Archive for December 23, 2012


Santa Claus (1898)

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Santa Claus is a 1898 British short silent drama film, directed by George Albert Smith, which features Santa Claus visiting a house on Christmas Eve. The film, according to Michael Brooke of BFI Screenonline, “is believed to be the cinema’s earliest known example of parallel action and, when coupled with double-exposure techniques that Smith had already demonstrated in the same year’s The Mesmerist (1898) and Photographing a Ghost (1898), the result is one of the most visually and conceptually sophisticated British films made up to then.”

A former magic lanternist and hypnotist, Smith was one of the first British film-makers to make extensive use of special effects to create fantastical scenes. It comes as little surprise that Smith corresponded with the French pioneer Georges Méliès at about this time, as the two men shared a common goal in terms of creating an authentic cinema of illusion. (Michael Brooke)

You can watch over 2000 other complete films and TV programmes from the BFI National Archive free of charge at the BFI Mediatheque. There are Mediatheques at BFI Southbank, London, QUAD, Derby, Central Library, Cambridge, Wrexham Library and the Discovery Museum, Newcastle:
http://www.bfi.org.uk/mediatheque
http://www.derbyquad.co.uk/bfi-mediatheque
http://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/leisure/libraries/online/bfi_media.htm
http://www.wrexham.gov.uk/english/community/libraries/LibHome.htm
http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery/

–source: british film institute

Watch: Official trailer for ‘Tarantino XX: 8-Film Collection’

Yahoo! Movies today unveiled the first full-length trailer for the Tarantino XX: 8-Film Collection — a comprehensive Blu-ray box set celebrating Quentin Tarantino’s 20 years of filmmaking. Featured in the collection are eight of Tarantino’s most iconic films, including Reservoir DogsPulp Fiction, Jackie Brown,Kill Bill Vols. I and IITrue RomanceDeath Proof, and Inglourious Basterds, plus two discs with five hours of all-new bonus material.

Tarantino XX will be available in stores on November 20th and you can pre-order your box set now!

–from miramax.com

Tarantino drops the needle

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You know it well. Mia Wallace OD’s. Vincent Vega freaks out. Lance brings out the adrenaline shot and Vincent plunges the needle in her heart. But that’s not the needle we’re talking about.

The ‘needle drop’ is a term used in movies when popular music is laid on a scene in place of traditional score. Nobody knows this better than Quentin Tarantino. In an interview with Arts District, Tarantino explains his attention to detail when it comes to music in film.

“To me, my soundtracks work as two different things.  They work as a little shadow version of the movie itself. If you like the movie and you want to carry it around with you and not have to watch the story all the time but still get the feel and sense of it, they allow you to do that.”

“There was a time—back before there was video, DVD and all of that stuff—when the soundtrack was how you remembered a movie.”

Tarantino talked to The Guardian about how he starts the process of choosing the right music for each film.

“More or less the way my method works is you have got to find the opening credit sequence first. That starts it off from me. I find the personality of the piece through the music that is going to be in it… Once I know I want to do something, then it is a simple matter of me diving into my record collection and finding the songs that give me the rhythm of my movie. I find the personality of the piece through the music that is going to be in it.”

Listen to Tarantino’s soundtracks on iTunes and let us know which is your favorite in the comments below.
Reservoir Dogs (Original Soundtrack)
Pulp Fiction (Original Soundtrack)
Jackie Brown (Original Soundtrack)
Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (Original Soundtrack)
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (Original Soundtrack)
Death Proof (Original Soundtrack)
Inglourious Basterds (Original Soundtrack)
Django Unchained (Original Soundtrack)

Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction are returning to theaters this December, as one-day commemorative events. For more details and ticket information, click here. The Tarantino XX: 8-Film Collection is in stores now. Pick up yours today.

 

— from miramax.com

TOP 10 BEST BOARD GAMES OF 2012

Paste’s Best of 2012 series continues through Dec. 31 and is made possible by our friends at Tretorn.

Stratego might be the board game of the year, every year (at least before they dumped the Crimean dudes for the Fox Sports robot), but nobody should restrict themselves solely to the classics. Great board games come out every year. Some might disappear to high-priced eBay auctions after one press run, others might eventually wind up with their own shelves at Barnes & Noble and Target (that’s where I bought Settlers of Catan.) Either way, if you like games, and you like sharing and playing those games with your friends and family—you know, real, live people—it pays to pay attention to the board-game community. Paste’s resident board game experts Charlie Hall and Gus Mastrapa collaborated on this list of the best new board games of 2012.

