Jodorowsky’s Dune speaks not only to the madness and passion that inspires great filmmaking but also to the unique need for collaboration in the process of making films. Listening to Jodorowsky and his producer speak, you can feel not only their own inspiration but also the ways they were inspired by their collaborators. Jodorowsky didn’t seek to dictate to others what Dune should be, but rather he sought out collaborators he knew he could trust implicitly. Though the Jodorowsky never got to make his film, his vision of Dune went on to inspire some of the greatest science fiction films of all time. Among his collaborators were Salvador Dali, H.R. Giger, and Dan O’Bannon, epochal artists who had either defined the era preceding Jodorowsky’s Dune or would go on to define the era that followed. It would be easy to dismiss Jodorowsky as an overwrought hippy. He speaks of his desire to make a film that accurately represents the experience of tripping on L.S.D. and talks incessantly about art. Sadly, “art” can be a dirty word in filmmaking circles. Filmmakers who talk about “art” are often swiftly dismissed as pretentious blowhards, detached from the reality that film is a popular medium, but Jodorowsky’s Dune shows us that aspiring to “art” can sometimes inspire creative people to reach for greater heights, to push their creativity beyond its limits, to create work so popular that it echoes through the ages.

Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid.  Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid. 

Antoine Bruy wandered the far-flung corners of Europe for three years, from 2010 to 2013, photographing the lives of people who live off the grid. 

Indiewire has a fun list of their favorite indie posters of 2014. See more here. Indiewire has a fun list of their favorite indie posters of 2014. See more here. Indiewire has a fun list of their favorite indie posters of 2014. See more here. Indiewire has a fun list of their favorite indie posters of 2014. See more here. Indiewire has a fun list of their favorite indie posters of 2014. See more here.

Indiewire has a fun list of their favorite indie posters of 2014. See more here.

The international trailer for Terry Gilliam’s “Zero Theorem” finally did the trick for me. This trailer has what all trailers need: more Tilda Swinton.

Javier Grillo–Marxuach recently wrote this fantastic analysis of science fiction on television. As JGM puts it: “Ironically, sci–fi, the genre that most often suffers from underdeveloped characters… probably demands more character from its characters than any other genre. Why? Because it is, at the core, a metaphorical exercise.” 

While JGM is examining science fiction on television, the article’s relevance extends beyond both television and science fiction to storytelling of all shapes and sizes. JGM illustrates a philosophy I’ve been trying to develop in my own work. His theory deconstructs the false division between “genre” stories and “character-driven” stories. Some critics contend that serious films are character-driven while genre stories can never be serious because they prioritize spectacle and the conventions of genre over character. The truth, however, is that greatness occurs where character and genre converge, when characters drive our stories toward a deeper, metaphorical understanding of humanity. Because genres are fundamentally metaphors in and of themselves, one can argue that they allow for a deeper artistic exploration than stories driven by character alone. They allow an audience not only to empathize with characters but also to follow those characters on a metaphorical journey that, while not grounded in objective reality, can illuminate profound psychological realities. In truth, great metaphorical stories are not limited to art houses or excluded from television sets and multiplexes. They come in all shapes and sizes from Mulholland Drive to The Shining, Silent Light to Attack the Block, Raiders of the Lost Ark to Breaking the Waves, The X-Files to Top of the Lake. The one thing that all of these stories have in common is the ability to use metaphor to uncover deeper truths. Too often we waste our time judging stories based on arbitrary categories (tent-pole, indie, action, art house, horror, foreign) rather than looking toward the more important truth that great storytellers create their most compelling stories when they use metaphor to push beyond the limits of any category.

 

Indiewire has an hour’s worth of Black Swan behind-the-scenes footage. Thanks, internet! The password is: blackswan.

The first in the series appears above. More here.

chameleonmovie:

This “flying jellyfish” really has no direct connection to my script, but it’s pretty darn cool. The flying jellyfish is an aerial robot that circulates autonomously on air currents in the same way that jellyfish circulate on ocean currents. The NYU engineers who invented it claim, “A bunch of mini flying jellies could be tossed into the air from a building and float around as environmental sensors, taking data and adjusting their position when necessary.”

This is a great timeline that shows science fiction authors’ accurate predictions about the future, and when those predictions actually came true.

A fun, clickable table of popular story tropes, organized by their Wikipedia rankings.