11 items from 2012
Keanu Reeves has said that his new documentary Side by Side was incredibly difficult to produce. Side by Side takes an in-depth look at digital technology's effect on the film industry over the last several decades. Speaking to Reuters, producer Reeves admitted it was tough to land the film's interviews with Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and David Lynch. "It wasn't easy and it took almost a year to film everyone," he explained. "We began at the 2010 Camera Image festival in Poland and got a bunch of [cinematographers] there, including all these greats I'd worked with, such as Vittorio Storaro, Michael Chapman and Michael Ballhaus. That was our start, and then word-of-mouth spread, and I began contacting some of the directors I'd worked with over the past 25 years. (more) »
- By Justin Harp
Film vs. digital doc obscures message with overt Hollywood deference
From the opening Oscar broadcast-style montage of iconic movie clips (apparently it is only Hollywood, and not international cinema, that was able to “inspire us, thrill us, and capture our imagination”), Chris Kenneally’s documentary Side by Side, which weighs the pros and cons of traditional photochemical filmmaking against fast-encroaching digital image capture and projection, indulges Hollywood pretense to the point that a potentially revealing snapshot of a great art form in transition becomes overwhelmed by industry self-congratulation. The movie is made by insiders, for insiders; it pretends to be addressed to the general populace (narrator Keanu Reeves “educates” the viewer, PSA-style, as to what the “job” of the cinematographer is) only as a ploy to indulge the big name participants’ ego-stroking fantasy that everyday American toilers could care a lick about their “workflow” problems.
Interviewer/narrator Reeves is enthusiastic »
- Ryan Brown
Called "Side by Side," the limited-released documentary -- which debuts in Los Angeles on Aug. 17 before a nationwide VOD release on Aug. 22 and further theatrical expansion to come -- explains via interviews with directors like James Cameron and Christopher Nolan the pros and cons of both photochemical and digital film techniques. Reeves produced the film and conducted the interviews, gaining unprecedented access to some of the most respected craftspeople in the history of filmmaking; beyond Cameron and Nolan, award-winning below-the-line specialists like Anne V. Coates (editor of "Lawrence of Arabia") and Michael Ballhaus (cinematographer of "Goodfellas") also make appearances.
"Side by Side" came at a perfect time for Reeves, who just recently finished filming his directorial debut, "Man of Tai Chi." The »
- Christopher Rosen
A must-see for any cinephile this year is Christopher Kenneally‘s documentary on digital vs. film, Side by Side. Led by Keanu Reeves, in our review we called it extraordinary, in that its not only required viewing for those interested in film, but also wonderfully entertaining. The documentary sees Reeves interview top Hollywood pioneers including James Cameron, George Lucas, Danny Boyle, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan and as per usual in the genre, there was lots of left-over footage.
In a daily video series, Tribeca Films is releasing some extra clips from the films which featuring conversations that didn’t make the cut. There’s David Lynch discussing digital theatrical delivery, the Wachowskis on actors performances and editing, Martin Scorsese on celluloid, Wally Pfister on story, Steven Soderbergh on doing things different and much more. It’s great to hear the opinions of these tastemakers in Hollywood, including both sides of the coin. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Forbes an awesomely nerdy calculation of Smaug's wealth from The Hobbit. It's from the "fictional fifteen" of the wealthiest characters from movies, books, and tv.
Grantland looks at the end of the full frontal wang era, which peaked with Shame last year and will supposedly die with Magic Mike this summer.
Los Angeles Times Two of the stars of the Tribeca winning Una Noche have defected from Cuba and are seeking asylum in the Us. They're a couple in real life and siblings on the screen.
Movie|Line asks everyone to calm down with their "best picture!" proclamations in April. Oopsie. We just completed all of our predictions. But at least The Film Experience has never been driven to "lock!" proclamations before movies are even finished.
- NATHANIEL R
The New York Times runs two must-reads this weekend. With Jacques Rivette's Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974) opening at Film Forum on Friday, Dennis Lim writes, "It's not just that the film holds up to repeat viewings; its very point is its seemingly infinite repeatability, its mysterious capacity to surprise both first-time viewers and those who know it as well as a magician reciting an incantation." He goes on to consider Céline within the context of Rivette's oeuvre and its lasting impact on filmmakers as diverse as Susan Seidelman and David Lynch.
