13 items from 2017
After more than 25 years, Martin Scorsese finally completed Silence last year, his adaptation of the homonymous Japanese novel written by Endo Shusaku and a real passion project for the master filmmaker behind other religious films such as The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun. On this occasion, Scorsese explores the brutal reason why Christianity was never established as one of the popular religions in Japan. Scorsese's team changed over the years and, finally, Mexico's Rodrigo Prieto had the opportunity to be the cinematographer of the project, once he started a working relationship with the director in The Wolf of Wall Street. In mid-February, Prieto - who at the time was nominated for the Academy Award (that eventually was taken home by La La Land's Linus...
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(Courtesy: Kimberley French/20th Century Fox)
By: Carson Blackwelder
One of the jobs that the general public doesn’t pay that much attention to — but probably should — is that of the cinematographer. If you think a film looks gorgeous and you’re able to get swept away by what you’re seeing on the screen, that’s all thanks to this man or woman’s work behind the scenes. Turns out, though, you can even see these folks showcase their talent on social media.
Since the role of cinematographer is often referred to as the director of photography — shortened to Dp or Dop — it only makes sense that we hone in Instagram as that’s one popular online platform dedicated specifically to photos. Let’s take a look at 16 of the cinematographers who are utilizing Instagram to showcase more of their work and giving us a glimpse of »
- Carson Blackwelder
Even when you live in Los Angeles, as I do, if you’re not in the network of critics groups and press screening and screener DVDs it can be a challenge to keep up with everything you tell yourself you have to see before attempting an informed roundup of the year currently in the rearview mirror. And I also try to not let more than a couple of weeks of the new year go by before checking in, regardless of how many of the year’s big presents I have left to unwrap, though in past years I have not lived well by this dictum—let’s just say that if I’m still posting stuff on the year’s best after even Oscar has thoroughly chewed over the goods, as has happened in the past, well, I’ve overstayed my welcome.
2016 was, in most ways, a disaster of a year, »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Fox and Chernin Entertainment’s “Hidden Figures” dominated the domestic box office, topping charts for the second straight weekend after earning $26 million. The film’s message of empowerment and triumph over prejudice was amplified by the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
“This continues to be a movie for everyone,” said Chris Aronson, Fox’s head of domestic distribution. “It’s not just entertaining. It’s life affirming. It celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and that’s so important in these times.”
“Hidden Figures” is a latecomer to the awards season race, but the film, which stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer as African-American scientists and mathematicians in the early days of the space program, ranks as one of the most successful dramas of 2016. So far, it has earned $60.4 million. That commercial success could translate into Oscar attention when Academy Award nominations are announced next week.
- Brent Lang
This year’s award season continues to yield a robust specialized bounty. The Oscar contenders are led by “La La Land” (Lionsgate) and “Hidden Figures” (20th Century Fox). The public, particularly older audiences, are coming out in big numbers for films that launched in limited release.
That doesn’t extend to new limited openings, with nearly all top distributors holding back until the awards noise dies down. Still, a few are venturing out with smaller less heralded films in New York (along with a plethora of Video on Demand releases). This week sees three of note, led by a very surprising total for “World’s Apart” (Cinema Libre), an under-the-radar 2015 Greek economic crisis drama.
Check out our Award Season video interviews.
(All figures for three-day weekend through Sunday January 15.)
Worlds Apart (Cinema Libre)
$14,000 gross at 1 theater; PTA (per theater average): $14,000
This Greek film, which tells three loosely related »
- Tom Brueggemann
2017 is a milestone year for a true master of modern cinema. He harkens back to a time when the most celebrated directors were as big a star as the actors in their films. And, like many of those revered film makers, he’s recognized primarily by his last name. He’s part of a roll call along with Hitchcock, DeMille, Lean. Oh, but he made his name well past the era of the big studio system, one of those hungry “young rebels” that bent all the rules. These products of the college film departments, who “cut their teeth” in TV and drive-in quickies: Coppola, Spielberg, and Scorsese. Martin Scorsese has now been directing feature films for fifty years (his first was 1967’s Who’S That Knocking At My Door?). While his film making contemporary, Frances Coppola, has largely stepped away from the cameras, Scorsese continues to craft highly personal films »
- Jim Batts
The year is off to a strange start, even at the box office. Last weekend saw “Hidden Figures” win in a rare race among three titles for the top spot, but this weekend looks even more complicated. Multiple films will vie for no. 1 — and “Rogue One” isn’t one of them.
Among last weekend’s top grossers, the only one in the hunt is “Hidden Figures.” It will likely will drop to the high teens, and the most likely challenger is the first national expansion of “Patriots Day.” There will also bean even wider break for the major crossover success that is “La La Land,” with “Live By Night” and “Silence” also expanding, if to considerably less effect.
