Dec 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, and not a moment too soon.

This year has flown by, and honestly, I'm not sorry to see it go. 2008 was fraught with shortcomings and disappointments, and in the recent past, I've actually been anticipating the new year in order to start fresh after having a bit of a break over the Christmas season to recharge my batteries.

In the past 365 days, it seems that I and most of my friends can be divided into two circles: those that are working all the time, and those who aren't working at all. There seems to be no happy medium. A few of my amigos had lost their jobs this year, and meanwhile I am seldom able to take a day off, let alone a proper lunch break. Since I work with video and sit in front of a monitor all day for a living, when I come home at night with burning eyes, I would just too stupid or tired to work on any of the projects that I have on the side, or just plain wouldn't feel like it-- even typing in a blog entry would feel like a chore. In the thirteen years I've been in this industry, the old saying has never been more true: it is either black or white, never gray. In this uncertain economy, I am grateful to be working, but there just never seems to be any equilibrium. As a result, it just seemed that the days and the weeks flew by, and before I knew it, I was still scrambling to get ESR-related projects completed as the deadlines came down to the wire. In terms of sales, 2008 was the worst ESR had seen in years.

But for all of that, I am glad to see '08 go, simply to usher in the new year as a symbol of a fresh start (despite the economic forecast ahead). I do not wish to leave this post on a completely negative note, because a lot of interesting things did happen. I was invited to show films at Trash Palace, did a radio interview, and I took ESR on the road to Montreal and Buffalo (I'll finally have those expository posts up soon....honest!), met some new comrades along the way, and even though I am disappointed at myself for not realizing a couple of projects that I had hoped to be completed by the fall, I am still nonetheless grateful by the words of encouragement I receive from friends and readers to in their hopes that I stay at it.

Thanks for your continued support, friends, and may we all hope to prosper in the new year.

Dec 30, 2008

2008 Film Registry List Announced....

This time of year, all film scribes become victims of "list-o-mania", either devising their own lists for the best films of the year (and criticizing those of others). But the list that is always enjoyable in this season is the new collection of titles announced by the United States Film Registry to be chosen for preservation. It is a far more delightful read then the usual claptrap put on AFI's lists, because in addition to commercial features, the National Film Registry also includes short subjects, documentaries, and (thank heavens) experimental films. Yahoo has already touted the selection for The Terminator, but there are also some marvelous and perhaps lesser known films worthy of your attention: Len Lye's animated short Free Radicals, Lionel Rogosin's documentary On the Bowery, Nick Ray's daft revisionist western Johnny Guitar (one of my genre favourites), and for me, the biggest delight was the inclusion of Pat O'Neill's beautiful hour-long experimental film, Water and Power. (You can view this film for yourself here.

Here's the complete list of films chosen in 2008--

1)  The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
2) Deliverance (1972)
3) Disneyland Dream (1956)
4) A Face in the Crowd (1957)
5) Flower Drum Song (1961)
6) Foolish Wives (1922)
7) Free Radicals (1979)
8) Hallelujah (1929)
9) In Cold Blood (1967)
10) The Invisible Man (1933)
11) Johnny Guitar (1954)
12) The Killers (1946)
13) The March (1964)
14) No Lies (1973)
15) On the Bowery (1957)
16) One Week (1920)
17) The Pawnbroker (1965)
18) The Perils of Pauline (1914)
19) Sergeant York (1941)
20) The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
21) So’s Your Old Man (1926)
22) George Stevens WW2 Footage (1943-46)
23) The Terminator (1984)
24) Water and Power (1989)
25) White Fawn’s Devotion (1910)
But in case you're wondering.... here's the list of all the titles (in alphabetical order) chosen from 1988 to 2007. In addition to Hollywood features, there are a great many early documentaries (including one of John Huston's WW2 efforts, and work by Emile De Antonio, Richard Leacock), plus independent films by Shirley Clarke, Marie Menken, Stan Brakhage, John Cassavetes, and Ernie Gehr.. to name only a few. William Beaudine's infamous exploitation film Mom and Dad is even added, as well as Blood of Jesus one of the handful of features made by Spencer Williams, one of the more important African American filmmakers of the "parallel cinema" movement of the 1930's and 40's. This is truly a film nut's paradise.

