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Good. Well, it's good that you're fine, and - and I'm fine.

In need of an entertaining cinematic podcast to meet your listening needs? Then tune into Fighting in the War Room! Previously known as Operation Kino, Fighting in the War Room features fascinating discussions between film critics Katey Rich (Vanity Fair), Matt Patches (Hollywood.com / Vulture.com), Da7e Gonzales, and David Ehrlich (Film.com), offering reviews of current films, as well general cinema related topics. [more inside]
posted by Atreides on Jan 6, 2014 - 5 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

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

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

"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

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

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

Movie Posters from a Hollywood where Values Are...Different.

Red Jalopy creates posters for 10 fake films from The Simpsons. Fake promotional materials for fictional movies have become a popular form of amateur and professional graphic design on the web and in real life. The latest entry, Red Jalopy's posters for ten fictional films featured on The Simpsons, plays with fantasy casting and period design elements. It follows the recent appearance of posters for Seinfeld's fake foreign movie, Rochelle, Rochelle around New York City and the circulation online of a Wonder Twins movie. [more inside]
posted by kewb on Dec 9, 2013 - 46 comments

I was wondering what became of him

Meetin’ WA is a film-interview conducted by Jean-Luc Godard of his “old friend” Woody Allen, in 1986. With JLG-style editing (and JLG-style trolling??). Previously
posted by zbsachs on Dec 5, 2013 - 2 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

Look up to the sky and say it

There Will Be Numbers [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 3, 2013 - 12 comments

Bread and Circuses are HOT!

Ill conceived ad campaigns seem to be par for the course these days (I personally threw up my hands twenty years ago when Janis Joplin was first used to sell Mercedes Benz), but you have to marvel at the thinking behind Covergirl's recent marketing tie-in with the film "Catching Fire" that assumes people would enjoy looking like the air-headed, blood-thirsty residents of the Capital. The Guardian weighs in.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 25, 2013 - 196 comments

How would Lubitsch do it?

These movies offer not just a twist, but a twist atop a twist, and a joke atop the joke: the “superjoke,” as Billy Wilder called it. Those themes repeat: the lively, often-painful love triangle, the sexual and romantic jealousy, the thrill of sex, and in this case, the carnal kicks co-mingling with the art of stealing, an act more erotic than gold-digging. (Gold-fleecing is much more penetrating.) And then—important during one of the worst economic times in America’s history—there’s Lily and Gaston’s hard, artful work, something to respect.

Ernst Lubitsch’s charming pre-Code transgressions
posted by timshel on Nov 19, 2013 - 10 comments

Goodman, Goodman, Goodman... and some other guys.

The Howling Fat Men of the Coen Brothers (slyt & nsfw)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 12, 2013 - 19 comments

"Various Imitation of Natural Phenomena, represented by Moving Pictures"

The Eidophusikon, an early form of motion picture, is a theatrical technology developed by fine art painter and theatrical set designer Philip de Loutherbourg using sound, colored filters, mechanical works, light from newly invented Argand lamps, mirrors and more . It was first exhibited at his home in 1781, featuring five scenes of land and seascape. In recent years, recognition of this as an early chapter in cinema history has prompted several institutions to recreate the experience. Among the most successful is the 2005 storm at sea depicted in Eidophusikon Reimagined by the Australian National University.
posted by Miko on Nov 11, 2013 - 4 comments

"gonzo satire destined, even designed, to be misunderstood."

On Starship Troopers : "the most subversive major studio film in recent (or distant) memory" (AV Club link in Scott Tobias's The New Cult Canon, previously on mefi)
posted by Greg Nog on Nov 8, 2013 - 285 comments

R.I.P. Blockbuster

The last remnants of the old LLC are being swept away forever. Nathan Rabin over at The Dissolve offers his own personal requiem to the store. And because moving on is part of the healing process, movie fans should prepare themselves for some final liquidation sales.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Nov 8, 2013 - 79 comments

Katniss better watch her ass

There's a number of things that make 1938's "The Adventures of Robin Hood" so awesome. There's the star power and charisma of Errol Flynn. There's Erich Wolfgang Korngold's great score. There's the glorious three-strip Technicolor process. And then, leaning in the corner there, is Howard Hill. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 28, 2013 - 29 comments

"Full speed ahead, Mr. Cohen!"

Terry Gilliam fans are patiently waiting for the release of "The Zero Theorem", his first film in four years. In the meantime, let's go back thirty years ago to the moment that Gilliam really found his footing as a director in between the filming of "Time Bandits" and "Brazil". It all concerns a bunch of elderly accountants... [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 26, 2013 - 36 comments

His comments are no longer in his pocket

It has been ten years since Tommy Wiseau's "The Room" (previously) hit theaters. And though the notoriety and fanbase of the film has grown in that time, information on the man behind it has not. Greg Sestero, who was perhaps the closest to Wiseau and the project, has just published "The Disaster Artist" on his work with the film. The Dissolve has a lengthy review/analysis for your enjoyment.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 24, 2013 - 69 comments

...unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle...perhaps...

