I’m a new guy here on my first assignment – a “So Bad It’s Good” column, a section usually reserved for picking movies so bad (i.e. terrible in some form of production) that they’re good (hilarious in their ineptitude).
Well, I’m going to argue this movie is accepted as bad…but isn’t even bad at all.
I have seen Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) countless times during my life and no matter how many times I watch the film, it still manages to scare and amaze me. Even if you haven’t seen The Shining, you should be familiar in some way with Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) peeking his head through a hole in a door, yelling, “Heeeere’s Johnny!”. Perhaps you have seen the image as one of the staple movie posters that hang in the dorm of at least one film major you know. The iconic scene, which itself is an homage to Victor Sjöström’s The Phantom Carriage (1921), has been referenced in a multitude of films and television shows. The hype around the film is not understated; The Shining is captivating, terrifying, and intelligent.
Walking with Dinosaurs tells the story of an underdog dinosaur that becomes the hero of his herd. Spliced with informational snippets, the film introduces a variety of prehistoric beasts we hardly encounter in pop-culture. Thus, T-Rex doesn’t rule here. The voice actors aren’t the most pleasant to listen to for 87 minutes. Their performance adds a neurotic layer to the action. Yet, children seem to like it. And I suppose the 3-D experience is better.
Joel and Ethan Coen‘s new film about grief, pride, and the state of the folk music scene in 1961 brilliantly shows the humiliations and darkly comic surprises an unwavering dedication to one’s art can bestow on the artist. This gorgeously crafted film is an obvious labor of love for the Coens (they even shot part of the film on Jones Street where the cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan was shot) and by the time it unveiled its poignant cameo, I did not want to bid farewell to one of the last great films of 2013: Inside Llewyn Davis.
Even for someone who never saw M. Night Shyamalan’s 1999 masterpiece in theaters or kept up interest with the director’s career, Cole Sear’s iconic line, “I see dead people” (whispered by a haunting Haley Joel Osment), has become a landmark for contemporary supernatural dramas. However, the film always remained on the periphery of my cinephile radar, ironically for the very reason it was such a success when it debuted – its twist ending.
One of the most talked about films of this year’s festival was ‘Nebraska’. It even ended up on my top five favorite films of the festival. Originally, star Bruce Dern was meant to come out for the screening and receive the Lifetime Achievement Award that has previously gone to the likes of Roy Disney, Jeff Daniels, and Morgan Freeman, but he was unable to attend due to unforeseen circumstances. However, in his place, his co-star Will Forte and director Alexander Payne came out for an engaging Q&A with the audience at the Prince Music Theater. But prior to the event, the pair walked the red carpet and chatted with some press, including yours truly!
In part one of our coverage of this red carpet, Zach of The Pretentious Film Majors spoke to Payne about the benefits of film school, making movies in the state of Nebraska, and his journey since making ‘Election’. You can see the whole interview in the video below:
Were you able to catch the screening of ‘Nebraska’? Was it one of your favorites of the festival as well? Let us know by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page.
It has been nearly a week since the 22nd Philadelphia Film Festival ended and over the 11-day celebration of film, one of the brightest nights was Monday October 21 at the Prince Music Theater. The Philadelphia Film Festival welcomed director Alexander Payne and actor Will Forte for a Centerpiece screening of Nebraska.
As the 22nd annual Philadelphia Film Festival comes to a close, you can relive the fun that was had at the festival’s opening night with this blog post. Attendees raved about ‘All Is Lost’, the gripping nautical tale of solitude, determination, and survival, as well as the stellar performance from veteran actor Robert Redford.
Prior to the opening night screening at the Kimmel Center, director J.C. Chandor walked the red carpet and talked with The Pretentious Film Majors about the incredible film. In the following video, you can see Chandor talk about the unconventionally short shooting script, the train ride that inspired the story, and more:
Did you have fun at the opening night of PFF22? What did you think of ‘All Is Lost’? Was it one of your favorites of this year’s festival? Let us know your answers to all these questions by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page.
There are a number of awards given out during the Philadelphia Film Festival recognizing the excellence of works from the present. But there is only one that honors the future. The Rising Star Award acknowledges a talented young artist early in his or her career who has displayed great potential in the filmmaking process. Previous recipients of the award were Ben Foster, Mark Webber, and Shane West, and this year the distinction goes to Kerry Bishe.
The star of PFF22 films ‘Blue Highway’ and ‘Grand Piano’ appeared at the Ritz East to accept her award in front of an enthusiastic festival crowd, but afterwards she took a few moments to talk to The Pretentious Film Majors and I about her most recent honor, as well as her work on various projects such as the two films of hers in the festival, ‘Scrubs’, Ben Affleck, Kevin Smith, and much more. You can check out the whole interview in the video below:
Are you a fan of Kerry Bishe and her work? What did you think about her films in the festival this year? Let us know your answers to all these questions by sending us a tweet at us at @PhillyFilmSoc or by leaving us a comment on our Facebook page.