12 items from 2015
Musical innovators Asian Dub Foundation will perform their latest live soundtrack to George Lucas’ 1971 visionary cult sci-fi classic Thx 1138 at ten venues nationwide in October 2015, following its UK premiere at the Barbican on 19th June.
Retaining much of Lalo Schiffrin’s distinctive score and soundtrack, Asian Dub Foundation’s sparse and beautiful new interpretation creates a memorable live experience to Lucas’ chilling, stylistic dystopian fantasy where mood-stabilising drugs are mandatory, sex is prohibited, and a young Robert Duval rages against the system. Talking about the project for the Barbican podcast, Steve Savale of Adf says, “after the success of Battle of Algiers and La Haine I wanted to find a film that’s technically possible to rescore so that audiences can actually watch the film and experience the music live… it was very important to respect the avant-garde, »
From the imagination of director Guillermo del Toro comes a supernatural mystery starring Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam. Yep, I'm sold, even if del Toro’s has had mixed results in his career thus far. But the cast of his upcoming movie “Crimson Peak” is superb, even if “Pacific Rim” actor Hunnam can be a dud if not used properly. Read More: The Films Of Guillermo Del Toro: From Worst To Best The movie is a romantic gothic horror focusing on a seductive stranger, a stolen heart, and a young woman swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay. Del Toro has explored these themes before, but as a movie with an erotic and romantic edge, this promises to be something special. And with this cast to bolster it, could “Crimson Peak” be del Toro’s best film to date? Produced by Legendary Pictures, »
- Edward Davis
George Lucas didn't just create the "Star Wars" universe. The filmmaker, who turns 71 on May 14, pretty much created the cinematic universe we live in now, the ones whose cornerstones include the Thx sound system at your multiplex, the Pixar movies that have dominated animation for the past 20 years, and the Industrial Light & Magic special-effects house, whose aesthetic has ruled the Hollywood blockbuster for nearly four decades. He's the pioneer of the effects-driven action spectacle and the conversion from celluloid to digital, the two trends that, for better and worse, have defined Hollywood's output for nearly 20 years.
As ubiquitous as Lucas and his creations loom in our cinematic dreamscapes, there's still a lot that most people don't know about him, from how he got his start to the famous folks who mentored him or were mentored by him, from the size of his fortune to what he plans to do now »
- Gary Susman
The Star Wars franchise is going strong 38 years later. But what about the artists and filmmakers who helped make the 1977 original a hit?
In theatres all over the world in 1977, audiences thrilled at the sights and sounds of Star Wars. Harking back to a bygone age of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, it also pointed forward to the coming age of ubiquitous computers and special effects-led blockbusters.
But while the triumphant fanfare of John Williams' score gave Star Wars a confident swagger, its success was far from preordained. George Lucas reworked his script time and again; studios turned his concept down; even the production was rushed and torturous.
By now, the contribution George Lucas, John Williams and Star Wars' cast made to cinema is well documented. But what about some of the other artists, technicians and fellow filmmakers who helped to make the movie such a success? Here's »
It may be popular to hate on George Lucas, but there is a very good reason for that. The man came storming out of the gate with three great films, Thx 1138, American Graffiti and Star Wars, the latter of which of course spawned a mammoth franchise which he dictated the course of (though he didn’t direct The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi). After that, he didn’t direct a single movie for another 22 years.
The hype around 1999’s Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace was immense, and as everyone knows, the movie just didn’t live up to the hype: filmmaking had changed a lot over those two decades, and Lucas’ appropriation of new technology didn’t serve an underwritten script well at all.
Lucas proved with his prequel trilogy the problem with enormous success: if you make enough money, nobody is going to »
- Jack Pooley
When fans of the V/H/S horror anthology franchise picked up the recently released Blu-ray of the third and latest installment, 2014’s V/H/S: Viral, they may have stumbled on something special after the credits had rolled: an all new segment called “Gorgeous Vortex” from writer/director Todd Lincoln (The Apparition). A beautifully shot, dialogue-free collage of nightmare images not included in the theatrical cut of the movie, “Gorgeous Vortex” is now available exclusively on the Blu-ray and DVD of V/H/S: Viral.
Daily Dead recently spoke with Lincoln about “Gorgeous Vortex” and his participation in the horror anthology.
Could you give a little background as to how you came to be involved with the third V/H/S film?
