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To be fair, “Interstellar” is a total original and the film’s state-of-the-art below-the-line-work is guaranteed to be a talking point during awards season, but voters’ memories of Alfonso Cuaron’s sci-fier present both a big advantage and a challenge for Nolan’s film, which opens Nov. 7.
Last year, “Gravity” went on to earn a total of seven Oscars, including best director, and nearly swept the tech categories, and was also nominated for best picture. It’s also a reminder that a VFX action movie set in outer space can be serious, emotional and substantial.
And of course, there’s the $700 million at the box office. “Gravity,” like Nolan’s last three movies, was a commercial hit and »
- Tim Gray
Toughen up, folks! Life is getting harder, with one obstacle after another, but hang in there because you can do it.
That’s the message of many awards contenders, that center on a person coping with a long series of challenges.
“The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Rosewater,” “Selma,” “Unbroken,” “Wild,” “Fury,” “Whiplash” and even “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” offer tales of personal triumphs against overwhelming odds. Movies reflect the times, so it’s no surprise that the theme is prevalent. Survival against the odds has been around since at least the Book of Job, but it’s gained resonance in the past few years. Aside from the recession and the shifting sands created by ever-changing technology, the news is filled with Ebola, Isis, Gaza, strident politicians, wife-beating athletes, child-beating athletes. So people want reassurance that they can survive.
Bilbo and his cohorts are under siege from »
- Tim Gray
Cinema in the form it is known today is undeniably extraordinary: if George Melies, David Lean, Stanley Kubrick and so many other departed champions of the medium could have feasted their eyes on, say, Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, surely they would support the notion that film has never been better than it is right now.
That said, as exemplary as the very best of contemporary cinema can be, progress does result in the loss of some classic aspects of film which many aren’t quite so eager to let go of. As digital technology has grown, more movies than ever are being made and studios are more accountable for their mistakes than ever. The industry has changed substantially over the last two decades in particular, mostly for the better, albeit at the cost of many things older cineastes still hold dear.
This refers to the convenience of modern life »
- Jack Pooley
The first round of reviews are now in for Christopher Nolan’s apocalyptic space and time-travel epic Interstellar, and they are decidedly mixed. Here’s what everyone (most major non-trade magazines and newspapers have yet to weigh in) is saying so far:“Christopher Nolan’s overwhelming, immersive and time-bending space epic ‘Interstellar’ makes Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’ feel like a palate cleanser for the big meal to come. Where ‘Gravity’ was brief, contained and left the further bounds of the universe to our imagination, ‘Interstellar’ is long, grand, strange and demanding – not least because it allows time to slip away from under our feet while running brain-aching ideas before our eyes. It’s a bold, beautiful cosmic adventure story with a touch of the surreal and the dreamlike, and yet it always feels grounded in its own deadly serious reality.” —Dave Calhoun, Time Out “Already by this point — and we »
- Marcus Jones
Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated sci-fi film Interstellar was recently screened for members of the press, and the reviews are mostly positive. Many of the reviews praise the incredible looking visuals of the film and technical direction, but it seems like the emotional core of the story didn't hit with everyone. I try to stay away from reviews for movies like this until after I see it, but I couldn't help myself this time around. I had to read them! The movie is set to be released in theaters a week from tomorrow, and I already have my tickets to watch it in 70mm IMAX.
I included several excerpts from certain interviews below for you to read. You can click on the links to read the full interviews for each one. Look them over if you want and let us know if they sway your excitement for the movie in any way. »
- Joey Paur
Thirty years ago today, James Cameron’s The Teminator dominated the box office on its opening day.
Though the Arnold Schwarzenegger action film is now considered a modern classic, it’s not exactly the best film in its franchise.
In the intervening nine years between The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) became a hard-willed warrior, determined to protect her son John Connor and the future of humanity. That’s one big step up from her colourless, sometimes hysterical demeanour in The Terminator. Already Terminator 2 is the better movie.
Terminator isn’t the only franchise that has a high-achieving younger sibling. Let’s go through some of our favourites.
