Poster + Teaser for Neo-giallo “Amer” (2009)

I’m a sucker for great movie poster art and the schlockiness of a giallo film.

Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s Amer looks like a pretty dead-on throwback:

  • Todd Brown’s Amer review on Twitch

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find a US release date for it anywhere…


Still Frame of the Day: Stop Making Sense (1984, USA)

The Factoter: Alfred Hitchcock

Hitch: A True Ladies' Man

Hitch: A True Ladies' Man

As a very memorable birthday gift this year, my friend Tim*—creator of the whimsically informative trivia-based podcast, The Factoter—dedicated a recent episode to me and my filmic interests.

Have a listen to the episode: Factoter 906 – Hitchcock

Fans of minutia, public-radio-style audio essays and the like, should get a kick out of these. Check out other episodes here!

[*He and I share an appreciation for the oft-ignored, yet masterful use of the eponymous MacGuffin of Weekend at Bernie’s.]

Trailer for Nicolas Refn’s “Valhalla Rising” (2009)

Of Danish director Refn’s films, I’ve only seen The Pusher trilogy, a collection of modern Neorealist crime films made over the course of a decade—each installment better than the last—and stylistically composed in a manner not unlike 2008’s critically lauded Gomorra.

From Todd Brown’s review over at Twitch, it sounds as if Valhalla is much more abstract, both thematically and structurally, than the trailer lets on. For starters its main character, One Eye (played by Pusher/Pusher II [co-]star Mads Mikkelsen, who also played villain Le Chiffre in Casino Royale), remains completely mute throughout the entire film.

I’m hoping that this one ends up at Chicago International this year! I guess I’ll find out next week, when they release the full schedule*.

[*update: it’s not a part of the lineup, and that is a bummer. However, the fact that it’s being labeled as a “VIKING FAIL” by various Tweetards only makes me that much more interested, since I assume at least some of them were hoping for some sort of Norwegian 300.]

“Never the Sinner: The Leopold and Loeb Story” closes Aug. 2!

6 more shows left, Chicagoland folks! Come check it out — you won’t be disappointed!

“A video projection on the back wall provides back-story using authentic 1920s Chicago film reels spliced with footage of the actors themselves. The production value of these clips alone is worth the price of admission.” –Christopher McCabe

“It’s Rashid’s design team…with stunning, gray-scale costumes from Liz Hoffman and eerily opulent filmic backdrops by Jim Vendiola—whose stark vision unites the evening into a gorgeous, coherent whole.” –TimeOut Chicago

“Film designer Jim Vendiola’s  integration of found footage from the era and new work created for the production gives the show extra depth.” –Newcity Stage

“Jim Vendiola’s grainy videography cunningly splices together shots of period newspaper headlines with fleeting interludes of Popp and Hays’ characters gliding blissfully through the University of Chicago campus, caught in a folie a deux that neither they nor we can fully comprehend, but that leaves us with an aching sense of waste.” –Chicago Tribune


Still Frame of the Day: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975, Belgium)

Upcoming Theatre | “Never the Sinner: The Leopold and Loeb Story”

Here are some details for the upcoming theatrical production, on which I’ve been working for the past month-or-so:

Chicago, 1924:
Two kids, born into a world of wealth and privilege, plan to commit the perfect crime.

Join Project 891 Theatre Company for its inaugural production directed by Michael Rashid and featuring Matt Hays, Ron Popp, Gary Murphy, Robert Kaercher, Matthew Lozano, Jacob A. Ware and Liz Hoffman.

July 10 – August 2
Chemically Imbalanced Theatre
1420 W Irving Park Rd. Chicago, 60613

Here’s the promotional trailer that I made for the show:

The live production will also feature cinematic clips (that I’m assembling with director, Michael Rashid, specifically for this show), projected onstage during the performance. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, please come and check it out!!


And, if you’re unfamiliar with the case and story, here’s a good place to start. Hope to see some of you next month!