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Entries in Peter Jackson (9)

Tuesday
Apr282015

Goodbye, Master of the Light, Andrew Lesnie

Glenn here with some sad news that broke late as America was tucking itself away in bed. Academy Award-winning cinematographer Andrew Lesnie has died of a heart attack at the age of 59. Most will know Lesnie as the man who photographed all of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies, but he will also be well-remembered by the local Australian industry for a 35-year-long career that covered the broad spectrum of scope and genre.

Lesnie got his start in the Australian film industry just after the new wave of the 1970s. Unlike fellow countrymen and Oscar-winners John Seale, Dean Semler and Russell Boyd, Lesnie more or less remained in Australia and New Zealand. He only ventured over to work in America once his work on Middle Earth gained him a level of industry respect that would bring him to I Am Legend and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

His early career was made up of low-budget indie works and 'ozploitation' films like Fair Game. He lensed Kylie Minogue’s big screen debut in the delicately shot The Delinquents, and eventually found international acclaim working on Babe. He won an “Australian Oscar” for his superb sun-drenched work on Doing Time for Patsy Cline and would bring the visual extravaganza of Babe: Pig in the City to life before shuffling over to New Zealand to work on no less than eight Peter Jackson movies. Despite his newfound global success, he kept working locally on the indigenous pop-musical Bran Nue Dae, anthology film The Turning with Cate Blanchett, and last year’s ex-con drama Healing.

Devastating news from home. The master of the light, genius Andrew Lesnie has passed on.
Russell Crowe

Andrew Lesnie was a treat to work with. I am blown away by all he achieved. He'll be missed greatly. RIP.
Jamie Bell 

Lesnie died on Monday (Australian time). His final work was for Russell Crowe’s directorial debut, The Water Diviner, which was a giant success at the start of the year in Australia and has just opened in America. Perhaps it was his stubbornness to remain at home in his corner of the world that saw him never receive another nomination after winning in 2002 for The Fellowship of the Ring, but he won more than enough awards for the trilogy to make up for it. At only 59 he's far too young, but he leaves behind an admirable dedication to his home country's industry and an enviable roster of work.

Friday
Jan172014

The Desolation of Smaug: Accentuate the Positive

Michael back again. Nathaniel recently asked us if any of us had seen The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Peter Jackson's latest Middle Earth chapter is entering its sixth weekend with $800+ million in the worldwide bank and three more Oscar nominations and it's gone completely unremarked upon at TFE.  But I could feel the life draining out of me as I attempted to review it. Surely the world did not need one more dissection of Peter Jackson’s chronic inability to rein in his material. What’s left to say, save that Desolation has exactly the problems you would expect it to have? Hell, one could get the same from any archived review of The Lovely Bones or King Kong. All the criticisms still apply.

So I junked that review and decided it would be good for the soul to write something positive instead. After all, Jackson is a maddening filmmaker not because he’s some worthless hack but because he frequently buries moments of brilliance in all the sprawling self-indulgence. So with that in mind here is a list of five things I loved or liked about The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov252013

The Linking Games: Catching Blog

Self Styled Siren has ten rental suggestions for your friends who are haven't yet become true movie fans - 10 classics anyone will love
The Cut Scarlett Johansson's runway looks for her 29th birthday
Vanity Fair Jason Statham on 'poncy actors' and stuntment deserving Oscars 
Variety Emma Thompson is just killing it in these campaign stops for Saving Mr Banks


 Awards Daily on a live performance of the score from All is Lost
The Film Doctor revisits Frances Ha and its French New Wave inspirations
MNPP The Moment I Fell For... Mark Ruffalo
In Contention I'm beginning to realize that Guy Lodge and I have very very different taste in actresses. He thinks Julia Roberts is the MVP of August: Osage County. (I will say this for her: she has the toughest role and she is really going for it.)
Gurus of Gold for this week's chart David Poland had us imagine what would happen if Oscar held a "Best Casting" prize and didn't differentiate between Adapted and Original Screenplay. FTR I love some of the other gurus choices for Casting more than my own picks but I was doing it how I thought Oscar might...
Variety Bunheads after glow... TV giant Amy Sherman Palladino joins other producers to bring Sutton Foster back to Broadway in the new musical Violet. Yes, please.
Variety finally a worthy sounding project for Oscar nominee Catalina Sandino Moreno, the biopic Castro's Daughter

All Hunger. All The Time
The Hairpin Closeted characters from The Hunger Games' Katniss Everdeen to everyone in The Great Gatsby
Monkey See and yet more thinkpieces. On gender types: Is Peeta essentially Katniss's girlfriend?
Atlantic Wire An Open Letter to Jena Malone (who does make a fabulous Johanna) 

Tweet of the Week
By name you've undoubtedly heard that Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp are both in for a sequel to Eyesore in Wonderland.

