Monthly Archives: April 2018

Find Your Favorite Cult Movies

Whether they’re hideous, hilarious, or just plan hard to stop watching, cult movies-over-the-top or quirky movies that develop an obsessively loyal fanbase over the course of generations-can provide some of the most memorable and entertaining connections with cinema that any kind of movie watching experience has to offer.

Even though many of these classics enjoy their status in the absence of box office success or critical acclaim, they offer something else-the opportunity to have a uniquely personal experience with a piece of American pop culture that is often shared with friends, family, or even strangers. How many times have you and your brother driven the family crazy at Christmas quoting favorite lines from “Office Space”, for example? Or did your now-husband decide he was in love with you when he realized that you were the only girl he had ever dated who thought that “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was just as hilarious as he does?

If you’re looking for ways to find more airings or public screenings of your favorite cult movies, discover “new-to-you” cult movies or add to your permanent cult collection, these 5 tips can help you successfully connect with some of the best cult movie opportunities available:

One: Get connected with your local movie houses.

If you know of movie houses in your area who sometimes do special screenings of “old” movies, sign up for their newsletter or join their loyalty program or fan club. Not only will you get updates about upcoming events delivered straight to your in-box, you’ll also be the first to find out about deals, specials, and other perks that come from having preferred guest status.

Two: Get creative with your “search” button.

Your favorite cult movie may or may not pop up on the recommendations that your cable company or streaming video services provide, so be sure and use this feature periodically to see if there is a upcoming or current showing of a movie you’ve had a hankering to see. Why? Because sometimes these kinds of more obscure titles can get “hidden” beneath the first few layers of titles that are suggested to you when you log in, or when you look at your tv service’s “guide” function.

Three: Check out your local dine-in movie theaters.

“Dine-in movie theaters” are movie houses that serve chef-driven cuisine, craft beer and creative cocktails, are growing in popularity with each passing year because they offer such an incredible movie watching experience. It’s not uncommon for these movie houses to offer special screenings featuring non-first-run selections, so be sure and follow them on social media (or sign up for email communication, see tip one) to find out when they are having a special event. You never know, the next one might just be your favorite cult movie ever, or a cult movie that’s “always been on your to-do list” but that you haven’t yet gotten around to watching.

Four: Visit your local CD/DVD store.

If you live in or near a big city, the chances are that there are a few non-big-box-retailer places where you can buy movies and music on DVD or CD (and maybe even vinyl albums). These stores are often excellent places to find cult movies both dear-to-you and new-to-you-and even if the store doesn’t have the title you’re after, one of the staff members may be able to give you a lead on where to find it.

Information and Entertainment

Dish Network can be a great resource for your family for all of your entertainment and information needs. In fact, Dish Network specifically designs each of it’s entertainment packages to have a balance of entertainment, news, and educational programming. This is true from Dish Network’s economical Dish Family package all the way up to the Platinum Level High Definition Television package, and everywhere in between.

Most subscribers looking for the category of entertainment packages which fall in between will be most interested in Dish Network’s America’s Top Entertainment Packages, which come in sixty, one hundred twenty, and one hundred eighty channel versions. America’s Top 60 Entertainment Package is a great introductory satellite TV plan that includes channels like The Weather Channel, MTV and MTV2, the Discovery Channel, the Sci-Fi Channel, ESPN, CNN, The Learning Channel, and many many more. America’s Top 120 Entertainment Package builds on America’s Top 60 with favorites such as Univision, BET, MSNBC, the Speed Channel, PAX TV, Fuse, Discovery Health, the FOX News Channel, and more. America’s Top 180 Entertainment Package adds on Style, Great American Country, The Biography Channel, Discovery Home and Leisure, National Geographic, VH1 Classic, Nick Toons, and a whole slew of Encore movie channels.

