Saturday, October 24, 2009

Film education and ghosts in letters

Dear Readers,

Just recently I've been following a blog called Letters of Note. The blog contains letters of correspondence which have some historical value or interest. Some are moving, some are funny and some are quite revealing of the people who write them. I discovered a few film-related letters which interest me greatly. The first is from author Phillip K Dick to the makers of Blade Runner, a film based on one of his books. You can read it here. The most moving thing about this letter is that it was written shortly before the author died. Read it and you'll see what I mean. It also lends more truth to what I always say about films and that is heart is the most important ingredient.
The second letter is from Matt Parker to the MPAA about the changes made to Southpark: The Movie in order to secure the correct rating for the film. It's hilarious but completely offensive so please don't read it if you are not a fan of the film. The best bit of the letter is the PS: This is my favourite memo ever. Read this here if you dare.

If you read my previous post, you'll recall that I was dedicated to watching the AFI's top 100 films of all time. Multiple film-friends of mine have stated that this list really has no merit and that it's more a list of popcorn favoutes. I somewhat disagree and find that most films on the list are memorable because they've had an in impact on the culture of at the very least Western society and I believe that's a pretty big deal. That is not to say that smaller films or non-American films can be counted as doing so. I'll seek out THOSE lists later. Baby steps.

I watched Ben Hur the other day for the first time in a very long time. I have to admit I completely forgot it was a bible story. I'm not a devout person but the nature of the story didn't really bother me. I thought it was a beautiful, if a tad overlong, film with some of the best cinematograpy I've ever seen. Charleton Heston defied logic in real life but as an actor captured the tortured and lost character of Judah Ben Hur perfectly though I should add Haya Harareet who played Esther was divine. If her character's words were those of most Christians, and they were spoken with her unbending enthusiuasm and belief, I would think the religion would be experiencing an increase in membership rather than a decline. I can see why this film is a must-see and I am grateful to those who made it. Well worth the huge budget at the time I must say.

So as you might have guessed I'm watching the AFI top 100 from 100 to 1.

Here are the first 5 I need to watch:

97 BLADE RUNNER (1982)
99 TOY STORY (1995)
100 BEN-HUR (1959)

I couldn't find Yankee Doodle Dandy on DVD and, though I have seen it many times as a youngster on TV in the States, I don't remember it well enough to do an appropriate review. I'm wondering now how I might get through this list as I no longer have a VHS player and there are no more VHS hire places that I know of in my area. Luckily I own a good chunk of the ones which are on DVD but advice on where to find those not yet transferred or the more rare films, I would appreciate.
I believe Do the Right Thing is not available on DVD near me either. *sigh*

I'm looking forward to watching Toy Story however, as I am excided about the third installment. That and watching Toy Story is never a bad idea.

In other news I've started a tiny segment on my friend's radio show called the Klaus of Pain. It's a funny segment where I review some Z grade DVD's. I usually post on my twitter account when it's about to be on with a link to listen live so please follow me on twitter if you are so inclined. Team Radio, the show on Nova where I present my segment, can be found on twitter and on facebook so please check them out. The hosts are two very talented comedians.

Thanks for continuing to read and please take a moment to view my followers list on this blog and check out theirs in turn.

All the best,


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