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.
One month ago, the “Poster Art” category of this blog was picked up by some very popular sites, spreading the Embarrassing Movie Poster virus out over cyberspace. In October alone, Lost in Negative Space got 304,398 hits and I’m still getting over 2000 a day! (Note to new visitors: There’s more than this poster art category! Be sure to click on the Lost in Negative Space banner above to find the rest of my posts.)
Let me clear up a few misunderstandings: For one, not all posters in the Poster Art category are embarrassing ones (one poster commented “What’s wrong with this one?” to the one I designed for Matt Zoller Seitz‘s imaginary Moby Dick). Also, these were not the 15 most embarrassing movie posters of all time–it’s an ongoing series. To see all of the posters, click on Poster Art on the side bar. When you reach the bottom of the page, click “Previous entries.” Believe me, you wouldn’t want to miss those first few entries!
One other thing: There is always one or more aspects to laugh or cringe about in these posters, but that doesn’t mean I think all of them are total junk. Some are very well made and quite a few are intentionally flirting with bad taste. Then again, others are just plain bad or flat-out appalling in presentation and/or subject matter. You’ll be the judge as to which is what!
Enough talk, here’s #16:
This is my contribution to the Close-Up Blog-a-Thon at The House Next Door. Be sure to check back tomorrow for the first episode of Directorama!
Do you want your woman to love you real good? Just cage her! 🙂
Exciting news, everyone:
My new webcomic Directorama will become a weekly item at the esteemed film blog The House Next Door!
I’ve got a time schedule, too: Every Monday starting October 15!
Yes, you’ve read that right: Every Monday, one-and-a-half weeks from now!
Apparently, the 2-episode preview that I’ve sent the editors (New York Times critic Matt Zoller Seitz and the very prolific Keith Uhlich) put stupid grins on the faces of two of the smartest film scholars on the planet. It even caused one of them to laugh out loud repeatedly. Shocking stuff!
You know what that means?
It means I’ve got some more drawing to do…
For those who can’t wait any longer, I’ve put up all 27 Negative Space cartoons at Webcomic Nation in enhanced resolution. Enjoy!
Note the very promising tagline: “Breeds with anything…” I’m sensing a vague erotic component there, don’t you? Perhaps there’s some truth to what they say about men with big feet…
Thank God for YouTube! I had no idea, but according to the IMDb, Terrence Malick directed this short in between Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978).
I love it how you can already sense his fascination for English colonist John Smith and Native American culture.
Check it out:
Believe it or not, but these days my stats are higher than they ever were. I’m not sure what that means, because it’s been quite a while since I posted anything. Maybe it’s because all of you keep checking to see if I’ve kicked off the new weekly webcomic yet. If that’s the case: Don’t lose faith! DIRECTORAMA is slowly but surely taking shape…
In fact, I’ve already made it through the hardest part. Before the actual drawing could begin, I needed to settle on a specific format that I’d be happy to stick to for quite some time. Right from the beginning, I aimed for a stable, accessible framework that would leave plenty of room for experiment. With this in mind, there were some big decisions to make regarding the overall style of the comic (slightly more wacky than the Negative Space cartoons–the characters will have four fingers instead of five) and the amount of panels (each episode will have the look of a Sunday newspaper comic, consisting of two horizontal strips). What’s more: Since this isn’t my day job, I needed to find ways to simplify my cartooning process.
The past few weeks, I’ve read through a lot of interviews with dead and living directors (yes, that’s a hint), I’ve studied their faces and made numerous sketches. I’ve also scripted about 11 episodes. So far, I’m absolutely delighted by the direction this project is taking me. My plan is to start publishing as soon as I’ve finished three pages.
So by all means, keep watching this space!
And oh yes, before I forget: I haven’t said goodbye to the Negative Space cartoons just yet. I’ve already made a promise to Matt Zoller Seitz that I’ll devote one to his upcoming Close-Up Blog-a-Thon.