Archive for the ‘About’ Category

We have moved!

Montag, Januar 4th, 2010

A few moments ago, Fabricated Truth moved to a new domain name – the ever so fitting www.fabricatedtruth.com. Don’t worry, everything will still work with the old domains for a while, but if you have this site bookmarked (and I know you do), please change your bookmarks!

I Don’t Discuss My Process – The Making of the Second Bilingual Christmas Movie Adventskalender

Mittwoch, Dezember 30th, 2009

Judging by the astronomical visitor figures of the last four weeks and the unprecedented poll participation, many people have enjoyed reading the Second Bilingual Christmas Movie Adventskalender (Trademark pending). And if DVD extras are any indication, what people like even more than being entertained, is a view behind the scenes, at how the film (or the Adventskalender) was made. So here are ten things you might not have known about the Second Bilingual Christmas Movie Adventskalender – my personal trade secrets, so to speak. And they are certainly good advice for anyone undertaking such a great venture. (weiterlesen …)

The Return of the Bilingual Adventskalender

Mittwoch, November 25th, 2009

For English version, see below the dotted line (made of stars).

Vor zwei Jahren, als dieser Blog noch von meinem jugendlichen Enthusiasmus getrieben wurde und ich noch dachte, damit einmal die Welt zu verändern (was heute natürlich längst geschehen ist), kam ich zu dem Schluss, dass meine Kurzkritiken, die ich bis heute nur verschämt als Kritiken bezeichnen kann, nicht ausreichten. Und somit schuf ich den ersten Bilingual Adventskalender. Leser der ersten Stunde können sich vielleicht noch an jeden wundervollen, vielversprechenden Tage erinnern. Verglichem mit meinem heutigen Stil war meine damalige Einleitung geradezu eloquent.

Heute kann ich nun voller Stolz verkünden, dass 2009 Zeuge der langerwarteten Rückkehr meines Adventskalenders wird. Und genau wie 2007 werde ich auch dieses Jahr jeden Tag über einen Weihnachtsfilm schreiben. Es ist jedoch leider so, dass selbst ich als großer Freund der Weihnachtsfilme, es nicht aushalten kann, 24 weitere dieser kitschigen, kindischen, unendlich sentimentalen Filme zu sehen. Deswegen bin ich diesmal nicht hingegangen und habe nach einer weiteren Dickens Verfilmung oder der alljährlichen Weihnachtskomödie gesucht, sondern bin meine Filmesammlung durchgegangen und habe Filme rausgesucht, die irgendetwas – egal was -mit Weihnachten zu tun haben – ohne im engeren Sinne Weihnachtsfilme zu sein. Ein Beispiel gefällig? Der Pate, der Mafiafilm aller Mafiafilme (außer dem zweiten Teil, natürlich), hat eine Szene, die an Weihnachten spielt. Deswegen wäre er eine Option für den diesjährigen Adventskalender, obwohl der Film herzlich wenig mit Weihnachten zu tun hat. Nach diesen Kriterien würden natürlich auch einige der 2007er Filme in diesen Kalender passen, aber diese werden – ebenso wie Der Pate – ausgelassen. Es wird also 24 kleine Überraschungen in diesem Adventskalender geben – und ich garantiere, dass einige der Filme wirkliche Überraschungen sind.

Auch das Format für die Einträge habe ich etwas überarbeitet. (Habe ich eigentlich schon zu der Übersicht des alten Adventskalenders verlinkt? Ich glaube nicht. Hier ist sie.) Alle Einträge in den Adventskalender werden vier Fragen beantworten: Worum geht es? Was hat das mit Weihnachten zu tun? Verkörpert der Film den Geist der Weihnacht? Und natürlich, besonders wichtig: Lohnt es sich, den Film anzusehen?

Aber genau wie vor zwei Jahren werden alle Einträge, wie es sich für einen bilingualen Adventskalender gehört, sowohl auf Deutsch als auch auf Englisch erscheinen, sodass sich hier die perfekte Möglichkeit zum Erlernen einer Fremdsprache bietet, was für jeden von uns ein Ziel für die Weihnachtszeit sein sollte. Aber in der Weihnachtszeit geht es auch darum, zu teilen und zu helfen. Und deswegen hier meine ausdrückliche Bitte, mir doch bitte Filme zu nennen, die den Kriterien für diesen Adventskalender entsprechen. Denn ehrlich gesagt ist es gar nicht so einfach, 24 davon zu finden.

