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15 articles


Watch: Stan Brakhage at Work on Very and Night Mulch

6 hours ago

If nothing else, I owe Stan Brakhage for my irrational fear of childbirth ever since I was forced to sit through a collegiate projection of Window Water Baby Moving. Often polarizing for those new to the medium, it’s impossible to deny Brakhage’s ingenuity in his tactile use of film. His oeuvre seems to erase the boundary between method and the means by which to achieve it, which becomes all the more peculiar once you seem him in action. Phil Solomon, a fellow experimental filmmaker and collaborator, has uploaded a handful of videos of Brakhage, in the classroom and out, which The Seventh Art says will serve as the basis […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Watch: China’s OnePlus One Smartphone Trumps Canon 5D Mark III’s Resolution

7 hours ago

Giacomo Mantovani sent over this test video to No Film School, which compares China’s OnePlus One smartphone camera with Canon’s 5D Mark III, which both have 1080p capacity. Some of the side-by-side comparisons aren’t exactly the same: some of the OnePlus One footage cropped 300% is from a 4K file, while the 5K Mark III is only 1080p. The non-cropped footage from both cameras is at 1080p. As Mantovani writes, “The sole aim of this test is to compare how the OnePlus One performs in respect to the Canon 5D Mark III in a ideal light condition. In this case […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Stray Links, 8/18-8/21: Orson Welles’ First Film is Online, The Purge in Texas and Chinese Film History

10 hours ago

This week’s round-up of suggested reading is all film-related for a change: • The China Digital Times conducts a long, fascinating interview with Paul Pickowicz, an authority on Chinese cinema who talks about studying film in China from 1982-83 as an “unwelcome guest,” shifting trends in national anxieties as expressed on-screen through the decades, how long-dead political affiliations shape the government’s choice of which films from pre-1949 to promote as canonical, and much more. It may be the most interesting film-related thing I’ve read all week. • Kurmanzhan Datka: Queen of the Mountains, a Kyrgyzstani epic about a 19th-century hero, […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Watch: Martin Scorsese on The Films of Rossellini, Cassavetes, Minnelli and More

20 August 2014 12:32 PM, PDT

More than any other American director working today, Martin Scorsese retains perhaps the most encyclopedic set of knowledge when it comes to his cinematic forbearers. Two years ago, Fast Company distilled 85 references made throughout the course of a four hour interview on Hugo, and dubbed it “Martin Scorsese’s Film School.” Flavorpill went ahead and paired the majority of those titles with pre-existing commentary from the filmmaker’s documentaries, A Personal Journey Through American Movies and My Voyage to Italy, to create a comprehensive video essay. Watch above for Scorsese’s insight into everything from Two Weeks in Another Town to Faces, Italian Neo-Realism (Rossellini) to pre-noir gangster films (Walsh), and much more. »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Trailer Watch: Kink, the Bdsm Documentary from “25 New Faces” Alum Christina Voros

20 August 2014 10:02 AM, PDT

“If pornography were high school, we would be the goth table,” says one of the subjects of Christina Voros’ forthcoming documentary Kink, which looks at Kink.com, the web’s largest generator of Bdsm porn. Voros was one of our “25 New Faces of Film” in 2008; you can read that profile here. Since then, she’s been very busy, especially as a cinematographer. Notably, since 2009 she’s regularly served as James Franco’s Dp on shorts and features, including the recent Child of God and As I Lay Dying. Kink promises to delve deep and familiarize viewers with the producers of Bdsm porn. […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Life’s Compass: Talena Sanders on Liahona

20 August 2014 7:15 AM, PDT

Liahona begins with distant figures walking silently through a field. It is nighttime, and both the sky and the ground seem to sparkle. The people move slowly while wearing glittering and flickeringly feathered costumes that, from a distance, make them appear to be extraterrestrial. Within the scope of modern American culture, perhaps they are: they’re members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, known more commonly as Mormons. This opening sequence of American filmmaker Talena Sanders’s 2013 debut feature — which will screen in September at Brazil’s Indie Festival, following sessions at FIDMarseille and at last year’s New York Film Festival — […] »

- Aaron Cutler

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Nyff Announces Spotlight on Documentary Selections: Films From Maysles, Blank, Scorsese

19 August 2014 1:33 PM, PDT

The New York Film Festival took some haranguing after announcing the inclusion of only one documentary in their Main Slate a week ago. Rectifying matters is their Spotlight on Documentary lineup, which features new works from Albert Maysles, Les Blank, Frederick Wiseman, Martin Scorsese and assorted filmmaking giants. I will, of course, also be looking forward to the New York premiere of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing follow-up, The Look of Silence, which is said to be an exemplary companion piece, and Arthur Jafa’s Dreams Are Colder Than Death, which is perhaps more topical than ever. Check out the full list of films […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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Last Looks: The 2014 Locarno Film Festival

