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Entries in Cinematography (307)

Tuesday
Oct162018

Everyone needs to calm down about "A Star is Born" winning all the Oscars

You guys. Everywhere I look there are articles or tweets positing that A Star is Born is going to sweep the Oscars, or win 3/4th of the acting categories or whatnot.  This is unlikely. It's only because it's the biggest contender currently playing that people are losing their minds. Well, that and because the movie is a terrific piece of big studio entertainment aimed at adults that's also a hit at the box office. You know, the exact kind of movie that people pretend doesn't exist (it does almost annually) and also pretend that Oscar doesn't like (they do almost annually) whenever they write those dumb articles proclaiming "the Oscars are irrelevant!" 

A Star is Born is just about at $100 million domestic at this writing but people are acting as if its earned one billion; I definitely wasn't expecting to hear it compared to Titanic today. So, let's all relax for a bit and talk about what is probable/possible since we've just barely finished UPDATING ALL THE OSCAR CHARTS

BEST PICTURE
I think it's too soon to call A Star is Born the frontrunner. It's just the first big Best Picture possibility to open since February (!) so that's a lot of time since Black Panther to bottle up armchair punditry feeling... bring on awards season! I dont currently believe Star will win (the remake stigma will catch up to it eventually) but let's say for the sake of argument that it does. That's one Oscar. Let's look at the other categories...

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Thursday
Sep272018

Two Visual Triumphs Seeking Distribution: "The River" and "Shadow"

Since we're already deep into NYFF - thanks to Murtada and Jason for this excellent reviews (I'll join them shortly) --  I must accept that all the full reviews I had planned for things without release dates I saw at TIFF just aren't going to happen. But several films we caught are hitting theaters soon so they will get reviews: A Star is Born (10/5), Beautiful Boy (10/12), Border (10/26), and Boy Erased (11/2). In the meantime here are the final two TIFF films I must pinpoint because they don't have distribution yet but they totally deserve it.

Shadow
I'm calling this one 'camp without color,' because we always think of "camp" as something innately colorful, don't we? Director Zhang Yimou (House of the Flying Daggers) gifts for visual spectacle remain undimmed and this time he organizes his mise en scene around the duality of the yin yang symbols as well as inkwash paintings...

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Tuesday
Sep182018

TIFF: Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma" Triumph

by Nathaniel R

Alfonso Cuarón's jaw-dropping Roma is inspired by his childhood in Mexico but it's no traditional memoir. Rather than focusing on his own life, he spins a slow-burn fictional memoir, imagining the emotional space occupied by the live-in maid/nanny who helped raise him...

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Tuesday
Sep042018

Showbiz History: The Hurt Locker, Xena, and a Truly Great Cinematographer

7 random things that happened on this day, September 4th, in showbiz history...

1936 Swing Time is released in movie theaters starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

1945 Happy 73rd birthday to the beyond-talented cinematographer Philippe Rousselot who won the Oscar for Sun-Drenched Ode to Brad Pitt's Golden Beauty (or as they called it in 1992 "A River Runs Through It")... but that's not the half of it. Rousselot is particularly gifted with erotic period dramas: Henry & June, Dangerous Liaisons, and Queen Margot are all utterly sensational to gaze upon...

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Thursday
Aug022018

Cabaret Pt 2: 'It makes the world go 'round'

Occasionally Team Experience will take a classic movie and pass it around for a deep dive. Cabaret is showing onscreen this weekend at The Quad. Don't miss your chance to see it in an actual movie theater if you're in NYC.

In Part One of our tag team look at Cabaret (1972 being our 'year of the month'), Nathaniel investigated the way director/choreographer Bob Fosse introduced the musical's three major players at the cliff end of the Weimar Era in Germany. He also touched on Liza Minnelli's physical expressiveness in creating one of the most memorable protagonists of all time. When we left off, Fritz and Sally had just forced themselves into their friend Brian's English lessons for a Jewish heiress. Here's Dancin' Dan with Part Two of our Cabaret roundelay - Editor

Part 2 by Dancin' Dan

34:45 "Bobby! A Landauer. In my house!" I love the little glimpses we get of the other residents of the boarding house. In the stage show, Fräulein Schneider is much more fleshed out and has some truly lovely moments. I can't say I miss it entirely in this film, but I still love seeing them.

35:00 Meine damen und herren, the most awkward tea party EVER. There are so many great moments in this scene, from Fritz pulling his jacket down to hide his fraying shirtsleeves to Marissa Berenson's accidental double entendres as Natalia ("This was a cold of the bosom, not of the nose." "Ze plegma? Zat comes in der tubes?"), which are even more cringe-worthy since she is so beautiful and nearly regal in her bearing. And the sass she gives Brian when he can't explain the spelling of "phlegm" is delightful!

36:30 Sally is VERY unimpressed with Fritz's overeager laughter at Natalia's jokes...

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Monday
Jul092018

Bergman Centennial: Winter Light (1963) and the echo of First Reformed (2018)

Team Experience will be celebrating one of the world's most acclaimed auteurs for the next week for the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman's birth. Here's Sean Donovan...

Perhaps none of Ingmar Bergman’s films do more to conjure clichés of what a ‘Bergman film’ is than 1963’s Winter Light. While Persona is undoubtedly the cinephile consensus choice for his best film, and The Seventh Seal or Wild Strawberries are his most widely-seen, frequently adorning college syllabi about the history of European cinema, the morose sadness for which his work became known feels most exemplarily expressed in Winter Light. The second part of a trilogy about “the silence of God” (starting out grim already), Winter Light’s infinite quiet, stark black-and-white cinematography, freezing cold exteriors, and tear-soaked monologues scream BERGMAN in capital letters. It’s strange viewing with which to start a hot summer weekday morning, but here we are. Though the severity of film that threatens to overwhelm you, it is my personal favorite of the Bergman canon, superbly acted and filmed with a brisk lightness that befits an auteur frequently in danger of getting weighed down in heavy-handedness. A freezing shot of aquavit on the rocks can knock you over and have you questioning the purpose of your life. 

Winter Light may be reaching new audiences this year as it has received a renewed relevancy from Paul Schrader’s First Reformed, an unofficial remake blatantly taking the premise and applying it to the contemporary United States...

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