Todd Lincoln: It’s funny how I got involved. One of the V/H/S producers approached me while I was devouring cookies in the Topanga Canyon mall. »
- Patrick Bromley
When Dennis Hopper’s prostate cancer recurred five years ago, he died abruptly at 74, just before postproduction of his last movie, a fond satire of the industry called The Last Film Festival. But on March 10, writer/director Linda Yellen launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the last $90,000 she needs to finish the film. Yellen, who began as a film critic earning $25 per review at The Hollywood Reporter, earned a third-place award at the New York Film Festival up against George Lucas’ Thx 1138 and Martin Scorsese’s Italian American, and directed 12 films and TV hits
- Tim Appelo
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
…there were a whole bunch of brilliantly cool easter eggs just waiting for Star Wars fans to discover – should they take the time to squint hard and look out for them. As far as fictional universes go, Star Wars ranks pretty high up the list, which means that the films are jam-packed with a whole host of delicious tidbits, references, in-jokes, nods and meta moments – all of which serve to make life a lot more grand for aficionados.
So whilst a lot of Star Wars easter eggs are rather well-known amongst fans (those “Thx 1138″ references, for example – who doesn’t know about them?), there are also quite a lot of easter eggs that even the most dedicated Star Wars might have missed. These are the eggs that have been hidden deep within the depths of the Star Wars »
- Sam Hill
Who doesn’t love the Indiana Jones franchise (well, the first three at least)? And who doesn’t love catching or hearing about sly movie Easter eggs? Well, you’re in luck, because George Lucas and Steven Spielberg ensured to include plenty of cameos, sneaky references to their prior work (namely Thx 1138 and the Star Wars franchise) and other clever visual nods in their classic Harrison Ford-starring adventure series in order to keep audiences on their toes.
So well massaged into the four adventure flicks (yes, even the fourth one) are these Easter eggs that they’ve most likely made it past all but the keenest eyes, and as such if you did manage to spot any of them without assistance, give yourself a firm pat on the back. These blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments provide a little added value for film buffs and further reflect the series’ playful tone. »
- Jack Pooley
Triple Oscar-winner to be honoured with the Vision Award.
The 68th Locarno Film Festival (Aug 5-15) is to give its Vision Award - Nescens to award-winning editor and sound designer Walter Murch. The award has previously been given to special effects wizard Douglas Trumbull and “Mister Steadicam” Garrett Brown.
Murch worked with George Lucas on Thx 1138 (1971) and American Graffiti (1973) and Francis Ford Coppola on The Rain People (1969), The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974) and The Godfather: Part II (1974).
His work with Coppola as sound designer on Apocalypse Now won him his first Oscar in 1980.
Following his own directorial debut in 1985 with Return to Oz, he subsequently won two more Academy Awards for both sound and film editing on Anthony Minghella’s The English Patient (1996) – the first and only time in history the same person has won the Oscar in both categories. In this respect he was repeating an earlier record set when he won double BAFTA awards in 1975 for »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Rome – Walter Murch, the multiple-Oscar-winning U.S. film editor and sound designer, whose name is closely linked to 1970’s directors such as George Lucas (“Thx 1138″ and “American Graffiti”) and Francis Ford Coppola, will be honored by the Locarno Film Festival with its Vision Award – Nescens dedicated to those whose intuitions and skills have left their mark on film history.
“Murch’s career has embraced first sound and then film editing, pursuing a concept of audio-visual composition that treats the two as inseparable,” the prominent Swiss fest dedicated to indie filmmaking pointed out in a statement.
Case in point is Coppola’s “The Conversation,” for which Murch won double BAFTA awards, for both sound and film editing, in 1975. His other credits with Coppola include “The Rain People,” “The Godfather,” and “Apocalypse Now,” for which he won his first Oscar, for best sound, in 1980. Murch subsequently won two more Academy Awards, »
- Nick Vivarelli
Every now and then, I find myself suddenly and unexpectedly angry at George Lucas, but not for reasons that have anything to do with "Star Wars." There has been a refrain we've heard from him over and over during the past couple of decades, where he talks about returning to his roots and making experimental films that could never exist inside the studio system, movies that aren't created to be commercial product, but that come from a very personal place. And over and over, those comments lead nowhere and nothing happens. I'd love to see him do it, though. I have a huge fondness for "Thx-1138," Lucas's first feature film, which evolved out of a student film he made. I take Lucas at his word that commercial filmmaking was never meant to be the complete detour it became after "American Graffiti" and "Star Wars" both blew up into mega-hits, »
- Drew McWeeny
12 items from 2015
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