47 FILMS: 29. NEAR DARK

In our continuing series of 47 films to watch before you are murdered in your dreams, we look at Katheryn Bigelow’s rural vampire yarn Near Dark.

The eighties began with a cool Tony Scott addition to the vampire mythos The Hunger, starring Susan Sarandon, Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie, but by the middle of the decade the old blood suckers were more likely to pop up in a comedy context like Fright Night, or brat pack packages like The Lost Boys. Katheryn Bigelow however was eager to do something different. She wanted a vampire crossover and so Near Dark was born – a Vampire Western, where a young aw shucks cowboy called Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) gets seduced and bitten out on the prairie by Mae (Jenny Wright). As he starts to turn he is rescued from a sun-blistered combustion by the family led by Jesse (Lance Henrikson) and featuring Bill Paxton as a wild and fun-loving vampire who thoroughly enjoys the hunt and the feeding. They reluctantly accept Caleb on condition he pulls his weight by killing, but it is something Caleb is unable to bring himself to do, relying on Mae to give him the top up he needs to continue. Meanwhile, his Marlboro man father and young sister trail the badlands and back roads looking for sign of him.

Only Bigelow’s second feature – check out if you can her amazing debut The Loveless, a biker movie starring Willem Dafoe! – she throws the atmospheric kitchen sink, back lighting silhouettes whenever the opportunity affords. The stand out moment of the film is when the family invade a red neck bar to get some of the red they so thirstily crave. It’s a gruesome and humorous interlude in the story. Henrikson and Paxton are great value for money and Joshua John Miller as the little boy vampire Homer has some of the pathos of Let the Right One In, many years later. Bigelow and co-writer Eric Red (who would also write The Hitcher!) never quite shake of the need for a white bread family ending, but the lingering images are those of bullet riddled rooms letting int he deadly daylight, hellish spontaneous combustion and finding out why he doesn’t want the beer but he does want the glass.

For more of our 47 Films Click Here.

5 FACTS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT POINT BREAK

HOLLYWOOD – The first trailer for the Point Break remake caused waves today, then surfed those waves with CGI like style, but what do we actually know about Point Break?

We sent the Studio Exec FACT squad, wearing masks of former presidents, to heist the shit out of the Point Break FACT vault and this is our haul:

1. The original Point Break came out in 1991, was directed by Kathryn Bigelow and starred Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves and was made famous by the line ‘Nobody puts baby in the corner’, when Patrick Swayze finally gets Keanu to dance in front of his uptight parents.

2. Keanu Reeves plays Johnny Utah, but revealed in a recent interview that he has never been to Utah.

3. The script of Point Break was written by the Wachowski siblings. They later revealed that the whole film was actually a prequel to the Matrix and if you look carefully you can see several glitches which reveal the Matrix at work. The line ‘Not too bright’ apparently came from an episode that happened to Patrick Swayze while making the film, when he tried to eat a jar of gherkins with his hands tied behind his back.

4. Patrick Swayze almost died while making the film and this gave him the idea of writing and directing Ghost, in which he starred with Bruce Willis.

5. The events the film depicted were based on a true story that Gary Busey experienced while on mescaline.

For more FACTS click HERE.

APPLE RELEASE PICTURE OF JENNIFER LAWRENCE’S HACKED CLOUD

CUPERTINO, CA – In an attempt to repair some bad publicity, Apple have released a photograph of the Cloud hacked  early last week and from which naked ‘selfies’ of hundreds of celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence, were ‘untimely ripped’.

A spokesperson for the tech company walked Studio Exec through the photo:

As you can see the Cloud isn’t as big as many people assume. We’ve always believed that size is not particularly important when it comes to security, but perhaps we were wrong. If you look at the image closely, on the far right a little bit of the Cloud has detached and that is a result of the hacking.

What happened?

We’re trying to reconstruct what happened even now but our latest hypothesis is that hackers went up to the Cloud in helicopters and then lowered each other towards the Cloud using ropes. Here they used ordinary hacksaws to breach the Cloud and snatch the nude pictures. This is totally uncool and we are absolutely bummed here at Apple, but if they were ever to make a movie out of it I think Kathryn Bigelow would be like a rad choice.