 

 

 

What else is there to say really?*

*although don't let that stop you from having doing what you do in the comments

Thursday
Jan032013

Tolkien at 121

JA from MNPP here to wish the author JRR Tolkien a terribly post-mortem happy 121st birthday. Here he was born (in 1892) and there he died (in September of 1973) - twas hardly a moment for you, you took no notice. (Sorry I have that Vertigo quote permanantly on tap, even if inappropriate.)

Anyway! Even if Nathaniel's boycotting The Hobbit, there's a lot of us (a whole heckuva lot, judging from its receipts) who weren't so strong and submitted ourselves willingly to another three hours in Hobbiton and beyond - my reaction to the film was actually one of surprised like, if not really love; I'd convinced myself in a post-Lovely-Bones world (shudder) that Peter Jackson had lost that ineffable something that made him so special, and I was wrong. I thought the film was like slipping back into a warm bath - cozy and quite fine. If I weren't so enamored with PJ's take on Tolkien's world I might find the probably obscene money-grab (point Nat) of stretching this lil' book out to nine hours less palatable, but I do, I do like PJ's take on Tolkien's world an awful lot, so I ended up more okay with it than I anticipated myself being in the end. Ask me again after he's piled the latter six hours on and we'll see how I feel but for now, he's reconvinced me at giving it a go. What's did y'all think?

I saw a joke going around on Twitter about how we'll be getting an epic series of films for The Silmarillion next; nevermind that all the good stuff's apparently somehow making its way into the three Hobbit movies already - where there be gold, there be dragons. Where would movie-making even be without JRR today? How many helicopter shots of groups of people striding across pretty landscapes would we have missed out on? I shudder to think.

Wednesday
Aug292012

Melanie Lynskey's Photos from the Set of "Teddy Bears"

[Editor's Note: The Film Experience is pleased to welcome Melanie Lynskey, star of Hello I Must Be Going (opening September 7th), as today's special guest blogger - Nathaniel R]

PHOTO TIME. I'm sharing photos! (Part 1)

Most of my old photos are at my parents house in New Zealand, but I did find one good oldie. So I will post one old one, and the rest are from four films I finished filming in the last year. That way I can totally plug those movies!

© Melanie Lynskey for The Film Experience

The first photo was taken at the Venice Film Festival in 1994. I want to tap myself on the shoulder and say, "hey, you're at the Venice Film Festival! Put some mascara on!" But I was going through a time in my life where I refused to wear makeup or high heels or anything form-fitted, partly to drive my mother crazy and partly because I was reading "The Beauty Myth" every few months and getting angrier every time. Also it would really delight Peter Jackson when I showed up to a premiere in Converse, and I love his little laugh, so I was happy enough. I love this picture because I am So. Excited. to be meeting the director of Reservoir Dogs. I love that Quentin Tarantino. (He literally would not stop talking long enough to get his picture taken, he's just carrying on with some amazing comprehensive story.) Sarah Pierse, who played my mother in Heavenly Creatures, is that gorgeous lady to my left. She's one of the greats, I think. An amazing actress. My beloved David Lynch was the head of the jury that year and I got to meet him. I cannot even tell you how into Twin Peaks I was at that point, not to mention the fact that I would re-watch one of his movies pretty much every weekend of my life. I started crying as soon as I was out of his sight. It was the most exciting thing that had ever happened to me.

This next little group of photos is from the movie Teddy Bears, which we filmed in April. I'm posting these photos to say look at this cast, yo!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct312011

Happy Birthday Peter Jackson!

In seems fitting yet not too obvious that Peter Jackson's birthday would be on Halloween. Imagine the costume fun one could cull from his films alone? 

Since today is his half century mark, we couldn't not tip our pointy Gandalf hats to the man. Whether you're counting down the days until he returns to The Shire with The Hobbit films or wishing he'd move away from Tolkien and on to greener other pastures, it's worth checking in on the official Hobbit blog from month to month (though they sadly haven't had a production video since July and those were fun.) 

Do you think The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Hobbit: There and Back Again (2013) will continue the Rings Oscar streak? Perhaps you're more doubtful like me... even if The Hobbit films are great won't AMPAS voters feel that 11 Oscars in February 2004 was more than enough?

I would rank his films like so.

  1. Heavenly Creatures (1994) -check out Melanie Lynskey's memoirs and our "Hit Me..." blog party if you're a fan of this brilliant hysteria.
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
  5. King Kong (2005)
  6. The Frighteners (1996) ...a revisit is definitely in order. Would I like it more or less?)
  7. Meet the Feebles (1989)
  8. Forgotten Silver (1995)
  9. The Lovely Bones (2009)

    P.S. I have not seen Bad Taste (1987) or Dead Alive (1992) but I'm quite certain I'd prefer them to The Lovely Bones.

You?