Nat King Cole. Eartha Kitt. Mahalia Jackson. Pearl Bailey. Cab Calloway. Ella Fitzgerald. Billy Preston. All assembled for a single musical
: the 1958 W.C. Handy biopic St. Louis Blues
. [more inside]
Stephen Soderbergh combines both versions of Psycho to create "Psychos"
Director Stephen Soderbergh has just posted, via his blog
a link to Psychos
, his combining of Alfred Hitchcock's classic Psycho
and the slightly less well received Gus Van Sant "shot for shot remake"
Pitchfork is streaming the soundtrack
to Wes Anderson's upcoming movie The Grand Budapest Hotel
). [more inside]
Assembling a Film's Billing Block.
The blurb at the bottom of a movie poster is called the "billing block." And while it might look like a bar code of haphazardly packed type, it is in fact the product of detailed legal agreements and intense contract negotiation. Below is the the billing block for a fictional film and an explanation of how it was constructed. (via kottke.org
The broken-down grace of Bill Murray
: The Dissolve takes a look at the career of Bill Murray and reviews his films. All of them.
itself is a classic, and that greatness is evident right off the bat with one of the best opening scenes
in film history. [more inside]
Lilo & Stitch
is an odd movie to come from Disney for a number of reasons: a rare work
based on an original story
, set in a realistic version of the "island paradise" of Hawaii
, focusing on strong female characters who have a realistic/varied bodyshapes
. For more insight into the making of the "affordable" Disney film
, here's Lilo & Stitch revisited, Part I
, interviewing the creators Chris Sanders
and Dean DeBlois
, and Part II
, featuring master animator Andreas Deja
. For a taste of the animation, here are four teaser clips of Stitch invading other Disney films
, the official full version of the Lion King interrupted trailer
, and making of Lilo & Stitch short docu-clip
- "Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architecture practice Archigram, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. The language of materials and patterns seen in radical architecture transform as the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting to the environments she encounters.
As a thank you gift for his work on "Star Wars", George Lucas gave art director Roger Christian 25,000 pounds in 1979 to make a short film. Christian used the money to shoot a 25 minute medieval fantasy titled "Black Angel"
. Lucas liked the film so much that he had it precede theatrical showings of "Empire Strikes Back" in the UK, Australia and Scandinavia. In the intervening years, the film was thought lost until a negative was discovered at Universal Studios in 2011. The film was restored and given a premiere
at the Mill Valley Film Festival in Marin County last October. It will be shown again later this month at the Glasgow Film Festival and will eventually find its way to a streaming services like Netflix later this year. The BBC recently talked to Christian about the film and its rediscovery.
A short film from Jim Munroe
, the creator of Ghosts With Shit Jobs
, for the Lo-fi Sci-fi 48 Hour Film Challenge
. "Just Ella
posits a future overrun by gibbering monstrosities. Ella takes refuge in a 'the Ossington Safehouse, a collectively-run space dedicated to human sovereignty.' But despite doing the assigned tasks on the chore list, the Safehouse isn’t safe — the terrors outside are nothing compared to those within." [Via]
The Sochi Project: An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus “Sochi used to be much prettier... These days crooks from Moscow come here to build and sell skyscrapers and apartments, although it used to be such a small, lovely town."
via The New York Review of Books
article on "Why Sochi"
Putin explicitly links the Games to the humiliations of the recent past: “There is also a certain moral aspect here and there is no need to be ashamed of it,” he said. “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, after the dark and, let us be honest, bloody events in the Caucasus, the society had a negative and pessimistic attitude.” The Olympics, he explains, are a necessary part of an effort to “strengthen the morale of the nation.”
