Getting More Immersed with Indiewire


  The Penske Media purchase of Indiewire has resulted in an expansion of my role as crafts and awards season contributor.  Beginning this week, I begin Emmy coverage of below-the-line contenders along with my usual Oscar season crafts reporting, working closely

Immersed in Blu-ray: Hitchcock and Bogart


The WB Archive Collection gets Hitch and Bogie on Blu-ray and they've never looked better for home viewing. In Kent Jones' indispensable doc, Hitchcock/Truffaut, he reminds us that Truffaut was on a mission to correct misconceptions about Hitch as a lightweight

Immersed in Books: Farber on Film


For the first time, the complete writings of film critic Manny Farber is available from Library of America, edited by Robert Polito (Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson). Manny Farber (1917-2008) was the first modernist film critic to write like a modernist.

Blu-ray

SIGGRAPH 2012: Talking Virtual Production, Higher Frame Rates

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Blu-ray, Education, Events, Movies, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Virtual production and higher frame rates dominated the conversation at this week’s SIGGRAPH conference in LA, just as they did at FMX earlier in the year. Despite Warner Bros. scaling back on the number of screens that it will play The Hobbit  at 48 fps on Dec. 14, the two go hand in hand with 3-D in paving the way for a more immersive and lifelike theatrical movie going experience. I cover the highlights and speak with Weta Digital’s Joe Letteri and ILM’s Dennis Muren in my latest TOH/Indiewire column. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Grand Illusion

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

For the 75th anniversary of Jean Renoir’s La Grande Illusion, Studiocanal and the Toulouse Cinematheque commissioned a dazzling digital 4K restoration (thankfully from the long-lost original negative), and we can now experience the grand results in this new Blu-ray from Lionsgate. Although Grand Illusion has been critically eclipsed by Rules of the Game, I think it’s a crime that it didn’t make Sight & Sound’s top 50 list. Read more

Vertigo Tops Sight & Sound Poll

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

After 50 years, Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane has been supplanted by Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo in Sight & Sound’s critics’ poll every decade of the world’s greatest movies (in conjunction with the BFI). Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Singin’ in the Rain and Chariots of Fire

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Movies, Music, Oscar, Production Design, Tech | Leave a comment

It’s singing and dancing and racing on Blu-ray with the release of Singin’ in the Rain and Chariots of Fire from Warner Home Video. Read more

James Bond at the Olympics: For Queen and Country

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Clips, Events, James Bond, Movies, Music, Tech, VFX | 1 Comment

Danny Boyle’s Happy & Glorious short was the highlight of Friday’s London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, with Daniel Craig as James Bond escorting Queen Elizabeth in high style. Read more

Lawrence Gets a Worthy 50th Digital Restoration

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Home Entertainment, Movies, Oscar, Tech | Leave a comment

On a hot Thursday night at the Academy’s Goldwyn Theater, Sony premiered the digital 4K restoration of the Lawrence of Arabia director’s cut in the U.S. (it debuted at Cannes in May). It was like “riding the whirlwind” with greater color and clarity; and makes you appreciate the romantic lure of the “fiery furnace” for Lawrence even more. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Artist

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Cinematography, Clips, Events, Home Entertainment, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

This year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, The Artist, has arrived on Blu-ray (Sony Pictures Home Ent.) looking just as dazzling at home in all its retro glory. It’s still an amazing achievement and what an underdog story: a black and white silent ode to Hollywood made by a French director with two French stars up against the best that our current film industry has to offer.  We needed to look back before moving forward in these uncertain times; and somewhere the ghosts of the silent era were smiling as well. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Double Indemnity

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Home Entertainment, Movies | Leave a comment

Eureka just released Billy Wilder’s masterful Double Indemnity on Blu-ray along with The Lost Weekend as part of its invaluable Masters of Cinema series in the UK. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Gold Rush, Grapes, Streetcar

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies | Leave a comment

With The Artist due on Blu-ray next week, it’s fitting to discuss Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, which recently went Blu from Criterion. It’s great to have both versions of his most popular film (1925 and 1942), but I’ve always preferred the original silent rather than Chaplin’s attempt to cope with sound by adding music and narration. Read more

Hitchcock Goes Blu with Universal Masterpiece Collection

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Home Entertainment, Movies, Tech | Leave a comment

How fitting:  No sooner does Andrew Sarris pass away that Universal Home Ent. announces Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection (featuring 13 first-time Blu-ray releases out of 15 titles) as part of its centennial celebration.  So mark your calendars for Sept. 25. Read more