Und dann, ab dem ersten Dezember, freue ich mich jeden Tag über die Gelegenheit, der Erste zu sein, der Ihnen “Fröhliche Internetweihnachten” wünscht.

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Two years ago, when this blog was still powered by my youthful enthusiasm and I still believed it would changed the world (today, it has already done so), I decided that my short movie reviews that I was and still am ashamed to actually label reviews, were not enough and that I should stretch my writing muscles somewhat and so I created the Bilingual Adventskalender. If you are a reader of the first hour, you might remember those days of wonder and unfulfilled promises, as well as just what this strange “Adventskalender” thingie is. If you don’t remember or have joined the ever growing ranks of my readers at a later date, let me quote from the original introduction:

“In Germany, the time leading up to Christmas, from December 1st on, is called “Advent”. It is traditional to have (at least) one “Adventskalender”, advent calendar, for that time. In the most common form it is a cardboard box (which you can hang on a nail) containing 24 “doors” numbered 1 through 24 that you open on the corresponding day of December. Usual there is a small piece of chocolate (Remember, Germany is The Land of Chocolate!) in there, behind which is a picture, both depicting something to do with Christmas. Nowadays of course, there are Adventskalender containing all kind of things: lottery tickets, small toys or even bottles of beer are just some of the things you encounter everywhere. In some neighbourhoods people even decorate their windows and open a different one every day to display to the world. So as far as German Christmas traditions go, this is one of the big ones.

The internet, on the other hand, isn’t very traditional. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do traditional things in the world wide web as well. Others have done it before me, so I can’t claim to have come up with the idea, but I will nevertheless host my very own little Adventskalender here. Sadly, I am not a nifty programmer, so you will not be able to see a beautiful winter landscape with tiny numbers on it that only lead to the hidden treasure on the proper day. Instead, I will just gift you with a new movie review every day.”

Today, I am proud to announce that 2009 will feature the long awaited return of my Adventskalender. And just like in 2007, I will write about a Christmas movie every day! But this time, there is a twist. For you see, not even I, unconditional lover of Christmas movies, can stomach another 24 of those cutesy, corny, cheesy and damn sweet films. So instead of trying to pick up another version of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol or this year’s Christmas comedy, I went through my DVD collection and picked out films that have something – anything – to do with Christmas. This means that while all the films the 24 days leading up to Christmas will reveal have some connection to Christmas, they are not traditional Christmas movies (at least for the most part). You require an example? Fine, here is one: The Godfather, the mafia film to end all mafia films (except for the sequel, of course), features a scene set at Christmas. Thus, it qualifies for the Adventskalender, even though people don’t generally associate it with Christmas. Some of the films included in the 2007 Adventskalender would probably fit this year’s theme better as well – they are, however, omitted – just like The Godfather. So you can look forward to 24 little surprises in the next weeks – and let me assure you, there are some real surprises included.

The format of the reviews is also different from the original instalment (Did I link yet to the page listing all the old entries? I think not. Here it is.). The reviews will all be ordered under four questions to fully explore the theme: What is the film about? What connects it to Christmas? Does it embody the spirit of Christmas? And lastly and most importantly: Is it any good?

Just like 2007, however, the reviews will be written in both German and English, so this is also a perfect tool for learning a foreign language, something which we should all strive to do in times of Christmas. But Christmas is about something else as well: giving and sharing. So if you know of any movies that fit the criteria, please, please, please tell me about them. Truth be told, I’m really struggling to fill those 24 spots.

And then, from December 1st through 24st, let me be once more the first one to wish you a very Merry Internet Christmas every day.

Two Years of Movie Reviews

Donnerstag, Oktober 29th, 2009

Two years ago today, I wrote my first ever Minute Movie Review. Fittingly enough, it was about the début feature of one of my favourite directors, Wes Anderson – a little gem called Bottle Rocket. In the two years since, another 318 films got the Minute Movie Review treatment. Today there are 320 of those reviews and to give you an idea of what that number actually means, I admit that I accidentally wrote two reviews for the same film, a few months apart, because I had forgotten that I already reviewed the film.