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10. Qin
Designed by Reiner Knizia
Prolific board-game designer Reiner Knizia has a reputation for crafting mathematically sound games plastered with only a smidgen of theme. Qin is no exception. On paper you’re jockeying to colonize territories in ancient China, but in truth you’re simply placing colored dominoes to claim new ground or horn in on your opponents lands. Still, the deceptively simple play masks great depth and replayability. Launched simultaneously as an iOS app and tabletop game it’s easily one of 2012’s most accessible offerings.—Gus Mastrapa

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9. Lords of Waterdeep
Designed by Peter Lee and Rodney Thompson
Another great entry from Wizards of The Coast, this worker placement game shares relatively non-violent roots with games like Pandemic and Fresco. You’re not competing directly with other players on the board, but merely increasing your influence in the city of Waterdeep at large. Your workers are the fighters, thieves and wizards that roam the city looking for quests to undertake. You’ll draft them to your cause as you try to build structures and complete secret objectives that are known only to you. It’s a slow burn, but a game that I can return to after long absences without much time spent poring over the manual. It will definitely be in my gaming rotation for years to come.—Charlie Hall

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8. Agents of SMERSH
Designed by Jason Maxwell
This game was successfully Kickstarted back in March of this year and, well… you can’t really buy it yet unless you helped fund it. But I had so much fun playing it with the designer, Jason Maxwell, on the GenCon floor this year that I had to put it in my Top 10 list. You’ll play as a Bond-like agent of the UN Secret Service Spies against the international criminal ring SMERSH. What this game has going for it are the opportunities for collaborative story-telling and improvisation. You come upon a beautiful assassin in a casino. How do you approach the situation? You must gain entrance to a secret lab. Do you take out the front door, and everyone behind it, or do you find another entrance? Your decisions will play out as a combination of your character’s skills and some dumb luck, with the results cleverly narrated out of a voluminous play book. Look for a wider release in 2013.—Charlie Hall

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7. Star Trek Catan
Designed by Klaus Teuber
More than merely a phaser-flecked re-skinning of the board game classic Settlers of Catan, this new edition tweaks the winning formula by beaming in characters from the Enterprise that can be leveraged for one-shot benefits like extra dilithium. Miniature star-ships, space stations and a single, pesky Klingon ship replace the original game’s functional but dull wooden bits. A must for trekkers and sheep traders alike.—Gus Mastrapa

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6. Dungeon Command
Designed by Chris Dupuis, Peter Lee, Kevin Tatroe and Rodney Thompson
I never expected Wizards of The Coast to become a board-game powerhouse, but there you have it. This year WoTC has revitalized their miniatures line. Instead of randomized packs of critters and creatures,Dungeons & Dragons miniatures are now sold in themed battle packs focused on a new game system called Dungeon Command. Instead of rolling dice, players will manage a deck of action cards that are keyed to the natural powers of their minions in an effort to get more loot than their opponent and drive them from the battlefield. Noble heroes, vile goblins and hordes of undead all emerge from custom-fitted boxes meant to travel. The game is quick, fun and keeps a hint of the tactical edge that the Fourth Edition of D&D has been known for. It plays well with only a single set, better with two, and offers options to both customize your army and have massive four-way skirmishes. Cleverly designed by a team including Chris Dupuis (Risk: Legacy), this is already a franchise that WoTC has shown a commitment to with multiple expansions just this year.—Charlie Hall

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5. Fleet
Designed by Ben Pinchback and Matt Riddle
If videogames are a little obsessed with war, board games might be a tad wrapped up in the intricacies of industry and commerce. The elegant and rustic Fleet sees players building fleets of ships, purchasing licenses to pull different aquatic species out of the waters off of Nuvanut, Canada. The result is an engrossing, competitive exercise in strategy and resource management that feels more Moneyball thanDeadliest Catch.—Gus Mastrapa

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4. The Manhattan Project
Designed by Brandon Tibbetts
The race to build and test the first atomic bomb becomes a contest of logistics as rival nations wrangle to recruit the worlds best minds, tap the most fertile fuel resources and build the military industrial complex best equipped for cranking out weapons. The tension here is twofold. Committing scientists and engineers to tasks blocks moves for others. But camp too long and you miss opportunities to exploit them anew.—Gus Mastrapa

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3. Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game
Designed by Jason Little
Generally I steer clear of licenses in board games, but this title has pleased me from the start. When I first saw a pre-release design on the floor at GenCon two years ago it looked like a bald-faced clone of Wings of War, a slightly awkward card-based WWI/II dogfighting game that’s a bit long in the tooth. But the game is much easier that its predecessors. You’ll use specially made cardboard tiles to lay out your craft’s flight path in secret at the beginning of each turn, and as your field of fire intersects with your adversaries you’ll roll to take them down, burning special abilities along the way. Expansions, while pricey at $15 per craft, offer several new and challenging mechanics to explore.—Charlie Hall

