4 items from 2015
There’s definitely some new blood getting involved behind the scenes of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation of The Bfg with Deadline reporting that Walden Media are now backers on the project. They’re longtime purveyors of young people’s films that have pretty often come with Faith-positive or Christian message – like the Narnia series, for example.
Less definite than this but much more interesting is the possibility of some new names getting involved more visibly. According to a tweet from Film Divider, Bill Hader and Martin Freeman are “likely” to join the cast. There’s no indication on who they would play but I think Freeman will be a good match for Mr. Tibbs, butler at Buckingham Palace.
Officially on the roster so far are Mark Rylance as the Bfg himself, and Ruby Barnhill as his human friend, Sophie. As fans of Roald Dahl’s original novel, or even the Cosgrove Hall animated feature, »
- Brendon Connelly
By winning the Best Cinematography Oscar for a second year in a row, "Birdman" director of photography Emmanuel Lubezki has joined a truly elite club whose ranks haven't been breached in nearly two decades. Only four other cinematographers have won the prize in two consecutive years. The last time it happened was in 1994 and 1995, when John Toll won for Edward Zwick's "Legends of the Fall" and Mel Gibson's "Braveheart" respectively. Before that you have to go all the way back to the late '40s, when Winton Hoch won in 1948 (Victor Fleming's "Joan of Arc" with Ingrid Bergman) and 1949 (John Ford's western "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon"). Both victories came in the color category, as the Academy awarded prizes separately for black-and-white and color photography from 1939 to 1956. Leon Shamroy also won back-to-back color cinematography Oscars, for Henry King's 1944 Woodrow Wilson biopic "Wilson" and John M. Stahl »
- Kristopher Tapley
Stumbling across that list of best-edited films yesterday had me assuming that there might be other nuggets like that out there, and sure enough, there is American Cinematographer's poll of the American Society of Cinematographers membership for the best-shot films ever, which I do recall hearing about at the time. But they did things a little differently. Basically, in 1998, cinematographers were asked for their top picks in two eras: films from 1894-1949 (or the dawn of cinema through the classic era), and then 1950-1997, for a top 50 in each case. Then they followed up 10 years later with another poll focused on the films between 1998 and 2008. Unlike the editors' list, though, ties run absolutely rampant here and allow for way more than 50 films in each era to be cited. I'd love to see what these lists would look like combined, however. I imagine "Citizen Kane," which was on top of the 1894-1949 list, »
- Kristopher Tapley
The found footage genre is a peculiar one. It rests its laurels on building realism through the urgency and immediacy of the filmed footage. However, quite often, the characters in these films go to such extreme lengths to shoot this footage that one wonders why they are committing to capturing so much extraneous material. Every so often, a genre film will use the recordings in a chilling or original way. However, much of the time, having a character record all of the events on a video camera comes off as a contrived gimmick. The only way a film of this sort can be successful is if the story would not have worked as effectively with a regular, multi-camera staging.
The biggest problem with Project Almanac, a new sci-fi drama aimed at teens, is how rarely its writers convince us that the story should be told through the immediate presence of a video camera. »
- Jordan Adler
4 items from 2015
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