- Tom Brueggemann
Chicago – For gosh sakes, someone call the Vatican and make Marty Scorsese an honorary priest. He is overtly fascinated – in this work and his other films – with the notion of religious faith, particular within his Catholic roots. He approaches the subject again in the intense “Silence.”
Based on a novel from the 1960s, “Silence” is a story about Portuguese priests in an missionary zone, in this case Japan in the late 1600s. It is filled with the “testing” of these priests’ faith, as the Japanese were ruthless in their prosecution of these pastors. Basically this is Scorsese obsessing about the tests of faith that were outlined in the novel, and visually bringing the torture of this moral dilemma to life. The film actually gets better after a slow start – and has an electric atmosphere of dread and honor – but really does nothing to resolve the matter of man versus the breaking point. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Do portrayals of celebrity culture and fan worship get more lacerating and acute than 1983’s masterpiece The King of Comedy? Martin Scorsese’s follow-up to Raging Bull is quite brilliantly perceptive, taking the hatchet to narcissistic wannabes in the form of Robert De Niro’s seminal Rupert Pupkin whilst also taking us behind the curtain and depicting the loneliness that comes with those who’ve made a success of themselves. The latter is personified by Jerry Lewis’ alienated comic star Jerry Langford, one who can barely leave his New York apartment without vitriolic ‘fans’ wishing he gets cancer. In Scorsese’s utterly damning depiction of fame, there are no winners: neither aspiring stars nor established A-listers come out of this one clean.
On the »
- Sean Wilson
The most surprising feature of Martin Scorsese’s Silence, a 161-minute religious picture about 17th-century Jesuit priests in Japan, is that it exists at all; the second most surprising feature may be its critical reception, much of which seems to approach the film at a kind of respectful distance. The tentativeness of reviews seems to reflect the ambiguity of the film’s religious and moral conclusions, as Alissa Wilkinson writes at Vox:It’s been remarkable to discover that Silence is a challenging film for many critics and early viewers, including those who aren’t interested in religion at all, or who don’t identify with a particular faith. The genius of Endō’s story and Scorsese’s adaptation is that it won’t characterize anyone as a saint, nor will it either fully condone or reject the colonialist impulses, the religious oppression, the apostasy, or the faltering faith of its characters. »
Silence and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk among shutouts; #Baftassowhite a non-starter.Baftas 2017Baftas 2017: full list of nominations‘La La Land’ leads the way with 11 nominationsBaftas 2017: nominees’ reactionsBaftas 2017: eOne and Lionsgate score record number of nominations
One day after setting a record for most wins at the Golden Globes, La La Land continued its fine awards season by claiming 11 Bafta nominations, the joint-most since The Artist scored 12 nominations five years ago.
As predicted, Damien Chazelle’s throwback musical-romance scored nominations in most leading categories including best film, director, actor, actress, original screenplay and cinematography.
Lionsgate will now make the feel-good musical its widest ever UK release this weekend (603 screens), pushing it out on more screens than its flagship franchise The Hunger Games.
La La Land has been on a high since it wowed audiences at Venice in September and with Ampas voting set to end on Friday it is tightening its grip on »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
Nearly three decades after he first became interested in adapting Shusaku Endo’s novel, Martin Scorsese has finally released “Silence.” It’s far from his first overtly religious film, preceded as it is by both “The Last Temptation of Christ” and “Kundun.” In a new interview with Commonweal, the director touches on another spiritual drama he never had the chance to make in which Jesus comes to present-day New York. (via The Playlist)
“The popular representation of Jesus in the mind of the average moviegoer was coming out of Cecil B. DeMille. Pretty much all films made on religious subject matter were biblical epics. And the best one, of course, was Pasolini’s ‘Gospel According to St. Matthew,'” explains Scorsese. “My original idea was in the early ‘60s. I had realized you »
- Michael Nordine
Spiritual Journey: Interview with Andrew Garfield as he talks Silence, Spider-Man and moreSpiritual Journey: Interview with Andrew Garfield as he talks Silence, Spider-Man and moreBob Strauss - Cineplex Magazine1/4/2017 10:01:00 Am
Bringing Shusaku Endo’s historical novel Silence to the big screen has long been a passion project for Martin Scorsese, and it’s easy to see why. Endo’s fictionalized but fundamentally fact-based tale of two 17th-century Portuguese Jesuits sent to Japan to investigate their mentor, only to discover horrific repression of the island nation’s Christian minority, bears a strong thematic relationship to the director’s more overtly religious movies, The Last Temptation of Christ and Kundun. Plus, the story is so infused with violence, torments of the soul and flesh, and Catholic angst that Silence should fit comfortably on the shelf next to such Scorsese urban classics as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Departed. »
- Bob Strauss - Cineplex Magazine
13 items from 2017
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