It’s a short list this month, Vimeo, but we think you’re going to love it. So pop some corn, put your feet up, and take an hour or so to check out the films we loved the most last month.
Watch our selection in the player below, or via the miracle of our Apple TV app, if you happen to own such a thing.
The entire month was good to us, but September 29 was an especially brilliant day in Staff Picks it brought us Eoin Duffy’s outstanding short The Missing Scarf, after a long and almost ridiculously gilded festival tour. It’s a big short full of even bigger questions, and an immense voiceover from George Takei. Naturally, we’ve taken this opportunity to ask Mr. Duffy to tell us all about it.
The film is such a brilliant mix of darkness and comedy, fear and rationality. Where were you when you wrote this, where did all of that come from?
At the time of writing The Missing Scarf, I was dealing with a death in the family. My mind was consumed with thoughts of death, which then extended to questioning the end goal for all life. Where are we heading? What’s the point? If entropy is eroding our universe into nothingness, what’s the final outcome for life?
But I settled on a happier theory. The notion that our universe (or multiverse) is part of an even larger cycle, continuously erupting into existence over and over. Meaning we’re all minuscule cogs in the grand inhale and exhale of the universe, thus helping the continuation of all life within.
But from the viewpoint of Albert and his friends, the larger perspective doesn’t bring much comfort to their immediate situation.
Engaging George Takei was a masterstroke. How did he get involved? What made you think of him and how did you get to him?
Jamie Hogan, the producer, and myself wrote down a list of people we thought the project best-suited and right at the top was George.
We created a highly-polished animatic encompassing a professional voice-over, stock music, sound-design and near-finalized visuals. We then housed it in a standalone private website, detailing the project and its script. Through talent agency Harvey Voices, we were put in touch. And to our surprise, George loved the idea and the script.
Then things moved pretty quickly. Fewer than three weeks later, we flew to LA to meet George in the iconic Buzzy’s Recording Studio. George was so personable and down to Earth that it put everyone at ease. In fact, he was so nice and chatty that we used up half an hour of our two-hour recording session discussing the history of Japanese immigrants in the U.S. But once we jumped into recording I was blown away by the calibre of George’s performance. It was great to see him in action.
As a side note, we recorded 30 takes of the “angry” speech that appears halfway through the film. All of which George was more than happy to do. In the end, we used take #1.
The film has had such an incredible response and festival run, and rightly so! How has that been? Any highlights?
We’ve screened at over 100 festivals and at one stage, we were winning an award every week. It was all too much to comprehend at times. But the highlight, by far, was attending screenings and just watching people’s reaction. I got goosebumps every time, it was amazing.
Also, two of the best multi-day parties of my life were with fellow animators at the Savannah Film Festival and the Valladolid Film Festival. Let’s just say it’s amazing what the human body can withstand.
What are you working on next? Has The Missing Scarf’s great success greased the wheels for your next project? When can we expect to see more from you?
I’m happy to say that for my next project, I’m teaming up with a major player on the animation stage. I hope to announce this project in the coming weeks. I also have tons of side projects I’ll be letting loose on the Web very soon. Just keep an eye on eoinduffy.me0
In an interview with NPR, the acclaimed editor Walter Murch (Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now) described his job as a cross between a short-order cook and a brain surgeon.
The work of an editor is highly complex. As the last shepherds of the film, they reorder, splice, trim, and shape the raw footage to breathe mood, tension, and structure into the film. Under the guardianship of a great editor, no frame goes unexamined and no contributionwhether it be in acting or cinematographygoes under-appreciated. In this final week of Hulu Summer Film School, we’re celebrating these unsung heroes by exploring how they carry the film through its final legs of production.
A fluid travelogue of cinema, Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil explores the mutable nature of memory, time, and its effect on our perception of history. Using elliptical editing techniques to marry documentary and found-footage, Marker’s film sends us from the bustling cityscape of Tokyo to the wilds of Guinea-Bissau in Africa to the extraterrestrial landscape of Iceland, and back again to Japan where we bear witness to a religious ceremony honoring cats. Through all of this dazzlement, Sans Soleil is devoid of synchronous sound and uses an unseen narrator (reading aloud the journal of a fictional traveling cameraman who captured the images we’re seeing) as the binding force for the material. The editorial synthesis of sight and sound becomes simultaneously lasting and ephemeral, not unlike someone trying to recall and re-experience a distant memory.
