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Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand....

The movie was shot over nine weeks in Brooklyn, entirely on Stuyvesant Avenue between Quincy Street and Lexington Avenue.... [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe on Jun 20, 2014 - 19 comments

We’re losing all our Strong Female Characters to Trinity Syndrome

"She’s something female characters so often aren’t in action/adventure films with male protagonists: She’s interesting. Too bad the story gives her absolutely nothing to do." [How To Train Your Dragon 2 spoilers]
posted by valkane on Jun 16, 2014 - 119 comments

Brief film noir reviews: 290 and counting

Some guy has reviewed 290 film noir flicks and is still going.
posted by MoonOrb on Jun 11, 2014 - 15 comments

"It will ache in my chest the rest of my life."

On May 13th, the film world was shocked and saddened by the tragic death of documentary filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul, who had won an Oscar just last year for the documentary "Searching for Sugar Man". In the month that has passed since then, more details have emerged of the months and days that led up to his suicide. The Hollywood Reporter profiles the life and death of Bendjelloul and takes a look at how sudden success can bring about even more sudden depression.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 11, 2014 - 16 comments

Will it go round in Circles...

Den of Geek provides a brief survey of rotating sets in film as far back as Royal Wedding in 1951 all the way up to Inception in 2010. In the world of music video, Metallica did their own interesting... ahem, spin on it for "The Memory Remains". The television show "Glee" paid tribute to Royal Wedding with their own rotating room song and dance number. Finally, the Den of Geek article states that such effects require, "intense planning, expensive materials and an army of builders". Nonsense.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 9, 2014 - 10 comments

Pretty Sure I've Read Most Of These....

The terrible (awesome?) fan-fic crossover story idea generator.
posted by The Whelk on Jun 6, 2014 - 77 comments

"C'mon! C'mon!"

Terminator 2 by way of Grand Theft Auto V (found via AV Club)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Jun 5, 2014 - 3 comments

"You've never seen anything like it!"

Bill and Coo Plot: The feathered residents of Chirpendale are terrorized by an evil black crow by the name of "The Black Menace". But to the citizen's rescue comes a brave young taxi puller named Bill! [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 31, 2014 - 7 comments

"The strange, preachy, profitable saga of Billy Jack"

"It’s most logical to conceive of Billy Jack as a dream-movie accidentally created by a spiritually confused, LSD-addled 19-year-old who fell asleep in the early 1970s while watching a weird, humorless movie about a half-Native American/half-Caucasian warrior who does not want to fight, because he’s too good—both in the sense of being a singularly skilled one-man killing machine, and in subscribing to a higher moral and ideological cause than his bloodthirsty brothers-in-arms And yet he’s pushed by circumstances into dramatically kicking ass, over and over." Nathan Rabin takes a long look at the bizarre pair of blockbusters Billy Jack and The Trial of Billy Jack. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on May 31, 2014 - 66 comments

Shorthand for a long-gone era, groovy religion and journeys into space

Norman Greenbaum discusses the creation and ongoing popularity of 'Spirit in the Sky'
posted by paleyellowwithorange on May 30, 2014 - 50 comments

R. W. Fassbinder, Romantic Anarchist

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is currently presenting the first part of a near-complete retrospective of the films of the great German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, featuring 17(!) films he made between 1969 and 1974. (Part 2, featuring the films made between 1975 and his death in 1982, will take place in November 2014.) Collected below are some recent writings on RWF and these early films, posted by the Film Society and elsewhere online. [more inside]
posted by Awkward Philip on May 29, 2014 - 7 comments

Don't be satisfied with s*** that is less inventive than Vine.

How to do visual comedy like Edgar Wright.
posted by JoeBlubaugh on May 27, 2014 - 44 comments

This Is What Anti-Stratfordians Actually Believe

Kyle Kallgren finishes "Shakespeare Month" on his art house movie review series "Brows Held High" (previously) with a smashing take down of Roland Emmerich's 2011 Shakespeare-was-a-fraud conspiracy thriller "Anonymous". [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on May 26, 2014 - 25 comments

One Scene, One Shot

The Spielberg Oner: "One overlooked aspect of Spielberg is that he's actually a stealth master of the long take. From Duel to Tintin, for forty years, he has sneakily filmed many scenes in a single continuous shot." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on May 19, 2014 - 58 comments

MATTES - Like you've never seen them before!

