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.

Music

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

Gravity Set to Dominate Oscar Craft Nominations

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

As we approach Wednesday’s Oscar voting deadline, at least one thing’s certain: Gravity will dominate the craft nominations. And rightly so for the creative and innovative contributions. We’ve already covered production designcinematography, and VFX in depth, so now let’s look at the corresponding design for sound and music, which was perfect for the immersive Dolby Atmos surround experience, along with the editing of what was essentially an animated movie. Read more

Favorites from the Warner Archive Collection

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

Jack Benny, Danny Kaye, Garbo, and Chevalier and MacDonald are featured in my year-end round-up of MOD classics from warnerarchive.com.

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Clipping The Art of IMAX Sound

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

There’s a new video about “The Art of IMAX Sound” featuring clips from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

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Crafts Roundup: Best Original Score

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

The Oscar-contending music scores are particularly strong this year, given the propelling theme of survival and reinvention. Among the standouts are Gravity, All Is Lost, The Book Thief, Philomena, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and Prisoners. Even original songs have spiritual uplift, including ”Let It Go” (Frozen), Cold Play’s ”Atlas” (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), U2′s ”Ordinary Love” (Mandela), and Ed Sheeran’s “I See Fire” (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug). Read more

Desplat Talks Philomena Score

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

Composer Alexandre Desplat has never scored a comedy before and, although one wouldn’t call Philomena a comedy, he nonetheless found the witty repartee between Judi Dench and Steve Coogan a lighter change of pace for his fifth collaboration with director Stephen Frears. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Mary Poppins

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Blu-ray, Books, Clips, Home Entertainment, Movies, Music, Oscar, Tech, VFX | Leave a comment

Mary Poppins arrives for a wondrous 50th anniversary Blu-ray edition from Disney Home Ent. to coincide with the release of Saving Mr. Banks. Read more

Frozen, Croods, DM2, Wind Rises Vie for Golden Globes

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

There were only three Golden Globe qualifiers this year for animation, and those were grabbed by Disney’s Frozen, DreamWorks’ The Croods, and Illumination’s Despicable Me 2 (shutting out Monsters University – a first for Pixar). However, the Hollywood Foreign Press also nominated Studio Ghibli’s The Wind Rises (ineligible for animation) in the foreign language category and gave a nod to Frozen’s captivating “Let It Go” for best song. 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