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Entries in Cinematography (243)

Monday
Apr112016

Tomorrow Night 

Tomorrow night at The Film Experience - Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Witness (1985). Peter Weir's 80s classic (nominated for 8 Oscars, and not undeservedly) is currently available on Netflix. Revisit and join us.

Tuesday
Apr052016

Best Shot Peck Centennial: Roman Holiday & To Kill a Mockingbird

Gregory Peck was an instant sensation at the cinema. He was nominated for Best Actor in his very first year of the movies for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944) and the hits just kept on coming: The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), Twelve O'Clock High (1949). The Academy became less interested in nominating him after that the 1940s but for his Oscar winning and most iconic role (To Kill a Mockingbird) but audiences never stopped loving him. He had key hit films for over 30 years in his big screen career.

Though he was a very politically active liberal he was never interested in running for office himself but he  proved to be an influential politician within the industry itself as a key AMPAS president. 

For this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, in honor of Peck's Centennial, we gave participants the choice between what are arguably his two greatest films, Roman Holiday (1953) or To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar222016

Hit Me With Daredevil Season 2's Best Shots

I asked Hit Me With Your Best Shot participants to choose an episode or multiple episodes from Daredevil's second season on Netflix -- however they wanted to do it -- and write up their choice for a Best Shot. Because the second season has been available for less than a week, we're eschewing the traditional Visual Index so you don't have anything spoiled for you. Read with caution and quit on the episodes you haven't yet seen.

9 heroic blogs
Blue Canary (S1) 
Awards Madness (S2. Episode 1)
The Film Experience (S2. Episodes 1-3)
Sorta That Guy (S2. Episodes 1-3)
Cinematic Corner (S2. Episodes 1-6) 
Magnificent Obsession (Entire Second Season)
I Want to Believe (Entire Second Season)
Wick's Picks (Entire Second Season + a little Jessica Jones
Movie Motorbreath (Entire Second Season) 

NEXT TUESDAY:  We're a little early for April Fool's Day but we're still doing a notorious bad movie from a respected director, the psycho sexual sci-fi Zardoz (1974) directed by John Boorman and starring Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling

Monday
Mar212016

Daredevil Season 2 (Episodes 1-3)

Matt Murdock can't wait to hit the streets and rooftops each night as the Devil of Hell's Kitchen. And I can't wait to finish my "Best Shot" entry super early for once. For this week's assignment (anyone can play along!) you can pick any one episode or multiple episodes of Daredevil Season 2 and choose a Best Shot. You have just under 24 hours left to pick one and post it since the Best Shot Roundup goes up tomorrow night at about 10 PM EST. 

I'll get to my three choices, one per episode, after the jump. But damn it's good to have Charlie Cox's naked torso Daredevil back on Netflix

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar162016

Q&A: Australian Greats, Leading Men, and Camera Muses

It's time for reader questions. Here are 10 recently asked I'm opting to answer tonight. Join the conversation in the comments. 

INQUIRER: Who do you believe is more worthy of an acting Oscar between Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, and Johnny Depp, and who do you think is more likely to win one?

This would surprise anyone unfamiliar with the site but Brad Pitt towers over the other two. He's among my all time favorite movie stars. But you've crafted a tricky question because all three men have loyal camps that they've earned. Cruise is the most consistent, always laser focused on Doing His Job in whichever movie. Depp is the most inspired when he's inspired but he's also the laziest. It seems impossible to imagine now but people did not want him to play Pirates like he played it. The studio was concerned. What is he doing? Now people hire him to for Depp shtick and that's what he gives to the point of self parody! Pitt is the most uneven actor among the three but he's also the most endearing, has the best taste, has aged superbly with his talent, and has evolved the most. Years ago I felt certain that all three would eventually be crowned but it's hard to picture now. If any one of them does a moving hit drama when he's an old codger though perhaps he'll get a career achievement prize. If none of them ever win competitively I'd wager that Brad Pitt is the most likely to get an Honorary Oscar. 

