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 The Counselor

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

Talk about fast & furious: Ridley Scott teams up with Cormac McCarthy for The Counselor (Oct. 25), and the first teaser for this gritty all-star crime drama is a gem.  Read more

Trailering The Wolf of Wall Street

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

Leonardo DiCaprio seamlessly transitions from one Wall Street hustler to another, judging by the first trailer for Martin Scorsese’s madcap The Wolf of Wall Street (Nov. 15). Read more

Much Ado About Shakespeare in Black-and-White

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

Joss Whedon’s marvelous Shakespeare house party in modern dress, Much Ado About Nothing, is part of a mini black-and-white resurgence this year that also includes Noah Baumbach’s screwball Frances Ha, Alexander Payne’s chilly Nebraska, and Godfrey Reggio’s counter-intuitive Visitors. Maybe it’s The Artist factor, or else it’s just time to go monochromatic again as a retro exercise in naturalism. For Much Ado cinematographer Jay Hunter (who previously worked with Whedon on the Dollhouse TV series), shooting in black-and-white was nirvana — a mixture of film noir and the French New Wave. Read more

Talking House of Cards BTL

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

I recently spoke with the three Bs of below-the-line craft on the acclaimed, $100 million House of Cards, which is in pre-production on its second season for Netflix: cinematographer Eigil Bryld (You Don’t Know Jack), costume designer Tom Broecker (Saturday Night Live), and composer Jeff Beal (Blackfish), whose two-disc soundtrack is available on Varese Sarabande. They all attest to the fact that TV bended to David Fincher (the series’ exec producer who directed the first two episodes) and not the other way around. Read more

Celebrating Shane at TCM Classic Fest

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

Come see the digitally restored Shane (in the proper aspect ratio) tonight at the Chinese as part of the TCM Classic Film Festival. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Lincoln

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

Lincoln was my favorite movie of last year. It fulfilled all of my expectations and then some as a psychological study and political procedural. I would argue that Steven Spielberg came of age with Schindler’s List but achieved a new profundity with Lincoln about the fight to save the soul of this country. The Blu-ray is out this week from Fox Home Ent., which provides an opportunity to revisit this magnificent movie. It looks and sounds as rich and beautiful as it first appeared theatrically, only now you’ll be able to hear every hushed line of dialogue by screenwriter Tony Kushner and even better appreciate Daniel Day-Lewis’ commanding, Oscar-winning performance. Read more

Trailering More World War Z

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

There’s a second trailer for World War Z (June 21), the zombie invasion/political conspiracy thriller starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace). Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Life of Pi

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

Ang Lee’s multiple Oscar-winning Life of Pi goes Blu (Fox Home Ent.) and looks spectacular. Even viewed flat, I’m still entranced by the spirituality of the storytelling and the seduction of the imagery. And the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio offers a thrilling soundscape. It truly is the 2001 of our time. Read more

Wachowski’s Jupiter Ascending Set for Summer 2014

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

The Wachowski’s next movie, Jupiter Ascending, has just landed a July 25, 2014 release date from Warner Bros., which means another smart, genre-bending experience from Andy and Lana, who are obviously unfazed by the lackluster box office response to Cloud Atlas. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Cabaret

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

Before Les Mis, there was Cabaret (1972), which redefined the musical and is now available on Blu-ray from Warner Home Video. There is no existing negative, so Warner MPI did the best it could with an IP, even repairing a vertical scratch that extends for a reel. The result is dazzling. It’s dark and dense yet warm in keeping with Geoffrey Unsworth’s alluring look and the original Technicolor dye transfer finish.¬† The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio will have you believing you’re in the Kit Kat Klub. Read more