Filmmaking Advice from Quentin Tarantino and Sam Raimi (NSFW)

At Comic-Con 2009, some aspiring filmmakers had the chance to ask real-deal directors how to make it in the business. Sam Raimi offered some very tangible and practical advice — advice that probably any young director should take to heart. Then Quentin Tarantino followed up with some colorful recommendations (at the 2:20 mark) that may be more inspirational/aspirational than achievable. Robert Rodriguez and Guillermo del Toro also offer their thoughts….

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Demystifying the Protect IP Act

How to combat internet piracy, the daily theft of copyrighted music, films and other digital goods? Our congressional leaders think they’ve figured it out, and their solution is called the Protect IP Act. The only problem is that the pending legislation creates more problems than it solves. Kirby Ferguson, creator of the Everything is a Remix video series, explains. And The New York Times offers its own objections….

Beware the Horror of…The Gawper

Abbott and Costello meet Tim Burton in this stylish little tribute to classic horror films by the British animation team at A Large Evil Corporation. (Yes, friends, they’re people too.) The moon is full and the bell tolls two as a pair of bumbling grave robbers enter a foggy graveyard. What happens next is unspeakably silly. The computer-generated 3D film was directed by Seth Watkins and runs an epic one minute, 28 seconds.

Watch the 1953 Animation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Narrated by James Mason

Back by popular demand, and certainly the right video for today’s holiday — the 1953 animated film version of Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” narrated by James Mason. Upon its release, the film was given a bizarre reception. In the UK, the British Board of Film Censors gave the film an “x” rating, deeming it unsuitable for adult audiences. Meanwhile, “The Tell-Tale Heart” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in the US, though it ultimately lost to a Disney production. The film runs a short 7:24, and now appears in our collection of Free Movies Online.

And then we have another small Halloween treat — your favorite actor, Christopher Walken, reading another classic Poe story, The Raven. It’s now added to our collection of Free Audio Books, and don’t miss other readings by Walken right below.

Christopher Walken Reads “The Three Little Pigs”

Christopher Walken Reads Lady Gaga

James Franco Reads Short Story in Bed for The Paris Review

James Franco gave The Paris Review a hand when he jumped into bed and started reading “William Wei,” a short story published in a recent edition of the storied literary journal. Find a cleaned up audio file here, or in our collection of Free Audio Books.

Last year, the aspiring writer and Yale doctoral student also made a cameo appearance in Gary Shteyngart’s rather hilarious video trailer for his novel, Super Sad True Love Story.

A short story by Franco, “Just Before the Black,” appears in Esquire. His fiction collection, Palo Alto, can be picked up here.

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Names of Paris Métro Stops Acted Out: Photos by Janol Apin

A little fun for anyone who has spent time on the Paris Métro, which carries millions of passengers through 301 often artfully-named stops each day. Shot during the 1990s by Janol Apin, this collection of photos takes the names of real stations and acts them out in imaginative ways. Enjoy the rest here. H/T @MatthiasRascher

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Bertrand Russell Explains How Smoking Paradoxically Saved His Life

In 1959, Bertrand Russell, then pushing 90, could still give a good interview. We have previously featured vintage video of Russell sending a message to people living 1,000 years in the future and also contemplating the existence/non-existence of God. Now comes more footage from ’59, and this time he tells us all about how smoking a pipe saved his life. It makes for a good anecdote (get more on his near-death experience here), though not an endorsement for taking up the habit….

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