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.

Costume

Crafts Roundup: Assessing the Gravity Oscar Factor

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

As anticipated, Alfonso Cuaron’s blockbuster Gravity dominated the Oscar nominations this week with 10 (tied with American Hustle), of which seven were craft-related (VFX, cinematography, production design, editing, sound editing, sound mixing, and original score). Meanwhile, best picture frontrunners 12 Years a Slave (which was re-released theatrically along with Gravity) and American Hustle each scored three craft noms.

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Gravity Grabs 10 Oscar Nominations

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

The popular Gravity grabbed 10 Oscar nominations along with American Hustle (including best picture, best director for Alfonso  Cuarón, and best actress for Sandra Bullock), and dominated the crafts (production design, cinematography, VFX, editing, sound editing and mixing and original score). Disney’s Frozen and Get A Horse! Micky Mouse short were both nominatedbut Pixar’s Monsters University was shut out for only the second time in its history. Read more

Crafts Roundup: Makeup and Hairstyling

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

Disco, flappers, and old men dominate the makeup and hairstyling Oscar race, with the shortlist comprised of American Hustle,  Dallas Buyers Club,  Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters, The Great Gatsby, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, and The Lone Ranger. Read more

Crafts Roundup: Costume Design

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

Costumers finally got their own branch this year, which mean they’re no longer lumped in with the other designers, so we’ll see how that impacts the nominations in two weeks. Not surprisingly, there’s an abundance of upscale period pieces (American Hustle, 12 Years a Slave, Lee Daniels’ The Butler, The Great Gatsby, Philomena, Inside Llewyn Davis). But even when dealing with the future (Her) there’s a retro vibe, save for the idiosyncratic and flamboyant The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (see our TOH! interview with Trish Summerville). Read more

Boyle Talks Philomena Costume Design

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

For Dublin native Consolata Boyle, designing the costumes for the fact-based Philomena — her seventh collaboration with director Stephen Frears — took on special significance. Certainly it’s a powerful story about a mother’s search for her long-lost son, amid the appalling revelation of forced adoptions in Ireland. But its greatest artistic appeal came from the witty “Odd Couple” pairing of Judi Dench and Steve Coogan. Read more

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

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

Kindle Edition of James Bond Unmasked Available

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

I’ve updated my book, James Bond Unmasked (Spies), to include a Skyfall chapter, an exclusive interview with Sam Mendes, and new Daniel Craig quotes from various press conferences. JBU is currently available in a Kindle edition and coming soon to Nook and other e-readers. Read more

Trailering Maleficent

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

Angelina Jolie makes a menacing Maleficent in the teaser for the live-action version of Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty opening May 30, 2014.

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