Daniel Oberhaus, Motherboard: "On the Silver Globe [full film] is one of the best sci-fi films I've ever seen, or at least it would’ve been if Zulawski had been able to finish it. As it exists today, it is only partially complete, a victim of censorship by Poland’s communist government. Fortunately Zulawski returned to Poland to rescue the film in the late 1980s after a period of self-imposed exile, so we have at least some idea of what could’ve been. At once the retelling of a 100-year old sci-fi novel written by Andrzej Zulawski’s granduncle Jerzy Zulawski, a meditation on communist Poland, and a deeply personal insight into the breakdown of Zulawski’s marriage, On the Silver Globe is a kaleidoscopic tour de force that was almost swallowed by history."
The Professor Who Made Movies Talk. On June 9, 1922, Dr. Joseph Tycociner, the University of Illinois's first professor of electrical engineering held a public demonstration of his invention that simultaneously recorded sound and picture on the same film, instead of having to sync them on separate contraptions.
Those in attendance saw harshly lit pictures of people ringing bells, reciting oratory and playing the violin. They stayed close to the microphone -- taken from a telephone, with a megaphone attached to capture the sound. The film’s sound track was plainly visible on the right-hand side of the movie image, a strip that carried the encoded sound by shifting quickly from white to shades of grey and back again.[more inside]
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk is the latest film by Ang Lee and premiered this week at two theaters. It also happens to be the latest major experiment with HFR (High Frame Rate, previously) in a major motion picture since Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy. But wheras Jackson shot at 48 fps, Lee has gone all the way up to 120 fps. The results? Well, reactions are mixed, but Slate's Daniel Engber tries to get at why that might be.
Taller Than the Trees [N/YT] by Megan Mylan - "Japanese men haven't traditionally been caregivers. But for Masami Hayata, it's a crucial part of raising his family." (via)
Rest in peace, Terence Bayler - groundbreaking NZ actor, Monty Python alum, and so much more. [more inside]
Film acting is built from the very stuff of social life: norms of behavior, standards of interaction and communication, communally legible gestures, and personality tropes and dynamics. But if this poses a challenge for the critic, it’s also the reason acting styles, taken in the aggregate, are such unusually good barometers of cultural modes, themes, and ideas, whether they respond to prevalent motifs or are generated themselves.
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, the best of "worldly cinema" according to Reddit users. The individual country threads provide alternate suggestions. The list is as idiosyncratic as can be expected from a Reddit poll: entries on Niger, Nigeria and Palestine had to be deleted because the threads were downvoted to death, Vietnamese cinema does not exist at all and the Best Swedish Movie Ever is [spoiler]. It is, however, a powerful reminder that movies are made everywhere. [more inside]
The 100 greatest films of the 21st century (so far), as determined by 177 film critics from around the world.
“[John Landis] thought it would be really great box office,” director Jonathan Lynn told BuzzFeed. “He thought that what would happen was that people, having enjoyed the film so much, would then go back and pay again and see the other endings.” Here’s The Odd Way Audiences Experienced ‘Clue’ 30 Years Ago (Andrew Husband, Uproxx) Previously: Mrs. White, in the marketing office, with a focus group
Bruce Wayne Vs. The World (SLYT)
Among the many weird manifestations of Kim Il Sung’s tyranny was a prohibition of romance in the works of North Korean culture ... Growing up on the very best of Soviet and Hollywood movies, Kim Jong Il comprehended that romance could be an essential spoon of sugar to help people better swallow the bitter medicine of social mobilization and various other political campaigns. “People love love,” he once claimed in his characteristically laconic manner. “We must show it on the screen”.[more inside]
Which Actors Are Hated by Critics but Loved by Fans? Not a listicle.
Now that the Ghostbusters reboot has finally hit the big screen amid generally positive reviews (with a healthy dollop of wailing and teeth gnashing), someone has come forward with her very own personal two cents on the subject: Violet Ramis Stiel, daughter of the late Harold Ramis, writes about her memories of the original films, her feelings about the new film and the nature of reboots for Splitsider.
Bitch Flicks offers a number of pop culture related essays (mostly film) from their recent website event, Ladies of the 1980s Theme Week. [more inside]
A list from the BFI: 17 rare times when a director made five or more great films in a row. [more inside]
As part of the fanworks exchange "A Holmesian Solstice", fanvidder sanguinity made "Something Good (Will Come From That)" (video, 3min16sec), covering "One hundred years of moving pictures about Holmes and Watson." The fifty-four video sources used include Sherlock Holmes stories from several countries, including India, Russia, China, South Korea. The vidder's commentary discusses noticeable changes in cinematography over the past century, how those changes make Holmes and Watson more or less "shippy", re-gendered and chromatic retellings, and contemporary settings versus the "It's always 1895" conceit.
After studying Alien in intimate detail, it’s time to look at the typography and design of Ridley Scott’s other classic sci-fi movie, Blade Runner.