19 August 2014 12:30 PM, PDT

[Paul Dallas' first report can be read here.] Time wasted and time well spent — a ratio every festivalgoer has to work out when gambling on what to see and miss. At Locarno this year, one had to decide whether or not to devote five hours and forty minutes to a single competition film, the equivalent of four Italian classics from the wonderful Titanus retrospective. It wasn’t easy when the former was Lav Diaz’s From What Is Before, an early frontrunner and eventual winner of the Golden Leopard, and the latter all screened on 35mm — an increasingly powerful incentive […] »

- Paul Dallas

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Watch: The Evolution of Title Sequences

19 August 2014 10:52 AM, PDT

Title sequences just aren’t what they used to be. Nowadays, if they aren’t entirely absent, opening credits are relegated to the corner of the frame, an afterthought accessory to a film’s first scenes. This video from Nora Thös and Damian Pérez entitled “The Film Before The Film,” examines the history of credit sequences from the first Edison films to the age of pioneering designers like Saul Bass and Maurice Bender, through the advent of AfterEffects in the 1990s. Ironically, with all the more tools now at filmmakers’ disposal, titles have recessed into something of a lost art outside of Bond films and other (relatively) aesthetically high-brow big-budgets. “The […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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“Burn That Film! Burn It!” Tsui Hark and Patrick Lung Kong on A Better Tomorrow

19 August 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

It’s not every day a director comes on stage in Buddhist monk’s garb and slippers, but such was Patrick Lung Kong’s refreshingly idiosyncratic appearance Saturday night at Queens’ Museum of the Moving Image, two days into a two weekend retro of his work. To his right was Tsui Hark, who himself reshaped the Hong Kong film industry multiple times: with 1986′s Peking Opera Blues, a breakthrough moment for international recognition of Hk martial arts fare, 1992′s Once Upon a Time in China, and as producer on John Woo’s 1986 A Better Tomorrow, among many other instances. 1967′s The Story of […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Trailer Watch: Giuseppe Makes a Movie (Red Band)

18 August 2014 2:39 PM, PDT

From Cinelicious Pics comes this trailer for Adam Rifkin’s Giuseppe Makes a Movie, a portrait of the Ventura, CA-based no-budget cult filmmaker Guiseppe Andrews. Rifkin has known Andrews for 15 years, back from the days of Detroit Rock City, Said Rifkin to Filmmaker‘s Lauren Wissot, “This shy and respectful kid started cranking out no-budget films one after another, and every one of them was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I’m really hard to shock and these were crazy. Insane. But not a forced, ‘hipster trying to be weird for weird sake,’ kind of insane – these were genuine […] »

- Scott Macaulay

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Watch: A New Algorithm Near-Seamlessly Edits Footage from Multiple Cameras

18 August 2014 12:45 PM, PDT

Disney has a research division, and this video demonstrates something pretty cool they’ve been working on: an algorithm that automatically cuts together footage from multiple cameras. This isn’t entirely a new development: in the video above, the research team compares their results with those obtained using Vyclone, which kind of does the same thing. But Vyclone has trouble sorting footage in an orderly fashion if the camera pans between two separate actions happening in the same area, tending to randomly cut between the two. There are other advantages to Disney’s algorithm, which respects the 180-degree-rule when cutting between multiple sources, […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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Watch: Breaking Down the Essay Film

18 August 2014 10:28 AM, PDT

With the Chris Marker series underway at Bam this week, it seems like a topical time to share this 2013 rumination on the essay film from Kevin B. Lee. Lee purports that the essay diverges from the rest of cinema in how it “[explores] its subject and at the same time [explores] how it sees its subject.” Words, images and sound interact and inform one another, producing a commentary that is often relegated to the external, or the conscience of the viewer. In his visual discussion of the three pillars of an essay film, Lee draws on Marker’s own Sans Soleil, Godard […] »

- Sarah Salovaara

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A Guide to the World of Film Podcasts

18 August 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

A few years ago I was doing a 30-minute internet radio show and decided one day to re-purpose it as a podcast. I thought, why not? Public radio shows like This American Life and Radiolab were doing it. I was also realizing that I was wasting my time being on the radio at all. Filmwax Radio was not public radio, and I assumed correctly that only a relatively small number of people were tuning in. I also thought that going podcast-only would be an opportunity to change my show’s format. I’d no longer be constrained by a 30-minute slot, nor […] »

- Adam Schartoff

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Woody’s Magic Routine

18 August 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

At the end of Manhattan, perhaps Woody Allen’s masterpiece, he lies on a couch and lists all the things that make life worth living. As a twelve-year-old, I thought it was the coolest and hippest list I’d ever heard. Groucho Marx, Willie Mays, the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, Louis Armstrong’s recording of Potato-head Blues, Swedish movies, Sentimental Education by Flaubert, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, those incredible apples and pears by Cézanne, the crabs at Sam Wo’s, and Tracy’s face. But as I’ve gotten older, I see that list differently. It’s a list to reaffirm a sense of self. […] »

- Noah Buschel

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