In addition to those 320 Minute Movie Reviews, there are 97 further posts I wrote for this blog (plus a few that were never published, for various reasons (i.e. they sucked)). I hope that impresses you enough to allow me this little celebratory note. I promise the next post will actually contain something worth reading – again or for the first time, depending on your point of view.

A Cry for Help

Donnerstag, Februar 19th, 2009

I am currently in the process of making full use of the tag system of WordPress and adding meaningful tags to all 200+ posts on this blog. Since this is a lot of mindless work, I will probably make a lot of mistakes – if I haven’t done so already. Should you spot such a mistake (a misspelling, a wrong tag, a mising tag), please comment on the post and I will change/delete/add it. Thank you!

The tags for movie reviews, just to give you an idea, should include the title of the film, the production year, the country of origin, the genre(s), the director, the writer (if deemed important by me), the principal cast members, other movies mentioned in the review, whether the film is part of a franchise, a book adaptation, a sequel or similar information.

Update: The re-tagging is now finished. Instead of <100 tags, there are now 1,720. All have been checked for errors twice (I really should put the same effort into error checking my posts…), but there are probably still a bunch of mistakes. So if you spot any, comment on the post or here!

It’s 2009!

Mittwoch, Januar 7th, 2009

As you probably have already noticed, it is 2009. As you have also already noticed, when you are reading this, I have returned to Fabricated Truth to post just about anything that comes to mind. There are new minute movie reviews. There is a new poll (Go Vote -> The poll has been moved to the bottom of this post). I will again write your story. I will again write your poem. I also have some other plans for nice and new things to entertain you with, but if I mention them now they are bound to never be accomplished. So sit tight, enjoy the ride and comment like your life depended on it.

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The Introduction of Theme Months

Samstag, Juni 28th, 2008

When I announced some big changes at Fabricated Truth, I was only partly kidding. In fact, I actually want to change something. Writing a short review (see my previous post “What’s in a Name” for more information) (almost) whenever I see a movie is nice, but not enough. Occasionally I feel the need to stretch my writing muscles a bit and actually write something a bit deeper and more meaningful. But what about? Truth is, I may claim to be a movie expert sometimes, but I really am not. Sure, I’ve been to the cinema a couple of times and have seen the occasional film on TV or DVD, but when it comes to real knowledge of classic cinema or something similar, I quickly must admit my ignorance.

But ignorance is not only bliss but also a chance. Admitting it is not shameful, especially not when trying to overcome it. And thus we come to the introduction of theme months. Going back to the tight schedule of December, when the bilingual Adventskalender kept me posting regularly, I will once again submit myself to self-set deadlines and try to write something more on a recurring theme. And since December is still a long way away and I am frankly quite tired of Christmas movies, (Besides, are there even 24 more worth watching?) each month will now be a theme month at Fabricated Truth. Don’t worry, I will still write and post my Minute Movie Reviews, but in addition, each month will be dedicated to a theme and see some posts related to that – maybe not every day, but at least a couple of times each week.

Themes can be basically everything. A month may be dedicated to a film maker (e.g. Woody Allen), an actor (e.g. Christopher Walken), a genre (e.g. horror), a sub-genre (e.g. slasher horror), an era (e.g. The Golden Age of Cinema), a country (e.g. Iceland) or something else entirely. I will write a short introductory text on the first of each month, detailing the theme and also outlining which particular movies will be reviewed in depth during the course of the month – and yes, this will start in July.

For most months, this will be a kind of adventure for me – writing about something I know very little about, slowly dissolving my ignorance and learning about the theme. I hope that some readers will join me in those journeys and learn about these themes together with me. Occasionally I may pretend to know everything, but it’s all just for show. Even when admitting your own ignorance, you still have to keep some face. And readers will get to keep all of theirs, using my ignorance to displace their own.

Two last issues: I’m fairly certain that most articles in this endeavour will be better written than this one. Hopefully, having a deadline, even if it is self-imposed, will stop me from writing late at night when I should really be sleeping. Blame my tiredness for this badly written piece. And also, no, I don’t have any plans to write about Woody Allen, Christopher Walken, horror movies or even slasher horror movies (whatever those might be) and I’m not sure what The Golden Age of Cinema even is. I also have never seen an Icelandic film – but maybe I’ll get around to that eventually. For July, expect some light-hearted start with a not too serious theme about which I actually know a little. More on Tuesday – I hope to see you here (figuratively speaking).

