Monthly Archives: July 2010

Me and Orson Welles, Antichrist

Heh, just noticed this is actually episode 55. We should’ve celebrated episode 50 somehow. Oh well. On todays show (recorded last Sunday due to a busy week all round) we discuss Richard Linklater’s Me and Orson Welles and the Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist. Mentioned on the show, the introduction to Lars Von Trier’s Europa:And part one of The Battle over Citizen Kane: (The rest of the documentary is also on youtube)Enjoy.

Inception Review (Spoiler Free)

The following review is designed to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible.

From Christopher Nolan, the “do no wrong” director of The Dark Knight and darling of internet film fan sites comes Inception, Hollywood’s last great hope for the summer blockbuster season. Nolan himself is probably the biggest name of the project, his star outshining leading man Leonardo DiCaprio. The rest of the cast is made of indie stars Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon Levitt and Cillian Murphy, with Michael Caine and Pete Postlethwaite thrown in for good measure. The message is clear from the casting alone, this is not your Knight and Day blockbuster fare.

Inception follows DiCaprio’s Cobb, internationally renown thief, who invades the dreams of his victims in order to steal secrets from them. He’s hired by a shady mulitinational billionaire boss for ‘one last job’, to enter the dream of another billionaire and plant an idea in his head. Planting an idea, or Inception, is the ‘cross the streams’ of dream invasion apparently, but Cobb takes the job anyway, as it may just allow him to clear his name and return home. These little cliches are perhaps used to ground an otherwise very confusing film.

To further complicate things, Cobb has to deal with his dead wife constantly invading the dreams, or is it memories, he’s creating. Or something.

To be honest, the plot isn’t all that important. This is a classic heist movie, one part set up, one part execution of the heist. The first half of the film is devoted to training Ellen Page’s Ariadne, the young architect brought on by Cobb to build the dreamscape of the heist. Inception take almost an hour and a half training Ariadne, setting up the final caper and explaining the rules of the dreamscape it will take place in. It should be boring, constant exposition and explanation is the cardinal sin of movie making, but it all moves along at such a cracking pace and with such visual flair you really don’t have time to notice.

The disappointment is the final dreamscapes are not nearly as inventive as these training dreams. After watching whole cities crumble into the sea and streets of Paris fold over onto themselves, the heist itself, for all its space time trickery, is really just a series of action sequences. The ripple effect that links the various layers of dreams together is impressive, but at least for me there was no real sense of tension. You kind of get the feeling that the heist had been written and rewritten by Nolan so many times that all the pieces would have to eventually fall into place. He wouldn’t allow anything else.

It’s no surprise from the trailer that the further DiCaprio, Page and Co enter this world the more we’re left wondering where reality ends and dreams begin. Is it all just a dream in the end? Does any of it make sense? To be honest i have no idea. I’d say that will only become clear after a third or fourth screening. I can say i was riveted from the first to the final frame.

With The Dark Knight, Nolan brought a level of psychological terror and philosophical pondering to the superhero genre, a genre not exactly known for such adult themes. Here he brings the same level of sophistication to alternate reality Science fiction films like Total Recall and the to the ‘bullet time’ conventions of The Matrix. That he manages to pull it off is remarkable.

Its not the achievement of The Dark Knight, its not even as good as that other summer blockbuster Toy Story 3, but like Avatar it is a wholly original work by a master film maker, and as such should be seen in a cinema. Nolan’s vision, flawed as it may be here, deserves the biggest screen possible, and the box office needs to reward Hollywood for allowing Nolan the artistic freedom to dream.

Movie Extra Webfest Competition

Got a tonne of Facebook friends and a short film idea?

MOVIE EXTRA is set to launch an exciting new competition for passionate and aspiring filmmakers on 30th July, 2010 – MOVIE EXTRA WEBFEST.MOVIE EXTRA WEBFEST is an opportunity for filmmakers to win a $50,000production budget to produce a seven part web series for MOVIE EXTRA.The winning series will premiere online at www.mnc.tv and broadcast onMOVIE EXTRA itself in 2011.One of the first competitions of its kind to be hosted entirely withinFacebook, MOVIE EXTRA WEBFEST leverages the power of social media bycreating an interactive forum where entrants are encouraged to get theirsocial networks working for them and entry is simple. Filmmakers pitchtheir original web series via a treatment and a 60sec trailer uploadedto the MOVIE EXTRA WEBFEST competition site and the amount of friendswho ‘like’ and comment on their work, will play a role in the judgingprocess. Entrants are encouraged to engage with as many forms of socialmedia in as many different ways to promote their entry online andincrease their chances of winning.”Movie Network Channels is committed to fostering new storytellingtalent, wherever it may reside, and we believe this competition willprovide the catalyst for a new breed of emerging filmmakers to breakinto the exciting transmedia landscape.” says Emma Moroney, SupervisingProducer at MOVIE NETWORK CHANNELS.Official competition registration opens TODAY atwww.facebook.com/movieextrawebfestand entries can be submitted from 30th July 2010.