"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 -
Do you turn off Old Yeller before the end so you can pretend that he lived a long and happy life? Did a cute pet on a movie poster make you think it would be a fun comedy but it turned out to be a pet-with-a-terminal-illness tearjerker instead? Are you unable to enjoy the human body count in a horror movie because you're wondering whether the dog's going to kick the bucket? Have you ever Googled "Does the [dog/cat/horse/Klingon targ] die in [movie title]?"
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then welcome - DoestheDogDie.com
is here for you! [more inside]
posted by jedicus
on May 29, 2013 -
Former Great Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il
was a noted cinephile
with a personal video library of over 20,000 movies. In 1970, he said "The motion picture industry, when dealing with the socialist reality, has not yet reached the standard set by our Party."
To help it reach the standard, the Dear Leader wrote a treatise On the Art of the Cinema
(PDF), took an interest in minute details of film production (as recounted by film stars
), revamped the Taedongmun Cinema House
, and kidnapped a director (previously 1
But did this lead to better movies?.... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet
on May 10, 2013 -
is a Twitter feed in which comedian Gavin Speiller
posts the first pages of his unfinished screenplays, covering genres such as science fiction
, family dramas
, financial dramas
, mob movies
, alien invasion films
, heist pictures
, spy thrillers
, and everything in between.
posted by davidjmcgee
on Apr 17, 2013 -
"Oh, Anne! With your small head and pert nose and oversized, ready smile and glossy pixie cut and squeakily tuneful speaking voice, uttering lines like “It came true!” as you gaze at your newly won Oscar with moistened doe-eyes, wearing a powder-pink Prada gown adorned with diamonds and bows: Why are you so annoying?
posted by vidur
on Feb 28, 2013 -
The Nigerian film industry known as Nollywood
started humbly about 20 years ago. Nollywood movies were shot as cheaply and as quickly as possible, then released straight to VHS. The majority of Nollywood films are still sold offline, in outdoor markets from wheelbarrows or by the roadside from street vendors. In the early 2000s, Nollywood distribution shifted from VHS to discs — and now, the movies are also beginning to stream online. iROKO, one of the first companies to take Nigerian films online, is carefully tracking the viewing patterns of its growing audience
. While Nigerian internet access is often subpar
, streaming services are catering to the international diaspora. iROKOtv is a hub for streaming movies
, with plenty of free movies alongside movies available as part of monthly membership. Their website grew out of their YouTube channel
, which had over 400 movies online in 2011
, though recently they are mainly posting trailers. If you're not sure which movies to see, Nollywood Forever has plenty of reviews
, and Nollywood.com has a ton of African movie trailers
posted by filthy light thief
on Feb 16, 2013 -
In 1962, the New York Times
called it a masterpiece, and it won the Oscar for best foreign film that year. If you can't see it any other way, one
reviewer on IMDB will rent a theater and screen it for you - if you don't mind a trip to Melbourne. Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray) is worth tracking down, however you manage. [more inside]
posted by not_that_epiphanius
on Jan 29, 2012 -
The Formula for Complete and Utter BAYHEM
or, How Michael Bay has Made Billions in Box Offices Worldwide. SLInfographic (the last graph is particularly depressing)
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Nov 2, 2011 -
For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence."
For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con.
For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them."
For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension."
For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it.
For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists."
It spent thirty years in development, three in editing
and, yes, it contains dinosaurs
. The Tree of Life
, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan
and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick
, won the Palme d'Or
at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States
. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar
on May 26, 2011 -
For the past year, director Stephen Soderbergh has been recording and sharing a list
of the books that he has read, and films that he has watched. The writers at Flavorwire noted Soderbergh's decision to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark in black & white three times, and have compiled a list
of color films that work better in monochrome. [more inside]
posted by schmod
on May 24, 2011 -