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Survival of the Blog

Angelina Jolie: Fidelity Isn’t Essential

via Huffington Post

If the illustrious Telegraph’s translation is to be believed, Angelina Jolie isn’t tied to the idea of fidelity.

Jolie gave an interview to Das Neue in which she said:

“I doubt that fidelity is absolutely essential for a relationship. It’s worse to leave your partner and talk badly about him afterwards.

“Neither Brad nor I have ever claimed that living together means to be chained together. We make sure that we never restrict each other.”

She added, “The sparks fly at home if the nice Brad fails to see that he’s wrong and reacts in a defiant way. Then I can get so angry that I tear his shirt.”

Jolie and Brad Pitt have been together over four years and were in New York earlier Christmas week with their kids.

December 27, 2009 Posted by | Celebs, Dating/Sex | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Indie Directors Give Movies Away Free Online

By Monisha Rajesh    Time.com

When Finnish filmmaker Timo Vuorensola came up with the idea for his movie Star Wreck, a parody of Star Trek, he knew that looking for conventional distribution would be futile. An amateur, science-fiction comedy with a miniscule budget — and in Finnish, to boot — would hardly be attractive to mainstream studios. So Vuorensola took matters into his own hands: he used a Finnish social networking site to build up an online fan base who contributed to the storyline, made props and even offered their acting skills. In return for the help, Vuorensola released Star Wreck in 2005 online for free. Seven hundred thousand copies were downloaded in the first week alone; to date, the total has now reached 9 million.

“Releasing it for free is just good marketing,” he says. “Whether it’s through piracy or distribution your film is out there on the Internet, so we decided to harness this.” And he has managed to make quite a bit of money out of it. Online sales of merchandise — including T-shirts and collector’s editions of the DVD — have generated $430,000 on a film that only cost $21,500 to make, Vuorensola says. He and his team have also now secured a proper distribution deal with Revolver Entertainment in the U.S. and Britain. (See the best movies of 2009.)

In the age of YouTube and viral marketing campaigns, it was only a matter of time before independent filmmakers came to realize that cutting the middleman out of the process is sometimes the best way to guarantee large audiences see their works. This is especially true at a time when funding from studios has been seriously hit by the recession — just as it was on the way up. “The last 10 years has been a renaissance period for independent filmmaking and there has been more money coming into production for films than in any other decade in the history of film,” says Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the American Film Market, an annual event where filmmakers and studio executives converge to sign production and distribution deals. But since the economic downturn, many indie movie distributors, including New Line Cinema, Miramax, the Weinstein Company and Paramount Vantage, have either left the market or slashed their funding.

Like Vuorensola, American animator Nina Paley ignored traditional distribution methods and released her film, Sita Sings the Blues, a comic adaptation of the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, directly online earlier this year. She first created a blog, www.ninapaley.com, to develop a community of supporters, and then posted the film on another site, www.sitasingstheblues.com, for free. It was an instant success. “I have my blog, but I essentially gave the film to the audience and they ran with it,” Paley says. “It wasn’t self-distribution, it was audience distribution.” (See the best blogs of the year.)

Paley also sells merchandise on her site, including 35mm prints of the film stamped with a Creative Commons License, so the buyers know the money is going directly to the filmmaker. And she has a donation link through which she has received gifts ranging from $2 to $2,000. To date, Paley has made net profits of $55,000 — and she’s secured theatrical distribution in France and the U.S. “What I have learned is that the more freely you show the film, the more audiences will buy the DVD and surrounding merchandise,” she says. “With a normal theatrical release you have to spend so much money on advertising and promotion that most independent films lose money.”

Even some mainstream filmmakers are starting to use online distribution to build buzz about their projects or simply to get their films to as many people as possible. Last year, Michael Moore released Slacker Uprising — a documentary about his attempts to have President George W. Bush removed from office in the run-up to the 2004 election — online for free in the U.S and Canada to encourage young people to vote. And in May, documentary filmmaker Franny Armstrong launched a website called www.indiescreenings.net, where people can buy a license and then screen her climate-change documentary, The Age of Stupid. Armstrong incentivizes buyers by allowing them to keep any profits from ticket sales. She can’t guarantee that her film won’t be copied and shared after someone purchases a license to screen it, but she says she had to put her trust in people to spread the word about climate change. (See TIME’s coverage of the Copenhagen climate-change conference.)

