iPhone

Night Fishing

Why Watch? Two years ago, Chan-wook Park announced that he was making a short film with his brother Chan-kyong shot entirely on an iPhone. At the time, he lauded the device for being portable, easy to use and populist in its appeal. It was exciting — a seasoned filmmaker was toying with something new. Anything could happen. In the film, a man goes fishing (after a rock band jams for a while…) before encountering a mysterious woman and engaging with the spirit world. It’s horror done through Park’s tilted lens with a hint of South Korean melodrama and religiosity thrown in for good measure. Sadly (but not surprisingly), the clarity and camera work is absolutely an issue. Although there are a few impressive panning shots that use several well-placed focal points to create the illusion of expansion and contraction, over all the iPhone element is a gimmick that hangs like an albatross. Fortunately, the story is imbued with some colorful, joyous strangeness and an enticing exploration of sacrifice and loss. There are moments that channel Kurosawa and others that go off on their own path through the wilderness. The black and white segment is especially ghostly in its shaded wonderments. It just would have been great to see it shot with something you can’t play Angry Birds on. What will it cost? Around 30 minutes. Skip Work. Watch More Short Films.

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iPad mini

So you got an iPad (or iPhone) for Christmas. That’s pretty awesome, friend. Congratulations, you’re now one of millions of people who have a world’s worth of entertainment in two hands (or one, if you got an iPad mini or iPhone). Seeing as a few of us around the Reject HQ offices are iPeople, we thought we’d offer up a few suggestions to help you get the most movie-related enjoyment out of your new device. From our favorite apps to the best movies you can download right now from the iTunes Store, here’s a shopping list that will help you get through week one of being a movie fan with an iPad. Because now that you’ve moved up the technological ladder a bit, there’s no reason why you should ever be disconnected from the best that the world of film has to offer.

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Culture Warrior

Amongst the many reactions to Steve Jobs’s death last week, I found one comparison that people drew to be quite compelling. In order to find a fitting historic analogy to illustrate the cultural significance of Jobs’s life, comparisons ran the gamut from Nikola Tesla to, erm, John Lennon (“think different,” I guess?). But several people, including, Roger Ebert, brought to light continuities with Thomas Edison. Edison, like Jobs, was an industrialist: part inventor, mostly capitalist. But specific to his own life, Edison spent most of his career securing patents and making improvements to existing technologies rather than building something from scratch. Edison’s reputation associates him with a great deal more invention than he was actually involved in. I’m not trying to be cynical about Jobs. Far from it. In fact, I’ve been more than a little annoyed with the backlash to consumer mourning about Jobs than any initial hyperbole associated with Jobs’s death in the first place. I don’t give a flying shit about executives in pretty much any industry, but saying “he’s just a CEO” does not negate the great intellectual worth and cultural interest of Jobs himself. Jobs, like Edison, developed a cult of personality that extended well beyond the person.

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Between 1991 and 2004 Jeff Smith released 55 issues of his comic book “Bone” and built a legacy as one of the most beloved comic creators of all time. People love “Bone”. I mean, they’re crazy about it. It’s a shame then that it has never managed to get a film adaptation, despite living in the mires of developmental hell for quite a while now. The good news is there seems to be some new traction for the project, and the new stuff that’s popping up is even impressive enough to have Smith pleased with what he has seen. After both Paramount and Nickelodeon swung and missed with the “Bone” property, the rights got moved over to Warner Bros. where several scripts have been tried out but the third seems to be the charm. WB wants to turn their latest take onto the character into a three part, computer animated, 3D film series, and they’ve even put together a four minute short to show off what it would look like. Series creator Smith told the L.A. Times’ Hero Complex that he is, “actually excited about the movie for the first time in a long time.” That’s probably high praise coming from a guy who has reportedly waded through a ton of crappy film treatments of his baby.

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There’s something exciting about a talented director picking up a new piece of equipment and giving it the test run everyone else is thinking about. We reported earlier about Park Chan-wook and Park Chan-kyong shooting a short film (30 minutes) entirely on their iPhone (or maybe one they borrowed from a friend after asking politely), and now a teaser reel of footage is online. Is it interesting that Park used a piece of technology that’s probably in your pants right now to make his movie? Yes. Is it even cooler that he got it into the Berlin Film Festival? Sure. Would it be even better if he’d used a more traditional camera so the movie didn’t look so bad? Definitely.

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Park Chan-wook Picture

There’s nothing not to love about Park Chan-wook. The man delivered Old Boy, two brilliant Sympathy For… films, and the strangest bloodsucker story this side of Shadow of the Vampire. Now, he’s done what everyone else has only talked and joked around about. He stopped playing Angry Birds and started shooting a movie with his iPhone with his brother, Park Chan-kyong. Paranmanjang (which loosely translates to Life of Ups and Downs) is not feature length, but at 30 minutes, it’s fairly substantial. It was made for around $133,000 (which is more than we were planning to invest in our phone-based film), and tells the story of a fisherman who catches a mysterious woman when she gets tangled in his net. Park had this to say about using the phone:

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steve-jobs-netflix

If you’re reading us, there’s a chance that you are a tech-savvy internet generation user who loves doing things with your toys that other people can’t. Either that, or you’re lost. It leads me to one conclusion: many of you have heard about today’s Apple World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) Keynote speech, in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced the brand new iPhone 4. As an iPhone user myself, this is exciting. It might be exciting to you. But if you’re sitting there wondering what the big deal is, I’ve got a few answers for you.

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Kevin rants about people who use talk and use iPhones during movies… and the people who don’t tell them to stuff it.

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hulu-iphone

It looks as if the folks at Hulu are once again looking for ways to keep me from being productive. Now I might be able to ignore work and watch old episodes of Doogie Howser, M.D. on my iPhone.

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Neil admits to slacking on his movie-watching duties, but Kevin gives him a pass because there’s a lot of prep to be done for the SXSW Film Festival in Neil’s adopted home-town of Austin, TX.

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editor-nowleaving

To celebrate the 3rd birthday of Film School Rejects, the big man in charge is celebrating by talking about the transitional nature of the month of February and the epic cross-country move that FSR’s world headquarters is about to have. As well, there are also some exciting new goings-on to talk about.

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iron-man-iphone-11

The folks at Paramount Digital Entertainment were kind enough to send us over some information on a little iPhone/iPod Touch game they knew we would just love. Or at least, they much know how much I love my iPhone — so it was a guaranteed coverage sort of situation.

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Officially Cool

I always love a cool desktop for my macbook or my iPhone. Here are some for the movie-lovers out there…

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