Saturday, May 31, 2008

Nostalgia Kinky Jumps a Whopping 37 Places in Wikio's Listings


I was thrilled and very surprised to see Nostalgia Kinky jumping 37 spots to slot number 60 on Wikio's ranking of top film blogs. Wikio's list is linked to the right via their rankings button.
Thanks to everyone who keeps visiting here and linking up to the site...it is much appreciated and some new articles and pictures will be posted this week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Warren: A Short Film On Warren Oates (My First Video Production)

This past semester I took an intro to Video Production class and our final project called for a short film with a length of 2-3 minutes. I took the opportunity to go to Depoy, Ky...the birthplace of one of my favorite actors, the legendary Warren Oates. This is what came out of it and I thought I would share it here.
Please keep in mind this was the first time I had used a camera and also the first time I had used editing program (this was cut on Final Cut Pro) so I know it is primitive at best. Still, for those interested in where Warren came from and spent the first 13 years of his life, it might hold some interest.
So be kind to my first, and most likely last, little film and if you have some comments leave them here as I disabled them at YouTube (those folks can be vicious).
Also, I have noticed when I post YouTube clips as of late a separate window for their site opens causing the video to play in two windows. Just close out that second one...not sure why it is happening.
God Bless Warren Oates.

Operation Screenshot (Films of the 2000s): Terry Zwigoff's Ghost World (2001)










Tuesday, May 27, 2008

He Is Iron Man


Considering the guy looked like he was on the point of total self destruction just over five years ago, there is something positively triumphant about the performance of Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man.
I know I am a little late to the party here on Iron Man but I had to post how impressed I was by the film and specifically Robert’s performance as Tony Stark. While the film falters a bit in the final climatic section, I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a summer blockbuster so much. Jon Favreau’s direction is really spirited and manages to find a nice balance between the thrilling older comic book adaptations I grew up with like Richard Donner’s Superman and the more modern CGI fueled films that typically just find alienating.
Iron Man is a real winner on nearly all counts. Featuring possibly the best cast of the year including Downey, a menacing and bald Jeff Bridges, Terrence Howard, the voice of Paul Bettany and a radiant Gwyneth Paltrow, Favreau’s film is a rare special effects spectacle that also works as a human drama. I felt really invested in the characters here and that’s something that rarely happens in these types of films anymore.
Of course the film is a special effects feast and I found them to also be above the norm, with them only faltering slightly in a climatic fight sequence that plays out as the picture's weakest point. Otherwise though they are really thrilling and I totally believed that was Robert Downey Jr. in that Iron suit and not just a faceless design that originated on someone’s computer monitor.
For all the films virtues, including some really sharp and thought provoking commentary on the ramifications of weapons manufacturing, the major selling point of the film is indeed the work of Robert Downey Jr. One of the finest American actors we have, Downey delivers one of his best performances as Stark and he looks the model of good health. I found it quite a moving experience watching Downey in this film and this performance, combined with his scene stealing work in David Fincher’s Zodiac, marks one of the most successful and much welcomed comebacks in quite a while.
I’m not all that familiar with the comic book Iron Man so I can’t really comment as to how faithful the film is but it worked extraordinarily well for me and I hope they deliver more films in the series. The film’s final defiant moment alone (in which Black Sabbath’s own “Iron Man” is used to great effect) made me want to stand up and cheer, even if it was as much for Robert Downey Jr. himself as for Jon Favreau’s smart, exciting and invigorating film.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood Receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at Cannes


Congratulations to Catherine Deneuve and Clint Eastwood, both of whom just received a lifetime achievement award at this years Cannes Film Festival. I am glad to see two such deserving artists being honored in this way. I am also glad to hear that Eastwood's The Changeling received mostly good notices (as did its star Angelina Jolie) although it failed to take any of the top prizes. It's definitely among my most anticipated upcoming films.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Candice Rialson Tribute Week at Harry Moseby Confidential


Starting Monday I will be paying a week long tribute to the much missed and very special Candice Rialson at Harry Moseby Confidential. I will be offering up some exclusive screenshots, wallpapers and other Candice related items as well as writing on some of her key films like Pets, Hollywood Boulevard and yes even Chatterbox.
I hope everyone will stop by and help me pay tribute to one of the most memorable personalities of the seventies.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Warm Birthday Wishes For Sybil Danning

Happy Birthday to Austrian actress Sybil Danning, who made one of the most surprising and welcome returns to our theaters in the past year. To celebrate Sybil's birthday here are four wallpapers, featuring shots from two of my favorite Sybil Danning films, for your desktop that I made. I'm not a web designer so these are pretty primitive, but hopefully they might look okay as your background. Here's to many more upcoming roles from the iconic Danning.



Friday, May 23, 2008

The Return of Alejandro Jodorowsky


I noticed an incredibly exciting blurb over at Ode To Azia that Asia Argento has signed on to star in the new work from legendary filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky. The film, entitled King Shot, will mark Jodorowsky's first work in nearly twenty years and would have to be considered one of the most important returns of the decade. Others signed on to the David Lynch produced film are Nick Nolte, Udo Keir and possibly David Hess.
Jodorowsky's has had many projects fall through over the years but I really hope this film comes through as the modern cinema world could use the kind of beautiful madness that only Alejandro can give us.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Now if I ran a theater...


