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Filmmaker and hip-hop legend RZA made dreams come true for kung-fu fans on a recent Saturday night by programming a double feature of classic martial arts films “Five Element Ninjas” and “House of Traps” at New York’s Metrograph theater.
The original member of the Wu-Tang Clan made three appearances at the event and introduced the 1982 kung-fu titles, both of which were directed by prolific martial arts film director Cheh Chang and produced by Hong Kong’s legendary production company Shaw Brothers. “Five Element Ninjas” follows a young martial artist seeking revenge against the ninja who killed his teacher and brethren, while “House of Traps” centers on a team of skilled fighters making their way through a house rigged with deadly traps.
Both sold out screenings were packed with kung-fu cinema devotees, many of whom felt compelled to express their love for the genre during a Q&A with RZA, »
- Graham Winfrey
Celebrated as a hero of the anti-apartheid struggle, the late South African freedom fighter Solomon “Kalushi” Mahlangu has life-sized statues adorning city squares and a soccer stadium named in his honor. It’s only now, though, that his story has been told on the big screen, thanks to the feature-film debut of Mandla Dube, whose biopic “Kalushi” was a hit this week at the Durban Intl. Film Festival.
Eight years in the making, the movie, which traces the short and revolutionary life of Mahlangu before his execution by the apartheid government at the age of 23, has already been hailed as a “hugely important film” by a leading South African film critic.
For Dube, who once mooted telling Mahlangu’s story in a four-part TV series, “Kalushi” offers a chance to pay tribute to one of the iconic heroes of the liberation struggle on the “large canvas” he deserves.
“I feel »
- Christopher Vourlias
Well, it’s just speculation right now, but this is potentially some very exciting news. Word trickled down over the weekend that Warner Brothers has moved the release date of Ben Affleck’s next project behind the camera, the crime epic Live by Night. Originally, we were scheduled to get it in October of this year, before it was delayed a year to October of 2017, partly to accommodate Affleck becoming Batman. Now, we’ve gotten notice that the WB has it opening in early January of 2017, which is right where American Sniper hit a few years back. As such, it’s almost a foregone conclusion now that it’ll get a qualifying run in December and be a part of the 2016 awards season. Make room folks, as a huge new contender could be joining the early stages of the race, potentially as the last player we’ll get this year. »
- Joey Magidson
Wme has signed Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson.
Richardson is one of just three living directors of photography to win three Academy Awards. In addition, Richardson’s work has garnered him 10 Asc awards as well as nine Academy Award and four BAFTA nominations. His previous credits include “Platoon” and “Born on the Fourth of July,” directed by Oliver Stone; Scorsese’s “Casino”; “Fast, Cheap & Out of Control” for director Errol Morris, as well as “Inglorious Bastards,” “Django Unchained” and “The Hateful Eight,” directed by Quentin Tarantino.
- Justin Kroll
Exclusive: Wme has signed three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson, whose most recent credit is Quentin Tarantino’s Cinemascope Western The Hateful Eight, which earned him his ninth Oscar nomination. He just wrapped production on Ben Affleck’s Live by Night for Appian Way and Warner Bros. Richardson won Oscars for Oliver Stone’s JFK and Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator and Hugo. His credits also include Stone’s Platoon and Born on the Fourth of… »
Phedon papamichael might not have the name identification of such fellow directors of photography as Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki or Roger Deakins, but his status among his peers is no less elite. He has brought out the best in directors like Alexander Payne, James Mangold and Gore Verbinski. And he has demonstrated a mastery of several genres, from psychological thrillers to dramedies, from biopics to Westerns, from arthouse curios to mega-budget blockbusters.
If cinematographers like to think of themselves as chameleons, Papamichael prides himself on an oeuvre in which no two movies look alike.
“It’s not really applying a style, it’s really adjusting to the story,” says Variety’s latest Billion Dollar Cinematographer. “Not just that, it’s really saving all those decisions — (involving) the performances and locations and actors — until you have all the elements unfold in front of you the moment you’re about to do it. »
- Steve Chagollan
If supercuts featuring a director and — by extension — cinematographer’s predilection for a specific color or camera movement have watered down the field of video essays, today brings a series that reinstates an informative, technical approach to better understand what goes into crafting an image with light. Cinematography Database, coming from Dp Matt Workman, resembles something closer to a visual podcast as he takes anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour to break down each feature.
