The Galactic Civil War had one pernicious side effect: fighters on both sides neglected their cultural heritage in the name of military expediency.A Handy Guide to the Archaeology of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an analysis rich with links to the deepest layers of overthought.
"When Words Fail in Movies," "The Elevator," "A Homeless Ghost: The Moving Camera and its Analogies," "A Theory of Film Music" (a reply to the previously posted "The Marvel Symphonic Universe"), "The Revenant by Tarkovsky," "Fritz Lang," "The Dark Knight--Creating the Ultimate Antagonist," "Honolulu Mon Amour," and "Sound Unseen: The Acousmatic Jeanne Dielman" were just a few of the videos selected multiple times as "The Best Video Essays of 2016" (see also 2014 and 2015, previously). But one response chose to honor a series of parodies of the form: Why is Cinema, e.g. "Screenwriters! Do the Best Words Now!"
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."
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.
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.
The 100 greatest films of the 21st century (so far), as determined by 177 film critics from around the world.
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.
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.
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]
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."
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]
"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)
One year ago, the Saturday Night Live family lost one of its greatest talents when Jan Hooks passed away at the age of 57. Though there are many SNL players that fade into obscurity once their term at Rockefeller Center is up, most people are surprised that, aside from a recurring role on 30 Rock, Jan Hooks had pretty much disappeared since the turn of the 21st century. Grantland provides a bittersweet look back into her history and into what happened during those years.
Many of those who went to see Furious 7 earlier this year went because it was, by all accounts, a raucous good time. And there were also a number of us who were extremely curious about how they were able to finish the film after the tragic death of star Paul Walker. Variety currently has an article up on the methods used to replicate Walker for certain scenes and, most intriguingly, an imgur gallery has been posted of all the shots that were completed after Walker died.
A Hitchcock mashup where Kubrick is the villain. / Un mashup hitchcockien dont Kubrick est le méchant.
This Friday, people will be able to go to the theater and see yet another interpretation of J.M. Barrie's "Peter Pan". Such news does not necessarily excite Barrie fans, given the middling results of some past interpretations (and Pan isn't being received much better). But the AV Club's Ryan Vlastelica argues they can take heart that the best "Peter Pan" movie was already made... in 2003.
Filmmaker Pablo Fernandez Eyre recently made a discovery: Director Alfred Hitchcock and editor George Tomasini judged that a sequence which worked once would work twice, such as these two famous scenes from Psycho and The Birds. If you liked that, Eyre is fond of the side-by-side comparisons, such as these similar videos of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and the Star Wars saga.
Pre-Code.com is an incredibly detailed exploration of the Hollywood cinema that fell between the advent of sound motion pictures in 1927 and the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 (Which wasn't enforced until 1934. Huh? Here's a timeline). This includes a number of familiar titles such as All Quiet on the Western Front, Dracula, Duck Soup, It Happened One Night and The Public Enemy. But we also get a peek at the more obscure and daring titles such as Baby Face, I’m no Angel, Smarty, Safe in Hell and Night Nurse.
[Warning - flashing lights in some links] Bradley Eros & Tim Geraghty have collaborated on some interesting de/re/constructive film making, with the blockbuster buster TransTrans (TransformersTransformed) (11:58) - "a radical remix of the recent Transformers film, via synthetic collapse and critical revenge on its old & new fascist tropes," blending film imagery with text from the Futurist Cinema/Manifesto and soundtrack by Einstürzende Neubauten | Eros C'est Lamour, a wedding gift (7:57) - "The missing link between Rose Hobart and Maria Montez via Rrose Selavy's bride stripped bare by the song of the sarong" | FOOLS! (30:11) - "Remember, fortuna favet fatuis [fortune favors fools], but fortuna caeca est [fortune is blind]."
Tony Zhou is back with a love letter / lament for his cinematically ubiquitous hometown: "Vancouver Never Plays Itself".