Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Night Cap 10/21/12 Next, Flying House, the unpromoted Chinese film festival

It’s been a crazy month or so.

As you’ve no doubt noticed we’ve been buried in the New York Film Festival and in New York Comicon. When they ended last Sunday I found myself staring into the abyss of nothingness. After what amounted to weeks of crazy film coverage I was faced with several weeks of nothing  scheduled. As I collapsed into my bed I was forced to ponder what was I going to do next…

I quickly found out what I’m going to do next as The Gold Coast Film Festival, Scary Movies 6, The South Asian International Film Festival, DOCNYC, The NYC Horror Film Festival and a few others fell into place. While most of those are not going to get a huge amount of coverage here at Unseen, they all should get some, with DOCNYC getting the lion share of column space because their schedule of films fits nicely into my/our schedule.

As exhausting as the last few weeks have been I had a blast. This was the best NYFF ever for me. Comiccon was also a great deal of fun. I particularly liked that I got to spend some time with Mondocurry who I seem to have been neglecting of late. Whirring about with him on Saturday was fun. I got to have breakfast with Peter, spend a bit of time with Pat and Chocko, and I got to prove to my brother that this person called Ken who has been mentioned for the better part of the last two decades really exists.

As far as this website is concerned the last few weeks have proved fruitful. We’ve made a few new friends and reconnected with some old ones.

Speaking of Comicon I picked up a copy of the DVD on the restoration of Winsor McKay’s Flying House by Bill Plympton. It is for the most part a an absolute thing of beauty.

The Flying House was the last film that McKay did, but it kind of got lost for years before turning up in a collection of McKay film reels. The film is based upon his Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend strip, which had over eaters having truly strange dreams. Here we have a couple taking flight in their house and going around the world.

Plympton cleaned up the print, colorized it and added sound, the result is pure movie magic. Plymton’s work is nothing less than amazing and it actually enhances the film a great deal.

If there is any problem with the film it’s simply that in adding voices to the film, Plympton removed the word balloons from the film. The film freezes when the characters speak and the effect is a bit strange. While the film stopped when the word balloons appeared there was still the flicker of the celluloid. With the digital restoration the flicker is gone and it’s simply a digital photo for a moment which looks odd compared to the rest of the film.

The DVD that the film appears on is a wonderful little treasure trove. Containing the original McKay film, as well as the restoration, plus a ton of other extras such as a making of, interviews and a slide show on the premiere. While you may not want to need to have the DVD you’ll want to make an effort to see the film.

I want to complain here about the Third Annual New York Chinese Film Festival. What I want to complain about is that I don't think anyone knew it was happening.

I discovered the festival by accident when I noticed all these Chinese films playing at the AMC 25 in Times Square. There was no indication why, just several excellent films (We've reviewed several of them). When I went to the theater to see the Korean film The Thieves there was several banners concerning the festival...which ended that afternoon.

How can we provide coverage if no word was sent out it was happening? I did a quick google search and found that the film seemed to have no web presence.(And I was in Chinatown yesterday and saw no posters for it)

How can you put butts in seats if no one knows its happening

It boggles the mind.

If you want something promoted send us information to and I'll see about getting something up.

A quick link:
Muhammad Ali wants to fight on the moon

This week- some random titles of things I've seen. After that 9 days of horror movies- plus something really special concerning Dave McKean's excellent The Gosepel of Us with in the next couple of days.

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