Monthly Archives: August 2007

The Beowulf Express

A new trailer / preview reel for Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf has hit the net.

I’ll skip my standard spiel on the uncanny valley (see here for some of my earlier comments). What this Beowulf trailer made me think about is how conflicted I am about the potential of these sort of highly digitised movies. By that I mean movies where most or all of the environments are either computer generated sets, or highly manipulated with computers, whether these use human actors (as in Sin City) or live-action-like motion-capped animation (a la Polar Express or Beowulf). The divide between the animated and non-animated films in this genre seems to be largely trivial now: because these projects use animation that is motion-capped off real performers, and which aspires to photorealism, in an aesthetic sense they are essentially the same thing. (True animated films, like those made by Pixar, are a different beast again.)

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Remember MIFF? (MIFF Report, Part II)

Apologies for the delays in getting further posts on the Melbourne International Film Festival up. There was always going to be limited opportunity to post during the festival, since so many of the films I was seeing were in the last few days, but things were made worse by difficulties at my day job which caused a few planned films on my schedule to bite the dust. Hopefully my previous plugs for Paul Martin’s Melbourne Film Blog led anybody who was hankering for day-by-day coverage there; the boys over at Hoopla also managed to cover a reasonable number of films. One of the films I missed (El Topo) remains very much on my list to cover on the site.

What I did see was generally pretty good, and I had a better time of it than last year. So here are some quick thoughts on what I did end up seeing.

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Stop Giggling, Zeffirelli

This says a lot about me: the deaths of Michaelangelo Antonioni and Ingmar Bergman last week sent me scrambling for an episode of The Goodies. Specifically, I wanted to check if either had received a mention in Tim Brooke-Taylor’s dressing down of the mid-seventies art-film industry in the episode “Movies,” from 1975. Turned out neither had (I guess because they peaked earlier), but it’s still a great clip:

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