Nothing gets you pumped for a new day like watching physical scratches dance across a screen. Begun in 1958 and completed in 1979, Len Lye used a series of needles and even an arrowhead to create the marks directly onto film stock in Free Radicals.

A couple earnest gems from Ira Glass on the strange life of the producer. Hat tip to Smarter Creativity.

I’d never really been on the set of a film and I didn’t realize the grueling hours of it. And I thought, this is because we’re an independent film, right? That we’re here for fourteen hours? … Wait, so when professional movie people make a film and they have more than a million bucks do this, this is the deal? Yea, this is the deal. I was really stunned.

I feel like everybody in America understands the stuff from watching DVD extras that it takes a long time… they have to light stuff, you know they shoot one actor and the other actor… you know that if you’re an entertainment consumer, but to be there and actually understand, that’s really real. You really have to do that. I understand it in my cells now, in a way that, I don’t know that I’m glad.

When you create a project, there’s always the ratio of here’s the fun part that you really like. And here’s the tedious thing you have to do to get it started, get the funding, organize it… In every project there’s kind of a balance. And there’s a grueling part of editing, re-editing, re-thinking. And so there’s the grueling part and a fun part. And it’s always a balance, as in any job.

In film, the proportion of gruel to the proportion of fun, is so unbelievably outsized, it’s crazy… It’s weird that people do it for a living.

Totally weird! Haha. On some days you do cap at 8-10 hours, especially if you’re on a project where no one can afford to be charged overtime. But more often than not, especially in post-production, a “half-day” means 12 hours not 4 ;).

And, also, good producers don’t get enough love. A good producer is often the difference between the success or failure of a project, no question.

I AM A BANANA. Don Hertzfeldt will appear in person to present his newest film and a selection of his award-winning earlier shorts Monday, March 26, 2012 and Tuesday, March 27 at the IFC Center. Hertzfeldt’s new film, It’s Such a Beautiful Day, is the third and final chapter in a trilogy about a mysterious man named Bill. The entire trilogy will be screened together for the first time on new 35mm prints, followed by a live Q&A with Hertzfeldt.

Tickets are $17.50.

For a taste of Hertfeldt, check out the brilliant, Rejected, below.

Is there such a thing as insanity among penguins? The best part of Encounters at the End of the World. Except for maybe the painting of the chimp riding a donkey, which I can’t find.

From March until May 2012, the Museum of Arts and Design is running Argento: il cinema nel sangue (Argento: Cinema in the Blood) a three-month retrospective on the Argento film family.

I’m excited to see giallo master, Dario Argento’s Suspiria in 35mm.

IFC Center and GKIDS present a Studio Ghibli retrospective. Spirited Away, My Neighbors The Yamadas, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, and many other Ghibli films making their US premieres… all in 35mm. Yes, please. The films are being shown in both subtitled and dubbed format, so double-check which is screening when you get your tix.


The American Museum of the Moving Image will by screening David Cronenberg’s films from January 21–February 12, 2012. See Crash, The Fly, Videodrome, A History of ViolenceEastern Promises and many others on a big screen!

David Cronenberg

The museum will also be hosting a talk with Cronenberg on Saturday, January 21 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 and go on sale on January 6.

And while you’re at the AMMI, check out the Jim Henson exhibit, extended through March 4 and 50+ collages by Jan Svankmajer from his most recent film, Surviving Life.