What’s in a name?

Sonntag, Juni 22nd, 2008

Attentive readers may already have noticed that I recently changed the title lines of my movie reviews from a simple “Movie Review” to “Minute Movie Review”. The change might seem minuscule, but I’d still like to explain it.

For some time, calling this things movie reviews has bothered me. Sure, in a way that’s exactly what they are, but in truth they tell very little about the film they supposedly review. When I first started writing them, my idea was nothing less than to revolutionize how movies are criticized.

Obviously, this completely failed.

Instead, they have become a way for me to keep track of which movies I’ve recently watched – what they were about and whether I liked them. Additionally, they were a chance for you, my dear readers, to see quickly, whether you might want to see a movie. They are more of a recommendation than reviews, I guess. But calling them “Movie Recommendation” would have been silly – first because I always slow down typing when spelling recommendation and also because I wouldn’t recommend a fair number of these films. Thus the title of “Minute Movie Review” was born.

They are not called “Minute Movie Review” because you should be able to read them in a minute (which, admittedly, shouldn’t be a problem for even a slow reader), but because I always set out to write them in a minute. Which actually never works out, but that is completely besides the point.

So, in the next few days, I will go back through the archives and rename all the old entries, because that’s just the kind of person I am. And also in the next few days, I will inform you of the other reason to rename these short reviews. Great things are afoot at Fabricated Truth, but for more on that you’ll have to wait a couple of days. Because that’s also the kind of person I am.

Now You Can Decide!

Samstag, Juni 7th, 2008

As I have said before, Fabricated Truth (as this blog is pretentiously called) is all about interaction. I promised to write your stories and your poems and of course I’ve kept my promise. But that kind of interaction obviously scared some people, so for the newest feature you don’t even have to leave a fake name. On the immediate right of this post (or slightly above that if you are reading this at a later date) you will find a poll – the option to voice your opinion on what movie I should review next. I will occasionally yield to the result and will of course update the poll as I see fit. Share and Enjoy!

Bilingual Adventskalender

Donnerstag, November 29th, 2007

For English version, see below the dotted line (made of stars).

Weihnachtsfilme – jeder kennt sie, viele hassen sie und noch mehr geben nicht zu, wie sehr sie aus ihrer Sicht zu einem schönen Weihnachtsfest gehören. Da ich ja sowieso ein Faible für Filme habe (andere würden es wohl eine Obsession nennen…), fasziniert mich natürlich auch das Phänomen Weihnachtsfilm. Nie sonst sind wir so gutmütig was die Bewertung der oftmals dünnen Handlung angeht, nie sonst freuen wir uns so über Kitsch und überbordende Emotionen. In den USA sind Filme mit weihnachtlichen Themen ab November die großen Kassenschlager (neudeutsch und englisch: Blockbuster). In einer Zeit, in der die Familie groß geschrieben wird, florieren Familienfilme. Und auch in Deutschland haben diese Filme, seien sie romantisch oder lustig, furchteinflößend oder dramatisch, immer mehr Zuschauer. Vorbei sind die Zeiten als an Weihnachten Verfilmungen von Klassikern der Weltliteratur zu sehen waren. Stattdessen also ein Weihnachtsfilm nach dem nächsten.

Um sich in diesem Dickicht zurechtzufinden, um sowohl ein wenig Anleitung als auch Unterhaltung zu bieten, gibt es ab dem 1. Dezember hier den Adventskalender der Weihnachtsfilme – mit einer täglichen Filmkritik in deutsch und englisch, damit auch wirklich jeder etwas davon hat (besonders meine Übersetzungsfähigkeiten). Egal wie der geehrte Leser also zu Weihnachtsfilmen steht – egal ob er sie verachtet und um jeden Preis vermeiden will, oder ob er sie liebt und sich ab Juli auf Dezember freut, damit er endlich wieder diese herzerwärmenden Filme sehen kann – mit diesem Adventskalender gibt es aus seriöser Quelle die Informationen, die man braucht.

Schön anzusehen sein wird das nicht. Meine Computerkenntnisse reichen zwar aus, um meinen Unsinn in der ganzen Welt zu verbreiten, aber nicht um ihn auch noch schön darzustellen. Also wird es keine verschneite Winterlandschaft mit kleinen Nummern geben, die nur am entsprechenden Tag das dahinter versteckte Kleinod freigeben. Stattdessen wird es einfach jeden Tag hier eine neue Kritik zu lesen geben.

