Poster Fix: Django Unchained

The first poster for Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Django Unchained, was revealed yesterday. [via Yahoo!]

Evidently the Weinstein Company’s graphics guy frequents the Minimal Movie Posters tumblr.

This poster also gives us a decent lesson in how to market auteurism. The film’s title and actors are absent from the poster; we’re just expected to know this information. This isn’t “A New Film by Quentin Tarantino”. It is “The New Film By Quentin Tarantino”.

Does the minimalist approach make you more or less excited for this movie? Does the poster even matter because it’s a Quentin Tarantino movie and you will see Django Unchained no matter what?

Sound off below.

The Results of an Innocuous Twitter Question

Last night I asked a simple question on Twitter.

I did not expect for my feed to immediately start blowing up. It was as if  Twitter suddenly realized that I’m a long lost Kardashian relation. 31 people responded with more than 65 directors whose body of work they would recommend.

Below are some of my favorite responses to the question. I also created a Storify page that has all the answers (I hope), which you can check out here. Continue reading “The Results of an Innocuous Twitter Question”

Book Review: John Huston: Courage And Art

The trouble with me is that I am forever and eternally bored…If I’m threatened with boredom, why I’ll run like a hare. – John Huston

Early on in his biography of John Huston, Jeffrey Meyers shares many of the adjectives frequently used to describe the legendary director: intelligent, charming, confident, self-centered, and courageous. These are all repeated more than once by Huston’s closest confidantes with an emphasis on Huston’s irrepressible charm, resonant voice, and aura of recklessness.

It is no surprise then that it is film critic Andrew Sarris’ observation that Huston was “a Hemingway character lost in a Dostoevsky novel” that opens John Huston: Courage and Art. Beginning with a somewhat tedious prologue that details Huston’s friendship with Ernest Hemingway, Meyers never strays from painting an image of the adventurous and hyper masculine larger-than-life figure that is John Huston.

Hemingway and Huston: A bromance built around who was more manly (It was Hemingway. There's a dead iguana to prove it.)

Continue reading “Book Review: John Huston: Courage And Art

On Alfred Hitchcock’s Birthday

It occurred to me that today would be Alfred Hitchcock’s birthday. His 112th.

Something I always think about when it comes to Hitchcock’s films is that he couldn’t be successful in today’s society. With Psycho (especially Psycho) Hitchcock instituted strict guidelines for seeing the movie.

There were no private screenings for critics. No clip-filled trailer. No interviews with Anthony Perkins or Janet Leigh the week before it opened. And if you showed up late to the theater, too bad. All of this worked to preserve the plot and the now infamous shower scene.

I don’t see a director getting away with this kind of secrecy surrounding their film today. Not with the social media happy culture we live in today. If who wins prom queen on Glee can’t be kept under wraps today, then how Hitchcock operated really is a thing of the past.

Or maybe he would. If how Hitchcock promoted Psycho was unique for the film culture of the 1960s, today he would have to be twice as creative. If any director could pull that off, it would be Hitchcock.

YouTube Gem: Manoel de Oliveira Dances

Manoel de Oliveira is 102 and adorable.

Happy Friday! Isn’t Manoel de Oliveira adorable in this video? Look at how he sashays circles around those people who are stuck in an embarassing human traffic jam. Look at how he just ditches that cane. Centenarians, the ones that are still upright, are just precious.

Continue reading “YouTube Gem: Manoel de Oliveira Dances”