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Premiere: ‘La Passione’, James Franco’s New Short Film

As announced, we are premiering James Franco’s new short film, La Passione, right here, right now. It’s a decadent and beautifully shot trip that riffs on Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, if it were shot on acid and starred the ATL Twins as demons. So without further ado… we present La Passione.

Watch it here

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‘Our cameras are our weapons. They are the reason the revolution will succeed.’

New documentary film The Square centers on Cairo’s Tahrir Square and follows the ‘thorny path to democracy [that] only began with Hosni Mubarak’s fall.’ It also just won the Tim Hetherington Award at the Sheffield Doc/Fest.

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Tokyo Dreams by Nicholas Barker

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Nicholas Barker likes to film things that he finds amusing: ‘questions of taste, hetrosexual fiasco, domestic absurdity, acts of idiocy, all forms of self-delusion. Anything in short that is somehow funny, painful and true.’

His latest documentary ‘Tokyo Dreams’ narrates the undeniable sleeping methods of subway rides in Tokyo. Almost ten minutes long, the film takes the viewer through the transforming landscape of the city, capturing all sorts of habitants and their dozing off. 

Find more information here

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Original author: 
Mark Aitken

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In 2011 I set off with a camera to explore a mental asylum in Mexico run by its own patients. The place is just beyond the last junkyard on the curdled fringe of Juárez, the world’s most violent city. On one level these people shared common purpose in that they dressed each other, cleaned each other, fed each other. But then there were many other levels, many other worlds. The tragicomedy of Beckett was everywhere, I can’t go on, I’ll go on, while the infantile grotesqueness of Jarry’s Ubu Roi was never far away. The more I filmed, the less I understood and the more curious I became.

I met a man called Josué who was managing the asylum. Five years previously he’d lost his mind and the ability to walk but I found him in a reflective mood. He told me his dream. After two visits and many hours of material my editing was frustrated by a desire to present the mystery I’d encountered while needing a story to hang it on. Then Josué’s dream came true. His daughter in LA emailed me to ask what her father was doing in a mental asylum. She’d seen a trailer for the film I’d posted online. She hadn’t seen her father in 22 years and had been told he was dead. Two more visits and I managed to put Josué and his daughter together and filmed the reunion.

The film, titled Dead When I Got Here, is due to be finished later this year and we’ve launched a Kickstarter to help fund its completion.

Below is an exclusive scene for Boing Boing featuring Josué trying to reason with a psychopath, and an excerpt from my diary during the last shoot at the asylum.

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20th December 2012 - Thursday

I asked Josué how he was feeling. He’s had injections of some potent anti-biotic in his backside and he’s now back on his feet. I know I’m coming down with something and I think I know where I got it from. We talked about the weather and then he mentioned that someone had died last night. Apparently death visits in threes here and this is the third in six days.

The police are called and a group of county officers roll up as if from central casting. There’s a tall one, a short one, a fat one with attitude and a thoughtful one. They’re all tooled up with big black sub-machine guns and I’m waiting for them to tell me to stop filming. The only time they ever come here is when they want to dump some human detritus from the street or when someone dies. Death needs to be defined as suspicious or natural. Suspicious is where these guys come in. Where the natural causes lie here, God only knows.

Eventually, the fat officer wants to know why there’s a camera in his face. I explain with Josué backing me and all is well. They’re giving Josué a hard time about people dying here without having any professionals around to run the place. By professionals I assume they mean people like themselves. They work in a city that records eight murders a day and no one is ever arrested. In El Paso just across the line there was one murder last year. They caught the guy.

Josué lets on to the police that he was nearly dead when he arrived here and there’s no one quite as qualified as himself and everyone else here to run this asylum. People are dying because of the cold. They’re weak. They’re mentally ill. The police take their medicine and listen. It’s a beautiful scene.

We then rush off to find the family of the deceased man. None of their phone numbers worked but Josué eventually found an address. He’s very agitated. We pull off the main road, ask directions and arrive at the colonia and meet the mother. Josué shares the burden and the mother cries. She insists on being taken to the asylum to see her son. On the journey back the dossier on the son shivers on the vibrating dashboard. His photo is reflected in the windscreen as an apparition.

