Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday Viewing

When you're feeling bored.  And don't feel like research.  What ya gonna watch?  

Another hazy, lazy Sunday.

This week, Ghostbusters!

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man - greatest screen villain of all time.  Also the pinnacle of the amount of product placement in this film.  The 80s is when it all really started, and when there was very little subtlety.

Also while doing a little Youtube surfing I came across the following.  Premake trailers are basically a re-imagining of a film as if it were made in another era.  Their UP trailer is spectacular.  Here is the channel, but for now here is their take on Ghostbusters.  The collection of 50s clips used inspires an uncanny resemblance to the original, and echoes that hysteria that existed in that period of horror film.  

Aaaand.... Bill Murray.  Legend.

Your Mom Goes to College

The title is a homage to what I have recently titled my favourite movie, Napoleon Dynamite.  I remain positive that it is not my ultimate favourite, for as any film fan would know, that accolade is impossible to bestow.  I am rather fond of it, though, and could watch it repeatedly and still laugh when kip goes "yo mamma" on Deb's ass. 


Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Amazing Parody

I'm obsessed with all things Wes Anderson recently.  This has possibly been inspired by watching Bored to Death, starring none other Max Fischer himself.  I have already professed my love for The Royal Tenenbaums and what I think is cinema's greatest opening credits.

With great art, comes great parody and because Anderson belongs to the auteur set, his work inspires immense spoofing.  I came across this treasure on one of those Icanhascheezburger sites.  Hey, I am a student, how else am I to procrastinate for hours at a time.

The following video is what a Spiderman film would look like it brought to you by Wes Anderson, and presumably Owen Wilson for that matter.

Though satire is inherent, it reeks of pastiche that suggests the ultimate homage.  It presents a pace and style that complements Anderson's along with even precisely reproducing the movements of his camera.

Prussian Sunsets, I tip my hat to you.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mad Men-centricism

Yeah my research has me thinking about all things Mad Men about 67.5% of the day.  That exact percentage.  You can review the numbers if you want.

So ANYWAY today's reading has brought me through a lot of advertising history that is referenced in the show, specifically today, cigarette advertising.

So in the Pilot episode of the series, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, Sterling Cooper are faced with a mammoth task of redesigning the way cigarettes are promoted, as their client Lucky Strike are feeling the pressure after the emergence that smoking is harmful to one's health.  Imagine that.  (Oh, 1960, you!)

One of the most interesting aspects of the episode comes when Don Draper is left speechless in the pitch to Lucky Strike and Pete, a junior executive, steps in with a play on the psychological research noting Freud death wish analysis that Don had refuted hours previously.

This death wish has been considered by critics to refer to the Marlboro Man campaign championed by Leo Burnett.  In short it epitomized masculinity of that era.  It incorporates notions of America's New Frontier along with suggesting a nostalgia for "when men were men", the virility of the cowboy.

The death wish hypothesis is in fact perfect for the marketing of cigarettes, especially in light of the (then) newly developed research.

     "The death wish is fundamental Freud.  He posited that men and women harbored a counterintuitive drive
      toward self-destruction to counterbalance our will to live."
                  Natasha Vargas-Cooper.  Mad Men Unbuttoned:  A Romp Through 1960s America.

I took to Google for a quick image search so I could see the campaign myself.  Here I leave you with, the Evolution of the Marlboro Man.  There is a defiant John Wayne and Eastwood thing going on.


Cannes Do

Looking forward to catching the very haunting and disturbing looking debut by Julia Leigh, Sleeping Beauty.  It premiered in Cannes, last night presumably, the review from The Guardian is mixed at best.  Performance and cinematography are given kudos while the whole has been tagged as somewhat preposterous.  Presumably the storyline of a prostitute whose specialty entails embodying Sleeping Beauty while men do what they wish with her drugged, defenseless body.  The content appears harsh and unapologetic.  In the trailer as the boss is speaking of the contract that this Sleeping Beauty will be obliged to take she insinuates the heavy penalties that would be in effect in luie of breaches of her "discretion".

Though the genre and content is a complete 180 from what I am about to discuss, the film reminds me somewhat of Battle Royale.  Battle Royale sees students rounded up and pitted against one another in a vicious game.  It is the teachers and government, those who you would suppose to be there to take care of the youth, that devise this operation.

Young people become embroiled in violence and illegality that is being overseen by mature, hierarchal figures.

Taken from the final words of the trailer, both films suggest that participants will feel "profoundly restored" and fulfilled in their undertakings.  It leaves one to consider, when society is aware of the plight of reckless youth, and the wayward paths that they journey upon, are these youth solely to blame?  Those who hold authority, while they are there to encourage, are also ready to punish.  The mob crowd has reached a younger generation, and the destruction is being controlled by the power elite.

(P.S. -  The mob crowd thing has been something we discussed all year in class, a big thing in American Lit it would seem)


Probably the best opening scene in movie history, or at least, according this film novice.