tom

American comic book author and screenwriter St...

American comic book author and screenwriter Steve Niles. Taken at the 2007 Scream Awards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tawny Cypress – Bobby Rice – Evalena Marie – Anthony Marks – Greg Nutcher   Jessica Alexandra Green – Original Music – Matthew Llewellyn – Sarah Schachner – Cinematographers – Adrian Correia – Production Designers – Melanie Gunn


In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Heal -In the midst of the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a gifted child makes an extraordinary effort for his people.

Directed by – Mian Adnan Ahmad – Writers – Mian Adnan Ahmad – Producers –  Mian Adnan Ahmad – J.C. Diaz –  Marcus Metsala – Cast – Walid Amini – Summar Swift Bitar – Hamid Majid Habibi – Sayed Hashimi – Fereshta Kazemi – Navid Negahban – Hannah Sher – Reha Zamani – Ameer Zhowandai – Original Music –  Tuomas Kantelinen – Cinematographers – Dani Sanchez Lopez – Editors – Yukako Shimada

To the Moon

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 5:59 pm
Cassini color image of Rhea taken Jan. 16, 200...

Cassini color image of Rhea taken Jan. 16, 2005, showing the wispy trailing hemisphere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To the Moon

Growing up in Iran where bombs frequently fell from the sky, a free-spirited girl leaves behind her father and moves to America to find freedom. Only to realize the oppression has followed her all the way to LA.

Directed by – Damian Harris – Writers – Solmaz Niki-Kermani – Producers –  Russell Boast – Cast – Solmaz Niki-Kermani – Yanellie Ireland – Nooshafarin Abdi – Shari Vasseghi – Navid Negahban – Van Epperson – Nick Thurston – Jamie Harris – Naleah Dey – Cinematographers – Tobias Datum – Editors -Yukako Shimada


In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm
editors performing at mercury prize show

editors performing at mercury prize show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


A filmmaker, his girlfriend, his female colleague, and their rich producer are to spend a weekend making a documentary within an isolated haunted cottage in Wales. While a developing love-triangle creates tension between the foursome, they soon have to begin fighting for their survival against the dangerous supernatural forces inside the cottage…

Directed by
Shaun Troke

Steven Jarrett
Steven Jarrett
Shaun Troke

Stewart Kennedy
Michael Lonsdale
Shaun Troke

Sabrina Dickens
Paul Fields
Danny Goldberg
Nikki Harrup
Holly Kenyon
Leonora Moore
Laurence Patrick
Steve Purbrick
Shaun Troke

Shaun Troke

Shaun Troke

Low Budget films

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm
Low Budget Fun

Low Budget Fun (Photo credit: cmccartney)

One of the most successful low-budget films was 1999’s The Blair Witch Project. It had a budget of around $60,000 but grossed almost $249 million worldwide. It spawned books, a trilogy of video games, and a less-popular sequel. Possibly an even more successful low-budget film was the 1972 film Deep Throat which cost only $22,500 to produce, yet was rumored to have grossed over $600 million, though this figure is often disputed.

Another early example of a very successful low-budget film was the 1975 Bollywood “Curry Western” film Sholay, which cost Rs. 2 crore ($400,000) to produce and grossed Rs. 300 crore ($67 million), making it the highest-grossing film of all time in Indian cinema. Other examples of successful low-budget Asian films include the Chinese films Enter the Dragon (1973) starring Bruce Lee, which had a budget of $850,000 and grossed $90 million worldwide, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which had a budget of $15 million and grossed $214 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time.

Rocky was shot on a budget of $1 million, and eventually grossed $117.2 million domestically, with a worldwide gross of $225 million. Halloween was produced on a budget of $320,000 and ended up grossing $47 million in the US, with a worldwide gross of $60 million. Napoleon Dynamite cost less than $400,000 to make but its gross revenue was almost $50 million. Films such as Juno, with a budget of $6.5 million and grossing $230 million worldwide, and Slumdog Millionaire, with a budget of $15 million and grossing over $360 million worldwide, have become very successful. Napoleon Dynamite, Juno, and Slumdog Millionaire were supported by Fox Searchlight Pictures, a company that distributes many low budget films, many of which have performed very well at the worldwide box office. It is common though for contemporary low budget films to be produced without a distributor. In cases such as these, the producers hope to get distribution through successful audience reaction at film festivals. The Swedish horror film Marianne is a contemporary example.

The UK film Monsters (2010 film) is a recent successful example of what was once considered the preserve of the big studio the expensive, block buster special effects movie; to the independent and low budget sector. The Budget was around $500,000 but it grossed $4,188,738 at the box office.

A silent film

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm

(Photo credit: salerie)”][silent film]A silent film is a film with no synchronized recorded sound, especially with no spoken dialogue. In silent films for entertainment the dialogue is transmitted through muted gestures, pantomime and title cards. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as film itself, but because of the technical challenges involved, synchronized dialogue was only made practical in the late 1920s with the perfection of the audion amplifier tube and the introduction of the Vitaphone system. After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, “talkies” became more and more commonplace. Within a decade, popular widespread production of silent films had ceased.

An art film

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 4:49 pm
Art in 3200

Art in 3200 (Photo credit: kevin dooley)

An art film (also known as art movie, specialty film, art house film, or in the collective sense as art cinema) is the result of filmmaking which is typically a serious, independent film aimed at a niche market rather than a mass market audience. Film critics and film studies scholars typically define an “art film” using a “…canon of films and those formal qualities that mark them as different from mainstream Hollywood films”, which includes, among other elements: a social realism style; an emphasis on the authorial expressivity of the director; and a focus on the thoughts and dreams of characters, rather than presenting a clear, goal-driven story. Film scholar David Bordwell claims that “art cinema itself is a film genre, with its own distinct conventions.”

