The State of Films In Summer 2006
Another lackluster set of summer blockbusters is only halfway through its run and the cause of the stench emanating from Hollywood is already up and running [http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/07/30/0021236]. William H Macy sums it up nicely in this AICN interview [http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=23998]:
“[T.V.] certainly is the place to be, it’s the place everyone’s going.”
With audiences leaving the cinemas in favour of a beer and a DVD in their own home, FilmFour [http://www.channel4.com/film/]seems to have timed it perfectly to become the UK’s first-to-be-free digital film channel, launching last Saturday (July 29) with Lost In Translation - a fitting tombstone epitaph for blockbusters in the decade of the digital download where the greatest movie hype is in the hands of the fanboys. Witness if you will the drooling over Superman Returns and the latest Star Warsfan-made movie announcements translate into the best will in the world for both movies only to have the latter beat the former hands down in popularity and percentage profit.
Fans are what drives a film these days - that and canny advertising. Hmm, didn’t The Blair Witch Project essentially invent viral marketing? Kevin Smith knows this. His Clerks 2 film has been well documented by video diaries [http://www.clerks2.com] (yay TrainWreck) and Kevin’s own blog [http://www.silentbobspeaks.com]. He’s also humble enough to know that without a loyal fanbase the film wouldn’t have broken even on opening weekend meaning DVD sales will be pure profit. And he’s thanked 10,000 of them in the credits at the end of the movie too. Neat idea? Well yes, to all bar L.A. Weekly critic Nikki Finke [http://silentbobspeaks.com/?p=269]. Still, at least she still believes she’s right - Mick LaSalle, over at the SF Chronicle basically had his critical credentials slow roasted by animation historians [http://www.boingboing.net/2006/07/31/animation_historians.html] recently with no sign of rebuttal on his part. Just as well they also had something to celebrate with the recreation of The Thief and the Cobbler finally complete [http://www.boingboing.net/2006/06/22/thief_and_the_cobble.html]. Bond fans will also be happy to note that Casino Royale had finished shooting at Pinewood before the 007 stage and the recreation of Venice inside burnt almost to the ground at the weekend [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5228794.stm] (see pic above and BBC videos [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm]). Officials have said it will be demolished and rebuilt [http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/1/hi/entertainment/5231392.stm], which is good. Hope Daniel Craig and co don’t need reshoots then.
P.S. I couldn’t help noticing Whitedust’s security article entitled Fun Things To Do With Your Honeypot [http://www.whitedust.net/article/65/Fun%20Things%20To%20Do%20With%20Your%20Honeypot/] and hear it read by Kenneth Williams. Carry on Hacking anyone? Maybe not, but in the same genre at least, William Gibson links to the trailer for Burst City, a film that “puts the punk into cyberpunk” like nothing else.
P.P.S. It’s a bit late, but well done to Nicole Kidman for tying the knot [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/5110220.stm]. You’ve been married since June 25 which means you’ve already outlasted several celebrity marriages I can think of [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/showbiz/3366529.stm]. I hope you outstay the strange dianetically-challenged one you weren’t strictly ever married to. Apparently. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5107086.stm]Posted on August 2, 2006 #Nothing in Particular