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The New Rules of Horror. [Aug. 26th, 2008|03:20 pm]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
We used to have certain social mores in the West that manifested themselves in films as morality lessons: the virginal teen queen survived many attempted butcherings while her horny friends became sliced and diced; characters, as spoofed in the Scream franchise, who said they would be right back from an errand are killed off before they can return; never run upstairs toward the boudoir when you you should be running out the door.

And since Psycho (1960 of course), characters are unable to bathe or shower without becoming lunchmeat.

Premarital sex and cohabitation have become accepted in society at large, and women have become more empowered, leading to a
decrease in the rape-revenge survival horror that was so popular in the 1970s and 80s. Rape-revenge horror has been replaced by a new niche subgenre called torture porn, which is not horror, let alone cinema.

Therefore, for the arguments demonstrated above, we need new rules to reflect modernity.

These are The New Rules of Horror.

1. If you hear Muse, run for your life or hide (Danny Boyle movies). Muse is good for showing supreme isolation, but is also good music for zombies to chase you to.

2. Have all the sex you want, but don't become pregnant. (This has come around from the obvious Omen franchise, but has updated itself in movies such as The Eye II and À l'intérieur ("Inside")).

3. Do not ever move to Japan. Don't even visit. Probably not Korea either.

4. Your cell phone won't get reception when your car is broken down in the Ozarks, so make sure your vehicle has
GPS. It will be one time that you are glad Big Brother is watching.

5. If you survive your first encounter with the monster/event/ghost, you will probably die in the second (The Grudge, Hills Have Eyes, Final Destination).

6. Don't get a unique tattoo or piercing. It will be used as a visual device to make sure your friends know you were eaten by/torn apart by/
the monster/ghost/event.

7. Unlike the 80s and a lot of the 90s, if you are part of a happy couple, at least one of the two of you is not making it out alive. Better give your partner candy bars and start your running regimen now.

8. If you are behind the camera filming your terrifying ordeal, you almost guarantee you will make it as long or longer than any of your friends (Blair Witch Project, [Rec], Cloverfield, Diary of the Dead). You are more likely to remain calm when your reality is filtered through the camera, and this helps when you are running from things that want to kill you.

9. Look out for environmental damage, toxic spills, and climate catastrophes around you. These will mutant animals and other humans into objects that thirst for carnage.

10. If you ever hear of a pharmaceutical company that wants to experiment with age-defying skin treatments, alert consumer watchdog Ralph Nader right away.
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Documentary. [May. 31st, 2008|09:50 pm]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film

On The Verge - The Smash EDO Campaign Film
SchMovies, 2008

(posted to cinemaficionado and antiwar)

Which is less comforting? That the state authorities are so stupid that they don't think passionate activists will notice their ham-fisted attempts at illegal control over us? Or that they are actually behaving intelligently, in ways we can't understand, and are only letting us think they are stupid? As much as our leaders deny any indications of Orwellian nightmare, I'm sure they would prefer us to think the latter.

The story of On The Verge is one of the police being forced to show their true allegiances, by a group of civilians with everything against them. EDO MBM is a company with a factory based in Brighton that makes bomb racks, release clips and arming mechanisms for warplanes. They sell to the militaries of the UK, U.S., Australia and Israel, thus making possible the war crimes those countries are complicit in. Since 2004 it has been the unwilling host of hundreds of non-violent but sometimes confrontational protests, and in April 2005 sought a huge injunction around the factory, so thorough and geographically wide that it would have kept one protester from living in his house. The name of the film comes from the fact that during the year long trial – which failed to get a permanent injunction and cost EDO over a million pounds – protesters were confined to a narrow grass verge across the street from the factory. Patchy information indicates that senior members of Sussex Police tried to trump up the threat the activists posed by increasing the number of arrests – which are shown to be bogus on film - in collusion with the company directors, in order to get the injunction. This is just one of a number of tricks the police have employed to make clear that their dedication to law-keeping stops dead at the national border.

