Category Archives: Film

Girl Walk // All Day Screening and Talk this Friday

Surely you’ve heard of Girl Walk // All Day by now?

It’s a contagiously happy and loving, glorified feature length music video about a girl who pursues her dream of moving to NYC and dances her way around inspiring the city to dance with her. It’s all set to the music of DJ music collager Girl Talk and just as much as I love the film I equally love the production and design of the film and website. They’ve created an interactive website and have fully engaged with the social online community by collaborating with folks like Kickstarter and Gothamist. They’re unusual approach in screening a film was welcomed with open hands as dance parties ensued in various locations since its launch late year. They offered enticing tidbits, divvying up the film into episodes and featuring one a week on gothamist. They’ve successfully funded their crowdsourced campaign and they’ve updated their blog and twitter feed with all the homey relevant information you’d need from a glorified music video.

It’s a feel-good film and I admire all the folks behind the production team and certainly won’t be missing this opportunity to see them talk and screen the film at Galapagos this Friday. You can rsvp on eventbrite but do it soon, as of this morning there’s only a couple dozen seats left!

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Dildos, Bullet Shooting Knees, Kung Fu Ninjas and Korean Heartthrob at NY Asian Film Festival

There’s about a week left Subway Cinema’s New York Asian Film Festival and there’s a few flicks that should go unmissed. I’ve got a stigma against Korean entertainment having grown up with terribly closet coordinated kpop boy bands, hypermelodramatic soap operas and meaningless tv celebrity competitions, and usually avoid it at all costs. Not to mention majority of asian flicks are either melodramatic, hyperviolent, useless gore, boring period films, or just plain tacky and tasteless. This festival MIGHT do some justice, although some titles may object (Horny House of Horror and B.T.S. Better Than Sex to name a few), and veer my prejudice towards the light. Some highlights I’m looking forward to providing insightful entertainment:

Battlefield Heroes hails from Korean director Lee Joon-Ik and is a comedic take on macho gladiator war movies. I’ve been meaning to do some research into Korean history and this might be one way to start.

I’m sorry the screening for Duel to the Death has already passed. It’s a classic Kung Fu ninja movie if I ever saw one.

Foxy Festival ain’t no prissy American Rom Com. It’s straight up kinky, pervy, spastic non-porn.

Man from Nowhere has already screened (boo) but it just might be one of those that make my heart flutter. Won Bin is a prettyboy actor that I once fell in love in high school for his handsome Jewish nose. How can I get my hands on this? Confession: I just spent an hour youtubing makeout scenes with him in it.

I like the description for Milocrorze: A Love Story: “MILOCRORZE is the romantic heart on LSD therapy: everything is epic, everything is mind-bending, everything is unbearable.”

I’m particularly looking forward to this screening of Mise En Scene Short Films as it’s ADD friendly and varietal.

So….this guy was bazookaed, then was frankensteined to become a weapon. He shoots bullets out of his knees and his arm turns into a crazy machine gun. Can it get any weirder?

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The Hungry Pedaler Kickstarter Campaign

I recently met Daniel and Miko when our mutual homeslice was serving ice cream outside General Greene in Brooklyn. Flaunting their bikes and licking their ice creams we immediately hit off a conversation pertaining to food, pertaining to GFM (RIP) and Vendr TV, a show exploring the best street food the world has to offer. Daniel and Miko are hyper social networking friendly monsters, which makes them, awesome.

They are starting a new project called The Hungry Pedaler. The couple will be taking a bicycle power tour to discover the nation’s best “local and indigenous cuisines”. Basically, they will travel to “eat local” and the footage taken will be edited into webisodes to be shown weekly. It’ll be a two week tour next month and they need to raise $6,500 to make some awesome happen. So I highly encourage you to check out their kickstarter campaign and donate a few bucks for a delicious cause.

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Micmacs and Jean-Pierre Jeunet

On Monday evening I had the privilege to watch a special screening of Micmacs, originally launched here during Tribeca Film Festival. It was held inside a lecture hall at Columbia University and was followed by Q & A session with the one and only Jean  Pierre Jeunet. That I would have the opportunity to be in the same room as the mastermind behind Amelie gave me all sorts of ticks and butterflies and I was grateful to be able to watch the film outside of Tribeca, considering it was sold out. First and foremost, thank you to the Zimblaman for hooking me up and making some awesome shit happen.

Micmacs was a visually gripping film, and its story leaned toward light-hearted action comedy with a slight tinge of moral-laden reality-checking tragic undertones. Political views were subtle if at all apparent, and left you feeling pretty damn good and giddy in the end.

