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Best known as Richard Kelly’s go-to cinematographer for Donnie Darko, Southland Tales and The Box, cinematographer Steven Poster will conduct a masterclass on Saturday at the Made in NY Media Center, run by Filmmaker‘s parent organization Ifp. The day begins with a Donnie Darko screening and includes lunch. Curious to know more about Poster’s career beforehand? This half-hour podcast is pretty comprehensive, covering the childhood moment Poster decided he wanted to spend his life working with photography, his learning experiences at his career’s start as part of the second unit on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and, of course, […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
To celebrate the success of the Rosetta mission, we take a timely look at Lifeforce, an exceedingly strange comet-based sci-fi from 1985...
In olden times, comets were seen as portents of death and disaster, so goodness knws what they’d have thought of the Rosetta mission: the ambitious attempt to put a landing craft on the jagged bulk of a comet called Churyumov-Gerasimenko - a delicate procedure that’s still ongoing at the time of writing. Our ancestors probably would have thought we were completely mad. Or in league with the devil for creating such advanced machinery in the first place.
Then again, who knows what they would have thought of Lifeforce, the 1985 film about an exploratory mission to Halley’s Comet, which inadvertently causes a trio of space vampires to attack London - and all from the director Tobe Hooper, who brought us The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Lifeforce is, »
Jean-Luc Godard said that cinema is truth at 24 frames-per-second, but Douglas Trumbull feels it should be 120, or at least 60. The director and special effects wizard behind Blade Runner, Close Encounters of The Third Kind and 2001: A Space Odyssey speculated about the future of cinema at the Tiff Bell Lightbox last weekend as part of a Stanley Kubrick retrospective. A sold-out audience of mostly male cinephiles and tech-heads listened intently to their SFX guru as he denigrated the standard 24 fps format of today’s cinema, though he admitted, “It’s a beautiful medium. I’m not trying to wreck anything.” […] »
- Allan Tong
Directed by Christopher Nolan
A group of explorers make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human space travel and conquer the vast distances involved in an interstellar voyage.
A quick note before I begin the review:
Regardless of what I or others may think about Interstellar, one thing will remain constant; you need to see the film in 70mm IMAX to truly experience the film as the director wanted it to be seen. The advent of digital screening may be, to some, an improvement over film projected at 24 Fps due to clarity unseen before, but nothing can match the beautiful grain and slight imperfections of watching a film. The detail is so rich, you cannot mistake it for anything else and, if for no other reason, »
- Gary Collinson
Interstellar features Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine, but it's the rare Hollywood film where the director is the unquestioned star. This is a Christopher Nolan joint, from its epic scope, its tangled storytelling gymnastics, and its unrivaled insistence on Nsa-level control and pre-release secrecy. The director, who made his name with the backwards-running Memento, and burnished his reputation with the Dark Knight trilogy and the mind-bending Inception, goes all in with Interstellar, an ambitious tribute to the film that most inspired him: Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the near future, Earth is slowly starving and suffocating, »
- Jeff Labrecque
The much-anticipated arrival of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar — which, whatever you think of it, aims to be so very, very, very much more than a “space adventure” — made us think about our favorite space movies since the one that transformed the genre, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Interestingly, there haven’t been that many such films in the ensuing decades. (We’re talking movies about space, not just aliens. So, for example, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or E.T. don’t count, since they’re mostly about aliens coming to Earth, as opposed to what might happen to us out in space.) We also had to butt up against our own limitations here: The vast majority of these films are in English, and we’re sure there are films from Eastern Europe and Japan and many other places that we’re missing. We’re sure folks »
- David Edelstein,Bilge Ebiri
If you say 2001: A Space Odyssey, you lose a testicle. That’s how I feel about the talk around Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar and its comparisons to the Stanley Kubrick classic. Yes, there are a few reasons to mention the almost 50 years old sci-fi epic, but there are also reasons to mention the more than 100 years old A Trip to the Moon. Those are ancient, highly influential basics, and in a way any movie involving space travel should be linked back to them. They’re also understood by anyone to be essentials, so there’s little need for my added recommendation. I’d rather devote this week’s list of movies to see to less obvious works, especially since I’m including more titles than usual with this one. Interstellar is an original feature, but it’s very much drawn from other material, one predecessor of which may have had footage directly transplanted by Nolan. It »
