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Entries in continuous shot (16)

Monday
Dec072015

News: BIFA, Carrie Fisher, Creed

Gothamist Good Morning America tries to interview Carrie Fisher. She is not as cooperative as they're used to. Hilarious. She mostly wants to talk about her dog Gary. Also...
Carrie Fisher's Dog is on twitter
/Film best and worst of Ryan Gosling on SNL
Variety
Shailene Woodley, to whom I am mostly allergic, will unfortunately co-star with Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies
Boy Culture
Warhol superstar Holly Woodlawn has died at 69
i09 in case you can't wait until Christmas, they've released 8 clips from The Hateful Eight to tide you over
Pajiba 8 sets of celebrity dopplegangers

Today's Watch
Director Ryan Coogler talks about Creed's amazing continuous shot boxing match. So gutsy that this bravura bit comes so early in the movie and he still manages to top it later on.

List Mania
Vulture David Edelstein's top ten list is quite adventurous as it zigzags from Room to Chi-Raq but his top 10 and best performances list is.... Steve Carell The Big Short as #2 of the year (say whaaaa?)

Saoirse Ronan has arrived. Finally...
The Moet British Independent Film Awards ceremony happened yesterday during all the critics award madness stateside. The winner by a significant margin was Alex Garland's haunting sci-fi triangle Ex Machina. The prizes...

British Independent Film: Ex Machina
Director: Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Actress: Saiorse Ronan, Brooklyn
Actor: Tom Hardy, Legend
Supporting Actress: Olivia Colman, The Lobster
Supporting Actor: Brendan Gleeson, Suffragette
Screenplay: Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Documentary: Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance
International Independent Film: Room
Debut Director: Stephen Fingleton, The Survivalist
Producer of the Year: Paul Katis & Andrew De Lotbiniere, Kajaki: The True Story
Discovery Award: Orion: The Man Who Would Be King
Achievement in Craft: Andrew Whitehurst for VFX, Ex Machina
Short Film: Edmond
Promising Newcomer: Abigail Hardingham, Nina Forever

Kind of a surprise to see Ex Machina dominate so thoroughly though we do love it here at The Film Experience

Friday
Sep182015

Victoria's single take is incredible, but it's not "better" than Birdman's

Sebastian here, not at TIFF, but now taking your donations to get me there next year...

Frederick Lau and Laia Costa in VICTORIA

Ever since its premiere at the Berlinale earlier this year, Sebastian Schipper's Victoria has been compared to Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman. The US poster even leads with a quote from Variety's Guy Lodge: "Fly away, Birdman — there’s a new one-shot wonder in town."

Victoria was shot in one take, which lead many to compare it (usually favorable) to the Best Picture winner. It's an odd comparison to make, though, since Iñárritu's film wasn't shot in one take, and never pretended to be, either. (The fact that Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione weren't even nominated for Best Editing is one of the stranger oversights in The Academy's recent history.)

Both films share in their production an elaborate, fairly - though not entirely - unique effort with a high degree of difficulty to pull off. But so does Boyhood. Or Mad Max: Fury Road, for that matter. That doesn't mean they're doing the same thing, and it certainly doesn't mean that one of them is "better" at it than the others.

As tempting as it may be for some to use Victoria's impressive technical achievement to get in one more jab at the much (and in this writer's view unfairly) maligned Oscar winner, it really doesn't do either of them justice.

VICTORIA had its North American premiere at TIFF this week and is being rolled out to US theaters next month, starting with New York and Los Angeles on October 10. Full release schedule here.

Saturday
Jun202015

Victoria sweeps German Film Awards

Sebastian here with a quick update from the German Film Awards (Deutscher Filmpreis).

A still from VICTORIA

Fresh off its Silver Bear win at the Berlinale, Sebastian Schipper's Victoria, a two hour and twenty minute thriller filmed in one continuous shot without editing or camera tricks, dominated Friday night's Filmpreis ceremony, claiming "Lolas" in six categories, including Best Picture, Director, Actress (Laia Costa), and Actor (Frederick Lau).

Other prizes went to dramas Phoenix (Supporting Actress Nina Kunzendorf) and Germany's 2014 Oscar submission Beloved Sisters (Costume Design, Makeup), the thriller Who Am I (Editing, Production Design, Sound), and Citizenfour (Documentary).

I'm a huge fan of Schipper's previous work, especially his debut film Absolute Giganten (1999), so I was rooting for Victoria even without having seen it - in a cruel twist of faith the one movie I was eager to see that I didn't have to worry about being dubbed didn't open in my town at all. Adopt Films has acquired Victoria for distribution in the US and "plans a late summer/early fall 2015 release." Though Victoria beat last year's Oscar submission and two more traditional Oscar submission hopefuls (Labyrinth of Lies and Elser both deal with WW II or its repercussions) for the 2015 Lola, this doesn't necessarily mean it will be Germany's Oscar submission. We'll have to wait and see who takes that honor later in the year.

Sunday
Oct192014

Review: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

An abridged version of this review was originally posted in Nathaniel's weekly column at Towleroad. It is reposted here, with their permission.

