15 items from 2016
The film industry has been around for well over 100 years. Today, Cinelinx looks at some of the famous firsts that set the foundation for the movie industry and made cinema what it is today.
As a bit of trivia to begin with, the first known piece of moving film footage was the The Horse in Motion (1878), a 3-second experiment consisting of 24 photographs shot in rapid succession. It’s just a scene of a jockey riding a horse, but it ultimately led to the development of modern film.
Most early films were short, silent bits of daily life, showing such exciting events as boarding a train, which was captured in The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station (1895). This film footage supposedly scared the bejesus out of the viewing audience, who thought a real train was coming at them and ran for cover. Early films began to include documentary footage and newsreels, »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
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
The Berlin Film Festival’s annual retrospective will be devoted to science fiction films at the 67th edition of the festival unfolding Feb 9-19 in 2017.
The sidebar – Future Imperfect. Science · Fiction · Film” - will screen a total of 27 international features, including classics, cult films and largely unknown productions from countries including Japan as well as central and European Europe.
Describing science fiction films as one of the most “visually stunning and spectacular genres in the history of film”, the festival said the event would focus on two themes: ‘the society of the future’ and ‘the strange and the other’.
“The possible worlds on earth or in space open up a vast scope for re-defining questions of collective visions and fears. So as a mirror for society’s public debates, science fiction »
Earlier this year, it was announced that Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection — perhaps the two most trusted names in the distribution and exhibition of important classic and contemporary cinema — would be joining forces to create a streaming service dedicated to sharing their combined library with cinephiles around the world. For months, it sounded too good to be true. Today, it suddenly became as real as the screen in front of your face.
If the movies are truly as dead as they say, then FilmStruck is nothing short of heaven on Earth. It’s here, it’s alive, and hot damn has it come out of the gate swinging. Hundreds of essential titles are ready to go on launch day, and while hundreds more are imminently on the way, there’s already more than enough to satisfy whatever mood you’re in and scratch itches that you didn’t even know you had. »
- David Ehrlich
The seemingly endless supplies of candy that come with Halloween are always a highlight of the holiday, but one of the sweetest treats for horror fans this time of year is Scream Factory's announcement of upcoming Blu-ray releases. This year is no exception, as Scream Factory has revealed ten new Blu-ray releases due out in 2017, including a Firestarter Collector's Edition, Deadtime Stories, The Screaming Skull, 1998's Psycho, Tales From the Hood, and more.
From Scream Factory: "Okay by now you know we couldn’t let this day go by without some title announcements right? ;-) Here’s some treats to look forward to on Blu-ray in 2017:
- Derek Anderson
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
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. »
Abramorama is now a one-stop shop for theatrical and digital film distribution.
The company has partnered with digital distribution platform Distribber.com to give Abramorama’s new U.S. theatrical titles a digital release. Rather than taking a percentage of a movie’s video-on-demand revenue, however, Distribber.com charges a one-time flat fee and annual fee, letting filmmakers keep 100 percent of revenue generated from subscription services like Amazon Prime and Netflix and from transactional platforms like iTunes. The arrangement prevents artists from having to give up ownership of their intellectual property.
Read More: How This Robert Redford-Narrated Doc Went From Self-Distribution to Finding a Home
“Something that has been our mandate from the beginning is to empower filmmakers so that they’re not signing their lives away,” Abramorama President Richard Abramowitz told IndieWire. Filmmakers whose movies have been released theatrically have traditionally had to give up control of their »
- Graham Winfrey
“It can be said with certainty that any reviewer who pans [Mission to Mars] does not understand movies, let alone like them,” declared Armond White in 2000. While perhaps an over-corrective to the critical drubbing the film had just received, there’s nonetheless a grain of truth in his statement. Far from being a pale imitation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as many reviewers accused, Mission to Mars actively deflates its predecessor’s misanthropy and grandeur – on one level, it’s a lavish, epic-scale lark from a director who’s often been as much a satirist as a craftsman.
With a budget of $100 million, it was and still is the most expensive project Brian De Palma has tackled. It’s also the only straight-up piece of science fiction among his filmography, as well as a relatively wholesome, PG-rated affair – a rarity for this most salacious of mainstream American filmmakers. Originally to be directed by »
- The Film Stage
The movies have been a great inspiration for real-life space programs since Georges Melies gave us A Trip to the Moon, so it's not surprising to learn that members of the movie industry are now actually working for the space industry. No, today's equivalent of Stanley Kubrick hasn't been hired to fake a Mars landing. We're talking a legimate gig. Costume designer Jose Fernandez, of Ironhead Studio (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; Captain America: Civil War), revealed to Bleep magazine that he's been working on real spacesuits for the private aerospace company Space X. He wasn't even aware of who they were when he was contacted to particpate in the bidding process. And then Fernandez, who's worked on numerous sci-fi movies...
- Christopher Campbell
Mars has fascinated astronomers and filmmakers in equal measure. Ever since 1918's "A Trip to Mars," filmmakers have been eager to journey to the red planet. Some of the more memorable movies to land on Mars include "Total Recall" and last year's Oscar-nominated Matt Damon vehicle, "The Martian." With President Obama's recent declaration that a manned mission to Mars could be viable for orbit by the 2030s, our overall renewed fascination with the fourth planet from the sun, and "The Martian" racking in more than $630 million dollars in box office receipts, it was inevitable that Hollywood's focus on the planet would continue. "Approaching the Unknown" is the next one in line. Directed by first-timer Mark Elijah Rosenberg and starring Mark Strong, it follows William D. Stanaforth, an astronaut who heads on a one-way mission to explore the red planet. Of course, since we're dealing with science fiction and the unknown, »
- Jordan Ruimy
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
Science Fiction is a truly beautiful term. On the one hand you have science which many people (rightly or wrongly) count as irrefutable. The other side of the coin gives us fiction. This can literally be whatever the mind can conjure up. Merge the two and you have the best of both worlds, right?
In 2016 it sure seems like that is the case. This year we have the usual culprits. Sequels of reboots, maiden voyage reboots, regular sequels and brand spanking new films. This might be a stretch, but it honestly seems like sci-fi is the place where cinema truly chooses to break new ground.
Think I am wrong? Let's just start with A Trip to the Moon. How about 2001: A Space Odyssey? Lets bring it a little closer to home with Gravity? Now, I know what you are thinking, "Hey moron, there's like a million years between each of those films! »
The silent film era is one of the richest and most interesting periods in the history of motion pictures, though it’s also an era we don’t know as much about as, say, the "golden era" of the 1970s. Yet it’s hard to escape the influence of this age — after all, many hardened cinephiles consider the filmography of directors like Charlie Chaplin and George Melies to be required viewing for anyone who takes cinema seriously as an art form. It was Melies, after all, who gave audiences “A Trip to the Moon,” whose iconographic image of the man in the moon appears in Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo,” and also in this new video essay, which takes a look at the ways in which the silent era was impactful for more contemporary filmmakers. Read More: 12-Minute Video Essay Breaks Down The Art Of Movie Editing In many cases, it »
- Nicholas Laskin
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
15 items from 2016
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