Huge collection of (and commentary on) matte art from classic films that has been rescanned for HD releases. Much more on the process of creating and filming this type of setup at last month's post. (previously)
posted by BlackLeotardFront on May 19, 2014 - 13 comments

Žižek battles the Green Goblin, narrated by David Attenborough

Feel as if you've watched everything on Netflix? You might find something new at Summary Bug, where a text-display glitch generates whimsical cinematic possibilities.
posted by oulipian on May 18, 2014 - 16 comments

SPOILER: "Manos: The Hands of Fate" is NOT on the List

The 100 Best (?) “B Movies” of All Time, a mix of Cheap Knock-Offs, the Almost-Good, the Too Weird for This World and Classic Corn, compiled by Paste Magazine's Jim Vorel, who has published more beer reviews than anything else, possibly because his "10 Most Unwatchable Films Featured on MST3K" drove him to hopeless alcoholism. He also previously listed "10 Essential Bad Movies for Your Collection", all of which are highly ranked here (if you want to save time). So pull up a chair and make plenty of popcorn, because the only thing more fun than watching cheezy movies is arguing about them. ("Hercules in New York" is ONLY #99? "Sharknado" only #90?!? Blasphemy!!)
posted by oneswellfoop on May 11, 2014 - 77 comments

Forty-three Werner Herzog films that can be streamed

Inside, please find a list of forty-three movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Werner Herzog, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. One or two of the films are in German without subtitles; this is noted in the description. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on May 4, 2014 - 65 comments

Legendary film careers, Dissolved.

With Career View, The Dissolve (previously) offers an extensive survey, and critical summary, of a career in film. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on May 3, 2014 - 14 comments

Michal Krasnopolski

Simple grid-based movie posters
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on May 3, 2014 - 44 comments

A Different Kind of Movie Snacks

To help promote their business selling vouchers usable at various UK restaurants, RestauarantsChoice.co.uk set up a subsite, "The Internet Foodie Database" with a list of the Top 250 Food Flicks. Surprisingly, #1 on the list with a rating of 9.3 was "Bill and Ted's Bogus Jerky", the sequel to "Bill and Ted's Egg Salad Adventure", which only rated a 6.4. But this was far from the first effort to create a definitive list of Movie/Food Puns... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop on May 3, 2014 - 4 comments

Murphy, Murphy, burning bright

RoboCop (1987) Is an Almost Perfectly Symmetrical Film [via]
posted by figurant on Apr 30, 2014 - 35 comments

The movie opens worldwide on December 18, 2015.

"The Star Wars team is thrilled to announce the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII." [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Apr 29, 2014 - 415 comments

For the love of (someone else playing) the game

"Draft Day," "Moneyball," and the rise of the sports management movie. There’s a new breed of sports movie in town, one that does away with all that pesky team building and ersatz democracy. These films celebrate the real heroes of sports, the real heroes of any workplace: the bosses.
posted by Cash4Lead on Apr 29, 2014 - 40 comments

Inside the world of legal art forgery, for the sake of movies

Why This Movie Perfectly Re-Created a Picasso, Destroyed It, and Mailed the Evidence to Picasso’s Estate.
posted by Chrysostom on Apr 28, 2014 - 10 comments

Lionpower!

In 1967, you needed the best filmed entertainment humanity could produce, it was important.
posted by vrakatar on Apr 26, 2014 - 26 comments

"DODGE THIS!"

100 Movies 100 Headshots: [SLYT]
posted by Fizz on Apr 26, 2014 - 33 comments

Thirty Errol Morris movies that can be streamed

Inside, please find a list of twenty-eight movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Errol Morris and two movies about Errol Morris, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 23, 2014 - 27 comments

Why were the nineties so preoccupied with fatherhood?

