It’s Friday, Oct. 29. I’m in Los Angeles for the premiere of I&A (Idiots and Angels). It opens tonight and I’m not a very happy camper. Even though the L.A. Weekly gave my film a wonderful review and a great article, the all-important L.A. Times refused to review the film!
I’ve spent the better part of the last three hours reading online reports too numerous to count detailing the latest DreamWorks Animation earnings report. I know less now than I knew before I started. I’m not an analyst and I don’t play one on TV, but I’ve been known to work a spreadsheet or two in my day and push comes to shove, I can spell Charles Schwab. So, it seems to me that since DreamWorks made money last quarter, which normally is considered a good thing, everyone should be happy right? Guess again.
Alexander Anderson Jr., who along with Cal frat brother Jay Ward created Rocky & Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right among other cartoon characters, passed away last Friday at age 90. A few words of his impact on my family as well as generations of fans.
As reported on the Republica website, Nepal’s first annual Animation Short Film Festival will be held tomorrow, Friday, October 29 by the Independent Film Society (IFS), in association with Artistic Alliance Nepal (AAN). 18 films from 9 countries will be screened. The event will be held at the Nepal Tourism Board, Exhibition Road. Oxygen tanks must be checked at the door. And in a related story...
Disney’s 1995 backup animated feature A Goofy Movie – and one of its songs in particular – struck a chord with a generation of school kids who are now in college. Fan videos and mash-ups are nothing new, but one student took it a step – or two – further…
Now that “I&A” is a success in New York's IFC Cinema, I have to recreate the same excitement and box office in LA. It's opening on October 29th at the Laemmle Cinema for a one week run that will hopefully be held over for another week (it's played three weeks in New York).
When expecting a new child anxieties run high. You worry about them being healthy. You worry about how they will turn out. Larry Cohen's creepy horror flick takes those anxieties and blows them out into terror. How would you you feel if your new baby was a savage monster?
Frank (John P. Ryan, BOUND) and Lenore Davis (Sharon Farrell, THE STUNT MAN) are an expecting couple. They already have an eight-year-old son Chris (Daniel Holzman), who is looking forward to being a big brother. Sitting in the waiting room with other expecting fathers, Frank seems the bastion of calm. But then screams echo down the halls. And he witnesses the blood bath in the delivery room where his wife is still strapped to the table. The baby has killed the doctors and nurses and fled the hospital.
The Book of Kells is considered the pinnacle of the insular illumination style and its influence on the visuals of this film is in every corner of the frame. The elaborate calligraphy of the Irish national treasure might be simplified but it's woven into the buildings and environments. These remarkable visuals bring to life a fantasy version of the book's creation, filled with Irish lore. The visuals alone make this film captivating.
Brendan (Evan McGuire) is a young apprentice at the Abbey of Kells, where his uncle Cellach (Brendan Gleeson, IN BRUGES) is the abbot. Brendan is fascinated with the tales of the master illuminator Adian of Iona (Mick Lally, THE SECRET OF ROAN INISH) and the book he is creating. Brendan is inspired by the magic of the book, but his uncle believes he is a dreamer and needs to focus on the construction of a wall to protect the town from marauding Vikings. When Adian must flee the Vikings at Iona, he brings the book to Kells to work on it in secret. Brendan wants to help. Disobeying his uncle's orders to not venture into the forest, he goes in a search of gall nuts that can be used for ink. On his adventure, Brendan meets a fairy named Aisling (Christen Mooney) and his view of the world opens up.
One shouldn't beat around the bush when it comes to reviewing this film. It's about a mad surgeon who wants to surgically connect three humans mouth to anus, making one long, gross gastric system. Like a long car ride it really sucks to be in the middle.
Like thousands of other horror films, two pretty young women, Lindsay (Ashley C. Williams) and Jenny (Ashlynn Yennie), are on vacation when their car breaks down along some out of the way stretch of road. They wander through the woods and come upon house of Dr. Heiter (Dieter Laser, THE LOST HONOR OF KATHARINA BLUM). Before letting them in the house, he asks them if they're sisters, and when they say they aren't, he seems disappointed. Creepy. But they go in anyway and end up drugged and then tied to an operation table. Eventually they' re joined (at first figuratively and then literally) by the unfortunate Japanese tourist Katsuro (Akihiro Kitamura, PORNO).
This sci-fi horror flick has been called the worst film ever made. Its ranking on iMDB is 1.4, making it the second lowest rated film. The film stands up to that lofty reputation. However, unlike films like PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE or ROBOT MONSTER, this one isn't so bad, it's good like some claim. Those films find ways of entertaining with their ineptitude. What keeps MONSTER A-GO-GO from attaining that wonderful BOMB status is that it's painfully boring.
A space capsule crashes to Earth. Frank Douglas (Henry Hite) has been infected with radiation portion, which has shriveled his skin like a prune and made him wander around like a zombie. Anyone who comes too close to him turns into a raisin and dies. Dr. Manning (George Perry) has been keeping him alive with an antidote, but now he's on the loose. Col. Steve Connors (Phil Morton) leads a force to contain the "monster."
When you think of what you have versus what you do not have, it may make you feel grateful or depressed. Holding onto a job you can’t stand for fear you’ll never find one that you will love, is like staying in a bad relationship because you are afraid to be alone. When you face the fear that holds you back, you have a fighting chance to rise above the chaos surrounding your career and find what you truly desire.
Yeah! Idiots and Angels was held over at the IFC by popular demand! This is what I dreamed of. All those distributors who rejected “Idiots and Angels” now must realize that there is an audience for an adult animated film. People want to see mature and provocative ideas in cartoons.
The closing ceremonies bring an end to another Ottawa International Animation Festival. And while I await my connecting flight in Newark for the final leg of my journey home, I linger just a bit longer on the images in my mind of all the wonderous activities of the past week. Though I was constantly too warm or utterly frozen and could never get comfortable wearing layers and a heavy jacket, I was able to stop griping often enough to have a thoroughly great time. Here are some images from the closing.
Whatever you call it, abstract/experimental ruled the day in Competition 5. Here are some highlights.
Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment has teamed up with Tezuka Productions to bring Urasawa’s PLUTO to the big screen as a live-action/CG hybrid.
All right, I’ll keep this short. I love a good comedy. But despite its addictive theme song, Hetalia: Axis Powers is hardly noteworthy.
The new venue for celebrating anime in So Cal has a location for 2011 and is now seeking artists for its alley
I spoke with Lou Pomanti to get his take on music for animation. Lou Pomanti is an award-winning, performer, arranger, and producer. He’s a keyboard wizard, and worked with Blood Sweat and Tears, James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen, and Michael Buble. He even was the arranger for the finalists for the Hockey Night in Canada Anthem Challenge, which, in Canada, is pretty much the national anthem.
Take a quick glance at some of the people I met up with yesterday while stumbling around the annual Animator's Picnic and later, while trying to get warm at the Arts Court cafe and Aniboutique. Old friends, new friends, a pretty uninspired procession of eviscerated gourds. Oh, and have I told you, it's cold here? Aye?