Henri Langlois, co-founder of the Cinémathèque Française, once said of Louis Feuillade’s 1915 silent crime serial, “I am convinced that surrealism preexisted in cinema. Feuillade’s Les vampires was already an expression of the 20th century and of the universal subconscious.” The ten-part, subversive serial runs a whopping eight hours, but it’s easy to lose track of the time when you’re following the exploits of a vampy Parisian gang — including proto-goth starlet Musidora as the infamous Irma Vep.
It’s great to see companies like Kino International bringing old-timey serials like Les vampires to Blu-ray, keeping the low-budget, action-packed chapter plays alive. These early movies are where many film tropes and characters evolved — including several of the superheroes audiences go crazy for, today — and where moviegoers grew to love (and sometimes hate) them. Click through to watch several entertaining serials that are online right now (follow the video links for other parts in the series), and school yourself on an essential chapter in cinema history.
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Welcome to Flavorpill’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. Last time, we walked you though a mass exodus of titles at the end of July, but as Netflix taketh away, it giveth; a ton of new (and catalog) titles were added at the beginning of August, so we’ll walk you though the best of those, and a few other films worth seeking out as well. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now.
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Captain America might have grossed $368 million worldwide, but it wasn’t up to the same standard as Iron Man or The Avengers — we’d group it with second-tier, good-but-not-great Marvel fare like Thor or Iron Man 2. So we’re intrigued to hear that Joe and Anthony Russo — who are actually better known for their… Read More
How would the major events of the world have been changed if superheroes truly existed? We may never know, but Indonesian photographer Agan Harahap, whose work we first spotted over at Design Taxi, takes a step towards imagining what it might have been like with these incredible vintage photos of World War II, manipulated to include superheroes and movie villains getting a piece of the action. The photos range from hilarious to poignant and even slightly disturbing – Batman giving orders to the paratroopers at Greenham airfield, Darth Vader sitting for pictures at Yalta, Captain American infiltrating a Russian prisoner-of-war camp — and a few of them make us feel a little better that superheroes don’t actually exist. After all, you never know whose side they might wind up on.
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Can you imagine if you had to spend your days pretending to be an insipid billionaire playboy when all you really cared about was fighting crime in the streets of Gotham City and avenging your parents’ deaths? What if you were a sarcastic, lone-wolf smuggler who got suckered into helping a group of crazy young rebels fight the Galactic Empire only to end up sealed away in carbonite? How would you react if you discovered that as a baby demon you were summoned to earth from the depths of hell by a group of Nazi occultists?
We think Roberto Salvador’s Screaming Heroes series, spotted over on Design You Trust, about sums things up. As the Brussels-based graphic designer explains it, “They’re fed up of saving the world, they’re angry, they’re screaming their guts out.” Click through to see a selection of his extremely frustrated pop culture heroes.
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Let’s put this right out front: nobody’s looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises more than we are. It led off our list of 2012′s most anticipated movies; we sing the praises of every new teaser they put out in our weekly “Trailer Park” roundups. This is a movie we’re really, really looking forward to. But you have to draw a line somewhere, and we think this might be it.
According to Variety, tickets are now available for the first, midnight IMAX screenings of The Dark Knight Rises — that’s right, six full months in advance. So if you’re one hundred percent certain that you won’t have anywhere to be at 12:01am on the night of Thursday, July 19th, you can hop on over to Fandango (here’s the link for my fellow New Yorkers — that IMAX screen at the AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 is a peach), plop down your $20, and have yourself a ticket right now. You might wanna choose the “print at kiosk” option, though, because the chances of misplacing the “print at home” ticket within the next six months are pretty high. Borderline astronomical, we’d say.
Oh wait, you can’t. The midnight screening six months from now is already sold out.
So, seriously, how out of control is the Hollywood Hype Machine these days?
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If you’ve been curious how Joss Whedon was going to juggle all of the superheroes in The Avengers without making a narrative mess of things or accidentally turning the Marvel universe on its head, then you’ll be glad to hear that he planned ahead. “I set out with a very simple problem: There is no… Read More
In an April 1987 essay for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction about the then-hot topic of “colorization” (the repugnant trend of slapping computer-generated color over black and white classics, ostensibly to render them watchable to a younger generation that disliked b&w), science fiction author Harlan Ellison wrote of the process, “We don’t really need it… It’s like going to see a club act in which a whistling dog performs ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever.’ Once, it’s interesting; more than once it’s merely a curiosity. That has very little, if anything, to do with art. And pandering to the corrupted taste of a generation of kids for whom movies are nothing more than a prelude to getting laid is loathsome in every way.”
Can we all agree that we’ve reached that point on the 3-D fad? Three new 3-D movies opened last weekend (two remakes and a sequel, for what it’s worth), and all three tanked at the box office. Spy Kids: All the Time in the World opened in third with $12 million, Conan the Barbarian came in fourth with $10 million, while Fright Night came in sixth (behind the fourth week of The Smurfs!) with just under $8 million. The top spot went to The Help; in second place was Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a well-performing summer tent-pole movie that is continuing to bring in audiences with solid word-of-mouth; it’s a genuinely good movie, people are telling each other, with interesting characters and a script that does not appear to have been written by seven-year-olds. You know what else ROTPOTA has going for it? It’s not in 3-D.
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Thanks to the success of the Spider-Man and X-Men film franchises, and more recently, the Captain America movie, you don’t need to be a comic book geek to appreciate the beauty of these minimalist Marvel posters by Marko Manev — but it definitely doesn’t hurt. Click through for his understated odes to some of our favorite superheroes and villains in the Marvel Universe, and let us know in the comments which ones you’d like to hang on your apartment’s walls.
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Today at Flavorpill, we met several other countries’ answers to Captain America — including Canada’s Major Mapleleaf and Japan’s Silver Samurai. We liked this clever redesign of Mad Men’s opening titles by illustrator Paul Rogers. We laughed out loud over some of the zingers in Suri’s Burn Book. We… Read More