If you and your family love movies, America’s Everything Pak could easily be the perfect entertainment package for you. It has all one hundred and eighty channels from America’s Top 180, but thirty additional channels that comprise the STARZ! Super Pak and Showtime Unlimited as well as HBO and Cinemax. America’s Everything Pak is a great choice for the family who wants the best of everything and plenty of great movies and entertainment options without taking the High Definition Television plunge.

If you are ready to move up to High Definition Television, there’s no better television service provider to do it with than Dish Network. Dish Network provides more High Definition channels than any other television service and provides a High Definition receiver at no extra charge when you sign up for an HD entertainment package. DishNetwork High Definition receivers can handle television in High Definition formats as well as standard definition format and come with all of the other great features you expect from a Dish Network receiver. Dish Network’s High Definition entertainment packages start out at the Bronze level which offers twenty five HD channels (more than the competition at any level) and eighty standard definition channels. The Silver level provides the same twenty five High Definition channels, but with two hundred standard definition channels. The Gold level adds on High Definition channel- National Geographic HD- and forty more standard definition channels. The Platinum level keeps all two hundred and forty standard definition channels, but adds three more High Definition ones- STARZ! HDTV, HBO HD, and Showtime HD. In addition, local channels are often available in High Definition for a small extra fee.

Dish Network also provides additional programming to help you customize your entertainment package. Die hard sports fans will love regional sports networks as well as the ability to add seasonal sports subscriptions like MLB Extra Innings, ESPN Game Day, and NBA League Pass. Local channels are often available and are a great way to keep up with what’s going on where you live as well as providing access to mainstream network programming. SIRIUS satellite radio gives you even more entertainment options as does Pay Per View. International programming in nineteen different languages provides even more options.

Movies and Entertainment

A documentary film is one of several creative modes, including narrative fiction and experimental avant-garde. Documentaries have a purpose, viewpoint and approach, and evolves from the formative process – as either scripted or spontaneous. Documentaries are limited to reality or actuality.

Most of the production requirements for documentaries refer to the fact that there are no sets, actors are not used, and real people, not actors, play themselves.

Documentaries have been credited thrpoughout history for having a huge impact on cultural meanings. Many film schools worldwide teach the art of documentary filmmaking. The schools and classes teach understanding the fundamental aesthetic tools of documentary filmmaking such as camera operation, sound, structure, and also the interview.

Classes will often include exercises leading to the production of a documentary film project, so that the students can learn directing and producing skills as well as learn the various types of documentary.

There are always issues that students as well as the teachers deal with in documentary filmmaking having to do with the development of ideas, preproduction and the actual production.

the students in documentary film classes view segments of videos that represent major trends in the history of documentary film making. Usually there are guest film makers who lecture in the courses to mentor and provide supplementary education.

Documentaries are a very challenging form of filmmaking, that often stir up controversies. Historically, the genre begins with the earliest films of the Lumière brothers known as ‘actuality films” – ending with the latest postmodern explorations. Classics include Flaherty, Grierson, Riefenstahl, Rouch, Vertov, and Wiseman, along with contemporary works. The documentary film course examines how shifts in social and political realities, changing technology, as well as the personalities and talents of individuals continually re-define what the term documentary means. Ethical as well as aesthetic issues are also of consideration.

Documentaries often present challenges for cinematographers who usually must work alone or in small crews. They must learn how to capture beautifully-framed, meaningful footage during low budgeta and often chaotic circumstances that usually surround the film shoot. There’s typically an emphasis on shooting cinema verité and lighting with a very small crew. Some aspects of the digital camera are shared with students as they work.

Documentary films are also a very popular art form. Awards shows have a place for documentaries and many are covered often by movie critics, as evidenced in as early as 1942, when there were four winners including: The Battle of Midway; Kokoda Front Line; Moscow Strikes Back; and Prelude to War. In 2009 a recent documentary film on military medicine – Fighting for Life is expected to win awards.

The Future of Hollywood, Movies

When’s the last time you went to the theater? I am referring not to the movie theaters, which themselves are experiencing dwindling ticket sales, but to a theater with a stage?

