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Scotland Creative Nation March 1, 2008

Posted by goldblatt in Film School, General Studies, Theatre Department.
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getjimdyson_sultan460.jpgexperienced a lot of great stuff and a lot of baloney at the Scottish Arts Council Cultural Summit 2008: Scotland Creative Nation. Overall, it was a fantastic event and I am truly lucky to be in such a creative nation where the arts are valued and well shepherded by the arts council. good work arts council.

highlights:

Suzanne Lacy‘s lecture about her work. She is fascinating! She’s a conceptual artist who goes around to communities and organizes events, dinners, art installations that have meaning for specific communities. i love the word community. great word. she celebrates, comments on, illuminates communities by creating rituals or milestones for the twenty-first century. loved hearing about her work and hope to hear more.

Per Ericsson talked about the Swedish Film Institute and their education initiatives. They use multimedia in school to engage students and he was very convincing about the benefits of relating to kids by talking about movies and giving a classroom a camcorder.

lowlight:

fascinating debate about “excellence” with Sir Brian McMaster and Joyce McMillan. Sir Brian has written a new scheme about evaluating which institutions are excellent. i’m sure it was well intentioned but it provoked a great deal of controversy in the crowd, and there was much skepticism. interesting debate, but i’m not sold on this excellence concept. i’ll have to read the report.

ultimate highlight:

chat with vicki featherstone and helen marriage about producing. informal and fun. unlike the other discussions which centered on buzzwords and business models, these gals just sat around and chatted, musing on the nature of the Arts Producer. As Vicki said, “this is the hippie shit.” or “artsy faggot bollocks” which is the new buzzword for this lecture. Helen Marriage runs Artichoke which clearly does cool shit like The Sultans Elephant and she told great stories about producing it. finally, real people.

Glasgow Film Festival February 24, 2008

Posted by goldblatt in Film School.
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Well done, Glasgow! Brilliant Film Festival with a fantastic roster of screenings. Very impressive for such a young festival. I attended the How to Make a Short panel discussion and enjoyed the dialogue. The John Sayles Masterclass was good fun. John Sayles seems like a really cool guy, like someone you could have over for dinner. And then I took in the Visible Cinema screening of visual art films. I didn’t really care for the short experimental films collected in that screening. Most of them consisted of one idea that went on way too long. I found the films lacking beauty or composition both aesthetically and conceptually. Maybe I just didn’t “get it” though, which is possible.

In any event, I was thrilled that it was a sell-out crowd to see art films, and it was nice to see visual art films.

48 Hour Film Project: Edinburgh January 19, 2008

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COMING IN MAY… GET READY

Future Shorts January 19, 2008

Posted by goldblatt in Film School.
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f54612afc945c9829bff69e9c14ef23f.jpgthis is awesome! a monthly night of contemporary short films shown at the GRV. awesome venue, awesome crowds, two intermissions for beverage reallocation. The films this month were very… January. The first one was called Joyride, but I called it Sadride. Still, the films were good, if cold and… Russian. Actually one was literally just a documentary of people riding a sad russian suburban train. But it managed to come together at the end. Very January films. Can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store for February! Big shout out to Carolina and Eva for setting up this extraordinary event and being such great hosts. Oh, and did I mention FREE POPCORN??!!! what more do i have to say?

No Country For Old Men January 19, 2008

Posted by goldblatt in Film School.
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09count600.jpggo see this movie!

I went to see it at the Cameo, which is the coolest movie theatre EVER, and has a great bar as well. Good fun. Good beers. Good popcorn. GREAT movie.

Word on the street is that the younger Coen Brother has a night of one-act plays off broadway somewhere. interesting. Also their next project is about Hebrew School? The NY Times doesn’t lie!

elf December 24, 2007

Posted by goldblatt in Film School.
5 comments

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I love this movie. Whatever happened to the actress who plays Jovi in this movie? She is so beautiful and has a great singing voice. Will Ferrell is so great. A lot of people like to play the “I just don’t like Will Ferrell card” so for all you people, this is for you:

Stop being a hater. You are claiming to dislike the guy just to get a mild look of surprise out of people and make yourself seem alternative and edgy. There is nothing to dislike about Will Ferrell. He is hilarious and brings joy to the world. He is like Christmas. He is quite simply a very talented clown. Stop being a hater, all you Will Ferrell scrooges.

The Golden Compass December 20, 2007

Posted by goldblatt in Film School.
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Hrmph. If I had not read the book before seeing this movie, I think I would be unimpressed, uncaptivated, unbewitched by this film, and that disappoints me. The book is better. Isn’t that always the case? But in this situation it’s not merely a snobbish dismissal from a reader who wants to see every last word replicated on the screen. In this case the movie really does have a few problems of its own.

First the good: the director captures much of the style and aesthetic of Philip Pullman’s world. It is glorious to see Pullman’s unique wonderland alternative reality rendered vividly and creatively on celluloid.

