I don’t know when I became a Star Wars nerd. Truth is, this was never supposed to happen. I saw the films in their entirety for the FIRST TIME in the theater as they were re-released in the late 90s. Until then, I was THAT guy. The Never-Saw-Star-Wars Guy.
Now, it’s different. I’m into them, and my kids are into them. But while they’re into the stories and the characters – Sierra, bless her soul, loves those damned Ewoks – I’m more interested in the story behind the story. The slow march from original trilogy to remastered trilogy to expanded trilogy to “Nooooooooooooo!”
Jamie Benning’s Star Wars Begins is a “filmumentary,” essentially, a Pop Up Video for the first Star Wars film. It was created a few years back – so before the recent Blu-Ray additions – and is a wonderful look at the story behind the making of and changes to the original film.
Turns out, this was the third filmumentary Jamie created. He began with The Empire Strikes Back in Building Empire, and moved forward to Return of the Jedi in Returning to Jedi.
Deleted scenes. Alternate takes. Bloopers. Commentary. Audio cues. Backstory. It’s all there. It’s all wonderful.
These were posted on YouTube last year, but were taken down for some reason. I’m linking to the Vimeo versions for posterity’s sake: I don’t want to lose these again.
Typography, like travel, presents common concepts in a way that is unique to the treatment. When you travel, you encounter buses and money and language, but in a way that’s different. In typography’s case, the same words are given a different design.
EF Education’s Live the Language campaign shows how learning the basics of foreign language helps enrich the spirit of travel through the pairing of typography and cinematography. It makes for a beautiful combination.
Certain films foster a certain level of fanaticism: Monty Python, Star Wars, Spinal Tap, among hundreds. IMDB not only acknowledges this fanaticism, but also takes part in it, and that is beyond awesome.
Hey, now, I don’t want to alarm anyone and overstate how important this is but, you guys, you might want to check out this video because – and I am being completely serious here, people – THE. BEASTIE. BOYS. ARE. BACK.
Go ahead. Count ON YOUR FINGERS the amount of awesome in that video. I DARE YOU to do so without then taking off your socks to use your toes.
The back story explains the prince’s transformation into the Beast as punishment for turning away an old beggar woman and, in a deeper sense, for not recognizing true beauty. What it doesn’t explain is the need for this enchanted woman to transform innocent bystanders into household objects. If the beggar woman is supposed to represent some kind of moral high-ground, what’s with the collateral damage?
It is understood that Lumiere, Cogsworth and Ms. Potts are former humans who have come under the same enchantment as the Beast. But what about the hundreds of additional “objects come to life,” especially those in the “Be Our Guest,” scene. Are each of these assumed to be former staff of the prince? Every knife a servant, every cup one of Mrs. Potts sons, every feather duster a maid? Or are we to assume that SOME of the items are former people, and SOME of the items are simply enchanted, and ONE ottoman in particular is actually a dog. Where do we draw the line?
Where does the food come from? It would be quite a feat for a bunch of castle-bound formerly inanimate objects to conjure up daily meals – let alone the dancing feast performance of “Be Our Guest” without sending SOMEONE to the grocery store. Maybe they subscribe to a delivery service. Maybe *gasp* the food is former staff as well.
Was there ever an investigation into Gaston’s fall from the castle?
Turning a 40-page book, half-filled with pictures, into a feature-length movie is daunting, and judging by recent attempts, fraught with failure. (The Cat in the Hat, The Polar Express, and Curious George immediately come to mind, though I have admittedly not seen a one of them.) Matt Kirby identified the main pitfall of the process when he wrote, “Picture books are an art form altogether different from other types of literature. For me, they are an alchemy of story, poetry, and image, almost impressionistic works.”
I tend to agree with every point of the article. While I understand the difficulty in adapting books this short, there has to be a certain level of consistency.
In this case, both books take a different approach to adaptation – Wild Things’ trailer is steeped in the same imagery and soul that made the book such a beautiful exercise in imagination, while Cloudy’s trailer shows a ham-fisted attempt at recreating The Incredibles, only this time with food.
What made Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs so iconic – and cemented its legacy as, hands down, my favorite children’s book of all time – was the art. The hand drawn illustrations, looking more like a Wall Street Journal staff picture than the typical children’s art, showed great detail in documenting something so implausible, yet so creative.
It’s a wonderful article for those who love both books, highlighting how one film replicates the feeling of the book, while the other recreates it.
[ROB GORDON walks up to a bar. From the entrance he can hear MARIE DE SALLE singing “Baby I Love Your Way.”]
ROB: [Pauses, incredulously] “Is that Peter fucking Frampton?!”
Far be it from me to comment on boring local news – I’ll leave that to the dude who runs SD Watch – but Kerrie pointed out that the Sioux Empire Fair will be featuring Alice Cooper, Big and Rich and some cowboy rapper. All acts that I’m sure will sell out.