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#1 Michael Collier

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 05:22 AM

I know Ed Wood has been discussed in other forums recently, but I just saw this film on IFC channel and really fell in love with the movie (skyrocked to mid-20s of my top favorite films)

I was struck both by the acting (depp does excelent, as does martin landau and bill muray) and the photographies emulation of the terrible wood films (great work making the miniature hollywood hills to emulate paln 9's)

But in particular I found a tale of the inner struggle of the artist (not the cross dressing part, but the self-doubt part) It seemed ed wood was terribly concerened that the world was passing him by and he would never measure up (note the orson wells referanced scenes).

It struck me that we all suffer from this drive to be better than the best, to advance our art, but deep down most of us feel like we are the next ed wood (those who do not are foolish or able to ignor nagging self-doubt better than I)

I ended up feeling sorry for wood. He failed in spite of his obvious drive and passion, he just lacked talent or understanding of the art form. It seemed as though he was quite dedicated. Now, obviously this is a dramitization and not gospel truth of his life, but in reviewing documentary interviews it seems like his drive was, if anything, downplayed. I think there is a truth to the film that shows that talent really doesn't affect the level of self-loathing or doubt that all artists have (wood seemed to have a healthy level that).

Maybe I am off base here, but it seemed to be a very touching film of a person so passionate he could not see how truley horrible his films were....and it should make us all think. I am not saying I am self-loathing or insecure...no wait, I am. I think all artists are, its the turf we live in. We are the Eeyore's of the world. It also made me feel like its the pitfalls of the dangerous course of art. We can all fall prey to huberis, greed, deceptions, or crippling depression, as some artists fell too. IE cobain, Van Gough, etc; that rob art of what it could be, and the film should give us all a second to think of why our art says something other than how future events will effect us in the future.

Note that this is not to knock wood, he was an artist, in spite of the fact his art was terrible; rather this post is to make us all think about the world of art and what it can mean. Also my aim is to point out the insecurities and self-loathing that a lifetime as an artist can induce. Its not a bad or good thing, but a part of the lifestyle that we all take on.

I don't know, any thoughts on the film or the themes? I can't be the only person to second guess myself or doubt my talent or potential.

(note, after I saw the film, I immediatley rented plan 9 from outer space....terrible terrible film, but it inspired my latest song 'beautiful failure' so it can't be all bad.)

anyways thanks for noticing me.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:40 AM

I think you pretty much nailed the themes of the movie, that artistic drive, ambition, passion, etc. are similar in artists of radically different talent levels (Wood and Welles.) And one artist's life isn't necessarily more tragic than the other based simply on their talent level. Some of us are driven to create art whether we are necessarily any good at it. I think the movie is asking the world for a little more tolerance towards eccentrics that have that passion, have those dreams, regardless of whether they produce good results.

There is also the recognition in the movie that filmmakers are people who make films - not necessarily good films. In other words, it's a major accomplishment just to get one made and Wood should get a little credit for actually achieving his (limited) goals. There is also the realization that movies aren't made by people working alone, that some sort of odd family unit is created in the process.
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 11:29 AM

That is right its a family feel or at least a great team effort, never went with the "auteur" theory.
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#4 Christian Appelt

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 02:03 PM

Tim Burton's ED WOOD is one of my favourite movies - great acting, great photography, and IMHO a good decision where to end the story. - In my opinion, the real Ed Wood never deserved to be called The Worst Film Director of All Times. His best-known films are extremely strange, but they are not totally bad. I'm certain that Wood knew exactly what kind of image or mood he wanted to create, he only lacked the talent and/or self-criticism to execute his wishes.
Because he tried to mix things that were of interest to himself with B-movie routines, Wood films never bored me - they were more like watching some strange experimental stuff.

Calling him the worst director of all times seems unjust to me, dozens of exploitation film directors turned out films that were never meant to be any good - Wood at least tried. I'd choose PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE any time over ZONTAR THE THING FROM VENUS, REPTILICUS or THE GIANT CLAW ! :)
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#5 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 02:49 PM

Calling him the worst director of all times seems unjust to me, dozens of exploitation film directors turned out films that were never meant to be any good - Wood at least tried. I'd choose PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE any time over ZONTAR THE THING FROM VENUS, REPTILICUS or THE GIANT CLAW ! :)


The worst movie ever made would be unwatchable. One can hardly say that about 'Plan Nine'.

Try watching an Andy Milligan movie. Admittedly I've only seen 'Guru, the Mad Monk', but it was rough going. I've only seen one Jess Franco movie that I enjoyed. 'attack of the robots' w/Eddie Constantine.