As a boy, Bazil experienced the tragic death of his father, who tragically died during a search and destroy land mines raid. At the funeral Bazil engraves the logo of the arsenal company who created these bombs and will serve his life’s purpose as an adult. Years later, while tending to his job as a lowly video store cashier, Bazil becomes victim to a drive by where a gun set loose freakishly lands and shoots a bullet straight to his head. Miraculously enough Bazil stays alive, bullet still in tact in his noggin. He gets hold of the bullet made by an arsenal company competing with the folks that lead his father’s death. Now living jobless and without a home, he is discovered by a collective family living in a junk yard with the sole purpose of salvaging and repurposing, junk. These seven hysterically unique characters become his adopted family and the film goes on with the lone goal of seeking revenge and exposing the deceits of these two companies. A cartographer, a humanified calculator, a junkyard artist, an old time ex-prisoner, a record breaking human canonball, a contortionist, and a fairytale big mama figure all join forces as they formulate grand trickstersque schemes against the bad guys. The movie ultimately ends with lies and deceits exposed, thanks to video confessions and social media distribution, not violence and mass killings.

I will regrettably admit Micmacs didn’t meet up to my expectations of being the next big iconic Amelie. First of all, I had no idea Jeunet was responsible for both A Very Long Engagement and Alien Resurrection. Um, what was he thinking?? How can the man who made the greatness and sweetness that is Amelie be responsible to such cheese and its side affects such as Alien Resurrection? But I digress. Micmacs is very much in par with another movie he made in the 90s, Delicatessen. Both are cinematographically similar, both utilize a dark brown, earthy, industrial decay/debris, ominously rotting color palette and environment. Steam and smoke is prevalent in every other scene, the poor and lowly is romanticized and juxtaposed to the rich and corporate (more in Micmacs). Dreamy child-like imagination runs amok with playful and cute anecdotes between costume, facial expressions, object manipulation and character engagement, all the while emphasizing a dark and ominous energy throughout.

Jeunet himself is a sprightly round man with witty and sharp humor. He resembles an overgrown boy but with a more articulate brain. In speaking about his creative process, it seems there is much preparation involved in making of a film, almost to an obsessive level, with sketches, story boards of every scene, etc, but it also apparent is his ability to allow certain aspects, such as production design, to be wholehearted handed over to another individual with pure trust that it will turn out the way he envisioned. Political undertones are not a focus for the filmmaker, but a message is heard. He is highly influenced by other films and incorporates plenty references (none of which I was able to pinpoint) in this movie. Silence and Sound has always been of utmost importance, subtlety and lack of music is as much as focus as what defines its soundtrack. You’ll find many familiar faces in this movie with characters from Delicatessen and Amelie and others. He is most interested in character actors, folks with interesting faces that can play an exquisitely unique role.

Considering I am a non-film-buff I found it highly educational to hear a filmmaker, let alone my favorite filmmaker, speak about the making of his movie. It made me realize how NOT easy it is to make a feature film, especially if there is no budget for it. A movie this official takes a shit load of talented people and  a whole lot of money. I’d like to make a challenge to anyone, including myself, to create a feature film with as little as $1000. Is that humanely possible?

I will also admit one issue I have with Jeunet and his movie. I’ve heard it before, that French folks are homophobes and racist, but it’s just not something that ever crossed my mind. And here, if only briefly, I was accosted with this stereotype. At one point in the movie, Bazil asks his posse to focus their gaze and pay attention. They are give him a questionable glance and after a moment of silence he affirms “No not GAYS, GAZE!”. That was bizarre to me. And I wondered how that translated from French. Also during Q&A I don’t know what it was regarding but he TOTALLY made a racist joke and not many people laughed. Ouch. Other than that he’s kind of wonderful.

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Goddamn Cobras and Meerkat Media on the Train

Goddamn Cobras are awesome. They are a film collective I met when they shot Pearl and the Beard’s Will Smith medley at the food market. Ever since we’ve been chatting, eating, laughing, planning, what have you. O and they make the best vegan pate and sell them at the market. There is nothing they can’t do. Including, hopping on a train going cross country with a fellow film collective and making a movie about it. They need help funding this project, if you would be so kind to show them some love and support on kickstarter. I guarantee it will be a joyous, raucous of a ride.

From jbls:

The train film (remember, the reason we all gathered to dance?) is chugging along too. We’ve created a fancy page on the awesome website Kickstarter that highlights the $$$ we need, what we need it for, what you’ll get if you donate and allows you to pledge a donation.

Check it out here

You’ll be supporting a truly independent and collaborative film making process with your donation.  We’ve asked for a relatively low amount but could always use more than we’ve asked for, especially considering that post-production isn’t yet factored into our budget.   So don’t let our meager goal stop you if you want to donate more.

PLUS! you’ll get a personalized mix from the Goddamn Cobra DJs! You give us a theme, and we’ll make a customized mixtape (yes! even on a real tape if you so choose), artwork & all. Cuz that’s how much we love you.

Please do help spread the word.
We couldn’t do any of this without your support.

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