Late in 2013, Guillermo del Toro released a voluminous book, entitled Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. As he explains in the video, the 256-page hardcover is a selection from his notebooks, where the director developed many of the monstrosities we’ve seen on screen. The Guardian notes that there’s something of da Vinci’s notebooks in del Toro’s records: the small, neat script, mixed in with the wonderfully detailed sketches, combine to give the impression of del Toro doing his best to record the torrent of his imagination before the thoughts disappear. In this post, we include a number of these images. Previously [more inside]
, an early form of motion picture, is a theatrical technology developed by fine art painter and theatrical set designer Philip de Loutherbourg
using sound, colored filters, mechanical works
, light from newly invented Argand lamps
, mirrors and more . It was first exhibited at his home in 1781
, featuring five scenes of land and seascape
. In recent years, recognition of this as an early chapter in cinema history
has prompted several institutions
to recreate the experience
. Among the most successful is the 2005 storm at sea
depicted in Eidophusikon Reimagined
by the Australian National University.
"Everybody Wants to Kill Bruce"
- One action sequence compiled from 39 movies. NSFW. Via.
The extended trailer
for David Cronenberg'
s adaptation of Don DeLillo
's Cosmopolis has hit the internet.
The Seventh Art
is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
in 1976, surrealist icon Salvador Dali starred and directed in the fake documentary/travelogue Impressions de la haute Mongolie - Impressions of Upper Mongolia - about his quest to find a rare hallucinogenic mushroom. It was intended as a tribute to the late Raymond Roussel
. It is available on Youtube in 5 parts. 1
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
Why watch a movie when you can just watch the titles?
Browse title sequences by designer
and read interesting backstory
and discussion on the art of making a title sequence.
He invented or popularized
a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects
. [more inside]
"Long thought to be lost or destroyed, this complete recording of one of the few hour long interviews of Alfred Hitchcock has been found
." [more inside]
'It has been said that cinema is in essence a special effect. The video work of Bernard Gigounon
reduces that notion to its minimal essence: cinema as an illusion, created by the manipulation of images in time. He does not create this effect with advanced, multi-dimensional digital technologies, but rather through simple
, transparent magic
...' [more inside]
"Because the camera is so close to the character(s) being followed,
we feel that we're physically attached to those characters, as if by an invisible guide wire, being towed through their world, sometimes keeping pace, other times losing them as they weave through hallways, down staircases or through smoke or fog." A video montage and essay by Matt Zoller Seitz. All shots are identified at the end; you may know more of them than you think. (via
works surprisingly well versus other web-based recommendations, partly because paid enthusiasts
are involved, and partly for its intuitive interface
. [more inside]
The Oscar-nominated "Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello"
is an "adventurous tale of a navigator’s journey to save his ailing wife set in a beautiful world of Victorian science-fiction" and one the many fine film shorts and videos available to watch at shortof theweek.com
- a site dedicated to "finding those few [video] gems amongst the enormous heap of garbage they're buried in..." [more inside]
Though not as commonly known, Alfred Hitchcock's late British period is nonetheless an intriguing look at what delights were to come from his later work.
Secret Agent (1936 | Wikipedia | Download)
Young and Innocent (1937 | Wikipedia | Download)
Jamaica Inn (1939 | Wikipedia | Download)
A mainstay of the old-timey
cinema era, the Photoplayer
was a pump organ designed for player piano rolls, sound effects and a human composer
. [Courtesy of Huell Howser]