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Archive for July 25th, 2012


ParaNorman making-of featurette: “Hand-making the World”

I posted the trailer for Laika’s ParaNorman last October, and while the film still has a little way to go before its August 17th release, Focus Features has posted a making-of featurette on the official website.

I’m a huge animation nerd, and I love behind the scenes/making-of stuff, so I thought I’d post something other than a trailer or a short film just this once.

A synopsis for the zombie flick follows after the cut:

“Lake Beast” by Vance Reeser

“Lake Beast” is a short film funded in part by an early Kickstarter project by Vance Reeser, and it’s one I’m proud to say I contributed to. (By “early,” I mean the pre-2011/2012 explosion where people started making millions of dollars. It was up around the same time that my Multiplex: Enjoy Your Show project was up, in late 2009.)

At long last, the short has been completed. It’s a dream-like short about childhood vision that “compels a man to explore the bottom of a toxic lake,” and I highly recommend investing the seven(-ish) minutes of your life to watch it. It’s also up on Vimeo and you can purchase it (for however much you’re willing to give) via Gumroad, as well. Or, just watch it here:

Check out more stuff from the animator at Vance Reeser’s portfolio site.

Trailer Watch: Marjane Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s animated adaptation of Satrapi’s much-heralded Persepolis was, in many ways, better than the original two-volume (in America) graphic novels. The story de-emphasized the somewhat self-indulgent second volume — and, to be blunt, it was much better drawn. (For all her storytelling skills, I don’t much care for her drawing.)

The co-directors have teamed up again for an adaptation of Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums, the story her of great-uncle, a renowned musician in 1950’s Iran.

Here’s the synopsis of the graphic novel:

We are in Tehran in 1958, and Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran’s most revered tar players, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged. Though he tries, he cannot find one to replace it, one whose sound speaks to him with the same power and passion with which his music speaks to others. In despair, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures, closing the door on the demands and love of his wife and his four children. Over the course of the week that follows, his family and close friends attempt to change his mind, but Nasser Ali slips further and further into his own reveries: flashbacks and flash-forwards (with unexpected appearances by the likes of the Angel of Death and Sophia Loren) from his own childhood through his children’s futures. And as the pieces of his story slowly fall into place, we begin to understand the profundity of his decision to give up life.

Nasser Ali Khan is played by Mathieu Almaric (Quantum of Solace, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and seems to have been turned into a violinist for the film for some reason, but otherwise, several of these “reveries” make appearances in the trailer. While this film is live action, there’s an artificiality to the whole production that is really beautifully done, heightening the story to almost the level of myth. It looks beautiful.

Alongside Almaric are Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, and Chiara Mastroianni. The film came out last year in France, but finally makes it to the States on August 17th.

(via Comics Beat)

Trailer Watch: Ang Lee’s Life of Pi

I didn’t fall completely in love with Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi — there were parts I loved and parts I didn’t, but the ending pulled it all together for me, even after a late turn in the story kind of pushed me away.

I am, though, a fan of Ang Lee (when he’s not directing Hulk), and the trailer for its long-awated feature adaptation looks beautiful. The big question mark will be the script by David Magee (Finding Neverland) and how well Ang Lee can handle the tone of the books… trickier parts. (I think there’s a little irony in the choice of David Magee, but it would be a bit of a spoiler to say why, unfortunately.)

Alongside Sharma as Pi, Tobey Maguire, Irrfan Khan (Amazing Spider-Man) and Gérard Depardieu round out the cast. The film will hit the US on November 21, 2012. Definitely gunning for an Oscar. (Oh yeah: it’ll be in 3D, of course.)