Twinned Movies

Someone has done a fantastic job of [pairing the posters of movies]( that came out at the same time, often in the same year, that would appear to be on much the same topic. The pairings are:

* 1986: _Top Gun_ and _Iron Eagle_
* 1989: _Abyss_ and _Leviathan_
* 1989: _Turner and Hooch_ and _K-9_
* 1993/1994: _Tombstone_ and _Wyatt Earp_
* 1993/1994: _Rookie of the Year_ and _Little Big League_
* 1995: _Babe_ and _Gordy_
* 1995/1996: _Powder_ and _Phenomenon_
* 1995/1996: _Showgirls_ and _Striptease_
* 1997: _Volcano_ and _Dante’s Peak_
* 1998: _Antz_ and _A Bug’s Life_
* 1998: _Armageddon_ and _Deep Impact_
* 1998/1999: _The Truman Show_ and _Ed TV_
* 1999/2001: _Centennial Man_ and _A.I._
* 2000: _Red Planet_ and _Mission to Mars_
* 2002: _Stealing Harvard_ and _Orange County_
* 2003/2004: _Finding Nemow_ and _Shark Tale_
* 2004: _Chasing Liberty_ and _First Daughter_
* 2005: _The Cave_ and _The Descent_
* 2005/2006: _Wild_ and _Madagascar_
* 2006: _Capote_ and _Infamous_
* 2006: _The Prestige_ and _The Illusionist_
* 2006: _Open Season_ and _Over the Hedge_
* 2006/2007: _Happy Feet_ and _Surf’s Up_
* 2008/2012: _Taken_ and _Stolen_
* 2009: _Observe and Report_ and _Mall Cop_
* 2010: _Megamind_ and _Despicable Me_
* 2011: _Friends with Benefits_ and _No Strings Attached_
* 2012: _Mirror Mirror_ and _Snow White and the Huntsman_
* 2013: _After Earth_ and _Oblivion_
* 2013: _Olympus Has Fallen_ and _White House Down_

Given such a history, the question then is how much of this is zeitgeist and how much is the fact that scripts probably circulate somewhat widely and people see something in a script on which they pass that then gets them thinking about a version of the story on their own. We don’t need to assume outright copying at all. Or, alternatively, if we assume copying, it’s still the case that there is something larger, be “the times being what they are” or the marketplace, has increased the viability of certain projects / topics over others.

And, yes, I can even see being this objective in my own recent experience of discovering a parallel project to my own, but I’ll have more to say on that a little later — I’m working on a post tentatively entitled *On Credit*.

Hitchcock’s First Film is Free to Watch

Alfred Hitchcock wrote “A White Shadow” in 1924. The National Film Preservation Foundation has managed to find a copy, and has generously made it available for any and all with a decent Internet connection to [watch][]. A 24-year-old Hitchcock also served as assistant director for the 1924 movie, which was recovered back in August from New Zealand collector Jack Murtagh — who in his lifetime amassed one of the largest libraries in the country. Sadly you’re in for an incomplete viewing: only three of six reels (totaling 43 minutes) have managed to survived the decades since White Shadow’s release.


Roger Ebert has [six documentary films by Werner Herzog]( that are all available for streaming. The quality is not great, but you still get a chance to see what Herzog is up to in a nonfictional setting.

[Rear Window Timelapse.]( Jeff Desom has not only compressed the film into two minutes, but he has also set everything in the constant frame of the view from the window: really, just watch the first fifteen seconds to see what he does here. It’s brilliant.

As usual Kottke comes up with some of the most amazing finds. Not the best documentary work in the world, though I do appreciate the good short, but, ahhhhh … Paris. (See also his [link to a rant][rant] by a piano repairman about the decline in quality of pianos.)


Texas Farm, 1952

[Texas Farm, 1952]( This stuff is just amazing. The glimpse it gives you into the past. This is a collection of color film reels, without sound, taken by an amateur filmmaker — it appears to be the farmer himself.