Tag Archives: film

Sam Raimi on Happy Sad Confused podcast

After years bereft of decent YouTube content of Sam Raimi that goes beyond sound bites into what I really want which are hours of hearty in-depth interviews to geek out on, it finally occurred to me to search podcast archives with the idea that this format allows for longer conversations and perhaps, for Raimi, more comfort because it’s audio-only.

I found two. They are both fantastic, and between them, they arguably contain more Raimi time than all of YouTube combined.

Here’s one: Sam Raimi on Happy Sad Confused #83.

Sam Raimi by Happy Sad Confused

Filmmaker Sam Raimi is a true geek God. Decades later after the original Evil Dead, he has returned to the franchise with the new Starz TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead. Sam chats with Josh about all things Evil Dead from the very early beginnings to the brand new chapter in the series.

Highlights (you have to HEAR them; it’s all in the delivery; just trust me and do it):

16:30: “Your protagonists tend to suffer a great deal… I guess that’s good drama though, in a way.”

“I think it’s more my recognition of a sickness the audience has that I am simply trying to cure.”

31:49: “What do you think your best performance in film has been… I have a fondness for Hudsucker Proxy which I know you co-wrote, and you appear, you’re one of the two kind of idea men.”

(Quoting the film.) “‘An idea man. I like the whole idea of the idea man idea.'”

42:00: His whole story of getting the Spider-man gig is precious.

Sam Raimi – How Does Horror Comedy Work?

Sam Raimi – How Does Horror Comedy Work? (video essay)

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“[Comedy and horror are] the genres that cause the most visceral reactions.”

“While their aims are very different, comedy and horror both affect us on a base level—that sets them apart from other genres.”

“Unlike most horror comedies that have funny parts and scary parts, here [in Evil Dead II] the funny parts are the scary parts, and vice versa.”

“What Raimi recognizes is that the construction of a scare is more or less the same as the construction of a laugh—there’s a setup, and a payoff.”

“His brand of manipulation rests on knowing how we will react to certain things, and aiming to put us through a sort of fun house experience, eliciting the most visceral reaction possible.”

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987): 10 Things You Didn’t Know

I knew probably most of these… but not all!

Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987): 10 Things You Didn’t Know

Bruce Campbell has been killing it as the iconic Ash Williams on the Starz TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead. But before the TV show, there was the Evil Dead trilogy, directed by Sam Raimi. Today, we’re talking about 10 random facts you may not know about the second Evil Dead film, starting with…

Sam Raimi on his signature blend of horror and comedy

“I have found that when the audience is set up for a sequence of suspense, and they expect a scare, oftentimes you can give them a punchline instead, and the buildup to that punchline can work as a suspense sequence.

“The construction of a suspense sequence is very similar to the construction of a joke. And in a horror film, that suspense sequence is capped with a scare, and in a joke, it’s capped with an unexpected punchline, and I find the two can be interchangeable.”

Sam Raimi interviewed by Obsessed With Film

Martyn Conterio catches up with DRAG ME TO HELL director Sam Raimi.

The Continuous Story In The Background Of Many Horror Films + Sam Raimi video

The Continuous Story In The Background Of Many Horror Films

Being a horror fan isn’t easy. You fall in love with a no-bullshit, nightmare-inducing killer, then the next thing you know he’s in Manhattan, going to hell, or bumbling around in space. It was probably never John Carpenter’s intention to have the ultimate opponent of Michael Myers be Mr. Break Ya Neck, either.

This is a fascinating and almost entirely well-researched piece with a huge error.

I hate to be the pedant here (though really I love it) but it did NOT start with Nightmare (however it did start with Wes Craven).