They do exist, though they are mainly frequented by two types of audience members. The first are the traditionalists, the connoisseurs, people who appreciate theater as a unique art form. These people tend to be middle to upper class, middle age to elderly, and may or may not bring their families with them, if they have families. These people often see the same productions over and over, usually by different theater companies. They may be particular fans of Shakespeare or Frederico Garcia Lorca, and usually these patrons have a long history of going to the theater that often began when their parents took them as children.

The second type of theater patron would be those who are members of the theater community. They are actors and directors and writers and stage hands, and their families and friends. These people are often theater majors in college, and may or may not be making a meager living in the community. They show up for their brethren’s shows, as much to support each other and for camaraderie as for appreciation for the art itself.

With the exception of spectacular musical theater shows, which consistently draw larger crowds than non musical theater, there is a very small market for stage productions. What money there is to be made is rarely enough to grow rich on. But this essay is not about live theater. It is about movies and television. The screen. Specifically I am considering the future of movies, which I believe is swiftly going the way of traditional theater; contracting, becoming a niche, and falling out of the main stream.

Yes, I foresee the era of big budget films ending, and Hollywood ceasing to exist as a grand centralized location for the film and television industry. Soon. What will we supplant these forms of media with? Video games. Posh you say. That could never happen. Video games are cartoonish and pedestrian, not a true art form like film. But what happens when a video game becomes more real than film? Virtual reality role playing scenarios may one day be able to mimic all of our senses and fool the keenest of participants into confusing them with reality. Whatever reality is.

In this hypothetical VR, we are active participants, not passive observers. Artificial intelligence will adjust itself to accommodate our individual desires, decisions, creations and interactions. In the future, perhaps, we will all be writers, directors, and actors in our own epic improvised adventure journeys. This technology, should it come to fruition, will render obsolete film as the medium of choice for our entertainment needs. But the question is, what will happen to the writers, directors, and actors?

For the answer to that, I take as an example a local theater called Improv West, at which I have taken in a few live shows. While I was in the audience, I paid attention to who was sitting around me, and gleaned that most of the people there to watch were also performers, students of the improv school, or family and friends of performers and students. Few of the people there were not involved in the comedic improvisation community in some capacity.

Film, I believe, will be much the same way not to long from now. It will still be a valued medium by few but not a massive industry as it is today. It will be valued not by the general public, but by die hard aficionados, people who are in it for passion for the art form. They will be accompanied by their family and friends, who themselves may not be film makers, but who get a thrill out of seeing the work of someone they are close to. Niche genres like sci fi and horror may still be valued by certain audiences, as will cult films that posses unique cinematic qualities. But the era of big budget actioners, romantic comedies, and dramas with big name actors will probably wane.

So where does that leave Hollywood? I live in Hollywood, and I work in the film industry, so I am very aware of how many people rely on it as their means of paying the bills. No matter which way I look at it, I foresee Hollywood contracting, perhaps slowly at first, but eventually giving out completely. It is going to become more competitive for jobs as more people eschew giving up an hour or two of their time to watch film and television, in favor of chatting with friends online or making movies of their own using inexpensive high definition camcorders to upload to YouTube.

It should be noted that spectacle is always going to have it’s place. This is why I think musical theater is still such a strong art form that can still sell large amounts of tickets. Humans always want to see crazy spectacular performances live, for the same reason cult films will always be in vogue, and street performers will always gather crowds on busy streets. We just like crazy shit. The only problem in fact is that there isn’t enough spectacular groundbreaking films and stage performances to saturate the market and keep dvd sales and ticket sales up. It takes an enormous amount of creative output and some luck to come up with something that is just outrageous enough to captivate audiences for generations and not be forgotten among the stacks of okay and semi-decent formula movies. A perfect example of this would be Blade Runner, a spectacular film of cult status that has been unmatched by any of Ridley Scott’s many directorial efforts since despite his efforts.