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When Georges Méliès released his pioneering short film A Trip To The Moon in 1902, he was setting a precedent that filmmakers would follow for decades to come. If there’s one thing the movies still like to do over a century later, it’s putting human beings into rocket ships and firing them like bullets into the inky, unforgiving void of the cosmos. Fandor Keyframe celebrates this strange heritage with a video essay by Daniel Mcilwraith called “Cinematic Space Trips.” Here are some of moviedom’s most memorable excursions to infinity and beyond, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, Gravity, Solaris, Interstellar, Dark Star, and The Martian.
Cinematic Space Trips from Fandor Keyframe on Vimeo.
The supercut focuses not on fantastic space operas like Star Wars; apart from the fanciful Méliès film, most of the titles included here aim for some kind of realism and authenticity. The result is not ...
- Joe Blevins
Another impressive animated short film to feature today. Witness is a CGI animated short made by three filmmakers from the L'école Georges Méliès art school in France - Alexandre Berger, Christ Ibovy and Hugo Rizzon. The film tells another dialogue-free story of a man trying to track down the murderer of his wife. I like the twist in this, and I like the visuals - it's a dark and unsettling story that's told with clear and concise storytelling techniques. This film follows the outstanding short Borrowed Time, as another example of animation being used to tell a much darker and more emotional story than typically expected. See below. Description of the short from Vimeo: "In order to avenge the death of his wife, a man is tracking down a mysterious killer." Witness was made by three different directors: Alexandre Berger, Christ Ibovy and Hugo Rizzon. Featuring music by Olivier Michelot. »
- Alex Billington
Since any New York City cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.
Museum of the Moving Image
The Kieslowski retrospective has its final weekend.
Some of documentary cinema’s recent bright stars are given dedication in “Pushing the Envelope: A Decade of Documentary at the Cinema Eye Honors.”
Margaret and You Can Count on Me screen this Friday and Sunday, respectively.
The Sword of Doom screens this Saturday, »
- Nick Newman
Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
Full Lineup Announcements
– “3-D Auteurs,” a 19-day, 34-film festival spotlighting stereoscopic movies by some of history’s most distinguished directors, will run at Film Forum November 11 – 29. The festival spans 3-D’s earliest days (including some turn-of-the-century films by pioneer Georges Méliès) to the present, and represents virtually every genre, including Westerns, Film Noir, and Science Fiction. Hollywood’s first big 3-D craze (sometimes called 3-D’s “golden era”), intended to offset the threat of television, came in the early 1950s, with such movies as Hitchcock’s “Dial M For Murder,” André De Toth’s “House of Wax” and Jack Arnold’s “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (all included in the series).
Hollywood produced roughly 50 movies in the process from 1952 to 1954, before fizzling out and being overtaken by »
- Kate Erbland
After a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $50,000 last year, “The Dwarves of Demrel” is closer than ever to being loosed upon the moviegoing world. Zachary Amundson’s film — described as “a feature-length fantasy film in which a collapse imprisons three dwarven miners who must work collectively to survive” — just released its first trailer. Watch below.
Read More: America’s Film Reels Are All Stored in a Nuclear Bunker: See the Stunning Video
The footage, which almost resembles a cross between “The Descent” and the Mines of Moria sequence from “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” is aglow with torches and lanterns. The dwarves of the title make their way through the mine at their own peril, intoning ominous-sounding lines like “I don’t remember this being here” and “the mountain’s belly folded” as they attempt to make their way out of the darkness. »
- Michael Nordine
According to the estimates of the Library Of Congress, about 75 percent of all films made during the silent era—a period of rapid development, technical change, and often tremendous creativity—have been lost. Many were junked, others were forgotten, and some were causalities of natural disaster and war at a time when few believed that movies could or should be preserved. Japan, for instance, has lost at least 95 percent of its silent productions—a figure that seems unbelievable for such a storied, well-developed, and commercialized film industry, and less so once you figure in catastrophic earthquakes and Allied bombing.
The work of the French stage magician and cinema pioneer Georges Méliès has had a comparatively strong survival rate, though that still means that only a portion of the 520 films he made during his career exist today, and then sometimes only partially. Méliès, best known for A Trip ...
- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
Between 1896 and 1912, Georges Méliès directed over 500 films, and his work during this crucial period of early cinema has left an indelible legacy in the past century. Pioneering early narrative films and employing theatrical illusions, Méliès’ films are powerful examples of what seemingly “simple” technological achievement can accomplish. Films like “A Trip to the Moon” (1902) and “The Impossible Voyage” (1904) still command attention after all of these years because of the imagination and craft on display.
