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May 29, 2008

Pennsylvania chosen for apocalyptic wasteland

Bookninja � Blog Archive � On (filming) The Road

“The Road” began filming in late February, mostly in and around Pittsburgh, with a later stop in New Orleans and a postproduction visit planned to Mount St. Helens. The producers chose Pennsylvania, one of them, Nick Wechsler, explained, because it’s one of the many states that give tax breaks and rebates to film companies and, not incidentally, because it offered such a pleasing array of post-apocalyptic scenery: deserted coalfields, run-down parts of Pittsburgh, windswept dunes. Chris Kennedy, the production designer, even discovered a burned-down amusement park in Lake Conneaut and an eight-mile stretch of abandoned freeway, complete with tunnel, ideal for filming the scene where the father and son who are the story’s main characters are stalked by a cannibalistic gang traveling by truck.

May 27, 2008

Uwe is back!

With an art-film about prison rape. Yeah. via | Guardian UK | Uwe Boll goes arthouse
According to the Hollywood Reporter Boll is working on two arthouse projects, the first of which is Stoic, a $2m (£1m) true story about a prison rape that is close to being completed. Boll wrote the story outline and encouraged his actors to improvise dialogue. The incident took place in 2006 when three prisoners incarcerated for non-violent crimes raped and tortured a fellow inmate for 10 hours before helping him to hang himself.... Next up will be Janjaweed, another improvised story that will focus on the Sudanese militant Arab units accused of genocide.
When we last saw our hero: Uwe Boll fails

May 07, 2008

Spaced (finally) coming to DVD

Spaced DVDs Arriving Ahead of McG's American Remake | The Underwire from Wired.com

Spaced is the finest nerd comedy ever made. it's also the most ruthlessly honest comedy about what exactly people in their twenties do post-university: do drugs, talk a lot of shit, play video games, dream big, act small and move in with strangers.

Season 1 is good but still struggles to find its feet. Season 2 is the opposite of the sophomore slump. What do you call that again? Oh yeah, improvement. Much like with Buffy or Angel or Farscape or any other tv series that likes to slowly push boundaries, Spaced nails the formula hard in its second season. Whole episodes build slowly to a joke you didn't see coming, and when it arrives it's the humor equivalent of Mike Tyson leaping out of your shower while you're brushing your teeth and uppercutting you.

I'd love to tell you more, but these scenes deserve to not be spoiled. Watch it. Watch the fuck out of it.

Created by the successful team of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Spaced tells the tale of two 20-something Brits (Pegg and Daisy Steiner) who pose as a professional couple to land an apartment.

Running from 1999 to 2001, the show loaded up on rapid-fire references and often spun off into the pleasantly bizarre, earning fans on both sides of the Atlantic and among industry stars like Eddie Izzard, Eli Roth, Matt Stone, Kevin Smith and Judd Apatow. Now, Spaced: The Complete Series will arrive on DVD July 22.

May 05, 2008

Feminists love Mad Men

Pandagon :: The seeds of the culture war sprout here :: May :: 2008

The first season of “Mad Men” is set in 1960, which means it’s an exceedingly relevant program for modern times, because it’s this turning point in time that all culture war madness turns off of. When conservatives talk bitterly about the 60s, it’s because they romanticize the 50s as the ultimate moment of the American patriarchy, and to varying degrees, also the last gasp of blatant white supremacy, a utopia of white male dominance that was cruelly snatched away and needs to be restored through government intervention.

It’s clear from the get-go that “Mad Men” is going to be a show about how the 50s weren’t really as the romantic images show us, and that’s a message that’s a little well-worn at this point. We know that single women were treated like prey (the show mercifully namechecks its obvious predecessor, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, which came out in 1960 and made many of the same points through dark comedy), housewives were so stifled they were losing their minds, the country was so racist that merely having an Italian-American work a position in a major advertising firm was treated like a huge step forward, and that men treated their female coworkers like dumb bunnies, too stupid for real work and mainly existing for typing, coffee-fetching, and sexual release. Sure, your average conservative who gets teary-eyed at the thought of “Leave It To Beaver” apparently needs a harsh reminder, but for those of us who know better, “the 50s weren’t as great as they were said to be” is a well-trod fact.

But because this is a TV show and there’s plenty of time available to the writers, they lift the show out of cliche-land, by dint of their ability to really make each character a fully realized human being just trying to get by under the weight of social expectations. And that also means that the women get to be fully realized characters, too, even though the show has the word “men” right in the title. . . . .