Friday, October 28, 2011

Breaking Boundaries: Journey To The Center Of The Film

This morning I caught wind of this new trend going around that seems to have originated from Top 10 Films where you (and I suppose me in this case!) are given a magic ticket that lets you jump in to any movie world that you wanted. I wanted to see this in action, and luckily Jessica at The Velvet Cafe and Alex at BoaCE both gave me a template to work from. The idea is apparently based on The Last Action Hero. Now I haven't seen that film, so instead of a ticket I will think of this more in the sense of time traveling device in Chrono Trigger. This time though it's like I'm my own Lucca!

The exercise seems fun, because I usually don't go in to films with the hope to escape from my real world. Instead, I want to learn more about myself and the world around me, so with that idea in mind let's take a trip down in to the bowels of my imagination. Welcome to my desires!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I Came In From The Wilderness, A Creature Void Of Form

Take Shelter (Nichols, 2011)

It seems after months of waiting, 2011 is starting to get real. Yes, there have been a number of great films released so far this year (specifically I think of The Tree of Life, Drive, and Jane Eyre), but now that I'm looking ahead and making a schedule of films I must see I am almost overwhelmed with options. Take Shelter, the new film from Shotgun Stories director Jeff Nichols, has the type of pedigree that I get all flustered about, so when I saw it was opening at my local theater I became giddy with anticipation to dive in to the film. Knowling little about the movie I was simply hoping to revisit the domestic sphere that Nichols presented so well in his debut feature. Little did I know that I was in for so much more.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Thinking About Terror: Why Does Horror Scare?

Every October I feel as if the obligated to watch horror films. Like watching It's A Wonderful Life around Christmas it becomes a yearly tradition. Growing up I had a huge aversion to horror, brought on by one too many nights spent staying up past my bed time to watch Ernest: Scared Stupid. Now I go back and look at the films I was terrified of as a child and they seem silly, yet as I grew older and started watching more types of films I have still avoided horror. This is particularly odd to me as one of my favorite writers, Edgar Allan Poe, is always associated with the genre. In an attempt to combat my hesitancy to embrace these films I even decided to watch all four of the Scream movies earlier in the year. I even went to my local theater to see The Shining when it played a week ago. After this brief confrontation with some notable entries in the scary movie oeuvre, I was left with one nagging question in the back of my mind: do horror films need to be scary?

The short answer to this question would be a simple yes. I don't mean to imply that they only are meant to scare, there is a ton of artistic quality in this art form in craft, theme, and pathos. However, most people even use the terms 'horror film' and 'scary movie' interchangeably. But while watching The Shining I did not find myself nearly as scared as I did when I was watching Scream. I may even say that I didn't feel scared at all. Certainly not in the same way. And  that's really where I find horror films incredibly interesting. Much like comedy, horror is such an umbrella term that it can encompass so many different types of movies. Using my limited knowledge of these kinds of movies, I want to take a look at exactly how these movies scare.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Are Notes Not?

So last night I found myself watching a White Stripes concert film/documentary hybrid, The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights, and as I started to type up a reflection on the film I found that the actual substance to the film was not nearly as consequential as the thoughts the film raised. In fact, the film made me realize two very important things, and I keep questioning a few ideas in relation to these revelations.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Manufacturing The Movie Star: Musings On Ryan Gosling

I like to imagine that somewhere in the annals of Hollywood exists a factory. In this factory the overlords/taskmasters/biological engineering geniuses have boxes stacked upon boxes of body parts waiting to be assembled and brought to life in some kind of insane ritual that straddles the line between heretical and miraculous. These Victor Frankensteins toil away all hours of the day mixing and matching parts until the day when the big studios of the world place an order for a superstar. An order was placed some years ago, and the latest creature to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting world was Ryan Gosling, star of Drive and The Ides of March. A man whose star has seemingly risen to insane amounts in the last few months that it has fallen into place, as Bob Dylan may say, so perfectly, it all seems so well timed. But, as a fan of Ryan Gosling's career thus far, I find myself slightly conflicted.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Taking On 2011 - Top Tracks (Q3 Quarterly Review)

Another three months have passed, and as has become a yearly tradition here at Processed Grass it is about time we take a look back at all the yearly developments in the world of culture. As is also tradition my Quarterly Review will be broken in to three parts (songs, albums, film) and list some random number of these entries that have been dominating my ear space and mental functions for the past however many months! We are approaching the time of year when monumental changes occur in these lists. Don't believe me? Just check up on the first and second quarterly reviews to see how things have changed...or how orders have stayed the same.

We all like comfort, right?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Don't Blame Us For Visions Of Princess Cuts On Our Fingers

Moneyball (Miller, 2011)

October, or more specifically September if we are going by calendar release dates, are the days of baseball. Sure the NFL usually comes back around this time, but America's game is beginning to wind down from an exhausting summer marathon. It makes sense then to release a movie that revolves around the sport around this time of the year. It makes even more sense, with Oscar nominations looming in the not too distant future, to release a film that stars Brad Pitt. All the chances for Moneyball, the story of Billy Beane's attempt to reinvent the dynamics of Major League Baseball, to thrive in a major market are certainly in place. This is when champions are made. This is when A's fan actually have a chance to watch their team (or well, a lovingly designed simulation of their team of years past) in the post season! But is the simulation enough?