The Carl Online


Reporting from the Santa Fe Film Festival. by tatgers
December 7, 2008, 7:16 pm
Filed under: movies | Tags:

picture-1I’ve been at the Santa Fe Film Festival since Wednesday (the official opening night, though there were screenings as early as Monday) and it has been a hectic…5 days? I’ve spent a lot of time darting between venues for films and panels to the point where the my recollection of films approaches a the arrangement of a jigsaw puzzle. But that might be how memory works in the first place. I’ll leave that to the science majors (not that they care).

Picking out what films and panels to attend is a small ordeal. I’ve tried to balance and mix my attendance of independent films that are less likely to screen off the festival circuit (2:22, Poundcake, Speed of Life, Em, The Brothers Warner, A collection of Iranian shorts) with films that have won awards at other festivals and are bound hit art house cinemas around the country(Gomorra, Waltz With Bashir, Tokyo!). My middle class guilt kicks in every time I skip over a socially conscious film, but I managed to squeeze in Kassim the Dream, which I think will find some kind of distribution, if it hasn’t already, even if it doesn’t hit many theatres.In general, the festival has a very eclectic and balanced selection of big and small, regional and international features. Detracting from the number of films that I can review were the number of panels, which I’ll also do a post on. Consider this a forecast of posts to come…

In the meantime, I’d like to point you in the direction of 2008 alumnus Martha Polk who is the festival’s official blogger/reviewer.
Her blog is something top notch. The Santa Fe Film Festival blog has some more immediate reviews of her’s if you simply can’t wait for the copy paste, but you’ll need to wade through dozens of shameless self promotions (or simply pay attention posts written by Martha). I’m particularly anxious to get to her Synecdoche, New York discussion.  I suspect a number of you might be interested in her coverage of Soderbergh’s Che films, which I wasn’t able to get tickets to when the four hour, two screening beast  showed Wednesday and Thursday night.

-Andrew “Movie-Man” Tatge

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Carl Christmas Present #1 by Greg Hunter

A few nights ago, I sat down to watch Santa’s Slay, a pirated DVD of my younger brother’s. The film, from 2005, stars former pro-wrestler Bill Goldberg as a murderous Santa Claus. Santa’s Slay belongs to the vast body of the direct-to-DVD horror-comedies that are neither scary nor funny, which manage to suggest self-awareness while basically lacking it. What distinguishes Slay from the rest is its baffling opening scene. There are few familiar faces throughout the movie (an unfortunate exception is SCTV alum Dave Thomas, who’s too talented to be in it). For the most part, they’re concentrated in the first three minutes, where Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan and James Caan are seated together at Christmas dinner, the most bizarre collection of cameos I’ve ever seen. Now Caan’s track record isn’t perfect, granted – for every Godfather, there are 88 episodes of Las Vegas – but hearing Sonny Corleone call Mango a “half-a-fag” is still something kind of incredible.

– Greg Hunter



Great Moments In DVD Pirating by Greg Hunter

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The New Final Frontier by Greg Hunter
November 17, 2008, 5:53 pm
Filed under: movies | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The summer before sixth grade, I would turn on the TV at 9 o’clock most weeknights and watch syndicated episodes of the original Star Trek series.  I enjoyed the show immensely (especially McCoy’s blunt rebuttals to nearly anything anyone said to him), but didn’t devote much more time to Star Trek fanhood once school started again, that year or ever.  What’s so fortunate about all this now is that I’m approaching J.J. Abrams’ spring reboot of the franchise with a fondness for Star Trek but no real investment in it -as long as the movie manages to be imaginative popcorn fare, I’ll probably really enjoying it without sweating the details like a lot of hardcore trekkies probably will.  (Alternately, I think the Watchmen adaptation, which I’m decidely more invested in, might be a hyperstylized, slow-motion turd.)  I have no idea what I’d think of the first real trailer for the movie if I’d stuck with Trek, but Simon Pegg’s looks like he’s having the time of his life playing Scotty, McCoy’s characteristically sullen, and there are ‘splosions that you just don’t see on Star Trek episodes from 40 years ago.  It’s an undeserved treat for all us fairweather fans.

(Trailer available at http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/startrek/large_trailer2.html)

– Greg Hunter