Sam Raimi explains the true origins here, in this video I’ve seen just once or twice, starting at 4:14:

Sam Raimi Rules Of Horror

Sam Raimi Rules Of Horror with Stephen King intro from “This Is Horror”

another catch-22 from “Catch-22” (film)

Dobbs: You don’t really love her. You only think you love her.
Yossarian: How can you tell the difference between loving her and thinking he’s in love?
Dobbs: You have to be objective.
Yossarian: Who’s objective?
Dobbs: I am.
Yossarian: Why?
Dobbs: ‘Cause I’m not in love with her.
Yossarian: You mean you think you’re not.
Dobbs: That’s right.
Yossarian: So how can you tell the difference?

from “Catch-22” (film)

Nately: America’s the strongest nation on earth. The American fighting man is the best trained, the best equipped, the best fed… Italy, on the other hand, is one of the weakest nations on earth and the ltalian fighting man is hardly equipped at all.
Old man: That’s why my country is doing so well while yours is doing so poorly.
Nately: That’s silly! First ltaly was occupied by Germans and now by us. You call that doing well?
Old man: Of course I do. The Germans are being driven out and we are still here. In a few years, you’ll be gone and we’ll still be here. Italy is a very poor, weak country yet that is what makes us so strong—strong enough to survive this war and still be in existence long after your country has been destroyed.
Nately: What are you talking about? America’s not going to be destroyed.
Old man: Never?
Nately: Well…
Old man: Rome was destroyed. Greece was destroyed. Persia was destroyed. Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you think your country will last? Forever?
Nately: Forever is a long time, I guess.

paulscheer:

Ep 41. HOW DID THIS GET MADE – Spiderman 3 w/ Kulap Vilaysack

Spiderman goes EMO, Mary Jane Sings and there are more Dance Scene than Villians.

It’s the movie that rebooted a franchise.

LISTEN NOW!

Any discussion of Spider-Man 3 is inevitably a discussion of where your loyalty lies.

This was by far my favorite Spider-Man film, the only one worth watching more than once. And that is because Sam Raimi made it his. (He directed the three, and was little more than a pawn of the production company’s for the first two.) And while I’m pretty indifferent to Spider-Man, I am a stringent devotee (read: gushing fangirl) of Sam Raimi’s.

I’m not the only one. One of the only, perhaps, but not the only.

(And for the record, that dance sequence was lame only if lame in this case is a euphemism for AWESOME.)

She’s a sad little girl who’s been pimped out into a pathetic monstrosity of alienated Western sexuality.

This could be said about a lot of people, in a lot of contexts. But it was said in War, Inc. Why did I not know about this movie, this “spiritual cousin to Grosse Pointe Blank,” earlier? Sure, it’s weird, and not always good. But still. Worth watching.

National Hug Day is rapidly coming upon us. In commemoration of the 2-year anniversary of the study it inspired–“Awkward Hugs: An Investigative Report”–we have something special in store. In the meantime, watch the report here. If you haven’t already seen it, you will be blown away by its truth; if you have, an additional viewing will reinforce its lessons.

Some thoughts on “West Side Story”

My first viewing of the film in maybe 15 years.

1.) I always said it was the best comedy ever because of the dancing.

1.1.) Why is this our introduction to these gangs? Ballet? Really? Choreographed basketball? Really?

1.2.) I think this should be remade as a hip-hop or punk musical.

2.) Race and gender stuff–I won’t go there–there’s too much and it’s too easy.

2.1) Ok I’ll go there a little. Cop tells white gang (the Jets) to “play nice with the PRs” (Puerto Ricans, the Sharks), Jets say the cops just want them to let them “come in and take everything out from under our noses.” Parallel to anti-immigration thought much?

2.2.) The wannabe female Jets member’s name is “Anybodys”–what’s that all about? You’d think it could be a reference to being a slut but she’s not. On the contrary–she’s a tomboy to the point of androgyny, i.e. not sexual, in sharp contrast to the highly-femme girlfriends of the Jets who know their place.

2.2.1) A Jet tells Anybodys to “go walk the streets like your sister.”

2.2.2) Tony says to Anybodys: “You’re a girl. Be a girl and beat it.” He meant for her to leave. Or did he?

