Tuesday, April 23, 2019

"Crypto": a recovering addict tries to save his family by investing in bitcoin (short)

Crypto” (Hollinsworth and Round Town Productions)  is an important short film by Ansel Faraj, written by Nathan Wilson, who plays the lead character Wesley, a recovering addict (in 12-step program) who considers investing in bitcoin to set up money for his son and bring his family back together.

The film actually lays out the steps of setting up the digital wallet.

But he gets hacked after putting in $60000.

The film mixed black and white and sepia color in an interesting way.

The film is a sequel to a 2013 short, “A Gambling Man”, which I’ll look at later.
There is a feature film starring Richard Harmon called “Woodland” (directed Jon Silverberg) about a journalist’s epiphany in the woods, and it had been called “Crypto”.  I wonder if that movie’s name change was because of this short film.

Monday, April 22, 2019

"The Mystery at the Bottom of Physics": why are the constants what they are?

The Mystery at the Bottom of Physics”, by “exurb1a”, looks at the question of where the constants of physics come from.

I think that the fine structure constant is 1/137 (the reciprocal of what is given in the film). 

The multiverse theory is mentioned, as is the “Matrix”, that we’re living inside a simulation (see ad, Nov. 24, 2018).
Of maybe we are all puppets, as in my screenplay “Baltimore Is Missing”.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

"Alien Ore": 20th Century Fox sponsors a fan-made short film to honor the Alien franchise that started 40 years ago

Alien Ore”, a fan-made film directed by Kailey and Sam Spear, from 20th Century Fox, on the 40th anniversary of the first Alien movie.

On a gray rocky planet being mined for platinum, the crew, much of it lesbian, finds an exploded body underground and soon the insect-like monsters chase them back out of the tunnels.

I recall seeing the first Alien movie in Dallas at the Medallion theater in May 1979.

Friday, April 19, 2019

"Bent": 1997 concentration camp film focuses on Nazi treatment of gay men, based on Martin Sherman's play

I saw the 1997 film “Bent” (Film Movement and Samuel Goldwyn), directed by Sean Mathias, based on the 1979 play by Martin Sherman, in Minneapolis shortly after I had moved there.  I may have seen it in the Bell Auditorium at the University of Minnesota.

On the late 1930s in Germany, Max (Clive Owen), takes home a Nazi stormtrooper posing as a gay trick, to the chagrin of his boyfriend.

He is taken to Dachau, does the work details and befriends another prisoner but “chooses” to wear the yellow star for Jews rather than a pink triangle.

The initial processing scene is quite striking.  Not only is Max’s head shaved (no surprise) but his wad of chest hair is loped off in camera like it as an afterthought.

The playwright wrote the script, and the film often looks like a filmed stage play.

P.D. wikipedia credit for Dachau image. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"Caged": in a European high school, a straight immigrant athlete learns to stand up for his gay friends

Caged”, directed by Dylan and Lazlo Tonk, presents a group of high school students on athletic fields at a Netherlands school.  One of the men (immigrant, Poc) has to get used to the idea that at least two of his best friends are gay, despite dating girls. He has to learn to defend them.

The sports are track and soccer, and the title of the film refers to a wire structure where athletes practice soccer kicking skills.  The campus is a huge complex of modern low-rise buildings.
Wikipedia attribution link for Rotterdam picture, CCSA 3.0.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

"No Country for Old Men", a very layered modern western from the Coen Brothers

Screenprism analyses (12 min) the Coen Brother’s film “No Country for Old Men” (2007, best picture, Miramax and Paramount Vantage), especially the abstract and ambiguous ending.

The sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is somewhat the alien spectator, as he relates what he sees to his wife (Tess Harper), the battle between the villain Chigurh (Javier Bardem) and Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), an ambiguous non-allegro hero.

The film suggests an internal time travel, where Bell changes places with his father, who idealized a simpler world.

The film was somewhat a modern western, set in the early 80s, just before modern tech.
The film is said to be faithful to the novel by Cormac McCarthy.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

"The Color Purple": Spielberg

The Color Purple”, directed by Steven Spielberg (1985) was an unusual film for this director. It told a personal story of a black girl growing up in the South in the early 1900s after abuse by her father (who made her pregnant).  It is based on a novel by Alice Walker with a screenplay by Menno Meyjas.

I can recall seeing it at Northpark in Dallas.  As I’ve gotten older, I seem to welcome this level of intimacy even more.

It would make actress Whoopi Goldberg a regular, as on the View.
This is a followup to the physics of the color purple.