The Insidious: Chapter 3 press tour rolled through Philly last weekend, scaring thrill seekers with its 4DX mobile haunted house. 4DX, short for 4-Dimension Experience, combines classic haunted house jump scares with a state-of-the-art virtual reality experience. When you first enter the trailer you have to adjust your eyes to the enclosed set that has been created for you. As you make your solo journey through the halls you are greeted by surprise skeletons and other jump scares. Finally, you reach your assigned room where a doting attendant assists your transfer into a spirit realm called “The Further.”
Using the Oculus Rift headset and surround-sound headphones, 4DX transports you into the story ofInsidious as a spirit that has left its body. Initially, you find yourself sitting in a pleasant suburban living room. When you look up, down, left, or right the Oculus recognizes so your view changes to what you turn to look at. Loud slams turn your attention to a far window to your right where a figure shrouded behind white curtains attempts to break in. A voice speaks in front of you and you turn to see Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye), the medium from Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2 explains to you that you are astral projecting. Cool, right? Nope, terrifying because she goes on to explain that the dead are coming for your soul because they want to live again.
Simply, the experience was amazing. After Elise plants you firmly in the situation as a helpless victim you are set loose on a roller coaster of fright. The virtual reality is so intense and immersive that at times you are paralyzed in your seat, fighting to resist the urge to remove the headset to end the fear. It was such a wonderful terror that I found myself wishing it wouldn't end. Certainly, theInsidious: Chapter 3 4DX haunted house showcased the franchise's mastery of horror is back to steal your breath.
--Mark Heaton, Reel East Film Society
We are busy gearing up for the second annual 2015 Reel East Film Festival. The festival will once again take place at the historic Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ from Friday August 21st to Sunday August 23rd.
So today we are opening our In Competition Call for Submissions. The REFF is seeking exciting and unique visions from around the world to present to a fresh regional audience and this year we are not only looking for short films but feature length films as well.
All will compete for several top prizes including a new category for films made locally.
Short Films must be less than 40 minutes to qualify
Feature Films must be more than 60 minutes to qualify
Student films from colleges and Universities worldwide are also invited to submit.
The Deadline for all submissions is July 17th, 2015.
For more information and to submit your films go to our page at FILMFREEWAY.COM
Filmmaker Pascal Chind took home two prizes at the first Reel East Film Festival last August for his amazing short film Extreme Pinocchio. Click on the following link to read Pascal's interview at Film International...
The big winner of the first annual REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL was Pascal Chind's mind warping, hilarious and disturbing short film EXTREME PINOCCHIO
. The Reel East Film Festival is very proud to award the film with its top prize, the Edison. The film is also the recipient of the Audience Prize which was voted by the audience by ballot along with a special citation to actor, Christophe Fluder
for his pitch perfect performance in the lead role.
There will be more information about the prize winners soon but for now we wanted to make the announcement public as soon as we could...so here are our prizes and the winners...
Reel East Film Festival Awards (for Short Films)
Audience Award - Voted on by festival audience, the Audience Award posses the critical validation of the viewing public. The Audience Award is often a filmmaker's most coveted prize at festivals.AUDIENCE AWARD: Extreme Pinocchio (Dir: Pascal Chind)
Best of Festival Prizes (3)
1. Edison Prize - The festival's top prize. The invention of cinema was a global effort. On American shores, particularly in the Garden State, no name is more synonymous with film's birth than Thomas Alva Edison. With the critical assistance of early film pioneers and technicians like William Dickson, Edison presented the world with the kinetoscope and the Black Maria Studio. And soon the world was captured by the magic of motion pictures.EDISON PRIZE: Extreme Pinocchio (Dir: Pascal Chind)
2. Porter Prize - An employee of Edison's, Edwin S. Porter directed over 250 films throughout his career as a writer, director, cinematographer, and producer. Porter was an innovative and inventive filmmaker. His most well-known film, The Great Train Robbery (1903), is a critical American film that pioneered new techniques in production and editing that we still see in today's movies.PORTER PRIZE: BROKEN (Dir: Bryan Locantore, Barrett O'Neal, Gang Yi)3. Goodwin Prize - Hannibal Goodwin is a largely forgotten but crucial name in American film history. In a modest house in Newark, NJ, Reverend Goodwin invented transparent flexible celluloid film for roller cameras. Goodwin's patent application was submitted in 1887, two years before George Eastman's celluloid film patent, but remained unissued as it underwent several amendments. Goodwin died in 1900, but in 1913 he was posthumously vindicated when it was ruled that Goodwin’s patent had been infringed upon by Eastman.
