Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Those Mesmerising Floating Bunnies

Saw the charming new Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit film tonight, and was interested to see that 40 or 50 people in the audience sat all the way through the credits till the end, just watching the floating bunnies drift up and around the screen. A gently compelling visual experience, and rather clever.
15 years ago the trick was to add a short final scene at the end of the credits (Ferris Bueller did this memorably). And old Burt Reynolds comedies, Jackie Chan action flicks, and Pixar animations have all used out-takes to keep people watching.
I can recall a number of animated films where characters have popped in and out of the closing credits, but the floating bunnies were something else - definitely a newly pleasurable credits experience. Good one.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Harold Bloom, Leopold Bloom, Bloomsbury & The Shaggy Guy

As I was rushing back to work after lunch today, with a book in my hand, I passed a raggedy homeless guy who asked me what I was reading. I said it was a 'book about books' and showed him the cover.
He read then said out loud the name of the author (Harold Bloom), then said 'ah yes Leopold Bloom', then 'Bloomsbury', then 'oh no not that' and happily waved me on my way.
I wouldn't be too surprised if the name Leopold Bloom rang nobody's bells in my office, but here was this shaggy guy whose eyes lit up at the name Bloom and was immediately struck with the name's literary associations.
How many ordinary people actually read James Joyce these days anyway??
Is this shaggy guy cool or what!
Hopefully I'll pass him again sometime so I can make a little donation to his reading fund.

Brokeback Mountain

So Brokeback Mountain has won a Golden Lion from Venice.
That's all very nice, but it's a shame it's not getting released in Australia till next January. Do we really need to wait so long? Can't Heath pull some strings to get it shown here sooner?
In the meantime, I'll just have to continue admiring the spiffy poster....

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Tim Burton - Keeping it in the family

After enjoying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I wanted to make a comment on a lovely fact about the director Tim Burton - he keeps employing his friends.

Firstly, he always gets Danny Elfman to write the music (and sometimes sing the songs too - in Nightmare Before Christmas and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).
And he very frequently calls on Johnny Depp to dress up - in Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, as well as soon to be doing one of the voices for Corpse Bride.

He keeps his partners employed...
His previous girlfriend was Lisa Marie, and she always had a small role in his films.
Now his main girl is Helena Bonham Carter, and he's keeping her busy (in Planet of the Apes, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Corpse Bride).

But it's not just a couple of people. He finds people he likes and sticks with them. I think it's highly admirable. And now I'm going to bore you with proof of what I say!
* Michael Keaton (Beetlejuice, and 2 Batman movies)
* Danny DeVito (Batman Returns, Mars Attacks!, and Big Fish)
* Jeffrey Jones (Beetlejuice, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow)
* Jack Nicholson (Batman, and Mars Attacks!)
* Christopher Lee (Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Corpse Bride)
* Christopher Walken (Batman Returns, and Sleepy Hollow)
* Winona Ryder (Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands)
* Sarah Jessica Parker (Ed Wood, and Mars Attacks!)
* Albert Finney (Big Fish, and Corpse Bride)
* Catherine O'Hara (Beetlejuice, and The Nightmare Before Christmas)
* Paul Ruebens (Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Batman Returns, and The Nightmare Before Christmas)
* Vincent Price (one of his early short films 'Vincent', and Edward Scissorhands)

This Tim Burton guy, he likes older 'kooky and endearing' male actors, and younger 'beautiful and slightly kooky' female actresses, and keeps calling them over to his house to make movies.
Most Hollywood directors move from project to project and it's a bit of a novelty for them to work with the same actor twice. But not out Tim!