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.
Comedy actor Thomas Lennon describes what it's like to play a cameo on elusive director Terrence Malick's latest film Knight of Cups.
Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?
Video Essayist Jacob T. Swinney edited 3 dozen supercuts, many of which went viral on Slate and indieWire: Each tackling a single motif from recent movies: The Jonathan Demme Close-Up, Hearing Tarantino (or Paul Thomas Anderson), A Rorschach Test from The Master, Movies’ First and Last Shots, Etc. All 36 videos are on his Vimeo page. Among them is his own 2014 demo reel.
'Looper's Noah Segan (aka Kid Blue) Explains What It's Really Like As a Working Actor
While waiting to interview Looper director Rian Johnson during Fantastic Fest, a chance encounter challenged even my notions of what it meant to be a movie star. Sitting there, in the garish luxury of the Four Seasons hotel lobby, I met a rather lost-looking young man with whom I struck up a conversation. He was passionate and sharp, and it took a good five minutes before I recognized him as Noah Segan, the actor who played Kid Blue in Looper. I assumed he too had been sent by the studio to promote the movie, but in fact he had come of his own volition, on his own dime, and was being soundly ignored by the publicists.[more inside]
Talking with Noah, it became clear that, though he had appeared in several theatrical films, he was far from living the life of privilege and extreme comfort we tend to associate with movie stars. Noah’s experience echoes those of many with occupations in the creative field; the epitome of the blue-collar artist. This interview was completely unexpected, and we didn’t end up talking much about the movie, but if you’re struggling with the financial logistics of doing what you love professionally, you too will probably find a kindred spirit in Kid Blue.
“Alien 3 was flawed from its inception and it was certainly flawed—actually, pretty fucked up—well before we started shooting. So there you go. Take all of the responsibility, because you’re going to get all of the blame.” — David Fincher [previously]
The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker.
Loudly and with much smashing, FilmCritHulk has become a major presence in the world of online film criticism with his semiotical essays on storytelling, cinematic principles, and media theory. Starting first on his personal blog, Hulk now writes for Badass Digest [previously] (the lifestyle blog corner of the Alamo Drafthouse empire [previously, previously]) [more inside]
In the Cut: Piecing Together the Action Sequence. A video essay in three parts by Jim Emerson.
- Part I: Shots in the Dark (Knight)
- Part II: A Dash of Salt
- Part III: I Left my Heart in my Throat in San Francisco
"I believe in the things I make. The fact that God doesn’t want me to make them is beside the point."
"The thing is, some really good scripts come my way, but there’s nothing in them for me to come to grips with, they are complete in themselves ... There’s no uncertainty. I don’t look for answers; I look for questions. I like when people leave the cinema and feel like the world has been altered for them somewhat." Terry Gilliam: The Heir of Fellini and the Enemy of God. (Also, recently on the blue.) [more inside]
"As part of the DGA's 75th Anniversary, DGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and three-time DGA Award winner, Steven Spielberg, was celebrated on June 11, 2011..." [more inside]
"I'm not going to be asked any conceptualizing questions, right?" STANLEY KUBRICK - THE ROLLING STONE INTERVIEW. Conducted in 1987 by Tim Cahill to promote Full Metal Jacket, it's considered one of the longest he ever gave.
The Magnificent Ambersons, Orson Welles' second film, has inspired a legend around the lost footage excised by the studio to make it more appealing to audiences. The film's making is a cautionary tale in letting the studio have creative control, and the finished product pained Welles to his dying day. The mythical status of the lost footage has inspired a few to try and track it down. [more inside]
Steadicam operators! Are you tired of simply walking with your camera rig to achieve that special wobble-free shot? Or maybe you're making a movie on the cheap and can't afford all that heavy equipment? Behold! The future of filmmaking has arrived! Presenting: Steadicam on a Segway! (Warning: Obnoxious, awful Flash interface on second link)
Baraka is an astonishing film voyaging six continents and twenty-four countries. Directed by Ron Fricke, it is a visual tour de force painstakingly shot on Todd AO-70mm film. Information on the film (and its upcoming sequel!) can be found here or you can always watch the making of.
How I Ended Up In Big Pitches - article in London Times about last weekend's Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles. Features Warren Hsu Leonard, William Goldman, Brian Watanabe, David Freeman, Michael Hauge.
From Pitch to Premiere LA-based radio show The Business decided to track a film project from its earliest stages. Host Claude Brodesser began with an interview with the producer, the original screenwriter, and her agent, just after they had sold the project as a pitch.(RealAudio stream; interview starts at 11:08) Then he followed up with them as they were beginning their hunt for a director (RealAudio stream; interview starts at 2:51). And when they found a director, the director did an interview as well (RealAudio stream; interview starts at 9:20). It's an interesting look into how movies actually get made. (Via John August, who is the current writer on the project.)
Wonderful Town... Director Ryan McFaul (whose music video for Gay Boyfriend was previously seen in this MeFi thread ) is back with a dizzying MGM-meets-digital-compositing advert for a Broadway production of Wonderful Town. (Slightly less dazzling, but still worth seeing, is his ad for a San Francisco production of White Christmas.) Somebody give this man a feature film!
The Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Documentary is going to be an interesting project. Filmmaker Eric Steel applied for a permit to film the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco for a year, saying he was trying to "capture the grandeur" of the bridge. But what he actually ended up doing was capture 19 suicides and many attempts. He is now working on a feature-length documentary about these suicides, and has 100 hours of interviews with family members, psychiatrists, and some of the people who attempted suicide but didn't follow through. Now that he's revealed what his documentary is and what it will be about, a lot of people are pretty ticked off.