[Editor’s Note: Before I start, I’d like to preface this by saying that I was acquainted and friendly with both the accuser and the accused while I was first a guest relations, then publicity staffer at an East Coast anime convention from about 2004 to 2008. Until recently, I had not spoken or corresponded with either of them since I left New York City in 2012. Any and all opinions are my own unless otherwise stated, and all anonymous sources shall remain confidential.]
Picking up where I left off, I didn’t stay very long in the southern end of the Javitz Center because the one panel I’d RSVP’d for was in the northern end of the hall with the majority of the large publishers, game companies, and stores.
When I registered as a member of the Press, I had to supply my email address, presumably so that I could receive a confirmation that they received my information. What also happened is that as the convention grew new, my Inbox became flooded with press releases from those same publishers, game companies, stores, and individuals who wished to promote their panels and get members of the Press to write about their work.
Ever since Spirited Away was the second movie to win the Best Animated Feature award and the first anime (and non-English language) movie to win, anime and animation geeks have been keeping a close eye on this Academy Awards category. The newest change in the rules of the category, amongst other rules changes, were announced, including this death blow for films like Avatar which featured extensive use of new technology: “”Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique.” (Source: ANN)
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Starring Dany Boon, André Dussollier, Nicolas Marié, Julie Ferrier, and more
Rated R for some sexuality and brief violence
When I was in the eighth grade, I was given the chance to either take a first year of Spanish at my school or to take a first year in French at the high school across the street from where I lived and where I’d eventually attend.
Impractical youngster that I was in Southern California, I chose French and for five years I was one of the more fluent speakers in my class, going as far as to win the silver medal my senior year of high school at French camp. Those classes were where I first saw or heard of classic French films like Jean de Florette, Le retour de Martin Guerre, and Au revoir les enfants (which apparently was an inspiration for Reservoir Dogs), and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Yes, even Les compères.
One of the most puzzling features of the current unstoppable wave of political punditry that is flooding all channels and outlets at the moment (including this one of course) is the peculiar propensity of commentators to feel qualified to extrapolate from the election results the Manifest Will of Britain. “The people have voted for change”, “The people have told Gordon Brown that he has got to go” , “The people are saying that they don’t really trust any one party”, “The people have said that they want Parliament reformed, the tea room in the House of Commons redecorated, new carpeting in the women’s lavatory of the House of Lords and a vegetarian option in the canteen.”
Well, I think I can officially say that director Christopher Nolan is off his rocker. Just take a look at the below and see if you don’t agree with me.
Here’s a more detailed synopsis of what you just saw:
Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible—inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.
I have to say that now that we know a little more about Inception, I really wish that we didn’t. I groaned the instant I heard Leonardo DiCaprio’s character say that he was doing “one last job,” and I also may have gagged a little when it flashed to a scene of him being emotional while cradling Marion Cotillard, presumably an ex-wife or a former lover.
At the same time, though, the visuals look amazing and I think I’m in love with the idea of being able to use your dreams against you. We’ve already seen in Minority Report how the future can be manipulated, now your subconscious? Really chilling.
Starring DiCaprio, Cotillard, Ellen Page, and Cillian Murphy, Inception will be in theaters in the U.S. on July 16.
Just in case you weren’t convinced that New Zealand’s WETA Digital was the go-to SFX house these days, 20th Century Fox will be using them to produce all of the genetically altered-primates in CGI for their film Rise of the Apes, a prequel to the classic sci-fi movie series which was begun by 1968’s Planet of the Apes. The movie will be directed by Rupert Wyatt (The Escapist) from a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver (The Relic), and will be released in the U.S. on June 24, 2011. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)
Dashing my hopes for a female-powered view on Captain America, British actor Toby Jones has entered the final round of negotiations to become the movie’s second villain, Arnim Zola. He’ll join Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull as Chris Evans’ antagonists, and I think I’m starting to see how the storyline’s shaping up and will end with Cap on ice and Zola in a robot suit. (Source: The Hollywood Reporter‘s Heat Vision blog)
Finally, if you’ve ever wanted to see all of Metropolis, the sci-fi silent film by Fritz Lang that inspired Blade Runner amongst others, head on over to the Film Forum in New York City today where they will be showing the film in its original complete version for the first time to audiences since its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in 1927. Hidden away in a private film archive in Buenos Aires, we have Argentine film archivists Fernando Peña and Paula Félix-Didier to thank for rescuing the movie from the bureaucratic red tape. The most interesting quote from the story?
“It’s no longer a science-fiction film,” said Martin Koerber, a German film archivist and historian who supervised the latest restoration and the earlier one in 2001. “The balance of the story has been given back. It’s now a film that encompasses many genres, an epic about conflicts that are ages old. The science-fiction disguise is now very, very thin.”
Additional screenings in other cities and a DVD will follow later this year. (Source: The New York Times)
Boosted from the fine folks at Ain’t It Cool News.com comes what Machete director Robert Rodriguez is calling his “illegal” trailer, and is the first official look at the plot to the film.
I love, love, love the casting of this movie because in addition to Danny Trejo being just badass in general, Michelle Rodriguez gets to kick ass with dual pistols, Jessica Alba gets to be Hispanic, Cheech Marin dual wields shotguns in a priest’s frock, and then you’ve got the “evil” white guys played by none other than Robert DeNiro, Jeff Fahey, and Lindsay Lohan…
God, if loving “Mexsploitation” is bad, then tie me up and call me a piñata!