Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Archive for September, 2011

Paranormal Activity 3 – Trailer

Check out the new trailer for Paranormal Activity 3… and don’t forget to click on the link and Tweet Sydney to be included for one of 20 exclusive screenings. Click here


Paranormal Activity 3 – Tweet To See It First

Paramount Pictures has announced a “Tweet To See It First” campaign which will allow twitter users to determine which 20 cities will get to see Paranormal three days before the film’s global release. The third film in the series is a prequel which takes us back to 1988, where we get to “Discover How The Activity Began.” Paramount press release:

Tweet to Decide Who in the World Sees “PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3″ First!

Paramount Pictures Launches First Ever Global “Tweet To See It First” to Kick Off the Eagerly Awaited 3rd Installment of the Thriller Franchise

Movie Will Premiere in 20 Cities Worldwide on October 18th

In an unprecedented move, Paramount Pictures will debut PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 exclusively in cities where the most fans “Tweet To See It First”. This first ever of its kind campaign launched today at 8:00 a.m. PDT and is open to fans worldwide. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 will premiere on October 18th in the top 20 cities with the most tweets, 3 days before the film’s global release.

“The support of this franchise from the online community is phenomenal. We again look to reward them for that support by offering them the chance to see it first, this time expanding our reach globally,” said Rob Moore, Vice Chairman of Paramount Pictures.

To vote, fans can go to ParanormalMovie and select their city from a global map, which will also serve as the point of entry to create a tweet with a special set of hash tags that link directly to twitter. Once a tweet posts, it counts as a vote. A leader board will show the top 20 global markets in real-time.

The “Tweet To See It First” competition is available to audiences worldwide and ends at 11:59 p.m. PDT on Thursday, October 13th. The top 20 cities will be announced on Friday, October 14th.


Michael Powell

Michael Latham Powell (30 September 1905 – 19 February 1990) was a renowned English film director, celebrated for his partnership with Emeric Pressburger. They produced a series of classic British films, notably ’49th Parallel’ (1941), ‘The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp’ (1943), ‘A Matter of Life and Death’ (1946), ‘Black Narcissus’ (1947), ‘The Red Shoes’ (1948), and ‘The Tales of Hoffmann’ (1951). His controversial 1960 film ‘Peeping Tom’, however, was so vilified that his career was seriously damaged.

Peeping Tom is a 1960 British psychological thriller written by the World War II cryptographer Leo Marks. The title derives from the slang expression ‘Peeping Tom’ describing a voyeur. The film revolves around a serial killer, Mark Lewis (Carl Boehm) who murders women while using a portable movie camera to record their dying expressions of terror.

Its controversial subject and the extremely harsh reception by critics effectively destroyed Powell’s career as a director in the United Kingdom. However, it attracted a cult following, and in later years, it has been re-evaluated and is now considered a masterpiece.

Peeping Tom has been praised for its psychological complexity. On the surface, the film is about the Freudian relationship between the protagonist and his father and the protagonist and his victims. However, several critics argue that the film is as much about the voyeurism of the audience as they watch the protagonist’s actions. For example, Roger Ebert, in his review of the film, states that “The movies make us into voyeurs. We sit in the dark, watching other people’s lives. It is the bargain the cinema strikes with us, although most films are too well-behaved to mention it.”

Lewis is an allegory of the director of a horror film. In horror movies, the directors kill victims, often innocents, to provoke responses from the audiences and to manipulate their responses. Lewis records the deaths of his victims with his camera and by using the mirror and showing each of his victims their last moments, provokes their own fear even as he kills them.

Martin Scorsese, who has long been an admirer of Powell’s works, has stated that this film, along with Federico Fellini’s ‘8½’ contains all that can be said about directing: “I have always felt that Peeping Tom and say everything that can be said about film-making, about the process of dealing with film, the objectivity and subjectivity of it and the confusion between the two. captures the glamour and enjoyment of film-making, while Peeping Tom shows the aggression of it, how the camera violates… From studying them you can discover everything about people who make films, or at least people who express themselves through films”


Dark Shadows – Images

Tim Burton’s latest film, an update of campy classic television series ‘Dark Shadows’ has already drawn quite a few negative reactions from online sites and the gossip magazines, all from people who haven’t seen any footage… Prompting Warner brothers to release a few official images to try to counter the negative publicity. Check out the on set report at UK Empire and official Press release at Entertainment Weekly.

Dark Shadows cast: Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman; Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard; Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard; Gulliver McGrath as David Collins; Bella Heathcote as Vitoria Winters; Johnny Depp as Barnabas; Ray Shirley as Mrs. Johnson; Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis; Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins; and Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard.


Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 – 18 July 1610) was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque school of painting. 

