Sunday, May 11, 2014

Nightcap 5/11/14 Having confused some people with the shift away from new films- Plus quick thoughts on Noah and Randi's links

I confused a good number of new readers this past week with the Lash LaRue and Hopalog Cassidy films. After three weeks of heavy Tribeca and current films the shift back to moldy oldies has thrown off some people. I knew it would happen, the shift between old and new and even between genres always confuses new readers, which is why I want to take a couple of moments and restate what Unseen Films is all about.

Unseen Films was started almost four and a half years as a way of highlighting some of the good films we were running across that no one seemed to be noticing. As a group we had been watching films from across the globe and across genres and in many cases there was nothing out there on any of them. In the interest of sparking a debate we decided to share. Because we were going to festivals as a matter of habit we started writing about what we were seeing from the start. As time moved on and we started to cover more and what was once largely stuff we had in our collections became a mix of old stuff we were watching and the new stuff that that the website allowed us to see. Now the website is a mix of old films and new films. We’re still constantly looking to root out the best of overlooked cinema where ever we find it- with the result that we do end up bouncing between time periods, genres and countries or origin. Unseen Films is not just one type of films but all films.

I know the sudden shift confused some of you but at the same time we don’t watch one thing and we do bounce from film to film and genre to genre. I hope you all can go with it so you can discover some films you might night otherwise come across.
As insane this sounds I have the films of the day planned pretty much until Halloween. I know depending on how things shake out I may actually end up closer to the years end before July comes.

Yea that’s insane- but at the same time there are lots of holes in the schedule. I have a bunch of films to fill out the slots for our coverage of the Open Roads Italian Film Festival at Lincoln Center at the start of June. I’m trying to figure out how much coverage we’ll get of KINO which is new films from Germany the following week. I have several weeks open in the hopes that I can fill them with films from the New York Asian Film Festival and Japan Cuts in Early July. There are weeks blocked out for the New York Film Festival. I also have about 12 slots open for short films for Augusts month of short films

For those of you jonesing for more new films and festival coverage don’t worry we have plenty of current films coming.

This week are a looks at some recent and semi recent films. My reaction to the films got me off on tangents that made what I wrote a hybrid of a review and an essay. The pieces are more experiments than anything else with one or two turning out pretty good.

After that we’ll be drifting back into older films for a brief period but that’s going to buy us time for some coverage of the Brooklyn Film Festival at the end of the month, then as I said  The Open Roads New Italian Cinema the first week in June, KINO! New German Cinema the second week in June, a week of rest (or maybe Human Rights Watch Film Festival) before we wade into the New York Asian Film Festival. Japan Cuts and Fantasia the last week in June and all of July.

And somewhere in there are reviews of several new films including a science fiction film called Frequencies and lots of discussion of Snowpiercer just as it hits the big screen.

If you want to know why I can have things blocked out to November- its simply that we’re doing so much festival coverage that I keep moving the regular reviews farther and farther down the line.

Ultimately no matter what you like- old movies or new we’ve got coverage coming…
I saw Darren Arnofsky’s NOAH this week. I thought it was a great film. I’m amused that such a heady film actually was box office hit worldwide. Yes I understand there are huge scenes of spectacle but at its heart there this is a meditation on faith and the silence of God. There is a level of intelligence and a complexity that is rare in anything as huge as this film. At some point I may write on the film and its themes, but for now know it’s a decidedly adult fable that’s worth your time. (I’m kicking around a few ideas that compare and contrast it with the James Randi film AN HONEST LIAR- but I can’t get it to work quite right)
And now we close out with some of Randi's links
Marx Fest
Color photos of Ernest Shackleton on the ice
Scorsese's 85 films you must know to know film
A restored Cabinet of Dr Caligari
A spoiler filled discussion of the end of The Amazing Spiderman 2
Here's the Thing David Letterman
The Frozen Theory links all the Disney films together.
The NANCE with Nathan Lane comes to PBS in the Fall
Mel Brooks on Blazing Saddles
Animation from Sunshine Animation Studios
Sam Raimi's low budget camera rigs

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