This Tape Ate My Soul: 10 Great Movies About Crazy Filming

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This Tape Ate My Soul: 10 Great Movies About Crazy Filming
This Tape Ate My Soul: 10 Great Movies About Crazy Filming

Video: This Tape Ate My Soul: 10 Great Movies About Crazy Filming

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Video: Антон Долин – стыдные вопросы про кино / вДудь 2023, January

There are a lot of films about filming. Many have seen “8 and a half” or “Soldiers of Failure”, in the list below there are pictures of border travels: phantom films, obsession films, in which the line between cinema and reality is practically invisible. We talk about Dennis Hopper's "The Last Film" - an impressive post-post meta-meta canvas on the theme "Hollywood's Great and Terrible Illusion in Action" - and nine more equally crazy films about films.

Text: Nailya Golman


Last movie

The Last Movie, 1971

Producer: Dennis Hopper

Americans are filming some kind of action movie in the Peruvian mountains, the local people enthusiastically participate in crowd scenes. Filming ends, but not for everyone: a couple of group members remain to live in a village with a vague plan to get gold somewhere nearby. But in fact - to witness the madness that soon overwhelms the villagers. They build a camera and other devices from brushwood, light torches and begin to shoot their own movie, imaginary and merciless, knowing nothing about the fact that people in the frame are not really beaten or tortured.

This psychedelic meta-action came about after the producers gave Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda a million dollars following the success of Easy Rider and said, “Guys, do what you want. Here's what you want. Do that”. The guys (probably, among other things, impressed by Jodorowski's "Mole" that came out in the same year) said "okay" and happily got stuck in Peru. We got out of budget, put together a terrorist final cut for more than two hours. In 1971, the film was released in cinemas and was almost immediately removed from the box office. After a while, it becomes clear that for half a century he not only has not aged at all, but, on the contrary, without losing his daring, has overgrown with a mass of additional meanings.


Hearts of Darkness: The Cinematographer's Apocalypse

Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, 1991

Directed by: Fax Bar, George Hickenlooper, Eleanor Coppola

One of the best "films about the film" of all times and peoples. The more the viewer learns about how the epic "Apocalypse Now" by Francis Ford Coppola was filmed (military helicopters rented from a neighboring country, a funeral on the site of a member of the film crew, cargo planes with mountains of cocaine and custom Baccarat services, and much more), the clearer it is. the frenzied greatness that ruined the author, exhausted the studio and drew a formal line under the dashing American seventies, when everything seemed possible.



Nema-ye Nazdik, 1990

Producer: Abbas Kiarostami

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami is filming the trial of a man who for several weeks went to visit a family, pretended to be Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and discussed how he would shoot a film with them in their yard. During this time, he did not steal anything from them, did not offend anyone, well, except that he once borrowed a small amount for a taxi. Now the deception was revealed, and everyone - the family, the judge, the culprit, Kiarostami, and at some point even Mohsen Makhmalbaf himself - are trying to find an answer to the question of why he did this. And, most importantly, if he did so without malicious intent, then how, in fact, should he be judged?

Another picture that works on the same line between "life" and "screen" reality as Hopper's Last Film, but with a radically different intonation and accents. Where the bully Hopper seizes foreign territory and wreaks havoc, full of wise calm Kiarostami quietly observes the events unfolding in front of his camera, slightly ordering them. Both of these methods, however, give the viewer the same precious feeling that nothing in life can be fully understood and that asking questions, blurring boundaries, constantly looking for elusive meaning is actually much more important than being sure of something.



Arrebato, 1979

Producer: Ivan Sulueta

A rattling, nervous picture of the frenzied Spanish avant-garde artist Ivan Sulueta.The protagonist named Jose Sirgado - of course, the director - makes a second-rate film about vampires, suffers tantrums from his unstable girlfriend, walks on the floor with a syringe in his hand and, in general, is not very interested in the world until he receives a note in the mail from a longtime acquaintance to whom when he gave a video camera and discovered heroin in life. The voice in the recording says that since then, the acquaintance has ceased to be a recluse, constantly communicates with different women, and still practically does not turn off the camera and somehow feels strange about it lately. Because he takes pictures of himself at night, and in the morning he looks through the recordings and realizes that every day an empty fragment appears on them. This fragment is getting longer every night, and the acquaintance is sure that soon the void will occupy the entire film. Together with this story, he sends Jose the key to his house - so that he came to see how he is no longer there.


Trans-European Express

Trans-Europ-Express, 1966

Producer: Alain Robbe-Grillet

A man leaves the subway, a man goes to a compartment. The men are riding in a compartment. They are discussing: it is necessary to make a movie, as a man goes to a compartment. He has a suitcase, drug smuggling. Pistol? A pistol, yes, perhaps. A pistol appears.

The authors discuss the movie that is on the screen, or the movie on the screen goes around in a circle, creating background noise in the form of chaotic discussions - there are no rules for solving the puzzle. Except for one thing: you should not look for either reality or support in the text. It is worth looking through the plot and fostering distrust of the narrative material. It is worth watching a man riding in a compartment, hiding a pistol, tying a beautiful girl with a rope, listening to two other men come up with a movie about him. Will they be filming it? Do we not see him now before our eyes? Are there, on the other side of the screen world, other viewers who see what is happening on the screen, but do not know that all this time the two are conducting their own dialogue? Everything is correct. It is worth asking questions, answering them is optional.