Born in Milan, his family moved to escape the plague which was ravaging the city, they settled in Caravaggio. In 1584, he began his four year apprenticeship to the Milanese painter Simone Peterzano, described in the contract of apprenticeship as a pupil of Titian. Caravaggio then left Milan for Rome in mid-1592, in flight after “certain quarrels” and the wounding of a police officer. A few months later he was performing hack-work for the highly successful Giuseppe Cesari, Pope Clement VIII’s favourite artist, “painting flowers and fruit” in his factory-like workshop.

Caravaggio left Cesari in January 1594, determined to make his own way. The themes of his personal work were quite new for Rome, and proved immensely influential over the next century and beyond.  He preferred to paint his subjects as the eye sees them, with all their natural flaws and defects instead of as idealised creations. This allowed a full display of Caravaggio’s virtuosic talents. This shift from accepted standard practice and the classical idealism of Michelangelo was very controversial at the time. Not only was his realism a noteworthy feature of his paintings during this period, he turned away from the lengthy preparations traditional in central Italy at the time. Instead, he preferred the Venetian practice of working in oils directly from the subject – half-length figures and still life.

The realism of Caravaggio’s paintings on religious themes, and the emergence of remarkable spirituality belied his personal lifestyle. He was notorious for brawling, even in a time and place when such behavior was commonplace, and the transcripts of his police records and trial proceedings fill several pages. On 29 May 1606, he killed, possibly unintentionally, a young man named Ranuccio Tomassoni from Terni (Umbria). Previously his high-placed patrons had protected him from the consequences of his escapades, but this time they could do nothing. Caravaggio, outlawed, fled to Naples. There, outside the jurisdiction of the Roman authorities and protected by the Colonna family, the most famous painter in Rome became the most famous in Naples.

He moved to Malta, working for the Knights of Malta. Then moved to Scicily before returning to Naples where an attempt was made on his life. At first it was reported in Rome that the “famous artist” Caravaggio was dead, but then it was learned that he was alive, but seriously disfigured in the face. He painted a Salome with the Head of John the Baptist, showing his own head on a platter.

In the summer of 1610 he took a boat northwards to receive a pardon, which seemed imminent thanks to his powerful Roman friends. What happened next is the subject of much confusion and conjecture. The bare facts are that on 28 July an anonymous avviso (private newsletter) from Rome to the ducal court of Urbino reported that Caravaggio was dead. Three days later another avviso said that he had died of fever on his way from Naples to Rome. A poet friend of the artist later gave 18 July as the date of death, and a recent researcher claims to have discovered a death notice showing that the artist died on that day of a fever in Porto Ercole, near Grosseto in Tuscany. Human remains found in a church in Porto Ercole in 2010 are believed to almost certainly belong to Caravaggio.

There have been a few movies, television movies and series depicting the wild life of Caravaggio, the best of which are Derek Jarman’s arty ‘Caravaggio’ (1986) and Angelo Longoni’s ‘Caravaggio’ (2007); both worth searching out.


Naomi Watts

Naomi Ellen Watts (born 28 September 1968) is a British-Australian actress. Watts began her career in Australian television, where she appeared in series such as ‘Brides of Christ’ (1991). She started with roles in B-class movies, such as ‘Tank Girl’ (1995) and the 1996 horror film ‘Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering’, as well as roles in television and independent movies.

Watts gained critical acclaim following her work in David Lynch’s 2001 psychological thriller ‘Mulholland Drive’. A difficult role in the complex role-reversal thriller, Watts established herself as an brave actress, a trait she would continue to display throughout her career.

The next year, she received public recognition for her participation in the box office hit horror film ‘The Ring’. In 2004, she received nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Cristina Peck in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 2003 drama ’21 Grams’, alongside Sean Penn. Other notable film roles include PeterJackson’s 2005 remake of ‘King Kong’, the sequel to the Ring, ‘The Ring 2’ (2005), David Cronenberg’s excellent 2007 thriller ‘Eastern Promises’ and Michael Haneke’s 2008 remake of ‘Funny Games’.

An excellent actress, she makes interesting choices and is always good even in films not deserving of her talents.


Stephen King – Doctor Sleep

Stephen King has been talking about his sequel to The Shining while making book tour appearances. At the George Mason Awards ceremony he discussed the book and read a short excerpt. King was 64 last week. 

King briefly laid out his tentative plan for the novel, which would see the emotionally scarred Danny Torrance, now a 40-year-old orderly at a hospice for the terminally ill in upstate New York. But Danny’s real job is to “visit with patients who are just about to pass on to the other side, and to help them make that journey with the aid of his mysterious powers.” And on the side, Danny bets on the horse races, a trick he learned from his old friend Dick. The title of the book is “Doctor Sleep.”

His official website posted this news yesterday: “It’s now official–Stephen is working on Dr. Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.  This weekend Steve read an excerpt from this at his appearance at George Mason University.  They have given us permission to post their taping of the event here on Steve’s site which we will do as soon as we receive the file.  Dr. Sleep’s plot includes a traveling group of vampires called The Tribe which is part of the passage he read from.”