Vintage Los Angeles
is Alison Martino's YouTube channel featuring a look back at Los Angeles during the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. There's an accompanying blog
and a facebook
"Everything is fine and the world is beautiful. It's raining, it's dark, I woke up at 5:30AM, I'm commuting in traffic. I would have had a headache, I would have been miserable, I would have wondered how my life took me to this point. This point I'm at right now. But no, no, everything is fine. Life is beautiful. The rain drops are just falling and in each one I see the reflection of every persons life around me. Humanity is beautiful. In this still frame shot of traffic on this crowded bus I just found love and peace. Heroin is a wonder drug. Heroin is better than everything else. Heroin makes me who I wish I was. Heroin makes life worth living. Heroin is better than everything else." [more inside]
After Michael Mann set out to direct Collateral, the story’s setting moved from New York to Los Angeles. This decision was in part motivated by the unique visual presence of the city — especially the way it looked at night. Mann shot a majority of the film in HD (this was 2004), feeling the format better captured the city’s night lighting. Even the film’s protagonist taxi needed a custom coat to pick up different sheens depending on the type of artificial lighting the cab passed beneath. That city, at least as it appears in Collateral and countless other films, will never be the same again. L.A. has made a vast change-over to LED street lights, with New York City not far behind. Why Hollywood Will Never Look the Same Again on Film: LEDs Hit the Streets of LA & NY
2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi masterpiece – seems an appropriate place to start a blog about typography in sci-fi. Amongst other delights, it offers a zero-gravity toilet, emergency resuscitations, exploding bolts, and product placement aplenty. It’s also the Ur Example of Eurostile Bold Extended’s regular appearance in spacecraft user interfaces. [via]
This documentary pokes fun at the ways in which Inuit people have been treated as “exotic” documentary subjects by turning the lens onto the strange behaviours of Qallunaat (the Inuit word for white people). The term refers less to skin colour than to a certain state of mind: Qallunaat greet each other with inane salutations, repress natural bodily functions, complain about being cold, and want to dominate the world. Their odd dating habits, unsuccessful attempts at Arctic exploration, overbearing bureaucrats and police, and obsession with owning property are curious indeed.
A collaboration between filmmaker Mark Sandiford and Inuit writer and satirist Zebedee Nungak, Qallunaat! brings the documentary form to an unexpected place in which oppression, history, and comedy collide.
Qallunaat! Why White People Are Funny
Because the film is a period piece, The Godfather actually presents a fascinating record of what 1940s-era New York City locations still existed in the early-1970s. Sadly, many of them are now gone. What still remains? Let’s take a closer look.
An oral history of Swingers
Hitflix's 2012 top ten list and discussion of individual film images
[each year's top ten shots are broken into chunks of five, with one page for each five shot group]. [more inside]
is an upcoming action-comedy movie from Swedish director David Sandberg. The trailer, at least, is a pitch-perfect celebration of everything that made 80s action movies ridiculous and wonderful. [more inside]
is a professor of film and animation at RISD
whose most recent work, titled Small Brains on Mass
, looks at bird behavior, particularly how they interact when flying in groups. To better understand how flying as a flock is achieved, Hlynsky filmed the birds and then stacked the images on the same frame for a set number of frames
, the results show each bird’s flight as a trail, but synchronized with the flock. The results are often pure poetry
. [more inside]
(2013) focuses on an American man who, after initially visiting as a tourist, moved to India to volunteer at the Arias Home of HOPE
, a home for HIV-positive children in Acharapakkam, near Chennai. He eventually became an Indian citizen by marriage. [more inside]
Over the years, Hollywood has made films that have promoted the U.S. Military and films that have advertised specific products. But fifty years ago, those two tendencies intersected for a curious artifact of cinema and the military industrial complex. Say hello to “The Starfighters”
. [more inside]
In 1959, MOSFILM released "Ballad of a Soldier," made during the Khrushchev Thaw
. It chronicles a young soldier, Alyosha, and his six-day trip home from the front during World War II, which "sweeps you, with feeling, into the physical and psychological world of Russians at war.
" And it is on YouTube
. [more inside]
with illustrator Philip Castle
about producing the iconic film posters for Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket
and Clockwork Orange [more inside]
has released a set of photos
from his time on various sets.
the first, student, film of one George Lucas (staring Randal Kleiser, who later went on to direct Grease
"The rise in popularity of television is credited with inciting the move to the widescreen systems that flourished throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s. This is only partially true. In the early 1950s, studios did begin to compose their movies so that the top and bottom of the picture could be chopped off and a wider screen would show the center of the old 1.37:1 frame. The aspect ratio used by the various studios varied from about 1.5:1 up to the common 1.85:1. But the real reason for the birth of a multitude of widescreen and large format systems was the 1952 opening of a movie made in a process that had its roots in a World War II aerial gunnery trainer. This Is Cinerama
(modern YouTube trailer; Wikipedia
) shook the industry to the core. The public and reviewers loved it. Its giant screen filled with three oversized 35mm images and an incredible new sound system called Stereophonic were a marvel to behold, and the studios immediately rushed to find something that could do what Cinerama did
(Google books preview of the August 1952 issue of Popular Mechanics
)." [more inside]