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There Will Be Tracking Shots

Given that Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice" opens in two days, what a great time to explore... "The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots"
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 10, 2014 - 35 comments

Andy, why are you making these films? It's easier to do than painting.

The Making of an Underground Film, originally broadcast on CBS News with Walter Cronkite on New Years' Eve 1965, begins with reporter Dave Dugan saying, "Not everyone digs underground movies, but those who do can dig 'em here." in front of the Bridge Theatre in New York City's Greenwich Village. An interview with avant-garde filmmaker and exhibitor Jonas Mekas then segues into footage of the making of Dirt by filmmaker/poet Piero Heliczer, as a pre-Nico incarnation of the Velvet Underground (with both Maureen Tucker and original percussionist Angus MacLise) plays silently in costume in the background. Other highlights include interviews with Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, plus the uninterrupted airing of a Stan Brakhage film in tribute to poet Michael McClure.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 6, 2014 - 2 comments

Out of the Past (and Present)

Eric Rosenberg is a graphic designer that got his start twenty years ago helping to create the distinctive look of The Hudsucker Proxy. His website features some of his work over the years on films including Fight Club, The Truman Show, Almost Famous, Dreamgirls and a whole lot more.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Dec 6, 2014 - 6 comments

Gritty, not glossy: 70s films

"Why were American movies so much better in the 1970s than in the decades since — and most of the decades before? Simple. Our movies then were not as inhibited by censorship (self-imposed) as they were prior to the '60s.

"And they were not as obsessed with huge box office grosses and commercial values as they became afterward — following the stunning financial success of those two '70s superhits, 'Jaws' (1975) and 'Star Wars' (1977). Instead, during most of the '60s and '70s — liberated both by the collapse of the old studio system strictures and by the greater acceptance of film as art from critics and audiences — American filmmakers of all generations, from Martin Scorsese ('Mean Streets') and Hal Ashby ('Harold and Maude') to Sidney Lumet ('Dog Day Afternoon') and Mike Nichols ('Carnal Knowledge') to Alfred Hitchcock ('Frenzy') and Billy Wilder ('Avanti'), tried things they wouldn't have dared in the decades past. More often than not, they succeeded." (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 5, 2014 - 285 comments

Seven great movies expiring from Netflix on December 1st

"Every month, Netflix quietly clears its virtual shelves to prepare for the arrival of new offerings. There are roughly 80 movies expiring from Netflix Instant at the end of November. We've picked seven that we think you should make sure to watch before they’re no longer streaming – one for each night until Dec. 1." (Paste Magazine)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Nov 24, 2014 - 86 comments

"Plastics."

Legendary director Mike Nichols, who made an incredible debut nearly fifty years ago with Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and then managed to follow that up with The Graduate, has died at the age of 83. Younger audiences may also know him for The Birdcage, the HBO miniseries Angels in America and his last film Charlie Wilson's War.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 20, 2014 - 65 comments

Good Grief

For better or for worse, audiences will get the opportunity to see an all CGI Peanuts movie in 2015. The first trailer was released today and it looks... not bad. Producer Paul Feig has promised a minimum of modern touches. We'll all find out one year from now.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 18, 2014 - 125 comments

Fearsome Architect

Who designed the tricorder, the flip-top communicator, the Vulcan lute, the the Romulan Bird-of-Prey? Wah Chang. Who made the Gorn and the salt vampire from M-113? Who commissioned the first 500 tribbles? Wah Chang. Who made Tarantula take to the hills? Who built the prototype for the time machine and created a monster too terrible to show on television? Who animated dinosaurs and adorned Cleopatra? Wah Chang, Wah Chang, Wah Ming Chang. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Nov 5, 2014 - 20 comments

A journey through the horror films of Ramsay brothers.

Disclaimer: The facts are taken from the journal "Taste, Taboo, Trash: The Story of Ramsay Brothers" by Kartik Nair. I personally declare that the journal is only used as a reference & no intentions copying the content for any benefits, it's only to spread the knowledge regarding the working ways of Ramsay brothers. [more inside]
posted by infini on Oct 31, 2014 - 2 comments

"I agreed to a scouted-out project!"

