Monday, October 27, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Carnival of Souls (Herk Harvey, 1962)
Herk Harvey was a Lawrence, Kansas-based director and producer of industrial and educational films for the Centron Corporation and shot a lot of the film in Lawrence, where I'm from, using mostly local talent. This macabre classic b-film was made for only $33,000 and is an excellent exercise in mood. The sound design and eerie organ soundtrack is a big reason why this film is so successful, as it should be in a horror film, and although the acting is subpar, the film is well shot and directed. As superficial as it may sound, unknown actress Candace Hilligoss's looks also give Carnival of Souls some extra gloss.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Eyes Without a Face (Georges Franju, 1960)
This film arouses a true sense of horror, not driven by suspenseful music, chase sequences, or scare tactics, but rather relies on disturbing imagery and characters that are realistically portrayed instead of being psychotic archetypes; murderers with moral dilemmas...they were almost like a bourgeois version of the family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre haha. The realism and craft make this an elite film in the horror genre. I enjoyed the score as well...reminded me of Nino Rota, or Luciano Michelini's song used as the theme for Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Blood of the Beasts (Georges Franju, 1949)
Franju juxtaposes beautifully shot images of Paris with gruesome footage from slaughterhouses in this 20 minute documentary.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Blindness (Fernando Meirelles, 2008)
I'm not sure why this film is being so poorly received. I personally thought it was just a few missteps away from brilliance. The cinematography is amazing, although I can understand some viewing it as annoying as things are often blurred and obscured. I suppose people are most likely complaining about the unexplained blindness phenomenon and other logistic matters, but these same critics are perfectly content with Hitchcock's lame ass birds attacking people for no apparent reason. The fact is the film is more than just the vague premise. The script in fact could have been done in a more trivial mainstream fashion and probably been more marketable, but Meirelles turns this film into something important. Blindness captures the entire spectrum of the human condition and emotions. It explores the darkest and most desperate, despicable behavior as well as love, compassion, as the characters fight for survival; something that is seemingly becoming more relevant considering the current conditions in the world. My biggest complaint is the soundtrack, which I wasn't too enthused with. There was an awkward energy at times, and I think a better score could have helped this immensely.