A weekly round-up of what I have been watching, listening to and discussing. Inspired by Ryan's 'Days of the Week' posts, this is a bit more all-encompassing as I think my interest in cinema and art crosses over and between a variety of sources...
A very busy week, marking all the GCSE art work. Then in the later stages, finishing off Spiderman films, beginning the Men In Black films (for The Prepared Podcasts) and I have finished huge tasks: Completed my viewing of the 15-hour documentary of The Story of Film and finished reading the epic Christopher Finch classic: The Art of Walt Disney. Good times
Highlight of the Week:
The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond - by Christopher Finch - I started reading this book months ago but because of how heavy and the size of the book, I could only read it at home. I couldn't read it on a train, thats for sure. Finally though, I have completed the epic book. The last couple of chapters are the toughest as the chronological history changes. Initially, the book covers animation from the Mickey and Silly Symphonies and straight up to Tangled. Then a chapter on Pixar exclusively. Then on the live-action films - including Mary Poppins, Song of the South and the Pirates of the Carribbean films before finishing with a chapter on the theme parks. I have never visited a theme park and, if I'm perfectly honest, it is the animation I love about Disney so these final chapters were a little dull. But the book as a whole is incredibly comprehensive - the only flaw may be how it seems, by the end, as a big advertisement with a little bit lacking in the critical-side. The choice to turn to sequels to make money - and sequelising the original classics - is not even mentioned. But, as an official book it has unprecedented access to the archives with stunning photographs, animation cells and artist background-drawings.
Spider-Man 2 - Yes, the moody shadows make this better than the first. Doc Ock too is a much more interesting villain than Dafoe's Goblin.
Spider-Man 3 - Yes, it is fundamentally flawed because its dealing with a [fascinating] dark subject matter [in a very literal-sense] and trying to balance it with the playful tone of the previous two films.
Men In Black - One of those films I could quote endlessly: "Give me more sugar ... in water ... ... more ... more"
Men In Black II - Sequel Excess. More bad-guys, more SFX and more gadgets. And a convuluted plot.
The BeeGees - Monday started off trragically as Robin Gibb passed away. I listened to a bunch of their tracks and they are brilliant: Night Fever and Stayin' Alive are the go-to classics but I really love the eighties tracks like Islands in the Stream, You Win Again and Alone. A great loss.
SlashFilm Podcast - Interestingly Adam Quigley watched Redline. It comes as no suprise that he 'loved it'. His mental taste in film continues to amaze me - as interesting as the film is, its completely incoherant (as you can see from my review). He recommended it to Dave Chen, so I'd be very interested in his opinion...
Also, discussion on Community seemed a bit bland as all the hosts ignored how unprepared and problematic Dan Harmon was during Season 3. As a producer, who is funding the programme, what else would you do?
Walt Disney Book - See Above
Community - The end of the first season is so strong, I have already purchased the second season on itunes. an episode sending up Goodfellas and The Godfather, whilst the infamous 'paintballing episode' had me giving a big belly laugh as soon as Troy acknowledges Jeff Winger's prescence: "Jeff Winger - you son-of-a-bitch"
The Story of Film - I have realised that, the period when you have been alive and udnerstand clearly the context of the films release, you can engage much better with the documentary. David Lynch, Spike Lee, Jane Campion, Gus Van Sant amongst many others have all been added to my to-watch list. And I should watch Russian Ark too I guess.