Now the bad: the movie condenses the book unnecessarily, so that even those who haven’t read the book wind up thinking that this movie is too short. The beginning is crowded with exposition that explains plot points without allowing us to sit and enjoy the specific dramatic moments, and the ending is jarringly abrupt. Certain moments do not work. When Iorek Byrnisson says, “You would ride me?” it is awkward and unnecessary. Also Ian McKellan, although famous, is a terrible casting job for Iorek Byrnisson. He’s a gay English Shakespearean actor: perfect to play a wizard or a wise old man, but terrible to play an ultra-violent, alcoholic bad-ass brute warrior bear. He is too polite, too genteel, although he does his best. I would have cast James Earl Jones or Tom Waits.

To be fair, movies are never as good as the book and this movie is much much better than it could have been. It’s fine. But it’s not as good as, say, the first Harry Potter movie, and if you have read this book, you will probably be disappointed.

Across the Universe October 4, 2007

Posted by goldblatt in Film School.
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This was a pure psychadelic experience in every sense of the word. I loved this movie. I mean truly loved it. Laughed, cried, blissed out, and was sad when it was over. Lots of people had mixed feelings about it. I didn’t go into it thinking about it as any sort of standard Hollywood movie. I didn’t go into it thinking about it as a “jukebox musical” or as “moulin rougesque” or whatever. it was a beautiful piece of art that created some of the most stunning moving pictures i have ever seen on celluloid. and that’s all that i want in a movie. Julie Taymor has shamed her peers with this incredibly thoughtful triumph of film directing. Seriously, if I was a major motion picture director, I would be embarassed right now. This movie kicks ass. The plot is sparse but the movie is not really about the plot. It’s not about the script. It’s about the music and the pictures. Actually I think of the film as an extended meditation and at times even an enticing riddle or puzzle that Taymor is putting together. It’s a beautiful game that she is playing with music, characterization, setting, history, politics, lyrics, visual art and film. She puts old songs in new situations and contexts that bring out incredibly deep, profound meanings intrinsic to the original time the songs were written. That’s what makes it unique–it’s playful. It’s brilliant. And you get to see Bono sing I am The Walrus in one of the most perfect acid trip scenes ever put on film.

Terrific performances from ALL of the leads. Just go see the movie!

The New Season September 9, 2007

Posted by goldblatt in Academy of Ballet, Conservatory of Music, Film School, Theatre Department.
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The New York Times came out with their orgasm-enducing preview of the 07-08 season in film, theatre, dance, music, art, and other stuff today. For those of us obsessed with the world of ideas, this is a titilating annual event. Without further ado, I give you my own run down of what I am looking forward to this year in the world of high, high art.

Bruce Springsteen’s new album with the E Street Band. He’s been doing great solo stuff lately, so this return to form with the old crew should be decent, if nothing else. Bruce is hot right now.

American Ballet Theatre’s World Premiere ballet inspired by Philip Glass’ musical portrait of his buddy visual artist Chuck Close. Both guys have words for their last names, that’s how awesome they are. Choreography by Jorma Elo, who also has a cool name.

lear1450.jpgRoyal Shakespeare Company brings Ian McKellen to Brooklyn Academy of Music in Trevor Nunn’s productions of King Lear and The Seagull. Can someone say EVENT? Critics are saying that McKellen does not disappoint.

Debut season of Christopher Wheeldon’s Morphoses company at NY City Center. Hottest american ballet choreographer now starts his own company. audiences follow.

Herbie Hancock’s new tribute album to Joni Mitchell. Joni’s folk pop songs are so jazzy it hurts, and Herbie is just the guy to flesh out the jazz harmonies and embellish the rhythms.

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Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Metropolitan Opera. Mary Zimmerman is funky fun, and I can’t wait to see what she does to this classic Italian opera.

Julie Taymor’s new Beatles musical movie, Across the Universe. What do I really need to say here? Eliot Goldenthal is doing kick ass re-interpretations of the songs using his favorite instrument, the glass harmonica. And based on the descriptions of the movie, it sounds like the new Hair, which is one of my favorite movies.

I’m not here, Todd Haynes’ filmic meditation on all things Bob Dylan. It sounds way far out, and way cool.

2 Days in Paris September 9, 2007

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really good film. starts out by aping woody allen and you’re hoping they can transcend it, and they do. I would call it Woody Allen for the young, hip, jetsetting crowd. Adam Goldberg is great as the angsty American, uncomfortable in most social situations. And Director Julie Delpy gives him plenty of hilarious situations to be uncomfortable in, whether it’s a strange woman resting her head on his arm unsolicited at a party, an art gallery opening by his girlfriend’s father where works consist of obscene drawings of sex acts, or the many crude, racist, mysoginist asshole cab drivers they get in Paris. Ends on a truly sad, romantic note worthy of any of the classic woody allen movies (Annie Hall, Manhattan). The dialogue is great, funny, witty, filled with hilarious intellectual arguments which are also woody allen worthy. the real question here is who is woody? As writer, director, and star, Julie Delpy is a good candidate. After all, she is often wearing thick plastic spectacles during the movie, and she is also very vocal about strange, eccentric intellectual concerns that come out in very funny moments. But Adam Goldberg is the angsty (I wouldn’t say neurotic), cynical Jew whom it seems society is out to get.

Anyway, a really good movie! And terrific performance by Daniel Bruhl of Good Bye Lenin! fame.