Monday, November 20, 2006

Farewell Gary Graver

The passing of cinematographer / filmmaker Gary Graver deserves its own post. For those who don't know, Graver served as Orson Welles cameraman on many of the maverick's final projects. These included F FOR FAKE, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND, and many independent efforts.

Through Graver and Oja Kodar's loyalty and dedication, Orson was able to keep making films and experimenting with the medium. Many of these films were never finished, but with Graver at his side, Orson was always complete.

Graver died last Thursday of cancer at age 68.

You can visit Gary Graver's personal site for a better glimpse at his life and vastly under-appreciated career.

Phew! I Was Worried About This One

The featurette I produced for John McNaughton's Haeckel's Tale had me a little worried. It was right in the middle of the Masters Of Horror cycle and cut in small bursts around the holidays. I'm glad Fangoria saw fit to say this about "Working With A Master":

This is undeniably the most informative, not to mention attention-grabbing, featurette on the disc...

For the full Fangoria review, click HERE.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Top 5 Things Since Last Time

Things are crazy busy with me producing three new featurettes for the Mario Bava box set coming soon. That and the Lovecraft documentary leaves me with little time to elaborate on the following happenings. Please forgive my keeping it short.

1) The interviews with Peter Straub and S.T. Joshi were splendid. Both are delightful people and far more engaging than they may be willing to admit. I found myself hypnotized by their answers. That should bode well for the documentary. Thank you, gentlemen!

2) By now you've all heard about this rag tag bunch that took control of Congress. They're called the Democrats. I hear they'll be good for the country. It's about time.

3) Daniel Craig is officially the second best James Bond. Casino Royale is a near perfect Bond film. The film followed Ian Fleming's book in all the best ways. This (like those Democrats) is a favorable sign.

4) My 20th high school reunion is coming up, a ceremony all middle-agers must go through. In a bit of trivia cooked up by the reunion committee, it was revealed that actress Maria Bello went to my high school. I shall file this under things I wish I knew then.

5) had some funny kitty pictures up recently. This is my favorite:

They also have a running log of the travesties, insults and downright stupidity that studios and other congloms are trying to slip by us consumers of downloadable content. I advise checking them out if you already haven't.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

More Than Enough Reasons To Vote

As part of his campaigning duty, Al Gore has been sending out a few reasons to get out and vote. They are simple and to the bone. They also make you wish he would run again in 2008. In 2000, to be fair, Gore walked into too many Rove-traps. Since then he's grown lean and mean.

Here's the straight dope from Gore about the crooked dopes making fatal decisions:

Do it because the ice is melting in the Arctic, in Greenland and all over the world, and unless we take on the climate crisis soon, we could cross a point of no return.

Do it because the war in Iraq is a disaster, and our brave men and women who are fighting and dying there need an honorable and speedy path home.

Do it because in the wealthiest nation in the world, there are millions of kids who can't go the doctor when they get sick because they don't have health care.

Do it because President Bush and this Congress have chipped away at our fundamental rights-—rights guaranteed every citizen-—that make our country a beacon of freedom. Do it because our government shouldn't be able to wire-tap innocent citizens without a warrant.

Do it because of Abu Ghraib. Do it to tell the world that America won't sanction torture-—and we fire the politicians who do. That's the real no-brainer.

Do it because five years after September 11th, President Bush and the Republican Congress have made us all less safe.

But most of all, do it because the country we all love needs our help. Our democracy is in trouble. America needs you. And in these next four days, you can come to her aid.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Projects, Resignations & Bones

This Friday, Jim Myers and I head to New York. There we'll be adding two interviews to our A-list heavy Lovecraft documentary.

Peter Straub - author of Ghost Story, Koko and Lost Boy Lost Girl

S.T. Joshi - the world's foremost Lovecraft scholar and editor of most modern editions of H.P.L's work

It's looking to be a busy latter half of 2006. In addition to Lovecraft, I will be producing two featurettes for the Mario Bava collection that Anchor Bay is putting out.

Bava was a master of Italian horror. His stylistic portrayal of violence helped shape modern horror films, especially the slasher genre. In some ways, Bava was as influential on horror films as H.P. Lovecraft was on horror in general.

Bava didn't always work in the horror genre, however. His last film, Rabid Dogs (Cani Arrabbiati). While dealing with the subject of fear, Rabid Dogs was basically a crime picture... taking place entirely in a car!

It was never finished in his lifetime (financing fell through during its editing), but his son Lamberto, leading actress Lea Lander and producer Alfredo Leone bought the negative and shot the few bits needed to wrap up Mario's vision.

With all this work, I've sadly had to give up some extracurricular activity. After two years, I have resigned from Monsters & Critics as one of their LA reviewers. It was a fun run and I owe much to editor James Wray for allowing me to contribute when I could.

My last review (for Alomodovar's fim Volver) can be read HERE. Don't worry, though. You can watch this space for movie cheers and jeers.

Keeping in the horror vein for Halloween (naturally), I paid a visit to Boney Island. Imagine Coney Island if all the carneys and marks were skeletons. Better yet, see for yourself.