GOODWIN PRIZE: The Story of M (Dir:Anna Arlanova)
Achievement in Student Filmmaking Prizes (2)
1. Audacity Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates a unique vision and a willingness to take risks in order to further film as an art form.AUDACITY PRIZE: TOUGH CASE (Dir: Stefan Perez)
2. Jury Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates extraordinary achievement in film.JURY PRIZE: Spirit of Negation (Dir: Alexander Kuribayashi)
We don't really like showing off here but these award trophies just showed up at our offices and we are really proud of how amazing they look. We could've went with a paper certificate of achievement and coupon to Olive Garden but wouldn't you rather have one of these sitting on your shelf? We just had to share them with you.
Reel East Film Festival Awards (for Short Films)
Audience Award - Voted on by festival audience, the Audience Award posses the critical validation of the viewing public. The Audience Award is often a filmmaker's most coveted prize at festivals.
Best of Festival Prizes (3)
1. Edison Prize - The festival's top prize. The invention of cinema was a global effort. On American shores, particularly in the Garden State, no name is more synonymous with film's birth than Thomas Alva Edison. With the critical assistance of early film pioneers and technicians like William Dickson, Edison presented the world with the kinetoscope and the Black Maria Studio. And soon the world was captured by the magic of motion pictures.
2. Porter Prize - An employee of Edison's, Edwin S. Porter directed over 250 films throughout his career as a writer, director, cinematographer, and producer. Porter was an innovative and inventive filmmaker. His most well-known film, The Great Train Robbery (1903), is a critical American film that pioneered new techniques in production and editing that we still see in today's movies.
3. Goodwin Prize - Hannibal Goodwin is a largely forgotten but crucial name in American film history. In a modest house in Newark, NJ, Reverend Goodwin invented transparent flexible celluloid film for roller cameras. Goodwin's patent application was submitted in 1887, two years before George Eastman's celluloid film patent, but remained unissued as it underwent several amendments. Goodwin died in 1900, but in 1913 he was posthumously vindicated when it was ruled that Goodwin’s patent had been infringed upon by Eastman.
Achievement in Student Filmmaking Prizes (2)
1. Audacity Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates a unique vision and a willingness to take risks in order to further film as an art form.
2. Jury Prize - Awarded to the student film that demonstrates extraordinary achievement in film.
There are some books that you first read when you are young but return to over and over later in life. For me, Stephen King's first short story collection, 1978's Night Shift is one of them. Collecting King's early work as a writer, the book contains some of his most famous short fiction including today's Dollar Baby story, Gray Matter.
First published in the October 1973 issue of Cavalier magazine, Gray Matter is a kind of distant relative to "The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill" segment of the King-George A. Romero collaboration CREEPSHOW. It's the story of a young man who claims his alcoholic father is transforming into some kind of monster after drinking beer from a can with some strange gray mold on it. This is King in his horror fan mode. With a knod to Joseph Payne Levering's famous short story, Slime as well as 50s monster movies like The Blob and The Fly, King fuses the old fashioned tale with his own brand of small town horror story. With King's quirky local characters lending believability to the far out story, Gray Matter emerges as something much more ambiguous and disturbing.
Filmmaker James Burgess Cox has done something unique with his adaptation of the story, Grey Matter and it goes beyond just the spelling of the title. His version smartly shifts the point of view entirely to the young man, Isaac, and focuses on the boy's troubled home life and his attempts to be understood by the authority figures at his school. It's a bold change that takes the subtext of the original story and presents it much more directly and dramatically. The film is extraordinarily well directed with performances that convince you that these characters live lives outside the frame of the film. Even though it's a short film, Cox's Grey Matter has the dramatic weight of a feature film.
GREY MATTER was produced at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film & Media Arts with the help of film students from USC, UCLA, and AFI. The film was also shot on location in Long Beach and Orange, CA.
