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Cinematography legends Vittorio Storaro (“Apocalypse Now,” “The Conformist”) and Ed Lachman (“Far From Heaven,” “Carol”) have been friends for 40 years. Lachman reveres Storaro’s work and leadership — but doesn’t hesitate to say he doesn’t share Storaro’s love for digital cameras.
“They can talk about 14-stop exposure range, but the color separation is different,”said Lachman. “The chemistry of R, G, B the three [color] layers — to me, it’s like an etching in the chemical process of the development. For me, there are certain films that should be photographed photographically, chemically… I can tell there’s a difference in the feeling of the film.”
The debate was part of a 90-minute conversation at the New York Film Festival October 11, moderated by festival director Kent Jones. Storaro talked about his positive transition to digital cinematography, which came largely through his collaboration with Woody Allen who directed the festival’s closing-night film, »
- Chris O'Falt
Robb Sheppard Oct 13, 2017
The Hot Shots! movies were the peak of spoof cinema in the 1990s. We take a look back...
Spoof. Say it aloud. Feels like a dirty word doesn’t it?
Aside from even sounding slightly smutty, the spoof movie genre has, of late, been sullied by (five!) Scary Movies, Meet The Spartans and - oh, the irony - Disaster Movie. Transitory, devoid of wit and with the lowest common denominator in their crosshairs, these movies aimed for the tittering teenager, the cheap thrill-seeker and the perpetually stoned.
Perhaps the above seems like a sweeping generalisation, but it’s with good cause. Where these movies and even the term spoof itself have since been eschewed, there remains a series of films which occupy a place of fondness in the heart of - including yours truly, obvs - many a film fan: the Zaz movies.
The writing, directing and producing partnership of David Zucker, »
Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” has been hailed as his best film, a triumphant followup to his iPhone-shot “Tangerine” set in an Orlando budget motel that has wowed audiences at festivals around the world. Raves have singled out his six-year-old star, Brooklynn Prince, and Willem Dafoe as the hotel manager, both of whom anchor an extraordinary, heartbreaking drama.
But last summer, towards the end of production on “The Florida Project,” Baker confessed he was in hell. He compared his challenges to Francis Ford Coppola’s experiences on “Apocalypse Now” – living in fear that the production was constantly on the verge of collapse and sincerely wondering if the footage he was bringing back to New York to edit could be turned into a movie.
“Like all of my films, there’s still an element of not having control,” said Baker in an interview with IndieWire. For the film, he continued »
- Chris O'Falt
It’s been almost one full year since Shane Abbess’ Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child made its world premiere at Fantastic Fest late September 2016. We recently caught up with Shane to talk about his film. We discussed everything from production design to music to the economy of the film, notably the team’s efforts getting shots both done in budget in a timely manner. However, aside from a handful of scenes, you’d expect that he had the luxury of resources to build this fascinating world.
Culled from favorite childhood experiences/films, cherry-picked tropes from specific genres, and aimed at giving the audience things they’ve never seen before , the result of Abbess’ work is one of the most impressive sci-fi films this year. A long time coming for those of you who missed it on the festival circuit, but the ambitious sci-if gem that is The Osiris Child »
- Marc Ciafardini
Hugh Hefner, who passed away last week, had a huge influence on movies. There's the work he did in film preservation, helping to restore prints of The Big Sleep and Pandora's Box. There's the pop cultural presence his publication had in such movies as Apocalypse Now and of course The House Bunny. And he's been a figure worth portraying on screen, from James Franco's brief role in Lovelace to Cliff Roberton's performance in Star 80 and even Stan Lee's cameo in Iron Man. Now Hefner is going to finally get a proper biopic of his own. Brett Ratner, who has been trying to get the project made for at least a decade, has announced Jared Leto will star as the iconic Playboy mogul. Quoted by...
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- Christopher Campbell
You probably woke up as I did to horrific news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. This, while Americans in Puerto Rico starve and drink muddy creek water in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, »
- Sasha Stone
Indie movies seem to have a lot more heart these days, and when it comes to romantic comedies they generally have a lot more to say. Neither may actually be the case with The Truth About Lies, but the trailer makes it seem like a film that wants to explore serious ground within the comedic structure, and that’s a lot more rare than you might think.
