by John S
Day of the Triffids was adapted three times: once in 1963 as a theatrical film, and twice as a BBC TV mini-series in 1981 and 2009. And what a difference modern technology and an actual budget makes! More on that later. For now, we’re off to the Triffid races. Fasten your seat belts.
The 1963 version opens with some narration about how the world is filled with many different kinds of plants. “Some of those plants are carnivores,” our snooty narrator intones, “and ‘carnivore’ means ‘meat-eating’!”-clearly assuming those of us watching have not made it past third grade. Our story opens with our hero, Dr. Bill Mason (Howard Keel), recovering from some eye surgery that has left his face wrapped in bandages. Bad timing because a meteor shower of epic proportions is set to happen that evening-and Bill is going to miss it because his eye bandages won’t come off until the morning. Sucks to be Bill. Read More
by Kyle Seago
Over the past 10 years, over 1,000 young directors have showcased their cinematic creations at NFFTY – the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. At NFFTY, we take pride in knowing that we are providing an avenue for many first-time directors to showcase their work on the big screen for the very first time. Many NFFTY alumni have gone on to successful, prolific careers in the film industry and others have used their experience being in the festival to jumpstart similar visual arts endeavors.
by Norm Nielsen
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is solidly in the social-commentary-horror-film sub-genre, a sub-genre that includes George Romero’s Living Dead series and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later among others. On casual viewing, the plot of director Don Siegel’s 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers is basic 1950s low-budget horror film fare. Seeds flying around in outer space land on earth outside the fictional Southern California small town of Santa Mira, take root, and produce large pods that take over victim’s bodies as they sleep, assuming the victim’s exact likenesses, memory, and most mannerisms. Local physician Dr. Miles Binnell (Kevin McCarthy) gradually becomes aware that people he routinely sees and socializes with are simply “not themselves.” Miles comes to realize that previously peaceful Santa Mira is being taken over by an alien force, doppelgängers who resemble their earthly counterparts in almost every way, save for a lack of human emotion. Read More
by Brian Theiss
We’re all crushed by the death of Prince, a human embodiment of musical excellence who smashed through boundaries of race, gender and genre as he created some of the best and most original popular music of the last four decades. But since we’re Scarecrow Video we want to take a minute to acknowledge his work in film.
First and foremost, of course, is Purple Rain (1984), a semi-autobiographical story of Prince’s troubled family life and rise as a musician in Minneapolis dance clubs. Like some of the films of The Beatles and Elvis Presley it’s a perfect cinematic document of the young man right at the moment of exploding into rock god-dom. It’s easy to forget that many of his most iconic songs (“Purple Rain,” “When Doves Cry,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” etc.) were just made as a soundtrack album. He’s playing a struggling musician and he’s debuting some of the greatest songs of the ’80s in a small club. And much of the soundtrack was really recorded live in that club. Read More
by Robert Horton
I’m a Seattle native, and I think a lot about the importance of civic memory, especially in the rush-rush-rush of the booming metropolis that Seattle has become. We must hold on to the people and the places that made this town what it was. So anybody who loves film in Seattle should pause to consider the contribution of Dan Ireland, who died on April 14 in Los Angeles.
Dan and Darryl Macdonald came down from Vancouver, B.C., to open the Moore Egyptian Theatre in Seattle in 1975. But they didn’t just “open” the theater. They dolled it up, taking the Moore, a 1907-era palace long in decline, and slapping an Egyptian motif all over it. The idea was slightly cool, slightly corny, more than slightly camp—a signature blend for the duo. They started the Seattle International Film Festival in 1976, moved operations to the next incarnation of the Egyptian, on Pine Street, in 1980, and built SIFF into the gonzo party it is today. It can be argued that the festival hasn’t topped its run in the 1980s, when it became known for launching foreign titles and American indies (though nobody called them that then) and played host to a fabulous roster of visiting filmmakers. Read More