- Christopher Campbell
By Anjelica Oswald
Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar is hoping to join Guardians of the Galaxy, another space-related film, at the top of the box office after it opens Nov. 5 and could garner a best picture Oscar nomination. In the trailer, Matthew McConaughey‘s character says, “We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars; now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt,” so one wonders how often the Academy looks skyward for best picture nominees and if voting members have set a precedent for space films to do well at the Oscars. Though many of the voting members came of age when President John F. Kennedy said we were going to put the first man on the moon, only six space-related films have been nominated for best picture: Gravity (2013), District 9 (2009), Avatar (2009), Apollo 13 (1995), The Right Stuff »
- Anjelica Oswald
It's not often you see a movie on the cover of Time, but here it is. All eyes are on "Interstellar" for the next few weeks. In the cover story, director Christopher Nolan and Oscar contenders Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain and co-star Anne Hathaway talk about the smart science behind the soon-to-be Hollywood blockbuster (go behind-the-scenes of the shoot). "Interstellar" opens Tuesday night, November 4, in 70mm, IMAX and 35mm screens: 4k digital and regular digital will play wide Friday, November 7. Read our Toh! review plus six reasons why the movie isn't a best picture slam dunk here. Our Q&A with Nolan, who reveals that he set out to make a modern-day "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," is here. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
'Interstellar' movie review: 'Ravishing, but overextended mind-bender' (photo: Anne Hathaway in 'Interstellar') There are many intriguing questions raised in director Christopher Nolan's ravishing, overextended mind-bender Interstellar. One of the first: has a theoretical physicist ever received an executive producer credit on a nine-figure, studio movie? Probably not, but if 74-year old Caltech professor Kip Thorne were to find any director willing to tap his intellect for an above-the-line credit, it would be Nolan. His movies are puzzle boxes of plot and theme that have become grander in scope as they've become more opaque in effect. At this point, every Nolan film contains the moment when we ask ourselves if the director himself has completely thought everything through. That's certainly true of Interstellar, where the London-born director and his screenwriter brother Jonathan utilize Thorne's theories on relativity and gravitational physics to bandy about questions as deep »
- Mark Keizer
Remember when Disney announced that J.J. Abrams would direct Star Wars: Episode VII and all of Twitter lit up with lens flare jokes? (Not me. I made a Felicity joke.) Jacob T. Swinney thinks that (possible) overuse of the camera effect has led to an unfair devaluation of the camera effect. He writes,
Lens flares seem to catch a bad rap. While some are simply a stylistic element (and some are even mistakes), there are plenty of thoughtful and symbolic uses of light scattering through the lens. Here is a compilation showcasing the many different types and uses of lens flares in a variety of films.
To prove that, he has made this compilation of purposeful, thoughtful lens flares throughout cinematic history. Or actually, mostly recent films with a few older ones thrown in for cred. Still, he makes a compelling case. Abrams even makes the list. The supercut is »
- Mily Dunbar
The wait is finally over. The veil over one of the year’s most anticipated films has been lifted. So is Interstellar going to be a blockbuster hit? A major Oscar contender? A good movie?
The answer is all three. The film started screening in earnest last week with a Wednesday night “tastemaker” showing at the California Science Center IMAX that was heavily attended by Oscar voters (just as it had been in NYC a couple of nights earlier). But Paramount, as has been the case with all Christopher Nolan films, kept the movie shrouded in secrecy and had put a strict embargo on reviews and plot discussion until this morning (one online trade posted a spoiler-heavy piece after that Wednesday screening, but much of it mysteriously disappeared once the studio saw it in the morning.) There have been numerous screenings since, including a couple for the SAG nominating committee »
- Pete Hammond
Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated sci-fi film Interstellar was recently screened for members of the press, and the reviews are mostly positive. Many of the reviews praise the incredible looking visuals of the film and technical direction, but it seems like the emotional core of the story didn't hit with everyone. I try to stay away from reviews for movies like this until after I see it, but I couldn't help myself this time around. I had to read them! The movie is set to be released in theaters a week from tomorrow, and I already have my tickets to watch it in 70mm IMAX.