"...What I have to say is very simple and very short: He's the greatest director I've had the good fortune, pleasure and honor to work with up to this point. It'd take too long to explain. He's wonderful. He knows more about cinema than anyone. He's the greatest director I know, the greatest cameraman, the best at framing and lighting, the best at everything. He's a living encyclopedia of cinema."
-Alain Delon

Le Samouraï: Jean-Pierre Melville's Work of Art

via the best film blog to ever exist, Cinephilia and Beyond
posted by timshel on Oct 24, 2013 - 9 comments

RIP Ed Lauter

Character actor Ed Lauter has died. In a career that spanned over forty years, he was a familiar face on both television and film (and active until the end with appearances in "Trouble With The Curve" and "The Artist"). And with the greatest respect and affection, he also costarred in one the greatest bad films of the eighties.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 17, 2013 - 23 comments

The effect doesn't work. Stanley doesn't mention it again.

2001: The aliens that almost were
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 17, 2013 - 29 comments

Katastichophobia

For your October delight: Top 10 horror movies, as picked by Guardian critics, Ten Exceptionally Well-Written Horror Films, Top Ten Horror-Sci-Fi Films: A Primer And Pseudo-History, The 12 Weirdest Vampire Movies Ever Made, The Top Grossing Scary Movies Of All-Time, and, perhaps most importantly of all: The 25 best horror films on netflix instant.
posted by Artw on Oct 14, 2013 - 239 comments

The tornado did nothing to the sharks, sorry.

Twitter: @HardSciFiMovies imagines the plots of SF/F movies moving more in line with reality.... [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk on Oct 13, 2013 - 201 comments

Other duties will involve catching and eating the fish and crabs

Kevin Smith has been given the green light to shoot his next film, a horror movie about a man forced to dress up in a walrus suit by a sadistic tormentor. The film will be called 'Tusk'. Smith was inspired by a real life advert placed on Gumtree earlier this year in which a man who had befriended a walrus called Gregory while living on a remote island off Alaska (now heartbroken, having returned to the UK), offered free rent in his Queen's Park flat for anyone willing to wear a walrus suit for two hours a day. The advert was a prank by a Brighton performance poet. I am not making any of this up. [more inside]
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 13, 2013 - 48 comments

Gravity

Alfonso Cuarón and Emmanuel Lubezki's 22 year collaboration continues to break new ground with the release of Gravity. Whether you enjoy Gravity or not, you may want to take a moment and consider the lengths to which Cuarón and Lubezki went to make Gravity a fully immersed cinematic experience. [more inside]
posted by silsurf on Oct 12, 2013 - 155 comments

Coming Soon

The character posters for Lars Von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" are , ahem, here (NSFW).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 10, 2013 - 86 comments

"There were some good looking chickens there, Jack."

"Midnight Run" celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, so its prime time to take a look at what may be the pinnacle of the Action-Comedy genre. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Oct 8, 2013 - 34 comments

Gotta keep the devil way down in the hole

"Here’s what was off-limits, according to many of the people I grew up with: books about witchcraft, the writings of Anton LaVey, Ouija boards, New Age crystals, pentagrams, albums with backward masking, and the music of most heavy-metal bands. ... Yet here’s what was okay to enjoy, according to those same chums and acquaintances: The Omen. The Amityville Horror. Rosemary’s Baby. The Exorcist. These movies passed muster because they didn’t encourage people to dabble in the dark arts; they warned people." The Exorcist And The South's Love Of Devil Movies.
posted by shiu mai baby on Oct 8, 2013 - 57 comments

I have such sounds to show you

Monsters Rule OK: A British Horror Playlist. Fangoria presents a mixtape of British horror that includes musical selections from Blood on Satan's Claw, The Wicker Man, Chocky, Berberian Sound Studio, A Field in England, Children of the Stones, and Twisted Nerve—as well as dialogue excerpts from Don't Look Now, The Stone Tape, Hellraiser and others.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 5, 2013 - 13 comments

YOUR MAGAZINE ON THE SCREEN

How Are Animated Cartoons Made? A 1919 silent film explains! (9:53)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 5, 2013 - 5 comments

Let's All Go To The Lobby!

“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway? (Smithsonian Mag)
posted by The Whelk on Oct 4, 2013 - 134 comments

I've got a bird, I've got several turtles, I have a couple of toads

Mia & Roman (1968) is a 23 minute-long behind-the-scenes documentary about the making of Roman Polanski's film Rosemary's Baby.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Sep 20, 2013 - 6 comments

FADE OUT

The Last Thing You See: A Final Shot Montage [contains flashing images]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Sep 13, 2013 - 21 comments

The Phantom Zone

"In comic books, as in the moving image, the frame is the constituent element of narrative. Each page of a comic book is a frame which itself frames a series of frames, so that by altering each panel's size, bleed or aesthetic variety, time and space can be made elastic. Weisinger and Boring's Phantom Zone took this mechanism further, behaving like a weaponized frame free to roam within the comic book world. Rather than manipulating three-dimensional space or the fourth dimension of time, as the comic book frame does, The Phantom Zone opened out onto the existence of other dimensions. It was a comic book device that bled beyond the edge of the page, out into a world in which comic book narratives were experienced not in isolation, but in parallel with the onscreen narratives of the cinema and the television. As such, the device heralded televisual modes of attention." - Daniel Rourke on Superman's Phantom Zone (well, kinda...)
posted by artof.mulata on Sep 11, 2013 - 10 comments

Does Robocop STILL bleed?

