Now that HBO’s Game of Thrones has earned worldwide popularity, the concept of house sigils and house sayings has wormed its way into just about everyone’s consciousness — so perhaps its natural that artists would start speculating as to the sigils of other pop culture standbys. To that end, Miguel Lokia, whose work we spotted over at The High Definite, has created a delightfully fun series of GOT-style house flags for some of your favorite superheroes, action stars, and exceedingly grumpy doctors — managing to give proper tribute and be a little bit irreverent all at the same time. Check out a few of our favorites after the jump, and then be sure to head here to see the whole series. … Read More
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created Superman in 1932, and the character was hit as soon as he made his comic-book debut in 1938. It didn’t take long for the superhero’s adventures to expand into other media; a newspaper comic strip followed in 1939, while the next year brought The Adventures of Superman radio series. The Man of Steel made it to the big screen in 1941, in the first of 17 shorts that would screen through 1943. Open Culture alerts us that Warner Brothers has posted eight beautifully restored versions of these films for free viewing. Click through to watch the first short, titled simply “Superman” and nominated for an Academy Award for Best Short Subject: Cartoons, and visit WB’s YouTube page for the rest. … Read More
Happy Thanksgiving week, folks! Will you be watching the Macy’s parade on Thursday? If so, you might want to check out these fascinating old photos and remember a time when lip syncing pop stars were nil and creepy balloons were aplenty. The parade debuted in 1924 as the “Macy’s Christmas Parade,” featuring Macy’s employees in lively costumes and animals from the Central Park Zoo. In 1927, the very first balloon was thrown into the mix, and the rest is history. Did you know that they used to set the balloons free, and whoever found a deflated one could mail it back to Macy’s in exchange for a gift? Crazy stuff. Anyway, check out our selection of vintage Thanksgiving Day parade photographs after the jump, then hit the comments to name your favorites. … Read More
Paramount’s upcoming film adaptation of Max Brooks’ novel World War Z was already smelling like a stinker — the $125 million production was originally slated for release this Christmas, only to be pushed back until next summer to accommodate an additional seven weeks of shooting and a third act rewrite by Damon Lindelof (because that’s what that guy’s best at, wrapping things up). That rewrite was eventually done not by Lindelof but by Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director Drew Goddard, and with the reshoots complete, the studio released its first trailer for the film last week. And the Internet went apeshit.
Responses on Twitter and film blogs were swift, damning, and nearly universal. The crux of them was that, simply, the film being advertised appeared to bear little to no resemblance whatsoever to the book it was ostensibly based on. “It’s not always wise to judge a movie by its trailer,” writes Film School Rejects’ Robert Fure, “but from our first look it seems Hollywood has screwed the pooch in the most Hollywood way imaginable.” The book’s multi-narrative structure and elements of social commentary are, it seems, gone; the film’s story of a single protagonist taking on an army of fast-moving zombies looks less like World War Z than I Am Legend.
We’ll have to wait until next June to find out if this controversial trailer reflects the entirety of the film — and if the already poison buzz surrounding World War Z will crash its box office chances. But what has become clear over the past two decades is that the explosion of online film culture can hurt a film’s build-up as much as it can help it; though movie geek sites, Twitter, and even Wikipedia can help amass an audience, they can also keep one away. After the jump, we’ll take a look at ten movies that the Internet may well have smothered in their sleep. … Read More
Cinephiles, we’ve found your answer to PopSpots. Spotted by Dangerous Minds, FILMography is an addictive new blog run by Christopher Moloney that features photographs of stills from famous movies juxtaposed with the exact locations where they were filmed today. We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite images — which run the gamut all the way from North by Northwest to The Dark Knight Rises — for you after the jump; check them out, and be sure to follow FILMography on Tumblr to keep up to date with this fantastic project! … Read More
It’s always a bit of a jolt to flip through a photo album or an old high school yearbook and to come upon a picture of someone who’s gone, a beloved relative or a classmate who left before their time — it hits you fast, and, for just a moment, it hurts again, the force of that loss compressed into a single moment of grief. It’s not the exact same feeling, but there’s something like that moment when you watch a movie shot in New York between the 1970s and 2001, and that inevitable shot of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center appears. The towers appeared in literally hundreds of films, sometimes as background, sometimes very active in the onscreen action, but its eventual fate always makes it the foreground object when those films are viewed now. On the eve of this sad anniversary, a look at ten movies that make us miss the World Trade Center even more. … Read More
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. … Read More
It’s not unusual for artists and other creatives to dabble in different mediums, especially when it comes to writers. Hollywood saw many well-known novelists pounding the pavement, looking for work — particularly through the 1950s. They were a hot commodity in Tinseltown when the demand for convincing characters, dialogue, and story lines became essential to box office success — and they were broke. Sometimes, though, the famous authors who took a turn at screenwriting have surprised us with the scope of their cinematic endeavors. Some of these unlikely pairings were in it for the paycheck. Other writers did it to flex their creative muscles, and several just seem to be really big geeks for genre films, which makes us love them even more. Whatever the reasons, you’ll find a few surprises past the break. Check out which of your favorite authors also wrote for the big screen after the jump. … Read More
If you have a strong connection to your stuffed Pooh bear, you’d better look away now. In knitwork artist Patricia Waller’s Broken Heroes series, now up at Berlin’s Galerie Deschler, which we recently spotted over at We Heart, your childhood heroes have fallen on some hard times — Bert is scruff-faced on the street and Ernie-less, Superman has made a serious miscalculation in his navigation, and we’re not even sure how Spider-Man got into that position. Waller’s witty pieces range from lighthearted to incredibly dark, but they’re all imbued with a twisted commentary on the one-dimensional personas of pop culture standbys. Click through to be shocked by how far cartoons can really fall, and then if you haven’t had enough, head over to Waller’s website to see more of her work. … Read More