1) Abbott And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
2) Adam's Rib (1949)
3) The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938)
4) The African Queen (1951)
5) Alien (1979)
6) All About Eve (1950)
7) All My Babies (1953)
8) All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)
9) All That Heaven Allows (1955)
10) All That Jazz (1979)
11) All The King's Men (1949)
12) America, America (1963)
13) American Graffiti (1973)
14) An American In Paris (1951)
15) Annie Hall (1977)
16) Antonia: A Portrait Of The Woman (1974)
17) The Apartment (1960)
18) Apocalypse Now (1979)
19) Applause (1929)
20) Atlantic City (1980)
21) The Awful Truth (1937)
22) Baby Face (1933)
23) Back To The Future (1985)
24) The Bad And The Beautiful (1952)
25) Badlands (1973)
26) The Band Wagon (1953)
27) The Bank Dick (1940)
28) The Battle Of San Pietro (1945)
29) Beauty And The Beast (1991)
30) Ben-Hur (1926)
31) Ben-Hur (1959)
32) The Best Years Of Our Lives (1946)
33) Big Business (1929)
34) The Big Parade (1925)
35) The Big Sleep (1946)
36) The Big Trail (1930)
37) The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
38) The Black Pirate (1926)
39) The Black Stallion (1979)
40) Blacksmith Scene (1893)
41) Blade Runner (1982)
42) Blazing Saddles (1974)
43) The Blood Of Jesus (1941)
44) The Blue Bird (1918)
45) Bonnie And Clyde (1967)
46) Boyz N The Hood (1991)
47) Bride Of Frankenstein (1935)
48) The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)
49) Bringing Up Baby (1938)
50) Broken Blossoms (1919)
51) A Bronx Morning (1931)
52) The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act Of Man (1975)
53) Bullitt (1968)
54) Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid (1969)
55) Cabaret (1972)
56) The Cameraman (1928)
57) Carmen Jones (1954)
58) Casablanca (1942)
59) Theodore Case Sound Test: Gus Visser And His Singing Duck (1925)
60) Castro Street (1966)
61) Cat People (1942)
62) Chan Is Missing (1982)
63) The Cheat (1915)
64) The Chechahcos (1924)
65) Chinatown (1974)
66) Chulas Fronteras (1976)
67) Citizen Kane (1941)
68) City, The (1939)
69) City Lights (1931)
70) Civilization (1916)
71) Clash Of The Wolves (1925)
72) Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)
73) Cologne: From The Diary Of Ray And Esther (1939)
74) Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort, South Carolina, May 1940 (1940)
75) The Conversation (1974)
76) Cool Hand Luke (1967)
77) Cops (1922)
78) A Corner In Wheat (1909)
79) The Cool World (1963)
80) The Court Jester (1956)
81) The Crowd (1928)
82) The Curse Of Quon Gwon (1916-17)
83) Czechoslovakia 1968 (1968)
84) D.O.A. (1950)
85) Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
86) Dances With Wolves (1990)
87) Daughter Of Shanghai (1937)
88) Daughters Of The Dust (1991)
89) David Holzman's Diary (1968)
90) The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951)
91) Days Of Heaven (1978)
92) Dead Birds (1964)
93) The Deer Hunter (1978)
94) Destry Rides Again (1939)
95) Detour (1946)
96) Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894-5)
97) Do The Right Thing (1989)
98) The Docks Of New York (1928)
99) Dodsworth (1936)
100) Dog Star Man (1964)
101) Don't Look Back (1967)
102) Double Indemnity (1944)
103) Dr. Strangelove (Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb) (1964)
104) Dracula (1931)
105) Drums Of Winter (1988)
106) Duck Amuck (1953)
107) Duck And Cover (1951)
108) Duck Soup (1933)
109) E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
110) Early Abstractions #1-5,7,10 (1939-56)
111) Easy Rider (1969)
112) Eaux D'artifice (1953)
113) El Norte (1983)
114) The Emperor Jones (1933)
115) Empire (1964)
116) The Endless Summer (1966)
117) Enter The Dragon (1973)
118) Eraserhead (1978)
119) Evidence Of The Film (1913)
120) The Exploits Of Elaine (1914)
121) Fall Of The House Of Usher (1928)
122) Fantasia (1940)
123) Fargo (1996)
124) Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
125) Fatty's Tintype Tangle (1915)
126) Film Portrait (1970)