The Dissolve's "Movie of the Week" on this week leading to Halloween has been The Blair Witch Project, which it describes as "the most widely despised great horror movie". They discuss the legacy of the film fifteen years after its release and the future of the genre that it helped to create: found-footage horror. And where are the people who made it these days? Heather Donahue is growing pot. Josh Leonard is still acting (Michael C. Williams less so). And the directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez seem to want to catch that same lightning in a bottle, but with very underwhelming results.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 30, 2014 - 90 comments

Scroll through the horror movie memories

Why not just quit your job and spend all of your savings on a horror-themed road trip where you visit the real locations of some iconic scary movies. If that sounds like too much effort, well we've done a Google-based trip ourselves.
Here's what we found... [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 29, 2014 - 26 comments

"I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm"

Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.
At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution on Oct 29, 2014 - 42 comments

Get these M*therf*cking snakes out of my theater!

I kick people out of my Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters without a refund for texting and talking. AMA. From tales of snake handlers spraying blood all over the theater, to angry patrons yelling at security guards, the Alamo Drafthouse still remains raucous after all these years. [more inside]
posted by Annika Cicada on Oct 27, 2014 - 25 comments

Mayberry, Metropolis and Rigel VII

It was called a number of things in its fifty years of existence, but the RKO Forty Acres (which actually measured just over twenty-eight) was above all a prolific movie and television studio located in Culver City, California. It started off as a film studio during the silent era that continued prominent use in sound films including Gone With The Wind, The Magnificent Ambersons and King Kong. Later, it was widely used for television shows like Bonanza, The Adventures of Superman and, most prominently, The Andy Griffith Show. It even got used in a number of classic Star Trek episodes (and be sure to visit this site for some nice screen caps revealing Enterprise crew members walking around Mayberry). The RetroWeb has a very thorough history of the studio, complete with prodigious pictures.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 26, 2014 - 10 comments

"Because we're here, lad. Nobody else. Just us."

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film Zulu, which depicts the Battle of Rorke's Drift (previously) in 1879. Here's a little history of the production, as well as ten things you may not know about the film and an argument that it's the best British war film ever made. Film Historian Sheldon Hall discusses the film's legacy, and Zulu leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi (who portrayed his own great grandfather in the film) reminisces about the shoot.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 23, 2014 - 51 comments

And yet, I still haven't discovered what the heck "Snarf Farms" are.

Figuring out some of the more obscure references in an episode of MST3k is a labor of love for some devoted fans. The folks over at The Annotated MST3k (previously) have been at it for eleven years now and have 113 episodes completely annotated. But for those who prefer their annotations in real time, you're in luck. The official YouTube channel for the show has posted two completely annotated episodes (Mitchell and Manos - The Hands of Fate) for your viewing pleasure.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 21, 2014 - 39 comments

Vrooooom!

There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 17, 2014 - 12 comments

It's like “Politically Incorrect”, but with less politics and more wine

In 2001, long before he helped launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe juggernaut, Jon Favreau could reasonably be described as “that guy in Swingers”. But sometime between Swingers and Iron Man, Favreau used some of his clout to create and host a new show for the Independent Film Channel. It was called "Dinner for Five". [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 14, 2014 - 47 comments

Afrofuturism: The New Wave

A New Wave of Black Filmmaking: Experimental and Black Speculative Indie Films "A brief survey of the contemporary Black independent film scene yields a long and ever-growing list of experimental and Black speculative (including horror, Afrofuturism, sci-fi, fantasy, fan fiction) short cinema, film trailers, music videos and other projects. (/The Atlanta Black Star) [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Oct 12, 2014 - 4 comments

"What do we say to the dead?"

On the fiftieth anniversary of its theatrical release, Slate is taking a look back at the Cold War thriller Fail Safe (trailer), which stars Henry Fonda as a U.S. President who has to deal with a computational accident that risks nuclear war. The film was preceded at the box office by Dr. Strangelove, a film very similar in plot but drastically different in tone. Fail Safe bombed as a result of the comparison with Kubrick's masterpiece, but the story itself would have a second chance at reaching audiences come the year 2000. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 7, 2014 - 54 comments

"The Odd Couple" at UCLA, 1971

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau speaking at UCLA 12/1/1971 (audio with rotating pictures, 45 min 25 sec) [SLYT]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Oct 2, 2014 - 5 comments

The Scarecrow Project

Scarecrow Video (previously), also known as "the largest independent video store in the world", announced back in August that they were closing its doors. But Wait! There's More! Scarecrow also announced their plans to soon after re-open as a non-profit. And after a successful Kickstarter effort that ended two weeks ago, they have now launched the first phase of The Scarecrow Project with the "singular purpose of protecting the invaluable collection of Scarecrow Video under a four-pillared mission of preservation, access, education and community".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 1, 2014 - 8 comments

Everybody say, "Is he all right?" And everybody say, "What's he like?"

"Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift" by Anne Helen Petersen for Vanity Fair. (Warning: graphic description of car accident in the link.) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 30, 2014 - 21 comments

The Movies' 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments

What's that you say? You like to read movie and music related lists on the Internet? Well here you go: The Movies' 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments from the folks at The Dissolve.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 22, 2014 - 43 comments

The Trilogy is Complete.

The final film in the Atlas Shrugged trilogy (previously) is now in theaters and the reaction has been a stupendous... meh. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 19, 2014 - 132 comments

Cinderhella Lives!

In 2004 Joseph Kahn directed the hyper-kinetic, poorly reviewed motorcycle action movie Torque. It was Kahn's directorial debut, and though he was tapped for (one of many) failed Neuromancer adaptations, he devoted the next six years to a largely self financed project: the horror-comedy farce Detention. Noted cultural critic Steven Shaviro discusses in this essay why Detention, despite also being reviewed negatively, is one of his favorite movies of the decade. Shaviro's review contains major spoilers for the plot, and it's probably best to go into the movie blind. A brief non-spoiler synopsis is available below the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Sep 15, 2014 - 25 comments

“There are eight million stories in the naked city.”

No, the above quote is not the answer to “How many total episodes are there of the various “Law & Order” franchises?”. In actuality, those nine words conclude one of the most exciting films of the 1940’s (and the direct ancestor of Dick Wolf’s prolific franchise). Welcome to “The Naked City”. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 14, 2014 - 12 comments

All the colors of the Pixar galaxy

ROYGBIV (Single Link Vimeo, 1:28)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 8, 2014 - 5 comments

Master of the Macabre

A self-taught special effects guru, A.S. Hamilton has crafted [simulated injuries] with chilling perfection. But his greatest big-screen challenge was bringing one of human history’s most gruesome chapters back to life.
CONTENT WARNING: descriptions of violence, graphic movie set photos and stills [more inside]
posted by tykky on Sep 1, 2014 - 3 comments

So long, "Big X"

Known to one generation as Bartlett in The Great Escape and to another generation as John Hammond in Jurassic Park (plus many roles in between), actor Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 24, 2014 - 68 comments

Before IMDb, there was The Guide

For over 25 years, film critic Leonard Maltin (along with a team of contributors and editors) have produced what has been the Bible of movie geeks everywhere in his annual movie guide. The 2015 edition that will be released next month will be his last. The Dissolve has offered their own eulogy. (The folks at MST3k were also fans, as evidenced to three memorable moments that pay tribute to the man, the book and his not entirely accurate rating system.)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 19, 2014 - 31 comments

"I AM ____ LOCKED"

Tony Zhou (previously) has created another great video essay on filmmaking techniques: "A brief look at texting and the internet in film" (also previously).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 17, 2014 - 26 comments

R.I.P. Menahem Golan

Menahem Golan has died at the age of 85. The name may mean very little to you at first glance, but for those of us who lived through the 1980's, he was a very big part of it. Here's an interview with the late producer and a bit more about his legacy.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 9, 2014 - 39 comments

L'École des Facteurs

The School for Postmen is a 16 minute short film from 1947 by French director and physical comedian Jacques Tati. It's being shown on The Guardian's website and is introduced by their film critic Peter Bradshaw. The film is about a postman in rural southern France trying to finish his round on time.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 6, 2014 - 8 comments

50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch

"DISCLAIMER TIME! 50 is a very small number. I make no claims to any of these lists being either comprehensive or some sort of objective analysis of the 'best' films directed by women. I make selections based on on what I've seen, what I like, and the position of the stars. One film per director. Ready? Let's go." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 31, 2014 - 65 comments

R.I.P. Harun Farocki

Legendary experimental filmmaker Harun Farocki, whose films and installations critiqued institutions of power and explored complicated relationships with the image, passed away yesterday at the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by AtoBtoA on Jul 31, 2014 - 4 comments

Apparently Miller couldn't just walk away.

After over a decade in development hell, George Miller's return to the Mad Max franchise, Mad Max: Fury Road, has emerged at San Diego Comic-Con with a teaser trailer. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Jul 27, 2014 - 148 comments

Don't think 'What's Hot?'

