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Random Togetherness

Dennis Hlynsky 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]
posted by Toekneesan on Jan 25, 2014 - 12 comments

Uncle America

Blood Brother (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]
posted by XMLicious on Jan 23, 2014 - 7 comments

Columbite Tantalite

Columbite Tantalite is a short film written and directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, part of the Young Vic Theatre's short films series.
posted by dng on Jan 21, 2014 - 3 comments

Mentally, physically, and spiritually

Director Steve McQueen interviews Kanye West
posted by Artw on Jan 20, 2014 - 17 comments

“It's all kind of dull until you remember how sharp those wings are.”

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]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 18, 2014 - 36 comments

Баллада о солдате

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]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 18, 2014 - 2 comments

Born to paint

Interview with illustrator Philip Castle about producing the iconic film posters for Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and Clockwork Orange [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 16, 2014 - 0 comments

A Vimeo short about love and loss

I went through a pretty rough break up this year and it was not great. I wrote and made this in the midst of all that. It's a tombstone and love letter and I hope you enjoy it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 14, 2014 - 14 comments

Oh Gosh.

The Dissolve (previously, previously) looks at the Coen Brothers' 1996 "homespun Midwestern murder story" Fargo: Masculinity And Mike Yanagita, Keynote: Fargo in Five Quotes, Morality And The Coens
posted by The Whelk on Jan 13, 2014 - 84 comments

30 three-minute films

Thirty directors--Morgan Spurlock, Alex Gibney, and others--create three minute short films about an innovator or world-changing idea. Warning: corporate sponsorship.
posted by MoonOrb on Jan 10, 2014 - 4 comments

They still shoot film, don't they?

I Still Shoot Film is a photography site with beginners guides to film photography, photography help and how to's, and even more resources. Oh, and an enjoyable/ inspirational archive of photos captured on film, some part of spotlights on photographers.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 10, 2014 - 26 comments

Behind the scenes of Star Wars filming

Chewbacca has released a set of photos from his time on various sets.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 10, 2014 - 55 comments

I've got a bad feeling about this

Freiheit the first, student, film of one George Lucas (staring Randal Kleiser, who later went on to direct Grease) (slyt)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Jan 8, 2014 - 11 comments

Rewatching classic Australian films

In this retrospective series we rewatch Australian films that have stood the test of time. [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Jan 7, 2014 - 95 comments

I could not find a DVD player to play it

Amazon Critics: a glimpse into a future without professional film criticism. [single link tumblr]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jan 7, 2014 - 109 comments

Rest in Peace, Run Run Shaw

Sir Run Run Shaw, Godfather of Hong Kong film, died today. He was 106 years old.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch on Jan 6, 2014 - 52 comments

Making Up Hollywood

Cinema tends to make beautiful people look more beautiful, but it wasn’t always so.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 6, 2014 - 47 comments

Balls

How the Golden Globes definition of "musical or comedy" has been stretched to the limit and why that matters
posted by Artw on Jan 5, 2014 - 67 comments

The First Entirely New Experience in Entertainment Since Pictures Talked

"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]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 4, 2014 - 22 comments

It doesn't track IP addresses

Source Code in TV and Films reveals what the code for that GUI interface in Visual Basic is really for.
posted by griphus on Jan 4, 2014 - 89 comments

Hitting does not solve everything

Cultural Lessons of 2013: Thor is the new Superman
posted by Artw on Jan 3, 2014 - 137 comments

The Elmore Leonard Paradox

If the sheer number of Leonard adaptations is remarkable, what is more remarkable still is how few of them are any good. No one was more aware of, or blunt about, this disappointing onscreen record than Leonard himself. His first crime novel, The Big Bounce, was twice adapted for film, in 1969 and 2004. Leonard memorably described the earlier effort as the “second-worst movie ever made”; it was not until he saw the 2004 version, he later said, that he knew what movie was the worst.
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Jan 3, 2014 - 60 comments

"Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility."

Slate visits the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyères, Switzerland (Official museum website).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jan 2, 2014 - 17 comments

Mads Mikkelsen is absolutely stellar as the Mad Hatter

Ranking all the James Bond movies from the universe where Bond faced off against all of Batman's villains
posted by The Whelk on Dec 30, 2013 - 32 comments

It all started in Washington Square...

