Empire

warhol_mario_montez

When Andy Warhol made the switch from painting to filmmaking, he took popular culture by surprise. Warhol was hardly the first artist of his era to traverse media, but he was one of the most prominent and famed, a decidedly off-kilter celebrity who created a personality not fit for prime-time yet nonetheless held a continued presence in prime-time. But the most shocking thing about Warhol’s films was the ways in which they presented the exact opposite of his notorious artwork. Where Warhol’s paintings and prints explored the ubiquitous presence of major movie stars, his own films cast a troupe of eccentric outsiders deemed the alternate universe superstars of his own downtown “factory.” Where Warhol’s paintings created “original” works of glossy, mass-produced products familiar to everyone in a society inundated by advertising (e.g., the infamous Campbell’s soup can), his films were raw, deliberately unpolished, often unedited events that challenged the inherently manufactured nature of the film medium (and, thus, they’re frustratingly hard to see outside of big cities). Whether you delight for a rare screening of the double-projected Chelsea Girls or scoff at the very idea of Empire, Warhol’s films captured a unique place and time in which uninhibited self-expression was king and even the movies could be a happening. So here ‘s some free advice (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the snow-haired savant who did with cinema what an extraterrestrial might do with the English language.

read more...

Best Short Films of 2012

There are exactly 12,458 short films made every year. That number is a grossly inaccurate estimation, but the point is, there’s a hell of a lot of short films out there. The classic calling card for would-be career directors, the mistress keeping a feature filmmaker’s attention, the proof that a left field concept can work.  These brief motion pictures can pack an incredible punch, and in the world of the internet, they are everyday finding their place among the throne room of distraction entertainment that can be safely smuggled into a cubicle or a school desk. After watching close to 3,000 shorts this year, roughly 260 were chosen for our Short Film of the Day feature, so the idea of culling that list down to 12 seems both staggering and like something that violates the Eighth Amendment. The whole “Everyone’s a winner” schtick is something we all know isn’t true, but if you made it onto the site at all, you’ve got something that thousands of other movies don’t. With that in mind, here are the shorts that shined above and beyond those that survived the final cut. You’ll find a security team overwhelmed by monsters and sarcasm, two robots with immense humanity, a bit of comic book ultra-violence and a whole lot more.

read more...

Culture Warrior

What exactly do we mean when we find a movie to be boring? Does boring mean redundant? Monotonous? Tedious? Wearisome? Frustrating? Tiring? Uninteresting? Not challenging? The proposed definitions here are far from a collection of synonymous effects on what constitutes a “boring” work. The above terms can often be associated with boredom, but when parsed apart these can denote very different, even oppositional, experiences. For instance, tedium and frustration, which imply an active and engaged (though not positive) form of viewership, do not necessarily describe the same experience as something that feels monotonous or tiring, which by contrast suggests a passive viewer. However, the boredom critique deserves to be severed from its associations with “uninteresting” and “unchallenging” cinema, and “monotony” and “tedium” need not always be negative experiences when watching films. Boring cinema can instead be the most challenging and revelatory of all. In 2009, I wrote a piece titled Slow Isn’t Boring in which I defended the type of deliberately-paced cinema Dan Kois later expressed his frustration with, arguing that slow cinema has the capacity to give viewers a unique and hypnotic experience of time that you can’t find in other entertainment media. Thus, with the films of slow filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, Apichatpong Weerasethakhul, and Carlos Reygadas, I find myself the furthest from a state accurately described as “bored”; in fact, I experience the reverse: total immersion.

read more...

Everybody knows Andy Serkis as being the man who provides the motion capture performances for the revolutionary CG characters in Peter Jackson’s films. He was responsible for Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, he was the guy that made King Kong possible, and he’s playing the super smart ape Caesar in the upcoming Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which Jackson’s company WETA did the effects work on. So news that he is being looked at to bring another computer animated character to life should come as no surprise. In the most recent issue of “Empire”, which includes a lengthy feature on Apes, they talked to the film’s director Rupert Wyatt about what he was planning on doing next. He says that he’s looking to work with Serkis again to bring a classic work of literature to the big screen. The two want to make an adaptation of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”; the story set on an English farm that details the overthrow of the farmers by the animals and the subsequent corruption of the pig Napoleon when he becomes mad with power. You see, the animals are proletariat, the farmers are bourgeoisie, and the pig is like Stalin… you know what I’m talking about, you probably read this in high school English and remember it better than I do. The potential project is a ways off still and will probably hinge largely on the success or failure of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. But as […]

read more...

Empire magazine has given the web a look at their next cover; a bold new image of Chris Evans as Captain America set in front of an American flag.  That’s pretty progressive for a magazine called “Empire”. While it has been reported that the film’s title Captain America: The First Avenger will probably be shortened in many countries to just The First Avenger due to it’s pro-American, rah-rah patriotism, the British seem to have no qualms with the focus of the film. Inside of the magazine, some of the men behind the scenes make comments about the World War II time period in which the film was set. Marvel chief Kevin Feige explained, “Scripts had been developed that took place half in World War II, half in the modern day and none of those scripts were particularly successful because the costume ended up overshadowing the man …” and the film’s director Joe Johnston added, “I’ve always loved Raiders and the tone that it had. It was period but didn’t feel like it was made in the period. It felt like a modern-day film about the period, which is what we’re doing on Captain America.” Johnston has been hit or miss with me as a director, but it seems like they’ve put a lot of thought about what works and what doesn’t into this film; and any time you can compare something to Raiders my ears are definitely going to perk up. I will rate my anticipation for this one as […]

read more...

post-willsmith.jpg

It’s absurdly early for me to make an Oscar prediction, considering this movie hasn’t been filmed yet, but I expect great things from Empire. Variety reports Michael Mann will direct Will Smith in this forthcoming film from Columbia Pictures. Smith will reportedly play a contemporary media mogul, and that’s all the information out there on what the movie will be about.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3