The Revenant Official Trailer [YouTube]
The Revenant is a 2015 American epic western film directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota, which was inspired by the experiences of frontiersman and fur trapper Hugh Glass. The screenplay was written by Mark L. Smith and Iñárritu, based in part on Michael Punke's The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, and Domhnall Gleeson.[more inside]
David Bordwell's Observations of Film Art explains the blocking of Elia Kazan's Panic In The Streets
The Danish Girl [YouTube] [Trailer]
The Danish Girl is a 2015 British-American pseudo-biographical drama film directed by Tom Hooper, based on the 2000 novel of the same name by David Ebershoff. The film stars Eddie Redmayne as Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of sex reassignment surgery, Alicia Vikander as Gerda Wegener, Matthias Schoenaerts as Hans Axgil and Ben Whishaw as Henrik.[more inside]
‘We had to put Charles Dickens in the movie. Who’s the least likely character to be Charles Dickens? Gonzo!’ How we made: The Muppet Christmas Carol
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]
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" [Wiki]
"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" is a phrase from an editorial called Is There a Santa Claus?. The editorial appeared in the September 21, 1897, edition of The (New York) Sun and has since become part of popular Christmas folklore in the United States. It is the most reprinted editorial in any English-language newspaper.[more inside]
Spheres is a short 1969 animation by René Jodoin and Norman McLaren, soundtrack by Glenn Gould, published by the National Film Board of Canada. [more inside]
The Depth of Simplicity Lewis Bond looks at stylistic choices in the films of Yasujiro Ozu (slyt)
Fabrice Mathieu created something new, and an homage to the shadowy, noir films he loves with two shorts: In the Shadow, creating a film from shadows and silhouettes, and Master of Suspense, a story built from Alfred Hitchcock's cameo introduction and cameo appearances.
Uncanny Valley (SLVIMEO) Short film of a possible future path for VR gaming.
Indie auteur Richard Linklater pleasantly surprised audiences with his charming 2003 comedy School of Rock, in which a struggling musician (High Fidelity co-star and Tenacious D frontman Jack Black) hijacks a 4th grade prep school class and inspires them to become a killer rock band. Buoyed by likeable characters, a great soundtrack, remarkably talented kid musicians, and Black's lengthy, irrepressible, almost improvisational classroom scenes, the film earned rave reviews and inspired scads of copycat programs around the world (as featured in the '05 documentary and reality series Rock School). But while the cast kicked ass at their ten-year reunion concert in 2013, plans for a sequel fell through. Everyone loves an encore, though. And so this weekend saw the Broadway debut of the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage musical starring Alex Brightman, with a TV adaptation to air on Nickelodeon next year. Because there's no way you can stop... the School of Rock. [more inside]
Robert Loggia, Rugged but Versatile Character Actor, Dies at 85 [New York Times]
Robert Loggia, an Oscar-nominated actor who had a durable career in television and movies, notably in Brian De Palma’s gangster film “Scarface” and Penny Marshall’s comedy “Big,” died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 85. His wife, Audrey Loggia, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. “He struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for five years,” she said. “It just took its natural progression.”
Diana Serra Cary, also known as Baby Peggy, is one of the last living silent film actors, and possibly the only major star of the 1920s still alive. [more inside]
The cast and crew of Tarantino's The Hateful Eight discuss the upcoming old-fashioned roadshow screenings of the first film to be projected in Ultra Panavision 70 in nearly fifty years. [more inside]
Every Philip Seymour Hoffman Movie, Ranked From Worst to Best By Nathan Rabin [Vulture.com]
“...we figured this would be a good time to delve deep into Hoffman’s filmography to determine what art of Hoffman’s is objectively, definitively better than his other art. In making our selection, we considered both the quality of the film as well as Hoffman’s performance. Though we strived to be as complete as possible, we were not able to see Mockingjay Part 2 ahead of this article, nor were we able to track down two of his most obscure early films, Szuler and Joey Breaker, left behind in VHS format. We still, however, had an awful lot to sift through, much of it awfully good.”
Metafilter favorite Tony Zhou is back with a video about everybody's favorite visual comedian, Buster Keaton. [more inside]
Movies often portray suspension bridges being destroyed (for example) but often make basic mistakes that reveal a lack of understanding of how these structures work. This article by structural engineer Alex Weinberg, P.E. aims to fix this.
