By Siân Melton
Real talk: time travel hurts my brain. Sometimes I sit and wonder about the logistics of it all. If I travel back in time, is there still a Present Me or did Present Me vanish? If the latter, what happens in present time without me there? And how can I, instead of Chuck Berry, end up responsible for the discovery of rock and roll music? I think that’s why I hesitate before seeing a time travel movie. Sometimes I can enjoy the story and time-travely-ness (very official) and not get too distracted by it and other time’s I’m all, WHOA, WHOA, WHOA.
By Siân Melton
There’s no better signifier of a great movie than being more than willing to see it twice. That was the case with my love affair with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. Sigh. Seriously, I have so much love for this movie. I saw it at Sundance and was so blown away by well, everything: the story, the cinematography, the music (the music!!), and of course Kumiko herself, played by the ravishing Rinko Kikuchi. There’s also a bunny, but I’ll get into that later.
Even though I’ve never seen Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes, I’d heard enough good things about it to interest me in Open Windows. The premise was intriguing on its own: the story of an actress, a murderous stalker, and an unwitting voyeur all told through computer screens. The cast was also a draw: Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey. Unfortunately, Open Windows is a huge disappointment.
Man, I hope I’m not getting burnt out on found footage films. I can’t seem to find any that are halfway decent these days. Every week I’m faced with one and I just sit there wondering why the hell it feels like I’m watching the same thing over and over again. It seems out of 20 films I see I might find one that’s decent but those aren’t good odds. I’m actually not kidding when I say 20; I’ve watched about 20 found footage films this past month and only found one that I actually liked. The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is not one of those films.
Whenever I hear a film is based on a graphic novel I get a little excited. I love graphic novels and I have enjoyed the majority that have been turned into movies. When The Scribbler came to me I was pumped to watch it because it seemed like a weird and ambitious story.
Before I get into the film I will say this: Filmmakers, stop trying to copy Sin City, Watchmen, and 300.
I could go on and on again about how important Vinegar Syndrome is to cinema but I’ll refrain . . . for now. Instead, I’m going to attempt to explain the awesome and completely nutty Raw Force. I first saw this film about a year and a half ago and didn’t know what to say. It has everything that I want in old cheesy B-movies: comedy, action, boobs, karate, rocket launchers, zombies, weird parties, horrendous acting, people breaking ice with their faces. (Seriously, a dude breaks a block of ice with his face, but it isn’t for show; it is actually to get ice for a drink he is making for someone. I shit you not on this.)
Today I watched John Holmes’s penis get bitten by a vampire. What did you do today?
In the ‘70s and ‘80s many pornographic filmmakers made pornos with stories. Whether it was action, horror, or comedy, there was usually a genre represented by more story and less sexy time. As a horror enthusiast, I get excited more ways than one when the porno has horror elements and Dracula Sucks has more horror than porno. . . and it is freaking weird.
Earlier this year, we interviewed Steven DeGennaro, the director of an upcoming indie movie called Found Footage 3D. It was a ridiculous concept, and I actually called him out on it on Twitter. He responded, which led to the interview, and I’ve been keeping tabs on the project ever since.
The film is in post-production now, and they’ve run into a snag.
Crowdfunding is still a controversial practice. I approve of it, by and large, especially if the cause is good enough. Participating in a worthwhile crowdfunding campaign makes me feel magnanimous, like a DeMedici, a patron of the arts.
Check out the Found Footage 3D Indiegogo page, where they are raising money for one specific important element of their film. They have one of the smartest, funniest pitch videos I’ve seen in a while, and it explains precisely what they need the money for. There’s nothing vague to it, no nebulous goal in carefully couched language.
Even if you can’t give, or choose not to, the pitch video itself is a great watch. If you’re a horror fan, though, consider throwing a couple bucks their way. As major studios continue to botch a majority of the horror movies they put out, the best hope for the genre seems to be independent films with small budgets and great creativity. Crowdfunding allows unparalleled contact between filmmakers and their audience, and it looks like DeGennaro has a good idea of what his demographic is after.
Please follow the movie on Facebook to keep up with the latest news.
If, like me, your knowledge of New Zealand cinema is limited to Peter Jackson and Taika Waititi, then Housebound will both delight and surprise you. I went into Housebound with zero knowledge of the plot, but you should know that it’s essentially a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a red herring. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of movie it’s going to be, it turns into something else. Rather than being confusing, it makes the movie that much more fun to watch.
Even though it’s a movie that still feels fresh and influential, Beetlejuice came out almost a quarter of a century ago. It’s no secret that many of Tim Burton’s biggest fans feel like he hasn’t done anything in the last 20 years to rival it. Those people need to see Suburban Gothic immediately.