Later in the film, Marker reveals his affection for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, referring to it as a quest to discover an impossible memory, insane memory. Memory and time contort into an endless spiral as Marker showcases still images from Vertigo intercut with footage of his own sojourn to San Francisco to recreate scenes from Hitchcock’s film. The editing is crisp and precise, snapping from a still of Vertigo to its corresponding live action shot in Sans Soleil while the narrator draws a comparative deconstruction of Hitchcock’s film, musing about the impossibility to live with memory without falsifying it. Memory becomes a kind of personal armor, protecting us from the harsh iniquities of objective truth and allowing us both filmmaker and viewer alike to remake history as desired by the needs of the present.
Jean-Luc Godard’s first feature film Breathless revolutionized the way films were edited. It made the jump cut a viable way to compress narrative time. The plot is heavily informed by popular film culture from before 1960: a young thug goes on the run from the police with his American girlfriend. But the energy of the film has little to do with the plot and everything to do with the loose way in which the film was shot and the endless invention of the film’s editing.
Consider Michel (Jean-Paul Belmondo) as he takes off in a stolen car in this clip from early in the film. The jump cuts do not preserve continuity of time or space, but there’s an emotional logic to Michel’s tear through France. The film forces the audience to see Michel the way he sees himself (as cool, but playful, full of vibrancy and passion), and Godard’s style is like crazed stream-of-consciousness filmmaking he captures life the way it is, or at least the way we would like it to be in our mind’s eye.
– Christopher Rowe
Much more than any other genre, the documentary’s structure is shaped in the editing room. On a typical documentary production, hundreds of hours of footage will be shot and then brought to the editor who will cut the content down to a 90-minute feature.
A testament to documentary editing can be seen in Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes, in which Baichwal follows photographer Edward Burtynsky as he captures various landscapes around the world that have been shaped by industrial production. One of the film’s many visually-stunning shots is a long take of Chinese manufacturing workers lining up to take orders from their managers. The wide angle highlights the sheer magnitude of identically-dressed workers and also serves to emphasize the lack of individualism in the space. This shot is followed by a match cut to Burtynsky’s photograph of the event and then another match cut to Burtynsky’s photo in a gallery space with visitors passing by it. Through this sequence, Baichwal depicts editing’s ability to transcend not only time but also space. As a result, viewers gain a better understanding of the power of Burtynsky’s images to communicate social and economic situations to the rest of the world.
– Kelly Lin
In Primer, two scientists accidentally discover time travel and it slowly affects their lives, over and over again. It’s fast-paced, yet slow and brooding, and completely immersive.
In this clip, Abe and Aaron discover that time travel may be happening right in front of their noses. As they are both trying to make sense of what’s happening, the editing is jumpy, frenetic, and a little disjointed, matching the activity of their brains. But as they reach a conclusion they both agree on, the editing slows down, allowing us to spend a bit more time on each shot. This subconsciously gives our minds a little space again a way to say we’ve settled here, just like the characters have in the story.
1) The Top 10 Most Effective Editing Moments of All Time Some of the best editing in film is the editing that draws us so deeply into the story that we aren’t even cognizant that the post-production process is taking place. This video from CineFix takes some of the most highly regarded films of our time and explores how different editorial techniques help them achieve greatness. After watching this clip, check out some of CineFix’s other short form content, all designed to both instruct and entertain filmmakers and movie buffs alike.
2) Vashi Visuals – Run by editor Vashi Nedomansky, this blog gives an in-depth look into the editorial workflow and the reasonings behind editorial choices made both by him and other editors in the business.
