Yellow Plastic Raygun Wins Best Experimental Film Award at Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles

Well I’m just very pleased about this.  The Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles has given my film, Yellow Plastic Raygun, the award for Best Experimental Film.  I was having quite a nice week attending various parties and screenings at the festival.  Its use of multiple locations in the heart of downtown Los Angeles gives one a real sense of taking part in the life of the city and being involved with something that’s helping to foster the exploding art and film scene in downtown.  Most of the short films were screened in the new Civic Center Theater at the intersection of First and Main Streets, in the shadow of the famous City Hall tower that has appeared in so many crime shows and film noir classics.  I attended the screening of my own film this past Saturday evening and was amazed at seeing it large since I had put so much work into it on small monitors.  What’s great about the Downtown Film Festival is that it shows a wide range of filmmaking styles, crew sizes and budgets.  They show films made with lots of production resources right alongside films made by individual artists working with inexpensive HD cameras and even cell phone cameras.  I am very proud to have won this and I look forward to more great festivals in downtown Los Angeles from the people who put this together.

Yellow Plastic Raygun Selected for Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles

The Downtown Film Festival Los Angeles has made my latest short film, Yellow Plastic Raygun, part of their official selection!  So if you are in Los Angeles on Saturday, September 11, 2010 and you want to see an evening of short films, come by the Civic Center Theater at First and Main Street right across from the City Hall building.  The shorts program starts at 10:00 pm.  Here’s a link to the festival schedule.

I am very happy about this.  I like the idea of a film festival right here at home where I can go and hang around with some other insane filmmakers.  It should be an interesting Saturday night.

Animation: Call of the Cthulhu In Under 2 Minutes

In general, I am deeply suspicious of the web trend for geeks to head toward steampunk, octopuses, and all things Cthulhu.   There’s a vague and creeping racism underneath the cute old-fashioned, brass-fitted surface.  I’ve also held a certain amount of contempt for H.P. Lovecraft. I think the guy was a closeted white supremacist with a knack for telling horrifying tales that are about white supremacists.  I can imagine him as Sarah Palin’s favorite author… if she reads.  The Cthulhu stories are genuinely frightening and his writing does contain a high creep quotient. But I’m just about ready to launch DOS attacks on sites that dig every alien octopus that shows its tentacles.

This, of course, is Lovecraft’s Call of the Cthulhu in under 2 minutes. It’s very well done and I like the use of the newspapers to move the story. Declan Moran made it. He also made Dante’s Inferno in Under 2 Minutes.

Trailer for Metropolis with Restored Lost Footage

Hey! I thought I had the darned movie already! But now there’s yet another ‘restored’ version of Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction masterpiece, Metropolis. Boy is that a gorgeous trailer though! Wow! And the music is far better than what’s on my DVD. This is the movie that just keeps making itself over and over and over.

I want to make a feature film and I’ll release the 2-hour version, but there will be 17 hours of ‘lost footage’ hidden in various places around the globe so that the movie can recompile itself over the decades into an ‘official version’ which bears absolutely no resemblance to the original movie. Or better yet, I’m going to start shooting fake Metropolis footage and then discover it in the broom closet of an old bus depot in the middle of Kansas. So the movie will suddenly expand to 4 and a half hours.

Aldus Huxley Narrates Brave New World

This is an LP of a 1957 recording of Aldus Huxley narrating his science fiction masterpiece, Brave New World. The music is by Bernard Herrmann.  Of course, it’s not really the book.  It’s a 1 hour radio dramatization.  The book is a frightening look at a future of genetic breeding and an anesthetized  population of perfectly content people without desires.  They are kept uninformed and comfortable so that they will remain peaceful and easy to control by a ruling order.  They are made to cherish their servitude and oppression.

Huxley believed that George Orwell’s vision of the future in 1984 was too extreme and that oppression of large populations would be watered down into something resembling pleasure and entertainment.  They were both partly right.

So read Huxley’s book and think about the world around you and how little is really expected of you.

Listen to Side 1 of the Brave New World LP

Listen to Side 2 of the Brave New World LP