a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

YouTubing-To-Obscure-Shameless-Self-Promotion Wednesdays: Take Sitram or Take Your Lumps

All this talk over at Michael Atkinson's blog about long takes has got me thinking about Songs From the Second Floor, Roy Andersson's brilliant procession of deadpan/absurdist static long takes. In his long career, the Swede's made only four feature films, and his latest -- You, the Living -- pops up seven long years after Songs. But rest easier: turns out Andersson has had a far more prolific sideline in commercials, cranking out some 300 of the fuckers. Judging from the following collection of seven, they've nothing on his feature work, but they're still an ideal way for him to hone his work -- not just his skills for immobile deadpan shots, but his skill for portraying loneliness and anti-capitalism. (One of them is for Sweden's Social Democratic Party.)

In the Weekly I interview John Singleton, whose latest production Illegal Tender I review here, along with Resurrecting the Champ, the latest from ad quote whore film critic-turned-terrible filmmaker Rod Lurie. Also, Rep and a Six Pack on H-wood debuts from foreign directors that went less than swimmingly, in honor of Downfall director Oliver Hirschbiegel's chopped up The Invasion. The last one wound up hacked up a bit to make room for Nicole Kidman's sinewy bod, with special attention to Georges Sluizier's horrid The American Vanishing. Here's how it should have gone:
Hollywood is notorious for fucking up foreign film adaptations, but is hiring the original director really the answer? According to Dutch filmmaker Georges Sluizier’s redo of his bone-chilling 1988 original: no, it’s even worse. (Fingers crossed for Michael Haneke’s forthcoming Americanized Funny Games.) The director himself tacked on a ridiculous, thesis-shattering happy ending and had Jeff Bridges adopt a wincingly goofy voice as the everyman who discovers he’s capable of purest evil. Sluizer wound up with a similar self-discovery: barely heard from since, he’s currently attached to a Rob Schneider comedy.
That's right: a Rob Schneider comedy. Something tells me it's no Punch-Drunk Love.



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