Scenes I Love: The Final Five Minutes Of Trip With The Teacher


Yesterday, Arleigh shared the opening of John Woo’s The Killer.  For today’s scene that I love, I’m going to do the opposite and share the final five minutes of the 1975 exploitation film Trip With The Teacher.

Why is this a scene that I love?  Well, first off, you have to understand that Trip With The Teacher is a drive-in film from the 1970s and the final five minutes really are the epitome of low-budget 1970s cinema.  From the false feel of the happy ending to the insanely catchy (and borderline annoying) closing music, Trip With The Teacher feels like it should be in a time capsule.

However, the main reason why I love the end of Trip With The Teacher is because of what happens after the credits.  We get a montage of scenes featuring (and identifying) the film’s cast.  I love these type of cast montages because, while watching these randomly selected scenes and listening to these film’s closing music, it’s always tempting to imagine that these scenes have all been taken from a different, better film.  As such, you can take these random scenes and imagine the film that they could have been taken from.

Go ahead and try it.  It’s fun!

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Poll: Which Films Are You Most Looking Forward To Seeing In January?


Last month’s results can be seen here.

As always, you can vote for up to 4 films and write-ins are allowed.

Happy voting!

Scenes I Love: The Killer


Over a year ago I picked one of my favorite Hong Kong films for the latest “Scenes I Love” entry and this time around I pick another one from the same director but from an earlier film. The previous pick was from John Woo’s Hard Boiled and this latest pick is from 1989’s classic The Killer also by John Woo.

This was the film that first introduced me to John Woo and Hong Kong crime thrillers of the late 80’s and early 90’s. It was the mid-90’s and not having seen any of Woo’s previous work I came into watch The Killer with no preconceptions whatsoever. What I saw blew me away. It wasn’t just the ballet-like choreography of this scene which opens up the film, but how the character played by Chow Yun Fat reminded me so much of Alain Delon’s character from Melville’s own Le Samourai. It would be later on when immersing myself in all things John Woo that I found out how much the Hong Kong filmmaker admired Melville and used the Delon’s character of Jeff Costello in Le Samourai as inspiration for Chow Yun Fat’s own character in The Killer (who in some subtitled prints was named Jeff).

While Woo has made better-looking films since The Killer I will always consider this scene my favorite of all the scenes he has ever put to film. It’s bullet ballet at it’s most pure.

Pacific Rim Destroys San Francisco


Guillermo Del Toro’s 2013 summer blockbuster film Pacific Rim is already becoming one of the film genre fans are eagerly awaiting to see and we’re still a at least 7 months away from it’s premiere.

Pacific Rim is as simple a story as one can find nowadays. Set in a future devastated by an apocalyptic war involving hundred-foot tall monsters rising out of the sea (called kaiju in the film), Pacific Rim is a giant robot vs. giant monsters film. It harkens back to the classic Godzilla and kaiju films of the 60’s and 70’s. With Guillermo Del Toro on board as the film’s director the film already has the geek cred to bring in Comic-Con crowd. The question now is whether the rest of the film-going masses will flock to see Jaegers (what the giant robots humanity uses are called) duke it out with Kaiju on a devastated Earth.

We get what looks like the first viral video marketing set-up for the film. It shows snippets of a news report of San Francisco being attacked by one of these Kaiju. The video looks to be inspired by Cloverfield from a few years back. Near the end of the video we get to see quick glimpses of the dead Kaiju sprawled atop the deck of an aircraft carrier looking like a 1000-foot land shark. Whatever it is that is in San Francisco it seems like its catnip to giant monsters.

Pacific Rim stars Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Ron Perlman and set for a July 12, 2013 release date.

And here are The Independent Spirit Nominations


The Gotham Awards aren’t the only awards regularly given to films that the majority of filmgoers will never get to see.  The Independent Spirit Nominations are also dedicated to recognizing the best of independent film and they tend to get a bit more attention than the Gothams.  With the early Oscar talk being dominated by mainstream studio films like Argo, Lincoln and Les Miserables, indie films like Bernie and Moonrise Kingdom are going to need all of the help that they can get.

BEST PICTURE

Bernie

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Keep The Lights On

Moonrise Kingdom

Silver Linings Playbook

BEST DIRECTOR

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

Julia Loktev, The Loneliest Planet

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

BEST SCREENPLAY

Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola, Moonrise Kingdom

Zoe Kazan, Ruby Sparks

Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs, Keep the Lights On

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Fill the Void

Gimme the Loot

Safety Not Guaranteed

Sound of My Voice

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

Rama Burshtein, Fill the Void

Derek Connolly, Safety Not Guaranteed

Christopher Ford, Robot & Frank

Rashida Jones & Will McCormack, Celeste and Jesse Forever

Jonathan Lisecki, Gayby

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – (for features under $500,000)

Breakfast with Curtis

Middle of Nowhere

Mosquita y Mari

Starlet

The Color Wheel

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Linda Cardellini, Return

Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Smashed

BEST MALE LEAD

Jack Black, Bernie

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On

Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe

Wendell Pierce, Four

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister’s Sister

Ann Dowd, Compliance

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Brit Marling, Sound of My Voice

Lorraine Toussaint, Middle of Nowhere

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

David Oyelowo, Middle of Nowhere

Michael Péna, End of Watch

Sam Rockwell, Seven Psychopaths

Bruce Willis, Moonrise Kingdom

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Yoni Brook, Valley of Saints

Lol Crawley, Here

Ben Richardson, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Roman Vasyanov, End of Watch

Robert Yeoman, Moonrise Kingdom

BEST DOCUMENTARY

How to Survive a Plague

Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present

The Central Park Five

The Invisible War

The Waiting Room

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

Amour (France)

Once Upon A Time in Anatolia (Turkey)

Rust And Bone (France/Belgium)

Sister (Switzerland)

War Witch (Democratic Republic of Congo)

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD

Nobody Walks, Alicia Van Couvering

Prince Avalanche, Derrick Tseng

Stones in the Sun, Mynette Louie

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD

Pincus, director David Fenster

Gimme the Loot, director Adam Leon

Electrick Children, director Rebecca Thomas

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD (given to emerging documentary filmmaker)

Leviathan, directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel

The Waiting Room, director Peter Nicks

Only the Young, directors Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (for ensemble cast)

Starlet Director: Sean Baker Casting Director: Julia Kim Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone

Moonrise Kingdom Wins At The Gotham Awards


Well, it’s Oscar season and that means that, over the upcoming month, a bunch of otherwise obscure organizations are going to be handing out a lot of awards to a small group of films.  Last night, the Gotham Awards were awarded to the “best” in independent films.  The Gothams aren’t exactly known for being a reliable Oscar precursor but they do signal start the awards season and I, of course, am an awards junkie.

Here are the winners:

Best Feature: Moonrise Kingdom
Gotham Independent Film Audience Award: Artifact
Best Ensemble Performance: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass, Your Sister’s Sister
Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Breakthrough Actor: Emayatzy Corinealdi, Middle of Nowhere
Breakthrough Director: Behn Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Documentary: How to Survive a Plague

Of course, the “best” is in the eye of the beholder.  I, for one, greatly enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom.  However, I also thought (and continue to think) that Beasts of the Southern Wild is one of the most overrated films of all time.  Seriously, didn’t Voltaire end the myth of the noble savage with Candide?  It’s also interesting to note that, despite racking up a lot of nominations and being two of the best films of 2012, neither The Master nor Bernie won any awards.