Liz Rosenthal, founder of Power to the Pixel, an organization that devises new models of film distribution, says the reason many indie directors are turning to the web is that it allows them to better engage with their audiences. “The whole film business has no connection with their audience,” she says. “And with any business you have to know your consumer. The Internet has become a free distribution machine, so what can you sell that makes money? Things you can’t copy. They need to be things that are based around your audience. Directors cuts, merchandise, 35mm prints of your film.” (Read: “Why Netflix Stinks: A Critic’s Complaint.”)

Soon, the middleman could be a thing of the past. And it may only be a matter of time before movie theatres — popcorn and all — are on the way out, too.

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Art/Culture, Movies, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ron Muech – Hyper Realist Sculptor

There is a point, when sculpturing, at witch taking great care of details leads to creating hyper realistic artwork that cannot be set apart from the real world objects it is supposed to represent. Ron Muech sculptures are just that, extraordinary realistic work that seems real even after looking at it for the tenth time. 

Ron Mueck was born on 1958 is an Australian hyper realist sculptor working in Great Britain. Mueck’s early career was as a model maker and puppeteer for children’s television and films, notably the film Labyrinth for which he also contributed the voice of Ludo.   Mueck moved on to establish his own company in London, making photo-realistic props and animatronics for the advertising industry.   Although highly detailed, these props were usually designed to be photographed from one specific angle hiding the mess of construction seen from the other side. Mueck increasingly wanted to produce realistic sculptures which looked perfect from all angles.

In 1996 Mueck transitioned to fine art, collaborating with his mother-in-law, Paula Rego, to produce small figures as part of a tableau she was showing at the Hayward Gallery. Rego introduced him to Charles Saatchi who was immediately impressed and started to collect and commission work.   This led to the piece which made Mueck’s name, Dead Dad, being included in the Sensation show at the Royal Academy the following year. Dead Dad is a rather haunting silicone and mixed media sculpture of the corpse of Mueck’s father reduced to about two thirds of its natural scale. It is the only work of Mueck’s that uses his own hair for the finished product.   Mueck’s sculptures faithfully reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play with scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images. His five metre high sculpture Boy 1999 was a feature in the Millennium Dome and later exhibited in the Venice Biennale.   In 2002 his sculpture Pregnant Woman was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia for $800,000.

***************Continue viewing all the pictures…

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Art/Culture, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tarantino Mixtape

Cool mix of Quentin Tarantino films along with soundtracks. 

December 9, 2009 Posted by | Art/Culture, Music | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Does Hollywood Hate Our Troops?

This weekend I went to see Brothers, the Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman film about a Marine serving in Afghanistan. While overseas, Sam Cahill’s (Maguire) helicopter is shot down and he is presumed to be dead—which leads his brother (Gyllenhaal) to make a move on his wife (Portman). (Before you continue reading, there are many spoilers ahead.)

I asked my mother if she would come see it with me, but she said she didn’t want to give any money to a movie in which the preview showed the soldier coming back home and waving a gun at his family in their driveway. I have to admit, the preview disturbed me as well, but decided to see the film anyway because I’m always curious about Hollywood’s take on our soldiers and the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, many of these films typically portray our soldiers as deserters—Stop Loss is another classic example of this stereotyping—or complete whackjobs.

In Brothers, not only does one of the Marines captured by the Taliban actually say that he “realized we shouldn’t be there,” but Maguire’s character beats a fellow soldier to death with a lead pipe. Sam then returns home to his family and goes AWOL trying to kill both his wife and his brother. I don’t care if every producer, director, and screenwriter in Hollywood is against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (and presumably most are), what offends me is the portrayal of soldiers as cowards and lunatics—driven to such lengths that they come home and try to kill their families. Obviously, post-traumatic stress disorder has become more prevalent in the military and clearly this is a problem that needs to be seriously addressed. But I believe these films add to the damage when they portray soldiers as disloyal, unwilling to serve, and against the missions themselves. In my experience, this couldn’t be further from the truth.   Continue reading the review…

December 8, 2009 Posted by | Celebs | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Louis Vuitton Journeys Awards

Students from the most prestigious international film schools and other talents were asked to make a film using the original Journeys script for a chance to win one of two awards.  Vote for your favorite of short-listed films.  Your vote will count towards the People’s Choice award.  http://www.journeysawards.com/index.php

My two favorite videos.  Top video is called The First Stage, bottom video is called The Pirate. 

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Art/Culture | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment