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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Entries in Cinematography (189)

Monday
Jun152015

Yes/No/Maybe So: The Martian

Manuel here to talk space trailers. It’s been a week since the trailer for Ridley Scott’s latest project about Matt Damon getting stranded in Mars dropped, and we have been mum about it here at TFE. Is it because we have no Fassy to look forward to this time around? Or because we prefer our Scott vehicles better when they involve a certain Ms Weaver? The Martian centers on Watney (Damon), an astronau that finds himself stranded in the red planet when a NASA mission is forced to quickly retreat. Alone, unable to contact Earth and armed only with a month's worth of food, he sets out to survive in a planet where, as he says in the trailer, nothing grows. Will his science-know how keep him alive long enough for him to call for help and wait for his team to rescue him from Mars? We'll have to wait until November to find out! 

In the meantime, let's break down the trailer in true TFE-fashion:

YES

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Wednesday
Jun102015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Amadeus" (A Visual Index)

For this week's Best Shot topic, Milos Forman's scrumptious musical duet between jealous Salieri and genius Wolfgang. It was called Amadeus and it was very very good and very very popular -- raking in big box office, too. Though it never landed in the box office top five it had major legs and ended its reign as the 12th highest grosser of 1984.

The music drama won 8 Oscars (from 11 nominations) but curiously one of the prizes it lost was cinematography! The DP was Miroslav Ondrícek who had also been nominated for the previous Milos Forman picture Ragtime (1981).

Amadeus is so visually luxurious that I figured it would be a hard assignment and these eight images surprised me and I can't wait to dig into the articles. Unfortunately I had a computer mishap -- something is not working about my screengrab program (argh-the timing) -- so my own pick for Amadeus will have to wait. But please do read these articles and consider the visual choices. I'm not even going to attempt to put these in chronological order. It's a massive three hour film with lots of performances and difficult to place shots from the luxury overload. Today's Best Shot choices, from brave cinephiles round the web who dare to play this game, are presented in the order in which they were sent to me.

11 BEST SHOTS - AMADEUS (1984)
click on the photos to be taken to the corresponding article 
Next Wednesday: MAGIC MIKE (2012)... grab your singles and pick a shot to shove them into 

Forman wisely draws a visual (and comedic) parallel between the two appearances of the mask.
-The Entertainment Junkie 

When all you can do is seethe in your utter failure...
-Drink Your Juice Shelby 

In a film with such a lavish production, a quiet, almost bare scene caught my eye...
-Sorta That Guy

Hard to pick a shot because its best visual moments come from clever cutting and juxtapositions...
-Coco Hits NY

'It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God...'
-54 Disney Reviews

Thematically, I can't think of a more blunt message statement... 
-Antagony & Ecstasy

VIDEO ENTRY
-Movie Motorbreath 

If every Oscar winner was as loose and irreverent as Amadeus...
-Serious Film 

This resplendent film earned every one of its 8 statues.
-Film Actually

The perfect metaphor for the movie's dynamic...
- The Expert Newbie *first entry* 

"I'm frightened!!!" Yet she was fearless. Cynthia Nixon at 18
-Paul Outlaw

Finis

Wednesday
Jun032015

A Portrait of Everyone Trying To Decide What To Write About "Dick Tracy" For HMWYBS

Perfect right? Thanks Kathy!

I totally forgot that Kathy Bates was in this movie. And that she's amusingly mystified when asked to transcribe Mumbles confession. Or maybe she's distracted thinking 'Misery comes out in 5½ months and then you'll see what I can do!'

I'm currently mulling over 23 screengrabs for Dick Tracy (1990) trying to choose just 1 for its 25th anniversary. This movie is so good looking, in a super-saturated drunk on the color wheel way. So if you're also struggling or forgot that Best Shot was returning today after hiatus (I know several people did) I'll extend the BEST SHOT deadline to tomorrow night.

But in the meantime cue up Madonna's "I'm Breathless" CD and remember how good those Stephen Sondheim songs are as you check out these entries from blogs that finished in time! (Consider it appetizer and main course and tomorrow night dessert for any latecomers to our weekly Visual Party.)

Coco Hits NY - selects a clever moment of cartoon logic
The Entertainment Junkie - on converging visual elements
Film Actually - loves the film noir long shots
Dancin' Dan - goes understated for a loud movie 
Antagony & Ecstasy - admires the graphic storytelling
Paul Outlaw- wants to reverse Madonna & Beatty's positions in this potent frame 

And don't forget that next Wednesday night June 10th is Amadeus (1984) and there won't be any extension of that deadline because the film leaves Netflix Instant Watch very soon and it's three hours long (but oh so good) so you might want to get a headstart on your selection for that one. Yours truly hasn't seen it since the 80s and is so excited to revisit it.  

 

Monday
May182015

Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

Michael C here to review my most anticipated film of the summer. Isn't it wonderful when anticipation and quality go together?

With each passing Summer the concept of the Event Movie gets a little more cheapened, a little more downgraded. Like eyes adjusting to darkness, we see weightless CG blurs collide with other weightless CG blurs and deem it good enough. That is until a film like George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road comes along to rip the curtains down and the light flood in. No, that image is not strong enough. Fury Road tears through the multiplex like a great cleansing fire, leaving the great herd of lesser, timid blockbusters scattering to escape its path. 

It may seem an odd declaration to make about a franchise reboot, itself the third sequel in a series dormant since 1985’s Beyond Thunderdome. But Miller proves that any project can attain greatness with the right spirit of reckless ambition. The prevailing mentality is that an established brand is an excuse to play it safe, to scrub a rehash of the original story down to a neutered PG-13 so as not to risk alienating a single ticket buyer on Earth. George Miller goes full tilt in the opposite direction, embracing the franchise’ twisted id...

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Sunday
May172015

Podcast: Max & Furiosa On The Road

Nathaniel welcomes back Anne Marie and regular Nick Davis and new guest Kyle Stevens to discuss George Miller's critically drooled over action masterwork Mad Max Fury Road. Though is it really as good as they say? We look deep at that misdirection of a prologue, the hallucinatory visuals, and the central conceit vs the female characterizations. We even talk Oscars a little bit. There are a few spoilers so it's best to see the film before listening if you care about such thing.

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes.  


Companion Links
Michael's Fury Road review
Tina Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero"
Kyle's Twitter Account - Follow him. He's fun!

Fury Roadcast

Saturday
May162015

1979: Revisiting The Black Stallion

In honor of the Year of the Month (1979) and horse racing’s most exciting month – with the second leg of the Triple Crown, the Preakness, being run today – Lynn Lee revisits a childhood favorite movie, The Black Stallion.

As a little girl, I didn’t ride horses but I loved reading about them, from Black Beauty to Misty of Chincoteague to just about every book in the Black Stallion series.  Naturally I loved the Black Stallion movie and watched it multiple times in my pre-teen years.  I recently decided to watch it again and see how I felt about it over two decades later.  Here are the five things that struck me most strongly this time around:

1. How quiet the film is.
There’s barely any dialogue.  That makes sense for the first half, most of which takes place on a desert island where the two shipwrecked protagonists, the boy Alec and the Black Stallion, slowly earn each other’s trust.  But even after they’re rescued and return to society and enter a big honking horse race, the quiet remains.  Most of the human characters have only a handful of lines... [More]

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