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Everything posted by Nevsky

  1. Movie/TV recommendations

    If anything, you're expecting there to be too much of a sci-fi nerd answer. No, because Kyle Reese is John Connor's father. It's that simple, really. And part of The Terminator's appeal is this straightforward premise. It is reworking elements of fairytale and fable, the ideas of prophecy - where the character develops towards a narrative certainty. But there's a cause-and-effect twist, that the bearer of the information also sets the future into motion (as does the Terminator, providing the chip and arm that advances the research that creates Skynet, but that's in the sequel, which may be more complex, but is no less narratively coherent). -- Speaking of sci-fi, there's an awesome mini-programme of films coming to the BFI Southbank in London in July. Here are some of the flicks they're showing: Aelita: Queen of Mars Things to Come Invasion of the Body Snatchers The Incredible Shrinking Man Je t'aime, je t'aime / La Jetee Fahrenheit 451 Fantastic Voyage 2001: A Space Odyssey THX 1138 A Clockwork Orange Silent Running Solaris Sleeper Soylent Green The Man Who Fell To Earth and, er, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. ...but, wow! Some brilliant films there.
  2. Movie/TV recommendations

    In most cases, assume that the editing, cinematography and so on are works of their respective credited artisans. The ideas behind many of those decisions can come from the script, the producer, the director - any number of sources. But the individual credited people are very important. Woody Allen is a great example. While there are some distinct characteristics in his work, they are mostly textual - they exist in the characters, the upper middle class New York setting, the humour, this philosophical or literary influences of the film, and so on. When it comes to the technical aspects, he works with some of the best people in the film business, often picking them out and working with them for a while. This creates distinct periods in his filmography, where the looks of the films are linked to their cinematographers (or directors of photography). So even though he might have come up with some ideas for the looks of the film (Manhattan being in black and white, for example), a lot of the work and practical decisions will fall with the cinematographer. So from Annie Hall to Stardust Memories, you have Gordon Willis; or in the 1980s and 1990s he would work with Carlo di Palma or Sven Nykvist. These cinematographers have a whole history of diverse work to pick through, and you can see their own approaches to lighting, film stock, camera work and so on. They can also surprise you and do something completely different. This is an issue that is connected with auteur theory, which is a manner of thinking with many permutations. The original, French variation was to do with pushing forward the auteur - which is a sort of writer-director artist whose films make up an ouvre that reflect their own personal aesthetics and worldviews. It was very much stimulated by the desire to have film elevated to the level of literature, art and music, with a pantheon of Filmmakers, mostly at the expense of giving due respect to other people working on the films. I personally don't think that auteur theory works in most cases. There are some where it can be enlightening (or hilarious: see any discussion of Michael Bay as the auteur of our times), but I think that, critically, it's a bit of a dead end, as you spend more of your time looking for patterns and making assumptions than engaging with other texts and contexts. It's good shorthand, though, and very helpful for getting a handle on films, because if you were to think about everyone involved in the making of the picture, then you wouldn't get anywhere. [i say this, but I recently handed in a pretty damn auteurist essay for my MA. Hm.] -- I would recommend that you check out some basic technical aspects on Wikipedia (like shots and long takes and so on), and maybe peruse the blog of film academic David Bordwell. Then it's just a case of recognising basic artistic decisions, and ascribing them with meaning. It's a con. Smoke and mirrors.
  3. Red Dead Redemption

    They may be 'retarded', but I like how, in all these videos of the NPC bugs, the people controlling the game are often crying with laughter. Much better than the game-breaking bugs I found in Fallout 3, or even Mass Effect 2.
  4. Red Thumb Redemption

    I don't have a lecture on Tuesday, so I can participate!
  5. Red Dead Redemption

    ... 7q7v4F8r9Og
  6. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    I'm already double booked tonight, so I'll have to let you down. No reason why we can't have another one at some point, though.
  7. Red Thumb Redemption

    360 - NevskyP I'm relying on Amazon for this, too.
  8. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    Yeah, this whole thing seems so flimsy now. Damn.
  9. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    So we're down to two maybes, two negatives, and a Shakira impersonator. And Jake. I am working until six, and have a conflict of interests as my girlfriend is visiting. She is probably boozing with her foreign cohorts, though, which would free up my evening. So are we still operating under the 'Old Nick from 6' plan?
  10. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    OK. Well... I'm busy on Tuesday evening: I have a lecture at 6pm and finish work at 6pm, which gives me 0 minutes to get from work to university. I will still be near the Bloomsbury/Holborn area if something does happen, and will be still going on in the later hours of the evening.
  11. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    What happened to the Saturday plan?
  12. Life

    Wow, how did you swing accreditation? Shame you couldn't make it financially viable.
  13. GTA 60 Take 2 They own the licence.

    Sorry for not making an appearance over the last few weeks. I've started a job, and I have gone back to evening lectures on Tuesdays, so I'm just flopping out when I get home.
  14. I did it! Now what?!

