For movie watchers, few things can be more frustrating than films that begin with a sequence of immense promise, only to show over the remainder that the emperor truly wears no clothes. Two new examples come from the horror realm.
Until now, Ethan Hawke was having a wonderful year. Before Midnight, the third leg of his trilogy with director Richard Linklater and actress Julie Delpy, brought waves of critical acclaim and talk of another Oscar nomination for their collaborative screenplay, while The Purge turned a meager investment into a highly profitable box-office take.
Neither a chain of spice stores nor a Food Network program, The Seasoning House is a bleak-as-nuclear-winter thriller set during the Balkan conflict of the 1990s. A deaf girl named Angel (Brit teen Rosie Day) is taken from her home by soldiers who shoot her mother dead.
Paul Schrader’s The Canyons opens and closes with a montage of abandoned movie theaters. For this film in particular, that choice strikes one as symbolic in several ways: not only as a comment on the state of the industry, but on the state of The Canyons itself. You’re unlikely to find many 2013 films this empty.
What's a director of classic musicals doing in science fiction? Making Saturn 3, one of the worst of the genre Hollywood made in the immediate post-Star Wars / Alien era. Stanley Donen (Singin' in the Rain) takes to it about as well as you'd expect; he's in over his head.
Musicphiles surely are aware of local videographer Nathan Poppe. From his “on.” series at Oklahoma State University to his current work on “The VDub Sessions,” he has showcased Oklahoma bands
Musicphiles surely are aware of local videographer Nathan Poppe. From his “on.” series at Oklahoma State University to his current work on “The VDub Sessions,” he has showcased Oklahoma bands in four to five minute segments for close to two years.
Poppe is devoting a little more time to his latest subject, making his first foray into feature films with a 40-minute rock doc playing a 6 p.m. tonight at Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan, as part of the deadCENTER Film Festival. Individual tickets are $10.
“Black Canyon’s Crossroads for the Restless” has the Enid folk band playing the seven songs from its Civil War concept album, each in a different location in the group’s hometown relevant to the subject matter at hand (even filming in the presumed resting place of Abraham Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth).
From a cemetery to an abandoned drive-in theater, the four-piece shares its special story through song with unique and colorful settings for each tune.
Making his directorial debut, Poppe shared a little bit behind the production process, the things he learned from it, and how he’ll carry those things forward.
Gazette: What about doing this movie was more rewarding than the other projects you've done?
Poppe: My friends and I have been working on music projects for more than two years. Having the chance to collaborate with them on this project pushed the film to the finish line at deadCENTER.
Gazette: How'd you come to document Black Canyon in particular?
Poppe: I came to document Black Canyon because I loved the story behind its music. I'm glad I got to document the band because the way in which the songs are performed won't be replicated.
Gazette: Where did the title of the film come from?
Poppe: There was a newspaper in a hotel we filmed in. The title came from a headline on the newspaper.
Gazette: What will moviegoers/spectators take away from the film?
Poppe: I hope people think this film has interesting music, and I want people to connect to the story hidden in the songs.
Gazette: You did the filming in just 24 hours. What positive aspects came from doing it in such a short frame of time?
Poppe: Because the film was shot so quickly, we didn't worry about it being the most perfect film in the world. We set out without expectations and documented what Black Canyon had created. It provided the crew with a challenge to finish filming and move on the treacherous editing process.
Gazette: How did the band react to seeing the film for the first time?
Poppe: I remember smiles and laughter.
Gazette: What about it are you proudest of?
Poppe: The videography crew. This film wasn't made by me; it was made by two groups: my friends and Black Canyon. I am proud the two could collide and end up with this film.
Gazette: What from this experience will you continue to apply through the years with everything else you do?
Poppe: The more you involve people, the better. This was the biggest crew and the biggest filming session I've ever experienced. Remembering the importance of everyone that helped make a film possible is clutch. It's easy to get caught up and overlook a multitude of details such as lighting, audio and being hungry. I want to learn how to pay attention better; that's something I will apply to everything I do.
Gazette: Describe the Civil War in your best Sarah Palin voice.