Well, completely by coincidence, as I opened this article form and looked down at the clock, it was 4:20. On 4/20. I think that means Nicolas Cage is going to show up at my house or the hatch is going to explode or something like that...
At any rate, it's been a quiet weekend on the news front, but I'm sure there's things worth discussing this morning. I actually headed to bed around 5:30 AM thinking it was going to be tough to fill today's column. Then I got up around 10:30, started checking all my usual haunts, and now it's almost an hour and a half later and I'm realizing there's no way I can fit all of this into one Morning Read, so I guess I'm already ahead for tomorrow. Thanks, internets.
I guess the first thing you should look at today is also the most amazing thing you'll look at all day, a short film called "Carousel" by Adam Berg. This was created as part of the ad campaign for the new Philips 21:9 TVs, and it is a potent reminder that as much as people love to talk about how over-expensive feature films are, they have nothing on the per-second cost of advertising, where people can spend as much as a million dollars per second to sell you a car. I'm not sure I see the need to once again tweak the aspect ratio of TVs after the industry just started to get people onboard the whole 16:9 train, but I think this spot is a gorgeous work of visual art, no matter what it's selling. And if you follow the links to the microsite, you'll get a very cheeky glimpse at what went into making the short, although Berg really doesn't give up his secrets. It's more a fun extension of the short film, and it suggests that Berg's got wit to go along with his enormously exiting visual style. Someone give this guy a movie. Now.
[more after the jump]
And if you want an embed, the only one I could find is from Today's Big Thing, but I recommend checking out at least the official microsite version, since it's got all the extras built in.
Next up, we've got another video (I know, I know... not a lot of reading in this read so far) that is all about visual pow. I love this sort of thing. I've always been a cinematography nerd, and right now, tech is enabling us to do all sorts of things that we've never done before, shooting things in ways we've never shot them before, and it's exciting to see. FilmDrunk brought this one to my attention, and their write-up of it is pretty funny. The video itself, though... wow.
Michael Bay got his start in commercials and videos, of course, as did many filmmakers, so it's no surprise when people start with things like the two videos embedded above. Bay's been making noises lately about doing something smaller between "Transformers 2" and "Transformers 3," and over at /Film, they may have figured out what that "small movie" is. I like the sound of that project... sounds like a Carl Hiaasen book.
I mentioned that the Cinemapocalpyse was coming to town last week, and I made it to the first night they held at the New Beverly. Devin Faraci was there, too, and he's got a great write-up of the second film of the evening, the completely-insane "Redneck County Rape." It's a film I can't even believe exists, and it's so worth finding at some point if you love exploitation movies.
Alex Cox loves spaghetti westerns so much he actually went and made one years ago. Still didn't scratch that itch, though, as he obviously still has them on his mind. I love his list of his ten favorite Italian Western Deaths, and now he's given me four new titles to track down and see. Thanks, sir. Can't wait to see what your "Repo Man" sequel looks like.
There were two publicity stills for "The Lovely Bones" released this weekend, but Empire effectively ruined theirs. I understand the need to watermark images, especially when many sites online are happy to poach exclusives outright, but when your watermark is tantamount to vandalism, then maybe it defeats the purpose altogether. The one in USA Today actually gives you a better look at a character and a moment, our first glimpse of Stanley Tucci in the movie. It's been an unusually long gestation for this film, but I'm hoping it's worth it when Peter Jackson releases his first film since "King Kong" a little later this year.
I've seen about ten different people post this link to Twitter today, and it's sort of amazing to watch a 13-year-old Seth Rogen doing stand-up. 13 years ago, he was 13 years old. That means I am... old as shit. Excuse me while I go walk around my block and sob inconsolably.
Wow. Weird, right? I hope Judd Apatow used some of that in "Funny People" somehow. I don't know where it would fit, but what a gift.
I didn't realize Spielberg guest-edited the 20th anniversary issue of Empire, but /Film's got the details. Impressive. I hope it's as fun as the kick-ass Wired issue that JJ Abrams edited that's on stands now. One thing's for sure... Spielberg gets some good access. That should be unsurprising, and it appears he got Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson to talk about their plans for "The Hobbit" in a bit more detail. I just noticed on Facebook the other day that Mike Mignola is in New Zealand working on "The Hobbit." The idea of him doing Tolkien design work makes me dizzy with geek joy. Can't wait.
Mr. Beaks has a great piece up today detailing what the April releases are from The Warner Bros. Archive, and why you should support the program. I'm about to take the plunge and finally order my first batch of movies from them, and I appreciate the kick in the ass from Beaks.
If you're a fan of David Simon's brilliant "The Wire," congratulations, you have a brain and good taste. You may want to check out this piece, where someone's gotten hold of Simon's original pitch to HBO. Fascinating to see where his thought process began on the show, and to realize just how firmly he had the picture in his head before he even began.
And finally this afternoon, here's another taste of what Edgar Wright's got cooking in Toronto right now. Have I mentioned yet that I can't wait for "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World"? Because I can't.
Good god, Mary Elizabeth Winstead is adorable. Here's hoping this is the break-out role she's needed to begin her eventual take-over of the world.
There's a lot more out there worth reading today, but it's already late and I have a few more things I want to publish, so I'll get an early edition of The Morning Read ready for you guys tomorrow. See you then.
The Morning Read appears here every day, Monday through Friday. Except when it doesn't.
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