James Cameron makes a good sequel. Unfortunately, his follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1979 sci-fi thriller Alien was postponed for years while Cameron wrote and directed The Terminator and Rambo: First Blood Part II. We’re very »
- Sasha James
There are good sci-fi movies and there are great ones. And then there is Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, unequivocally the greatest work of science fiction ever committed to celluloid. As part of the BFI's three-month Things To Come: Science Fiction film project, Kubrick's 1968 masterpiece will be given a theatrical re-release across the United Kingdom starting 28 November, thanks to Warner Brothers' brand spanking new digital transfer.To promote this incredible film's latest journey "beyond the infinite", the BFI has commissioned a fantastic new trailer, which not only captures many of the best dramatic, visual and aural moments from the film, but also includes a number of quotes from esteemed filmmakers in the sci-fi genre, like Chris Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron, on just how important...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
As the UK re-release of Stanley Kubrick's untouchable 1968 masterpiece "2001: A Space Odyssey" looms, dive into the cosmic classic with this 1966 film chronicling the making of the film and "Kubrick's bizarre and incisive imagination." (Hat tip: Open Culture.) Titled "A Look Behind the Future," this charmingly dated promotional doc takes a look at all the crazy camera mounts, elaborate sets and shiny whirligigs that went into building "2001." The British Film Institute will be re-releasing "2001: A Space Odyssey" in UK theaters on November 28, 2014. The newly burnished transfer is part of BFI's 2014 Science Fiction blockbuster project. (Trailer below.) If you've never seen "2001" on the big screen, don't miss the chance. Even in the wake of Christopher Nolan's upcoming "Interstellar" and Alfonso Cuaron's game-changing "Gravity," Kubrick's cinematic monolith looks heavenly as ever on the biggest »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The match cut, “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” Hal — it’s all here, along with praise from Christopher Nolan and Alfonso Cuaron, in this brand new trailer for Stanley Kubrick’s classic 2001. Here’s the Hollywood Reporter: Ahead of the digitally restored film’s special limited U.K. release on Nov. 28 as part of the British Film Institute’s “Sci-Fi: Days of Fears and Wonder” season, a new trailer commission by the BFI and Warner Bros. has now been unveiled. Created by Ignition Creative London, the trailer is the first for this title in four decades, and uses Hal as the central figure to create […] »
- Scott Macaulay
Over the course of 24 fateful hours, five men of the Sherman Tank “Fury” – Wardaddy, the commander; Boyd Swan, the gunner; Grady Travis, the loader; Trini Garcia, the driver; and Norman, the assistant driver – take on 300 enemy German troops in a desperate battle for survival. Ayer’s movie resonates with common themes of brotherly love, friendship, and trust.
The closing night film at the BFI London Film Festival, Sony Pictures’ Fury stars Brad Pitt, Shia Labeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jason Isaacs, and Scott Eastwood. Fury opens in UK cinemas on October 22.
The creative behind the scenes artists are cinematographer Roman Vasyanov, production designer Andrew Menzies, film editors Dody Dorn, Ace and Jay Cassidy, Ace, costume designer Owen Thornton, and composer Steven Price. »
- Michelle McCue
By Anjelica Oswald
Justin Simien’s feature debut Dear White People is a satirical comedy that deals with intra- and inter-race relations at a fictional Ivy League university after a group of white students throw a “black-themed” party. The film — which has been critically acclaimed and holds a 97% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes — opened this weekend in limited release, receiving an average of $31,273 from 11 theaters. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the festival. Simien, who wrote and directed the film, used to work on studio publicity and is now getting his own Oscar campaign from Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions, the distributors for Dear White People. The film covers social issues that people often choose not to acknowledge and does so in a smart, humorous way. Though these types of films may cover topics the Academy is often wary of, »
- Anjelica Oswald
★★★★★Last year, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity (2013) wowed audiences with its bravura setpieces and technical prowess, taking us into space and back down to earth again. This year, London's Surprise Film is Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman (2014) (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), who trumps his fellow countryman with a film that for the most part takes place in one long, seemingly continuous take. Rather than an immersive gee-whiz experience, however, here the technical choice recreates the danger and thrill of that old cinematic favourite - the theatre. From A Chorus Line to Shakespeare in Love, the theatre is frequently held up by cinema itself as its prestigious, more authentic sibling.
- CineVue UK
Departure Day: When it comes to TV, is closure important?