Now, researchers at the Czech national film archives have found two-minute 1904 silent film “Match de Prestidigitation” by Méliès thought to have been lost forever. In the film, a magician divides himself into two; the doubles then take turns performing magic before joining back together again.
“The reel was titled ‘Les Transmutations Imperceptibles,’ which is the name of another work by Méliès. »
- Vikram Murthi
NEWSAndrzej WajdaJust under a month since his latest film, Afterimage, received its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, the great Polish director Andrzej Wajda (Ashes and Diamonds, Man of Marble) has died at the age of 90.How precious two minutes of film can be! The Czech national film archives have identified a previously lost film by Georges Méliès, says The Guardian: "The two-minute silent film Match de Prestidigitation (“conjuring contest”) from 1904 was found on a reel given to the archives by an anonymous donor, labelled as another film."The digital home of films in the Criterion Collection have moved around over the years, and, as of October 19, will find a new access point as an add-on subscription to Turner's new streaming service, FilmStruck. The service launches October 19.French director F.J. Ossang has surprisingly turned to crowdfunding to finish his new feature, 9 Doigts ("9 Fingers"). Shot in black and white 35 mm, »
Researchers at the Czech national film archives have found a film by early cinema pioneer Georges Méliès that was thought to have been lost forever.
The two-minute silent film Match de Prestidigitation (“conjuring contest”) from 1904 was found on a reel given to the archives by an anonymous donor, labelled as another film.
Continue reading »
- Agence France-Presse
This was a busy year at Tiff, where I was a juror for Fipresci, helping to award a prize for best premiere in the Discovery section. Not only did this mean that some other films had to take a back burner—sadly, I did not see Eduardo Williams’ The Human Surge—but my writing time was a bit compromised as well. Better late than never? That is for you, Gentle Reader, to decide.Austerlitz (Sergei Loznitsa, Germany)So basic in the telling—a record of several days’ worth of visitors mostly to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienberg, Germany—Austerlitz is a film that in many ways exemplifies the critical theory of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin. What is the net effect for humanity when, faced with the drive to remember the unfathomable, we employ the grossly inadequate tools at our disposal?Austerlitz takes its name from W. G. Sebald’s final novel. »
Cover artwork by Mark Reusch for Wolfmen of Mars' new album, Warp Suburbium, aims to depict the album's theme: liven up a suburban neighborhood with fun Halloween mayhem. Also in today's Highlights: program details for the 8th Annual Knoxville Horror Film Fest 2016, the Satanic Panic Room at Fantastic Fest, and the HellsGate Haunted House opening.
Wolfmen of Mars' Warp Suburbium Release Details: From Wolfmen of Mars: "We wanted the album to have a Twilight Zone / Halloween vibe. Artist Mark Reusch (http://misterreusch.com) took the concept of skeletons causing gremlin-esque chaos in an old suburban neighborhood on Halloween night, and came up with the album art."
To learn more about Warp Suburbium, visit:
The latest album from Wolfmen of Mars, Warp Suburbium will be released on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and more on Friday, September 16th, and it is now available on Bandcamp.
- Tamika Jones
Ryan Lambie Sep 9, 2016
For over a decade, Oregon-based studio Laika has honed its own unique kind of animation. Mixing traditional stop motion techniques with 3D printing and CGI, Laika has produced such captivating movies as Coraline, Paranorman and this year’s Kubo And The Two Strings. The indescribably busy studio co-founder, lead animator, producer and now director Travis Knight describes Laika’s hybrid approach as “Cavemen side by side with astronauts”; whether a scene is brought to life with puppets, CGI or a hybrid of both, his films have a foot in both the past and the future.
Kubo And The Two Strings, Laika’s most ambitious film to date, also has one foot in the far east. Set in Heian-era Japan, it’s Knight’s love »
In a medium founded on expanding one’s imagination and perception of reality, no genre does it better than science fiction. We’ve come a long way from the days when Georges Méliès took us to the moon, for today’s filmmakers look far beyond our universe and into the deepest corners of our soul to reflect the current society.
With the latest entry in the Star Trek franchise arriving in theaters this week, we’ve set out to reflect on the millennium’s sci-fi films that have most excelled. To note: we only stuck with feature-length works of 60 minutes or longer and, to make room for a few more titles, our definition of “the 21st century” stretched to include 2000.
