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Wally Pfister made a name for himself as one of the top cinematographers in Hollywood over the past decade, shooting Bennett Miller's "Moneyball," Lisa Cholodenko's "Laurel Canyon," and the films of Christopher Nolan, culminating with his Oscar win for "Inception." But with "Interstellar," Nolan has to do without Pfister for the first time since his debut, "Following," as his regular Dp has greater ambitions. Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence" hits theaters on April 17. It's a highly ambitious, fascinating concept, but it remains to be seen whether Pfister has a shot at a long-term career as a director. In anticipation for that project, here are fifteen major cinematographers who tried their hand at directing, with varying results. [Just a quick note: this list doesn't include directors who serve as their own cinematographers, such as Steven Soderbergh or Robert Rodriguez.] Mario Bava Cinematography Background: Bava got his start working with none other than Italian »
- Max O'Connell
Though director Zack Snyder’s Superman redo Man of Steel proved to be a slightly divisive film, one of the highlights that most can agree on is composer Hans Zimmer’s score. Following in the footsteps of John Williams’ iconic Superman theme was no easy task, but Zimmer succeeded in crafting something wholly separate from the 1978 classic that helped reinvent Superman for our modern age. It also marked a shift for Snyder, who had collaborated with composer Tyler Bates on all of his previous features save for Legend of the Guardians. As Snyder is knee-deep in pre-production on his Man of Steel follow-up Batman vs. Superman (unofficial title), many have been wondering whether Zimmer would return. As Zimmer already reinvented the Batman character less than a decade ago with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, we were curious to see if he’d be up for the challenge of »
- Adam Chitwood
It’s a half-hearted pun that many have made since last August, when the title and basic premise of Nolan’s latest film was first announced. With a November release date set, and only the most teasing of teaser trailers put forward, little is known of the project beyond its startlingly starry cast. Anticipation couldn’t be more feverish, an indicator just how much the English filmmaker has grown in the 14 years since Memento, his first cinematic effort and instant classic. In many ways, he has replaced the listless Ridley Scott as one of the movie business’ most exciting exponents, his every release dripping in not just hype but substantial promise.
He may have lost essential and trusted cinematographer Wally Pfister, who has enjoyed Transcendence into the realms of directing himself (another half hearted word play), but this has not diminished Nolan as a force. »
- Scott Patterson
We were fortunate enough to attend the press conference for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, in which Chris Evans, Scarlett Johannson, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan join the filmmakers in a big Q and A session with the press. Here are the five things that caught our attention:
1. A Black Widow movie is being prepped. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says, "I think it could be great. We've got various outlines and ideas of where to take that." Feige says that Black Widow's backstory is explored further in Avengers: Age of Ultron. "So the question really is when would we want to take her out of that ensemble to go and do her own thing?"
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tara the Mom)
Christopher Nolan’s mysterious flick Interstellar has been one of my favorite movies to cover over the past several months because everyone on the project has been really tight lipped. No major plot details have been released. In fact, the teaser that we posted (and have reposted at the bottom) is also completely void of plot points.
In a recent interview with Variety, star of Interstellar, Matthew McConaughey talked a tiny bit about the movie and that it had even just wrapped filming, and wrapped early. Check out what he said about Interstellar in that interview below, followed by the teaser.
[H]e will be seen this November in Christopher Nolan’s top-secret sci-fi epic “Interstellar.” While he can’t divulge anything about the plot, McConaughey does say: “Here’s what I can tell you,” before slipping into the third person. “It’s the most ambitious thing he’s ever done. »
- Jess Orso
It may not be to most actors’ tastes, but Matthew McConaughey is sounding oddly happy about his smaller paydays.
“For the first time in my career, I lost money! No joke!” the actor says.
Then again, McConaughey has reason to smile; his choice to reject big mainstream movies, ultimately in favor of gritty roles in independent films, represents a dramatic career shift –— and has garnered widespread recognition — for the 44-year-old Texas-born father of three.
His performance in “Dallas Buyers Club,” as the real-life Ron Woodroof, a homophobic good ol’ boy who became a health crusader after being diagnosed with AIDS, smuggling life-saving drugs into the U.S. for himself and fellow patients, has earned him top honors at the Golden Globes and SAG awards, and brought him his first Oscar nomination.
