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Archive for January, 2008

The Road Trip Explained

December 27th Jakob arrived and met up with me in Las Vegas Airport, an airport only 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) from the Strip, the casino street of Las Vegas. Ahead of us we had tourist top milestones as great gorgeous Gran Canyon, lavish L.A., shady/silly/sick San Fran, all rushed by in a orange Ford Mustang, with the rich kids having the clicking camera out of the window.

Not much doubt where examined when the Hertz man said they had an orange Ford Mustang if we wished to upgrade. We had unknown winter terrain up to 7000 feet in elevation and the Mustang was rear-wheel driven, but hey, it was orange and would be great on the Strip in Vegas. The rich kids were not in doubt, and the roaring rampage of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and California was ready to begin.

We had New Years in Vegas, crazy people, loads and all over, and fireworks in front of the Parish Casino

We were lost in the desert around Vegas (Death Valley, Zion National Park, Gran Canyon, Route 66)

We were entertained in L.A.

We had snails a Sunday morning in Solvang (and was nearly shot by a cop).

We drove the streets of SanFran.

We ran around Redwoodtrees north of SanFran

Here is the pics

Here is the videos:

Right now I’m staying low in San Francisco, Jakob has returned to the other side of the Atlantic Sea. Me, “I’m getting tired of crossing this old country west and east. I’m heading south for one last great kick” thank you, Jack.

The digital cinema, reading Lev Manovich

Lev Manovich provides good reflections on the film making process in his The Language of New Media. The digital cinema is in a way a return to the early days of cinema, when backgrounds where handpainted walls. What the digital age offers cinema is that it “no longer can be clearly distinguished from animation. It is no longer an indexical media technology but, rather, a subgenre of painting.” (pp295)

Neorealism and New Wave, go home with your everydayness and auteur-eyes and take your pastiche of dogme 95 with you!

Is it truth in front of the camera? Lie! Where is my special effects? Lev continues:

“Until recently [2001], Hollywood studios where the only ones who had the money to pay for digital tools and for the labor involved in producing digital effects. However, the shift to digital media affects not just Hollywood, but filmmaking as a whole.”

(Almost relevant: For everybody: Google SketchUp and jumpcut offering film editing online)

Even Russian Ark, this one and a half hour long dreamy shot of a movie ends in a digitally created image, the films great metaphor: on board a floating ark.

While Neorealism and New Wave (as well as Dogme 95) would reject the institutional system of Hollywood giving no artistic freedom, the digital mastering of film can exist also outside of Hollywood as tools and remixing culture is getting more widespread.

By the way, still waiting for Sin City 2 after enjoying Sin City, another great film/animation:

(Love that Kevin-actor, in Lord of the Rings his pure unflawed righteous Frodo is too rediciously played (Right, Ilin?!). Here: “damn, he is slick!”).

Net Neutrality revisited

Is it a good idea to enforce ‘Net Neutrality’?

Some claim an actual smoking gun hasn’t been found, though Comcast seems to be under somewhat pressure from different sides as a California court and complaints to the FCC from Public Knowledge and Vuze.

In Canada the debate is intense as well, when Matt Roberts writes about VPN, Canadian law and why some management is sensible:

“Its a bit of misnomer that if your neighbour gets QoS [Quality of Service] guarantees you’re loosing bandwidth… but I digress. Lets just say how will you know if your email is ever delayed 62 ms (milli-seconds)? You won’t, thats packet prioritization, a delay of your email in microseconds just doesn’t matter. Will you notice it during a VoIP call? possibly – again depending on how you encode it and what protocols you use. but thats why packet prioritization or what Rogers is doing, makes sense to me. QoS goes beyond just shaping and raw data guarantees. I’d personally love for Rogers [an ISP] to turn off all network management on the network for 2 days… just to see what happens.”

On VPN: Hughes is the third largest provider of IP VPN, 17.9 US market percent share, close to AT&T and Verizon (25.3% and 18.4% respectively) and, “surpassing traditional telecom heavyweights such a Spring and Qwest.” source. And this mainly by Internet over satellite.

See also VoIP VPN.

Film History Course Resources

I stumbled upon these resources from AAU on Film History (in Danish). It is a course by Gunhild Agger and Jørgen Riber Christensen, where they focus on the history of horror movies (in Danish) and New Wave (notes from the Bordwell reading) (in Danish).

The course uses Marc Cousins History of Film, a fairly new – and very global in its view – good thorough book.

Also take a look on wikipedia’s Film History.

Reading: Creton and Jackel on the French Cinema Model and Europe

“Jean-Michel Frodon argues that the survival of the French model ‘depends on it’s ability to contaminate its various partners in Europe’ (Frodon 1995:815), but in many European countries cinema does not enjoy the same status nor provoke the same passion as it does in France. Consequently, the risk is high that a European consensus may produce a regulatory framework based on the lowest common denominator. The challenge today is, on the one hand, to avert a deregulatory trend that would merely subjugate creativity and diversity to financial interests and, on the other, to avoid a return to the excessive bureaucracy and protectionism of the past.” (The authors claim earlier in the article that French cinema is in fact not protectionistic anymore.)