The Coen Brothers latest film "Inside Llewyn Davis" is fictional, but it aims to portray the very specific time and place of the Greenwich Village Folk scene in the early 60's. Reviewers have already noted the similarities between the movies characters and some real life counterparts, starting with Llewyn Davis himself and legendary folk singer Dave Van Ronk. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 29, 2013 - 42 comments

Happy Life Day!

In defense of 'The Star Wars Holiday Special'
posted by Artw on Dec 25, 2013 - 92 comments

"We are open even during air-raid drills"

Japanese Film Posters in the Prewar Period: Part 1
Japanese Film Posters in the Prewar Period: Part 2
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 1 Asakusa, Tokyo
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 2 Ginza/Yurakucho/Hibiya, Tokyo
Japanese Film Theaters in the Prewar Period: Part 3 Shinjuku/Shibuya/Kanda/Roppongi, Tokyo
posted by timshel on Dec 19, 2013 - 4 comments

P.L Travers, Walt Disney and the "Brand Deposit"

Is Saving Mr. Banks, Disney's retelling of the events surrounding the adaptation of Mary Poppins a corporate, borderline-sexist spoonful of lies which throws author P. L. Travers under the bus?
posted by Artw on Dec 18, 2013 - 69 comments

COLOR BY TECHNICOLOR

Of course matte art has for a long time played a major part in Hollywood's recreation of the old west, with effects shots ranging from simple top ups of mood enhancing skies right through to entire recreations of frontier settings to often wonderful effect. Todays blog will take a look at some of those marvellous visions - the product of the many often uncredited artists who worked tirelessly in the various studio matte departments.

Mattes Ride The Range: The art of the matte shot in Westerns
posted by timshel on Dec 18, 2013 - 8 comments

"Some stories start at the end."

Robert Redford's Restless Solitude
Redford started Sundance because the movies he wanted to see – ones with story and characters – weren't being made in Hollywood. The only problem is he was so successful that Hollywood decided to devour his Xanadu, with premium vodka parties and assistants scouring the Park City Albertsons for Fiji water. "It makes me fucking nuts," says Redford. He has physically distanced himself from the film festival, making only occasional cameos. "It has moved out of what I had as a comfort zone. It's moved beyond, to where I'm uneasy about it." Redford talks with sadness about his wayward film child, ticking off the rise of ambush marketers and swag bags, as if it is all out of his control, a stance that Redford's skeptics claim is evidence he sees himself as a reluctant, tragic hero – not only in his movies but also in the story of his life.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 17, 2013 - 29 comments

Denise Richards, nuclear physicist

50 Performances That Ruined Movies [deslided version here]
posted by Chrysostom on Dec 17, 2013 - 373 comments

The 2013 Black List

The 2013 Black List has been released.  For those unfamiliar, the “Black List” is a list of the most liked unproduced screenplays circulating around Hollywood, as voted on by over 250 film executives, and past Black List scripts include The Social Network, Saving Mr. Banks, The King’s Speech, and Slumdog Millionaire.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2013 - 124 comments

Howardcantour.com

Howardcantour.com is a short film about an online film critic, directed by Shia LaBeouf and starring Jim Gaffigan. [via]
posted by brundlefly on Dec 16, 2013 - 104 comments

Last of the hellraisers

RIP Peter O'Toole star of Lawrence of Arabia [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 15, 2013 - 170 comments

The dark powers

In the last few weeks, extensive evidence has emerged that Japanese show business is saturated with the yakuza’s influence. Police records and sources, along with testimony from current and former yakuza members, have revealed that many powerful Japanese talent agencies and production companies are not simply fronts for the yakuza—they are the yakuza.

Yakuza Goes Hollywood – Jake Adelstein reports on recent attempts to remove the yakuza from the entertainment industry
posted by timshel on Dec 14, 2013 - 18 comments

Landmark Protect Protocol

Our Drone Future — A short film by Alex Cornell. "Created with DJI Phantom Drones, After Effects, Premier, Logic, GoPro, and a liberal interpretation of FAA regulations". If not actually the future of domestically deployed drones, it's probably the future of sub-$2K filmmaking hardware (if you don't include the software licenses and, um, FAA fines).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich on Dec 13, 2013 - 31 comments

At least Roger Corman didn't have a preoccupation with ping pong balls.

In the mid-1960's, American International Pictures hired director Larry Buchanan to make eight films for television. Their instructions were blunt: "We want cheap color pictures, we want half-assed names in them, we want them eighty minutes long and we want them now." [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 12, 2013 - 17 comments

...homophobia isn't a punchline.