Apple have assured its users that a new Cloud is being constructed and all the data and selfies and what not will be rained onto that Cloud and absorbed. They have also confirmed that they have installed a new app which can detect anyone typing the words ‘Jennifer’ and ‘Lawrence’ and ‘nude’ and ‘selfies’ in any particular order and electrocute the typist with like a million volts of electricity. The same will also go for anyone typing Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kirsten Dunst or basically any girl’s name.

For more of this rare quality news just click around the site at random, and tell your friends. If you have any.

CIA TO GET LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AT THE OSCARS

It was confirmed today that the CIA will  be awarded a lifetime achievement award at the 85th Academy Awards (also popularly known as the Oscars) which will be dished out on the 24th of February, 2013. The award comes after a hugely successful year for the Intelligence Service which has been picking up award after award for its operatives. The New York Critics Circle gave Agent Bigelow a prize for her film Zero Dark Thirty, Agent Claire Danes and Special Agent Jessica Chastain both won awards at the Golden Globes earlier for their roles in respectively Homeland and Zero Dark Thirty

Another agency operative Ben Affleck has also gained critical recognition for Argo, in which Mr. Affleck plays a man wearing a beard.
Some are arguing that the announcement of the award is an attempt to free up the field for other films, but others counter that it represents changing attitudes to the CIA and that America has learned to love its spooks. Resident expert Xavier Poulis had this to say:

If you look at the past we have The Good Shepherd and Three Days of the Condor, films which are very critical of any intelligence service. But now everyone loves a spy. There is a sense of immense gratitude and the Oscar award is proof of that.

The flood of Hollywood counter intelligence seems set to continue with a new Transformers film due to start filming this year. 

 

XAVIER POULIS: DIRECTORS WEAR HATS

Many people think that directing is all about under standing the text of the script, having an individual visual style and motivating actors. All that’s bullshit. It’s about wearing the right hat. Proceed resident Swiss Cinema Expert and millinery muffin, Xavier Poulis:
Charlie Chaplin always directed films in his favourite hat which was loaned to Alfred Hitchcock, or Hitch – as he preferred to be known – while directing The Birds, to huge acclaim.  


 Marty Scorsese never wears hats these days and spends thousands of dollar a year on his wiry locks, but in the free and easy days of the seventies and under the influence of Roger Corman, Martin wore this little man from Delmonte number.

Steven Spielberg has no money and so often has to resort to advertising his own films on the top of his head and just above his petulant face. Look at how bitter he is. An angry disappointed man, what in Switzerland we would call a ‘man’. 

Howdy there! Mr David Lynch, no Eraserhead he! But rather a full on Stetson that the crazy squirrel sandwich eater sports with a happy go lucky grin as he prepares go ape shit at a ho-down. Yeee-Ha!

What a Maverick! When he’s not busy criticizing films he hasn’t actually seen, Spike Lee rocks in this erm… What the fuck is that? To forsake his usual baseball cap for this is bizarre get up is truly the act of a rebel but on the other hand, well, it is very, very funny. Go for it, Spike! Just for once, Do the Wrong Thing!

And finally Kathryn Bigelow shows that it isn’t only the boys who can have fun. One night in Baghdad and no head gear to hand, the Bourne-like Bigelow steals into a local carpet shop and Voilà! No Muslim need feel offended at her Western decadence! And let the torture commence!

BREAKFAST WITH ASSHOLES: 13: KATHRYN BIGELOW

Bacon and eggs, toast, waffles, grits, grapefruit juice, sleep deprivation and water-boarding.

Kathryn Bigelow invites me in. Her kitchen is full of sunlight and there is a radio on. She looks a little frazzled what with the controversy surrounding her latest film Zero Dark Thirty. ‘Do you think making these films about the military – Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty – have changed you in anyway?’ I ask.
‘Sir, no sir!’ she barks.