The French Cinema Book, page 220, edited by Temple & Witt, 2004

Film Noir, Neo Noir or Noir Parodi

“Noir is a retroactive label, applied first by vigilant French cineasters who discovered an unexpectedly dark tone in a group of American crime films released in France at the end of World War II” (Hirsch, Detours and lost higways, 1999, p.2)

Wether or not film noir is a genre or just a movement is debatable. Is it only a product of time; “World War II [with an Atom bomb for the world!], German Expressionism, existentialism and Freud as they were filtered into pop culture” as writer Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) would argue. Or has it distinct universal features as the femme fatale, the private eye burdened with his own code of honor and the mix of violence, sex, greed and loss of innocence.

Surely these features are more consolidated and full-fledged in “after noir” movies as Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil or Polanski’s Chinatown. Quoting Marx, history is not an entity in itself, but merely a product of man, such as other idealistic phenomenas: God, King and State. Film Noir therefore were probably only fully grown as genre when the synthethical “after noir” movies brought together the film interpretations of antitheses and theses in the current movement discovered by the French cineastes in 1955 (Panorama du film noir americain, Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton)

According to Foster Hirsch the era of Film Noir can be said to take it’s beginning in 1941, where the “chiaroscuro, canted angles, ceiling shots, and deep focus” shots create neurotic and unstable mise-en-scène in films as The Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane (though one should not forget Fritz Lang, German Expressionism and poetic realism in prewar France (Carne’s Jour se lève, 1939 and Renoir’s Chienne 1931 and Bete humaine, 1938))

What is neo noir then? Godard’s A bout de souffle, 1959, alters the image, L.A. Confidential, 1997, merely makes a pastiche, and Lynch’s Twin Peaks, 1990, just a parodi? Which qualifies for the genre?

And on regard of Twin Peaks: Joy, joy, to read Søren Staal Balslevs review/commentary, Noir parodi (in Danish), on the DVD-release of Twin Peaks.


The list of films

The Third Man, 1949, (Carol Reed’s, might be the one and only!)
The Killing, 1956 (Kubrick’s, screenplay by Jim Thompson)
Vertigo, 1958
Odds Against Tomorrow, 1959
Psycho, 1960
Cape Fear, 1962 (and a Scorsese remake from 1972)
The Manchurian Candidate, 1962
Harper, 1966
Point Black, 1967
Le Boucher, 1969 (Chabrol’s meditation on a serial killer. of new wave instructors Chabrol, the French Hitchcock, pursued a much more conventional course than either Godard or Truffaut)
Shaft, 1971
Dirty Harry, 1971
The Long Goodbye, 1973 (Altman’s, with the iconic figure: Philip Marlowe)
Hammeth, 1983 (Wenders’)
The Underneath, 1995 (remake of Criss Cross, 1949)

Film Focus

Three films I want to see again:

Cité des enfants perdus, La

(French surrealistic eerieness, Yes!)

La Cena
(Italian (and) intellectual living. Once again: Yes!)

In the name of the Father
(Never did realize it was Daniel Day-Lewis…)

Three recent American films I really enjoyed:

There will be blood
(Oh joy to once again be amazed by Daniel Day-Lewis. Paul Thomas Anderson really pulls the best from Day-Lewis’ abilities! The movies starts off with no dialogue (much like Leone’s Once Apon A Time in the West) only Daniel getting himself some hardcore experience (as in “Touching the Void”!) in the arid desert, magnificent!)

No country for old men
(Coen-brothers showing mastery of poetical and violent suspense)

Charlie Wilson’s War
(Love Philip Seymour Hoffman’s role in this picture. Loved him in Anderson’s Magnolia and in Coen’s The Big Lebowski. This fairly story and plot-conventional movie depicts the way of American politics and affairs in the Afghan War, all – by the way – controlled by Texas. Texas is big.) (Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, creator and writer of The West Wing)

Three films I haven’t seen, but is going on my list:

Five Easy Pieces (Jack in denial, the movie might go well after seeing There will be blood)
Mariachi, El (7000 dollars desperado movie by Rodriquez, not seen yet!)
My Left Foot (in search of more Daniel Day-Lewis kicks)

Kommissionen åbner op for tanker om statsstøtte til PSBs (eller PSMs)

“State aid: Commission launches public consultation on the future framework for State funding of public service

The European Commission has published a consultation paper on the future framework which will apply to State funding of public service broadcasting. This consultation gives Member States and stakeholders the opportunity to submit their views at an early stage, before any Commission proposal, on the possible revision of the Broadcasting Communication – first adopted in 2001 (see IP/01/1429). Comments should be submitted by 10 March 2008. The consultation documents include a questionnaire as well as an explanatory memorandum which gives an overview of the current rules, the relevant Commission decision-making practice and the possible scope for amendments. Key issues for discussion are the public service remit in the new media environment and control of overcompensation. Having reviewed the comments, the Commission may come forward later this year with a proposal for a revised Broadcasting Communication, with a view to its adoption in the first half of 2009.”

Gå  til pressemeddelelsen.

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