June 29, 2006

Book In Progress

So, this is the revised art for our upcoming Annual. You like? Lodge Kerrigan, Steven Soderbergh, and the folks at Magnolia Pictures recently gave us their blessing to pay tribute to Keane's indelible one-sheet; this was the first cover concept that I felt captured the ineffable flavour of a year that was ultimately bittersweet for us and cinema in general.

We're aiming to have the book available for purchase by August 15th. There's more exclusive content this time around, including previously-unpublished reviews of 9 Songs, Prozac Nation, L'Intrus, and The Future of Food. Circle the date and save your pennies--but in the meantime, if you have any last-minute suggestions, speak now or forever hold your peace.

And don't forget, the 2005 edition is still on sale. (See our main page for a list of retailers.)

Last but not least, in case you missed them, reviews of The Devil Wears Prada, Eraserhead/The Short Films of David Lynch/Dumbland, and Valley of the Dolls are now live at the mothersite.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Take the current lack of comments as being a stunned, awed silence - that looks utterly brilliant, Bill. Bless the folk over at Magnolia alongside Soderbergh and Kerrigan. I look forward to purchasing both annuals as soon as possible.

B. Earnest said...

The cover looks great.

And thanks for the Lynch reviews -- much to chew on in there. Question for everyone regarding the Short Films: I got it last month from Netflix, and when I watched it, both versions of the Amputee had audio only. The screen was completely black throughout. On a cursory peek around the internet I see I'm not the only one who had this problem, though at the time I assumed it was intentional, maybe a snarky protest against AFI going to videotape. Now I'm sort of pissed I missed the film. Anyone else have this problem?

Jefferson said...

Now I have to watch Keane before I can buy the book, I suppose.

Damn, you guys have been cranking it out the last few weeks. Thanks for doing the good work.

reel2reel said...

I can't wait for it! The cover looks great.

The David Lynch reviews were amazing. It's refreshing to get some words on Lynch that don't sum it all up as "it's weird..." BTW, b.earnest, I rented the original issue of the short films (which came from Lynch's site) and there was no problem with it. I guess that doesn't help you much, b/c I'm guessing you rented the newest release.

Chris said...

Can anybody confirm that Rob Schneider is the head of the "Habeeboo Entourage" in Click? Or am I just going nuts?

Bill C said...

Gracias, mis amigos.

As for the Lynch glitch, that may explain why I encountered one review that called The Amputee a purposeful sabotage of the AFI's plan to switch to tape or something like that. I dunno what to say except that it played fine on both my JVC and DVD-ROM drive, but as it came out on an indie label I wouldn't doubt that it was pressed at a plant where quality control standards were all over the place.

Bill C said...

For anybody who has a chance, by the way: DO NOT SEE Superman Returns in IMAX. I think I'm gonna blog about it next week in full, but it pretty much turns the movie into a William Castle joint.

Anonymous said...

Question for Walter - been working through the 3rd season of Arrested Development down here in Oz, and the subplot involving Rita as the MR F just tied up. Wasn't that whole thing kind of offensive? The joke isn't made at the expense of the retard, rather at the expense of Michael, yet somehow that seems worse. "Take that, Michael, you're marrying a retarded person!!"
The show is lovingly politically incorrect, and takes joy in watching its characters getting thrown around and put into turmoil because of the fickle finger of fate, but it's never seemed mean spirited until now. (Sure, we laugh at Tobias as he gets injured over and over, but his stupidity gets him into the scenarios.) What do you think?

Erin said...

hah, I'm so glad someone was able to enjoy the VoD dvd as much as I do! Can I ask a silly question though? Why do you all leave any reviews unpublished?

What if a person really likes William Castle?

Keep up the great work!

Erin said...

Oh and, you'll find this hard to believe, Walter but the Andi character in the film version of Devil Wears Prada is still a lot more sympathetic than the one in the book.

Ian Pugh said...

Look forward to the blog, Bill, because I never quite "got" IMAX. I saw Poseidon in the format for one reason or another, got a crick in the neck and the realization that seeing Richard Dreyfuss' diamond studded homosexual stereotype in larger form does not improve matters at all. (Maybe I just need to see the right movie in IMAX -- I don't think there is a "right" way to watch Poseidon.)

Of course, I never got Robert Rodriguez's obsession with 3-D. At least in William Castle's time, there was a universal understanding that the thrills were cheap and the movies were cheaper. Despite all of the hyped-up hoopla, did anyone actually believe that it was some sort of revolutionary cinematic experience? Of course, come to think of it, in a Friday the 13th DVD marathon, I actually found Part III to be a fairly thrilling experience in 2-D -- despite (or maybe because of) all of the apples and eyeballs and machetes being thrown at my face.