The trailer to the "Robocop" remake was released yesterday, and as expected there was a lot of grumbling from fans. There is one significant change that the film shares with another recent remake of a brutal action film ("Total Recall"): The switch from an "R" rating to a "PG-13". Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the "PG-13" rating, so it's worth considering (especially for those of us whose memories go back that far) what the rating has wrought in cinema (previously).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Sep 6, 2013 - 199 comments

We Don't Joke About Such Things Here

The 1991 CBs made-for-TV movie adaptation of Shadow Of A Doubt and the 1943 Alfred Hitchcock version are based on the same source material and contain many of the same lines, beats, and scenes. So why is one considered a classic film noir and the other a flop? The Dissolve puts the two movies next to each other and tries to find out.
posted by The Whelk on Aug 29, 2013 - 15 comments

Miraculously, Ford seems genuinely amused at the end

"Harrison Ford Angrily Points At Stuff" Supercut, courtesy of Conan O'Brien.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 19, 2013 - 27 comments

The man who brought us Tim Thomerson

If you rented VHS horror and sci-fi in the late eighties and early nineties, then you’ll recognize the name of Charles Band. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Aug 13, 2013 - 18 comments

Hedwig? Hedy? Hedly?

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Ecstasy of Hedy Lamarr - Science! Fascists! Orgasms! Libel! Escapes From Literal Castles! (SoCH previously and Anne Helen Petersen previously)
posted by The Whelk on Aug 8, 2013 - 18 comments

You guys watch Joe Don Baker movies?

A six-minute documentary snippet discusses Kubrick's camera modifications for special, low-light f/0.7 Zeiss lenses used to film candlelit scenes in Barry Lyndon, now available to rent by aspiring filmmakers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 5, 2013 - 34 comments

The World of Froud

As much as Metafilter loves Jim Henson's Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, neither of those films would be half as powerful without the work of Brian and Wendy Froud. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 30, 2013 - 18 comments

"Eversmile, New Jersey"?

Every movie reference in "The Simpsons": Seasons 1-5
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 27, 2013 - 27 comments

Life in Five Seconds

Paring down history and films to their bare essentials (requires Flash). [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 16, 2013 - 2 comments

Welcome to Fhloston Paradise (among other places)

In the mood for some ginormous LEGO dioramas from beloved films? Of course you are! Besides the usual suspects of Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Batman, there are some equally impressive projects to be found based on Logan's Run, The Fifth Element, 300, Mothra, and even The Wizard of Oz.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 13, 2013 - 18 comments

John Hodgman On Full Metal Jacket

"But The Shining speaks to what makes Kubrick such an interesting and, for a lot of people, troublesome filmmaker, because he does not give you what you want. At all. He does not give you a Vietnam movie set in the jungle, and he does not give you a horror movie that is just like Stephen King’s The Shining. He doesn’t even give you scares for a long time, [just] ominous foreboding. And it takes people a while to figure out, “Oh, maybe I don’t know what I want. Maybe this is better.” - Mefi's Own Jon Hodgman talks about Full Metal Jacket with Scott Tobias for "The Last Great Movie I Saw."
posted by The Whelk on Jul 12, 2013 - 75 comments

“It's exactly what you think it is—a tornado full of sharks”

The rise of video-on-demand services like Netflix and dedicated cable-TV channels has created a new industry in low-budget B-movies; meet Asylum Films, an outfit in California following in the footsteps of historical B-movie auteurs like Roger Corman, Menahem Golan and Uwe Boll, with films with titles like Sharknado, Transmorphers, Sex Pot and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. Asylum's new B-movies are made quickly and cheaply to ride the coattails of the big studios' fads, filling gaps in the market for more films about, say, adorable puppies, alien battleships or apocalypses. The films are made to a strict formula, are played entirely seriously, with no hint of irony or knowingness, and are designed primarily to pad out rental lists and appeal to recommendation engines, though the producers point out that often mainstream Hollywood fare is often no less hackneyed and formulaic. (Previously...)
posted by acb on Jul 12, 2013 - 118 comments

The Dissolve

Music review site Pitchfork has branched out. Today marks the debut of The Dissolve, which will be dedicated to film. With talent acquired from Slate, NPR and the AV Club, the website is starting with a high pedigree.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jul 10, 2013 - 77 comments

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