With a first batch including Robert Richardson‘s The Hateful Eight, Roger Deakins‘ Hail, Caesar!, John Seale‘s Mad Max: Fury Road, Emmanuel Lubezki‘s The Revenant, Matthew Libatique‘s Straight Outta Compton, and Dariusz Wolski‘s The Martian, he uses mostly behind-the-scenes stills to dissect the equipment and lighting techniques at play in each feature. While the series may not widely appeal to those looking to dive into how cinematography conveys the themes of a film, »
- Jordan Raup
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema. In poverty-stricken postwar Rome, a man is on his first day of a new job that offers hope of salvation for his desperate family when his bicycle, which he needs for work, is stolen. With his young son in tow, he sets off to track down the thief. »
- TFS Staff
Did Quentin Tarantino stumble this time out? His tale of western killers sharing a snowbound cabin builds almost zero suspense, and the verbal excess and violent grossness lack Tarantino's usual clever, wickedly funny edge. And 70mm cooped up in a dim interior? It's A Long Day's Journey into Lincoln Logs. Totally dig Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ennio Morricone, though. The Hateful Eight Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Anchor Bay / Weinstein 2015 / Color / 2.76 widescreen (Ultra Panavision 70) / 187 min. / Street Date March 29, 2016 / 39.99 Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Bruce Dern, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Demián Bichir, Michael Madsen, James Parks, Dana Gourrier, Zoë Bell, Lee Horsley, Gene Jones, Channing Tatum. Cinematography Robert Richardson Film Editor Fred Raskin Original Music Ennio Morricone Production Design Yohei Taneda Produced by Richard N. Gladstein, Shannon McIntosh, Stacey Sher Written and Directed by Quentin Tarantino
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Quentin Tarantino's opening title sequence card announces »
- Glenn Erickson
With a filmography that spans nearly 40 years, Demián Bichir has had more than his fair share of ups and downs throughout his career. In the mid-80s, he moved to New York and then Los Angeles to pursue his craft, but he was eventually drawn back to Mexico, where he became one of his home country's biggest box office stars. He won an Ariel Award, the Mexican equivalent of an Oscar, for his role in 'Til Death in 1994, and his 1999 blockbuster Sex, Shame and Tears became the highest-grossing movie in the country's history. While he was a bona fide star in Mexico, he would only gain the attention of American audiences nearly a decade later
His portrayal of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro in 2008's Che (Part 1) and Che (Part 2) helped put Demián Bichir on one Hollywood map, as well as his portrayal of Tijuana mayor/drug kingpin Esteban Reyes on Showtime's Weeds. »
'The Aviator' movie with Leonardo DiCaprio as bizarre billionaire Howard Hughes: Bloated biopic. 'The Aviator' movie review: What's not good for the Spruce Goose… Imagine Citizen Kane directed by the Steven Spielberg of The Color Purple, Schindler's List, Amistad, and Saving Private Ryan. The final result would look something like a Barry Levinson film – for instance, the superficial and phony Bugsy. Or, an even more appropriate example, the superficial, phony, and bloated The Aviator. Except, of course, that Levinson is not the man responsible for the 2004 mega-production starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the eccentric, billionaire ladies' man Howard Hughes. Strangely enough, that man is Martin Scorsese, the director of hard-hitting films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Gangs of New York. Scorsese, a fan of Old Hollywood, apparently wanted to have some fun with the reported $110 million budget (approx. $138 million in 2016) made available to him. The director no doubt had a ball while making The Aviator, »
- Andre Soares
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
88:88 (Isiah Medina)
What has set cinema back — both from the perspective of those who make, and those who write about it — are the binaries chosen to be created and propagated, be it taste, modes of production, or genre, essentially what forms “correct” cinema, in terms either classical or experimental. So there’s more and more hope that a film can come along that hopefully defies the tradition of quality, »
- TFS Staff
If you agree with cinematographer Robert Richardson that no other director has matched the cinematic knowledge of Quentin Tarantino — yes, even besting Martin Scorsese — today brings a video that will help support the theory. He’s built a career on probing the history of cinema to turn it into something that is distinctly his style, and The Hateful Eight was no exception.
Ollie Paxton has created a quick, three-minute video show the many references, both commenting on his own previous features, as well as classics from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly to Lawrence of Arabia to Stagecoach to the obvious nod to The Thing. While a few of the connections are a bit tenuous, it will surely have you looking at his western drama in a new light.