Wood managed to find old pros on the verge of retirement, like Wm.Thompson, which helps them.

PS: Watch the Thompson phographed 'Dementia' AKA 'Daughter of Horror' (That version has an Ed MacMahon narration).

http://imdb.com/titl...047976/combined

http://www.tcmdb.com....jsp?stid=72768
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 06:15 PM

"The Creeping Terror" is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. They lost the audio track at some point, so the narrator explains entire dialogue scenes as they happen in silence. Then people get attacked by this slow-moving ratty carpet.
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#7 Patrick Neary

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 09:17 PM

"The Creeping Terror" is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. They lost the audio track at some point, so the narrator explains entire dialogue scenes as they happen in silence. Then people get attacked by this slow-moving ratty carpet.


But how many other movies have a scene with carnage at the hootenany!
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 01:39 AM

The worst movie I saw in first-run release was this 1983 sword-fighting movie called "Ator, the Fighting Eagle" starring Miles O'Keefe. The highlight was the big fight scene with the "invisible warriors" where Ator and his travelling mute Asian buddy had to pretend to fight and be thrown around with nothing actually in the room. The giant rubber spider was another great touch.

When Ator is born, there are portents and omens like an earthquake. One character marches into the King's chambers to announce "My Lord, the Earth trembles like a virgin being led to the nuptial bed!" (I remember that line so clearly after 24 years...)

I saw this with a college friend when we both moved from Virginia (UVA) to Los Angeles in our third year. We deliberately sought out the worst possible movie we could find listed in the paper that day, and we weren't disappointed.

Odd thing was that a year later, we decided to repeat the bad movie experiment and picked a new sword-fighting movie called "The Blade Master". As the main credits rolled, the announcer proclaims "the further adventures of Ator, the Fighting Eagle!" We were shocked that someone had made a sequel, and this one managed to be so incompetent that it went WAY beyond merely being a bad Conan rip-off, but actually was pretentious.

It started out with a flashback to caveman times, where some cavemen get into a fight, and then the story jumps to Ator's time, with no explanation as to what that flashback was about. Some ancient sorcerer invents a device that can destroy mankind, but it's unclear what the device is, just that it is the ultimate power and some evil person wants it. Lots of nuclear allegory with talks about how dangerous this ultimate power was.

The highlight for this movie was the moment when Ator has to break into this castle on a hilltop. He says "I've got a plan" -- and then the film cuts to a fur-lined hang glider that Ator manages to have invented in five minutes, flying past the camera. Then it procedes to intercut close-ups of Ator in this hang glider with some helicopter stock footage. Only the kicker was that this footage was unsqueezed CinemaScope, plus it was a shot flying over the German mountains towards one of King Ludvig's castles in Bavaria, not matching at all the rundown medieval castle they were using for the movie. At the end, it cuts to stock footage of a nuclear blast, as the narrator explains that "Ator destroyed the (whatever) because Mankind was not ready for its awesome power."
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#9 Sakari Suuronen

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 05:03 AM

There's an awsome book about Ed Wood called Nightmare on Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, jr by Rudolph Gray. Check it out.

Also, Jess Franco's Vampyros Lesbos is a great, really interesting film. Tarantino took some of it's soundtrack in Jackie Brown. I've heard that the early works of Franco are way better than the lasts one's...

Edited by Sakari Suuronen, 17 May 2007 - 05:08 AM.

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#10 Christian Appelt

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 12:34 PM

David Mullen wrote:

The worst movie I saw in first-run release was this 1983 sword-fighting movie called "Ator, the Fighting Eagle" starring Miles O'Keefe.


David, from your decription, it seems to me that the film did fascinate you in a certain way, at least you had some fun watching the total artistic disaster.

I'd say really bad films

- never seem to end, even at 70 minutes running time;
- have NO VALUES at all, not beautiful women/men, interesting landscapes, adequate cinematography, they just run until they are over;
- are not funny, not even unintentional, just depressing.

Jess Franco did a number of such films, obviously shot in someone's house & garden on two weekends, starring unattractive women walking around for no reason, being stabbed for no reason, with electronic organ music droning on forever.