 

A card in the bottom right hand of the star's mirror reads:

"A thing is a thing. Not what is said of that thing." 
-Susan Sontag

Which immediately complicates or maybe simplifies celebrity and art, two major themes (among a handful) of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu's one of a kind new film experience. It's destined for major Oscar nominations and you should see it immediately. The movie has the simple and then complicated title of Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) as befits its duality perfectly. This quote is never addressed in the film but it's always stubbornly lodged there in that mirror, defying or playfully encouraging conversation about what this movie actually is. And what is film criticism or its more popular cousin, after-movie conversation over dinner drinks or online other than conversation that attempts to interpret and define?

Critics are often treated with petulant hostility in movies about show business, as if the filmmakers have an axe to grind and need to do that with grindstone in hand while their critical avatar/puppet hangs there limply, waiting to be struck with the sharpened blade. Birdman is no exception, immediately insulting its formidable theater critic Tabitha (Lindsay Duncan) as having a face that 'looks like she just licked a homeless man's ass,' before she's even spoken a line. But Tabitha is a slippery mark, portrayed as a voice of integrity in one scene and then a vicious unprofessional monster in another. This calls into question the reality of her scenes altogether

... which is not unusual in Birdman.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug082014

Breaking: The Foreign Oscar Charts Have Arrived!

I've been chart happy this week as you can see. The Oscar charts were all updated two days ago. And now the Foreign Language Film Submission Charts - all three of 'em - are up. Have to be ready when September hits, you know!? The three foreign film submission charts are now up:

 

 

You can always access the Oscar charts from the pulldown menu on the navigation bar. (But you must know that already.) Only the first chart has a lot of information (read: speculation) since only one country has officially announced. That would be Hungary's tense critically lauded allegory White God. But the charts will grow. UPDATE: Turkey and Poland have all announced. We have a race!

For now let's talk about a few random countries and films that might come into play...

CANADA (7 nominations & 1 win)
Coming off his coronation of sorts at Cannes Xavier Dolan's Mommy seems like the most obvious choice but it's not the only choice. In fact, Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm is also eligible; that one is damn prolific. Canada has only submitted Dolan once with I Killed My Mother but they've had a strong string of contenders and actual nominees lately. Denys Arcand, Canada's favorite son when it comes to Oscar (4 submissions, 3 nominations, 1 win) also has a new film out called An Eye For Beauty so who knows. More Canadian features are coming - there's a whole sidebar at TIFF of course.

CZECH REPUBLIC (9 nominations & 3 wins)
They have several options but the one I'm most intrigued by is called Hany. Watch this trailer [NSFW]. I'll tell you why after you do...

It was shot in a one long continuous take a la Rope (well mostly) and Russian Ark! And considering that, it looks fairly complicated, well populated, lively and ambitious. I really want it to be their submission because a) that's cool and b) then we can compare it to Birdman which is reportedly edited to look like it was all shot in one take.

 

ISRAEL (10 nominations)
From 2007 through 2011 Israel was hot-hot-hot with foreign language branch voters securing four of its ten nominations. Israel is the most nominated country never to have won the Foreign prize (Mexico & Poland are also oft-nominated without a statue to show for it). The frontrunner for their submission this year appears to be Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem starring and co-directed by Israel's awesome movie star Ronit Elkabetz (of Late Marriage, Or, and The Band's Visit fame). But when the Ophir nominations are announced in a few days we'll know more about its competition. You have to score at the Ophir Awards to be their submission.

Any guesses as to what your favorite country is submitting this year?

 

 

 

Saturday
Jul122014

Emmy Nom Hangover: Snubs & Peculiarities

Apologies for my radio silence yesterday. Off my game I was for the entire day plus which means I'm know 36 hours behind on writing projects. Hooray. Nevertheless, because Emmy nominations are still very much on my mind after the initial response and the main titles detour (oh don't pretend you aren't still thinking about them) I polled a few members of Team Experience about their feelings. And here's what they had to say on four questions. Answer them yourself in the comments, too. The more the merrier. 

What's the Nomination That Most Perplexes You?

Adam Armstrong: Kristen Wiig – The Spoils of Babylon. When I read her name among the nominees, I was like:

...Pure, unadulterated, ecstatic, confused bliss. 

Andrew KendallSo many options, but it's impossible for me to let Christina Hendricks in Mad Men just pass - for so many reasons. Everyone loves Joan and Hendricks is one Mad Men's finest actors but in the seven episode "half season" 2014 gave up what did Joan Harris even do to warrant a citation? I'm always willing to defend the Emmy voters when people accuse them of voting without watching (maybe they just have trite tastes?) but can anyone have watched this last season of television and sincerely felt Christina Hendricks did anything of note? Her nomination this particular season is even more of an albatross to the category than Maggie Smith's never ending series of nominations for frowning on Downton Abbey.

Dancin' Dan: Michelle Dockery, Lead Actress in a Drama. Does she actually do ANYTHING remotely interesting or difficult on Downton Abbey? This nomination has always perplexed me.

Anne Marie: Apparently the only people still watching Glee are Emmy voters. It's the only way to explain how it got a directing nomination for an episode with fewer audience members than the population of New Mexico.

Omission You Will Hold Against the Emmys Forever?

[RuPaul, Hannibal, Archer, The Good Wife and much more after the jump]

Click to read more ...