Check out our top 50 below and let us know your favorites in the comments. We’ve also put the list on Letterboxd to keep track of how many you’ve seen. »
- The Film Stage
Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Dorothy Davenport becomes a judge and later State Governor in socially conscious thriller about U.S. women's voting rights. Women suffrage movie 'Mothers of Men': Will women's right to vote lead to the destruction of The American Family? Directed by and featuring the now all but forgotten Willis Robards, Mothers of Men – about women suffrage and political power – was a fast-paced, 64-minute buried treasure screened at the 2016 San Francisco Silent Film Festival, held June 2–5. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken back in time by this 1917 socially conscious drama that dares to ask the question: “What will happen to the nation if all women have the right to vote?” One newspaper editor insists that women suffrage would mean the destruction of The Family. Women, after all, just did not have the capacity for making objective decisions due to their emotional composition. It »
- Danny Fortune
The documentary film “Women Who Run Hollywood” from sister filmmaking team Clara and Julia Kuperberg (“This Is Orson Welles,” “John Ford and Monument Valley”) is only 52 minutes long. That is perhaps as eloquent a comment as this rather cursory Cannes Classics title makes about its hot topic — just try to imagine how many hundreds of hours a male-focused counterpart film would run to. But despite evident good intentions, and some excellent interviewees, it is a frustrating effort in many ways, not least of which is its slightly misleading title, which suggests a more contemporary than historical slant. Its more evocative French title translates as “And Women Created Hollywood,” riffing on Roger Vadim’s majestic 1958 monument to paternalistic sexism “And God Created Woman.” It would have been a more accurate and enticing choice.
Following a tried-and-true if largely uninspired format of talking heads and archive footage, “Women Who Run Hollywood” does »
- Jessica Kiang
The new Film Comment is out with articles on Terence Davies, Alan Clarke, Lucile Hadzihalilovic and Juliet Berto in Jacques Rivette's Duelle, reviews of Athina Rachel Tsangari's Chevalier, Whit Stillman's Love & Friendship, Luca Guadagnino's A Bigger Splash, Hong Sang-soo's Right Now, Wrong Then and more. Also in today's roundup: David Bordwell on Orson Welles, Andrew Sarris's 1994 interview with Jean-Luc Godard, Jonathan Rosenbaum on Nicholas Ray and Alain Resnais, Ben Rivers on his influences, appreciations of the work of Georges Méliès, Terrence Malick and Stephen Chow—and much more. » - David Hudson »
An absorbing study of the evolution of a film-making niche that will hold most weight with the movie buffs
A wide-ranging, informative and nicely generous documentary about the unsung – or perhaps more accurately, rarely sung – heroes of the monster-movie universe. Everything from King Kong to Avatar gets a namecheck, via Georges Méliès, Ray Harryhausen, An American Werewolf in London, Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. We get an intense, and necessarily concise, account of the development of technique – how stop-motion evolved into animatronics and on to CGI.
Continue reading »
- Andrew Pulver
Georges Méliès’ A Trip To The Moon, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff, HBO’s “From The Earth To The Moon.” Since the birth of cinema, audiences have been preoccupied with trips to our closest celestial body. Hollywood and Nasa merge once again – this time to tell the story of Captain Gene Cernan in the documentary The Last Man On The Moon.
This is the story of one of the very few men who went to the moon not only once, but twice. He first went to the moon on the Apollo 10 mission. It was the dress rehearsal for Neil Armstrong’s Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. His next flight was Apollo 17, the last time men would go to the moon. Riding aboard a Saturn V rocket, the largest and most powerful and impressive rocket that ever successfully flew, he was on man’s last mission to explore earth’s closest neighbor. »
- Michelle McCue
I’m nominated for an Oscar for Ex Machina’s visual effects, but the increasing sophistication and falling costs of CGI means almost all movies feature it – and it’s no longer the scapegoat for shoddy work elsewhere
Visual effects are not new. They’ve been integral to cinema from the start, from Georges Méliès’s 1902 film A Trip to the Moon to Citizen Kane; from Star Wars to, well, Star Wars again. But unlike other departments such as costume design or sound mixing, the technology that drives VFX advances quickly. This innovation is directly reflected on screen, and when a film seems shoddy, it’s the new and unfamiliar which are often blamed.
Computer-generated imagery has been the technology pushing change in VFX for the past 20 years. The term is something of a misnomer: these effects are no more created by a computer than Microsoft Word creates the modern novel. »
- Andrew Whitehurst
If you’re expecting to see women tied to train tracks or actors running around making fast jerky movements when you watch a silent film, think again
This incorporates several myths all at once. Silent films can be slippery creatures; silent film history more slippery still. So to avoid some smart aleck showing you up at the cinematheque, it is always best to avoid saying that a film is the first example of this, that or the other. You may have seen Metropolis (1927) described as the first science-fiction film, for example. It’s patent nonsense, as anyone who has seen Georges Méliès’s The Trip to the Moon (1902) can attest. So, was The Trip to the Moon the first science-fiction film? Possibly not. With around 80% of silent films currently missing, possibly lost for ever, even the most diligent archivist can’t guarantee that there isn’t an earlier example of anything. »
- Pamela Hutchinson
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