'Star Wars' Producer Gary Kurtz Reflects When George Lucas and I began planning the first film, we had no idea what it would become; the kind of devotion it would attract... So what was it that made Star Wars so different, so special? I can give you one small example of the kind of care we took when putting the film together...
posted by modernnomad
on Apr 19, 2011 -
of Japan were live narrators of silent films.
"To many 'silent' cinema fans in Japan, benshi
were a major attraction. It was usually the film that drew people to the theater, but it was often the benshi
which determined which theater a person would attend. Benshi
were huge cultural stars of the time, with benshi
earning as much, if not more, than many actors." [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 27, 2011 -
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) Testament (1983)
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 25, 2011 -
Film editor and sound designer extraordinaire Walter Murch writes to Roger Ebert
regarding a fundamental conundrum of current 3D technology: "It is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time."
posted by oulipian
on Jan 24, 2011 -
The "Brown Stabilizer" - better known as a Steadicam
- had its first commercial use
35 years ago in Bound for Glory
, Hal Ashby's biopic of Woody Guthrie. Later that year, it was used to film the iconic
shot of Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But it was this
shot in The Shining
- which even Kubrick-hater Pauline Kael deemed "spectacular" - that showed the technology's full potential. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese
on Jan 16, 2011 -
Melvin Van Peebles made a documentary called Classified X in 1998, about the portrayal of black people throughout the history of American cinema. You can see it on YT in six parts: 1
. Apologies for the low video quality.
posted by Dim Siawns
on Nov 30, 2010 -
Regarding Luis Buñuel
, 1:37, subtitled) "All my life I've been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence." -- Luis Bunuel, "In Curiosity"
Bunuel wanted to rebel against the dogmatic structures of the Church that said, There is no salvation or grace outside the Church. He wanted a kind of Protestant surrealism in which grace was directly attainable like in Nazarin or Viridiana -- Carlos Fuentes
"He is a deeply Christian man who hates God as only a Christian can and, of course, he's very Spanish. I see him as the most supremely religious director in the history of the movies." -- Orson Welles
"I'd like to be able to rise from the dead every ten years, walk to a newsstand, and buy a few newspapers. I wouldn't ask for anything more. With my papers under my arm, pale, brushing against the walls, I'd return to the cemetery and read about the world's disasters before going back to sleep satisfied, in the calming refuge of the grave." -- Luis Bunuel
posted by puny human
on Nov 16, 2010 -
Q&A with Duncan Jones
, the director of the recent Hugo winner Moon
plus Gavin Rothery - concept designer and VFX supervisor, Barrett Heathcote - visual effects editor and Hideki Arichi - art director (MLYT) (1
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Sep 10, 2010 -
Toy Story 3
hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim
as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D
and a "real-time"
perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst
of a generation that grew up with the series.
It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2
the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story
(itself the first CGI feature in history).
And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes
that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards
(including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation
), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history
But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality
(of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar
), two of their upcoming projects are sequels
, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2
in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2
in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave
, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously]
, fellow newcomer Newt
has been canceled
. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3
guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation
of John Carter of Mars
and with forays into live-action
already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar?
Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 18, 2010 -
Some kind soul
recently uploaded, in five parts, a 1991 BBC Omnibus
television documentary about Peter Greenaway
, who never ceases to inspire me in his dedication to push film into new, richly interesting places, to liberate it from its addiction to stale 19th-century psychological narrative and to open it up to accept and incorporate all manner of artistic information it's usually denied. Cleverly titled Anatomy of a Filmmaker
— Greenaway is an enthusiast of the nude human figure, which he sees as the single constant of art — it covers the filmmaker's career from his earliest shorts up through Prospero's Books
. There are bits about the time he spent honing his skills cutting together British propaganda, his experience with painting and his longtime collaboration with Sacha Vierny. It also presents subsections on Greenaway's own inspirational creators, including John Cage and the increasingly-intriguing-to-me R.B. Kitaj.
posted by colinmarshall
on Jun 14, 2010 -
Pure by Jacob Bricca. A meditation on genre, a commentary on visual cliches, and a celebration of the visceral pleasures of cinema. Music by The Jesus Lizard. Please play full screen at top volume!
posted by lazaruslong
on Jun 4, 2010 -