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Everything posted by finnegan

  1. So who is actually going to this? Here's the sucky thing: Out of all the weekends, this is the one weekend I'm supposed to help shoot part of a film in the Shenandoah Valley (a good hour and 20 minutes away from C'ville). I may go Thursday evening to Iraq in Fragments. I'm going to try to get off work on Friday and go to Iraq in Fragments (if I don't see it Thursday), and the Tender Mercies screening. Then I'd like to see Jesus Camp. If they actually have a film print of the Seventh Seal, I'll be sorry I missed that. And I wish I could go to the Shadyac screening at 10 pm, but... If any A&F folks are going to be there on Thurs or Fri, PM me and maybe we could meet up for coffee between screenings. I know C'ville pretty well, so I know of some cool places to meet.
  2. I'm bummed that I'm going to miss Flickerings this year. I should have at least shot and submitted a short film (my brother and I wrote one, but never shot it). I guess I thought that summer was a lot farther off that it really was. Next year.
  3. A brief update: The producer quit a few months back. The project sat in limbo for a while and I picked up the pieces... The executive producer said he wants a "60 minutes/Frontline feel", so that's what I'm giving them. I had to start my research from scratch basically, because the former producers notes were inadequate. I've been interviewing sheriffs, community activists, victim's family members, gang members, etc. All in all, I guess it's turning out ok. I still feel like I could have gone deeper into the political aspects of how the police tend to exaggerate the problem to get more money for the task forces, etc, but I only have 26 minutes to cover this complex topic, and I simply don't have the time. So it's turning out to be a basic "report-style" show. I'm not even sure if it qualifies as documentary or extended news report... Either way, I'll be glad to move on to the next project: an in-depth look at the relationship between the Shenandoah Valley and Long Beach, Mississippi after Hurricaine Katrina.
  4. finnegan

    Invisible Children

    my reaction was the same. i found myself actually getting annoyed and almost offended at the first part (lightbulb over head?) FWIW, i think these kids' intentions are good. they're raising awareness of something that most people in the US (especially teenagers--the film's target audience) don't know anything about.
  5. Mathewes-Green almost always has an interesting take on matters like these. Like her, I instantly recognized the (blatant and intentional) Last Supper image, but couldn't make sense of it in the context of the religion. Here's a double-feature I'd like to see: Paradise Now and Munich. Good movie. I agree, with Darrel, though: not as good as The Battle of Algiers.
  6. Apples and oranges. Winged Migration is 100 percent about birds. Wild Parrots is mostly about humans. Mark is the real subject of the film. The film points out how birds have human characteristics, and the fact that human "interference" with nature is the only reason that the parrots appeared in San Francisco in the first place. While I really enjoy documentaries like Winged Migration and March of the Penguins, I'll take a human story over an animal story any day. I generally find them more interesting becuase I can relate to the subjects in some way... with the exeption of maybe Timothy Treadwell of Grizzly Man. I can't relate to that guy at all.
  7. finnegan


    My local paper ran an AP article about this recently. One of the "non-actors" is from a KFC not too far from here. If Bubble is anything like Full Frontal, then it will be another one of Soderbergh's cool concepts poorly executed. Although, I suppose one could argue that Bubble is the exact opposite of Full Frontal, considering that Frontal was a flatulent piece about Hollywood actors, and Bubble is full of "regular" people. I'm curious to read some reviews and see if it's worth watching.
  8. Well, had I written a 10-second review of this movie on the way out of the theatre it might read something like: "Sitting through this movie is exactly like watching bees pollenate flowers while listening to really bad high school love poems." But as much as I hate to admit it--only because I like to stick to my guns--Jeffery might have a point with the love story. But that is the ONLY redeeming quality of this movie for me. I swear I heard music from Braveheart several times during this movie.
  9. Favorite actor. Favorite director. YES!
  10. finnegan

