Medium Cool | PPH’s weekly round-up of stuff and things | #1

A weekly round-up of links, trailers and other stuff that’s caught our eye


Since his Sundance-storming debut sex, lies and videotape (1989), Steven Soderbergh has proved one of America’s most consistently intriguing directors, traversing seamlessly between higher-budget genre fare (Oceans ElevenContagion), compelling mid-level character stuff (The Limey, Magic Mike) and genuine oddities (The Girlfriend Experience, Bubble). This excellent, satisfyingly lengthy interview over at Vulture goes in-depth on his creative process and his decision to retire from feature filmmaking. Here’s a choice snippet:

“I remember describing making movies as a form of seduction and that people should look at it as though they’re being approached at a bar. My whole thing is, when somebody comes up to you at a bar, what behavior is appealing to you? And there are certain things that I’m not willing to do to get a reaction.” – (via Vulture)

*     *     *

Last week, the 29th annual Sundance Film Festival took place in its usual location of Park City, Utah. The Grand Prix award for best dramatic film went to Fruitvale, directed by 26-year-old first-timer Ryan Coogler and produced by the great Forest Whitaker. It tells the true story of the last day of a young man who was killed by the police in 2008 in Oakland, CA. The man, Oscar Grant, is played by former star of The Wire Michael B. Jordan (he was Season 1’s tragic Wallace). It looks great, and we’ll be keeping tabs on news of UK festival showings – perhaps Sundance London in April?

Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale

Michael B. Jordan as Oscar Grant in Fruitvale

*     *     *

One of our favourite films from last year – Ira Sachs’ beautiful Keep The Lights On – is released today on DVD and Blu-ray courtesy of UK indie distributors Peccapics. You can buy it here, and read our in-depth interview with Sachs here. Here’s the film’s trailer – watch out for the gorgeous cinematography by Thimios Bakatakis and fine score by late New York musician Arthur Russell:

*     *     *

We always enjoy the witty writing of Nick Pinkerton (a regular contributor to Sight & Sound and The Village Voice), and he’s knocked it out of the park again with his recent ‘Bombast’ column for Sundance NOW; this week the subject is logos and idents, including this classic from J. Arthur Rank (titter):

*     *     *

PPH was shocked and amused to spot light-entertainment’s John Barrowman playing an icy, high-level government official in Kathryn ‘Torture’s Handmaiden‘ Bigelow’s controversy-stirring Zero Dark ThirtyInspired by this, our editor Ashley Clark has put together a list of 10 genuinely bizarre cameos from cinema’s past at the website Grolsch Film Works. It includes this beauty from KFC’s Colonel Sanders – yes, that’s really him; finger lickin’ him:

*     *     *

Top tweeter and uber-connected film Londoner Emerson Forde has picked up on an exciting-looking BBC TV drama called Dancing On The Edge, which focuses on the fortunes of a black jazz band in 1930s London. It stars Chiwetel Ejiofor (soon to headline Steve McQueen’s film Twelve Years A Slave) and is written by Stephen Poliakoff (Close My Eyes). It starts on 4 Feb 2013 at 9pm on BBC2. Here’s the trailer:

*     *     *

Some lovely stuff linked by the Criterion Collection on Twitter here – 110 years of title cards. Here are a few of the best:




…aadand that’s all from us. folks. Have a great week.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s