Art film producers usually present their films at specialty theatres (repertory cinemas, or in the U.S. “arthouse cinemas”) and film festivals. The term art film is much more widely used in the United States and the UK than in Europe, where the term is more associated with “auteur” films and “national cinema” (e.g., German national cinema). Art films are aimed at small niche market audiences, which means they can rarely get the financial backing which will permit large production budgets, expensive special effects, costly celebrity actors, or huge advertising campaigns, as are used in widely-released mainstream blockbuster films. Art film directors make up for these constraints by creating a different type of film, which typically uses lesser-known film actors (or even amateur actors) and modest sets to make films which focus much more on developing ideas or exploring new narrative techniques or filmmaking conventions.

Furthermore, a certain degree of experience and intellect are required to understand or appreciate such films; one mid-1990s art film was called “largely a cerebral experience” which you enjoy “because of what you know about film”.This contrasts sharply with mainstream “blockbuster” films, which are geared more towards escapism and pure entertainment. For promotion, art films rely on the publicity generated from film critics’ reviews, discussion of their film by arts columnists, commentators and bloggers, and “word-of-mouth” promotion by audience members. Since art films have small initial investment costs, they only need to appeal to a small portion of the mainstream viewing audiences to become financially viable.

An underground film

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm
Boston Underground Film Festival

Boston Underground Film Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An underground film is a film that is out of the mainstream either in its style, genre, or financing. The first use of the term “underground film” occurs in a 1957 essay by American film critic Manny Farber, “Underground Films.” Farber uses it to refer to the work of directors who “played an anti-art role in Hollywood.” He contrasts “such soldier-cowboy-gangster directors as Raoul Walsh, Howard Hawks, William Wellman,” and others with the “less talented De Sicas and Zinnemanns [who] continue to fascinate the critics.” However, as in “Underground Press”, the term developed as a metaphorical reference to a clandestine and subversive culture beneath the legitimate and official media.

In the late 1950s, “underground film” began to be used to describe early independent film makers operating first in San Francisco, California and New York City, New York, and soon in other cities around the world as well, including the London Film-Makers’ Co-op in Britain and Ubu Films in Sydney, Australia. The movement was typified by more experimental filmmakers working at the time like Stan Brakhage, Harry Everett Smith, Maya Deren, Andy Warhol, Jonas Mekas, Ken Jacobs, Ron Rice, Jack Smith, George Kuchar, Mike Kuchar, and Bruce Conner.

By the late 1960s, the movement represented by these filmmakers had matured, and some began to distance themselves from the countercultural, psychedelic connotations of the word, preferring terms like avant-garde or experimental to describe their work.

Through 1970s and 1980s, however, “underground film” would still be used to refer to the more countercultural fringe of independent cinema. The term was embraced most emphatically by Nick Zedd and the other filmmakers associated with the New York based Cinema of Transgression and No Wave Cinema of the late 1970s to early 1990s.

In the early 1990s, the legacy of the Cinema of Transgression carried over into a new generation, who would equate “underground cinema” with transgressive art, ultra-low-budget filmmaking created in defiance of both the commercialized versions of independent film offered by newly wealthy distributors like Miramax and New Line, as well as the institutionalized experimental film canonized at major museums. This spirit defined the early years of underground film festivals (like the New York Underground Film Festival, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Melbourne Underground Film Festival, Sydney Underground Film Festival, Hamilton Underground Film Festival, Toronto’s Images Festival, and others), zines like Film Threat, as well as the works of filmmakers like Craig Baldwin, Jon Moritsugu, Carlos Atanes, Sarah Jacobson, Johnny Terris and Bruce La Bruce. In London the Underground resurgence emerged as a movement of Underground cinema clubs which included the radical open access group the Exploding Cinema.

By the late 1990s and early 2000s, the term had become blurred again, as the work at underground festivals began to blend with more formal experimentation, and the divisions that had been stark ones less than a decade earlier now seemed much less so. If the term is used at all, it connotes a form of very low budget independent filmmaking, with perhaps transgressive content, or a lo-fi analog to post-punk music and cultures. Taking place in basements across America, underground film has long had difficulties in gaining mainstream acceptance. Critics have further stated that underground film viewing is analogous with gang culture, violence, and drug use in minors.

A recent development in underground filmmaking can be observed through the Lower East Side based film production company ASS Studios. Founded in 2011 by writer Reverend Jen and filmmaker Courtney Fathom Sell, the group has avoided most modern methods of production, choosing to shoot all of their work on an outdated Hi 8 format and usually with no-budget. Utilizing many New York based performers such as Faceboy, their work generally contains camp elements and taboo themes. These films are commonly screened at venues in and around New York City, frequently the Bowery Poetry Club.

The term “underground film” is occasionally used as a synonym for cult film. Though there are important distinctions between the two, a significant overlap between these categories is undeniable. The films of Kenneth Anger, for example, could arguably be described as underground, experimental and cult. However, a studio film like Heathers may have a cult following, but could not be accurately described as an underground film.

In Uncategorized on April 4, 2012 at 4:41 pm
My Film Stash

My Film Stash (Photo credit: nickrapak)

A no budget film is a produced film made with very little, or no money.

Young directors starting out in filmmaking commonly use this method because there are few other options available to them at that point. All the actors and technicians are employed without remuneration, and the films are largely non-profit. Usually the director works alone on such films, or uses a very minimum “crew” of volunteers to assist him/her on such projects where no money or financing is available, not including the cost of film. No-budget films are made every day with video tapes and consumer cameras.