Back in January, AV Club started a series called "A History of Violence", which discusses the most groundbreaking action films, year by year, starting with Bullitt in 1968. Last week after ten entries, they have finally circled back to the car chase film and arguably one of the peaks of the genre: Walter Hill's The Driver. [more inside]
Actors have to go through a lot of repetitive interviews when they're out promoting a film. So you would imagine they would welcome something totally unique. At least, that's the theory when Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key stopped by the First We Feast YouTube channel several months ago to promote their movie Keanu, discuss their careers... and consume the spiciest chicken wings known to man.
In order to expand the discussion of black cinema beyond #OscarsSoWhite, Slate put together a panel of cinema experts and historians to create The Black Film Canon - fifty important films by black directors, showcasing the black cinematic voice spanning over half a century. (SLSlate)
Cinema Palettes is a Twitter account that takes frames from films old, new and those to come and then breaks down the color palette of that frame.
Every 70s Movie: The Best, The Worst, The Weirdest, and Everything in Between. A new review a day since October 2010.
The Internet's gift to movie geeks that just keeps on giving is out with another video. Tony Zhou (so many previouslies) makes an examination of the editing process in film with some particular examinations of Hanna and Her Sisters, In the Mood for Love and The Empire Strikes Back. And if that isn't enough to wet your editing whistle, have a look at CineFix's Top Ten Most Effective Editing Moments of All Time (Warning: Un Chien Andalou. I learned my lesson from last time).
Batman, remakes, TV spin-offs, comic adaptations — not much has changed in half a century. Here's what the summer movie schedule looked like in 1966. [more inside]
100 Years/100 Shots - Starting with Birth of a Nation in 1915 and ending with Mad Max: Fury Road in 2015, a series of iconic shots in film with one shot per year.
the DIY action film studio from the slums of Uganda that took over the Internet and made it plausible for anyone in the world to become an East African kung fu movie commando. [more inside]
RIP Barry Hines, author of A Kestrel for a Knave that was adapted into the British film classic Kes. He also wrote the screenplay for Threads. [more inside]
The British Film Institute has compiled a list of 30 best LGBT films of all time in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their Flare festival. BFI has placed Todd Haynes's Carol at the top spot, forcing Slate to ask, is it really the best LGBT film of all time? [more inside]
Last year, it was 120 years since the Lumière brothers [previously: 1, 2] filmed workers leaving their factory. Here are various tributes to cinema. [more inside]
The Walk of Life Project. Hypothesis: "Walk of Life" by Dire Straits is the perfect song to end any movie. (via Paleofuture)
What It’s Really Like to Work in Hollywood* (*If you’re not a straight white man.) (SLNYTimes, Interactive)
Much like Steven Spielberg and his longtime collaboration with John Williams, it’s incredibly difficult to imagine a Coen Brothers film without the indispensable work of Carter Burwell: [more inside]
With the highly-anticipated release of two King Hu masterpieces on home video by the Masters of Cinema organization, as well as the critical success of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin last year, it seems like the wuxia film is making some inroads into the Western critical consciousness. So I thought I’d put together a guide to some of the essential films of the genre. - 30 Essential Wuxia Films
How Video Games Are Changing The Action Movie - "It’s evidence in the case that videogames have started showing a strong influence on cinematography beyond goofier incarnations such as CGI, tie-ins, or critically derided adaptations. Instead, the movies leading this charge across mediums are rooted in physicality and often adored by cineastes."
"Pretty please, with a cherry on top." The Curzon is one of the best cinemas in London, but it's under threat from plans to redevelop its Soho home. In its bid to survive, the cinema has produced this original, inventive (and very sweary) video (SLYT).
Having fallen down the rabbit hole of British colonial cinema history, I thought to share some of the wonderful discoveries with you.
Key and Peele may have said their goodbyes to television, but they will soon return to the big screen in their first feature film "Keanu", whose red band NSFW trailer dropped today.
The Luttrell Psalter is a mid-14th century English illuminated manuscript containing a large number of illustrations of everyday life in medieval England. In 2008 the Psalter was adapted into a 20 minute short film for The Collection Museum in Lincoln, drawing on 35 scenes from the manuscript. There is also a blog describing the making of the film. [more inside]
Take Flight [New York Times] [Magazine] The year’s best actors lift off in a series of tributes to the ultimate Hollywood magic trick. To watch in virtual reality on your phone, download our app. [more inside]
"In order to recover a bit from a recent feeling of exhaustion, I spent a significant amount of this past weekend diligently sitting on my ass, in front of the television. On Saturday night, I popped in my copy of Woody Allen’s 'Manhattan,' which, among other things, is as stunningly designed a movie as I’ve ever seen. This is largely thanks to the work of Gordon Willis, a master cinematographer who, apart from his incredible work on this film, was also responsible for photographing an alarmingly high share of my favorite movies of all time: 'The Godfather,' 'The Godfather Part II,' 'All the President’s Men,' and 'The Parallax View,' among others." [more inside]
ESPN uses the "30 for 30" series to tackle the most important sporting event of the Cold War. [more inside]
Atlas Obscura (?!) presents an inventory of cinematic worms by size, smallest to largest (SLYT)