Back at the asylum the woman’s son has already been taken away to the morgue. He had lived here since it opened 17 years ago. I guess that made him some sort of mascot. She walks around the patio and then waits at the gate for a lift home. I film her weeping from some ancient well of hopelessness. She seems to get smaller as the shadows get longer around her.

With the knife-edge desert cold the patients hardly come out of their rooms. I film a scene where a door is opened to the main room inhabited by men. They’re passed bowls of soup and they all clamber at the entrance, grunting and growling and clawing at the food. It looks like they haven’t eaten for days yet I know they’re actually receiving seconds after lunch. I think it’s because they’re always worried that every meal might be their last. No matter how regular the servings, nothing will ever change that memory of hunger.

It’s a great single shot and John on sound was mesmerised. I shoot until the door is closed and locked on them. What I don’t see is the herd of dogs licking up spillage at the foot of the doorway. Shots like these are hypnotic and everything vanishes outside the myopia. How I put a shot like this in the film is another thing. I want to convey my encounter with what I saw and not attempt to explain it. It’s a vision of hunger and how it makes people behave. Or maybe it simply serves as a reminder of our almost indestructible instinct to survive. Yet I suspect it will offend many people who will be outraged at how these people are treated. I also know that they would all be dead if they weren’t in this asylum. There aren’t any other options. The people who will complain about this are telling us that they care. This feeds nothing but their own conscience. It’s as if caring is an end in itself. I think we have a lot to learn from these hungry people.

Dead When I Got Here

    

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yonghow

A few months ago I posted a teaser trailer for the omnibus animation project by Otomo Katsuhiro, with renowned animation directors like Koji Morimoto, Hiroaki Ando and Morita Shuhei each helming a short.

Now the official website has been updated to include director interviews, image galleries and concept art for each animated short, and not the least a gorgeous splash page montage as you see above. (the tagline reads something like : “This is where it all starts.”)

Check out some images from the gallery and scroll down to the bottom for the latest trailer.













Folks familiar with Otomo-san’s work will recognize “Farewell To Weapons” (Buki Yo Saraba) as one of the short stories found in his Memories manga. Character design for this short is handled by the incredibly talented concept designer/illustrator Tatsuyuki “Cannabis Works” Tanaka. In addition, character design work for Gambo, directed by Hiroaki Ando ( co-director of Tekkon Kinkreet ) is none other than Sadamoto Yoshiyuki.

This project is shaping up to be one of the more exciting anime films of late, and especially because many of the artists involved are colleagues I worked with on Freedom Project.

The film starts its theatrical run on the 20th of July. Go here for the official page.

Related Posts:



  1. Short Peace – Otomo Katsuhiro’s New Animated Film Trailer


  2. Short Peace – Otomo Katsuhiro + Shuhei Morita


  3. Freedom Seven Trailer


  4. Otomo Katsuhiro Genga Exhibition


  5. GODAIZER Animation Short Singapore Premier
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cookie

A friend has just made his first short film – Beer Scooter by Nathan Cooper. A lighthearted take on how you get home when you’ve had one too many to remember. Beautifully shot Nathan, I’ve ridden that scooter home many at time :)

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HARMONY KORINE ON JAMES FRANCO AND GUCCI MANE

Harmony tells us some stories from behind the scenes of Spring Breakers, with personal production photographs by Annabel Mehran and never-before-seen footage from the set by producers Chris and Roberta Hanley.

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The Arting Life | You’d Be Arrested if You Tried to Take These Airplane Photos TodayLike wearing shoes through security before Richard Reid's failed airplane bombing, setting up a telephoto lens at the end of an airport runway wasn't a big deal before 9/11. Photographer John Schabel did just that between 1994 and 1996 for ...

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 Supercut Homage to Photographer Movies Plays With StereotypesEnglish artists Mishka Henner and David Oates' supercut short film pulls together clips of photographer characters in movies from famous films like Blow Up, Salvador, and other not so critically-acclaimed films like Harrison's Flowers.

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New York: Night and Day from Philip Stockton on Vimeo. By shooting locations during the day and then again at night, Stockton uses digital rotoscoping techniques to combine the footage and create snippets of daily life that defy time. Truly worth checking out in full-screen.

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