Gilby Smalls (Fran Kranz) has just been fired and he lost his girlfriend in the most millennial way possible. Nothing is going right for him, so when he meets a beautiful woman he’s more than the normal amount of desperate to impress. It turns into a whirlwind of stacking lies on top of each other, and he’s soon in too deep. Hilarity, one must assume, ensues, and Gilby has to ask who he’s really keeping from the truth about his life. »
- Marc Eastman
Derided as the worst film ever made, The Room has become a cult classic with a James Franco film about it on the way. Now its creators Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero are back with a surreal thriller. It can’t be as bad, can it?
“What’s your favourite film?” asks a member of the audience. “Apocalypse Now,” says the director. “Back to the Future,” says one of the lead actors. Then his co-star – who has shoulder-length dyed black hair, an eastern European accent and is wearing sunglasses indoors, at night – answers: “Orson Welles.”
This isn’t the first time that Tommy Wiseau has appeared to miss the point. He financed, wrote, directed, executive-produced and starred in what is quite possibly the worst feature film ever made; a movie so cringe-inducingly terrible that the story behind its production is now being told in The Disaster Artist, a new Hollywood »
- Edwin Smith
A long, varied and fine career has seen Ford become iconic in two franchises in particular (and indeed the upcoming reprise of Rick Deckard could well make that another).
Throughout the 80’s he became firmly established as the ultimate blockbuster icon. No one has quite hit such iconic and consistent status as Harrison Ford. We’re talking Han Solo and Indiana Jones. One beloved franchise character is something every star dreams of, but to get two, on top of all the other great roles he’s had? That’s astonishing.
So in celebration of Ford, and in no particular order, here are the five films that need to be watched to best appreciate the man’s gifts and star power.
Ford is well-considered »
- Tom Jolliffe
Big Fish, Apocalypse Now, and Hitch. »
- Joshua Rivera
Tom Jolliffe on the 1970s and why it is the best era in cinema history…
There will always be a great deal of debate about the best era for cinema. For my two cents I’ll say with a great deal of assurance that the best period in cinema history was the 1970’s. There was most certainly a transition through that decade which saw the gritty cinema of the late 60’s onward, into the birth of the blockbuster as we know it today.
You could almost split the 70’s into two categories, although I will make some mention of sub-categories like the Blaxploitation period too. On one hand directors were beginning to really move as far from the traditional classic Hollywood production code as they could. Boundaries were being pushed and optimism was being replaced with deeply pessimistic work. It wasn’t all happy endings. Things were getting dark, reflecting »
- Tom Jolliffe
I can’t listen to The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” anymore without wincing. Ignoring Mick Jagger’s protests, Donald Trump co-opted this ode to excess and turned it into an anthem of darkness during his presidential campaign. Not since Francis Ford Coppola used Wagner’s “Song of the Valkyries” to harken the helicopter attack in “Apocalypse Now” has a piece of music carried with it a feeling of dread and impending doom. Now it’s Elton John who must be up in arms over the use of “Rocket Man” as a derivative of Trump »
- Richard Stellar
#RocketMan isn’t the only trending hashtag as a result of Donald Trump’s address to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday. #TrumpsUNSpeechtheMovie also took over Twitter Tuesday after the speech in which Trump called North Korean leader “Rocket Man” and threatened to “totally detstroy” that nation if the United States or its allies are threatened. The new Twitter game has users coming up with parodies of movie titles to fit the all-over-the-place speech. Some standouts include “How To Lose An Ally In 10 Minutes,” playing off of the Kate Hudson/Matthew McConaughey rom-com. “Apocalypse Soon” plays off the classic movie “Apocalypse Now, »
- Ashley Boucher
Ryan Lambie Oct 2, 2017
It's mid-September, and a rug-thick layer of secrecy lies over Blade Runner 2049, the belated sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 classic. Before our interview with Scott, who executive produces, we're shown approximately half an hour of footage: Ryan Gosling trudging moodily through futuristic landscapes as a new Replicant hunter, K; glimpses of Jared Leto as a new creator of artificial life, named Niander Wallace.
Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Sicario, Arrival), Blade Runner 2049 looks spectacular, with the same measured, ethereal pace that made the original film such a masterpiece. Exactly what K's mission is - and how it ties »
Darren Aronofsky’s darkly comic blend of home-invasion nightmare and eco-parable takes some digesting – but it’s worth it
“Nothing is ever enough – I couldn’t create if it was!” You have to admire writer-director Darren Aronofsky’s almost religious devotion to the parable-like possibilities of hyperventilating, surrealist cinema. Having caught critics’ attention with the cult low-budget sci-fi oddity Pi and proved his gritty mettle with Requiem for a Dream, Aronofsky gave us time-straddling cosmic madness in The Fountain, combined ballet with metamorphic fantasy in Black Swan, and conjured gigantic rock-monsters in the quasi-biblical babble-fest Noah. Now with Mother!, a paranoid nightmare that starts out like Polanski’s Repulsion and winds up closer to Apocalypse Now, he has stretched the envelope of outrageous mainstream cinema to breaking point – and beyond.
We start and end in flames, with an image of a fiery face giving way to a mysterious crystal, which »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Last month, Lynn Novick traveled to Vietnam with her new documentary about the American war there, co-directed with Ken Burns. Novick had previously spent time in the country, gathering material for the doc, which tells the story of the war from both the American and Vietnamese perspective. On her return, she held four screenings of a condensed version of the film — one for living witnesses interviewed for the series, one for writers and critics, and two more for public audiences in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, respectively. Novick was wary.
“It’s always with some trepidation that we show something that we’ve worked on to the people who lived through it, because how’s it going to jibe with what they remember and what they saw?” she says. “But it was amazing. We heard over and over again the feeling that the film was honest and realistic in depicting the true suffering and misery of »
- Daniel Holloway
Maybe it’s the driven mad ending to Apocalypse Now (and to director Francis Ford Coppola), but there’s something fitting about an acclaimed director emerging from a long absence to make a film that features the backdrop of a colonial jungle. The irony of these films is that the elements are unforgiving to those attempting to conquer—unable to live as they desire—yet they refuse to allow the conquered to live without them. Terence Malick did just that in the Solomon Islands with The Thin Red Line after a 20-year absence and now Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel—… »
- Brian Formo
The Telluride Film Festival has held tributes for but a handful cinematographers over the last 44 years. The names are titans of the form: Karl Struss (“Sunrise,” “The Great Dictator”), Sven Nykvist (“Cries & Whispers,” “Fanny and Alexander”), John Alton (“An American in Paris,” “Elmer Gantry”), Vittorio Storaro (“Apocalypse Now,” “The Last Emperor”). This year, on the heels of a lifetime achievement prize from the American Society of Cinematographers earlier this year, Ed Lachman joins their ranks.
Oscar-nominated for “Far From Heaven” and “Carol,” Lachman is a frequent collaborator of director Todd Haynes. This year’s celebration of his work is pegged to their latest, “Wonderstruck,” which is part of the festival’s main program. But Lachman’s career outstretches those three movies alone, from working with icons of pop (Madonna) and humanitarianism (Mother Teresa), to collaborations with artists at the beginning (Sofia Coppola) and end (Robert Altman) of their careers.
Lachman spoke to Variety about his career to »
- Kristopher Tapley
The Telluride Film Festival has announced its 2017 lineup. As usual, the exclusive Colorado gathering features a range of buzzy fall season movies, including many films also premiering in Venice and Toronto as well as others resurfacing from earlier in the year, just in time for awards season. Filmmakers in this year’s program range from Alexander Payne to Angelina Jolie. The festival will also honor cinematographer Ed Lachman, actor Christian Bale, and screen a new cut of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 Harlem musical “The Cotton Club.”
One of the bigger films to make the cut in this year’s lineup should take no one by surprise: “Downsizing” (12/22, Paramount), Payne’s long-gestating near-future workplace satire starring Matt Damon, will screen at the festival where Payne has been a regular for years (both as a filmmaker and audience member). The movie opened the Venice Film Festival earlier this week, and was followed »
- Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson
Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour,” Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles,” Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father,” and Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” will unspool for audiences at the 44th annual Telluride Film Festival, organizers announced Thursday.
Also set for debuts at the four-day event, unfolding over the Labor Day weekend, are Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ “Battle of the Sexes,” starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell; and Paul McGuigan’s “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool,” with Annette Bening and Jamie Bell.
A number of films set for premieres at the Venice Film Festival will also make the journey to the southwest Colorado ski village, including Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Andrew Haigh’s “Lean on Pete,” Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” and Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing.”
Telluride Film Festival Director on Hidden Gems and a Banner Year for Women
Titles scheduled to finally surface in the States after previous international »
- Kristopher Tapley
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