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Monthly Archives: May 2007

happy 30th birthday, Star Wars

I defy you to find a better way to commemorate the release of the original Star Wars than by watching the bizarre Turkish Star Wars. And don’t say “dressing up like a stormtrooper”. That’s just lame. And not cool-lame, just lame-lame. Playing the LEGO Star Wars PS2 game, however, does come a close second.

Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saves The World) is a Turkish-made film commonly known as Turkish Star Wars because of its notorious bootlegging of Star Wars film clips worked into the film. Released in 1982, Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam was created in Turkey caught in the midst of massive political upheaval. As a result, American-made films were not easily acquired and were often remade with a Turkish cast and setting. The musical soundtrack is entirely lifted from Western film hits of the time, primarily Raiders of the Lost Ark. There are also scenes incorporating the music of Moonraker, Flash Gordon, Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes and Disney’s The Black Hole… According to the translator “It doesn’t make any more sense in Turkish.”

Also, it is at at least as entertaining as the three prequels put together.

the ‘rents

mom and dad, originally uploaded by Mister Wind-Up Bird.

I’ve been without camera for the past few weeks, since I lost the charger for my battery. But my replacement finally arrived (thanks, eBay!), just in time to hang out with ma and pa Brochu.

filmmaker interview roundup

  • The NYT has a rare interview with Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Reubens which is well worth reading. Reubens is the kind of cult entertainer that really should have a better career. He’s not a cult figure because his appeal is selective (though it kind of is, but not so much that there’s not a bigger audience). He’s the kind that’s simply underexposed because, I think, he’s so original and unique — and his history so checkered — that the gatekeepers of entertainment haven’t given him a chance. So instead we see bursts of his phenomenal talent in his occasional supporting roles (though I have no intention of ever seeing Reno 911! Miami). It amazes me that a show like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse made it onto 1980s TV. Twenty years later it still seems like something ahead of its time. I really hope he’s able to make his “dark Pee-Wee” movie.
  • Meanwhile, the New York Sun has an interview with mad genius Werner Herzog, where he talks about his philosophy of documentaries and search for ecstatic truth. He also talks about watching Anna Nicole Smith’s reality TV show, saying that “the poet must not avert his eyes”. Herzog is probably the only human being who can say that and not make me want to smack him. Probably because I imagine him saying it with the same ubercool German-inflected deadpan that he uses to describe grizzly attacks, facing down threats of murder from actor Klaus Kinski, and being shot by a sniper in 2006 (“It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid.”).
  • And finally, The AV Club interviews another of my idols, prairie-boy-done-good Guy Maddin, who is presenting his new movie Brand Upon the Brain! in a series of live shows, with live foley and celebrity narrators, including Crispin Glover, Eli Wallach and Lou Reed. You think I’m kidding, but I’m not.

“guy catches glasses with face”

This is awesome. I’m not sure who Never Hide Films is, but it is definitely not the backyard DIY operation it tries to make itself out to be. Which is part of the genius.

After watching about ten times, I think I know how they do almost all of it — the skateboarding part, I’m not quite sure of. I won’t spoil it for you if you want to figure it out yourself, but I spot at least three different tricks being used, all fairly low-tech, but well-executed.

Rescue Dawn trailer

If there’s one movie I’m looking forward to more than any other this year, it’s Rescue Dawn, by cinematic ubergenius Werner Herzog.

It’s a fictionalized version of the true story of Dieter Dengler, one of only three people ever to escape from a Viet Cong prisoner-of-war camp and survive in the jungle long enough to be rescued. Herzog made a documentary about Dengler called Little Dieter Needs to Fly and if you haven’t seen it, you really need to. I’m not even fucking kidding: you need to see it. It’s powerful and funny and mind-boggling, and it’s the kind of movie that makes you see the world differently. And if you have seen it, you’ll know why I’m so stoked about Rescue Dawn.

July 4, 2007. Limited release. Which had damn well better include Vancouver. Or I shall blog angrily about it.