127) Five Easy Pieces (1970)
128) Flash Gordon Serial (1936)
129) Flesh And The Devil (1927)
130) Footlight Parade (1933)
131) Force Of Evil (1948)
132) The Forgotten Frontier (1931)
133) 42nd Street (1933)
134) The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse (1921)
135) Fox Movietone News: Jenkins Orphanage Band (1928)
136) Frank Film (1973)
137) Frankenstein (1931)
138) Freaks (1932)
139) The French Connection (1971)
140) The Freshman (1925)
141) From Here To Eternity (1953)
142) From Stump To Ship (1930)
143) From The Manger To The Cross (1912)
144) Fuji (1974)
145) Fury (1936)
146) Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980)
147) The General (1927)
148) Gerald Mcboing Boing (1951)
149) Gertie The Dinosaur (1914)
150) Giant (1956)
151) Gigi (1958)
152) Glimpse Of The Garden (1957)
153) The Godfather (1972)
154) The Godfather, Part Ii (1974)
155) Going My Way (1944)
156) Gold Diggers Of 1933 (1933)
157) The Gold Rush (1925)
158) Gone With The Wind (1939)
159) Goodfellas (1990)
160) The Graduate (1967)
161) Grand Hotel (1932)
162) The Grapes Of Wrath (1940)
163) Grass (1925)
164) The Great Dictator (1940)
165) The Great Train Robbery (1903)
166) Greed (1924)
167) Groundhog Day (1993)
168) Gun Crazy (1949)
169) Gunga Din (1939)
170) H2o (1929)
171) Halloween (1978)
172) Hands Up (1926)
173) Harlan County, U.S.A. (1976)
174) Harold And Maude (1972)
175) The Heiress (1949)
176) Hell's Hinges (1916)
177) Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Footage (1937)
178) High School (1968)
179) High Noon (1952)
180) His Girl Friday (1940)
181) Hitch-Hiker, The (1953)
182) Hoop Dreams (1994)
183) Hoosiers (1986)
184) Hospital (1970)
185) The Hospital (1971)
186) The House I Live In (1945)
187) The House In The Middle (1954)
188) House Of Usher (1960)
189) How Green Was My Valley (1941)
190) How The West Was Won (1962)
191) The Hunters [Kalahari Desert Tribe Anthropological Film] (1957)
192) The Hustler (1961)
193) I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang (1932)
194) Imitation Of Life (1934)
195) Immigrant, The (1917)
196) In A Lonely Place (1950)
197) In The Heat Of The Night (1967)
198) In The Land Of The Head Hunters (1914), Aka In The Land Of The War Canoes
199) In The Street (1948/52)
200) Intolerance (1916)
201) Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)
202) It (1927)
203) It Happened One Night (1934)
204) It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
205) The Italian (1915)
206) Jailhouse Rock (1957)
207) Jam Session (1942)
208) Jammin' The Blues (1944)
209) Jaws (1975)
210) Jazz On A Summer's Day (1959)
211) The Jazz Singer (1927)
212) Jeffries-Johnson World's Championship Boxing Contest (1910)
213) Kannapolis, Nc (1941)
214) Killer Of Sheep (1977)
215) King: A Filmed Record...Montgomery To Memphis (1970)
216) King Kong (1933)
217) The Kiss (1896)
218) Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
219) Knute Rockne, All American(1940)
220) Koyaanisqatsi (1983)
221) The Lady Eve (1941)
222) Lady Helen's Escapade (1909)
223) Lady Windermere's Fan (1925)
224) Lambchops (1929)
225) Land Beyond The Sunset (1912)
226) Lassie Come Home (1943)
227) The Last Command (1928)
228) The Last Of The Mohicans (1920)
229) Last Picture Show, The (1972)
230) Laura (1944)
231) Lawrence Of Arabia (1962)
232) The Learning Tree (1969)
233) Let's All Go To The Lobby (1957)
234) Letter From An Unknown Woman (1948)
235) The Life And Death Of 9413--A Hollywood Extra (1927)
236) The Life And Times Of Rosie The Riveter (1980)
237) Life Of Emile Zola, The (1937)
238) Little Caesar (1930)
239) The Little Fugitive (1953)
240) Little Miss Marker (1934)
241) Living Desert, The (1953)
242) Lost World, The (1925)
243) Louisiana Story (1948)
244) Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938)
245) Love Me Tonight (1932)
246) M*A*S*H (1970)
247) Magical Maestro (1952)
248) The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
249) Making Of An American (1920)
250) The Maltese Falcon (1941)
251) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
252) The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
253) Manhatta (1921)
254) Manhattan (1979)
255) March Of Time: Inside Nazi Germany--1938 (1938)
256) Marian Anderson: The Lincoln Memorial Concert (1939)
257) Marty (1955)
258) Master Hands (1936)
259) Matrimony's Speed Limit (1913)
260) Mean Streets (1973)
261) Medium Cool (1969)
262) Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)
263) Melody Ranch (1940)
264) Memphis Belle (1944)
265) Meshes Of The Afternoon (1943)
266) Midnight Cowboy (1969)
267) Mighty Like A Moose (1926)
268) Mildred Pierce (1945)
269) The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek (1944)
270) Miracle On 34th Street (1947)
271) Miss Lulu Bett (1922)
272) Modern Times (1936)
273) Modesta (1956)
274) Mom And Dad (1944)
275) Morocco (1930)
276) Motion Painting No. 1 (1947)
277) A Movie (1958)
278) Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)
279) Multiple Sidosis (1970)
280) The Music Box (1932)
281) The Music Man (1962)
282) My Darling Clementine (1946)
283) My Man Godfrey (1936)
284) The Naked City (1948)
285) The Naked Spur (1953)
286) Nanook Of The North (1922)
287) Nashville (1975)
288) National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
289) National Velvet (1944)
290) Naughty Marietta (1935)
291) Network (1976)
292) A Night At The Opera (1935)
293) The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
294) Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
295) Ninotchka (1939)
296) North By Northwest (1959)
297) Nostalgia (1971)
298) Nothing But A Man (1964)
299) Notorious (1946)
300) Now, Voyager (1942)
301) The Nutty Professor (1963)
302) Offon (1968)
303) Oklahoma! (1955)
304) On The Waterfront (1954)
305) One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
306) One Froggy Evening (1956)
307) Our Day (1938)
308) Out Of The Past (1947)
309) Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943)
310) The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
311) Pass The Gravy (1928)
312) Paths Of Glory (1957)
313) Patton (1970)
314) The Pearl (1948)
315) Peege (1972)
316) Peter Pan (1924)
317) Phantom Of The Opera (1925)
318) The Philadelphia Story (1940)
319) Pinocchio (1940)
320) A Place In The Sun (1951)
321) Planet Of The Apes (1968)
322) The Plow That Broke The Plains (1936)
323) Point Of Order (1964)
324) The Poor Little Rich Girl (1917)
325) Popeye The Sailor Meets Sindbad The Sailor (1936)
326) Porky In Wackyland (1938)
327) Power Of The Press (1928)
328) Powers Of Ten (1978)
329) President Mckinley Inauguration Footage (1901)
330) Primary (1960)
331) Princess Nicotine; Or The Smoke Fairy (1909)
332) The Prisoner Of Zenda (1937)
333) The Producers (1968)
334) Psycho (1960)
335) The Public Enemy (1931)
336) Pull My Daisy (1959)
337) Punch Drunks (1934)
338) Pups Is Pups (Our Gang) (1930)
339) Raging Bull (1980)
340) Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)
341) Raisin In The Sun (1961)
342) Rear Window (1954)
343) Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
344) Red Dust (1932)
345) Red River (1948)
346) Regeneration (1915)
347) Reminiscences Of A Journey To Lithuania (1971-72)
348) Republic Steel Strike Riot Newsreel Footage (1937)
349) Return Of The Secaucus 7 (1980)
350) Ride The High Country (1962)
351) Rip Van Winkle (1896)
352) The River (1937)
353) Road To Morocco (1942)
354) Rocky (1976)
355) The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
356) Roman Holiday (1953)
357) Rose Hobart (1936)
358) Sabrina (1954)
359) Safety Last (1923)
360) Salesman (1969)
361) Salome (1922)
362) Salt Of The Earth (1954)
363) San Francisco Earthquake And Fire, April 18, 1906 (1906)
364) Scarface (1932)
365) Schindler's List (1993)
366) The Searchers (1956)
367) Serene Velocity (1970)
368) Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954)
369) Seventh Heaven (1927)
370) Sex, Lies And Videotape (1989)
371) The Sex Life Of The Polyp (1928)
372) Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)
