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Entries in Bridge of Spies (16)

Tuesday
Mar012016

Oscar's Sound Montages Show The Instruments and Play The Orchestra

Daniel Crooke here to talk about the pitch-perfect Sound Editing and Mixing montages from this year’s Oscar ceremony that ended in shiny, chrome, and hugely deserved wins for Mad Max: Fury Road. Known to some fair-weather film fans as the mystery stuffing that clogs the airtime between Best Supporting Actress and Actor, the sound categories are often the most overlooked because they’re the least understood. This gives the producers of the Oscars a daunting task – explain the intricacies and differences of two finely tuned crafts and hope that the audience both understands those definitions and why sound is crucial to creating cinematic universes. 

This year, the Sound montages demonstrated the transporting power of signals and noises and thrillingly distilled how exactly they’re shaped.  More onomatopoeias after the jump...

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Tuesday
Feb162016

Adam Stockhausen: From a Budapest hotel to a "Bridge of Spies"

Adam Stockhausen won the Oscar on his first nomination for GRAND BUDAPEST HOTELEmmanuel Lubezki (who keeps winning prizes) isn't the only craft superstar repeating the Oscar rounds this year. Last year's winner for Production Design Adam Stockhausen (Grand Budapest Hotel), a 43 year old powerhouse who's amassed a very impressive resume in just a doesn't years, is back in the mix this season with the Cold War drama Bridge of Spies.

That Best Picture nominee is his first movie with Steven Spielberg but he's already worked with auteurs like Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom) on terrific projects, too. 

Here's our interview:

NATHANIEL: From Wes Anderson to Steven Spielberg! These auteurs seem very different. I imagine Wes Anderson making his own dioramas, and being like "Recreate this. Adam!". Whereas Spielberg, I don’t think of him in that 'this is what the set looks like' way at all!

ADAM STOCKHAUSEN: They have more similarities than you think. I don’t know if I want to get too deeply into what they do, because I’ll leave that for more esteemed people than myself, but I certainly see similarities. There are differences in the day to day: Wes pre plans shots and they’re carefully choreographed, Steven is slightly different in that the shots aren’t planned in advance, but the choreography is very similar. 

more after the jump...

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Monday
Feb082016

Breaking Down Oscar's Production Design Nominees

Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock with their Grand Budapest Hotel OscarsDavid here with a closer look at this year’s Oscar nominees for Production Design. Not too close, mind: this is all about the big picture. The PD is responsible for the entire art department, and as such, the entire visual look and feel of a film. If it’s difficult to separate that idea from what cinematographers and costume designers do, well, that’s the difficulty in awarding all these disciplines as if they act independently of one another. Such is the nature of the awards season beast.

The origin of the title is an amusing, unsurprising fable: William Cameron Menzies, coined it to describe his own function on the set of Gone with the Wind (a mammoth task, to be sure) after David O. Selznick instructed everyone that "Menzies is the final word” on the set on every technical aspect of the visual production. Menzies, incidentally, was the first Oscar winner of the award, under the label ‘Best Interior Decoration’ - the award changed to 'Best Art Direction – Set Decoration’ in 1947, and didn’t become ‘Best Production Design’ until 2012.

As we saw earlier in the week when the Art Directors Guild gave out their awards, the Oscar race seems to be a two-horse race. [More...]

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Friday
Feb052016

Oscar Screenplays Quotability Index

Manuel here. In a lot of people’s minds, a great screenplay requires at least one quotable line. Look no further than the poster for the 2006 awards which celebrated great lines from Academy Award winning films. Lines like "Rosebud", "Show me the money!" and "I coulda been a contender" — or more recently, "You know what's cooler than a million dollars?" and "Argofuckyourself" — immediately remind you of the film's in question, functioning as helpful shorthand. A good line is sometimes all you need. And so, since we know TFE readers love themselves a list, we had to rank the 10 films nominated for screenplay categories in order of quotability:

