I have to say, this trailer looks good. I have been a big fan of Spike Jonze in the past (Being John Malkovich is a classic IMO) and an admirer of the Arcade Fire but have gone a bit, well, cold on them both more recently. This looks intriguing though, with its homeland war/terrorism and teenage love themes. I just hope the film (a short, clocking in at 30 minutes, and co-written by Win & Will Butler based on last year’s album The Suburbs) delivers:
You can watch Scenes From The Suburbs in full HERE for the next 24 hours only.
Back in 1999, Channel 4 aired Mirrorball a TV series that showcased the best promo directing talent across the globe. Two series and one animation special were made, featuring the talents of Spike Jonze, Mike Mills, Michel Gondry, Jonathan Glazer, Jonas Akerlund and Chris Cunningham. Each program was dedicated to one director, with an interview, a selection of their work, and a specially filmed insert (from Gondry drumming to Glazer mucking around with actor Paul Kay - aka Dennis Pennis). Mirrorball was an instant hit and has gone on to become a cult TV classic since the series was cancelled in 2001.
Inspired by Edinburgh Film Festival’s Mirrorball screenings, the offshoot TV series was a collaboration between the Festival’s David Smith and Blackwatch Media, under producer and director, Nicola Black. As Black explained to Dangerous Minds:
“It was a fantastic opportunity to bring together groundbreaking directors and treat their work seriously, for the first time. We wanted to reveal the process behind these incredible pieces of work, which used cutting edge technology and post production techniques to achieve startling and unforgettable visuals to tell brilliant stories. You have to remember, this was way before any of these directors had made their names in movies.
Black started out as an intern working with Derek Jarman, before moving on to directing and producing. She set up her company in 1995, making an internationally acclaimed documentary on crime writer James Ellroy’s search for his Mother’s murderer. Since then, Black has made a variety of award-winning shows, animations and “hard-hitting” documentaries, and started the trend in “shock docs” with Designer Vaginas.
“Mirrorball was a great series to make, not only in terms of the breadth of creative work shown, but also by the fact it gave insight into the early works of film-makers like Spike Jonze, Mark Romanek, who went on to make One Hour Photo, Michel Gondry, who made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Jonathan Glazer, who directed the brilliant Sexy Beast.”
There were many great highlights to choose from the Mirrorball series (including Jonze’s superb short film How They Got There, Gondry’s genius work with Massive Attack & Daft Punk, Glazer’s collaborations with Radiohead, Akerlund’s Smack My Bitch Up and Mills promos for Air), but we’ve gone for a selection from Chris Cunningham’s work, whose promos for Aphex Twin (aka genius Richard David James) are amongst some of the most original and disturbing ever made. Enjoy!
The reviews seem mixed, but that probably won’t dissuade me from catching up with Spike Jonze’s Where The Wild Thngs Are. Most of the criticism revolves, predictably, about what happens when you translate into another medium something commonly perceived as “perfect.” By keeping intact the words and imagery, the following Wild Things short from ‘73 sidesteps all the “rumpus.”
Fascinating read in Sunday’s NYT Magazine charting the ups and downs of Spike Jonze, and his efforts to bring to the screen an adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are that didn’t feel studio-diluted. It’s been a long, difficult march, but even before Wild Things (and before, for that matter, either Malkovich or Adaptation), Jonze was preparing to tackle another children’s classic, Crockett Johnson‘s Harold And The Purple Crayon. He didn’t get far with it, but his efforts did yield a little-seen film test, which, thanks to YouTube, you can now watch below: