Lita On Film

Posts Tagged ‘HBO’

True Blood Season 4 to start June 26th

In Film News on May 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

HBO’s juggernaut vampire show “True Blood” will premiere its fourth season on June 26th.  So far, the show has incorporated not only vampires, shape-shifters and ancient Greek demi-gods into its menagerie; Season 3 brought us a pack of werewolves and the revelation that the show’s protagonist, Sookie (Anna Paquin) is at least partly an honest-to-god Fairy.  Season 4 will reportedly introduce a coven of witches to the True Blood family.  Is there anything left, besides shark jumping?

To get into the mood before the premiere, check out Season 3, available on DVD May 31st (if you can find it!).  No better way to pass a steamy summer evening!

Make Me Young: Youth Knows No Pain (2009)

In Film Reviews on September 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Find this review on!

To what lengths would you go to recapture youth—or, at least, the appearance of youth?  That is the question posed by Mitch McCabe’s film “Make Me Young: Youth Knows No Pain,” which was produced in collaboration with HBO and broadcast on HBO last fall.  It’s now out on DVD from Cinema Libre Studios, and provides an insider’s view of the fascinating and perverse world of plastic surgery.

McCabe’s father was a prominent plastic surgeon, who entered the profession after serving as a trauma surgeon in Vietnam.  Though he developed a reputation as an expert in reconstructive surgery, he also performed many cosmetic surgeries, some of which McCabe herself got to sit in on when she was as young as 10 years old.  Her love for her late father, who died tragically in a car accident, and her lifelong fascination with his odd profession are what propel the film.

McCabe begins by charting her own history of age obsession—she once bought $400 face cream—and then branching out into the lives of friends, acquaintances, and a couple curiosities: the daughter of another plastic surgeon who poses for Playboy, and the man who decided to turn himself into a dead ringer for Jack Nicholson.  Where McCabe herself falls on this spectrum isn’t exactly clear, and this makes the film particularly compelling.

Director Mitch McCabe

As we’re introduced to people more and more obsessed with their appearances and willing to go to absurd lengths to satisfy their vanity, the film becomes an interesting microcosm of American culture.  Several of McCabe’s subjects repeatedly emphasize that “this is America,” and therefore people should be entitled to make and remake themselves however they want, as often as they want.  It’s a weird interpretation of rugged individualism, but it’s also easy to see how the convergence of America’s pathological fear of aging and the $60 billion-a-year plastic surgery industry play into it.

McCabe, who studied at Harvard and NYU and won a Student Academy Award in 1995, manages to balance the weirdness and humor of her subject perfectly; you’ll come away horrified but bemused at the same time.  Her slightly unconventional style, which incorporates very formal shoots as well as video diaries and animation, works well—the final product is serious and professional without being condescending or critical. You’ll certainly never look at any face on TV quite the same way again.

“Make Me Young” is available on DVD from Cinema Libre Studios: