Archive for October, 2009

Halloween Treats I

Things are coming up, and I am actually getting pretty excited, for a guy who hasn’t gotten a real costume together more than a day early in three years.

In the spirit of the rapidly approaching NJFA Halloween Spectacular, here are a few things I have been finding fun around this time of the year:

*Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness 3

(link)

This one is pretty straightforward: one review/recap of a classic horror movie a day for the whole month of October. They’re done by the same guy who does the Angry Video Game Nerd videos, but not in the same character. Even if you’re predisposed to not really be into it, consider checking it out. He usually speaks pretty intelligently about this stuff, adding in a lot of historical insight and information about how the films were made. I’ve been a long time fan, but I think even newcomers would be up for a three-minute video a day. Check it out.

*Dead Man’s Bones – s/t

(myspace)

Halloween seems to be a more acceptable holiday to base your band around than any other. As far as not being totally goofy (I am look at you, Transiberian orchestra), at least.

What I’m really trying to say here is this: Ryan Gosling (The Notebook, Half Nelson, Lars and the Real Girl) has a band called Dead Man’s Bones that is surprisingly pretty cool for a Halloween-folk band led by mid-level heartthrob. It’s pretty perfect for this time of year. I actually only sat down and listened to it start to finish today, but I foresee it getting a lot of play as October wears on. It has some awesome artwork, too.

There’s a good few songs on the MySpace (linked above). Here’s one of my personal favorite tracks, conveniently located only one click away:

Dead Man’s Bones – My Body’s a Zombie for You

If you don’t like it, you might not be much fun. Just sayin’.

*Atlas Sound – Two Halloween Dances & Coffin Trick

Last year, Deerhunter frontman/ultra-prolific songster Atlas Sound (real name Bradford Cox) release three Halloween tracks between these two releases (a virtual 7’’ and a digital single). These are a little less listening friendly that Dead Man’s Bones, but one or two of them have found their way onto a Halloween playlist thing I’ve had brewing. If I end up happy enough with it, maybe I’ll put it up here for download a bit closer to Halloween. We will see!

For now, here’s links to the Atlas Sound stuff:

Atlas Sound – Two Halloween Dances (virtual 7’’)

Atlas Sound – Coffin Trick (digital single)

Both have pretty nice original art, too, if you like pictures that make you think of Halloween in the 1990s. I mean, I like that, at least.

This is part one of (hopefully) several. More soon.

Anyway, if any of this stuff seems cool, feel free to drop off a comment.

Peter // NJFA

Film school rant: What ever happened to entertainment?

Good evening, I’m Molly and I’m one of several programming directors in NJFA. This is my first ever blog entry. Just so you know, I’m an undergraduate student and I study English and cinema studies. Also, I occasionally mumble my way through some French classes.

So far, today has been a rather filmy day for me. I had a few film classes, and a screening of “Bicycle Thieves.” After spending my day discussing Vertov, Eisenstein, and Italian neo-realism, I was obviously desperate for entertainment. I am now watching “Ghostbusters.”

In three years of studying film at the college level, I’ve realized that a lot of my professors and fellow students are just plain snobs. I don’t think I’ve ever studied a film that fared well at the box office, and why not? It’s not like a film’s quality and its popularity are inversely proportional. Say what you want about Diablo Cody, “Juno” was a wonderfully-written cultural phenomenon. Why doesn’t anyone mention it in film class? And no one can argue that Quentin Tarantino is a fantastic director, yet he’s never come up in one of my classes.

Also, you’d think that after the death of John Hughes this summer, at least one of my film professors would have mentioned “The Breakfast Club” or “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” both of which are classics. Teen movies are entertaining and full of social commentary, but apparently none of my film professors has ever heard of the genre. I’m sick of studying movies that I can barely sit through without falling asleep.

I hope that through NJFA, we can bring to light some high-quality, interesting, and most importantly, ENTERTAINING movies that not everyone would normally see. A movie can be smart and appealing at the same time, and there’s nothing wrong with comedy. Hopefully my professors will realize that before I graduate next May. Meanwhile, I’ll be watching the highest-grossing indie movie ever, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and taking notes.