indieWIRE Recaps is a new daily column that curates indie news and stories from around the film world. If you’d like to suggest an article, you can find us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sizing Up Woody
Is there anything geekier for movie fans than a conversation about aspect ratio? John Carvill over at The Guardian’s Film Blog writes a strong plea for respecting what many exhibitors –including VOD and DVD formats– have not been taking seriously. Using Woody Allen’s seminal “Annie Hall” as a case-study, Carvill reminds us why aspect ratios are anything but trivial.
Danny Leigh offers a new take on an art-house classic as he revisits Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Stalker” in light of the recent events in Japan. “Andrei Tarkovsky’s unshakable science-fiction masterwork, a film that ever since the crippling of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has, for me, been a mournful companion to the crisis,” writes the author for The Guardian’s Film Blog. (If you want to see the film, in full, it’s on Google Video.)
Fogging Up 3D Glasses in China
Continuing to cause an uproar is the upcoming domestic theatrical release of China’s first 3D porn film.. The Independent’s Clifford Coonan reports on the controversial film that is currently going through, erm, minor edits. “They are trying to get past censors in Singapore by cutting sex scenes involving monks and practices such as sadomasochism and group sex, although the chances are slim of the movie making much headway in the island state, which is famed for its prudishness.” Let’s hope nothing jumps out of the screen and injures anyone.
The Drug War in Mexico Rages On Screen
Carlos A. Gutierrez takes an in-depth look at Mexico’s narco culture in the cinema. The raging drug war led a group of the country’s largest and most powerful media conglomerates to sign a pact that would auto-regulate their depiction of cartel life in hopes of avoiding any sort of glorification. But what effect will this “Region 4” Hayes Code have? Cinema Tropical’s co-founding director writes on the inherent irony and contradictions of the pact, noting that three of Mexico’s current films in exhibition deal directly with the drug war in varying ways. His thoughts on the present and future of this brand of cinema, along with its social and historical importance, are available on Cinema Tropical’s TropicalFRONT.