Jazz On A Summers Day

Written by Joe D on December 5th, 2018

Here’s a great music film directed by Aram Avian and Bert Stern, Aram was a terrific editor who became a director. This is an influential music documentary filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. Aram Avakian edited The Miracle Worker and Mickey One among other films. A great editor.

Day For Night Vs. Contempt

Written by Joe D on November 22nd, 2018

I just watched Truffaut’s Day For Night, a cool flick. It moves at a pretty fast clip, does not allow you to disengage, which is a good thing in a movie. I don’t think the chemistry between the actors is all that convincing but c’est la vie. It struck me that it’s similar to Godard’s Contempt (Le Mepris) a film within a Film, best by troubles, affairs on the set, relationships dissolving, both starring international sex symbols. And they both end in Tragedy. And the music in both films is by the same composer, Georges Delarue. Also the music is used in a fairly repetitive manor, which I have to say Truffaut, maybe unconsciously, copped from Godard. It’s like Godard’s use of music. Little snatches of the same bit of Vivaldi that repeat at ceratin points, not as radical as Godard’s  music but influenced by it.

 

It’s funny, theses two filmmakers were best friends but had a big falling out in 1968. Although I did read a letter Godard wrote to Truffaut asking for the rights to Breathless, Trauffaut had a writing credit, more of a condition imposed by money people than an actual intellectual contribution, Godard neede money, he wanted to sell the rights to Breathless, Truffaut signed off but didn’t want to be friends.

Another similarity, B.B. swims naked in Le Mepris, unforgettable imagery, her blond hair and tanned body slipping through the blue Mediterannean waters , so beautiful. There is a sequence in Day For Night where a blonde secretary swims in a pool at a motel, the camera is above her on a platform, a similar angle to the POV from Le Mepris. Was this an unconcious desire of Truffaut’s to capture some of the allure of Le Mepris? Who knows.

Both films end with Death by Automobile Accident that leaves the Fate of their respective films in jepoardy. Another thing Jack Palance and Jean Pierre Aumont dress in a similar kind of Preppie way. They sort of look alike, their hair styles kind of match.

Godard’s film is uncompromisingly Arty and I mean that in the best possible way, an unconventional masterpiece. Truffaut’s is more of a crowd pleaser. This is not meant as a putdown. But it doesn’t have (at least for me) the wild creative juice of say, Shoot The Piano Player.

Pablo Ferro’s Clockwork Orange Trailer

Written by Joe D on November 20th, 2018

Here you go, from the master of Quick Cuts, Pablo Ferro, his Clockwork Orange Trailer!

Pablo Ferro passes on.

Written by Joe D on November 17th, 2018

My dear friend Pablo Ferro passed away last night at the age of 83. He was the greatest, nicest guy. Super talented, he loved working, creating, doing incredible things.He was friend and collaborator to Stanley Kubrick, Hal Ashby, Bob Downey, Steve McQueen, Jeff Bridges, so many amazing people. He got me the job editing The Sunchaser for Michael Cimino and I tried to get him gigs whenever I could. Actually Pablo gave Cimino his start in filmmaking.  He was a legend. So raise a glass to a departed genius. Here’s a taste of his crazy magic.

Orson Welles Lady From Shanghai Crazy Mirrors Sequence

Written by Joe D on November 8th, 2018

Here is the granddaddy of all Mad Mirror scenes! Orson directs and stars with his beautiful ex-wife Rita Hayworth and Mercurey Theater alumnus Everett Sloane, Mr. Berstein from Citizen Kane. Amazing photgraphy in this film, you can really feel the extra silver  in the old nitrate film stock. Rita is so amazingly gorgeous in the scene on the yacht. A crazy film but worth checking out.

 

Hal Ashby Documentary

Written by Joe D on November 4th, 2018

Here’s a short documentary on the legendary Hal Ashby. My friend Bob Downey was very close to him, I never met him. My other pal Pablo Ferro was one of his best friends and collaborators, he should have been in this doc. Anyway it’s a nice little tribute to a big talent.

Little Shop Of Horrors, COLORIZED!

Written by Joe D on November 2nd, 2018

two geniuses- Chuck Griffith and Mel Welles

I am not a fan of colorized movies, I love B&W films! But I must say I enjoyed this vcolor version of the Chuck Griffith/Roger Corman classic. Probably because the original B&W photography was not the greatest. They shot the movie in 4 days or something so not much time to nitpick the lighting. Anyway Enjoy it IN COLOR!

Bruce Bicksford Twin Peaks

Written by Joe D on October 22nd, 2018


Bruce Bicksford is a genius animator I first became aware of back in the 70’s when he was collaborating with Frank Zappa on Baby Snakes. It makes perfect sense that he would be drawn to the mysterious word of Twin Peaks.

 

La Musica dello Spazio-ANGELO LAVAGNINO-“I Diavoli Dello Spazio/ Space Devils”

Written by Joe D on October 5th, 2018

Check out this amazing music from a cool 60’s Italian Space Opera, Antonio Margheriti’s I Diavoli Dello Spazio, Space Devils. This score by Angelo Lavagnino reminds me of a Jack Nitzsche 60’s production.

 

compare it to this by Nitzsche and The Wrecking Crew.

See what I mean.

 

 

 

A Walk Through Old Warsaw

Written by Joe D on September 29th, 2018


Here is a beautiful short film that is really a showcase for it’s amazing electronic score. The music and organized sound is by the great Eugeniusz Rudnik, a veteran of The Polish Radio Experimental Studio (PRES), check out The Saragossa Manuscript with music by Penderecki, another alumnus. This film is gorgeous, shot in 35mm color (It looks like Technicolor to me) in an old city that still had it’s Eighteenth Century charm. I can’t embed it here but I can post this link. So click the magic portal and be transported to another world.

MOMA Time Machine

Written by Joe D on September 5th, 2018

SEE NYC in 1911. The Museum of Modern Art has transferred this footage shot in NYC in 1911 at the proper frame rate so people don’t run around like Keystone Kops on speed. They also added background sound, the result? It’s like taking a ride in a Time Machine, the people look and act like people(although dressed quite different) Check out the straw boaters a lot of men wear. The women’s clothes are pretty crazy too. It’s amazing to see these parts of NYC that are still there, like the Manhattan Bridge and my old neighborhood, 24th street and 5th across from Madison Square Park and the Flatiron building, The clock on the street is still there in front of what will be the Toy Center. Anyway travel back in time to where horses ruled the streets, marvel at the El Train and the crazy hats.

 

 

The Pit And The Pendulumn

Written by Joe D on November 26th, 2017

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Here is a short film of E.A.Poe’s great story, The Pit and The Pendulumn. Made by the illustrious animator/ filmmaker Jan Svankmajer. Super creepy, great sound effects, wonderful design by his talented wife, it’s a masterpiece. It does take a few liberties with the original story, in Poe’s version the walls of the room come together like a flattened box, forming a narrower and narrower lozenge, the metal walls of which are red hot, ay the center of the lozenge is the Pit which the victim is forced to fall into, devilishly ingenious. Svankmajer has the metal wall push one towards the Pit, a slight difference, also the end of the story turns out differently. But the subjective viewpoint he uses does match the internal monolouge of Poe’s version, without a voice over. I think it’s an interesting creative choice. The fiendish decorations seem inspired by Hieronymous Bosch and are beautifully realized. What a cool film. So wonderful it was made, there aren’t enough works like this these days, personal, artistic, artisinal. Check it out.

P.S. Here is a translation of the Latin quote at the begining of the piece, it is from Poe’s story as well.
Here an impious mob of torturers, insatiable, fed their long-lasting frenzies for innocent blood. Now that the fatherland is safe, now that the cave of murder has been destroyed, in the place where foul death once was, life and health are open to all.