Archives For Tom Tykwer

Sometimes a film just begs to be discussed. It’s not always a great film, or a film that everyone loves, but it’s always a film with a lot of interesting parts. Trying to add all those parts together is too much fun to resist. Such is the case with Cloud Atlas, the new film adaptation of the David Mitchell novel, co-directed by Tom Tywer and the Wachowski’s.

For this week’s episode, I was joined for the second time by Kristen Sales (@salesonfilm and writer at Who Got The Role) as well as Christopher Runyon (@CGRunyon and Cineffect). The discussion was long and wide-ranging. And when I say long, I mean it. Two whole hours of Cloud Atlas talk covering just about everything we could think of, from the qualities of the adaptation to the music to the acting to the thematic resonance or lack thereof. So settle in and enjoy the show.

If you have any feedback on Cloud Atlas, this episode, or the show in general, don’t hesitate to email me at coreyatad@gmail.com.

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TIFF’12: The Great Wrap-Up

September 18, 2012 — 6 Comments

Another year, another TIFF. The first movie I ever saw at the Toronto International Festival was Juno in 2007. It was the only film I saw that year, and my friend and I chose it completely on a whim, not knowing anything about it until we got to a wifi hotspot to check it out. The next year, 2008, I saw ten films, including Synecdoche, New York and Slumdog Millionaire. Each year since, I’ve pretty much gone “full TIFF” and seen as many films as I could fit in. This year, 2012, I broke my record from 2009 for the number of films I watched. It was also the most exhausting year of TIFF for me, not only because of the number of films, but because I squeezed that higher number into fewer days.

Seeing so many films in so few days has its advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious are the disadvantages. I’m sure anyone who has seriously done a film festival has been subsequently asked by others, “can you even remember all the films you watch?” Well, yes. Yes, I can. But there is a kernel of truth to the question/accusation. Ask me which films I saw at TIFF’12 and I’m going to start drawing blanks. Remind me of a specific film and it’ll all come back to me, but when I consider them all in a group it’s difficult to separate one from the other. The other major disadvantage is the exhaustion. Watching twenty or thirty or fifty films in a little over a week sometimes sounds to people like an easy vacation. Sit back, in the dark, watch movies. Only, at a festival you aren’t usually there to watch films passively. The mind is constantly working and processing and that’s tiring, especially when hours get thrown out of whack and it becomes so hard to find time for a meal that you sometimes forget to eat at all. Watching a silly movie like Ghost Graduation might be okay when you’re exhausted, but what about when it’s a new Terrence Malick film? Was my reaction to that film too heavily influenced by the fact that I’d rather have been sleeping? It’s hard to say.

Still, the advantages are there. Seeing films with like-minded people is one of the best things about the experience. For the most part, the people who come to a movie at the festival WANT to be watching a movie at the festival. These aren’t the chatters or texters or other sorts of assholes who regular ruin the moviegoing experience. At TIFF, generally, it’s an appreciative audience of fellow film lovers. They’re respectful to the films and to the people around them. There’s also something to be said for being in a cinematic state of mind. Normally, throughout the year, I intersperse movies amongst all sorts of other things. During the festival it’s all movies all the time. My brain is set to movie-mode. That’s what I’m built to think about and process and enjoy. I could never do that year round, but for about eleven days per year it certainly works. And none of that touches on the chance to see films that either may never be released or may be months or years away from coming out. I saw The Loved Ones at Midnight Madness back in 2009, and it only got a release in the US this Summer, and is finally coming out on DVD here this month.

But enough thoughts about film festivals in general; let’s talk TIFF’12! CLick to read more.

TIFF’12: Day 4

September 16, 2012 — 2 Comments

Day 4 and already I’m hit with film festival exhaustion. It might sound like an easy thing to do nothing but watch films for several days. I’m here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth. Films require a kind of mental attention. Watching more than two in a row tires out the mind. Factor in the fact that at a festival as big as TIFF you’re also running all over town, standing in line-ups, getting up early, going to sleep late, and by the end of it you feel like you’re going to collapse.

All that being said, a film festival is a gloriously fun thing. It’s exhausting, but also rewarding. And even when the films themselves aren’t rewarding, the people you meet and hang out with make it all worthwhile. The night before I’d stayed up until 3am finishing off Cloud Atlas so that I’d have read it all before seeing the new film adaptation. It was worth it. Click to read more.

I’m not much of a reader. I mean, I love to read, but I don’t do it nearly as much as I’d like to, or even as much as I should. This year, though, I’ve read a fair number of books, at least for me. Weirdly, though, my book-reading often intersects with my movie-watching, and sometimes my TV-watching. It’s usually the movies that inspire me to read.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s like this. There are just so many books out there, and so many are considered great, and so many are considered classics; it’s difficult to know which books to read at any moment in time. That’s why inspiration is important. A little nudging. Sometimes it’s the nudging from a friend, or a teacher, or an employee at a bookstore. Sometimes you’re looking to your idols, trying to soak in the same books that influenced them. For me, it’s usually something to do with movies. Click to read more.

It happens sometimes. You go see a mediocre movie, or even a bad movie, and you come away feeling pretty indifferent to it all, except for one scene or sequence. John Carter, for example, has loads of problems, though it’s generally a fun time at the movies. But there’s one very emotional action scene in the film that takes things to a whole other level. It’s so good you almost wonder how it ended up surrounded by such a flawed film. You’d think the people who could come up with that one scene could have made the entire movie that perfect. John Carter isn’t the only example of this. It does raise the question, though, is it worth seeing an entire film just for one scene? Click to read more.