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#635: Burying the Lead

October 20, 2011

Notes from the Manager

We’re finally about to start filming, but we won’t see any “footage” for another week (just in time for Halloween). I like slow pacing. What can I say?

Yasujiro Ozu is one of my favorite directors. He’s one of Japan’s most revered filmmakers, with a career spanning from 1927 to 1962. While many of his early films have been lost, I believe all many of his sound films are available in Criterion Collection DVDs or Blu-Rays, and almost all of them are beautiful, understated (“boring,” to many people) films. Unfortunately, none are available on streaming at Netflix, but they're all up on Hulu Plus.

I have a few reviews of Ozu’s films up at the Deleted Scenes blog (originally published at Gapers Block, back in the day). His best-known film is Toyko Story, and that’s as good a place to start as any.

As Jason says, Ozu’s trademark style involved low camera angles (really, a low camera height, not low camera angles, but it’s described that way all the time), an almost motionless camera, and relatively little cutting. It’s a beautifully poetic style, and I would shamelessly rip it off if I ever made a film.

Do we have any Ozu fans out there?


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Leonard Nimoy (1931–2015)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I was never a huge Star Trek fan, exactly. I love some of the early episodes, and I think Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is one of the greatest science fiction movies of all time. I enjoyed Star Trek III and IV, too, for what they were. I read a bunch of the DC Comics Star Trek stuff at that time, because my brother bought them. And I watched a bit of the Next Generation and then fell off the wagon. Kirk and Spock were my Star Trek, and the Star Trek 2–4 “era” was its peak for me, warts and all, because that’s the “era” that really hooked me. And really, for me, it was all about Wrath of Khan.

In addition to playing Mr. Spock, of course, Leonard Nimoy did a lot of other things. He was on Mission: Impossible. He directed a few movies (Three Men and a Baby!). He was a photographer. He was the voice of Civilization IV. But one thing I really loved of his was Standby: Lights, Camera, Action, on Nickelodeon from 1982–1987, which provided a behind the scenes look at movies like Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi, 2010, and more. Nimoy hosted and occasionally interviewed guests like George Lucas. As a budding film nerd in the pre-Internet Dark Ages, behind the scenes specials like Standby: Lights, Camera, Action were hard to come by. I ate that show up.

Anyway, as you’re undoubtedly aware by now, Leonard Nimoy passed away on the 27th. As cartoonists do when they’re sad about these kinds of things, I drew a picture:

Leonard_Nimoy

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