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2. Mice and Mystics
Designed by Jerry Hawthorne
Every once in a while someone goes after the light RPG market by way of the board game. But nothing has quite gotten the magic of Hero Quest like Mice and Mystics. This dungeon crawler has loot, characters that level up and party achievements, as well as a charming mouse theme and gorgeous miniatures. Gift this one to someone between the ages of 9 and 12 on your shopping list—they’ll thank you some day.—Charlie Hall

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1. Seasons
Designed by Régis Bonnessée
According to this handsome card game from Régis Bonnessée the role of a great sorcerer is something akin to a juggling act. An ingenious wheel in the middle of the table marks the passage of time and the ebb and flow of elemental dominance as the seasons turn. It is the goal of would-be magicians to summon familiars, use them to wrangle these elements to their will, zap their opponents with whammies when they can and end the three year cycle as the most powerful wizard.—Gus Mastrapa

 

— By Charlie Hall & Gus Mastrapa for pastemagazine.com

 

Listen to Frank Ocean’s new song, “Wiseman”

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As previously reported, our Artist of the Year Frank Ocean penned a new song for Quentin Tarantino’s film Django Unchained. However, the untitled ballad failed to make the final soundtrack, so tonight Frank let it loose on his Tumblr. He added, “django was ill without it.” Take a listen below.

Update: The song is called “Wiseman” — click here to see the lyrics.

Tarantino explained the song’s omission in an issued statement:

“Frank Ocean wrote a fantastic ballad that was truly lovely and poetic in every way, there just wasn’t a scene for it. I could have thrown it in quickly just to have it, but that’s not why he wrote it and not his intention. So I didn’t want to cheapen his effort. But, the song is fantastic, and when Frank decides to unleash it on the public, they’ll realize it then.”

Click the link to download: http://www.sharebeast.com/pfdaolu2142p]Wiseman.mp3

 

Photo from nappyafro.com article by Alex Young for consequenceofsound.net

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PEARL JAM FRONTMAN EDDIE VEDDER

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Today is Eddie Vedder’s (born Edward Louis Severson III) 48th birthday!

Have a great birthday and a Merry Christmas Eddie.

Below clips from his concert through the years with Pearl Jam and his solo career.

Watch a New Doc About Magical Mystery Tour

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After the Beatles made their classic film A Hard Day’s Night, and the enjoyable if lesserHelp!, they made the strange successor Magical Mystery Tour.  This past Friday PBS aired an enjoyable new documentary about the making of the Beatles’ largely forgotten film, and you can now stream it below.

If you’re not a hardcore fan of the Beatles or ’60s experimental cinema, then this documentary, like the original film, may not be for you. Magical Mystery Tour was panned after it premiered in 1967. The documentary interviews several Britons who sat eagerly in front of their sets on Boxing Day in 1967, when it premiered; most were sorely disappointed and many were quite confused by the trippy, improvisational, free-associative film. (The movie was made during a year when the Beatles were heavily influenced by their use of LSD.)
Magical Mystery Tour never aired in the U.S., but this fall it got a new restoration. Martin Scorsese and others in the documentary make the case that Mystery Tour was underappreciated—and the film itself is not without its highlights. Among the stronger scenes: what amounts to an early music video for “I Am the Walrus” and a jaunty, old-fashioned dance number set to “Your Mother Should Know.”
Other sequences prefigure the kind of psychedelic imagery and formal play that would reach larger American audiences in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the Monkees’ Head (1968), and Easy Rider(1969). (Compare especially the “Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite” sequence in 2001 with what appears at 2:25 here.)
But there’s no denying that long stretches are shabby and incoherent—interesting only because they’re by the Beatles. Why are the Beatles wearing wizard hats? Why was Paul McCartney so determined to secure “a dozen midget wrestlers”? These are magical mysteries even this documentary can’t solve.For more Beatles coverage on Brow Beat, head over to Blogging the Beatles.
–by forrest wickman for slate.com

The Urban Daily

Quentin Tarantino’s slave western has been drawing criticism from the day the trailer was released and comments from the controversial director have not helped.

RELATEDSamuel L. Jackson On Gun Control, Django & Attracting Black Moviegoers

VibeTV caught up Director Spike Lee, who has had issues with Tarantino’s work in the past, to get his thoughts on “Django Unchained.”

“I cant speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it,” he tells VIBETV. “All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me…I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.”

Watch the full video below:

[ione_embed src=http://www.youtube.com/embed/LJTIWe_71mw?feature=player_detailpage service=youtube width=640 height=360 type=iframe]

Spike Lee’s latest movie, “Red Hook Summer” is out on DVD now. Watch our interview with him about that film HERE.

RELATED: Black Movies 2012: The Best And Worst Of The Year

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SCARY MOVIE 5 | Trailer

 

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