Jason Blum—producer of Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, The Bay, and Oculus—participated in an interesting interview at SXSW Film 2014 about his model of producing high-quality low-budget horror films for wide release. The video is almost an hour long, but worth watching if you're interested in contemporary mainstream horror.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jul 25, 2014 - 3 comments

R.I.P. James Garner

James Garner, star of two classic television shows ("Maverick" and "The Rockford Files") and a wide slate of films including "The Great Escape", "The Americanization of Emily" and "Victor/Victoria", has died at the age of 86.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 20, 2014 - 149 comments

Single-body horror

Metafilter favorite David Cronenberg (previously, previously, previously) has lately been making short films for festival exhibition. Most are aggressively simple, with only a few actors and even fewer locations. But they're all unmistakably Cronenberg films. [more inside]
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard on Jul 15, 2014 - 7 comments

“We want to make the rules, the theory”

In 1968, Agnès Varda was living in Los Angeles with her husband, director Jacques Demy, who was there to begin filming his first Hollywood film, Model Shop (1969). Although initially hesitant about living in the United States, the couple quickly became caught up in the wave of dissent sweeping the country in the late 1960s. Indeed, amid the finger pointing in France about the perceived failure of the events of May ’68 to bring about revolution, many members of the French intelligentsia looked across the Atlantic for alternative models for political change. Varda became part of a growing contingent of French artists and intellectuals, including sociologists Edgar Morin and Jean-François Revel, and writer Jean Genet, who were attracted to the ways in which cultural revolt, social criticism and political contestation were intertwined in the United States. These French thinkers were attracted to the expansiveness and creativity of the American counterculture as opposed to the political deadlock that many believed was the undoing of the events surrounding May ’68. A revolt against American hegemony was taking place within the United States itself, and many leftist French thinkers were enthralled. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 13, 2014 - 5 comments

"The movies are like a machine that generates empathy."

Life Itself. The documentary based on Roger Ebert’s memoir, by Hoop Dreams’ director Steve James, premiered at Sundance in January and is now rolling out in theaters and on demand.
posted by scody on Jul 2, 2014 - 6 comments

"Iconography"

Back in March, the AV Club premiered a new feature called Iconography, which is an illustrated column by Nick Wanserski examining "pop culture's most fascinating objects". Though the updates have been very sporadic since then, here are the first three entries for your enjoyment: The golden idol from "Raiders of the Lost Ark", The spinning top from "Inception", and Link's floppy hat from "The Legend of Zelda".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 2, 2014 - 7 comments

Let's talk about "Starcrash".

We have previously discussed "Starcrash" (trailer) here on the Blue, but we have only scratched the surface. After all, we're talking about nothing less than Roger Corman's answer to "Star Wars", and even that description does not do the film justice. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 26, 2014 - 41 comments

It will not, however, read your lips and try to kill you.

In the spirit of movie geekery as well as "if you're gonna do something, do it right", may I present The HAL Project: A fiver year project (and counting!) to faithfully recreate the computer displays in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey as a screensaver.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 24, 2014 - 22 comments

The Hands of Robert Bresson

'This elegantly beautiful supercut on “the tactile world of Robert Bresson” by Kogonada for Criterion shows the great French director’s notoriously precise skill is applied even at the slightest hand gesture. There are no faces in this video yet the drama of these scenes is palpable.'
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Jun 19, 2014 - 11 comments

Marvel and Marvel and Marvel again

"Marvel: Ultimate Alliance"
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 13, 2014 - 37 comments

"It will ache in my chest the rest of my life."

On May 13th, the film world was shocked and saddened by the tragic death of documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, who had won an Oscar just last year for the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man". In the month that has passed since then, more details have emerged of the months and days that led up to his suicide. The Hollywood Reporter profiles the life and death of Bendjelloul and takes a look at how sudden success can bring about even more sudden depression.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 11, 2014 - 16 comments

Will it go round in Circles...

Den of Geek provides a brief survey of rotating sets in film as far back as Royal Wedding in 1951 all the way up to Inception in 2010. In the world of music video, Metallica did their own interesting... ahem, spin on it for "The Memory Remains". The television show "Glee" paid tribute to Royal Wedding with their own rotating room song and dance number. Finally, the Den of Geek article states that such effects require, "intense planning, expensive materials and an army of builders". Nonsense.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 9, 2014 - 10 comments

"C'mon! C'mon!"

Terminator 2 by way of Grand Theft Auto V (found via AV Club)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 5, 2014 - 3 comments

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