The film itself has been subject to oppression, a term the police appear to be unaware encompasses behaviour beyond swinging their batons. The premiere at the Duke of Yorks Cinema in Brighton was cancelled after police contacted the local council to tell them the film didn't have a BBFC certification (the police denied any involvement but quickly had to backtrack). Then venues in half a dozen towns across the country received similar treatment, despite the fact that micro-budget films have always existed without classifications. The police then had the gall to say they had nothing to do with any of it (or the subsequent boost in interest, presumably). On The Verge, understandably, spends a lot of time detailing various legal happenings over the course of the campaign. These events should concern anyone who doesn't want to live in a police state. This is not just a film about arms dealing.

But should it have been more so? It is a paradox that such an internationalist issue becomes very domestic. The film is inspiring, anger-inducing and amusing, a feat given that, so often, footage of protests can't in any way capture how exciting it is to be there. However I can't help but feel that more arguments against arms dealing and the racism embedded in it would have been good. Like that the industry is purely exhibitionist and profiteering, contributing nothing to the economy, or that it would never be politically acceptable to fire missiles at wealthy white people. Is it possible at all that the police, knowing how rightly wary the public now is of anything government associated, is willing to burn its last piece of credibility in order to keep the discussion away from these topics, the very ones we protested against in the first place? Does this not fit the fairly logical belief that business power towers above those of our supposed representatives?

For those of us far away from Brighton, it might seem that SchNEWS - whose video activists made the film - has, increasingly over the past few years, simply been indulging in reporting a local campaign. On The Verge addresses this concern at the same time that, for me, it gave a fantastic realisation. Even if we think anyone taking part in the trade of weapons deserves to be stopped, if we're going to put a lot of our effort into one target, would it not make more sense to pick a target that makes the parts that actually kill people? Wouldn't this make our argument more clear to the general public?

The reason for both the choice of campaign and its heavy independent coverage is that we have a good chance of winning there: when you want to break a chain, you go after the weakest link. The EDO factory is that link. We couldn't be optimistic at this point about closing a Rolls Royce facility, or indeed the Ministry of Defence. It is an open acknowledgement that the weapons dealers are our enemies. We are not going to play nice with the roughest business of them all. Quite aside from their aims of killing from 20,000 feet, the arms industry does not play fair on the political front: they rely on secrecy, knowing full well that the majority of people would be horrified at such a fundamentally deadly trade that takes place for the benefit of the few. A campaign like Smash EDO starts a public debate they know they can't win.

Will the closure of EDO MBM send shockwaves through the industry, as the campaign professes? There's only one way to find out.

The film can now be downloaded or purchased: www.smashedo.org.uk
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Mega list. [Mar. 18th, 2007|11:09 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film

Hello there. This post is rather fiendishly self-indulgent, but maybe it will be of some interest. Way back in September I posted a list in my journal, of every film I could remember I had seen. It had five-hundred and something titles. Under the cut here is the revised list, now with 777 titles. Some of them are old ones I remembered, but most new additions are ones I've seen since. I meant to post this when I got to 750, but I shot past that number.

Se7enhundred and Se7enty-Se7enCollapse )

I want to do a Top 100, but I feel like I should wait until this list is at 1000 to be justified. I am off to add to it right now (Hollywoodland, Casino Royale).
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Anniversary of Malcolm X's Assassination - Film Guide. [Feb. 21st, 2007|06:44 pm]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
In honor of the fallen civil rights leader, I am suggesting the following films, which do not in any way compose a comprehensive list. Please add your own suggestions in the comments if you like.

  • Spike Lee's biopic, Malcolm X
  • Roots
  • When We Were Kings
  • Glory
  • Rosewood
  • Amistad
  • Our Friend Martin
  • Beloved
  • The Color Purple
  • Ghosts of Mississippi
  • Cry, the Beloved Country
  • Blackboard Jungle
  • Porgy and Bess
  • A Raisin in the Sun
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • To Sir With Love
  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
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Poll: Most Controversial Themes. [Jan. 31st, 2007|08:39 pm]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
The last 10 films are as follows. I would include them in the poll, but the poll limits a user to having 15 choices.

  • United 93
  • Freaks
  • I Am Curious (Yellow)
  • Basic Instinct
  • Cannibal Holocaust
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Do the Right Thing
  • Kids
  • Caligula
  • Aladdin
What do you reckon will be future most controversial noms (either ones that have just been released or are in production)?