The Dadliest Decade
posted by valkane on Apr 17, 2014 - 13 comments

We can't all be Tommy Wiseau

"I've watched a lot of terrible films over the years... And even by these standards, Driscoll's output is atrocious. But whereas directors like [German] Uwe Boll will happily revel in a 'worst film director ever' title, Richard has absolutely no sense of humour about it. He genuinely thinks he’s creating art." --- This is the story of British actor/director Richard Driscoll, his 2012 film "Eldorado" and how it all landed him in jail.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Apr 8, 2014 - 39 comments

Being a superhero is awesome, everyone should try it

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is racing towards another blockbuster weekend and another hit for the Marvel cinematic universe. With future films planned out as far as 2028, can any other studio succeed in grabbing at Marvel's crown? And as the stars chafe at their multi-film contracts and grow tired of fame, waht next for Kevin Feige, the man behind Marvel's success?
posted by penguinliz on Apr 4, 2014 - 316 comments

"Blue in the Face"

Back in 1995, Wayne Wang directed a film called "Smoke", which starred Harvey Keitel and William Hurt and whose story largely centered on a Brooklyn Cigar shop on the corner of 16th Street and Prospect Park West. The movie was very well received by critics and stands as one of the great films of the 1990's... but that's not the whole story. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Apr 3, 2014 - 34 comments

Guilty of wanting to be a dry cleaner, sure. But not of murder.

Because the Coens have tried their hand at numerous genres, from noir to screwball to outright surrealism, it wasn’t immediately apparent that they were making the same basic movie over and over. After 30 years and 16 features, however, it’s now hard not to notice that prototypical Coen protagonists are hapless, well-meaning schlemiels upon whom life exacts a toll that’s much worse than they deserve. In the films of Joel and Ethan Coen, it’s a hard world for little things (and everyone else)
posted by timshel on Mar 28, 2014 - 74 comments

WHERE'S ITS SCROTUM?!

Though Llewyn appears stuck, he’s the nomad always ecstatic in his circumlocutions. He’s on a road to nowhere but at least trudging on a path to somewhere. The rest of the world marks time, gliding smoothly along the straight line of the future, arrested comfortably in the steady flow of the ever-present, and being naively present relieves one from the nightmare of history. Maybe the materialization of Dylan’s music in the final minutes, when it wasn’t there in the beginning, is another sign that Llewyn’s time has passed, and it’s time to, um, face the music. Like clockwork he goes into the alley to confront the shadowy figure, and takes his punch (this time not saying “I’m sorry?” before the fist collides with his face, however). Consigned again to this cesspool, he doesn't stay down but ascends through iron bar shadows and follows his bellicose aggressor, who gets into a cab and drives off. Llewyn looks on somewhat wistfully, not saying “farewell” in accord with Dylan but rather says “Au revoir”—indicating they’ll see each other again. At that quiet utterance the cab’s wheels screech and turn a sharp corner. The linear trajectory forward is thwarted and Fate's Emissary will inevitably come around again. The Orbital Noose: Inside Llewyn Davis
posted by timshel on Mar 26, 2014 - 25 comments

If you have the chance, please work with Dame Judi Dench.

23. On screen, your hero can blow away 500 bad guys, but if he smokes one fucking cigarette, you’re in deep shit. Sam Mendes’s 25 Rules for Directors
posted by timshel on Mar 24, 2014 - 16 comments

How about a nice game of chess?

Chess has been played in a lot of movies. I mean, a lot. Some of the more notable matches include Ron Weasley kicking ass, HAL stealing from Schlage, a Bond villain stealing from Spassky, and Death just screwing with the audience. Then there is Thomas Crown, who might just have been named for a promising young British player who tragically died at the age of eighteen.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 23, 2014 - 29 comments

Beneath our feet

Tiny Worlds: a series of films about tiny machines in the city like a tiny bulldozer, a tiny logging truck, and a tiny submarine.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 21, 2014 - 8 comments

The refreshment stand is closed forever

Here are some compilations of old drive-in theater intermission shorts, obsolete advertising for vanished venues. Won't you please visit our celestial snack bar? The show starts in ∞ minutes. Hover over links for more detail.
1 (10m, corn dogs, Dairy Queen) - 2 (10m, Butch, Eskimo Pie) - 3 (7m, public displays of affection) - 4 (3m, cable TV)
5 (10m, PSAs) - 6 (10m, performing food!) - 7 (9.5m, racist indians, snack bar gnomes) - 8 (10m, Jay Ward-like cartoon roundup)
9 (4m, daylight savings time) - 10 (13m, shrimp rolls, local ads) - 11 (10.5m, Dr Pepper robbery, conformity, PSAs) - 12 (14m, Creepy the Clown and "Dutch Treete")
13 (10m, Optigan music spectacular!) - 14 (2m, EAT CANDY BARS) - 15 (9m, Swiss people are magical) - 16 (5m, assorted animation)
17 (17m, Snacks in Space) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Mar 15, 2014 - 48 comments

This shot, and one more.

