Tomorrow I plan to write my review of Iron Man 3, caught it over the weekend but wanted a day or two to think about it before I wrote about it.
Anyway, the film community locally is abuzz because two films are starting to film in the area.
First up is Ivan Reitman’s DRAFT DAY. The film stars Kevin Costner as the GM of the Cleveland Browns, as he has the first pick of the draft and wants to turn the struggling team around.
Principal photography begins tomorrow, 5/8(they’ve filmed some 2nd unit things around town and in NY).
The other film, which has been currently underway in LA, is CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOILDER.
This is of course a sequel to the first CAPTAIN and THE AVENGERS.
Cleveland is doubling for Washington DC in this, so most likely a few action heavy scenes will be filmed on the shore way, which has caused some online complaints. I feel this is just a continuation of potential work for the area so a days of road closures are no big deal.
Now, I am fortunate to have been called to work on one of these films! I’m not going to really talk about it until we get underway but I’m real excited about it!!
When I was younger I read Rolling Stone (still do but not as faithfully) and I remember reading Peter Travers’s Top 10 of 1995. His list included a film that peaked my interest and that I immediately had to try to rent once it came on video: KIDS.
KIDS ushered in a boldness in indie filmmaking in that it said that young people are doing drugs, having sex, and drinking. Now KIDS wasn’t directed by Harmony Korine (he wrote it) but it set the tone for a lot of his future work. He has made films that are at times difficult to watch but they are always interesting. I will never forget one of his last films, TRASH HUMPERS for just being so far out there that one couldn’t dismiss it, no matter how bizarre it is.
SPRING BREAKERS (*** out of ****) is easily his most accessible and linear film to date. It still features younger people drinking, doing drugs, and having sex but this time there is more of a straightforward story to it.
We follow 4 college students and their hopes and wishes to get away on spring break. They don’t have much money but that’s ok, cause they decide to rob the local chicken joint and take off.
They have a lot of fun and blow a lot of the money once they hit Florida, and of course a party gone wrong leads them into jail. The girls seem destined to spend a few nights in jail until they catch the eye of a rapper/drug dealer named Alien (so well played by James Franco) who decides to bail them out.
The girls then spend time with Alien, and like most vacations, things start off fun but towards the end, each person hits their limits.
While the tone is somewhat dark, I found myself laughing quite a bit and its a credit to Korine’s script and Franco’s hilarious performance. While towards the end some of the film got repetitive, there is still much to enjoy here because of the energy ingested into the film.
I also thought the cinematography was well done.
This film may not be for all tastes (4-5 people walked out before it was over in my screening) but I’m glad that they decided to release this film to a wider audience. It’s more original than mostly everything else out there and that is a very good thing.
This weekend I watched part 1 of Leni Riefenstahl ‘s OLYMPIA at the Cinematheque with my friend Rob Lucas. He is working on a documentary about an Olympic runner, Stella Walsh, who won the silver medal in the 1936 games for which this doc was filmed.
I had always wanted to see this film but there are so many versions and really bad transfers out there, that there is really no official DVD. So while I didn’t have time to watch both parts (it’s almost 4 hours in total) I was glad to get the opportunity.
One of the reasons the film isn’t widely available is the fact that Riefenstahl made propaganda films early in her career for the Nazi party. Though her films are affiliated with that, one cannot deny that she was a very talented filmmaker.
Olympia, while fully funded by the Third Reich, is not necessarily a propaganda film. It presents the events as they happened and yes Hitler does appear several times but there are times it shows him quite flustered, especially when Germany loses to Cleveland’s own Jesse Owens. (Go USA!)
The film, while after a while gets a little dry, features some phenomenal cinematography and many editing techniques that are still used in sports films today.
Added to the fact Riefenstahl edited and produced the film at such a young age is just impressive.
Because of her ties to the Nazi party, she was pretty much blacklisted and for years didn’t make many more films. But she is still widely considered one of the best documentarians of all time.
So once again a big thank you to the Cinematheque for giving an opportunity to see such rare films!
This weekend was pretty productive and fun as I start to have to give up free time as film festival gears up.
Friday I finished cutting the 2013 CIFF Clip Reel. This week the festival hosts a couple preview parties, so if you go you’ll get to see 7 trailers that I complied together!
Later on Friday, I met with my friend Dave to see a movie at the Cinematheque, THE TIME OF THE WOLF. The film was directed by AMOUR’s Michael Haneke, and in the style of most of his films, it was dark and slightly depressing but overall was worth the watch. It was decided because of its darkness, Sweet Moses was needed to help lighten the mood haha.
Saturday, after a shift at work, I went out for a bit in Ohio City at ABC Tavern. I really like that bar mostly because the beer is pretty cheap and they play good tunes.
Sunday brought us some amazing weather and nornally i probably would have hit the park but I was asked to run sound for a shoot at the Happy Dog, more specifically Underdog (located in the Happy Dog basement). This film is called VACANCY, and because the filmmaker wants to shoot it on film, it has taken a while to film. But I give her and her DP, Robert Banks (one of the more note able local filmmakers) credit for sticking to their creative decisions no matter how long the process takes.
Look for Vacancy to be completed this year!!
Filming was completed pretty early today (usually I expect 10-12 hour days) so I headed over to Cedar Lee to check out the doc 56 UP (*** out of ****).
I actually hadn’t heard much of this doc series until recently because of the release of 56 UP. The premise for those who don’t know, 20 children were followed for a documentary in 1964 when they were 7. Every 7 years we get a new doc checking in on the subjects. (All of the earlier docs are now on Netflix!)
While it was at times a little dry, I found this film to be well made and quite interesting. Some of the subjects obviously don’t mind the filming, while some have reservations and verbally question the director. Michael Apted.
I feel Apted should be commended for the devotion to this project. I assume most filmmakers would have moved on, but as long as he and the subjects are game, I look forward to 63 Up!