It is one of several complicated characters that McConaughey has boldly portrayed recently — from the hard-edged drifter in “Mud »
- Jenelle Riley
Following up a slew of trailers that threatened to give away half the film, The Amazing Spider-Sequel team has switched tactics to another classic standby of film PR: the behind-the-scenes featurette. Here, then, are the cast and crew talking about the stunts and action we’ll see on screen and, lower down, a look at some more footage as they explore the price of being a hero (spoiler alert: it appears to be $3.75). The behind-the-scenes peek, even though it doesn’t necessarily deliver anything new (and there are no big revelations like they secretly had to kill 73 extras and a kangaroo called Steve to make certain scenes work), it does feel like Team Spidey are going the Chris Nolan route where they can, delivering some big practical work alongside all the CG wizardry. Paul Giamatti even admits he was surprised how much of it they did for real, and how »
Fans of the brilliant Christopher Nolan are eagerly anticipating the directorial debut his Oscar-winning cinematographer and protoge, Wally Pfister. And what a cast Pfister has assembled for tense sci-fi thriller Transcendence, with Johnny Depp leading as a scientist whose death offers an astonishing breakthrough in the controversial field of artificial intelligence.
Following the first poster, we’ve a brand new international trailer for the film set to open on 18th April 2014. Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Clifton Collins Jr., Kate Mara, Josh Stewart, Cole Hauser, Cillian Murphy and Morgan Freeman co-star!
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do »
- Craig Hunter
Hang on to your Bat-shorts, Bat-fans, cause this one's a doozy. Following in the footsteps of such eclectic and unexpected casting choices as Heath Ledger for the Joker, Warner Bros. has announced that Jesse Eisenberg will play Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, tentatively titled Batman vs. Superman. Meanwhile, Jeremy Irons has been cast as Bruce Wayne's longtime butler Alfred, taking over for Michael Caine, who last played the character in all three Christopher Nolan movies. “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940," said director Zack Snyder in an official press release. "What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond...
- Erik Davis
Batman director Christopher Nolan is among the film-makers who got their first break at the other movie event in Utah
Christopher Nolan arrived in Park City, Utah, last weekend, to pick up an award from the independent film festival where he first found recognition. Surprisingly, the award didn't come from Park City's most famous film event, the Sundance film festival, but its lesser-known counterpart, Slamdance, which takes place over the same two weekends on the same street.
If Sundance, 30 this year, is the established, dependable older sibling, Slamdance, founded independently in 1995, is the younger: an edgier, cheaper alternative for film-makers and fans alike, showing 100 movies a year, and with many of its alumni going on to wild success. In 1999, it accepted Nolan's first film, Following, starting a chain of events that eventually led to Christian Bale in a Batsuit.
In 2007, the festival became responsible for the most profitable film of all time, »
Park City, Utah -- Saturday night. There was something in the air. The crowd of filmmakers, programmers and press that had gathered in the main screening room of the Treasure Mountain Inn knew it. The air just... crackled. And then... A hush fell over the crowd, and then a cheer, as Slamdance co-founder and president Peter Baxter presented filmmaker Christopher Nolan with the first Founder's Award. It may be hard to believe, but The Dark Knight director's first feature Following played at Slamdance back in 1999. The attentive audience then engaged with Nolan for a 20 minute discussion on cinema and his career. The soft spoken and humble director spoke of his wife and producer Emma Thomas, and how they've grown up together, his fond...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Park City, Utah - Christopher Nolan's first film "Following" made its debut at the Slamdance Film Festival and the famed director was on hand this year to accept the fest's first annual Founder's Award in celebration of his achievements since that 1998 bow. Nolan sat down with Slamdance president Peter Baxter and an intimate room of press and film fans to field a few questions, which ranged from working with a variety of budgets, to collaborating with loved once, to film criticism and analysis and even that one "Memento" story. The British director will be releasing new "Interstellar" this year. Filmmaker-run, »
- Katie Hasty
The Sundance Film Festival may be the biggest and brightest star this weekend in Park City, Utah, but quietly down the road, the event’s “sister” program Slamdance stole the show Saturday evening by hosting one of the most high-profile filmmakers in the world.
Christopher Nolan, who debuted his first movie at Slamdance back in 1999 before going on to launch such blockbusters as “The Dark Knight” and “Inception,” was on hand to receive the event’s Founder’s award among a lucky few at the Treasure Mountain Inn screening room.
“Thank you…it’s an incredibly long time since I was here last but it feels like yesterday,” the filmmaker said.