Anyone else ever had any bad experiences with theaters advertising revivals of classic films and then just poorly projecting the DVDs of them onto a big screen? I've been to quite a few of them and the results have been rarely good for me. The recent showing of First Blood that I had been so excited about was spoiled due to the stadium sized theater being too large for the digital showing, which caused the film to be overly dark and nearly unwatchable (something that apparently plagued a lot of showings of it).
My bad luck continued yesterday with a local big screen showing of all three of the original Indiana Jones films. I figured it would be a perfect way to catch back up with the series in preparation for the new film and I had been greatly anticipating it for the past couple of weeks.
I had a feeling it would just be a screening of the currently available DVDs and my fears were confirmed when my girlfriend and I arrived to find a guy in front of the screen loading a disc into a laptop computer. I don't really have that big of a problem with this concept, as I love the opportunity to see classic films back on the big screen, but rarely will a digital projection match a screening of an actual print of the film. I do wish though that theater chains would bother giving a damn about the presentations they are putting on. Even a simple thing like learning how to use the equipment seems to be too much to ask anymore.
Our Indiana Jones evening started out with shuffling around trying to find a seat that had a clear view to the screen as a couple of lap tops, the projector and some speakers were haphazardly scattered around to block almost every conceivable good view you could have.
Finally finding a couple of sort of decent seats, we were "treated" to a ten minute reel of new trailers at an unbearably loud and distorted volume. This looked to be the sort of promotional reel the theater had to agree to play in order to show the trilogy on DVD and it featured three previews (including one for an upcoming Adam Sandler movie that made me want to run out of the theater) and some annoying television commercials that reminded me of why I mostly watch shows on DVD now.
Nearly fifteen minutes behind schedule, and with a pounding headache due from the volume of the promotional reel, Raiders of the Lost Ark started. My heart sank as I immediately realized they were projecting the film at the wrong aspect ration...letterboxed but squeezed in like an old pan and scan tape with the volume so low that most of the dialogue was near impossible to hear, my revisiting of Raiders of The Lost Ark was disastrous.
We obviously didn't stay for the two sequels. I saw one guy complaining as we were leaving but it was obvious the person in charge either couldn't comprehend the technical problems or just didn't care. It was an extremely frustrating experience, but unfortunately one that seems to becoming more and more common as probably at least 1 out of every 5 films I go and see now as some sort of technical glitch due to the apathy of the theaters management and staff.
I really don't want to be someone who just stays at home watching DVDS. There's nothing like the communal magic of sitting in a darkened theater and watching a film on the big screen...unfortunately that magic is more often than not lost these days due to a lack of caring (at least in the local theaters around here).
What really sucks is that Raiders of The Lost Ark lived up to my memories of it...it's a wonderful and exciting film that I'll honestly take over anything Spielberg has done since. Watching the terrible presentation of it yesterday made me realize how clearly I remember seeing the film when it originally came out and how special an experience it was...it made me feel quite nostalgic and I am sorry my time with it again was spoiled so severely.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cinema Wasteland's Exciting October Lineup

The guests for the Cinema Wasteland Movie and Memorabilia Expo this October have been announced and they are absolutely stellar. Several favorites that I have focused on here before including Lamberto Bava, Cinzia Monreale and Marilyn Chambers are going to be there. Other favorites also appearing are Brett Halsey, John Saxon, Coralina Cataldi-Tassoni, Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer.
I'm thrilled with the number of Euro Horror luminaries that are going to be there and am positively giddy about the prospect of meeting Monreale, Bava and Chambers. The show takes place the first weekend of October and more information can be found at the link above.

#24: Il Segreto

1990’s Il Segreto would mark the second and final time Nastassja would work with director Francesco Maselli. Unlike their first collaboration, L’Alba, Il Segreto is a much more traditional narrative film filled out by a large cast including Stafano Dionisi, Franco Citti and the always wonderful Chiara Caselli.
Unfortunately my copy of this very rare film (that, like L’Alba, has never had any sort of home video release that I can find record of) is of very poor quality and is in Italian only so I am unable to offer up any sort of real critique of it. I hope these exclusive screen shots will suffice for now, and I will give the film a proper look in the future if I can.















Tuesday, May 20, 2008

#23: L'Alba (Dawn)

Francesco Maselli's A'Alba (Dawn) is a fascinating two character driven piece that I unfortunately can't offer a proper review to as I don't have an English language friendly version of it. I can however say that it is one of the most striking films starring Nastassja that I have seen as it is literally a production obsessed by her face. Featuring in nearly ever shot of its slim eighty minute running time, Nastassja's face is shot in some of the longest and most loving close ups of her career. It's as if Maselli had seen the famed close up of her in Paris, Texas and decided to make a feature around it.
The Roman born Maselli had been making movies since the forties in Italy and he shot both L'Alba and Il Segreto with Nastassja around his sixtieth birthday. He is still active to this day as he just recently co-directed a feature (Civico Zero) starring another one of cinema's most beautiful women, namely Ornella Muti.
I will offer up a proper review of this visually haunting film one day if I can get my hands on an English subtitled print. My apologies but I hope these exclusive screen shots from it will suffice for now.