If you happen to follow a decent number of TV critics on Twitter, you may have noticed a minor eruption of late. A schism has emerged, prompted by accounts like The Cancellation Bear, which concerns itself solely with the topic of whether or not series are likely to survive based on current ratings patterns. That may sound perfectly innocent on its own, but quite a few admirers have expressed the notion that they refuse to dive into a series if they get the sense that it will come to a premature end, thereby robbing them of closure. This idea has, naturally, left many critics incensed: isn’t TV a medium founded on chaos, on the thrill of working within limitations and at the whims of fickle audiences? Moreover, isn’t it silly to always want tidy resolution in the context »
The Digital Era: Real-time Films From 2000 To Today
40 years before, in 1960, lighter cameras enabled a cinéma vérité-flavored revolution in street realism. By 2000, new digital cameras suggested a whole new set of promises, including telling stories that would have been unimaginable within minimum budgets for features even ten years before. In 2000, film purists warned that digital still didn’t look as good as celluloid, but that didn’t stop at least three innovative filmmakers from boldly going where no filmmaker had gone before. Mike Figgis’ Timecode (2000) was the first star-supported (Salma Hayek, Stellan Skarsgard, Holly Hunter, among many others) single-shot project since Rope, underlining that earlier film’s timelessness. If Run Lola Run could do one story three times, then Timecode would do three or four stories one time: the movie is four separate ninety-minute shots shown all at the same time, each in one quadrant of the screen. Where do you look? »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
What do film directors Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Agnès Varda, Robert Wise, Fred Zinnemann, Luis Buñuel, Alain Resnais, Roman Polanski, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Louis Malle, Richard Linklater, Tom Tykwer, Alexander Sokurov, Paul Greengrass, Song Il-Gon, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro Iñárritu have in common? More specifically, what type of film have they directed, setting them apart from fewer than 50 of their filmmaking peers? Sorry, “comedy” or “drama” isn’t right. If you’ve looked at this article’s headline, you’ve probably already guessed that the answer is that they’ve all made “real-time” films, or films that seemed to take about as long as their running time.
The real-time film has long been a sub-genre without much critical attention, but the time of the real-time film has come. Cuarón’s Gravity (2013), which was shot and edited so as to seem like a real-time film, floated away with the most 2014 Oscars, »
- Daniel Smith-Rowsey
When the Morelia Intl. Film Festival, Mexico’s premiere showcase for local talent, kicks off Oct. 18 with Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Birdman,” it will be the second time in two years the fest hosts the same opener as in Venice, after Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity.”
But the festival’s creative director isn’t worried about following Venice’s lead — he’s happy the festival is a big draw for Mexican filmmakers, both emerging talents and established Hollywood helmers.
Inarritu, like Cuaron last year, will come down for the gala screening, a point of pride for Morelia’s creative director Daniela Michel.
“I think it’s critical that we’ve become the most important meeting point for Mexican filmmakers,” Michel says. The festival runs Oct. 17-26 in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico.
Last year, Morelia opened the main feature competition to more seasoned directors, introducing separate prizes for feature and new work, making it possible to have, »
- James Young
Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
The cast and crew, fly high in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), directed by visionary Alejandro González Iñárritu. Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, a washed-up actor who never bounced back from his peak stardom days as part of a 1990s superhero franchise, and who is desperate to gain back some spark for his faded career. Riggan attempts to jolt himself back into the limelight through the triple threat of writing, directing and starring in a Broadway adaptation of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.
- Christopher Clemente
Neil Patrick Harris to host Oscar 2015 ceremony Stage, film, and television actor Neil Patrick Harris will host the 2015 Oscars, aka the 87th Academy Awards ceremony, Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today, October 15, 2014. This will be Neil Patrick Harris' first time hosting the show, which in the United States will air live on ABC on Sunday, February 22. As quoted in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences press release, Zadan and Meron are "thrilled" to have Harris host their show, adding that "we have known him his entire adult life" and "to work with him on the Oscars is the perfect storm." As to be expected, Harris' statement reads that “it is truly an honor and a thrill" to be invited to host the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony Now, Neil Patrick Harris is an experienced awards-show host. His credits in the field include hosting the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, »
- Steve Montgomery
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
His use of natural lighting, the gorgeous compositions he creates often on the fly, those long takes. This is what we talk about when we talk about Emmanuel Lubezki, the Mexican cinematographer responsible for such arresting imagery in the films of Terrence Malick (The New World, The Tree of Life, To the Wonder), Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y tu mamá también, Gravity), the Brothers Coen (Burn After Reading), and Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Anna”, a short in the anthology To Each His Own Cinema). He is the only cinematographer in recent memory, possibly next to Roger Deakins, that pushes the form to its limits and has name recognition for such. The naturalistic beauty of The Tree of Life was nothing compared to the – wait for it – physics-defying work in Gravity. And here he is again, »
- Kyle Turner
The Best Directing Oscar has not gone to a director born in America for the past four consecutive years. That’s the longest running gap in Oscar history. Last year, »
- Sasha Stone
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