This might be as good a time as any to tell you (warn you?) that April will be ACTOR MONTH here at the blog. We talk about actresses so much that it's time for a wee curveball. Any requests?

TABITHA: Why do female movie stars now largely seem to be in their 20's or 60's? There seems to be a resistance to embrace middle-aged stars (apart from Sandra Bullock or Charlize Theron).

I blame this phenomenon entirely on sexism and the patriarchy. It's intrinsically tied to the "Last F***able Day" phenomenon that Amy Schumer named so brilliantly. I think once an actress has passed that threshold of straight men being "ewww she's AGING -- how dare she?" and is now just an older person, who for better or for worse are often desexualized in art, it's easier for people to just enjoy their acting again. That's my 100% correct theory. It's also harder for female stars to age because a huge percentage of them are famous in part because of exceptional beauty which is not necessarily true (certainly not percentage wise!) with their male counterparts.

KEVIN: if you put Meryl on a strict diet of auteurs, who would you pair her with for her next 3 films?

[more Q&A after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar152016

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Atonement (2007)

Briony's eyes. Every shot is telling, this one directly, confrontationally to the camera.

Stupendous. It's stupendous, darling."

That's Mother Tallis's review of her precocious daughter Briony's (Saoirse Ronan) very serious new play at the beginning of Atonement (2007). It's also any sensible person's reaction to this amazing motion picture. Seeing it again (I hadn't seen it since 2007) was close to overwhelming. Praise be to Director Joe Wright and Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey because this thing hasn't aged a single day. If anything it's become more beautiful with the passage of time, a neat trick since memory is one of its great subjects. It's superbly acted (particularly by James McAvoy in what is certainly his most moving performance), and features a veritable parade of emblematic, gorgeous, and thrillingly visceral images for this exercize of ours. What to even choose: Cecilia wet and haughty at the fountain; The lovers, already "characters" in future novelists Briony's mind erotically pressed against books in the library (my runner up for Best Shot); that amazing tracking shot at Dunkirk which pulls us out of the story (sort of) just long enough to stingingly remind us that War doesn't care about Individual Characters and Their Arcs -- it's ready to soil everything; any closeup of Briony whether she's imaginatively confused (Saoirse Ronan), guilt-ridden shellshocked (Romola Garai), or, wide-eyed with the fraternal twins of truth and fiction (Vanessa Redgrave); and of course anything and everything involving Keira Knightley in the green dress, the dress that should've won Jacqueline Durran the Oscar in a landslide.

Here are the choices from our Best Shot Club, open to anyone who wants to join after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Mar102016

Reader's Choice: a look back at Gattaca (1997)

Welcome to the new bi-weekly series "Reader's Choice." For the first episode I gave you a choice of several films currently streaming and you picked Gattaca (on Amazon Prime). I hope you enjoy and comment since we haven't talked about this movie ever, that I can recall. - Nathaniel

Memories of Gattaca are fuzzy at best. I saw it only once in theaters 19 years ago. I remember: Jude Law in a wheelchair; sterile, sleek, and awesome production design; Uma Thurman being an icy receptionist?; Ethan Hawke being less of a perfect specimen than Jude Law in the context of the movie (this remains true out of context); a hard to buy premise about violence being bred out of the human race?; something about brothers swimming? That's it. 

Join me in this revisit...

A fascinating juxtaposition: When the costume design credit arrives we're looking at a naked body

Gattaca begins with a beautiful blue credits sequence which becomes eerier as it goes along once you realize what its macro imagery is telling you. Ethan Hawke is ridding himself of all human detritus: dead flesh, body hair, cuticles, until he's smooth as a statue. He repeats this in several ways though sometimes (at work) the detritus isn't his. All the workers at his job get their fingers pricked upon entering like its a diabetic research center. There are even daily urine tests... which seems extreme for a world that's so into cleanliness. What if someone misses the specimen cup? 

At the pee test the doctor (Xander Berkeley) looks right at his penis and says the following. [more...]

Click to read more ...

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