3) Movie Editing Techniques from LA Video Filmmaker – This blog post explores the most commonly used editorial cuts in cinema, with gifs to back them up.0
Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) stars Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum (who were also husband and wife at the time!), as a sweet Valley Girl manicurist and a hunky space alien who fall in love after his UFO crashes into her pool. Valerie (Geena) works at a beauty salon called Curl Up and Dye, which I always thought was the coolest name for a place to get one’s hair did. A quick Google search revealed that many other people must have thought the same, because salons from Las Vegas to Bakersfield to Texas operate under the same clever pun! When Valerie senses her fiancé losing interest, she enlists the help of her salon boss, Candy Pink (the iconic Julie Brown who also penned the film), which results in one of the funnest makeover montage scenes to exist. Though I MUST disagree with Candy’s insistence that blondes have more fun
Makeovers were a recurring theme in the movie. The furry alien dudes needed to blend in with their newfound Earth surroundings so they went from this:
(Many of us whose first crush was Jeff Goldblum maaaay have been because of this movie, just sayin’.)
From the set design to the costumes, Earth Girls is a visual feast for those of us who embrace color in colossal amounts, both in our personal wardrobes and interior decor. Costume Designer Linda Bass and Production Designer Dennis Gassner made sure that both of their respective worlds were the perfect combo of pastels and geometric shapes. 80s does 50s was a theme that was seen a lot during that time and it makes plenty of appearances in the film, from Valerie’s retro cotton candy-colored kitchen to her nosy neighbor’s sky-high beehive hairdo, to Candy’s black and white-striped miniskirt and crop top which she wears while belting out Cause I’m a Blonde with her gaggle of beach bunnies and bros.
Although the film was released over two decades ago, many of the characters’ outfits could probably be seen on fashion-loving Tumblrs today. Go on any trendy clothing site like Nasty Gal or Dolls Kill and you will more than likely will find a few outfits that could easily have been worn by Julie Brown’s Candy. The kitschy heart-shaped purse that Valerie carries? The credit card earrings on a female club extra? Both of those accessories could have 100 likes on Instagram today, at least!
Nail design has amassed unbelievable levels of popularity over the years so it’s fun to see closeups of 80s-style nail art in the salon scenes. Valerie would definitely have been referred to as a nail artist instead of a manicurist if EGAE came out today. The film also features a cameo from LA billboard queen, Angelyne, whose frequent sightings of her driving around in her still-there (but most likely a successor) pink camaro around town are almost considered a token of good luck to LA residents. Such dedication to a signature color should be applauded!
Earth Girls are Easy is no doubt the perfect movie for those who are obsessed with camp, color, and crazy costumes and sets. You can also see the early comedic stylings of Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans who played Goldbum’s extraterrestrial buddies! Even the film’s premiere had their cast in amazing outfits:
– Marie Lodi, Style Advice Columnist and Staff Writer for Rookie.
A lot of music has been made since “Axel F” the relentlessly cool electronic jam from Beverly Hills Cop was first played, and yet very little of that music has reached the level of total sweetness that it manages to hit in just seconds. But finally, there’s something better than just playing Harold Faltermeyer’s classic track on repeat again: you can now listen to a cover of “Axel F” from Arcade Fire. The band played part of the track in LA over the weekend, switching from “Axel F” into their own song “Normal Person.” The intro to “Welcome to the Jungle” also makes its way in there at the end of the video.0
Following the release of Hyperdub 10.1 and Hyperdub 10.2, the first two of four compilations celebrating Hyperdub’s 10th anniversary, the label has announced Hyperdub 10.3, which will be released on September 23.
Hyperdub 10.3 will feature music from Burial, label founder Kode9, Dean Blunt, Fatima Al Qadiri, Ikonika, The Bug, DJ Earl, Inga Copeland, Lee Gamble, Cooly G, Fhloston Paradigm, Darkstar, Walton, and others. Check out the tracklist below.
As previously announced, there will also be an anniversary tour featuring Kode9, DJ Spinn, Ikonika, and more. Check out dates after the jump.
