Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Around six months ago, we got a cold e-mail inquiry from filmmaker Michael House then in production on his new documentary on the life and work of the great French film auteur Jacques Tati. Michael hails from the Bay Area but has been an expat living and working in London for many years. He yearned to return to the Bay to finish his film. The subject matter alone got me interested. ZAP's scope includes motion graphics, on-line HD conforming, color grading and sound design. The film is scheduled to air on the British SkyTV network sometime early next year. The Magnificent Tati will premier at the "Totally Tati" retrospective film series in Edinburgh on November 26. All six of Tati's masterworks will being showcased in an ongoing French Film Festival in Europe.
I have loved Tati's great films since college, and I was thrilled when The Criterion Collection released the controversial and fascinating "Play Time" (1967) on Blu-ray disc earlier this year. Here is just one fascinating factoid: Jacques Tati, a performing mime artist and showman had been cast as a back-up to play the mime "Baptiste" in Marcel Carnet's 1945 landmark Les enfants du paradis, in case the great Jean-Louis Barrault had been unavailable to take the part. Michael's documentary is full of fascinating historical and aesthestic info, chronicling the amazing career of a well-known filmmaker whose output was actually very small: just six films. We hear from Tati fans Black Francis/Frank Black (formerly of the Pixies) and Craig McCracken, creater of the Powerpuff Girls cartoon series; we learn that every episode has at least one visual reference to a Tati film!
From the filmmaker's website: Sit Up Straight Films
‘The Magnificent Tati’ a feature factual film on the life and work of iconic French director/comedian Jacques Tati. One of cinemas greatest artists, Tati pushed cinema to its limits with six feature films that redefined how we experience movies. ‘The Magnificent Tati’ will be the first English language feature to explore the Tati legacy, produced in collaboration with the Jacques Tati Archive in Paris, this film will offer unprecedented access to the world of Tati. The film examines Tati’s life and work and the massive influence his films have had on contemporary art, film, music and design. Shot on RedOne.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
A new comedy by Jonathan Parker starring Adam Goldberg and Marley Shelton
(Untitled) will be released by Samuel Goldwyn Films in New York and Los Angeles on October 23rd and in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington D.C., and most major cities on November 6th.
We talked about ZAP's participation in the finishing of this independent feature film in an earlier blog entry.
Haven't seen the trailer yet? Watch it here.
And here is the film's official site.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Occasionally, we have an opportunity to become involved with a film who's subject is so compelling that we drop everything to jump in. Clarity Films "Have You Heard From Johannesburg: The Bottom Line" is one.
The film will premiere at the British Film Institute's 53rd London International Film Festival at the end of October. ZAP is providing HD post production facilities for their final push.
Here is a synopsis from the London Film Festival's site:
As the British anti-apartheid movement celebrates it 50th birthday, a look at how grass roots movements mobilised during the 80s to enforce economic sanctions on South Africa.
2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the British anti-apartheid movement, and in timely fashion documentary maker Connie Field (who directed the memorable The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter and Freedom on My Mind) is working on a series of films which tell the story of the global anti-apartheid activity. The Bottom Line explores the role of money, specifically how grass-roots organisations mobilised to cut the South African government off from their financial allies in the West. Through a widely-sourced collection of archive material, Field charts the history of the power of collective action, which culminated in a number of major companies withdrawing from South Africa during the 1980s. From the employees of Polaroid and General Motors in the USA to the massed ranks of British protestors boycotting Shell and withdrawing their money from Barclays Bank, all refuse to let it be business as usual with the repressive regime. Interviews with the key players, including British activists and senior figures in UK-based banks, add fascinating insights into just how effective the economic isolation of South Africa was.