And, of course, eternally looking forward to the book. I'm eager to get the two books onto a shelf alongside each other. (And I guess it really means I should be watching Keane.)

Hollow Man Stuffed Man said...

I actually thought IMAX 3D was a stepup from the red and blue glasses which I used the last time I went to a 3D movie. Obviously it looked a little lame especially during the action sequences but it was a'ight.

Jack_Sommersby said...

Simply awesome cover art -- and with the blessing of Soderbergh, no less!

Of course I'll be getting the '06 edition! After all, if my computer's down, I'll still be able to rip off Walter's stellar stuff! (Damn, I gotta keep my plagarizing thoughts to myself, damnit.)

Bill C said...

What happens, Erin, is the odd theatrical review slips through the cracks, and unless we get the DVD, there's no real motivation to post the review after it's left moviehouses. But these unpublished pieces fit nicely into an Annual and, we hope, give people a little extra bang for their buck.

Jared said...

Warning: Post about 9 Songs, I'm just prefacing it since the movie has a lot of sex in it and you can't really discuss the film without discussing the sex in it.





I'm probably going to have to get your book for the 9 Songs review since I think it's a fascinating film and I just keep coming back to it. There's a matter of fact attitude about sex in the work of European directors where most American filmmakers except for maybe Larry Clark tend to deal in innuendo. I think 9 Songs and Destricted perhaps represent a new trend where the concept of "porn", [and since that's such a sticky word I wouldn't pin that on 9 Songs, Destricted (which I haven't seen yet), or Ken Park (which I also haven't seen)] is seen as a film genre instead of its own separate entity. "Porn" is seen as a valid way to tell a story just like "horror" or "comedy" or "sci-fi" so filmmakers have decided to go for the ghost and make the most interesting "porn" movie they can.

Some unimaginative critics seemed to write the film as trying to slide porn under the wire as art and the even more dense critics just said they were bored (and added that pornography is innately boring); Ebert's review is the only one I tend to give any credence to as he at least seems to have watched the film. Not one shot of the film would work in an actual "porn" tape you'd find behind the saloon doors at your local mom and pop video store; it's not particularily titilatting and the camera tends to shy away from genitals where a porn would go in for a zoom of a guy drilling away. Most of the sex acts are in long shot, so are the concerts (usually a perspective shot), and the shots of Matt and Lisa doing coke. Sex, drugs, and music are just escapes from how hollow Matt and Lisa's lives really are, (SPOILER!) when the rug is pulled out from under their relationship at the end, Matt more or less admits this in his voice over. My only major problem with the film is Matt's voice over, it feels redundant and seems to say most of the things that more discerning viewers could pick up from the acting and the framing.

Hollow Man Stuffed Man said...

Walter,

Loved Habit too. You should try and get Fassenden's interview. The guy looks like he likes to talk and actually has something interesting to say. He certainly drops oblique references which probably only guys at FFC could keep up with.

aron said...

Love the cover art, Bill but am not sure about the font you're using. Those capital f's and a's in ffca have a lot going on there with those flourishes.

I remember thinking: there's too much stuff on the 2005 cover and I think you're amending it now with that lovely spare silhouette. But I feel you're limiting your options - for later editions too - with that font because it is too strong. Just my two cents, anyway.

aron said...

And now, after a couple of coffees, I know what my solution would be (I used to be an editor with a say on book covers for a long time): Keep the column form of the title but use a font that matches the style of the picture the way film credits match a film's visual style. In that case, more modern. Which means adjusting it every subsequent year.

It worked nicely with the King Kong suggestion last year, so you could still adopt it as a principle. It's the medium your work is about, why not be a bit bolder and make the cover more creative and flexible. It will not obscure your corporate identity or whatever, the name "film freak central" is strong enough on its own. (have you got a small logo for the book's spine or are you waiting for a publisher to jump in?)

I really don't like those flourishes. They clash with the picture. Peace ... and more coffee.

Bill C said...

Believe it or not, Aron, those flourishes were already on the way out, but I want to thank you for confirming for me that they don't belong.

Those flourishes are actually capital letters in the "Andes" font; I recently weeded-out all of the uppercase Andes script from the book itself (that font, used to unify the various chapter headings, is a stylistic remnant of when we were going with a King Kong motif, but I think it still works well in that Art Deco and cinema are like peanut butter and chocolate, and the lowercase version is relatively understated) and the improvement was dramatic.

I'm no Chip Kidd, of course, but I tweak relentlessly and would advise everyone to consider this concept art as opposed to finished art.

Jared said...

Actually I think you really should go with it as long as it's 100% cleared, it's pretty slick.