Why I’m quitting Tropfest The December 2013 winner of Tropfest - The world's largest short film festival has attracted controversy by awarding first prize to Bamboozled - a story where a man sleeps with his ex girlfriend who's had a sex change as a punchline. TROPFEST #FAIL: WHY THEY GOT IT WRONG
posted by mattoxic on Dec 10, 2013 - 93 comments

This is the Way I Love

Ellie Castellanos is a severely autistic thirteen year old artist whose prolific drawn art, animation, films, photographs and clay sculptures all share a distinctly colorful, vibrant and upbeat style. Her mother maintains an online gallery of her work, as well as sharing her story as it develops on the site and in a blog. She has also notably used Rickrolling as inspiration to create beautiful art. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Dec 9, 2013 - 5 comments

Twenty Years of Ultra-Violence

Twenty years ago tonight, id Software uploaded Doom to an FTP server at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completely changed the video gaming industry. [more inside]
posted by Pope Guilty on Dec 9, 2013 - 92 comments

At least three disturbing lessons about love.

So take the film on its own titular terms. What does Love Actually tell us about love, actually? Well, I think it tells us a number of things, most of them wrong and a few of them appalling. Now, anyone who goes to the cineplex with any regularity knows that the last decade has seen more than its share of bad romantic comedies. But Love Actually is exceptional in that it is not merely, like so many other entries in the genre, unromantic. Rather, it is emphatically, almost shockingly, anti-romantic. Love Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All Time
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 7, 2013 - 105 comments

WIND

WIND is an animated short about the daily life of people living in a windy area who seem helplessly exposed to the weather. However, the inhabitants have learned to deal with their difficult living conditions. The wind creates a natural system for living.
posted by sweetkid on Dec 7, 2013 - 10 comments

Suckerpunch

Wonder Woman will be finally be appearing on the big screen, though not in her own film. Instead she'll appear in the untitled Batman vs Superman movie set to open in 2015 that will be directed by Zack Snyder. The character will be played by actress Gal Gadot.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Dec 4, 2013 - 200 comments

"Most of America's Silent Films Are Lost Forever"

Most of America's silent films are lost forever, according to the newly released Library of Congress report The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929. (You can look up the ones that survive in this handy database). [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Dec 4, 2013 - 39 comments

El Empleo / The Employment

El Empleo / The Employment by Santiago 'Bou' Grasso
posted by jeffburdges on Dec 3, 2013 - 5 comments

I don't know French. What about Hebrew?

Can you tell us in 25 seconds a synopsis of your new picture?
–Uh, in 25 seconds? Yes, it's a picture, it's a drama about um human emotion in the United States, it deals with the tragedy of divorce as it relates to the child and those who have to suffer continually from the effects of an unhappy home.
–Sounds like a very serious picture.
–Yes. It is.
–There's no comedy in it whatsoever?
–No, I try and keep as much comedy out of my films as possible.

A 40-minute Woody Allen from 1971 promoting Bananas. He does not answer a single question truthfully. via
posted by timshel on Dec 3, 2013 - 20 comments

The Future of Obedience

OBEY is a glitchy, psychedelic look at the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, inequality, and climate change, based on Chris Hedges' Death of the Liberal Class.
posted by anemone of the state on Dec 2, 2013 - 12 comments

"Are these the shadows of the things that will be?"

Sponsored by Xerox and the United Nations, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, scripted by Rod Serling, scored by Henry Mancini, starring Sterling Hayden, Eva Marie Saint, and Robert Shaw, and featuring Peter Sellers as a post-apocalyptic pseudo-Randian cult leader in a spangly hat—it's A Carol for Another Christmas, the rare 1964 television special in which three ghosts teach a melancholy industrialist a Christmas lesson about the virtues of multilateral peacekeeping!
posted by Iridic on Dec 2, 2013 - 12 comments

It's strange how Eraserhead is

David Lynch: Eraserhead Stories (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Dec 1, 2013 - 6 comments

freemartin (n.):

A sexually imperfect, usually sterile female calf born as a twin with a male calf due to the influence of male hormones during the development in utero. The Freemartin Calf is a 40 minute experimental fiction shot on black and white Super 8. The whole film is free to watch on Vimeo. It's written, directed and edited by Jayne Amara Ross, with a soundtrack by Frédéric D. Oberland released on the excellent Manchester label Gizeh records. [more inside]
posted by Joeruckus on Nov 30, 2013 - 3 comments

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