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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"That finger fondle is the most terrifying part of the movie; it literally sends a chill through my body every time I view it. Knowing what heinous acts he had committed, I felt very protective of Clarice and that is a testament to Foster's brilliance. I still believe the Oscar should have been split in half (Geena and Susan), but Foster's win here is more justified than The Accused."- NewMoonSon

"I do agree that the movie is well made, but it's about serial killers. Not everyone's cup of tea.." - Devon

 

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Entries in Pixar (63)

Thursday
Jan282016

Tim's Toons: A preview of 2016 in animated features

Tim here. Kung Fu Panda 3 opens this weekend, and thus begins one of the most crowded years for animated features in living memory (technically, Norm of the North already kicked things off two weeks ago, but we're all better off consigning that one to the memory hole).

As a public service, I'd like to offer this highly abbreviated guide to some of the animation that will be coming out in the U.S. over the next 11 months. As with every year, there will of course be a healthy number of foreign imports that we can't predict, and hopefully a little indie or two that nobody has heard about yet; best to think of this, maybe, as a handy field guide to clearing your way through the glut of big-ticket studio films about to reign down upon us all.

Lots more Toons after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec012015

Annie Awards Give Love to Pixar (and "Judy" in The Revenant!)

The Annie Awards, now in their 43rd year, seemed to have stabilized after their controversial laden years when people felt they were to beholden to Dreamworks Animation (am I remembering this correctly?) within their voting ranks. But their nominations often still feel quite random as in voice acting where Richard Kind was shut out for "bing bong" in Inside Out. Or Tom Noonan, who voices almost every character in Anomalisa, being ignored. Or their character design and visual effects nominations sometimes specifying individual scenes or categories and sometimes just labelled "all". And the varying number of nominations per category.

In short: their executive body really needs to sharpen up their rules so they feel more respectable / consistent.

But it was a good morning for Pixar since Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur dominated with 14 and 10 nods respectively. As for their competition for Oscar gold, good showings for Anomalisa, Shaun the Sheep and Peanuts with 5 nominations each. The low profile but reportedly excellent Brazilian feature Boy and the World received 3 nominations.

Even some live action films get honored by the Annies since most films get computer animated assists these days so... what's that? The Revenant was nominated? See more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov302015

Review: The Good Dinosaur

Tim here. The Good Dinosaur is, in the first place, a kids' film: not a film about kids but also somewhat for adults, like Inside Out. Or, indeed, most of what Pixar Animation Studios has produced in its 20 years of making features. In fact, even including the unabashed toy commercials of the Cars franchise, this might be the most unmixed "for the kids" movie out of the 16 films of the Pixar canon. This has translated into a lot of disappointment from a lot of people openly hoping for another film at the Inside Out level of emotional sophistication and narrative creativity, which was really never going to be in the cards; frankly, the movie doesn't seem to have any designs on that kind of sophistication.

Still, it's easy to be too harsh on the movie: simple and direct as The Good Dinosaur certainly is, it's an enormously strong version of its stock narrative.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov192015

The animated short films Oscar shortlist

Tim here. Today, the Academy announced that it has whittled the initial list of 60 titles eligible for the Best Animated Short Film Oscar down to ten finalists that will go on to compete for the five nominations in January. Like all of you, I imagine, I haven't seen most of these ten, but let's run through them quickly to see what we've got:

Bear Story (Historia de un oso) - Gabriel Osorio, director; Pato Escala, producer (Punkrobot Animation Studio)
This Chilean effort - Cartoon Brew notes that it would be the first Chilean film ever nominated if it makes it - looks to be a toy-esque animal fable done in charmingly plasticky CGI. Trailer

Carface (Autos Portraits) - Claude Cloutier, director (National Film Board of Canada)
A car with, get this, a face, sings "Que Sera, Sera", accompanied by images in thick lines and full color of cars and machines. It never does to count out the NFB, which has one of the most reliable histories of producing terrific animated shorts anywhere in the world. Trailer

The other eight nominees below the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep262015

NYFF: Shorts (Animated & International)

Part of the joy of film festivals (I’m told) is discovery, and so, this being Manuel's first full New York Film Festival, he figured he’d give its various Shorts Programs a chance.

It’s not a form I watch often though you’d think it’d be growing in popularity given our ever-shrinking attention spans. And with that in mind, rather than review all thirteen shorts I watched, I’ve singled out highlights from the programs screening at the festival, which include Pixar’s latest and a dazzling black and white queer short from Argentina. More...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul142015

Q&A: Friday Nights, Voice Work, Underseen Gems

You asked some questions. I'm finally answering them. You know how this works. Please do chime in in the comments. The whole reason we do the column is for participatory flavor and that includes a pinch of you! Our Question of the Week which is Friday Night Lights themed is, annoyingly, from "Anonny" (how about a name?) so he/she gets to choose our next banner topic! (And how about our current "joy" banner. I put Jessica Lange in it for the first time and no one notices!?)

What is it, a crime? Is it a crime to look at Lange?

Pat Carroll recording UrsulaJAMES: Does the trend now that animated films only use "names" for voice work mean that we'll never see the likes of Pat Carroll again?

That would be among the greatest of cinematic tragedies. Unlike seemingly many TFE readers, though, I don't actually share an interest in voice actors getting Oscar nominations. But as with motion capture and the much discussed pioneering case of Andy Serkis, I do think this is where Oscar is really dropping the ball in terms of never giving out special achievement statues. I can't even remember when the last one was -- was it for Toy Story (1995) before there was the Animated Feature category? Pat Carroll's work as Ursula is the single greatest voice performance in the history of animation. (Team Experience shamefully put her in only 3rd when we took a poll)

The days of specialized voice talent getting prime opportunities like that are gone but there is hope: Pixar uses celebrities sometimes but they don't rely on them exclusively the way Dreamworks and other lesser studios do. And sometimes their "celebrities" aren't exactly household names so they aren't using them for advertising purposes, but because they genuinely love the voice. Wasn't Richard Kind a great choice for "Bing Bong" in Inside Out

DEBORAH: If you could choose one lesser-known movie each from the 70s, 80s, and 90s that everyone should see, what would they be (and why)?

THE ANSWER AND EIGHT MORE QUESTIONS AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...