Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The World's End (2013)

WHO: Edgar Wright directed and co-wrote this.

WHAT: I haven't seen this film yet, but I'm very excited to check it out. I liked Shaun of the Dead quite a bit, but turned into a bona fide Edgar Wright fan after seeing it screen along with two of his subsequent films which I'd missed upon general release, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World and Hot Fuzz, at an epic MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS screening two years ago, with the writer-director at the Castro in person to discuss his career between each film. 

Last month, MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS founder and impresario Jesse Ficks hosted another triple-bill, this time at the Metreon and with both Wright and The World's End/Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead co-writer and lead actor Simon Pegg in attendance. I wasn't able to attend but reports on the event have been trickling out ever since. Someone named Ira, writing at Jason Watches Movies, says that "This last film of the trilogy, all three of which have at least to some extent revolved around drinking and pubs, is inarguably the "drunkest" of the three, and yet, it is also the most sobering." Meanwhile, Nathalie Barringer, recorded some quotes from Pegg and Wright from their q-and-a after The World's End, including this gem from the director:
Growing up in a small town, you start to imagine what's going on between closed doors. I think it made me more of a daydreamer. I can remember saying to my friends, 'every time I come back it feels like Bodysnatchers,' and there's a film in that!
WHERE/WHEN: Screens multiple showtimes daily at the Grand Lake, the Vogue, and probably at your local multiplex as well.

WHY: Did you know The World's End was shot in 35mm? And is currently screening in 35mm at the beautiful Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland? I need to attend the Grand Lake more often. Not only is it a vintage theatre with beautiful decor, as tastefully 'plexed into a four-screen venue as I can imagine (and therefore a world away from a cookie-cutter chain theatre), but it's locally owned and operated, and even retains the ability to show 35mm (and even, as last Fall's booking of The Master proved, 70mm) prints as well a digital. Currently all of its four houses are running films on 35mm: Fruitvale Station on the spacious (former) balcony, Kick-Ass 2 in one of the smaller downstairs rooms, We're the Millers alternating with The Way, Way Back (the latter a digital presentation) in the other small room, and The World's End in the main theatre, where it will be preceded by a Wurlitzer organ performance before the Friday and Saturday evening shows.

If traveling to Oakland is just not your bag, it's possible to see The World's End on DCP elsewhere. May I suggest the Vogue in San Francisco as the best digital option, as it is also locally owned and operated, and a single-screen theatre. Though it converted its projection equipment to state-of-the-art digital earlier this year, I'm told it actually retains the ability to screen 35mm prints on occasion, a fact which helped it snare two of the six mini-festivals that will make up the San Francisco Film Society's Fall Season in the coming months. I'm encouraged that this means we'll be seeing at least a few 35mm titles from Hong Kong and/or Taiwan as part of the SFFS presentations.

HOW: 35mm at the Grand Lake, digital elsewhere.


  1. Brian: Thanks for the nudge, which prompted me to make one of my rare outings to the beautiful Grand Lake and its interesting neighborhood Thursday (before a crop of half a dozen interesting sounding new movies open up in the area today, Friday.) I haven't seen the first two parts of Wright's trilogy, though I did catch Scott Pilgrim which I found cutesy and overly pumped up. The World's End benefits in contrast from its British roots,and from actors like Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan who I associate with the social realists Mike Leigh and Shane Meadows. The film's lurch half way into sci-fi made it harder to sustain, but I started thinking about how all those DCP versions that are coming around, of work shot on celluloid, are like the "blanks," robots full of blue gunk, and enjoyed seeing them get their come-uppance.

  2. Love the comparison, now that I've had a chance to see The World's End for myself. I would rank this one as better than Hot Fuzz but not as good as Shaun of the Dead in the trilogy.