  15. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    Friday I will be going to this comics event. Saturday my girlfriend is arriving late in the evening. So I can make at least a passing appearance on either of those days. Beyond that it's a little tricky.
  16. Idle Thumbs London meet?

    I agree with these statements. An official London Thumbs Meet would be fantastic. The only problem is I have the girlfriend arriving on the 15th at Gatwick in the late evening. Should still be able to stay out until 6-7pm, but the 16th is no good.
  17. Life

    Hey, well done Miffy! Large amounts of kudos beaming your way.
  18. Books, books, books...

    I finished it last week, and it's a highly recommended book! The last section was particularly interesting, where Goldman came across an short story he'd written decades earlier, and decides to adapt it into a short film. So you get the short story, then his thoughts on the process of adapting it, then the screenplay. Then he shopped it around to production designers, cinematographers (Gordon Willis), editors, composers (Dave Grusin), producers and got their thoughts on the project, and how they would use the screenplay in their work, etc. What was particularly amusing, and enlightening, was that, after a good handful of helpful, constructive, but positive sections from the filmmakers, he ends with a section from director George Roy Hill, who completely tears the screenplay apart, shows glaring errors and faults that no one else picked up on, and concludes saying it was worse than live television. In that section, he dials back the anecdotes and gossip, and instead just provides, in miniature, an awesome insight into the creative process, the production process and, importantly, how completely unpredictable and chaotic making a film can be! I've started reading his follow up, called Which Lie Did I Tell?, which was published in 2001 (the Farrelly brothers are held up as the biggest contemporary screenwriters, go figure). And he starts the book with admitting that, when he published Adventures in the Screen Trade, he didn't realise he was in the middle of a 9 year slump, during which he had no screenplays produced. In his words, the phone stopped ringing. And this is a two-time Oscar winner. Then he goes on about stalking Sly Stallone, following him into a swimming pool, and waiting until he left - barefoot - so that he could see how tall he was. Awesome.
  19. Life

    Sure, I get you. There are few comics conventions that can sustain themselves without bleeding into general geek culture anyway. I suppose the big bucks come from crossover interest in Sci-fi, film adaptations, anime, Twilight, etc. It's a completely understandable way to diversify your audience and get some bodies through the doors. In life news, I'm about to finish off a monster essay for my MA called 'Colliding Reality and Fiction: How Kore-eda Hirokazu Represents 'Truth''.
  20. Life

    Awesome! Although, for a comic convention, it seems to be more interested in tv/film. What's the deal with that?
  21. Limited editions, what's your stance?

    I barely have the money for new, full-priced games at all, so I don't ever consider getting Limited or Special editions. That said, I was very impressed with the super-duper Bioshock 2 box, which came with: The game Vinyl 180g LP featuring the orchestral score from the original BioShock CD containing the BioShock 2 orchestral score A 164 page 8"x11" hardbound artbook chock full of developer commentary Three posters featuring vintage ads from Rapture
  22. He did drop the 'K' word a few times (although, mostly he referred to him as 'Stanley'), but as he is a filmmaker and filmmaking teacher in his own right, he spoke quite generally, giving his own spin on auteur theory ('no committee has ever written a great novel, or symphony... the architect and the client are responsible for the building'), telling us how to get a world-class score for hardly any money, and showing us clips from short films he's come across over the years at festivals, or speaking with great enthusiasm about Ingmar Bergman and Fanny and Alexander. Although, the only actual bit I noted down was that Kubrick came up to him, needing a piece of music for the beginning of 2001, and Harlen gave him 'Also Sprach Zarathustra'. Also, someone asked him about if it was true that Kubrick was a divisive personality on set, and he said that you only hear about the bad examples, saying that Kubrick had great relationships with most of the big actors he worked with, but despite this they only mention Shelley Duvall (and apparently that was blown out of proportion). He was saying how Cruise and Kidman only signed on for 16 weeks filming, or some normal contract, but stayed on for months longer because they were so taken with Kubrick and the project. He directed the 'Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures' film, which is up on youtube. So I guess if you want to see his insight into the filmmaker, it's probably spilling out of every frame of that movie. He was only supposed to talk for an hour. After about 140 mins, he had to be told to stop, and he'd barely got halfway through his notes. And he'd only just got back to the country, after 3 days getting trains and buses and ferries to return from Helsinki. What an inspiring madman.
  23. NeoGaf: Any of you post there?

    Probably best not to. I might post eventually. In the future.
  24. Movie/TV recommendations

    His Girl Friday. How about In The Loop? That has some brilliant sequences. On the level of sharp, gag-based, crazy dialogue, one of the best scripts I've come across for a while. Surely Ernest Lehman, to whom you're referring, mostly lifted from the Edward Albee play? From what I can recall, his major changes were just in setting, and the dialogue was the same. That said, he wrote North By Northwest, which I remember having a great script. Cary Grant is such a suave gent, but in that film he's also such an oddball.
  25. NeoGaf: Any of you post there?

    I'm a member, but I've not posted anything yet. Large forum communities scare me. Oh, and it took a good few weeks/months for my account to be activated.