Just a small note to let you regular readers know that I’m finally back from my travels. The last six weeks I’ve been in Nepal and Guatemala for work (shooting a new TV series) and Sweden and Denmark for vacation. In a word: WOW!
I know I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, but I’ll make it up to you. A LOT of things are in the pipeline. The eagerly awaited Directorama book (with a foreword by Dennis Cozzalio!) is almost finished (I just need to design the cover) and a whole new season of Directorama is on its way. What’s more: Directorama will get its very own dedicated website soon, and this blog will be part of the new domain! Apart from that, Keith and me are prepping the 24LiesASecond essays for the upcoming merger with The House.
Keep checking this space. More will follow soon!
I have good news and bad news, everybody…
First the bad:
In the next few months, the 24LiesASecond website as you’ve come to know it will ceize to exist.
Yes, you’ve read that right.
So what’s going on? Let me explain…
When Jim Moran and me launched 24LiesASecond in 2004, we had no idea what a flight the blogosphere would take. We wanted to provide a platform for the kind of provocative underdog film criticism we couldn’t find anywhere else and made a vow to aim high and shoot low. Hence, our specialty became the carefully edited long-form essay.
Fast-forward to four years later… Thanks to wonderful contributions by Mike Crowley, Giuseppe Puccio, Dennis Cozzalio, David Greven, Bob Cumbow and Will Lasky, the quality of the 24Lies articles has endured, but the quantity of our output leaves a lot to be desired. Despite a modest cult following (that would be you, loyal reader) and a handful of eminent supporters (Jim Emerson, Anne Thompson, Matt Zoller Seitz and – dare I say it? – Brian De Palma), our website has remained something of a hidden gem.
Most of you will know that 24Lies member Keith Uhlich has recently took over the editorial reigns at The House Next Door–a very popular film blog founded by the great critic/filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz. After drawing 30 episodes of Directorama under Keith’s editorial guidance, the idea arised for 24Lies and The House to team up. In many ways, The House Next Door has succeeded where 24Lies has failed: By offering new content to their visitors each and every day, Keith and editor emeritus Seitz have built up an impressive, readership. Simply put: If quality online film criticism is your thing, Next Door is where it’s at.
What will this merge amount to?
The 24Lies archive will find a new home at The House Next Door, where it will be introduced to a much wider audience. All the articles will be republished according to a weekly schedule, one by one, labeled under their own 24LiesASecond Essays tag. Future articles by the 24Lies authors will also be published on The House Next Door.
I’m sad to say that this means the 24Lies forum will be discontinued. This, of course, was an especially tough decision to make. We’ve had many memorable discussions on our message board over the past few years and I’ve always enjoyed reading every member’s thoughts and opinions tremendously. For this reason, I’ve contacted Geoff Beran of De Palma à la Mod and he’s looking into the possibilities to attach comment sections to his posts, so that we can keep in touch with eachother and De Palma’s work. Let’s hope Geoff can technically figure out a way to do this, because it would be the ideal solution to keep our little community together.
24LiesASecond’s transition to The House Next Door will happen gradually. You guys will be able to post on the 24Lies forum for another two weeks or so. After that, a locked version will stay online until the end of the year to ensure all of you have enough time to copy and save your favorite threads. The 24Lies essays will be republished on The House later this Summer. Until then, you can still find them here.
That’s all folks. I hope you understand. Drop a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for all your support and see you all at The House Next Door!
All the best,
I’m proud to officially announce that Directorama will be serialized in Smallformat, the bi-monthly magazine for fans of 8mm and 16mm film around the globe. Issue 1/2008 features a six-page special with the first 8 episodes of Directorama (the complete introductory story arc!) plus two pages of interview with yours truly, along with a couple of Negative Space cartoons.
Best of all, it has a brand new cartoon on the cover!
I haven’t received the issue myself at this point, but I’m expecting to within the coming two weeks. To order yourself a copy, simply go to www.smallformat.de, click on “subscription” and choose to buy just one issue, mentioning “issue 1/2008,” for the price of Euro/US-$ 10,-.
Aimed at amateurs as well as professionals, Smallformat presents new products, tips for better filming, tests, labs, film material, the history of camera brands, and a collector’s marketplace. Editor-in-chief Juergen Lossau is also planning a German version of Directorama to be serialized in Smallformat‘s sister publication Schmalfilm, which has been around for a whopping 60 years! Super toll!
You really can’t watch the Oscars without it: The Directorama mug!
No, I’m not kidding…
Good news for those of you who’ve always yearned for a Directorama calendar, T-shirt, mousepad, trucker hat, BBQ apron or sexy spaghetti tank top. Visit the brand new Cafe Press Directorama store and knock yourself out!
About a week ago, Online Film Critics Society member Pablo Villaça dropped me an email. Pablo is the editor of one of the main Brazilian websites about cinema and, apparently, a big fan of both Directorama and Negative Space. He asked me if I’d be interested in letting him translate my comics and publish them on Cinema em Cena. Needless to say, I was!
So there it is: From next week on, Bergman, Antonioni, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles & co will be battling it out in Portuguese on Tuesdays. Every Thursday, it’s Espaço Negativo time! The first episode of the latter series is already up and can be found right here.
One of my films has won the Socutera Prize 2007. I’m talking about a public announcement that some of you may remember from an old Screening Room entry. The jury praised the film’s subtlety, the music, the acting and its clever construction. Needless to say, I feel pretty honored.
Interestingly enough, we’ve won the prize for the rarely seen extended version. The film was originally conceived as a 25-second commercial, but when the opportunity arised for the Dutch Brain Foundation to fill a dedicated timeslot on national television, their agency asked my production company if we could take a look at the rushes and figure out a way to stretch the film to a whopping 95 seconds! With the help of a few carefully chosen titles, loooong fades to black and music by John Williams, we pulled it off.