    Nada Surf

    Is anyone catching them on tour anytime soon? I have a ticket to see them in Charlottesville Feb 9th. I'll post here after the show.
  11. HECK YES! What an awesome series. And 99% of the work was done by one guy. If you like Steve James' Hoop Dreams, you need to check this out. I would guess that Netflix will eventually carry this. If Frontline wasn't a television show, I would nominate this for the next round of Top 100.
  12. I would also add Baraka, the "knockoff" cousin of Koyaanisqatsi. This list could end up being very long, but I would just add Return to Paradise.
  13. This is mine, too. I caught them up in Philly at the electric factory. Wow.
  14. Arg! I don't want to see "the backstory" 'till I've seen the actual movie. I want to see the real thing!
  15. Baby steps, gigi. The Academy couldn't handle Larry David. IMO, Steve Martin was the best host I've ever seen. But I think Stewart will be even better.
  16. It's all relative. I actually don't use the word "mainstream" to describe movies. IMO, movies are either: independent (no studio funding) OR studio productions (has funding from day one, has a huge marketing budget, etc) I suppose there could be a third category for foreign films, some of which have partial funding from smaller European studios, or like Baliwood or Hong Kong are produced and distributed in an assembly-line fashion. I see most movies falling into the studio or indie category, but every film historian has a different model or way of looking at the film industry--that's why I said "it's all relative." Many times independents blow up while big budget studio films go under the radar. Like Napoleon Dynamite: it was produced independently for about $400,000, but was bought by Fox Searchlight (owned by Newscorp) who put over $10 million into the marketing campaign. And now it's hard to find an American between the ages of 10 and 50 who hasn't seen that movie. So IMO, what makes a movie "mainstream" probably has more to do with the advertising than the production budget.
  17. I agree. I hardly EVER watch football, but as a UT alum, I felt obligated. I went with my friend (a USC fan) to the bar tonight to watch this one and I am SO glad I did. I think I blew my voice out in those last few minutes there. Go horns!
  18. I don't think this has been a bad year at all. In fact, I was having a hard time deciding what to leave out for my top 10 list this year. Cineaste friends of mine have been saying for a decade that movies keep getting worse and worse each year, but I don't buy it. IMHO, this has not been a bad year. But even assuming it were, there is a historical pattern--if you look at the history of film, there have always been "good years" and "bad years" for high quality films. I certainly don't believe that cinema is in some sort of downward spiral It all depends on how you look at it. If you ask me, the glass is half full.
  19. finnegan


    Because of the limited number of prints in distrobution, I had to drive over an hour away to see this movie, and it was more than worth it. I can't remember the last time I was this moved, this on-the-edge-of-my-seat, this drawn into the story. I'd say this is probably in my number one spot for the year. What an amazing story! This movie has renewed my faith in Spielberg. I'll try to post more later.
  20. finnegan


    I was looking forward to seeing this opening night (wrote it on my calendar and everything) but somehow opening day came and went and I totally forgot about it. I'm going to try my best to see it tonight.
  21. I agree, Mando. I've liked Becker for a number of years now. He reminds me so much of my uncle Mike, it's uncanny. But everyone I've ever tried to watch it with complains and tells me to "see what else is on." Oh well.
  22. Just an update: We interviewed the local Commonwealth's Attorney today, and she said she could find an incarcerated gang member who would be willing to go on record, provided we obscure his face and voice. The producer and I agreed that it would be best to go the legal route to avoid any possible lawsuits (ie: if we interviewed somebody that CLAIMED to be a gang member but actually was not a member). Going through the prosecutors seems to be the way to go. Also, we're finding that the Salvadoran gang is small in comparison with the "traditional" American gangs in this area, so the language is no longer an issue for us... Regardless of how much preproduction research you do, actually making a documentary blows your preconcieved notions out of the water.
  23. One man's guilty pleasure is another man's treasure. Ha! Mine aren't too embarassing, but I've got a reputation to uphold. Too many of my friends work at the local indie record store in town, so I could never be seen buying these CDs. Seal (self titled album -- the one with "Crazy") Third Eye Blind (self titled album) Perhaps more embarassing is PM Dawn's "The Bliss Album". I liked it when I was in 6th grade and I recently downloaded a few of the singles. In the "just for laughs" category, I bought Right Said Fred's "Too Sexy" single at a thrift store a while back. There's even a Spanish version of the song on the CD! It's been a huge novelty hit at the Christmas parties I've been to.
  24. I first saw Death Cab play at a show many years ago and wasn't impressed. My friend recently let me borrow Transatlanticism, and I liked several of the songs off that album very much (particularly "Tiny Vessels"). I like Plans even more than Transatlanticism. In fact, I feel a bit like an poser by jumping on the indie rock bandwagon after it's already hit the mainstream (I used to hate it when people did that), but now I have to count myself in with the rest of the Death Cab fans. My favorite song is "You Will be Loved". It's a very sad and poetic song--and I say sad because there's no guarantee that people will be loved by other people. I like pop songs that don't insult my intelligence.
  25. I HATE advertisements (especially when I have to suffer through five minutes of them in the theaters after paying $9) but I really liked that one. I wouldn't even mind seeing it in a theater.
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