Wherever you go, when the subject of conversation turns to hideous, mind-boggling acts of evil, you will often find people leaping to conclusions. Whether those conclusions are about the perpetrator or the circumstances, generally, those conclusions form part of a psychological defensive reaction. Continue Reading
I am not sure what year it was that I saw it, but David Fincher‘s adaptation of Fight Club was released in the year I turned twenty-one. That year brought on a lot of embarrassments, dramas, and things I just dearly wish I could have taken back. But it was also the year I began to take my faltering first steps into home cinema. Somehow, I also managed to bluff my way into a gig reviewing test samples of the DVD-Video medium. It was strictly an amateur job or hobby, with the only real compensation being free discs. But it opened my eyes to a lot about not only how home video and its delivery media worked, but also how that side of the film industry worked. Continue Reading
Some time ago now, the great but ailing media pundit Roger Ebert wrote a statement to the effect that videogames are not art. He gave some reasons why. And the whinging from fanboy idiots who were clearly too young to even know what the word Atari means in this particular context was precious to behold. Not because Ebert‘s critique of videogames as an industry was especially well-informed, but rather because the near-illiterate responses betrayed a simple fact about the people making them. Specifically, they had no idea what the word art really means. Continue Reading
I will say this much to start with: I am a fan of the films of Ed Wood. In fact, Ed Wood‘s work can be considered a reason to be grateful for the joys of home video and film preservation. Without either of those things, we, the plebs of the later twentieth and early twenty-first century would not be able to enjoy his work. But this also provokes a myriad of questions. Like every celebrity that walks or walked an unusual path, Ed Wood‘s work and life prompts a number of questions that one can learn from by answering. Continue Reading
As I stated a couple of months ago, I went out and bought an e-reader because I was starting to feel more than a bit perturbed by minuscule text sizes in books. A good example of that would be the battered copy of the George R. R. Martin novel A Game Of Thrones that is somewhere around my house. To say that this novel is difficult to read is an understatement. The printed paperback’s text size would give compound eyes a bad case of strain. Continue Reading
Roger Ebert is one of the great pundits of the twentieth century. His work spans a number of different subjects, but I am sure that if he and I were engaged in conversation about it, he would not dispute my statement that for him, the bread and butter has always been in film criticism. Continue Reading
Ask people who the best director of all time happens to be, and chances are that you will get as many answers as you get people responding. Some will tell you that Stanley Kubrick is the best director who ever lived. Some might tell you Oliver Stone. Some might tell you Harold Ramis. For my part, being that I am so biased towards material that recognises there might actually be an adult in the audience (shock! horror!), I cannot go past Paul Verhoeven. The list goes on for as long as there are directors who made a hit (or even vaguely interesting) film. But when you ask people whom the worst director of all time happens to be, the pool of answers narrows down quite considerably. As I have said before, author Adonis Kyrou once wrote that one must learn to see the so-called “worst” movies, because sometimes they are sublime. Regardless of whether you think so or not, bad films have similar claims to merit as good ones. One of the most important areas in which a bad film can become meritous is by showing aspiring filmmakers of the future an example of when something is done badly.
Whilst films had been made in some form or other for around fifty years at the time that Edward D. Wood, junior began making his features, getting to see them was not nearly as easy as is the case now. Nor were they as abundant, and the “science” involved in making them was so far less developed as to invite mockery when attempting to make comparisons. So what, then, makes Wood more noteworthy than the other directors who unleashed crap upon the cinematic circuit in similar times?