The legendary TV production manager and inspiration for the film set term "Abby Singer Shot" has passed away at 96. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Mar 13, 2014 - 21 comments

"In a world..."

Hal Douglas, who for many of us was THE voice of movie trailers in the 1990's, has passed away at age 89. The Guardian pays tribute with a half dozen of his best trailers. And then, of course, there's the legendary trailer for "Comedian".
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 13, 2014 - 59 comments

"Oh, Danny Boy"

With St. Patrick's Day fast approaching, it's a great opportunity to have a look at "Danny Boy". [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 12, 2014 - 50 comments

"I am Worf, Son of Mogh."

Just some old school ST:TNG for your Tuesday night: "The Worf of Starfleet" [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 4, 2014 - 47 comments

Cue blind fanboy rage in three... two... one...

Joel Silver: Terry Gilliam would have radically changed the ending to Watchmen. Zack Snyder: "I made (Watchmen) to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world."
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI on Mar 3, 2014 - 129 comments

Digital obsolescence is more deadly than degrading film stock ever was.

Film preservation 2.0 Unless the unique challenges of digital preservation are met, we run the risk of a future in which a film from 1894 printed on card stock has a better chance of surviving than a digital film from 2014.
posted by mediareport on Mar 2, 2014 - 109 comments

Warner Bros. Logo Design Evolution

"All studios have their main logo that appears at the beginning of a film, but some occasionally use custom logos that reflect the theme of the movie. When I noticed that Warner Bros. does this a lot I wanted to find out how often this happened and what these logos looked like. I couldn’t find a good overview with all logos gathered in one place, so I started to collect them myself, in 2009. Now, five years later, I think I have enough to paint a picture of Warner Bros logo design evolution. "
posted by chavenet on Feb 27, 2014 - 22 comments

The 28 Rules of the Oscars Party

10. If you are throwing an Oscars party, you need to decide if it's going to be a cinema lover's party or an Oscars party. "At a cinema lover's party, people dress up and have thoughtful conversations about the nominees and the year in cinema. At an Oscars party, everyone sits in their sweatpants and trashes every single thing that happens for four hours." This was written by a WSJ sportswriter, who doesn't understand that you can do both at either type of party.
posted by Bella Donna on Feb 27, 2014 - 60 comments

CG Mockbusters

The Asylum gets all the attention (and the lucrative gig filling time for "SyFy") but they're far from the only company out there making "mockbusters," those ultra low budget, direct-to-DVD movies named similar to big Hollywood blockbusters, in the hopes that an inattentive purchaser will buy their movie in the hopes they're getting something better. But The Asylum's not the only ones making them, and a prominent mockbuster subgenre is that of companies making really poor CG movies that resemble Pixar and Dreamworks hits only to the extent that they can maintain plausible, legal deniability, their profit margins relying on clueless grandparents getting something nice for the little ones.

Two of these companies are Video Brinquedo (trailer for their Little & Big Monsters and some clips from its sequel) and Spark Plug Entertainment (trailer for An Ant's Life). Far more of their output, including whole movies, awaits you than you could ever hope to stomach.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Feb 26, 2014 - 35 comments

"...can you get them to stop playing that fucking song on the radio?"

On June 8, 2014 it will have been 30 years since those paranormal janitors cleaned up the town in the most successful comedy of the 1980s doing over $291 million in gross box office sales. Who you going to call? Everyone in the cast (except Bill Murray, sadly): Ghostbusters: An Oral History. Some choice quotes below the fold. [more inside]
posted by nubs on Feb 25, 2014 - 158 comments

But who is the Best Boy?

Assembling a Film's Billing Block. The blurb at the bottom of a movie poster is called the "billing block." And while it might look like a bar code of haphazardly packed type, it is in fact the product of detailed legal agreements and intense contract negotiation. Below is the the billing block for a fictional film and an explanation of how it was constructed. (via kottke.org.)
posted by xingcat on Feb 24, 2014 - 28 comments

Nobody needs to see "Interiors" anyway....

How To Not Watch Woody Allen: Suitable replacements for every single one of his movies.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 22, 2014 - 109 comments

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