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Dinner for Schmucks: Before They Were Stars Edition

Paul Rudd & Steve Carell in DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

Paul Rudd & Steve Carell in DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS

Seen DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS? Actor Paul Rudd has had a resurgence lately, as a key player in Judd Apatow’s zany acting ensemble. But, remember when he was the dreamy, erudite stepbrother to Alicia Silverstone’s Cher in the seminal ’90s classic (wow, too soon?) CLUELESS?

Like many other young thespians in this film, it was Rudd’s breakout role, but hey, you gotta start somewhere, right? In Rudd’s case, it was Bat Mitzvah DJ to young Jewish princesses in the San Fernando Valley. Check out this home video of one particular one in 1992. Love the yellow tuxedo jacket and early 90s Moe Howard/Jason Priestley sideburns hairdo.

Paul Rudd: Bat Mitzvah DJ from Jewish Forward on Vimeo.


According to an online poll taken by “American Cinematographer” magazine last month, subscribers have named AMELIE, shot by Bruno Delbonnel, as the best-shot film of the decade (1998-2008).

[img_assist|nid=366|title=|desc=To eat crème brûlée with Audrey leSIGH|link=none|align=right|width=280|height=210]

Here’s the complete Top Ten:

1. Amélie: Bruno Delbonnel, ASC, AFC (AC Sept. ’01)
2. Children of Men: Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (AC Dec. ’06)
3. Saving Private Ryan: Janusz Kaminski (AC Aug. ’98)
4. There Will Be Blood: Robert Elswit, ASC (AC Jan. ’08)
5. No Country for Old Men: Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (AC Oct. ’07)
6. Fight Club: Jeff Cronenweth, ASC (AC Nov. ’99)
7. The Dark Knight: Wally Pfister, ASC (AC July ’08)
8. Road to Perdition: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (AC Aug. ’02)
9. Cidade de Deus (City of God): César Charlone, ABC (AC Feb. ’03)
10. American Beauty: Conrad L. Hall, ASC (AC March & June ’00)

If you’ve seen CHILDREN OF MEN, then you’re not surprised to see why it’s so high up here considering that insane tracking shot near the end complete with the accidental blood splatter that’s so mad good, I feel stupid talking about it, so I’ll leave that to the actual filmmakers.

Read more…

A Music and Film Amalgamation

Thank goodness everyone and their mom has a HD camera now, as it leaves us all with so many more options on the internet and beyond (I consider watching Youtube and Vimeo videos my other job).  There are a few really neat (yes, neat) websites in particular that collaborate live music with interesting and just plain beautiful cinematography.  What’s really cool about these video blogs is that they take the musician out of context and create a sort of Michel Gondry dreamlike reality–this is getting confusing.  Just check ’em out at La Blogotheque, They Shoot Music Don’t They and Black Cab Sessions.

Tomi Lebrero | A Take Away Show #104 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Cinémathèque 2.0

Yes, I know, because you absolutely need just one more social networking that connects you with absolute strangers to join. But if you’re into film, then there’s a strong chance percentage you will be into this. And if you’re not into film, well, then there’s a strong chance percentage you’re on the wrong website.


Allied with Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Foundation and partnered with the Criterion Collection (speaking of, the number of Criterion DVDs I own are the new benchmark by which I will measure success in my life — currently I own 2 / 540), MUBI allows users to screen both mainstream and hard-to-find feature films (for ≤ $3) and engage in clean and civil discussion forums (looking at you here, IMDb).

Because you can’t get enough of us, here are the profiles of some HIFFy bloggers you can follow:  Matthew, Dana, and Chris.

Life in a Day

Hey guys, here’s another great opportunity brought to you by Youtube.  If you missed out on our 2010 HIFF Fall Festival deadline (which, by the way, is still open to high school students and younger), you may want to check this out.  The call seems pretty open ended as far as content goes, so let’s get real weird with it everyone!

Oh and PS, did I forget to mention that the most interesting and compelling footage will be used in an experimental documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald (THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND) and produced by Ridley Scott (this guy literally has 33 projects in production).



Life In A Day is a historic global experiment to create the world’s largest user-generated feature film: a documentary, shot in a single day, by you. On July 24, you have 24 hours to capture a glimpse of your life on camera. The most compelling and distinctive footage will be edited into an experimental documentary film, executive produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald.

