lukegilman.com : High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at www.lukegilman.com

Battle at Kruger, Battle for Views

Brian Stelter at the New York Times featured this video by an American tourist in You’ve Seen the YouTube Video; Now Try the Documentary, noting that he later sold it to National Geographic Channel after racking up an impressive number of views on YouTube. I think we can look forward to the Internet as something of a farm league for television, which based on what I’ve been watching lately, can only be an improvement. Small wonder actors are up in arms for royalty payments for youtube clips. The writing is on the wall.

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Charlie Rose Interviews Charlie Rose, My Head Explodes

Via Boing Boing, Andrew Filippone Jr.‘s video “‘Charlie Rose’ by Samuel Beckett”. If you’re a Charlie Rose junkie like I am this is funny on an existential level.

google…………. google…………..

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Toward The Near – Houston Film Commission Short Films on YouTube

Another cool film from the Houston Film Commission Short Films on YouTube

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Houston Film Commission Short Films on YouTube

I recently stumbled on these The Houston Film Commission Collection on YouTube. I present:

72 oz. Steak

and…

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Classic.

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La Haine (Hate), Epochal French Film by Mathieu Kassovitz, now out on DVD.

la-haine.jpg

A cinematographer I worked with in Boston turned me on to this film in 1998. I borrowed his crappy VHS version that I had to pinky-swear I would bring back to the set the next morning. I watched it on 13″ TV/VCR combo, but it couldn’t have been any more arresting. I’ve spent more time than I want to admit trying to get a good viewable copy to share with other people, including a PAL version from Britain and a bittorrent copy with no subtitles.

Finally, a honest-to-goodness legitimate US DVD copy is available, released last week on the Criterion Collection (wikipedia).

When he was just twenty-nine years old, Mathieu Kassovitz took the international film world by storm with La haine (Hate), a gritty, unsettling, and visually explosive look at the racial and cultural volatility in modern-day France, specifically in the low-income banlieue districts on Paris’s outskirts. Aimlessly whiling away their days in the concrete environs of their dead-end suburbia, Vinz (Vincent Cassel), Hubert (Hubert Koundé), and Saïd (Saïd Taghmaoui)—a Jew, an African, and an Arab—give human faces to France’s immigrant populations, their bristling resentment at their social marginalization slowly simmering until they reach a climactic boiling point. A work of tough beauty, La haine is a landmark of contemporary French cinema and a gripping reflection of its country’s ongoing identity crisis.

It’s hard to believe it’s twelve years old. Two thumbs way, way up.

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Rest in Peace, Skidboot, Good Boy

It is with great sadness that we learn the remarkable Skidboot has died.

Houston Chronicle: Skidboot, a working ranch dog and celebrity, dies at 14

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Czech Filmmaker Jan Svankmajer Retrospective in Wired Magazine

Jason Silverman has a great article on the great Czech animator and filmmaker Jan Svankmajer in yesterday’s Wired – The Best Auteur You Never Saw. (photos)Is he as unknown as Silverman seems to think? I suppose. When I was there Emerson’s film program had an exchange program in Prague. The connection made Czech filmmakers minor celebrities in that circle. Svankmajer himself was a demigod, a mad genius whose technical virtuosity and arch-symbolism laden with 60′s intellectual fervor was the stuff of film students dreams. Svankmajer’s Collected Short Films is among the most prized in my DVD collection. While the overt communist-era politics of Svankmajer’s earlier work seems a bit dated and his gruff predeliction for disembodied carnality will offend the sensibilities of many if not most, the animations still retain an edginess and vitality the work of most of his contemporaries lost long ago.

Svankmajer has spent much of the past 40 years working in the relative cinematic obscurity of Prague, his hometown, where he has handcrafted 32 wondrously bizarre, funny and deeply disturbing films. Though he remains the most anonymous of the world’s essential filmmakers, Svankmajer’s also one of the more influential: Tim Burton, Terry Gilliam, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and David Cronenberg are all students of what might be called the Svankmajer School of the Grotesque.

Svankmajer’s films, which combine stop-motion animation with live action, are fearless, nightmarish, hilarious and terrifying, sometimes all at once. He’s been compared to Kafka, Lewis Carroll and Disney, and, in a 1994 New Yorker profile, described as “the last great obsessive in cinema — the end of a distinguished line that goes back to Orson Welles, Luis Buñuel and Carl Theodor Dreyer.”

Darkness/Light/Darkness (1989)

Trailer to Lunacy (2006)
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New Yorker, Adventures in film narrative past and present

In this upcoming New Yorker, David Denby has an interesting in-depth article on the use of time in film narrative, covering the recent popularity of non-traditional narrative structures and some of the significant events in film history. Very comprehensive and a great read.

The New Yorker: The New Disorder: Adventures in film narrative.

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Roy Smeck, rocking the ukelele

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The Funnest Interview I’ve ever seen


Poor guy.

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