Sunday, June 24, 2018

The tell tale heart - short animation 2018 Vincent-louis Apruzzese

My new film is based on Edgar Allen Poe's The Tell Tale Heart. It took a lot out of me this time... it's a lot of work doing everything from writing to animation to the voice myself. I have a couple more Poe tales on the back burner - but they will wait for next year, I think.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Burroughs: The Movie 1983 directed by Howard Brookner

I discovered this film at a limited showing in Boston in 1983 and if I remember right, I was the only person in attendance. It was a highly acclaimed film so it wasn’t the film’s fault no one was there. I had been a long time admirer of William S. Burroughs, his writing and his eccentric ideas and particularly loved the way he read his own stories. I knew only bits and pieces of his history and was impressed at the information this movie gave me not just of the facts but of how it gave a real impression of the man Burroughs was and he he affected those around him. 

The filmmaker, Howard Brookner, followed Burroughs for 5 years and did an incredible amount of interviews with Bill’s friend’s and associates. The director and his subject because close friends during the project and it remains the only documentary that Burroughs participated in personally. Watching the subject interact with friends and places he knew since childhood you see glimpses of the real person under his very constructed public persona. Burrough's son died during the production, ending a very strained father/son relationship.

In 2012, archives of Brookner’s works were found in various locations and included all kinds of original materials and out-takes which were then reworked into a restored version of the documentary. Seeing it again really shows how much things have changed over the years. For one thing, it’s in square format something that has long since disappeared with the advent of the 16:9 standard being brought to televisions over recent years. It is without a doubt made on film, which gives it a look that digital just doesn’t have for better or worse. 

Sitting alone watching this the first time was like having a private viewing of a rare gem and seeing again I had that same feeling. I can’t recommend it enough.  Sadly it’s creator died of AIDS in 1989, working up to the very end and depriving us of who knows how many wonderful future projects he might have done. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Godzilla VS. The Smog Monster 1971 directed by Yoshimitsu Banno

This film’s actual title is Godzilla vs. Hedorah and is maybe one of the campiest films in the series. There was a planned sequel but the series producer had the film so much those ideas were scrapped. still, in the hearts of many people, this film has a warm place in their hearts - including mine. 

The story is meant to be a warning to humanity of the danger of pollution, which spawns a giant monster that evolves quickly from turd tadpole to flying turd that seems to fart killer gases that kills hundreds. Finally it becomes a walking creature about the same size of Godzilla so they can fight man to man so to speak. The military creates of wall of giant electrodes to dry out the stinky giant piece of crap but it gets damaged during the monsters battle and Godzilla must activate it with his atomic breath. Hedorah has one more trick up it’s sleeve(?) and another version flies out of the remnants of the last forcing Godzilla to fly after it using his breath as propulsion. He catches it, using the electrons again and pulls out what we assume as eggs and drys them out too before leaving humanity behind - giving us a dirty look on his way out the door. Godzilla wants us to know this was a problem of our own making. 

The film starts with an AWESOME go-go dancer singing the theme song and is filled with all sorts of 70s kitsch. As a kid seeing this at the movies I wanted the toys the young boy is playing with at the beginning. I still do. The message of the film though clunky is still unfortunately relevant. More relevant in fact as we have done pretty much nothing to solve the problem of pollution. 

Production for the movie was pretty low end. 35 days to shoot it and a budget of only 250,000$. To top it off the guy in the Smog Monster suit had a ruptured appendix and had to be operated while still in the suit! 

If you want to see my Dramatic readings animations of the theme song, and why wouldn't you, click below!
Dramatic Reading:Save the Earth