Archives For independent

Following AM’s advise on better blogging, I thought it’d be cool to follow through with my post on “What I Like about Japanese Cinema” which I wrote for the J-Film blog-a-thon last year.

So now I’m going to be talking about Hollywood movies! And by “Hollywood” I mean American films. Since I’m more familiar with commercial Hollywood stuff, while I’ve only begun catching indie flicks online (or when I was in Canada) for the past few years.

My current Facebook Flixster movie count says that I’ve rated 2431 films. Of course, that’s only counting the films that I’ve been able to find in their database (american, foreign, commercial, or indie), and I’m far too lazy to send them stuff now. My MUBI account states I’ve rated 1450, so that should give you a proper average… I think.

So what do I like about Hollywood Movies?

1. Ah… the Hollywood Golden Era.
I’m familiar enough with Garbo and Crawford to know that I loved their films. And it’s fact, LOL, Hollywood created movie stars, and actors went to Hollywood to become movie stars… and I love movie stars. I always complain now that they don’t make them like that anymore.

Sure, sure… people who aren’t into “old films” keep telling me that films in the era didn’t look as great as they do now, or that acting was weird, and that subject matter in films have improved since then. To them I tell them… well, 1986 is not that old. Try a film from 1929. ;P

2. No matter how Indie they are, they still look sharp and clear.
There’s something my mom always tells me when we, for some odd reason, end up catching a clip of any local – hint: non-American – film, “Why do films here look like they’re stuck in the 70s?”. It isn’t that the local cinema shows the great quality of films in the 70s, here they just look like they’re stuck with the technology.

It happens in American film, but not as often… and if it does, it’s because they’re really REALLY low-budget. But even really-low-budget filmmakers manage to bring a great DP on board. I mean, have you seen some of the stuff posted online? It’s amazing what people are doing with “I shot this with my Canon” LOL

3. You guys have mastered the art of pseudo-indie.
Right? I mean, you have also begun to call these films Hipster… in a mocking kinda way, but alright – I admit it, I tend to like them because well, to me, these films can only be American. I cannot imagine an Asian hipster film, I cannot imagine a European hipster film. Little Miss Sunshine, Juno – people say Juno reminded them of me, LOL – they can only be American.

But you guys have also mastered the art of making big budget films, and call them independent. I mean how on earth do you call Inglourious Basterds an independent film but spend $70M USD in making it. To me, that’s a big Hollywood movie – and I like it. LOL

4. Don Bluth, Disney, and Pixar
I grew up with Don Bluth’s and Disney animation. Now, I’m growing old with Pixar (oh, gawd… I’m growing old). I mean, anyone my generation who hasn’t grown up with Disney animation and Don Bluth’s work, they might not have had a childhood – unless, of course you’ve grown up with Studio Ghibli… in which case, hate you.

5. I love when you support World Premiere… even if it’s for sucky huge blockbuster films.
I’m an impatient gal, if I want to watch a new film over the weekend, it needs to open locally over the weekend, otherwise my enthusiasm for the film will wane, and I’ll just end up catching it on dvd – or worse, on cable.

Most major studios have offices in most major cities in countries, so now it’s easier to get a film to open on the same weekend as in the States. It just happened with that new Drew Barrymore rom-com, which opened one week after the US, and I’m pretty sure we’re getting Narnia and Harry Potter (not that HP is American, but it’s being distributed by Warner so…) the same day, or one day ahead. Now, if that could also happen with flicks like Black Swan, and other Award season flicks, I’d be a happy gal.

So… how about you guys? What do you guys like about Hollywood Movies/American Cinema? Or why do you hate it? I know some of you hate anything American with a passion. Such a tiring task. LOL

If you know me, you probably wouldn’t think that I’d be a fan of Milk@Coffee, why? Because Milk@Coffee is happy poppy simple music. My friends think it sounds like children’s music. Obviously, they have that certain vibe because the female part of this duo, Kiki, sounds like a little kid singing, and the music in itself sounds very playful and catchy. However, looking into the songs, they reveal a certain maturity.