Jury Prize at United Film Festival - London
Outstanding Performance at Big Bear Horror Film Festival
Best Student Film at Vail Film Festival
Best Horror Short at Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival
Best Student Film at Charlotte Horror Fest
This afternoon we look at the third of our Stephen King Dollar Baby selections: BEACHWORLD
. One of King's most underrated stories, it was originally published in Weird Tales in 1984, and collected in his 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. Which is where I first read it back in high school. Beachworld
is set in the distant future. Federation ship ASN-29 crashes on an unknown planet with only two members of the crew surviving - Shapiro and Rand.
The planet is uninhabited-at least by physical entities. Desert stretches out in all directions. No food and no watter. Despair and insanity creep up on them, sand devours everything and very soon they discover that they are not alone on the planet.
As novelist James Smythe has written, "More than anything, this is a story about isolation, about being stranded, with nowhere to go."
Maria Ivanova's animated adaptation of the story is nothing less than
hypnotic. Her use of striking black and white imagery along with a powerful ambient soundtrack evoke the early films of David Lynch, as well as Walerian Borowczyk's classic short film, DOM.
Particularly in terms of the spellbinding rhythm which she generates through the collision and at times opposition of image and sound and one other, very specific thing-there is no dialogue
. The film starts and you are plunged into a world which is immersive and genuinely uncanny.
For more about BEACHWORLD you can visit Maria Ivanova's website
and for another review of this film as well as many other Dollar Babies, you can visit Tony Northrup's website, Through the Black Hole
Hmm...who might this be? A work in progress at the "offices" of the Reel East Film Festival.
Today's peek at the REEL EAST FILM FESTIVAL'S Stephen King DOLLAR BABY selections has to be one of the most intense adaptations of the writer's work ever produced. From Director Billy Hanson, this film is an adaptation of King's Survivor Type which was first published in the 1982 horror anthology Terrors, and collected in King's 1985 collection Skeleton Crew. Of Survivor Type, King says: "As far as short stories are concerned, I like the grisly ones the best. However the story Survivor Type goes a little bit too far, even for me."
Though based on King's story, Hanson's film gets under your skin in a way that can only work in the cinema. It's raw and intimate and just ...CLOSE...it invades your personal space. Just when you think the camera is going to cut away from the horror, it does NOT. It just lingers on it. The performance by Gideon Emery is riveting and it has to be since it's a one man show. Emery displays a physical and emotional range that presents a man who starts off as tragically human but ends up primal and absurd.
Interview by Melissa WebbANDREW REPASKY McELHINNEY is the director of the feature films Magdalen (1998), A Chronicle of Corpses (2000), Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye (2003), Animal Husbandry (2009) and Christmas Dreams (2014). He is also an author, theater director, installation artist, repertory film programmer and educator. He currently teaches at Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey. His book on 20th Century English Language cinema, Second Takes--Remaking Film, Remaking America is available from McFarland and Company Publishers. ARMcinema25.com 1.) Although not the first film he made, The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (1927) is often referred to as "the first true Hitchcock movie." Do you feel like this is an accurate assessment? How did it set the stage, aesthetically or thematically, for his later films? The Lodger
has many of the themes audiences associate with Hitchcock. It’s ripe with gallows humor. It features an ambivalently innocent man potentially or potentially not wrongly accused. Hitchcock’s evocation of queasy audience sympathies that turn normative order and ethics on their head. (There is) visual evidence of Hitchcock as both an inventive and experimental film director. Title cards that anticipate Hitchcock’s later iconic collaborations with Saul Bass (are included), and a climax that visually anticipates and pre-figures the famous Mt. Rushmore finale of North By Northwest
. 2.) Talk a little about the construction of the narrative and how it works. For instance, we first find out about the facts of the murders (that blonde women are being killed, that the killer strikes on Tuesdays, that the police have no suspects), and then we are shown the central family. The leading man does not even appear until fifteen minutes after the film begins. What does Hitchcock achieve by setting up the details of the crimes before introducing the audience to the lodger? The Lodger
is subtitled “A Story of the London Fog” and this sense of community, of the London fog, the fog of community, the fog of gossip, of the web our lives weave, especially in the physical pre-digital media days is the texture and soul of the movie. Hitchcock seems as interested in the social milieu as he does the specific character drama. This gives the movie a rich and unusual complexity and is something that is largely absent in the three big screen remakes of The Lodger
. 3.) Hitchcock once said, "A glimpse into the world proves that horror is nothing other than reality." Talk a bit about what some have called Hitchcock's "obsession" with Jack the Ripper and other historical influences that may have contributed to his making of films filled with the macabre.
