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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
Sidney And The Sixties: Real-time 1957-1966
Throughout the 1950s, Hollywood’s relationship with television was fraught: TV was a hated rival but also a source of cheap talent and material, as in the case of the small-scale Marty (1955), which won the Best Picture Oscar. These contradictions were well represented by the apparently “televisual” 12 Angry Men (1957), which began life as a teleplay concerning a jury with a lone holdout who must, and eventually does, convince his fellow jurors of the defendant’s innocence. Its writer, Reginald Rose, persuaded one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Henry Fonda, to become a first-time producer of the film version. Fonda and Rose took basement-low salaries in favor of future points, and hired a TV director, Sidney Lumet, for next to nothing because Lumet wanted a first feature credit. Technically, there’s an opening bit on the courtroom steps that keeps this from being a true real-time film, »
- 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
By Anjelica Oswald
Films have captured the passage of time in a variety of unique ways throughout the years. Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, which premiered at Sundance this year, presents the movement of time in an unprecedented manner. By filming the same cast three to four days per year for 12 years, Linklater was able to capture the real changes the cast went through instead of relying on CGI, makeup or different actors to show the aging process. The seamless way in which the passage of time is presented could garner a best editing nomination at the 87th Academy Awards. Here are 10 other films portraying the passage of time that have been nominated for best editing (in chronological order):
Gone With the Wind (1939)
The film follows the O’Hara family and how they are affected before, during and after the Civil War, particularly through the eyes of Scarlett O »
- Anjelica Oswald
Are you into horror movies? Well, good news for you, it’s October, which means that there’s going to be a horror moving playing on a screen in basically any direction you look for the whole month. But what of the people out there who are too anxious to be in the room as things are going bump in the night, or too squeamish to watch as gore erupts into geysers? There’s no need for them to worry, because plenty of other types of movies are always being added to Netflix, and here we have a list of 20 recent additions that will get them past Halloween and into November. As always, click on the films’ titles to be taken to their Netflix pages. Pick of the Month: High Noon (1952) Old cowboy movies are fun. Generally they’ve got dusty frontier towns, a handful of good guys trying to uphold the law, a »
- Nathan Adams
Shara Worden, aka My Brightest Diamond, wants you to put your hands up -- on social media. The artist is preparing a Sept. 16 release of her next album, "This Is My Hand," and today HitFix exclusively premieres the title track from the set. Like the full-length, "This Is My Hand" is lush and intense, sensual but confrontational, arranged with detail and imploringly original. All songs feed into an effort that Worden says "tortured" her, at least when it came to crafting lyrics. But it's exactly those hard-fought lyrics that My Brightest Diamond wants fans to riff on: launching today, the songwriter invites listeners to ThisIsMyHand.com, to take a picture that matches the lyrics and use Instagram tags to send her way, to help compile a crowdsourced music video entirely from those images. Head to the website to read all the lyrics and get started. Below, I interview Worden on »
“They said you was hung!”
“They was right!”
Blazing Saddles plays this weekend (August 29th and 30th) at The Tivoli at midnight as part of their Reel Late at the Tivoli midnight series.
And the perfect movie to show in a city that’s in the middle of a race riot is of course….. Blazing Saddles!
I showed the condensed Super-8 version of Blazing Saddles, appropriately enough, at my Super-8 Politically Incorrect Movie Madness show last year at The Way Out Club and there are enough N-words in the 18-minute edit alone to make Paula Dean blush, but damn, this movie just keeps getting funnier as it ages!
Blazing Saddles is my favorite Mel Brooks comedy. Yes, even more than Young Frankenstein – it’s hard to believe Brooks produced both yuk-fests the same year. I just watched his 1977 follow-up High Anxiety on 16mm last weekend for the first time since it was new and Yikes! »
- Tom Stockman
DirecTV is coming Full Circle again, renewing the relationship drama for a 10-episode second season, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Each season follows a group of adults whose lives are unknowingly intertwined. The series’ first season, which was set at a restaurant and written by Neil Labute, featured a cast of TV vets that included David Boreanaz (Bones), Kate Walsh (Private Practice), Julian McMahon (Nip/Tuck), Billy Campbell (The Killing), Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights) and Robin Weigert (Deadwood).