With his wife and producing partner Emma and their four children sitting in the front row, Nolan discussed the process of making his first feature film, “Following,” which he made for only $6,000, while also offering advice to the young filmmakers in attendance. »
- Stuart Oldham
You can go home again, it turns out. Christopher Nolan, who works on larger scale studio films than just about any director in Hollywood, took time out from posting his time travel tentpole Interstellar to fly in to the Slamdance Film Festival and accept the fest’s inaugural Founder’s Award. Flanked by his wife/producing partner Emma Thomas, their children and longtime agent Dan Aloni, Nolan recalled the days 15 years ago when he came to Slamdance a wide-eyed first timer with his directing debut, Following. Gazing out at an audience of indie filmmakers crammed into the cramped space where the fest shows movies at the Treasure Mountain Inn, Nolan opined that nothing had changed from his last visit here, and recalled braving the cold and personally papering Main Street with his Xeroxed one-sheets for his $6000 budget film, and reacting giddily when Following was panned by Weekly Variety (who was that genius reviewer? »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Failure Can Be A Friend
Instead of walking away into the sunset when we didn’t get our films into Sundance, a wild bunch of film- makers got together to make a change. We didn’t know our guerrilla upstart would make it through 1995, let alone begin a 20-year movement. After we got through the first year, we found the desire to help other filmmakers like us.
The opening of Slamdance ’96 didn’t go well. Our projectionist had a heart attack, and his 35mm projector broke down with him. This left co-founder Dan Mirvish and Steven Soderbergh in charge of running projection operations on opening night. After Dan got a shock sticking a screwdriver in the wrong place, Steven somehow got the projector fired Slamdance Festival at 20: Alt Fest Shows Rebel Rootsup for “The Daytrippers’” world premiere. »
- Peter Baxter
Christopher Nolan's Following was originally passed over by Slamdance programmers... but went on to be selected when he resubmitted it "The point for us has been that you have to put the filmmaker first and you have to think about how you are going to do that, almost every day really. And so, what is good for Slamdance has to be as good, if not better, for the filmmaker. I think it's really that simple," says Slamdance co-founder and president Peter Baxter, as we talk about the first 20 years of the independent festival, which kicks off today (January 17), and consider the ways in which he hopes it will build on its successful foundations (read more about those in the first part of our interview with Baxter, here).
This idea of putting the filmmaker first runs right through the festival, Baxter explains, from the way they programme it on up. »
- Amber Wilkinson
The 20th annual Slamdance Film Festival will run concurrently with the 2014 Sundance Film Festival -- January 17-23, 2014 in Park City, Utah. Last year I stumbled into Slamdance a couple of days before the fest wrapped up, but this year I've placed it at the the top of my "things to do in Park City when not at Sundance" above things like skiing, sleeping and eating.
The infectious and dynamic vibe throughout the sole venue of the Treasure Mountain Inn, in the historic Old Town portion of Park City, makes it a great place to enjoy the well-rounded programming and social events. As the only festival programmed by filmmakers, Slamdance's film slate this year features 93 selections from emerging independent talent all over the world.
- Debbie Cerda
A few years back, I think it was at the 2011 Santa Barbara film festival, I asked Christopher Nolan (then making the rounds for "Inception") if he could ever see himself heading back to the Independent Spirit Awards with a modest piece of work. After all, the director got his start at Slamdance in Park City, with the 1999 entry "Following," and again a couple years later with "Memento," which would later be recognized at the Spirits. "It depends on the story," he told me at the time, before saying, tellingly, "I tend to think that if you have the chance »
- Kristopher Tapley
Slamdance, the tiny indie film gathering that plays out quietly as most are consumed with the Sundance Film Festival, is trying to make at least a little splash for itself. They’ve established a Founder’s Award and will bestow it Saturday, January 18 on Christopher Nolan. Before he began making Hollywood’s most ambitious big-budget films from the Dark Knight trilogy to Inception and most recently Interstellar, his debut film Following played at the micro-fest, which this year runs January 17-23 in Park City. »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
The Slamdance Film Festival hierarchy announced that Christopher Nolan will receive the inaugural Slamdance Founder’s Award.
Nolan’s first film Following came out in 1998 and screened at Slamdance. He will collect the honour on January 18 in Park City.
“Throughout his incredible successes, Christopher Nolan has stood firmly behind the Slamdance film-making community,” said Slamdance president and co-founder.
“We are honoured to present him with Slamdance’s inaugural Founder’s Award.”
“I’m honoured to be recognised by a festival that gave me some of my first opportunities to connect with an audience,” said Nolan. “Slamdance continues to provide an important forum for emerging filmmakers and I’m proud to be part of their history.”
The 20th Slamdance Film Festival will take place from January 17-23. »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
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