The Lodger is a landmark horror movie, and one can trace its influence through to other benchmarks such as M
(1931), Stranger on the Third Floor
and The Blair Witch Project
(1999). The Lodger
could be seen as the cinematic birth of what the courts now term “the CSI
effect”. With The Lodger,
the medium of cinema has picked up the English gothic tradition from the penny dreadful, Wilkie Collins, et al, and Jack the Ripper—both the fictional serials and the true serial killer. This cross-pollination helped codify what is now quantified as the crime docudrama or true crime genre.4.) I read an interview in which Hitchcock says that handcuffs carry with them implications of fetishism and "sexual aberrations through restraint." Handcuffs recur in numerous Hitchcock films (The Lodger, Blackmail, and The Thirty-nine Steps, for example). Could you discuss what you think the symbolic value of the handcuffs is in The Lodger and perhaps elaborate on similar motifs within Hitchcock's oeuvre?
Like many visual artists, Hitchcock is obviously a fetishist. I mean, in The Lodger
and elsewhere (especially Vertigo
he practically uses women’s clothing as dramaturgy!
I think the handcuffs are another representation of the projection of an almost subconscious fear—perhaps very important beyond the characters to Hitchcock the man himself—that, what is inside, cannot be contained, certainly not be contained by the individual, but also by the law or society. Sort of an “original guilt” everyone possesses. The other key element this releases for Hitchcock is a Kafkaesque menace and paranoia that runs throughout his work. 5.) When one thinks of music and Hitchcock, one immediately thinks of Bernard Herrmann and his brilliant compositions for films like Psycho and Vertigo. The Lodger, of course, is a silent film, which lacks the extra musical layer of these later films. However, the promise of live musical accompaniment within the theater has continually excited audiences. During the screening of The Lodger at The Reel East Film Fest, we will be providing such an opportunity. Discuss the silent film as it relates to The Lodger: what makes silent films remain compelling in an age of audio? What do we gain from a live musical performance that we do not receive from a film recorded with sound?
I have a passion for silent films, true visual story telling—story-telling more free of the traditions of theater and the proscenium.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, sound film waged a war against the silents, positioning them as melodramatic, creaky and juvenile. But now, almost a 100 years later, the power of silent film has not diminished, where as many early sound films are barely watchable. Thanks now to DVDs and cable TV, silent movies are more available in higher quality editions than ever before. We talk about pre-code movies meaning sound films from 1930 to 1933, but the real pre-code, the real sizzle, was the silent era. When a movie has no sound, it can only reach us with gesture and movement—that is, the core of what is human, animal and eternal.
6.) How has Hitchcock influenced your work as a filmmaker?
While not one of my personal favorite directors like Fritz Lang, Edgar G. Ulmer, Stanley Kubrick, or Peter Greenaway, Hitchcock is a filmmaker I deeply respect and admire. His career spanned a magical time period, silents to sound, UK to USA, David O. Selznick to his own TV show. And he made at least three undisputed masterpieces: Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo,
. Add to theses numerous “merely” great films like North By Northwest, Rebecca, The 39 Step, Rear Window, The Birds
and add fascinating off-beat experiments like Under Capricorn, Rope, Lifeboat, The Paradine Case,
and one totally understands why Hitchcock is at the center of the pantheon of great filmmakers.7.) Any upcoming projects you'd be willing to share?
I am currently in post-production on my 5th feature film, Christmas Dreams
, writing another cinema studies book and developing a few projects to tackle next. Always looking for a good producer. For more information visit my website, ARMcinema25.com
will be screened during the Reel East Film Festival on August 22nd at 9:00 PM. For more information, please visit www.reeleastfilm.org