Friday, December 23, 2016

What happened to Theme Music and Soundtracks?

Having started my serious film going in the 70s I was spoiled by the amazing music being produced for films… big films had theme music that invaded popular culture, something that rarely happens anymore. 

Think about it, John Williams alone created the music for Jaws, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the Fury while Gerry Goldsmith did the Omen, Star trek the Motion Picture, Alien… even reading the names I bet you are hearing the themes to those movies in your head. (Well maybe not the Fury, not exactly a cultural touchstone but believe me the music was great.)

What has happened since then? When was the last time a new movie came out that had you humming the theme music when exiting the theatre? When did directors and executives in Hollywood decide that generic music was good enough for even the biggest budgeted movies? Sorry theme songs don’t count, it’s too easy for them to seep into the popular culture. I am talking about instrumental compositions that helped bring the experience to a new level, that stood on its own as music in it’s own right. 

I miss it. Television still seems to know the value of a good theme and the power of recurring music throughout a series. There must be composers out there that can step up as Williams and the rest step down, no? At this point, I would even welcome the disco versions of popular movie themes coming back! who can forget the MECO version of Jaws 2? 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cool Air (short film)

Cool Air from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

My 3rd and maybe last Lovecraft short animation. At least for a while unless someone decides to pay me to do more.

Here are Links to the first two

Music of Erich Zann ( presents at Another Hole in the Head, November 1st San Francisco)
Pickman's Model

Saturday, October 29, 2016

2 ½ Nosferatu

Nosferatu, the silent, illegally made version of Dracula, is still the greatest of them all. It's hard to beat Max Schrek in the role and his look is, to this day, creepy as hell. Despite there not being a complete version, the various restored prints get across the genus of filmmaker Murnau and it's imitated in style and tone by new filmmakers and probably all future ones.

The Herzog versions made a huge effort to get a modernized take on the original. He filmed in the city the silent was filmed in and Klaus Kinski looks AMAZING. The wine pouring scene with those ton like claws of his is unsettling decades later.

There are two Herzog version of Nosferatu... one German, one English. Same cast and same shots. It's really hard to tell them apart if the sound is of. I find the English version a little less effective since English was not the first language for any of the actors.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Village Gai

A new documentary... in French. It's 6 minutes so practice your French or just take look. I have been trying to get this done the last 8 months so i'm glad its off the table now.

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.