Also schauen Sie jeden Tag herein, freuen Sie sich auf Filmkritiken, die Weihnachtsfilme als das anerkennen, was sie sind: Kleine Kunstwerke in einer sehr speziellen Nische, denen man viele Fehler nachsieht. Denn schließlich ist Weihnachten die Zeit der Vergebung. Und wenn jetzt jemand direkt an einen Film denken muss, der in diesem Adventskalender nicht fehlen darf, so möge er es jetzt sagen oder für immer schweigen. Noch gibt es freie Türchen, noch ist Platz für Ihren Lieblingsfilm oder den Weihnachtsfilm, den Sie sich weigern zu sehen, aber über den Sie trotzdem mitreden wollen. Besonders über deutsche Filmvorschläge würde ich mich sehr freuen, denn davon gibt es leider bisher wenige in diesem Adventskalender. Denn in der umfangreichen zweistündigen Vorbereitung, die für diesen Adventskalender nötig war, sind mir davon leider wenige begegnet.

Kommen Sie jeden Tag wieder und lassen Sie mich der Erste sein, der Ihnen “Fröhliche Internetweihnachten” wünscht.

Und für diejenigen, die gerne viel lesen: Der folgende englische Text ist keine direkte Übersetzung.

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In Germany, the time leading up to Christmas, from December 1st on, is called “Advent”. It is traditional to have (at least) one “Adventskalender”, advent calendar, for that time. In the most common form it is a cardboard box (which you can hang on a nail) containing 24 “doors” numbered 1 through 24 that you open on the corresponding day of December. Usual there is a small piece of chocolate (Remember, Germany is The Land of Chocolate!) in there, behind which is a picture, both depicting something to do with Christmas. Nowadays of course, there are Adventskalender containing all kind of things: lottery tickets, small toys or even bottles of beer are just some of the things you encounter everywhere. In some neighbourhoods people even decorate their windows and open a different one every day to display to the world. So as far as German Christmas traditions go, this is one of the big ones.

The internet, on the other hand, isn’t very traditional. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do traditional things in the world wide web as well. Others have done it before me, so I can’t claim to have come up with the idea, but I will nevertheless host my very own little Adventskalender here. Sadly, I am not a nifty programmer, so you will not be able to see a beautiful winter landscape with tiny numbers on it that only lead to the hidden treasure on the proper day. Instead, I will just gift you with a new movie review every day.

Let me talk about something else here for a moment. We all know Christmas movies. We love them, we loathe them and most of us try to avoid them as much as possible. But we have all been in those embarrassing situations when a significant other says something like: “But it is such a nice story, you’ll love it.” Or when the Christmas spirit is high in the family and somebody suggests watching that “adorable Christmas comedy”. And all one can do is pretend to be thrilled and hope that it is over soon.

But never again!

Starting December 1st, you will be able to find out everything there is to know about a Christmas movie without actually sitting through it. And you can just say something like: “Oh, I’ve seen it a million times. It has such a nice happy ending.” (That is of course true of all Christmas movies…) “Let us rather watch this great new action flick, I heard the special effects were amazing.” And because you can now provide details of the story (and spoil it for everybody else), you actually get to watch that exciting new movie.

But maybe you are different?

You actually enjoy Christmas movies. You like the sappy happiness that a good Christmas flick causes. Christmas movies are an important part of Christmas and really help you getting into the spirit of the thing.

Trust me, you are not alone. Millions, maybe billions, of people think so too. And are just to scared to admit it. Well, all of you will also enjoy reading about your favourite movies again (next best thing to watching them again) and with my great insight into the genre (…) I will be able to sort through all the bad ones to bring you the truly enjoyable ones, that cause all that sappy happiness you’ve been hoping for.

So check back every day from December 1st to December 24th to read about those wonderful(ly awful) Christmas movies. And if you have a movie you absolutely want to read about (be it because you want to read what I think about your favourite or because you want to know whether to watch it or avoid it), drop me a line quickly before all entries are chosen. Obviously, such an Adventskalender takes a lot of preparation, so I’ve been working on it tirelessly for hours, but right now some spots are still open.

And let me be the first one to wish you a very Merry Internet Christmas every day.