"Shirley Clarke is one of the great undertold stories of American independent cinema," writes Manohla Dargis at the top of piece on Milestone Films' multi-year project to restore and revive interest in Clarke's work. The Connection (1962) opens Friday at the IFC Center and soon to follow will be theatrical and DVD releases of Robert Frost: A »
Few genres of film inspire more personal responses than the romantic comedy. Given how much of our lives is spent on love and romance (falling into it, falling out of it, chasing it, giving up on it), it's no surprise that the rom-com has remained one of the most popular formulas since the dawn of cinema, and while the genre has undisputed classics, you can end up cherishing certain films purely because of their connection to your own life. They can help pull you out of a post break-up tailspin, they can comfort you through unrequited love, and, if a film hits you at the height of your passion for someone, they can end up associated forever, even blinding you to the movie's flaws -- seeing "Elizabethtown" in the midst of first love left this writer swooning after exiting the theater (thankfully, a subsequent rewatch put me straight as to how terrible it is. »
- Oliver Lyttelton
The film's working title, 3096, is taken from the number of days Natascha Kampusch was held captive by Wolfgang Priklopil
The ordeal of an Austrian woman who was kept locked in a cellar for eight years is to be turned into a feature film involving members of the team who produced a hit biopic about Hitler's last days in his bunker.
The €6m (£4.9m) film about Natascha Kampusch has the working title 3096 after the number of days she was held hostage by her kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, before escaping in 2006. The production crew aim to capture her claustrophobic nightmare by recreating in the studio an exact replica of her 2m x 3m cell.
The screenplay was drafted by Bernd Eichinger, the main force behind the 2007 hit film Downfall about Hitler's last days. Eichinger based his screenplay on several intense discussions with Kampusch in the months before his death in January 2011.
Cinematographer Michael Ballhaus, »
- Kate Connolly
Chicago – As audiences still catch up with the five-time Oscar-winning “Hugo” from master Martin Scorsese (released on Blu-ray last month), it might provoke a few young people to explore the filmmaker’s history. They will likely start with the widely-recognized classics like “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” and “GoodFellas,” but they will eventually get to “The Last Temptation of Christ,” recently released in an upgraded Criterion edition and re-released on DVD. The Massive controversy that greeted this film on its release has somewhat clouded its prominence in movie history. This is a great film, a better one than you remember and one of Scorsese’s best.
Blu-ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
This fascinating quote comes as a part of one of the most interesting commentary tracks I’ve heard in years. It was actually recorded »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The Last Temptation of Christ (Criterion Collection) This was one of the films I included in my very first edition of my What I Watched column and at the time I wrote, "Perhaps Universal (or Criterion) will give it a proper Blu-ray treatment soon." Well, that day is today and it only took three years since I wrote that, but I can happily say it was worth the wait. Not only is this an incredibly thought-provoking film it's a beautiful film as it features the third time director Martin Scorsese and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus worked together. I've only had a chance to watch the film itself and haven't dug into the special features, which includes an audio commentary with Scorsese, Willem Dafoe, screenwriter Paul Schrader and film critic Jay Cocks that I will soon be getting into with much interest. I will say, however, the transfer is excellent as the »
- Brad Brevet
Peter Whitehead, via Occupy Cinema
"One of last year's best films, Ken Jacobs's Seeking the Monkey King is showing Saturday at Anthology as part of a program presented in support of Occupy Wall Street," writes J Hoberman in one of the last pieces he'll turn in at the Voice. "Covering 500 years of American history, this furious beatnik analysis makes a people's historian like Howard Zinn seem like a Chamber of Commerce booster, particularly as delivered amid [Jg] Thirlwell's industrial-strength rhapsodic noise drone, against the seething apocalypse of melting glaciers and crystallized lava that soon becomes an ongoing Rorschach test." See, too, David Phelps's essay. Seeking the Monkey King is "showing with several of Jacobs's short works (19th-century stereopticon slides treated as material for a cyclotron) and excerpts from his 3D footage of Zuccotti Park. Other films showing in the series are An Injury to One (2002), Travis Wilkerson's lucid, »
11 items from 2012
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