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

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Insider

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

Back in 2000, many of us thought The Insider should’ve won best picture. It was an incisive and oppressive fact-based thriller that recalled the best of the ’70s. Now an indispensable Blu-ray is out from Touchstone Ent. looking darker and richer than ever before, and, if anything, Michael Mann’s movie seems even more brilliant. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray On the Waterfront

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

On the Waterfront (1954) dazzles on the new Criterion Blu-ray out this week just in time for the Academy Awards. The landmark best picture winner about social corruption and personal redemption directed by Elia Kazan and starring Marlon Brando has even greater intensity and intimacy, thanks to a new 4K digital restoration from the original 35mm camera negative overseen by Sony’ s Grover Crisp. 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

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Jazz Singer

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Blu-ray, Cinematography, Movies, Shorts, Sound, Tech | Leave a comment

With the Academy Awards right around the corner, it’s a great time to revisit the landmark Warner Bros. “talkie,”  The Jazz Singer (Warner Home Video), currently available on Blu-ray in a lavish three-disc set that also includes vintage shorts on two DVDs, the informative doc, The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk, and expert commentary from  Ron Hutchinson (co-founder of the Vitaphone Project) and Vince Giordano (Nighthawks orchestra leader);  sound designers Ben Burtt and Dane A. Davis; historians Leonard Maltin, Rudy Behlmer, and Scott Eyman; and restorer Robert Gitt. Read more

Sneaking World War Z Super Bowl Spot

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Books, Cinematography, Movies, previs, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Check out the Super Bowl spot for Paramount’s World War Z (June 21) starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster. Read more

Trailering Inside Llewyn Davis

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

The Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, return with something very different: Inside Llewyn Davis, a witty yet angst-ridden look back at the ’60s Greenwich Village folk scene, and the first trailer has a definite Bob Dylan vibe with “Farewell” playing throughout and a soft, surreal look from French cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel (Amélie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dark Shadows). Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: The Man Who Knew Too Much

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

Criterion has just released Alfred Hitchcock’s British version of The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) on Blu-ray, and the new transfer is a revelation: the expressionistic production design and cinematography by Alfred Junge and Curt Courant have never looked more ravishing. Read more

Clipping Lincoln: An American Journey

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

A new 20-minute behind the scenes special about Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln is available online. It was released on Apple iTunes and will air Sunday on KCBS at 9:00 am (PT). It’s an informative snapshot of Spielberg’s lifelong fascination with the 16th President and the making of the Oscar front-runner for Best Picture. Read more

ASC Feature Nominations Announced

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

Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, and Skyfall were nominated for the 27th annual ASC Awards by the American Society of Cinematographers. The winner will be announced Feb. 10 at the Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom. Read more