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

Gravity, Frozen, The Croods Top VES Nominations

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

The Visual Effects Society (VES) announced its nominees for the 12th annual VES Awards (held Feb. 12 at the Beverly Hilton), with Gravity leading the way with eight nominations. The space blockbuster was joined by Iron Man 3,  Pacific Rim, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug for outstanding VFX.

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ASC Reveals Seven Feature Nominations

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

A three-way tie boosts ASC nominees from five to seven, including Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and Inside Llewyn Davis. The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony on Feb. 1 at the Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom. Read more

Gravity Set for Jan. 17 Re-Release

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

Gravity, which has already grabbed $255 million domestically and $670 million worldwide, will get a final Oscar push when Warner Bros. re-releases the space thriller nationwide on Jan. 17, a day after the nominations are announced.

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Designing the Her Retro Look

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

Turns out that red is not only the warmest color in Spike Jonze’s Oscar-contending Her, but that there was no room for blue in this cozy LA of the near future. That’s because the world building was retro rather than futuristic in exploring the conflict between emotion and environment, according to K.K. Barrett and Casey Storm, the director’s longtime production designer and costume designer. Read more

Craft Talking 12 Years a Slave

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

The visual power of 12 Years a Slave derives from a juxtaposition of horror and beauty that director Steve McQueen calls “Goya-esque.” It immerses us in the totality of Solomon Northup’s experience, a brutal inhumanity that nonetheless took place on gorgeous plantations. Production designer Adam Stockhausen, cinematographer Sean Bobbitt, costume designer Patricia Norris, and editor Joe Walker collaborated on this rich tapestry, which has helped make 12 Years a Slave the best picture Oscar frontrunner. Read more

Holiday Blu-ray Gift Guide: Part Two

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

I wrap up my gift guide recommendations with two from Warner Home Ent.:  James Dean: Ultimate Collector’s Edition and The Right Stuff 30th anniversary edition. Read more

Craft Talking Saving Mr. Banks

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Clips, Costume, Movies, Production Design, Tech, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Like Mary Poppins, Saving Mr. Banks seems deceptively simple on the surface. But dig deeper, and the story resonates as a brilliant memory piece for Emma Thompson’s P.L. Travers, slipping back and forth from her painful childhood in Australia in 1906 to cooperating and subverting the adaptation of her beloved novel with Walt Disney in 1961. And that was the creative hook for director John Lee Hancock and his fellow filmmakers, including production designer Michael Corenblith, cinematographer John Schwartzman and costume designer Daniel Orlandi. Read more

Trailering Jupiter Ascending

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

Watch the first trailer for the Wachowski’s dazzling Jupiter Ascending (July 25, 2014). Read more

Gravity, Her Tie for LAFCA Best Picture Honors

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Below the Line, Cinematography, Editing, Events, Movies, Music, Oscar, Tech, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The LA Film Critics Assn. was deeply divided in its picks, winding up with three ties, including best picture (Gravity and Her), best actress (Blue Jasmine’s Cate Blanchett and Blue is the Warmest Color’s Adele Exarchopoulos), and best supporting actor (Spring Breaker’s James Franco and Dallas Buyers Club’s Jared Leto). Read more

Going Inside Llewyn Davis with Delbonnel

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

Given the evocative look and setting of the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis, it’s not surprising that Bruno Delbonnel snagged the cinematography award from the New York Film Critics Circle. He exquisitely captures the coldness, sadness, unhappiness, and loneliness of Oscar Isaac’s struggling folk singer in Greenwich Village of ’61. Read more