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.

James Bond

Framestore Wins Skyfall Title Design Award

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Clips, James Bond, Movies, Oscar, Tech, VFX | Leave a comment

Framestore took home the Best Broadcast Design Award for the Skyfall opening title sequence at Thursday’s Design Week Award!, sharing it with director Danny Kleinman and Rattling Stick. Read more

Sam Mendes Negotiating Bond Return

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Books, James Bond, Tech | Leave a comment

So, after all the jostling the last couple of weeks to find the next Bond director (the list of suspects included Chris Nolan, Tom Hooper, Ang Lee, Matthew Vaughn, and Nicolas Winding Refn), Sam Mendes is back in play for Bond 24 (and, rumor has it, Bond 25). What producer Barbara Broccoli and star Daniel Craig want, they usually get, especially after Skyfall made $1.1 billion. Read more

Trailering Bondian Star Trek

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, James Bond, Movies, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The latest Star Trek Into Darkness international trailer is shaken, not stirred, echoing both Skyfall and Licence to Kill (fittingly on Timothy Dalton’s birthday). Read more

Who Should Direct Bond 24?

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Books, James Bond, Movies | Leave a comment

With yesterday’s revelation on Empire that Sam Mendes will not return for Bond 24 (too much already on his plate and ultimately he got Bond creatively out of his system), who should replace him? I explore a few options. Read more

Backstage at the 85th Oscars

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Events, James Bond, Movies, Oscar, previs, Production Design, Shorts, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Here’s my Oscar takeaway: Brave winning best animated feature proves you should never underestimate the prestige of the Pixar brand; Paperman taking best animated short proves Disney’s back with a breakthrough hybrid approach in keeping with the legacy; the extraordinary  Life of Pi certainly made its mark with director, cinematography, VFX, and music honors; and Lincoln taking production design along with best actor Daniel Day-Lewis proved the inside/out approach was a powerful match. While the Bond 50th clip tribute left a lot to be desired, Shirley Bassey brought the house down with Goldfinger and Adele provided a stirring performance of her Oscar-winning Skyfall. As for Argo, Hollywood and fact-based heroism were an unbeatable combination when it came to best picture. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Skyfall

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

Skyfall arrives this week on Blu-ray (Fox/MGM Home Ent.). No wonder it’s the first billion dollar Bond: it’s the most prestigious and dramatically rich Bond ever (under the inspired direction of Sam Mendes), the best-shot Bond movie ever (courtesy of Oscar-nominated and ASC winner Roger Deakins), and the most stunning Bond Blu-ray ever. It’s crisp, sharp, and elegant. That’s because Deakins used the Arri Alexa. In terms of audio, the 5.1 DTS HD-Master  is very dynamic . Read more

Life of Pi, Brave Earn BAFTA Honors

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Events, James Bond, Movies, Music, Production Design, Shorts, Sound, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

While Argo and Ben Affleck unsurprisingly took the top prizes for best film and director today at the BAFTA Awards in London,  Pixar’s Scottish-flavored Brave won for best animated feature and Life of Pi for VFX  (Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer). Life of Pi’s Claudio Miranda also scored the cinematography award; The Making of Longbird and Swimmer earned honors for best animated and live-action short, respectively. Read more

Skyfall, Anna, Life of Pi Take ADG Awards

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, James Bond, Movies, Production Design, Tech, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Production designers Dennis Gassner (Skyfall), Sarah Greenwood (Anna Karenina), and David Gropman (Life of Pi) grabbed top honors for feature film, period, and fantasy at the 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton Saturday night. Read more

The Music of James Bond Review

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Books, James Bond, Movies, Oscar | Leave a comment

With Adele singing the Oscar-nominated “Skyfall”  at the Academy Awards and Bond getting a 50-year tribute (no confirmation yet on all six actors participating), Jon Burlingame’s  The Music of James Bond (Oxford University Press) couldn’t be timelier. Read more

The James Bond Archives: Chronicling 50 Years

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, James Bond, Movies, Tech | Leave a comment

The James Bond Archives by Paul Duncan (Taschen) is the most complete oral history of the Bond franchise available, bolstered by a treasure trove of 1,100 images (many previously unseen, including Daniel Craig’s test for Casino Royale). Yes, it’s pricey but it’s an essential part of your Bond library. Read more