John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary" is a gorgeously photographed, exquisitely acted, richly written tale of the underbelly of faith. At the end of a lackluster summer that seemed full of more malnourished product than normal, it's wonderful to sink your teeth into something like this that has so much to say and does so in so efficient a manner. The film debuted at Sundance to mostly positive reviews, but I'd wager they weren't positive enough. McDonagh, along with his brother Martin, are two of the most vital voices we have in movies at the moment and "Calvary" might pack the heftiest punch of either of their filmographies. At at its center is Brendan Gleeson, a lone man of love against a world of hate. The western iconography is impossible to ignore and indeed, both Gleeson and McDonagh flip some of those conventions on their ear in the film. Gleeson recently »
- Kristopher Tapley
Calvary. The place of the skull, wound through Latin into English from the ancient Aramaic name Golgotha. This is the place, outside the walls of Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified. It’s not exactly a light title for a movie, but writer/director John Michael McDonagh isn’t interested in levity. He opens with a quote from St. Augustine: “Do not despair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.” Referring to the two men crucified next to Christ, it’s an ominous declaration of ambiguity. This film does not aim to end on a note of simple closure. That said, this is not a sober and humorless cry of despair from the heart of Catholicism. That St. Augustine quote has cropped up once before in the work of an iconoclastic Irishman, Samuel Beckett. Waiting for Godot, in its god-killing irreverence, evokes the two thieves as an example of the »
- Daniel Walber
With "summer" blockbuster season becoming increasingly a thing of the past (this year's began in March with Captain America: The Winter Soldier), narrowing down the Best Of shortlist for even half a year's worth of cinema has never been tougher.
Since we're going by UK release dates for this list, we had both the cream of the awards season crop to consider alongside the tentpoles, not to mention a handful of exceptional indie offerings from spring.
Below are Digital Spy's top ten movies of the year so far. Be sure to vote for your favourite in our poll, and leave your own list in the comments!
10. 12 Years a Slave
"Despite the overall lack of McQueen's stamp, the film's physically unflinching treatment of its subject matter is where he does make himself felt. This is a tremendously powerful drama that simultaneously highlights the human capacity for cruelty and for resilience, bolstered by an extraordinary, »
There’s something about the American West that has always inspired creative genius, from the words of Willa Cather and the long-running Gunsmoke to the unfortunate sequels starring the likes of Marty McFly and Fivel. Alright, alright, not all of it is genius. In fact, when the Real Tumbleweeds of Tombstone Pizza Ranch head off to Montana, it was less High Noon and more A Million Ways to Kill Yourself With Boredom in the West. This was certainly the tamest Housewives vacation in recent memory, right? And there were cowboys involved!But because this is a Housewives trip, there are a lot of steps we have to take before they can even get on the plane. Yes, these things have become so ritualized and formulaic that they should take place at Stonehenge on the vernal equinox. Before we can go on the trip, we have to talk about the trip. »
- Brian Moylan
Oldest person in movies? (Photo: Manoel de Oliveira) Following the recent passing of 1931 Dracula actress Carla Laemmle at age 104, there is one less movie centenarian still around. So, in mid-June 2014, who is the oldest person in movies? Manoel de Oliveira Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira will turn 106 next December 11; he’s surely the oldest person — at least the oldest well-known person — in movies today. De Oliveira’s film credits include the autobiographical docudrama Memories and Confessions / Visita ou Memórias e Confissões (1982), with de Oliveira as himself, and reportedly to be screened publicly only after his death; The Cannibals / Os Canibais (1988); The Convent / O Convento (1995); Porto of My Childhood / Porto da Minha Infância (2001); The Fifth Empire / O Quinto Império - Ontem Como Hoje (2004); and, currently in production, O Velho do Restelo ("The Old Man of Restelo"). Among the international stars who have been directed by de Oliveira are Catherine Deneuve, Pilar López de Ayala, »
- Andre Soares
This past week, I was revisiting classic Sean Connery science fiction from the 1980s, and I happened upon Peter Hyams’ High Noon-inspired thriller Outland. In this film, Connery plays a Marshal on Io, a moon of Jupiter. After butting heads with the boss on the moon base, Connery finds himself the target of assassins sent to Io. Their weapons of choice: shotguns. Shotguns… in the future… in space. The climax of the movie played well for plenty of action and thrills, but it did make me ask the same question that Chick (Will Patton) asks of Colonel Willie Sharp (William Fichtner) in Armageddon: “What are you doing with a gun in space?” After considering what is possibly the most level-headed and logical question ever posed in a Michael Bay movie, I got to thinking: Is it really a good idea to have guns in space? The Answer: No. It »
- Kevin Carr
Writer/director Seth MacFarlane trades in a foul-mouthed CGI teddy bear for an equally foul-mouthed sheep farmer (how's that for range?) in his new Western comedy, "A Million Ways to Die in the West." This is a movie that aims to be a modern-day "Blazing Saddles" and succeeds -- well, as far as copying that film's opening credits font, at least.