- Jordan Raup
When one makes themselves a go-to man for both Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese, it’s safe to say you’ll receive more attention than the average cinematographer. Robert Richardson is no average artist, anyway. The palette brought to their recent films — dreamy, bright, with a special emphasis on theatrical, top-down lighting — makes him as close to an auteur as anybody currently working in the field, and he’s established that reputation while respecting a visually minded director’s rhythms.
In short, it’s also safe to say a 25-minute interview where Richardson discusses The Hateful Eight is worth a listen. Provided herein are plenty of tidbits on the difficulties and joys of shooting Tarantino’s latest feature; perhaps more interesting, though, are the various tidbits about the how and why of his collaborators’ methods. (Take, for instance, the off-handed comment that he “would give the edge” to Tarantino, film-knowledge-wise, »
- Nick Newman
When Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki won the cinematography Oscar for his work on “The Revenant” on Sunday night — his third consecutive in the category — he was tempted to make a joke in his speech. “I wanted to say, ‘To my family and friends: Lower your expectations.’ ”
He’s only somewhat kidding. It’s the morning after his historic win for “The Revenant,” which also took home honors for director Alejandro G. Inarritu and star Leonardo DiCaprio, and Lubezki is aware he’s unlikely to ever top this year: No director of photography before him has won three consecutive Academy Awards. “I am the luckiest cinematographer in the world,” notes the 51-year-old, Mexico City-born Lubezki. “My daughters think that going to the Oscars is a normal thing that happens every year, and it’s not. I might never come back to the Oscars. I might never get another nomination again.”
Guido Vitti »
- Jenelle Riley
Awards season comes to a glitzy end tonight with Sunday's broadcast of the Academy Awards.
Chris Rock returns to host one of the most competitive races in years -- with front-runners emerging late in the game, or not at all, in some categories. Will "The Revenant" sweep? Will Leo finally take home an Oscar? Can "Spotlight" ride its early buzz into the winners' circle?
We'll be updating the winners' list throughout the show. So make sure to check back to see who won, and who lost.
"Spotlight" -- Winner
Charlotte Rampling, "45 Years"
- Phil Pirrello
Kicking off at 8:30Pm Est tonight is the 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock. Leading the pack of nominations is The Revenant, which picked up 12 nominations, while Mad Max: Fury Road is close behind with 10, The Martian had 7, while Carol, Bridge of Spies and Spotlight each picked up 6, so we’ll have to see who comes out on top. We’ll be live updating the winners below (in red) with more coverage on Twitter.
Update: See the full list of winners below, topped by Spotlight, while Mad: Max Fury Road picked up the most with six.
- Jordan Raup
Ben Affleck has posted the first photo from the set of "Live By Night", the adaptation of Dennis Lehane's Prohibition-era crime thriller which Affleck is both starring in and directing. The shot includes both Affleck and his cinematographer Robert Richardson in between takes conversing. The film itself is slated for release in 2017. [Source: Twitter]
An adaptation of Peter Liney's trilogy by scribe Grant Myers ("The Maze Runner"), the story is set on an island from which there's no escape. Christian Angermayer and Basil Iwanyk will produce. [Source: Deadline]
- Garth Franklin
Less of a teaser for his own film and more a nod to The Hateful Eight cinematographer Robert Richardson, who happens to be up for an Oscar for his work on Tarantino’s brutal Western, Affleck took to Twitter to post the still image of the pair taking a break during filming back in the fall. Since then, we’ve glimpsed additional set photos that place Affleck and co-star Zoe Saldana in the Roaring ’20s.
Based on Dennis Lehane’s (Shutter Island, Mystic River) Prohibition-era crime epic, Live By Night places Affleck’s in the shoes of Joe Coughlin, a Boston renegade who flies in the face of his proud family name by indulging in petty crime. »
- Michael Briers
Oscar Voting Closes Today! Ceremony This Sunday.
The Film Experience had quite a scare earlier this season when it was suggested that the Academy might change the number of nominees per category (ostensibly to promote diversity though it would send a terrible message of "now, you might be worthy with more slots. might not" We still don't know if they'll spring this ghastly proposition on us and whether it will ruin every chart and stat for the future. The varying number of nominees in Best Picture already makes for messy comparisons from year to year which used to be half the fun.
The sacrosanct number is 5 and it should not ever change. Any deviation from 5 feels blasphemous as in those years when Original Song or Short Films kept changing the number or the continued satanic tradition of denying the Makeup and Hairstylist branch two of their deserved nominations each year »
- NATHANIEL R
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