Growing up with the animated versions of the Disney movies that are now being made into “live-action” incarnations, there is a twinge of skepticism that I feel whenever I see a trailer for one. But as I watch the trailer for “The Jungle Book,” it feels a bit different than the rambunctious cartoon I watched as a young child. I’m actually very curious how the story is told and how the animals are created digitally. I want to embark upon a dream-space in the jungle, where I can imagine myself as Mowgli, and reflect on the relationship between humanity and nature. Will it end up being just a glorified rehash of the 1967 animated version of the story? Or will my inner nostalgia buff be satisfied with enough nods to the former version, while still introducing new ideas and imagery? I will be seeing it tonight, and hoping for the latter… to rediscover an old text through director Jon Favreau’s eyes. Let the adventure begin.
View showtimes for the Jungle Book here!
Getting ready for Halloween is one of my cherished times of the year. I start hoarding skull travel cups from the drug stores, I blueprint what costumes I can make for my kitties, and finally, it’s considered “normal” to binge watch a lot of my favorite films. Instead of making a list of the best horror films to watch this season (I hope we all have seen the Shining, Halloween, and the Exorcist by now), I ruminated over a different kind of list… Most of these could be considered sci-fi or psychological thrillers, and even “tame” in the eyes of many horror cinephiles, but I prefer creepier— more imaginative— horror plots. Here are my own recommendations for everyone who’s in the mood for something spine-tingling, sinister, disturbing, shocking, but nonetheless— human (even when they are monsters).
8. Altered States (1980), directed by Ken Russell.
This one is for the sci-fi lovers out there— A doctor who experiments on himself with hallucinatory drugs and isolation chambers, this movie comments on creation and the power of the human ego. It’s packed with visceral visuals, accompanied by bits of pseudo-intellectual gab.
As everyone knows, in the classic film “Back to the Future Part II,” Marty McFly time travels to October 21, 2015 to save his family. It’s been twenty-six years since the 1989 movie hit theaters, and that glorious day is finally here. Chicago Cubs were predicted to win the World Series, television screens will be HUGE, and everyone is supposed to be riding hover boards.
To commemorate #FutureDay, AMC, Regal and other North American theater chains will screen the trilogy today, Wednesday (AMC at 4:29 p.m. local time, the time Marty arrived). The movie trilogy is being re-released on Blu-ray, and Pepsi is selling bottles of”Pepsi Perfect,” the cola McFly orders in the second film.
Finally settling back into reality after a whirlwind summer of travel, I can finally hear my thoughts again, and especially the ones circling the most memorable moments of the season. When traveling in Germany for the first time, I didn’t really have any special agenda of tourist activities to check off a list, and kept my mind open to whatever was thrown at me. With the exception of wanting to take out a rowboat in Hamburg, the only thing I had on any sort of “sight-seeing list” was to see a German movie at the cinema. As a cineaste, it was my request to explore a foreign cinema and perhaps the feeling of watching a movie that I wouldn’t understand through language, but could try to understand through visual empathy. Through conversations with a few Berliners, we decided to see the film, “Victoria,” which had just come out, and since it was about a Spanish girl in Berlin, it was mostly in English— considered the “international” language. I was told there would be bits I wouldn’t understand, but overall it was easy to follow… of course, it would be nice to have a German with you to translate, but not necessary. We took the train to the Kino International, about to embark on one of the most memorable cinema experiences I’ve ever had.
The Kino International, 1964
With the invention of motion-picture cameras, a new age of inspiration and creativity was born. Though film began in the 1890s, cinema became a large hit in the 1920s, largely to escape the harsh realities of the Great Depression (cinema was a cheap form of entertainment). It was also the time when sound was added to film, making it a lot more appealing to the mass. To market the film, posters were designed and created for the public to see.
DVD packaging for the film “Breathless” by Jean-Luc Godard.