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.

Cinematography

Trailering Gone Girl from David Fincher

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Editing, Movies, Music, Production Design, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Watch the new trailer for Gone Girl (Oct. 3) and enter the chilly grasp of David Fincher once again. Read more

The Battle to Save The Alamo

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

Restoration guru Robert Harris is fighting to save John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960) despite MGM resistance. The studio initially pledged $5,000 if Harris could privately raise the rest of the $1.3 million to restore the large format, 202-minute Roadshow version, but is now blocking the restoration.  Perhaps MGM has already committed to distributing a Blu-ray utilizing the 35mm recut. Read more

Clipping Weta VFX on Dawn of the Apes

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch a new featurette from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (July 11) that shows how Weta Digital has taken a “quantum leap” in its Oscar-winning performance capture technology. Read more

The Rover Cinematographer Talks Pearce and Pattinson

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

The Rover, the Australian dystopian crime drama from director David Michod (Animal Kingdom) is a fascinating cross between a western and neo-noir. And the pairing of Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson is an intense psychological study of abuser and enabler. For Argentinian cinematographer Natasha Braier (The Milk of Sorrow, XXY), this is a breakthrough movie. Shot on film in the hot outback, she helps convey a hostile environment where survival has put humanity on hold. Read more

Trailering Fourth and Final Boxtrolls

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Editing, Movies, previs, Production Design, Sound, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Watch the final trailer for Laika’s The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, Sept. 26), which tells us more about the world and plot involving this unusual family. Read more

DeBlois Talks How to Train Your Dragon 2

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, previs, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is quite simply the best animated feature yet from DreamWorks, and the obvious frontrunner for the Oscar race. Dean DeBlois has therefore exceeded all expectations with an ambitious vision for Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless and the world they inhabit in Berk and beyond. It’s an important rite of passage as humans and dragons struggle to co-exist amid the forces of hatred and destruction. And DeBlois and I recently discussed his stunning achievement as first-time solo director. Read more

Stammers Talks X-Men: Days of Future Past VFX

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, previs, Production Design, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Richard Stammers, production VFX supervisor from MPC, discusses highlights and advancements from Bryan Singer’s acclaimed return with X-Men: Days of Future Past.  MPC handled the full CG future Sentinels and interaction with the Mutant cast; Digital Domain was largely responsible for ’73, including the early Sentinels and Washington destruction; Rhythm & Hues did the Beast transformations and airplane mayhem; and Rising Sun handled the Quicksilver speed effects. Read more

Schepisi Talks Words and Pictures

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Director Fred Schepisi (Six Degrees of Separation, Roxanne) is a lot more hopeful about the state of movies for adults after making Words and Pictures and tackling the dumbing-down of education and culture head on. Of course, it helps having Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche rekindling the joy of good, middle-brow drama as reliable counter-programming this Memorial weekend. Read more

MPC Animates First CG Godzilla

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Clips, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

For the first CG Godzilla, director Gareth Edwards wanted a more believable and empathetic creature, so MPC was given the animation task, under the VFX supervision of Oscar winner Guillaume Rocheron (Life of Pi). Read more

Legendary Cinematographer Gordon Willis Passes Away

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

Cinematography Gordon Willis (The Godfather, All the President’s Men, Manhattan), known as “the prince of darkness,” who best defined the neo-noir look of the ’70s, died Sunday at the age of 82. Read more