In addition to directing, co-writing, and producing "A Million Ways to Die in the West," MacFarlane stars in his first major live-action role as Albert, a lovable loser painfully unsuited for life in an 1882 frontier town. But when his girlfriend (Amanda Seyfried) leaves him for the well-off proprietor of the local "moustachery" (Neil Patrick Harris), Albert aims to win her back with the help of a mysterious newcomer named Anna (Charlize Theron), unaware she's the wife of "the most dangerous bandit in the territories" (Liam Neeson).
So, the question is, »
- Rick Mele
High Noon Entertainment is partnering with Mag Interactive to adapt the popular Ruzzle mobile games for U.S. TV. High Noon says it plans to develop and expand the gaming series into a format for both broadcast and cable networks as well as syndication. The social word game allows each player two minutes to find as many words as possible from a given set of letters. Ruzzle is available in 13 different languages and can be played with friends or random players around the world. Exec producers include Jim Berger and Patrick Jager for High Noon, Johan Persson for Mag Interactive as well as mobile gaming expert Peter Levin. »
- THE DEADLINE TEAM
High Noon Entertainment announced Wednesday that it is partnering with Swedish mobile game developer Mag Interactive to adapt its Ruzzle mobile games for U.S. TV.
High Noon plans to develop and expand the series into a format designed for broadcast and cable networks as well as syndication.
The social word game launched in 2012. Similar to the board game Yahtzee, it challenges each player to find as many words as possible from a given set of letters over a span of two minutes. The game has earned over 50 million downloads worldwide, is available in 13 languages and can be played with friends or random players.
“Ruzzle has all the perfect elements of a game format – the rules are simple, anyone can play and there’s a ticking clock, »
- Andrea Seikaly
Tall Tales from the Badlands #3
“The Judgment of the People,” Written by Mark Wheaton; Art by Jerry Decaire
“Rustlers,” Written by Robert Napton; Art by Franco Cespedes
“All Mine,” Written by Matt Dembicki; Art by Ezequiel Rosingana
Published by Black Jack Press
Weird West-style anthology is a perfect blend of Western, Sci-fi, and Horror
What ingredients make up this self-proclaimed “Weird West” anthology from Black Jack Press? It is made up of a hefty dose of Louis L’Amour mixed with an equally strong dose of Stephen King with a very light dash of The Twilight Zone. The writers who provide the scripts for this masterpiece collection were certainly inspired by this strange and unlikely mix of influences. However, each story in the anthology which mixes western and horror »
- Merriell Moyer
The Real Housewives of Orange County" held a hoedown Monday night, but a mechanical bull nearly got the best of Tamra Barney while a raging bull (Heather Dubrow) locked horns with Shannon Beador. Dubrow held a Western-themed party to celebrate the groundbreaking of the oceanfront lot for her new mansion, and the wives traded in their bling and Beamers for boots, cowboy hats and a ride on a mechanical bull. "Leave it to Heather to make dirt look great," said "Tammy Sue" Barney. "She's brought in sets to make it look like a Western." Added Lizzie Rovsek: "The house is »
- Wade Rouse
As much as she stood out from the crowd in her Oscar-winning turn as Edith Piaf, that’s how much Marion Cotillard blends into the unfettered working-class environs of “Two Days, One Night,” a typically superb social drama from directors Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne. Rich in the Dardennes’ favored themes of work, family and the value of money, and infused with the suspense of a ticking-clock thriller, “Two Days” may be dismissed by some as more of the same from the Belgian siblings who rarely stray far from the industrial port town of Seraing. Yet within their circumscribed world, the Dardennes once again find a richness of human experience that dwarfs most movies made on an epic canvas. Cotillard’s presence will assure the widest exposure to date of any Dardenne effort, particularly in the U.S., where IFC will distribute later this year.
Always masters of narrative economy, the »
- Scott Foundas
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