Hounddog sure seems like a likely candidate due to recent allegations of child pornography. Would you like to weigh in on that movie?

Edit: My poll is being stupid and won't let anyone (including me!) view the answers. Help!

[Error: Invalid poll ID 918130]
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Best Films You've Missed In '06 [Jan. 5th, 2007|02:39 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
This nature of my question is sort of a paradox, because how can you know a film is good if you haven't seen it, etc. So despite the extremely speculative nature of my question, please roll with me.

The Screen Actors Guild recently revealed their picks for best picture this year including The Departed, Little Miss Sunshine, and Babel.

I've missed several good films (or at least films I anticipate as being good) from '06, including but not limited to the following: Babel, The Departed, For Your Consideration, Half Nelson, Blood Diamond, Volver, Venus, Last King of Scotland.

What are some movies you guys have missed this year, why you want to see them, and why you missed them? Answer any way you please in any format or length you like.

I'll go ahead an answer my own question.

I am really disappointed I haven't seen Babel. I've heard great things about it, as well as the performances from both Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.  I wanted to see it because I love Blanchett, the trailer looked stellar, I thought the premise was compelling, and the tagline ("If You Want to be Understood...Listen ") caught my attention. It was in the cinemas here in Tampa Bay for about 2 weeks before moving along and no one wanted to see it because they hadn't heard about it. I wish I had just gone alone. Do you ever see films alone?

If you want to make your own posts about the best movies you've seen this year, what you are looking forward to in 2007, or just any random thoughts, please go for it. Posts from any members are highly encouraged.
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Your leader is a fraud! [Oct. 29th, 2006|10:15 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film

The creator of this group has been putting you all on. She has claimed to be a Cinema Afficionado, and has has doubtless convinced many of you that she "knows" about movies. This, along with most other supposed facets of her personality, is a complete lie.
How do I know all this? What led me to out BulldogMafia as the cinemaphobe she is? I'll tell you: she confused Ferris Bueller's Day Off with Better Off Dead.
Yes, during a conversation I had with your fearless leader, I mentioned that I had just seen Better Off Dead (a wonderful wonderful movie that I'm sure you've seen, but that you should see again as soon as possible), to which she replied, "The part I always think of when I think about that movie is when they are trying to get the miles off by going in reverse and the car goes out the window." I tried to help her out, saying, "That's Ferris Bueller's Day Off, honey," but she persisted! "No way," she replied, thinking she would know better than someone that had just seen the movie, and has seen FBDO about thirty times...I guess you tell a lie so many times and you start to believe it yourself. Anyway, I set her straight amidst her pleas to "never tell anyone about this," a request that I would have honored had things worked out differently. Unfortunately, another of her lies caught up with her and she forced me into posting all this. I hope you put this information to good use; my suggestion is a coup to take over this community and put it where it belongs: in the hands of people that like movies and know movies.
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(no subject) [Oct. 24th, 2006|06:14 pm]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film

figured this would be a good place to discuss/post this!

there's been a lot posted on forums, youtube, myspace & such about the new indie film that's coming out, 'elvis & anabelle'. checked out the site (http://www.elvisandanabelle.com) and it looked really cool.

stars blake lively (girl from 'accepted' and 'the sisterhood of the traveling pants') as a hardcore Texas beauty pageant queen who dies, comes back to life, and falls in love with the local outcast mortician (max minghella, in 'syriana' and 'art school confidential'). has some really morbid parts, which makes it be a little more twisted than the usual teen romance (zzzzz). i heard it comes out in theatres this winter.

anyone else know more about it/know where to find more?
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Review: The Prestige [Oct. 21st, 2006|10:34 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film
The Prestige, with minimal spoilersCollapse )
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Pretty Easy Quiz [Oct. 10th, 2006|12:40 am]
Cinema Aficionado: The Rudiments of Film

Here's 10 pretty easy movie quotes.

cutCollapse )

Send answers to LukeTheRunner@gmail.com; tell all your friends; no cheating; answers revealed on Thursday.
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