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Six Short Reviews

"While there was imagination to Swiss Army Man, I am on the hate side of it." -Chris

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Entries in Cinematography (245)

Tuesday
May102016

Top Ten: Sexiest Things in "A Bigger Splash"

In lieu of a full review for Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love follow up A Bigger Splash -- who can type with one hand -a hot and bothered top ten list.

THE SEXIEST THINGS IN "A BIGGER SPLASH" 

10. Reflective Sunglasses.
The great cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (look up his filmography. Seriously) makes full use of the reflections in everyone's glasses. We're staring at them, but what are they staring at in this voyeuristic vacation?

09. Tilda Whispering to Matthias
As the movie begins world famous rockstar Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is on vocal rest, doctor's orders. Her visiting friend/ex lover Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and a daughter he didn't know he had until recently (Dakota Johnson) arrive in town unexpectedly and they're told she can't speak. It's not strictly true. Marianne reserves her whispering, which she's allowed, for her younger filmmaker boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Secretive conspiratorial intimacy is a panty-dropper.

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Wednesday
May042016

She's 'Mad' as 'Hel' and She's Not Going to Streep It Anymore

If you missed the Best Shot roundup for Death Becomes Her, click here.

For my part this week I've opted to unearth and spruce up an old essay from the vaults about this great 90s comedy. The article is illustrated with my 12 favorite shots from the movies. Yes, I choose a "best" but it was a close call.  If you joined us in the past six years it's new to you. And if you are too young to have lived through Meryl Streep's career transition in the early 90s and Goldie Hawn's status as a hot box office comedy, I think you'll find it particularly interesting.

Let's begin after the jump...

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Tuesday
May032016

Visual Index: Death Becomes Her's Best Shot(s)

This is as good a time as any to tell you that May is "Girls Gone Wild" month at The Film Experience. You know we love a good theme week/month at the site! And with Thelma & Louise and Madonna's Truth or Dare both celebrating 25th anniversaries this very month, it was the only conceivable plus awesome theme to build the blogging around. So we'll be celebrating reckless divas, fierce warriors, psychotic beauties, and blonde venuses all month long. Well that and Cannes hoopla of course.

And we'll start Girls Gone Wild right now with actress Madeline Ashton (Meryl Streep) and her frenemy author Helen Sharp (Goldie Hawn) who drink a seductive potion to appease their vanity with spectacular Oscar-winning results. My choice for Best Shot will be up tomorrow as I'm running behind -- when I love a movie too much it takes me so much longer! -- so I'll keep updating this gallery if you're also running late. 

DEATH BECOMES HER
Director: Robert Zemeckis; Cinematographer: Dean Cundey
Click on any of the 14 shots to read its accompanying article

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr262016

Throne of Blood's Best Shots - A Visual Index

After realizing that we'd never featured an Akira Kurosawa on Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we obviously had to. Ran (1985) was tempting but it gets a lot of attention already. So we opted to watch his other Shakespeare inspired masterpiece, Throne of Blood (1957) which is still the best Macbeth movie even if its more Macbeth-inspired than traditionally adapted.

If you've never seen it, give it a shot. It's gorgeous and haunting and unlike most Shakespeare films grippingly compact at only 110 minutes.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot(s)
Throne of Blood (1957)

Director: Akira Kurosawa; Cinematographer: Asakazu Nakai 
Click on any of the 11 images to be taken to its accompanying article

Throne of Blood teaches us how to watch it. 
-Antagony & Ecstasy


The minute we see Isuzu Yamada as Lady Asaji in this cold spare room, we know exactly where things will go...
-Scopophiliac at the Cinema 

One of my favorite ideas in these Japanese stories is that the living and dead (or the supernatural) could live together, without a hereafter.
-Cal Roth

What Shakespeare does with language, Kurosawa and Noh do with movement.
-Dancin Dan on Film 


Kurosawa injects into the tragedy of Macbeth an incredible sensorial expressiveness of poetic dimensions by placing it in mystic version of feudal japan.
-Magnificent Obsession 


Fujimaki's own splatter-painting.
-The Film Experience

The staging of the two actors is just brilliant...
-Zev Burrows 


The camera becomes like a piece of stagecraft
-Film Mix Tape

the vast space and the wealth that implies, as well as the ample room for Washizu and his wife to contemplate their guilt
-Film Actually


The movie builds with precision, early shots foreshadowing what is to come
-I/fpw 

My favorite scene in Macbeth and they do it very well here
-Rachel Wagner

 

The End.

NEXT TUESDAY NIGHT WARNING: "NOW a warning?" It's Death Becomes Her (1992), rereleased in a collectors edition. Please join us for what will surely be a fun group of screengrabs

Tuesday
Apr262016

Silent Chambers and Spider Webs in "Throne of Blood"

The first time I saw a Jackson Pollock in the flesh, I had to sit down, dumbfounded, in my attempt to take it in. I was staring at just one painting (and there were several) for a good 15-20 minutes before I had to force myself to move on. While the artist's famous splatter paintings seem random there's such an intricate hypnotic depth to them once you're in their presence, like it's possible to slip right inside them and get lost. Each flick of paint, every solid drop, on top of another streak and another spill gives the impression that the painting goes on for years underneath no matter which detail pulls your eye in.

bronze

I kept thinking of that Pollock painting - bear with me through this unexpected reference point - while watching Throne of Blood (1957)...

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Tuesday
Apr192016

Best Shot: The Beguiled (1971)

This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot subject is Don Siegel's fascinating whatsit called The Beguiled (1971). It's little like Siegel's other collaborations with his muse Clint Eastwood and assigning it to a genre is also difficult both of which might explain its fairly quiet reputation. With the news coming that Sofia Coppola will soon be remaking it, our eyes drank every frame up. And wow is this story of a wounded Yankee grifter in A Confederate girl's school ripe for a revisit. You might say that imagining how Coppola's halflidded female gaze might view this is nearly as exciting as the movie itself but in some ways it already feels like a Sofia Coppola film. Profound interest in sensual and anthropological gazing at the desires of women who can't articulate their desires? Check!

Some of the English language posters are hilariously false, suggesting it's a shoot-em-up manly western. One poster actually has four men on it when Eastwood is the only man of significance in the movie and practically the entire film involves a group of women buzzing around and hypnotized by the sick man in their midst. So I've illustrated with a French poster that feels right.

Best Shot choices are after the jump...

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Sunday
Apr172016

April Foolish Predictions: Visual Categories

Hello Dear Reader! Your host Nathaniel checking in from a screening and chart-making frenzy. I'm heading off to my jury meeting at the Nashville International Film Festival (New Directors competition) to bestow prizes. But I wanted to point you to chart updates (the remainder will premiere this week to complete our April Foolish tradition). So let's talk costume design and cinematography and such. (lots more after the jump)

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