373) Shadows (1959)
374) Shaft (1971)
375) Shane (1953)
376) She Done Him Wrong (1933)
377) Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
378) Sherman's March (1986)
379) Shock Corridor (1963)
380) The Shop Around The Corner (1940)
381) Show Boat (1936)
382) Show People (1928)
383) Siege (1940)
384) Singin' In The Rain (1952)
385) Sky High (1922)
386) Snow White (1933)
387) Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
388) Some Like It Hot (1959)
389) The Son Of The Sheik (1926)
390) The Sound Of Music (1965)
391) St. Louis Blues (1929)
392) Stagecoach (1939)
393) Star Is Born, A (1954)
394) Star Theatre (1901)
395) Star Wars (1977)
396) Steamboat Willie (1928)
397) The Sting (1973)
398) Stormy Weather (1943)
399) Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
400) A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
401) The Strong Man (1926)
402) Sullivan's Travels (1941)
403) Sunrise (1927)
404) Sunset Boulevard (1950)
405) Sweet Smell Of Success (1957)
406) Swing Time (1936)
407) Tabu (1931)
408) Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse (1940)
409) Tall T, The (1957)
410) The T.A.M.I. Show (1964)
411) Tarzan And His Mate (1934)
412) Taxi Driver (1976)
413) The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)
414) The Ten Commandments (1956)
415) Tess Of The Storm Country (1914)
416) Tevye (1939)
417) There It Is (1928)
418) The Thief Of Bagdad (1924)
419) The Thin Blue Line (1988)
420) The Thin Man (1934)
421) The Thing From Another World (1951)
422) Think Of Me First As A Person (1960-75)
423) This Is Cinerama (1952)
424) This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
425) Three Little Pigs (1933)
426) Through Navajo Eyes (Series) (1966)
427) A Time For Burning (1966)
428) A Time Out Of War (1954)
429) Tin Toy (1988)
430) To Be Or Not To Be (1942)
431) To Fly (1976)
432) To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
433) Tol'able David (1921)
434) Tom, Tom The Piper's Son (1960)
435) Tootsie (1982)
436) Top Hat (1935)
437) Topaz (1943-45) (Home Movie Footage Taken At Japanese American Internment Camp, The Topaz War Relocation Authority Center)
438) Touch Of Evil (1958)
439) Toy Story (1995)
440)Traffic In Souls (1913)
441) Trance And Dance In Bali (1936-39)
442) The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (1948)
443) Trouble In Paradise (1932)
444) Tulips Shall Grow (1942)
445) 12 Angry Men (1957)
446) Twelve O'clock High (1949)
447) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
448) Unforgiven (1992)
449) Verbena Tragica (1939)
450) Vertigo (1958)
451) The Wedding March (1928)
452) West Side Story (1961)
453) Westinghouse Works, 1904 (1904)
454) What's Opera, Doc? (1957)
455) Where Are My Children? (1916)
456) White Heat (1949)
457) Why Man Creates (1968)
458) Why We Fight (Series) (1943-45)
459) Wild And Wooly (1917)
460) The Wild Bunch (1969)
461) Wild River (1960)
462) Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)
463) The Wind (1928)
464) Wings (1927)
465) Within Our Gates (1920)
466) The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
467) Woman Of The Year (1942)
468) A Woman Under The Influence (1974)
469) The Women (1939)
470) Woodstock (1970)
471) Wuthering Heights (1939)
472) Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
473) Young Frankenstein (1974)
474) Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
475) Zapruder Film (1963)

Dec 18, 2008

Which Belushi?

On my way to get some Thai food for lunch on Queen St., some drunk chick came up to me, waving a cigarette in front of my face said, "You look like Belushi.... around the mouth." I said, "Okay thanks", and kept on walking, not thinking to ask if she meant John or Jim.

Dec 11, 2008

Airborne Eddy made my day....

I was having another crummy day at work. I get a notification in my "inbox" stating that "Airborne Eddy" Dobosiewicz (AKA Maxwell Truth on Off Beat Cinema) added me as a friend on Facebook. That just made my day.

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