There's a special nihilistic quality to Eurotrash cinema, even low-quality American films tried to stick to certain mechanic genre rules and present their "values" , but I saw many European exploitation films that never delivered anything. (However, seeing again OCTAMAN might change my mind... :) )
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#11 Nate Downes

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 06:02 AM

The highlight for this movie was the moment when Ator has to break into this castle on a hilltop. He says "I've got a plan" -- and then the film cuts to a fur-lined hang glider that Ator manages to have invented in five minutes, flying past the camera. Then it procedes to intercut close-ups of Ator in this hang glider with some helicopter stock footage. Only the kicker was that this footage was unsqueezed CinemaScope, plus it was a shot flying over the German mountains towards one of King Ludvig's castles in Bavaria, not matching at all the rundown medieval castle they were using for the movie. At the end, it cuts to stock footage of a nuclear blast, as the narrator explains that "Ator destroyed the (whatever) because Mankind was not ready for its awesome power."

Apparently you failed to note in one of the shots with the hang-glider the tip-tops of the Los Angeles skyline peeking into the frame. If the projectionist used the wrong gate, the whole top of the LA skyline is clearly visible.

Yes, i've seen both movies, and you're description is dead-on.

I'd sooner watch 50 Ed Wood movies than... Ator!
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#12 Freya Black

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 06:31 AM

I'm afraid I have to really disagree with you Michael!


Like many others here I don't really believe that Ed was the worst director of all time! I also don't believe that his films are really terrible. Bizzare and a bit odd maybe, but not terrible. I have watched movies that cost millions and millions of pounds to make that truly were terrible. Predator 2 springs to mind off the top of my head but I'm sure there are far worse things that my mind is desperately trying to excise from my memory.

When I first saw Night of the Ghouls when I was little it was a real eye opening experience for me. It was such an amazing film! I laughed and laughed, I was so excited by it! Ed's movies often rely on peoples imagination to an extent far greater than Hollywood movies that attempt to re-create everything for you. 2 people sitting in front of a wall can be an aeroplane! I loved Ed's version of day for night. His films are just really different and special.

Tim Burtons Ed Wood is not about failure, and I don't believe Ed was a failure either! Ed spearheaded independant cinema with entirely independantly financed films. He made really low budget films, and he realised what was important and what wasn't.

Having loads of money doesn't make you the greatest director of all time, and by the same token hardly having any doesn't make you the worst director of all time either.

If there was a failure it was society that failed Ed Wood, not the other way around.

"Unfair kind of fame" as the pastels once sang...

love

Freya

I know Ed Wood has been discussed in other forums recently, but I just saw this film on IFC channel and really fell in love with the movie (skyrocked to mid-20s of my top favorite films)

I was struck both by the acting (depp does excelent, as does martin landau and bill muray) and the photographies emulation of the terrible wood films (great work making the miniature hollywood hills to emulate paln 9's)

But in particular I found a tale of the inner struggle of the artist (not the cross dressing part, but the self-doubt part) It seemed ed wood was terribly concerened that the world was passing him by and he would never measure up (note the orson wells referanced scenes).

It struck me that we all suffer from this drive to be better than the best, to advance our art, but deep down most of us feel like we are the next ed wood (those who do not are foolish or able to ignor nagging self-doubt better than I)

I ended up feeling sorry for wood. He failed in spite of his obvious drive and passion, he just lacked talent or understanding of the art form. It seemed as though he was quite dedicated. Now, obviously this is a dramitization and not gospel truth of his life, but in reviewing documentary interviews it seems like his drive was, if anything, downplayed. I think there is a truth to the film that shows that talent really doesn't affect the level of self-loathing or doubt that all artists have (wood seemed to have a healthy level that).

Maybe I am off base here, but it seemed to be a very touching film of a person so passionate he could not see how truley horrible his films were....and it should make us all think. I am not saying I am self-loathing or insecure...no wait, I am. I think all artists are, its the turf we live in. We are the Eeyore's of the world. It also made me feel like its the pitfalls of the dangerous course of art. We can all fall prey to huberis, greed, deceptions, or crippling depression, as some artists fell too. IE cobain, Van Gough, etc; that rob art of what it could be, and the film should give us all a second to think of why our art says something other than how future events will effect us in the future.

Note that this is not to knock wood, he was an artist, in spite of the fact his art was terrible; rather this post is to make us all think about the world of art and what it can mean. Also my aim is to point out the insecurities and self-loathing that a lifetime as an artist can induce. Its not a bad or good thing, but a part of the lifestyle that we all take on.

I don't know, any thoughts on the film or the themes? I can't be the only person to second guess myself or doubt my talent or potential.

(note, after I saw the film, I immediatley rented plan 9 from outer space....terrible terrible film, but it inspired my latest song 'beautiful failure' so it can't be all bad.)

anyways thanks for noticing me.


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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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Ritter Battery

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

The Slider

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Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Glidecam