Reject Recap: A New Batman, the Sundance Slate and ‘Homeland’ Piracy

6 Filmmaking Tips From Akira Kurosawa

Akira KurosawaThis week’s filmmaking tips came from one of the greatest masters of cinema, as Cole presented a look at things to learn from Akira Kurosawa. Here’s one of the tips with comment: “‘The most important part of my film is the scenario for without a good script, actors are not much use.’ Again, do you have some time to polish that script just one more time? This fundamental truth about movies is often (maybe because it’s so obvious) pushed aside, especially when special effects and famous faces seem to engage audiences. Even the big studios are beginning to relearn this powerful lesson (Battleship anyone?) because there’s nothing like a stellar story to send audiences out of the theater in a rush to tell their friends.”


8 Awesome Production-Related Records Set By Movies

For this week’s listicle, David Christopher Bell looks at some major achievements we don’t often think about. Why aren’t there honorary Oscars for biggest explosions featuring actors (Transformers 2) or biggest indoor movie set (Batman Begins).  The winner of the record for longest production time for a single film is notable because a really great new documentary called Persistence of Vision highlights the story of The Thief and the Cobbler. From the list: “Richard Williams is a pretty determined guy. Around 1964 he decided to make an animated film based on the stories of Nasrudin. In 1994, his film – The Thief And The Cobbler – was released under Miramax. That’s right. Thirty goddamned years. Poor guy just couldn’t get this thing off the ground despite it having some of the most beautiful and intricate animation you’ll ever see. The problem, as you might have already suspected, was money. Money and time. Not to mention that the entire project was closer to art than entertainment – and you know how much kids love looking at art.”


Did Heaven’s Gate Deserve a Better Criterion Collection Release?

Heaven's Gate MovieMichael Cimino‘s infamous period epic Heaven’s Gate received the Criterion Collection treatment with new DVD and Blu-ray releases out last month. But is it proper treatment for a film that necessitates a second chance? In his Criterion Files column, Landon criticized the release, concluding: “With scant special features, Criterion’s position on the film seems neutral and ambivalent, and this for a film that seems impossible to have a neutral position on. But then again, there’s something admirable about forcing a film that has been overwhelmed by context to speak for itself: maybe placing the film in a position where it can not only stand alone, but in pristine condition, is the most definitive attempt made thus far at allowing Heaven’s Gate a pure, fair, unencumbered reception.”


How is Film Criticism Like Food Criticism? And Who is the Guy Fieri of Cinema?

Sausage Being Made

Responding to the hubbub over the New York Times review of celeb foodie Guy Fieri‘s new restaurant, Landon provided us with a terrific comparison between film and food criticism and food and film experiences. And he noted how major figures of cultural industries, like Fieri and his possible cinematic equivalent, Adam Sandler, are open to greater scrutiny than others in their field. Here’s one comparison: “By all means, critical discourse should be able to effect outcome if it’s pervasive enough. But regardless as to whether or not it does, there’s an important difference between A) writing a bad review for a guy who has a long-running cable show about processed food or a financially successful movie series whose habitual output makes it feel like processed food, and B) writing a bad review for a struggling restauranteur in an outer borough or a no-budget film by a first-time filmmaker.”


‘Waterworld’ Remake Heading to SyFy

WaterworldEvery week we hear about another remake in the works, whether it’s something beloved or something like Waterworld. The latter is reportedly going to be redone as a cheesy TV movie for the SyFy channel, and Kate had a proper response: “Obviously, of all the Universal titles available to SyFy, the one that makes the most sense for them to remake is Waterworld. Clearly. Let’s most definitely use the vast coffers of SyFy, a network known around the world for their top-notch effects work and huge budgets to remake a film that was, at one time, the most expensive movie ever made and one that still reigns as one of the biggest flops in modern movie history. Yes, SyFy, this is the one.”

More remake news:
Apparently ‘Flight of the Navigator’ Was the Beloved Movie Remake Colin Trevorrow Was Talking About


Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

Read More from Christopher Campbell
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