To my surprise we continue through the kitchen and into the basement, where Kathryn shows me the way to what looks like a cell. Concrete walls and a small cot. Before I know what’s happened, Kathryn has me changed into an orange boiler suit and a bag is taped over my face.
‘Did you like the film?’ she asks. ‘What did you think of Chastain?’
‘She was great,’ I cried. ‘And Mark Strong’s accent was flawless.’
Before I knew it I was being leant backward over what felt like an ironing board. And something qwas poured over my face. I gasped for breath.
‘What about Point Break?’ she said. ‘What did you think of Swayze?’
‘He’s …’ I gasped. How could I say what I really thought? ‘He’s …’
‘WHAT?’
‘A limited actor with a vague iconic presence.’
The bag is off and I’m gasping for air. She offers me a cigarette. ‘You okay?’
I nod shivering and spluttering.
‘What do you think? Does Zero Dark Thirty advocate torture?’ she asks, as she fetches coffee.
‘Well, there’s definitely an ambiguity there,’ I say. ‘What are those wires?’
When I finish bucking and jerking and the last shivers of agonizing electricity finds its way out of my body, I scream through clenched teeth, ‘You were just objectively trying to tell a story in a very difficult period in history.’
She plays it back. And then has me sign the release. And we go upstairs for waffles.

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BIGELOW AND HOOPER SET FOR ‘OPERATION: PET GOAT’

‘Turn the book around, Mr President’

Riding high on her recent Oscar nomination for Zero Dark Thirty, film director and torture fan, Kathryn Bigelow has announced a collaboration between herself and Tom Hooper, director of Oscar nominated Les Miserables and Oscar smash The King’s Speech. The project is based on that fateful morning of September 11th, 2001 when President George Bush continued to read The Pet Goat to children at Emma E. Booker Elementary school after learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

‘It was the worst day in America’s history, and there’s a whole untold story of a female CIA operative who assisted President Bush in reading,’ said the Academy Award winning Bigelow. ‘We focus on the President’s reading sessions, with the operative reading The Pet Goat to Bush via earpiece. As he tries to mouth the sentences, things get really tense.’

Bigelow will be co-writing the screenplay with director Hooper, whose The King’s Speech blew the academy – quite literally – away.

‘I’ve just always been obsessed with men who can’t talk,’ said Hooper, noting the casting of Russell Crowe in Les Miserables, and his Ozzy Osbourne biopic Blizzard of Ozz which has been in development hell since 2000.

He also spoke of the casting of OPERATION: PET GOAT: ‘This was an important historic event, realism is top priority.’ With this in mind none other than Andy Serkis has been chosen to fill the shoes of the former President. Serkis most recently reprised his role as Gollum in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and also played the title role in the 2005 remake of King Kong. “Andy’s amazing abilities coupled with the incredible effects work of Weta workshop, we believe he’ll capture the mannerisms of President Bush and turn in another great performance.”

The film – which will most likely be an Oscar contender – is set to begin filming in early 2014.

KATHRYN BIGELOW PLANS WAR ON TERROR TRILOGY

GUANTANAMO – Oscar winning director Kathryn Bigelow has stated that she plans to close her War on Terror trilogy that began with the Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty with a new film called Dirty Dark Locker.

The new film will star Garry Shandling as a CIA intelligence officer who finds Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq but who is told to bury them in the desert by Washington politicians who believe that finding the weapons is ‘not PC’ and might in fact be racist.

Cheap


Col. Bigelow – as she prefers to be called – has already come under fire for her claim that torture led to the capture and execution of Bin Laden (it did not), but is unrepentant and looks ready to stir up even more controversy with her new film.

People say that your films have an overly romantic view of the American military. Is that true?

Sir, no, sir. Hurt Locker was critical of the established military even as it praised the heroes, the men on the ground. 

But with Zero Dark Thirty you propose the idea that torture led to the finding of Osama Bin Laden when this idea is disputed from even within the intelligence and defence communities. Why?

Permission to speak candidly sir.

Granted. 

I really like 24 and that was what I was thinking. I was thinking, 24  would be a good thing if if it were to be true. And that way Jessica Chastain can make up for that Tree of Life bullshit.  

And your new film claims that the WMD were actually found and so justifies retrospectively George Bush’s war even if all the evidence is against it. 

 I watched Paul Greengrass’ Green Zone and when it ended I thought bullshit man. They didn’t find a goddam thing. I know that that is the reality but I like films which are like not the reality. And so that’s what I did. 

And why did you cast Garry Shandling?

He was cheap, sir.