December 19, 2007
Hieronymous Bosch's Heck
At long last, I have finally uploaded my 2005 short film Hieronymous Bosch's Heck on Youtube! The impetus I needed to go through with it? Andrew Blackwood's Slap, a short film premiering on Dennis Cozzalio's blog Sergio Leone and the Infield Rule, that I absolutely hated. I said as much in the comment section.
Posting this is, arrogantly, my reaction to it. I think that what I did is better, though God only knows there's room for improvement. But you could also consider this as me putting my own neck on the chopping block.
Something else I've been meaning to share. I saw Enchanted the night after last and knowing that it's a minor hit, while truly great films that played at this same mall multiplex like The Assassination of Jesse James, The Darjeeling Limited, and No Country For Old Men seem to have been slow to gain an audience. What exactly is the appeal of this? I hit the internet movie database with my complaints on the film and some questions for the fans (doing moderately OK in supressing my condescending snootiness) and was actually rather surprised at the results.
Finally, I'm working to get a review out of the 1951 Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol before Christmas. VCI's "Ultimate Collector's Edition" is, to give you the short version, one of the strangest DVD packages I've ever seen. Won't get into specifics as of now, but it got me wondering. Which DVDs have you seen that are actually successful as works of art, complementing the films that they house to the point where those who viewed only the theatrical release aren't getting the whole picture.
Two examples from me to let you know what I'm talking about: Capturing the Friedmans which has an exhausting but not exhaustive second disc of material that attempts to address many of the complaints made against the film. The DVD itself suggests the inadequacy of the documentary form, a dominanting theme in the film. It seems that every statement needs to be qualified and then the qualification must be qualified, and there is no end to it. The more you go searching for the "truth" behind the matter the further it pulls away.
Then there is the 2001 Special Edition of Platoon which features two audio commentaries, one by Oliver Stone and the other by military supervisor Captain Dale Dye. These audio commentaries are also included in the 20th Anniversary 2-Disc Collector's Set, along with a second disc of material; but I'm including the 2001 version because the commentaries make up a greater proportion of supplementary material (it's them, the terrific 52-minute documentary "Tour of the Inferno", a photo gallery, TV spots, and a trailer) and more honestly, because it's the version I own.
What intrigued me about the commentaries is that Stone is a "stoner" and Dye is a "juicer" (beer not 'roids). This emphasizes the dualistic quality in the film, how it's not an anti-war film or a pro-war film but both. It's easy to mistake Tom Berenger's Sgt. Barnes (juicer to Elias' (Willem Dafoe) stoner) as the villain of the piece, but he in fact informs the values of the film equally. When Chris (Charlie Sheen) kills him at the end of the film, it's not hypocrisy but Oedipal fulfillment. In killing Barnes, he shows that he has become Barnes. Stone suggests in his commentary that this doesn't represent a moral failure on Chris' part but a moral victory. This would not have sunk in as much if there were a third commentary, if we only had Stone's track, or if he shared one with Dye or somebody else.
Peter Greenaway provocatively states that film is dead and the future is in multimedia. These two DVDs suggest to me that he might be right.