I included several excerpts from certain interviews below for you to read. You can click on the links to read the full interviews for each one. Look them over if you want and let us know if they sway your excitement for the movie in any way. »
- Joey Paur
Variety's Scott Foundas on Christopher Nolan's Interstellar: "As visually and conceptually audacious as anything Nolan has yet done, the director’s ninth feature also proves more emotionally accessible than his coolly cerebral thrillers and Batman movies, touching on such eternal themes as the sacrifices parents make for their children (and vice versa) and the world we will leave for the next generation to inherit. An enormous undertaking that, like all the director’s best work, manages to feel handcrafted and intensely personal, Interstellar reaffirms Nolan as the premier big-canvas storyteller of his generation, more than earning its place alongside The Wizard of Oz, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Gravity in the canon of Hollywood’s visionary sci-fi head trips." We're collecting reviews along with related video. » - David Hudson »
To infinity and beyond goes “Interstellar,” an exhilarating slalom through the wormholes of Christopher Nolan’s vast imagination that is at once a science-geek fever dream and a formidable consideration of what makes us human. As visually and conceptually audacious as anything Nolan has yet done, the director’s ninth feature also proves more emotionally accessible than his coolly cerebral thrillers and Batman movies, touching on such eternal themes as the sacrifices parents make for their children (and vice versa) and the world we will leave for the next generation to inherit. An enormous undertaking that, like all the director’s best work, manages to feel handcrafted and intensely personal, “Interstellar” reaffirms Nolan as the premier big-canvas storyteller of his generation, more than earning its place alongside “The Wizard of Oz,” “2001,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Gravity” in the canon of Hollywood’s visionary sci-fi head trips. Global »
- Scott Foundas
They say we don't go to outer space anymore. But Christopher Nolan is doing a pretty good job of faking it. It's October 2013, and we are on the set of code name Flora's Letter, a.k.a. Interstellar, an epic sci-fi adventure that represents the beginning of the director's post-Batman life. Working on the same soundstage where he once built a dank batty cave for Christian Bale to skulk in, the British-American helmer has constructed a starship to take Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway across the universe to find salvation for the human race. On screen that ship, the Endurance, »
- Jeff Jensen
Steven Awalt – author interviewed by Todd Garbarini
“Well, it’s about time, Charlie!”
Dennis Weaver utters these words in my favorite Steven Spielberg film, Duel, a production that was originally commissioned by Universal Pictures as an Mow, industry shorthand for “movie of the week”, which aired on Saturday, November 13, 1971. The reviews were glowing; the film’s admirers greatly outweighed its detractors and it put Mr. Spielberg, arguably the most phenomenally successful director in the history of the medium, on a path to a career that would make any contemporary director green with envy. Followed by a spate of contractually obligated television outings, Duel would prove to be the springboard that would catapult Mr. Spielberg into the realm that he was shooting for since his youth: that of feature film directing. Duel would also land him in the court of Hollywood producers David Brown and Richard Zanuck and get him his »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Two time Oscar nominee Melinda Dillon turns 75 today. Since we don't like any major actresses to totally fade from public consciousness when they stop working, let's look back. Though her last working year was 2007 her most recent high profile gig goes back much further to a SAG nomination as part of the ensemble of Magnolia (1999, pictured left) in which she played wife and mother to Phillip Baker Hall and Melora Walters.
Though she'd been working for a decade before it in small parts (TV guest gigs and improvisational comedy) her first real claim-to-fame came as "Memphis Sue" Woody Guthrie's wife in the Best Picture nominated bio Bound for Glory (1976). She received a Golden Globe nomination for "Best Acting Debut" (a now long defunct category) even though it wasn't her debut. Dillon's breakout led to bigger parts and two well-regarded Oscar nominations though curiously the Globes, who had first honored her, »
- NATHANIEL R
There's no getting around it. Science fiction provides the bedrock for pretty much all of the biggest blockbusters Hollywood is producing at the moment.
Sci-fi moved quickly as Hollywood developed new visual effects to tell vastly different stories. From the transcendent 2001: A Space Odyssey to the galaxy-hopping soap opera of Star Wars, right through to horror Alien and the thrill-ride of Gravity, the genre has proved to be more malleable than any other.
Just this year, we've seen Marvel infuse the superhero movie with a dose of sci-fi in Guardians of the Galaxy - a movie that currently sits on top of the 2014 worldwide box office with a staggering $650 million in ticket sales.
The BFI are also launching »
Lately, it seems like filmmakers have been taking inspiration from Steven Spielberg's classic "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind." Christopher Nolan recently cited it as an influence on his upcoming "Interstellar," and it looks like the movie will also have some fingerprints on Brad Bird's "Tomorrowland." "Another big influence for Jeff Jensen and I when we first started talking about this story was 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' ” screenwriter Damon Lindelof told EW. “Somehow it was able to do what no modern movies are able to do, which is tell a story that doesn’t have a bad guy who is trying to blow up the planet, or giant robots fighting, or lots of karate —though who doesn’t love karate? It was so not plot driven. It was just a pure discovery movie. It was pure what-if. Just that idea of what’s going on here? »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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