Newslinks: Monday, July 14 2008

July 14th, 2008

This photograph taken in Jamaica four years ago, is believed to be Banksy via Daily Mail

After a year long investigation, Graffiti artist Banksy revealed? More here, and here [Daily Mail], [NYTimes], [Supertouchart]
Ad agencies reverse the long-evident trend of artists poaching from popular ads by creating popular ads that poach from artists [NYTimes]
A profile of Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend, Daria “Dasha” Zhukova, a new player on the art scene [TimesUK]
Previously thought ‘fake’ is a Rembrandt, but not a self-portrait [The Art Newspaper]
The Sun reviews Art Market tome ‘The $12 Million Stuffed Shark’ previously covered by AO here [NYSun]
On Page Six: 303 Gallery employee fired for mistaking Marc Jacobs for a homeless man and Andres Serrano keeps it gritty in his new Chelsea show [NYPost]
MoMA assembles modern prefab houses in adjacent vacant lot [NYTimesMag]

Review: ‘Paranormal Activity’ is abnormally scary.(A & E)

Seattle Post-Intelligencer October 14, 2009 We live in a world of reality TV, YouTube, digital cameras, and cell phones with access to the Internet and video capabilities. But ten years ago, before our ties to everyday home recorders, a little independent horror flick called The Blair Witch Project came out and scared the pants off people by providing something we hadn’t seen before: “real” video footage of scary stuff happening to “real” people. But can the same “real footage” angle still produce scares today? Director Oren Peli and his Paranormal Activity proves that yes, yes it can. go to site paranormal activity 2 online

Movie Trailers TV News Celebrity News Photos More from film.com Interview: Director Spike Jonze Talks Where the Wild Things Are Megan Fox’s Next Project: Underwear Ads Children’s Book Adaptations That Failed Dancing With The Stars Results: Chuck Liddell Is Counted Out The Pitch Meeting for Showgirls 2 Live-in boyfriend and girlfriend (Micah and Katie) videotape their everyday lives living in their house where Katie has reportedly experienced out of the ordinary occurrences. Over the course of three weeks, the two determine that some sort of presence is definitely in the house. But what? And why? And maybe most importantly, what can they do about it? Armed with only a camera and some computer software, the couple tapes their experience while attempting to figure out what to do.

What makes Paranormal Activity so darn effective is how real the whole thing feels. They didn’t try and pull a Blair Witch and claim that the events really took place — we live in the Internet age where any sort of white lie like that could be debunked in a matter of minutes. But everything from the couple — their relationship, the house they live in, their reactions to what’s going on around them — feels so real during even the mundane and normal parts of their lives that when the freaky stuff kicks in, it’s that much scarier.

The leads were key in making this movie work, and both Micah and Katie put their all into their roles. They hit the right emotional chords when they needed to, and when the terror kicks in for them, it kicks in for the audience as well. Only a few times did I feel their performances were fake, mostly due to some of the dialogue that was likely scripted in certain areas to steer the “plot” in the proper direction; otherwise, they felt like genuine people.

The house was also vital in making or breaking the film’s scare factor as the whole movie takes place in the couple’s house. The house felt like a real house, a house that you’ve probably been in at one time or another, or maybe even live in now. It’s an ordinary house with ordinary stuff. Again, what could possibly be scarier than freaky stuff happening in the woods? How about your own home? Provoking a fear of the unknown in the middle of the woods is easy to induce, but fear inside your everyday suburban house? That’s no easy task.

But the big question remains: Is it scary? By using sound effects, gaining night vision-style video, and an eerie premise, Paranormal Activity managed to produce a genuinely scary and downright creepy little horror flick. What may be the scariest tactic of all was the anticipation of what was going to happen each night the couple spent in the house. There’s so much focus and concentration on waiting to see something happen, that when something as simple as a door moving by itself does happen, it makes your hair stand on end. While the movie does pull a few cheap boo-scares, I can’t say they weren’t welcome — the sudden loud noises were jolting, but the reasons behind those noises were what made them scary. The use of the handheld camera also added to the scare factor, only showing you pieces of what’s going on at a time. in our site paranormal activity 2 online

Paranormal Activity is a terrifying movie experience, done through strategic storytelling devices, off-camera sound effects, and only the most primitive, basic special effects. By creating the fearful anticipation of what might happen each night, the film reaches heights in horror that haven’t been touched in a while. Micah and Katie were relatable and, best of all, they were real, making the events that unfold around them that much more intense and unbearable. While I thought the ending took an uncharacteristic turn from the rest of the movie, the film as a whole still provided a frightening experience and delivered what audiences everywhere have been asking for for years: a reason to sleep with the lights on for awhile, and just in time for Halloween to boot.

Grade: A- Ammon Gilbert covers the latest in horror weekly for Film.com.

View the original article on film.com