For more information, visit


Flip through the pages of Vogue / GQ / that-indie-fashion-rag-“only-you”-read and you’ve probably noticed a trend you can’t exactly strut down the catwalk. Or if you haven’t, then take off those wayfarers or aviators or wayfarer-ed aviators (whatever it is we’re supposed to be wearing these days) and you’ll see this blog isn’t talking head-to-toe denim-on-denim here, people, but “Fashion Films.”

In terms of “cinematic advertising,” we haven’t seen torque like this since BMW’s glossy high-budget campaign, THE HIRE, almost 10 years ago. And while recruiting the talents of Hollywood stars and directors isn’t an original marketing move or anything, with the mainstreamed-Internet and YouTube, well, why not?

Dior looks to be a cut above the rest (remember this patisserie cupcake of an ad from Sofia Coppola?) with their latest campaign LADY BLUE SHANGHAI starring legend-in-the-making Marion Cotillard, directed by already legendary David Lynch. And Prada’s FIRST SPRING by filmmaker Yang Fudong leaves its mark by mixing minimalist-existentialism in a way I’m sure can be deconstructed a la Chuck Klosterman, but they’re playing really awful local covers of Crosby, Stills, and Nash in this coffee shop, so I’m not in the mood right now. Oh yeah, and I’m not Chuck Klosterman.

Full of Lynch signatures: smoky dream-like logic, wide shots of drab set design with a vomit color scheme (by John Galliano, an added bonus), flickering electricity and HEAVY DRAPES EVERYWHERE.

Read more for ‘Part 2’ and Yang Fudong…

Surf’s UP

Recently it’s been hotter than a cat on a tin roof, which has been a blessing for people who actually enjoy water fun, beach bumming, being outside in general and all those other really warm things.  For those of us with less melanin and more hobbit-tendencies, it’s almost tempting to go to this refreshing “beach” thing I keep hearing people talk–but now we don’t have to!


Thanks to the Doris Duke Theater, this Friday premieres the 3rd Annual Surf Film Festival which runs from July 9th thru July 31st.  This year the Doris Duke will be showing 10 surf-packed films, including Fiberglass & Megapixels which premiered at the 2010 HIFF Spring Showcase

Opening night is this Friday at 6PM, with free drinks by Kona Brewing Company and Barefoot Wine, food for purchase by Da Spot and entertainment by Dr. Zaius.  Get there early as the opening film Lost Prophets: Search for the Collective (which looks pretty fab) starts at 7:30.

G, M, R, X? – The Origin of U.S. Film Ratings

Have you ever wondered how we arrived at the current film rating system in the United States? The current ratings are: G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, listed in order from general to restricted audiences. If you’re interested in learning more about the history of these film ratings, read the full article below.


Call For Entries is closing in 2 days!

[img_assist|nid=349|title=|desc=|link=url|url=|align=right|width=300|height=198]We just wanted to remind everyone that the final deadline for submitting your film to HIFF is fast approaching. There are only 2 days left; your entries have to be postmarked by Thursday, July 8th. There is a fee to submit your film, except if it is in the Made In Hawaii category. HIFF will notify all film submitters if their film has been selected or not by early September.

Submit Your Film to HIFF Today!

If you’re submitting a film in the Student Under 18 category (high school students and younger), that deadline is August 1st, 2010, so you have a little more time. Submitting a film in this category is free.

Update July 9, 2010: HIFF’s 2010 Call for Entries is now closed, except for high school students and younger.

Still BREATHLESS After 50 Years

This summer celebrates 50 years of the French New Wave classic by the single most influential auteur of the movement himself Jean-Luc Godard and it’s an anniversary that couldn’t be more deserved.

It’s often said movies are divided into the two categories:  before-Breathless and after-Breathless.  I mean, where would independent cinema be without this piece of innovative celluloid?  Charmingly raw with it’s use of shaky hand held cameras, jump cuts, freeze frames, use of non-professional actors, jumbled narrative, improvised naturalistic dialogue, shooting on-location with everyday lighting, film reference upon film reference upon film reference, breaking-the-fourth-wall and self-reflexiveness, Godard’s Breathless influenced, well… EVERYTHING.  Fin.

The “Happy 50th Birthday, Breathless” Trailer

More about Godard’s latest film after the jump…

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