10. Ex Machina
Is there such a thing as "visually" quotable? Because that's certainly the case here.

9. Bridge of Spies 
The one truly iconic catchphrase in these screenplays but otherwise, not much else, no?

8. Brooklyn
News of that TV spinoff means more vintage banter!

7. Spotlight and more after the jump...

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Tuesday
Feb022016

Spielberg's Best Pictures and New DVDs

Time to check in to see which movies we all can check back in with or catch up with now that they've hit the home market. The big title, Oscar wise is Steven Spielberg's 10th Best Picture nominee as a director, the cold war drama Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance both doing fine work as a lawyer and the spy he must bargain with for a prisoner of war trade. Only one of Spielberg's directorial efforts has ever won Best Picture (Schindler's List, 1993) but which is your favorite? I'd rank them like so...

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  2. Schindler's List (1993)
  3. Jaws (1975)
  4. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
  5. Lincoln (2012)
  6. The Color Purple (1985)
  7. Bridge of Spies (2015)
  8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  9. Munich (2005)
  10. War Horse (2011)

With the disclaimer that everyone knows I'm not a Spielberg aficionado really (the top three are the only ones I'm completely wild about from this list with Close Encounters of the Third Kind also a favorite but Best Picture was not among its 8 (!) nominations. [Trivia Aside: It's tied for second place with The Dark Knight and some other films for 'most nominations without Best Picture,' though the expanded Best Picture field will probably insure that no more films join said list. The all time record holder is They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) which is completely amazing film but somehow missed a Best Picture nomination despite 9 other bids for the gold.]

ICYMI Murtada just got done ranking the Spielberg Nominated Performances so we're in that sorta mood you could say

Also New on DVD or BluRay

Burnt Bradley Cooper is a chef. And lots of actresses orbit him
Chi-Raq Spike Lee's randy funny raging update of Lysistrata (See: Best of 2015)
Downton Abbey (Final Season) which I'm loving as it airs
Freeheld in which Julianne Moore & Ellen Page fall in love and fight for their rights
Goosebumps in which monsters come to life and Jack Black and kids fight them
Our Brand is Crisis a rare flop for Sandra Bullock as a campaign manager
Suffragette Mulligan, Streep and Bonhman-Carter fight for their voting rights
Truth Cate Blanchett and her fabulous curls fight a losing battle to bring down President Bush with his sneaky draft-dodging

New to Netflix Instant Watch

Better Call Saul (S1) in which Breaking Bad lives on to hold on to its Emmy slots. Now Streaming on Netflix.
Lila & Eve Viola Davis goes vigilante. February 6th.
Love (Gaspar Noe) in which Gaspar Noe splooges into the camera (in 3D!). This explicit sex drama should have really been something but Christ it's a bore. February 4th. 
Mad Men (S7.2) in which we try to be all zen while saying goodbye to the greatest TV show of all time. February 5th.

READER'S CHOICE
We might start doing a poll where you choose which old movie, just released to Instant Watch, you want to force Nathaniel to watch and write up and discuss with y'all. What'cha think? Some of this month's new/old options are Charlie's Angels (2000), Cruel Intentions (1999), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Jennifer 8 (1992... I used to be really into this one because: Uma), Losing Isaiah (1995), Stardust (2007), Teen Witch (1989), and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

Friday
Jan082016

BAFTA Nominations: Bridge of Spies and Carol lead

With the Oscar nominees less than a week away, the British Academy of Film and Television Awards, or BAFTA as they're more easily referred to, can often be a real indicator of where AMPAS might be headed come Thursday morning. It used to be that the British were quite idiosyncratic in their tastes, picking homegrown, grassroots produce like Fish Tank. Unfortunately recent years have seen even the Best British Film category taken a much more populist bent. Therefore, it's their taste in American films that can often be a huge indicator of what energy the British contingent might inject into their Oscar votes.

Eligibility rules can often cause an issue - Murtada gave a rundown of any possible hiccups the other day - but recent years have seen studios keen to align the two continents as much as possible, to avoid situations like Charlize Theron's Oscar-winning turn in Monster turning up a whole year later at BAFTA. So, never fear - Trumbo's still here!

More...

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