Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Missing films from my collection

We all have films missing from our personal collections and I am no exception. There are two that puzzle me as to why they are not available on DVD or blu-ray or as far as I know on Netflix or other streaming services. These were all sold on VHS back in the day so why not today?


The 3rd in the Klaus Marie Braundauer trilogy of Nazi era series of film with director Istvan Svabo. The other two are readily available and all there are awesome and make a great night of depressing art cinema. All are based on real people, Mephisto takes place a the start of the third reich, Coronel Redl during the war and Hanussen was hitler's psychic... until he started seeing the end of the war in a less than favourable outcome for the nazis. 

Track 29

This film's absence is even more mysterious. Christopher Lloyd, Sandra Bernhard, Theresa Russell and Gary Oldman all in one film by Nicolas Roeg! I put this on the same level with Insignificance which I love, love  love. The film is a total mindfuck as you might have guessed form the cast and director but the cast alone should have assured it a place on DVD.

What films are missing from your collection?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Lovecraft animation at SF Indiefest!

The first animation in my Lovecraft series will be presented as part of the Another Hole in the Head section of Indiefest in San Francisco. If anyone is in the area, go and tell me how it went!

Showing In
Shorts - At the Movies of Madness
New People CinemaTue, Nov 1 9:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Nomi Apruzzese
Running Time:4 min.
Year of Release:2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pickman's Model

Pickman's Model from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

This went faster, much faster than Music of Erich Zann (which took 5 years to get done) but I think I managed to improve in several areas. The characters talk, there is depth of field in the shots and I think I boiled the story down to its essential elements. My voice is terrible, of course, but what can you do?

Problems still abound. The character modelling is not much more advanced than the last film, the rigging is better but still not where I think it should be. Texturing of the sets is fine but I am looking into a way to hand paint characters and objects with a software outside of Maxon's C4D Bodypaint which I have yet to get to work right.

Always so much to learn and improve!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

The film studio alike is by far the most innovative animation studio around these days. Previous films, Coraline, Paranormal and Box Trolls are all great films and in many ways expand on who animated films are aimed at and have stories no other studio is telling. They are all done primarily with puppet animation with a smattering of CGI for practicality and enhancement.

The story of this film is maybe the weakest point of this film. My husband got detached from it about 15 minutes in but I can't say that's normal. I thought ti was a little weak but it kept my attention the entire way through. Some of the plot elements arrive WAY too easily... there is a quest to find magical armour elements, a sword, a helmet, armoured suit... but this aspect is over taken by all the other elements and gets puts the background and pretty much forgotten by the end of the film. None of the searched for elements make a notable diffference in the story.

Basically a young mother has saved her son from// something and hides him from the night near a small village. She and her son have magic powers which at fort consist of him making origami come to life to tell a story, his story it turns out. His evil grandfather sends his scary aunts to get him when he accidentally stays out too late and the adventure begins. This is not a children's tale,I'd recommend it to young teenagers and about... there is killing and death and main character die and do not come back despite having magical story elements. I can't speak to the voice talent quality as I saw it in French. The only voice in the English version I wish I had heard was George Takei, who is amazing in anything he does.

One thing anyone watching the film can not ignore is the visuals. They are more than AMAZING. I am a little biased towards this sort of technique as I used to de-rig (take out the supports and wires) of the puppets in these sort of projects, so I am well aware of the effort it takes to pull them off. As with their other films, the end credits have some behind the scenes clips off people working on the puppets. This really adds to the experience as you get not only an idea of how time consuming it is but also the skill it take sot making the puppets and set.. which are enormous in some cases. The giant skeleton is about 10 feet tall and animated frame by frame.

the Slammer seems empty these days and abandoned by all the writers, including me. I just haven't had time or money to see anything but I hoped hat will change in the fall. I have a LONG list of thing to catch up on.

Friday, May 13, 2016

the Picnic... on sale now!

My new documentary, The Picnic, is now on sale as!

This is the story of the Million Year Picnic comic book store in Harvard Square, Cambridge - on the world's first stores dedicated to comic books and the like.

This was a long-term project, over 6 years from when I started researching to now when all the interviews are done and it's finally able to be seen. We are looking into a premier at the Brattle cinema, across the street from the store, at some point sooner than later. If it happens we will try and have a question and answer panel afterwards for those that are interested.

If you buy a copy and like it, PLEASE leave a review with many stars. If you don't like it... well don't tell anyone you saw it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Picnic - the trailer

Things are getting serious with the Million Year Picnic documentary these days as I try and get it a showing and prepare to put it on sale at Amazon.