01 Burial – “In McDonalds”
02 Dean Blunt – “Urban”
03 Kode9 & the Spaceape – “Hole In The Sky”
04 Inga Copeland – “I Am Your Ambient Wife”
05 Kode9 – “Pink Sham Pain Down The Drain”
06 Laurel Halo – “Melt”
07 The Bug – “Siren”
08 Dean Blunt & Inda Copeland – “Untitled 13”
09 Walton – “City of God”
10 King Midas Sound – “Blue”
11 Lee Gamble – “DSM”
12 Cooly G – “Mind”
13 Burial – “Night Bus”
14 Ikonika – “Completion V.3”
15 Darkstar – “Ostkreuz”
16 Fhloston Paradigm – “Liloos Seduction”
17 Ikonika – “Time/Speed”
18 DJ Earl – “Hexogonic Sound”
19 Cooly G – “Trying”
20 Laurel Halo – “Wow”
21 Fatima Al Qadiri – “Shanxi”
22 DVA – “Reach The Devil”
23 Jeremy Greenspan ft. Borys – “Gage”
Hyperdub Anniversary tour:
09-09 East Troy, NY – EMPAC !
09-10 Calgary, Alberta – Hi Fi Club *!
09-12 Montreal, Quebec – Le Belmont *#!
09-13 Hamilton, Ontario – Supercrawl *#^!
09-16 Raleigh, NC – Kings *#$!
09-17 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall *#$!
09-18 New York, NY – Verboten *#^$+!
09-19 Chicago, IL – Primary *#$!
09-20 Vancouver, British Columbia – New Forms Festival *~
09-20 Oberlin, OH – The Sco #$!
09-21 Austin, TX – Empire Control Room *#!
09-24 San Francisco, CA – Mighty *#$!
09-25 Los Angeles, CA – Los Globos *#$!
09-26 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Fox #$!
09-27 Seattle, WA – Decibel Festival *#$!
09-28 New Orleans, LA – Dragon’s Den !
! with Kode9
* with Scratcha DVA
# with DJ Spinn
^ with Ikonika
$ with Taso
+ with Mala
~ with DJ Earl
Listen to III Blu’s “Clapper”, from Hyperdub 10.1:
The New Pornographers have announced a partnership with Intelligentsia Coffee called “Brill Brew”, a coffee spin-off their forthcoming album Brill Bruisers. According to a press release, the limited edition “Brill Brew” is a Kenya coffee grown by Harrison Kiongo Miti with “flavors of mango, nectarine, and green apple”. “Brill Brew” will be available at Intelligentsia locations as well as online at the band’s merch site beginning August 20.
Each coffee purchased at an Intelligentsia location will come with a digital download card for Brill Bruisers.
Brill Bruisers is out August 25 on Matador.
The New Pornographers:
07-18-20 Pemberton, British Columbia – Pemberton Music Festival
08-08 Minneapolis, MN – Skyline Music Festival
08-29 Edmonton, Alberta – Sonic Boom Festival
08-30 Halifax, Nova Scotia – Sandjam
09-06 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre ^
09-07 Toronto, Ontario – Riot Fest
09-11-14 Victoria, British Columbia – Rifflandia Festival
09-20 Columbus, OH – The LC Pavilion %
10-03-04 Vancouver, British Columbia – The Commodore Ballroom
10-5-06 Seattle, WA – The Showbox *
10-08 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom *
10-09 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory *
10-10 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot *
10-11 Denver, CO – Gothic Theatre *
10-13 Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom *
10-14 Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre *
10-15 Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace *
10-17 Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern *
10-18 San Diego, CA – North Park Theatre *
10-18-19 San Fransisco, CA – Treasure Island Music Festival
11-04 Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom *
11-05 Asheville, NC – Orange Peel *
11-06 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre *
11-07 New Orleans, LA – Civic Theatre *
11-08 Austin, TX – Fun Fun Fun Fest
11-10 St. Louis, MO – The Pageant *
11-11 Omaha, NE – Slowdown *
11-13 Milwaukee, WI – Pabst Theater *
11-14 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre *
11-15 Cleveland, OH – House of Blues *
11-17 New York, NY – Hammerstein Ballroom *
11-19 Boston, MA – House of Blues *
11-20 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
11-21 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
11-23 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle *
* with the Pains of Being Pure at Heart
^ with Perfect Pussy, Pity Sex
% with Iron & Wine, Glass Animals
Watch the New Pornographers’ video for “War On The East Coast”: