Film History

George A. Romero – Thank You For Everything

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The day I hoped would never come has indeed come to be. The passing of one of the most influential people on my life, George A. Romero. When I started film school the teacher went around the room and asked everyone who inspired them the most to become filmmakers. At the time it was the in thing to say Martin Scorsese so most people said him and a few answers were interesting if not obvious. I was the standout because I said George Romero. I have a long list of filmmakers that have inspired me over the years but when it comes to the ones that literally shaped me that list is very short. Indeed a key name on that short list is George Romero. When I was really young I became fascinated by the film Creepshow. I found the graphic novel of it a couple months before the film […]

Film History

12 Films That Have Stayed With Me

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On Facebook we tend to get tagged in different things. Luckily I have my settings set to not automatically post something if I’m tagged in it. It saves me the trouble of having to clear out my own page’s wall of free Oakley sunglasses, earn thousands of dollars shopping, or the never ending crowdfunding posts from actors and filmmakers I don’t even know. On occasion some cool posts from friends come along as in this case. My friend Bob got tagged in a post to list the “12 films that stayed with you” which he in turn tagged me to do one as well. Any film list is always a joy and a hardship. Hardship because I tend to put way too much thought into it. One of the rules is not to put too much thought into it which I disobeyed immediately. When I say disobeyed I’m not being […]

Film History

Happy Birthday Akira Kurosawa

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I’m sending a special Happy Birthday to Akira Kurosawa. A film director that is arguably one of the greatest filmmakers in film history who helped define and shape films and one that has inspired me greatly. Kurosawa was a filmmaker, much like Alfred Hitchcock, who knew how to blend the personal expression with the entertainment aspect of movie making. His films are just as intimate as they are entertaining. His style is almost perfect where every frame could be captured and hung on the wall as a piece of art. He knew the power of the frame and utilized it like so few others. His artistry is so powerful that a friend of mine and I always said that if either of us ever felt like we were too full of ourselves as filmmakers all we had to do was watch a Kurosawa film and we would be humbled awfully […]

Film History

The Third Man 4K Restoration

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So recently I got the chance to see one of my all time favorite films, Carol Reed’s The Third Man , in the theatre in the new 4K restoration. I’ve been lucky enough to see it before on the big screen but this was special as it has been restored in a new digital presentation. While there have been some really great versions of the film over the years, including the 50th anniversary and the now out of print Criterion Blu-ray, but to see it restored in full 4K is quite an experience. The Music Box Theatre in Chicago is doing a special Orson Welles retrospective throughout the summer showing several of his films. I’ve been able to see a couple of his films for the first time on the big screen this summer including Citizen Kane and Touch Of Evil both in 35mm. The special 4K digital restoration screening […]

Film History

Happy 40th Anniversary Jaws

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Hard to believe it but we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s JAWS. A film that not only terrified and thrilled me but fascinated and inspired me as well. I saw it for the first time when I was a kid on VHS. Even as a kid there was something about the film that drew you into it. I don’t mean just the naked girl who gets killed in the very beginning either.¬† The build into the story and the sense of how much this shark tears apart this community and the leading up to the, in some ways, modern Moby Dick sea hunt. JAWS shows the master work of a young director who showed that he was a talent to go in line with the greats before him. A lot has been written about the way the film works because how rarely we see the shark since […]

Film History

Happy 32nd Anniversary Creepshow

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Today, November 12th, celebrates the 32nd anniversary of one of my all time favorite films, George A. Romero’s Creepshow. Written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero and featuring an all star cast Creepshow features five “jolting tales of horror” inspired by the old E.C. comics like “Tales From The Crypt” and “The Vault Of Horror”. The film mixes the perfect blend of horror and comedy with portions (like the story “The Lonesome Death Of Jordy Verille”) mixing the perfect blend of camp in as well. When things turn to horror it doesn’t skimp whether it’s grossing us out with some amazing make up effects by Tom Savini or the actual terror of creeping corpses, cockroaches aplenty, or a monster in a crate that scared me so much every dark corner or unopened crate to this day inspires feelings of unease in me. Somehow I convinced my father to […]

Blu-ray

The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari Gets 4K Restoration

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Kino Lorber home video is releasing on Blu-ray November 18th a newly restored version of The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari. The classic silent film gets a full 4K restoration and from the looks of the trailer it looks amazing. One thing about this release is that it has an alternate music track. Silent films had music scores though not always ones that were written to go exactly with the film. Sometimes depending on where you saw it the organist did their own music. But watching a silent film without some sort of traditional score does sometimes seem odd. As is the case with this, a score included by DJ Spooky is very techno and while I’m open to experimentation for me this doesn’t work. Luckily Kino has a more traditional music track as an option. I’m excited to get this classic to add to my collection.