Graceful, like Jean-Louis Trintignant on a train, a film embodiment of a particular art form, codenamed "French New Novel", directed by the classic of this very new French novel, Alain Robbe-Grillet. If you love Alain René's film Last Year at Marienbad, then Robbe-Grillet will most likely be to your liking.


The other side of the wind

The Other Side of the Wind, 2018

Producer: Orson Welles

The Hollywood director, who has long since survived the peak of his fame (played by John Houston, a man with a bewitchingly powerful screen presence), in his old age, endlessly removes an epic called The Other Side of the Wind, about which nothing is really known, except that it has few dialogues, a lot scenes of sex and some deep meaning is laid. Filming drags on, a party full of starlets and reporters is constantly thundering in the background, and all meaningful characters in the plot run after the director so that he finally shows the footage to investors. But he constantly flows away somewhere charmingly, obviously, not understanding how to finish his movie and how to make further movies in general - at some point he even goes for advice to a former student, now a Hollywood favorite (played by Peter Bogdanovich).

This is a movie on the run, assembled from ragged phrases, sudden cameos, questions hanging in the air, dreams that did not come true and unfinished sentences. Wells filmed material (hundreds of hours) in fits and starts over several years in the seventies, edited it a couple of years later, and then died without releasing the film on the screen (a complex story with rights - a separate detective, about which a separate film was made). This movie about itself is an endlessly fragmentary portrait of a director who is one in two hypostases, much more interested in dialogue with art and time than with his own producers.


Our favorite month is August

Aquele Querido Mês de Agosto, 2008

Producer: Miguel Gomes

Cheerful, funny, a little shy people from remote Portuguese villages sing songs.A very relaxed film crew came to them to make a movie about the local stage, but so far the movie has not been fully thought out - for example, there are no main actors. Filmmakers, however, are not very worried about this. Conflicts they have beautiful, small and easily solvable ("I spent all day building these dominoes to become the prologue of our film! And you broke them. What were you thinking about?" then.”Further: frames with falling dominoes, the prologue of the film.)

Lazy squabbles, interspersed with shots of local residents, filmed like heaven in a hut, from where they come out in the evenings to sing on a small stage under flashing lights into a microphone, are so addictive that you do not immediately notice a romantic plot bursting out of trifles in the second half of the film. But when you notice - with great pleasure you watch two films instead of one and you stop asking all sorts of questions about the boundaries of documentary and fiction.



Adaptation., 2002

Producer: Spike Jonze

Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman sits down to adapt a book by a well-known journalist called The Orchid Thief, but it doesn't work. Anxiety, depressive disorder, a lucky twin brother who rode in unceremoniously to live with him (both played by Nicolas Cage) interfere. The fact that his brother sells bad scripts dearly does not raise Charlie's self-esteem either. The studio requires a result, a plot structure that can be turned into a film, is not in the book in any way, Charlie is close to a nervous breakdown.

A nervous breakdown happens in the whole film at once: the script flies off the reels, the border between truth and fiction is not visible, the authors of the report turn into heroes of an action-packed pulp fiction, and Charlie rushes about among all this and by the end of the film is trying not to write his own script, but simply survive. The most remarkable fact about this film is not even the presence of two Nicolas Cages in it, but the fact that it all existed in reality. Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman did sit down at some point to write a film adaptation of Susan Orleans' book about the orchid thief. And I really couldn't, because I didn't find a suitable narrative structure in it. What luck, of course, for all of us that he did not find it there.


Mulholland Drive

Mulholland Dr., 2001

Producer: David Lynch

Blonde Betty comes to Los Angeles to build her acting career. After settling in her aunt's house, she finds there a brunette - the so-called Rita, who took this name from the poster of "Tilda" that accidentally caught her eye. Rita miraculously escaped from the dangerous black limousine, where they were going to kill her, came across Betty's house and hid in it. She has lost her memory. Rita remains to live with Betty, together they begin to investigate her past, gradually becoming close friends. Several storylines, with details of varying degrees of mysticality, twist around the two girls, revealing an obscure, alluring dark dimension of the world around them. A classic puzzle by David Lynch, in which, as if no one is officially filming a movie, but in fact they are filming, and very much even, and the narrative hovers in much more than two plot dimensions, not so much asking questions as asking riddles.



The Player, 1992

Producer: Robert Altman

A successful Hollywood studio executive rejects a script, one of a hundred rejected by him this week - seemingly nothing out of the ordinary. But this case turns out to be special: anonymous death threats begin to arrive in the mail of a top manager. Having decided to deal with the offender face to face, the hero goes to a meeting with the rejected screenwriter, who, by chance, dies that evening. Anonymous letters keep coming. In the remaining two-thirds of the film, we observe how, within the framework of an impeccable Hollywood plot, relentlessly striving for a happy ending, at every turn, smart authors Robert Altman and Michael Tolkien professionally plant some kind of explosive, more and more turning the story into an elegant and very evil parody on the classic picture of success in Hollywood. Filmed, of course, according to a script by an anonymous author called The Gambler.

Photos: Universal Pictures, Triton Pictures, Celluloid Dreams, Framax Film S.A., Carlotta Films, Netflix, FiGa Films, Columbia Pictures. Fine Line Features

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