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Last night the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, along with Southern California Edison and the Santa Barbara Theater Organ Society, presented its third-annual pre-Halloween program dedicated to the screening of a silent classic with live music accompaniment. The night's offering: F.W. Murnau's "Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror."
The program launched in 2009 with "The Phantom of the Opera" and continued last year with "The Black Pirate." And judging by the big turnout at the Arlington Theatre yesterday, it's as popular as ever. The film was preceded by the somewhat Halloween-themed Laurel and Hardy short, "Habeas Corpus."
There was a bit of a last-minute scare, though, as the scheduled organist was stranded back east due to the severe weather that popped up over the weekend. A savior swooped in at the last second as Santa Barbara festival director Roger Durling and company got in touch with a Burbank-based organist who, after playing his third-straight mass that morning, was happy to change it up with a silent horror film and a slapstick short.
Happy Monday, and time for a busy, Dan-centric installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, in which we review "Hell on Wheels," the new season of "Bones," bust out another installment of Dan's Reality Round-Up, talk off the cuff about the Charlie Sheen/FX deal, and lots more.
It's been quiet. You might say too quiet.
Mid-to-late-October, those thin moments just after the New York Film Festival concludes and a number of the fall festival staples segue to the London Film Festival, it's always a bit of a lull. Call it the calm before the storm if you want, but I don't even really see much of a storm on the horizon. Just some heat lightning, maybe.
The season will show further signs of life this week as both Jason Reitman's "Young Adult" and Clint Eastwood's "J. Edgar" finally screen for LA-based press. The former has been playing for as long as possible on the outside, building steam and word-of-mouth initially in Minnesota (where the film is set -- first "reviewed" by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a blog entry of less than 200 words accompanied by a whopping four comments) and then adjacent to the Austin Film Festival as one of a few "pop-up" screenings held around the country.
When it came to writing her latest album “Metals” last winter, Leslie Feist took inspiration from Jonathan Franzen, when he was writing his 2010 novel “Freedom.” The writer whittled down his work space to a minimum, to objects of bare necessity, with only a desk, laptop working solely as a word processor and a “beige, buzzing overhead light.
The British Independent Film Awards are essentially the across-the-pond equivalent of the Spirit Awards, but they seem to grow in profile every year as a slightly hipper alternative to (and bellwether of) the BAFTAs. Though limited to UK indies, their parameters are broad enough to include the bulk of the year's buzzy British titles.
Last year, for example, they were all over "The King's Speech," and took flak in some quarters for honoring such a relatively mainstream title; similarly, one of this year's leading nominees, local box-office phenomenon "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" is less independent, both in status and in spirit, than several of its competitors.
But no matter: together with Steve McQueen's "Shame" and Paddy Considine's debut feature "Tyrannosaur," Tomas Alfredson's star-studded John le Carré adaptation leads an exceptionally fine crop of BIFA nominees, one that testifies to a remarkable year for UK cinema. The three films scored seven nods apiece; close behind, with six each, are Lynne Ramsay's London Film Festival champ "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and Ben Wheatley's future cult item "Kill List."
(More analysis, and a full list of nominees, after the jump.)
Way back on Independence Day I settled on what I anticipated the narrative of the 2011 Oscar season to be: The Year of the Beard. Steven Spielberg is as prolific as ever, and across media, working feverishly both as director ("War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn") and producer ("Transformers: Dark of the Moon" and "Super 8" among others) on the big screen, while helping to usher things to the small screen, too, like "Falling Skies" and "Terra Nova." And he's hard at work in Virginia right now on next year's "Lincoln." Michael Cieply at the New York Times has caught up with this line of reasoning, it seems, and comes at it from the angle of Spielberg coveting recognition as an artist above a commercial player. [New York Times]
Glorious. There. That’s my one-word review of “SMiLE,” the never-released/never-completed Beach Boys album that is finally seeing the light of day 45 years after Brian Wilson and his band mates entered the studio.
Rolling Stone has called “SMiLE,” “the most famous unfinished album in rock & roll history.” Still unfinished, Capitol is, nevertheless, releasing the “SMiLE” sessions on Nov. 1. For diehards, a deluxe package includes not just the original tracks, but four CDs of studio outtakes, including 30 different snippets from the recording of “Heroes & Villains.” There are vinyl versions, digital only versions, and even a version that comes with a surf board.
[More after the jump...]
Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures breathed a big sigh of relief on Sunday. No, it wasn't because of the results of anything debuting stateside, but of a highly anticipated release dipping its toe into theaters overseas, Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."
A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I think you're ready for the glue factory...
A review of tonight's"The Walking Dead" (which AMC unsurprisingly just renewed for a third season) coming up just as soon as my venereal disease saves your life...