Two years ago, I was thrilled that three of the six women on our roundtable were black: Oprah Winfrey, Lupita Nyong’o and Octavia Spencer. I thought, perhaps naively, that this represented a sea-change in the film business, and hoped it was catching up with the tectonic shifts that industries all across America have had to make to reflect this country’s diversity. But I was wrong. Stephen Galloway, in The Hollywood Reporter: Why Every Actress on The Hollywood Reporter Roundtable Cover Is White
“You have lost your mind,” telegraphed Adolph Zukor, founder of Paramount Pictures. “Stop filming and return to Los Angeles at once.” DeMille refused. “I cannot and will not make pictures with a yardstick,” he wired back to the studio. “What do they want me to do?” he was rumored to have said, according to Higashi. “Stop now and release it as The Five Commandments?” Excavating the "City of the Pharoah," the biggest set ever built for a Hollywood film in the 1920s. [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]
Over 150 recipes from the early run of TBS' Dinner and a Movie, including "Peter Pancakes with Lost Boys-enberry Syrup" (originally paired with a presentation of Hook), "Two Hot Peppers on the Lamb" (Thelma and Louise), and "Jane S'mores" (Somewhere in Time).
ESPN uses the "30 for 30" series to tackle the most important sporting event of the Cold War. [more inside]
The Writers Guild of America has released their list of The 101 Funniest Screenplays.
Holy Cow, Home Alone Is 25! Remember Winnetka’s most famous big-screen family, the McCallisters—especially the resourceful son who got left behind? An oral history of one of the most beloved Christmas comedies ever made.
You know, a little known fact about the Greeks is that they invented The Sequel. So, in the finest tradition of their ancestors, the Portokalos family will be returning to the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, this coming March. [more inside]
Visitors are invited to join Shia LaBeouf in person as he watches all his movies consecutively in reverse chronological order over the next three days, 24 hours a day.
Even though I’ve sold out Madison Square Garden as a standup comedian and have appeared in several films and a TV series, when my phone rings, the roles I’m offered are often defined by ethnicity and often require accents. ~ Aziz Ansari on Acting, Race and Hollywood [SLNYT]
The greatest trick the prop ever pulled was convincing the world it didn't exist. A look at the hidden power of film props and how filmmakers use the everyday (and not so everyday) objects in their scenes to enhance cinematic storytelling. [slVimeo]
The girl in the closet. The doomed nurse. The cave creature. Just a few of the best jump cuts in horror movie history.
Forgotten Silver tells the story of pioneering filmmaker Colin McKenzie. This legendary New Zealander created the worlds first colour film and first talking film. He created the first tracking shot and captured footage of a pre-Wright brothers flight. This "documentary" made by Peter Jackson & Costa Botes caused a furore in New Zealand when it was released 20 years ago today. Watch the first 10 Minutes for free. Rent or buy here. [more inside]
Philip French iconic Film Reviewer for the Observer (Sunday Guardian) has died aged 82.
On his retirement after 50 years as a critic The Wrap asked him some questions and here is an interview and some of his work.
On his retirement after 50 years as a critic The Wrap asked him some questions and here is an interview and some of his work.
Atlas Obscura (?!) presents an inventory of cinematic worms by size, smallest to largest (SLYT)
That Thing: A True Story Based on The Exorcist (Adam Sturtevant, Electric Literature)
"On the shores of Payette Lake are crates full of beavers, part of a shipment to be dropped in the primitive area by parachute from an airplane." A clip from Fur for the Future, a recently rediscovered documentary from 1948 about Idaho Fish and Game parachuting beavers into the state's backcountry.
Some ways we can read Elsa: "Cold and Hungry: Discourses of Anorexic Feminity in Frozen," "Disney's Frozen and Autism," "Reading Frozen as a Feminist," and "Disney's Frozen: Gay or Schizophrenic?"
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.
Visual Literacy in the Age of Open Content by Allana Mayer [JSTOR]
We have similar stories all throughout history: the moment when a perception—whether a literal way of seeing or a figurative mode of thinking—is assaulted and fundamentally shifts, a non-reversible alteration, a displacement from one’s old ways. Western society has seen plenty of moments like these, moments where a perceptive or critical threshold has been crossed.
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.
More subtly, offscreen sound is used to withhold the "Prestige," or the payoff, of each man's greatest trick. (Originally, the word prestige meant "illusion," especially one that dazzles the eyes.) Alfred's first, minimal version of the Transported Man is shown only in part. We see the setup with Robert watching avidly and Cutter elsewhere in the audience, skeptical. But we don't see the Prestige phase of the trick. Nolan keeps the camera on Cutter while we hear the second door open and the bouncing ball being caught by the duplicate Alfred. Nolan thereby makes the trick itself vague, to be revealed in full later. Conveying the illusion through offscreen sound also emphasizes the contrasting reactions of Cutter, who is unimpressed, and Robert, who considers it "the greatest magic trick I’ve ever seen." [more inside]
Be Suspicious Of Online Movie Ratings, Especially Fandango's — FiveThirtyEight.com notices a consistent pattern in Fandango movie ratings, and warns against the perils of relying on ratings provided by companies trying to sell you the product being rated. [more inside]