Of course you’ve got catchy favorites like Wo Bu Shi Rock n’ Roll (I’m not Rock n’ Roll), the wacky Curry Coffee, or Burn! Little Universe, and Yi Qi Lai (Together). However, there’s also songs like The Older the Lonelier – you gotta admit that’s a really REALLY sad title – or Accustomed to Loneliness. How about the most off-beat of their songs? The Zhongguo Feng-styled (traditional Chinese sounding) Die Lian Hua.

In this new single titled No Time — the album will be out by September… in a mayor label, so Milk@Coffee is no longer indie –, they seemed to have struck a balance with that maturity and the catchy. Yes, No Time sounds like a kid’s song, but it talks about a thing kids will never mind until they grow up a bit. How many of you keep telling the people you know that you don’t have enough time to do something. It’s a tale as old as… well, time.

The begins with a minute of various celebrities saying what they lack time for.  “I am __” they say, “I have no time for ____”.  These neglected activities include listening to music, dating, losing weight, studying abroad, visiting relatives,  having kids, and so many other commonplace ones that every listener should hear one they too pushed back at one point. The spoken introduction ends abruptly with Laure Shang saying: “My name is Shang Wenjie. I have no time to record whatever this is for you”.

via Cfensi.

I’m always for diversity… but when that diversity gets done by diversity, it gets seen by diversity, and in the end… the people that need diversity the most [straight white people, I suppose in America?] never get to watch these films.

Other than that… I hope I ran into a copy of this — legally, or not so legally… depending on distribution. *hint nudge* online distribution *cough cough* it’s always important to make people watch. Otherwise, how else who other people learn about diversity? Right?

and well, hi there~
Ricky Martin, Anna Paquin, Sean Hayes?

It’s nice to see you =D

don’t wanna mark this off as a trailer because I don’t have a graphic…

DGenerateFilms has translated an essay by director Jia Zhangke with some interesting ideas, as well as some others that I don’t particularly agree with… but maybe it’s one of those things lost in translation.

In a few years, young people throughout Asia will probably sing the same song, be attracted to the same clothes; girls will wear the same makeup and carry the same handbag. What kind of world is this turning into? It is precisely in this cultural environment that only independent films that remain committed to the depiction of local culture can provide some cultural diversity.

That’s an interesting statement, considering I have been talking about the exact opposite. I often talk how there will never be a “definite” 2000’s or 10-19’s list like we had in the 90s, because the internet has opened this gate with floods of information regarding anything… including music, films and overall entertainment. You don’t need to listen to what the record companies send to the radios, or watch what networks believe to be quality television or pay for a movie a distributor thinks you should be watching.

What the essay seems to be referring to is the vapid teenage kids who won’t bother researching and finding out about something that won’t be fed through distributors. I mean, you can’t even rely on what MySpace suggests any longer. LOL

Also… Amateur Cinema? With all the technology and all the quality cinematographers out there, even the most low-budget film can look okay. I’m sorry, but an image alone can speak a thousand words. That’s all I’m saying. I may be a “production value” girl, and I can appreciate costume, and art direction, but I also always give more importance to storyline and overall mood of the film. It shouldn’t matter if it’s “amateur” or a big-budget production.

Don’t give me Amateur Cinema, give me quality Independent Cinema.

What will become of America in five, 25, or even 50 years from today? FUTURESTATES is a series of 11 fictional mini-features exploring possible future scenarios through the lens of today’s global realities. Immerse yourself in the visions of these independent prognosticators as they project a future of their own imagining.

That sounded like a pretty cool idea, so I’m currently on episode 2, though I couldn’t really made myself watch all of episode 1. Episode 2 titled Mister Green is pretty good though.

And it looks oh so pretty.

In the disturbingly near future, Venice is submerged, Canal Street in New York City has become a real canal again, and it’s 87 degrees in December in Boston. Catastrophic global warming has moved from theory to fact. At the Biosphere Climate Change Expo, undersecretary for the Department of Global Warming Mason Park (Tim Kang) informs the crowd of scientists and activists that the tipping point has passed, and that they are all at fault.

You can watch it for free over at the Mister Green Futurestates website.