Today I learned that Spike Jonze (Where The Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich) was casting a secret film project in Austin Texas. Apparently Spike has been casting mostly late teen actors for the project, which is supposedly a story which involves “friends growing apart.”
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After a premiere at Sundance and several themed screenings around the UK, Spike Jonze‘ roboromance I’m Here has now arrived online for viewing in its bittersweet entirety. You’ll have to set aside 30 minutes for this one, so sneaking a peek in the office while the boss isn’t looking might prove a little harder than with Ow! Charlie Bit Me or David After Dentist.
Unfortunately, the film’s sponsor/financier Absolut is strictly limiting the amount of screenings per day. As we checked, there were 700 or so available and just publishing this post will take a big bite out of that number. If you’re too late, however, I’d definitely recommend bookmarking and checking back on the morrow and maybe checking out the trailer in the meantime.
katamaran78 has created “Galactica: Sabotage”, a remake of Spike Jonze‘s now classic music video for the Beastie Boys song Sabotage, but edited together using footage from Battlestar Galactica. I was very impressed how the video was copied almost shot-for-shot, so much so the creator also released a side by side comparison of the two videos. Both of which can be viewed, after the jump.
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Before Where the Wild Things Are, and even before Being John Malkovich, Spike Jonze was developing a big screen adaptation of the acclaimed 1955 children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon. Harold and the Purple Crayon tells the story of a curious four-year-old boy who draws his reality and lives in the imaginary world he creates. The film famously fell apart a mere two weeks before principal photography (more information about that after the jump) but it now appears that development is alive again at Sony Pictures Animation.
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Since it was first announced I’ve been pretty thrilled for The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. The UK show stars David Cross as a doltish American sent to London to head up the promotions for an energy drink. He makes what might be called his best effort, but things go…poorly. The show is UK only for now, but thanks to the miracle of YouTube you can watch the first episode below. Read More »
Spike Jonze has produced a new live-action/animated adaptation of Maurice Sendak‘s Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life. The film, a collaboration between the National Film Board of Canada and Warner Home Video, will be included on the Blu-Ray release of Where The Wild Things Are, which hits stores on March 2nd. The 23 and a half minute short film was created by Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski, the Oscar-nominated team behind the short Madame Tutli-Putli, and features the voices of Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker and Spike Jonze.
Once Jennie had everything. She had two bowls to eat from, two pillows, and for cold weather, a red wool sweater. She even had a master who loved her. But Jennie didn’t care. In the middle of the night she packed everything she had in a black leather bag with gold buckles and looked out of her favorite window for the last time… Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life follows Jennie’s surreal, suspenseful and unexpectedly moving journey to gain new experiences and realize her dream of becoming the star of the World Mother Goose Theatre.
Warner Bros Home Video has supplied us with some photos, posters and clips from the film, which you can see after the jump.
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This video from documentary filmmaker Lance Bangs shows the cast and crew of Where The Wild Things Are playing a practical joke on director Spike Jonze. They decided to hide the filmmaker’s Vespa scooter, and covered him with yogurt and rice after he realized it was hoisted into the rafters of the sound stage. It just goes to show you the type of playful atmosphere which is kept on the set of a Spike Jonze film. Watch the video, after the jump.
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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies, sans The Tooth Fairy, that offer proof. /Film’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a new trailer for a provocative indie, a mini review, or an interview…
For all of the world’s fireplaces used to stack skateboard videos and DVDs, it’s increasingly strange how few, if any, feature films exist to directly reflect the ubiquity of the sport and lifestyle in pop culture. The new indie film, Machotaildrop, might be the only across-the-board example. Not only does it have a skateboarder named Walter (played by skater/actor Anthony Amedori) as its main character, the movie’s plush fantasy world serves as a metaphorical backdrop for a modern skater’s journey from passionate amateur to paid-and-jaded pro. After Walter is recruited to the hedonistic dream estate of a major skateboard corporation called Machotaildrop, he’s soon ordered by its shady overseer, The Baron, to tour the base of an outlaw skater gang called the Manwolfs. Herein lies a moral dilemma and awakening: help Machotaildrop establish its kooky skater theme park on the Manwolfs’ sacred turf and “fulfill the dream.” Or bail.
Machotaildrop is already stirring curiosity online for its attractive cinematography and for surreal imagery that evokes the prim-and-proper stylings of Wes Anderson, the offbeat humor of Spike Jonze, and the acid-tab abstraction of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Accessible to fans of those directors, Machotaildrop still glows with the esoteric yet stonerish attitude synonymous with a lot of skate culture. Veteran and current pro’s like Steve Olson (as a baker-skater) and Rick McCrank (as a snobbish, injured icon) get laughs in supporting roles and the plot lends itself to well-shot bouts of skate tricks. I interviewed writers/directors, Corey Adams and Adam Craig, about what they wanted to accomplish, their film’s themes, and all of the skater-and-cineaste history that inspired it. Trailer and images included after the jump.
Hunter Stephenson: We are seeing skate video culture assimilated into indie films more and more, as seen in the work of directors like Spike Jonze and Jody Hill. Do you agree? And what discussions did you and Alex have before making the film in regard to contributing to this cinematic/cultural bridge?
Corey Adams: Well the one discussion we kept having was that we didn’t want the film to look anything like a skateboard video, that all the skateboarding we shot in the film was done so in a way that it didn’t over glorify it. No wide angle lenses or handheld shots—except for some of the skateboard video elements, which we had no control over as it was all actual footage from the kid.
Alex Craig: Even though we both come from a skateboarding background, it was always our intention to approach this project cinematically as opposed to using skate video conventions. I think it would have been foolish to try and recreate a skate video vibe in the film mainly because it wasn’t appropriate to our idea but also because we could never do it justice. We wanted the film to stay in a farcical world.
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