I am also preparing a digital version for those who gave money on Indiegogo so long ago and have been so patient as i try and get this thing together.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Crumb (1994)

It took me forever to finally see this documentary (and some prodding from a friend). I have never been big fan of Robert Crumb's work but I had read Fritz the Cat and some of his comics and seen the Ralph Bakshi film over the years.

Te documentary is very good overall. It's more an intimate portrait of Crumb's family than an overview of his art, although there is plenty of depth to his art history in here as well.

Crumb's work is VERY personal. It's also not a little misogynist, racist and violent. How much is sort of an open question. Personally he is a somewhat charming guy with a family so screwed up he is by far the most normal member of it (that we know of - his sisters refused to be interviewed for the film so we know nothing of them). His art outside comics is extremely good. His portraitures in pen and ink are amazing to look at. The film does not shy away from people who find his work repulsive or even dangerous but it does not pass judgement on it and leaves that to you. Me, I found I could look at in many ways. H e could easily be exposing the worst in our subconscious and throwing it in our faces. Or he is an immature douche bag with stunted emotional development and great drawing ability.

Hard to say which is the "real" Robert Crumb.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Movie magic - the story of special effects in the cinema

John Brosnan 1974

This is less a review of a book and more a remembrance of my youth. I recently had an overpowering desire to read this book again. My original was lost in a flood eons ago and I thought I had forgotten about it...but I found myself frantically searching Amazon and buying the hard cover without a second thought.

I have absolutely no regrets. It is rare when something so influential from your youth not only holds up, but surpasses your expectations coloured by decades of fond memories. In many ways this book cemented my desire to work in visual effects for movies. I, like many kids was fascinated by monsters and spaceships, but unlike many kids I wanted to know how they were made and do it myself. This book is still inspiring despite or possibly because of the now out of date descriptions of how special effects were done back in the days before Star Wars and digital techniques changed forever how films were made.

Written well before the digital age, the histories and interviews seem much more authentic than something written today. After all, the people who invented film magic were still around to talk about the early days of the art and scale models, puppets and hand done matte paintings were still state of the art when this was published. Brosnan does more than just explain techniques but gives the context and personal stories around how all the classic and not so classic miracles of the silver screen came to be.

Reading this book has inspired and encouraged me all over again to keep pushing my craft and reminding me that while some things may be easier, sometimes the old ways were best or at the very least, retain their charm and power to this day in a way modern effects are somewhat less able to accomplish.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Music of Erich Zann

Music of Erich Zann (final) from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

My new animated project. A long haul to get it done by myself but overall I think it works. Now to the next one...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

When Magazines Were Everything

Before the internet, nonstop cable TV and even before television itself, magazines were the only place to get information on movies. Growing up I had limited access from the connivence store but after me and several friends started to branch out into corner stores all over the place we suddenly found a wealth of zines that suited our tastes. 

Seems, to me anyway, the 70s were a great time to be a film buff- especially a genre one like me and my pals. Not only were there monthlies to get, but occasionally a film would merit a special one time only issue...there was a King Kong (the original King Kong) retrospective that was double the pages (and price) which went over the film's history, effects, and influence and included tons of behind the scenes and production photos. We were always on the alert for this sort of thing as most places would get only one copy. That started to change and soon we were finding a small library of material being released every month. 

Preview Magazine
This publication seemed to have Sybil Danning on almost every cover and occasionally Caroline Monroe. To be honest, it was as close to a girlie magazine we could get away with as the articles were often secondary to the sexy photoshoots.

The legendary sci-fi media magazine.I had every issue for several years. We take for granted the never ending stream of information, media and speculation genre films produce now, but at the time starlog started, it was pretty much a lone voice in the wilderness for sci-fi fans. Every issue is available online! 

A spin off of Starlog, this was the most inspiring thing ever for aspiring film makers and effects artists, it told you in step by step detail how to produce your own effects for your super 8 productions! Also available online! 

Information on horror films but also « how to » sections on how to do make-up effects... again for your super 8 masterpieces. This magazine was still being published until very recently and outlasted the other Starlog press properties.

Film Comment
One of the greats (and still is from what I hear) intellectual film magazines. It chose not to take the stock publicity images but pick shots from the films themselves really stood out for cover images. They had in depth articles on foreign and little seen films while publishing at the excruciatingly slow rate at only one issue a year a several points. Site

In a way, the Film Comment of special effects magazines. Great covers, in depth interviews and in a great square format. Also like film comment, Ii had a very very slow release schedule but continues on today in digital form where you can access every single issue on your mobile devices. Site

A little less highbrow but very entertaining magazine with lots of photos and talk about what was being released. They had a very fun podcast until recently. It seems to be out of production… but there a website still but that seemed a little out of date whenI looked. 

This list is a personal one but it doesn't even touch on the fanzines... which are another discussion entirely. 

How did film magazines enhance your film going experiences?