2.3.) The Jets wear pastels, oranges/blues. The Sharks wear dark, reds/purples (vaginal/sexual?)–except for Maria (the “pure” beauty) who wanted to dye red her white dress with red sash.

2.4.) Tony: “You’re not making a joke?” Maria: “I have not yet learned to joke that way.” Why not?–because she’s young, female, or Puerto Rican?

2.5.) Bernard says to Maria: “Someday when you are an old married woman with five children, you can tell me what to do, but until then it’s the other way around.” So will he direct her life till the birth of her fifth child?

2.6.) The Sharks comment on their being paid half of what white Americans are paid; “we come here like babies”–hopeful, naive. In Puerto Rico “we had nothing”; “we still have nothing, only more expensive”.

2.8) “I feel pretty, so pretty the city should give me its key.” Clearly.

2.9) The Jets on anger management: “Got a rocket in your pocket, keep cool.”

2.10.) I realize that at this point I may be reading way too much into things; this looks like an obscene, phallic gesture to me: check out this video for “Something’s Coming”–at 1:57 during the lyrics “Come on, deliver to me.”

2.10.1.) Who’d’ve thought Tony would grow up to be Ben Horne in “Twin Peaks”??

3.) When I was growing up, my mom would sing, “I feel shitty, oh so shitty.” I heard that way more than the original.

Part of the theatrical experience is what you bring to it. We’re not encouraged to bring anything to an experience anymore. If you’re watching a scene where somebody’s getting beat up behind a couch and you can’t see it very well, then your mind goes to all your own personal nightmares, what could be going on there that you can’t stand to see, and that feeds your own emotional life. But if you’re seeing every graphic moment of it, then it lets the audience off the hook, so they’re not sharing in the experience of what’s going on; they’re not contributing anything to it.

Alan Arkin on the thriller genre, Wait Until Dark special feature

“Instinct’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it, Mark? A pity *it* can’t be photographed.”

Peeping Tom (1960) d. Michael Powell

A long-time favorite; watched it for the first time in years. Still wonderful and scary no matter how many viewings and years pass. The color, the darkness, the meta-directing and performances, the tension—both filmic and psychological—and the brief breaks from it, the music and the silences. And Anna Massey is always lovely to see. This is definitely a movie that I think everyone should see—especially if you’re into film and/or psychology.

Love Conquers All production blog

Love Conquers All production blog

Sam Raimi is a spaz

“I love the Spider-Man character. And that’s what’s at the heart of it. That’s why I really love it. But there’s another fun thing that I never had before where you make your movie and a lot of people see it and they seem to like it. So it’s like oh my god, I’ve always been the nerd, lame ass guy on the side, but I made something that a lot of people like. I know that won’t last for long, and I’m obviously riding the Spider-Man thing. He’s a popular character for 40 years. So anyone who makes a Spider-Man movie gets to make a popular movie. But it’s fun to be popular, even if it’s a brief, lame thing, and even though I know it’s not important. I can’t help it. It’s really fun and I know how quickly things turn in Hollywood.”

“And it was great making movies in college because if you made the right movie you’d get this cigar box full of $5 and $1 bills, you’d have like 500 bucks after a weekend. And it was like oh my god, we’re rich! We’ve got to make another picture. But if the movie bombed, you spent a lot of money on the movie, on the ads at the State news, renting the theater, lugging these heavy speakers, the projector bulbs, [and] it was a washout, you realize this movie is not making money. I’m broke. I’ve got to make the movie that they want to see. So it was a great learning experience.”

“I think if people love the source material, and that’s really whey they’re making the movie, then that’s a natural outcome. That the things we all love, and work with the creators of the movie to save the things that were so effective. I think it’s situations where people don’t love the material, they just say, oh that was a big hit, it could be a big hit here. It’s just generalizing. Things got lost if you don’t understand why people like a thing. When you love something, it’s easy to say, ‘That’s my son, cut out his heart? No, he needs the heart.’ It’s harder when you don’t love the thing yourself.”