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

Britell Talks 12 Years a Slave Score

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

Composer Nicholas Britell (“Gimme the Loot”) provides a powerful musical accompaniment for Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave with a series of spiritual-field songs and stringed waltzes (which are currently available on the Columbia Records soundtrack). These originals and recreations enable us to better understand and appreciate the rich musical heritage that sprung from such inhumanity. Read more

Going Deeper into Frozen with Buck and Lee

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

Frozen provides further proof that we’re experiencing a new Disney renaissance under John Lasseter: it’s the Oscar frontrunner and the studio’s best since Beauty and the Beast. If Wreck-It Ralph seemed thematically subversive while still leveraging the hand-drawn legacy to guide the CG, then Frozen takes it even further. It’s the most feminist take yet on the musical princess fairy tale. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Planes

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

Planes goes Blu (Disney Home Ent.) and the first in the Disneytoon trilogy provides a fun family adventure that’s worth picking up for its infectious charm and humor. Read more

Amir Bar-Lev Talks 12-12-12 Concert Doc

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

The co-director of  The Weinstein Co’s. 12-12-12 doc discusses the historic concert at Madison Square Garden that raised $50 million last year to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy: the camaraderie and community and cross-generational pairing of icons with younger musicians (Eddie Vedder joining Roger Waters to sing “Comfortably Numb”). The all-star lineup includes Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Billy Joel, Alicia Keys, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Chris Martin, Michael Stipe, Adam Sandler, Eric Clapton, Jon Bon Jovi, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Kanye West, and Billy Crystal. Read more

Pretty Females vs. the Bold Feminism of Frozen

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

At its first presentation at Siggraph, Disney’s Frozen started to gain some positive buzz as the animation Oscar frontrunner. But then came a viral media storm last month about gender portrayals in animation that yielded some provocative debate in the community about the Disney/Pixar animation boys club’s predisposition toward pretty females. Read more

Star Wars: Episode VII Production Team Announced

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

As Episode VII continues pre-production, Starwars.com has announced that Lawrence Kasdan and director J.J. Abrams have assumed screenwriting duties, and Michael Arndt has stepped down. Read more

Clipping the Sound of Gravity

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

Gravity is a unique aural experience, which Alfonso Cuaron and  Re-recording Mixer Skip Lievsay discuss in this informative Dolby Atmos featurette from The SoundWorks Collection. The director also discusses sound in a separate video interview. Read more

Disney Starts Shooting Into the Woods

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

Under Alan Horn’s leadership, Disney is delving further into its fairy tale heritage. While Kenneth Branagh is currently making Cinderella in England (March 2015), Rob Marshall has started production this week in the UK on Stephen Sondheim’s much darker Into the Woods musical, slated for a Christmas 2014 release.

Read more

FOST Adds Perlmutter Evolution of Cinema Video

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Books, Clips, Editing, Events, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Videogames | Leave a comment

The Future of StoryTelling (FoST) will host its second annual summit in New York City on Oct. 3, exploring how technology is making storytelling more interactive, and one its participants, Tom Perlmutter, chairperson, National Film Board of Canada and Government Film Commissioner, has created a video presentation on the “Evolution of Cinema and the Birth of a New Art Form,” which you can view below. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Sword, Robin, Oliver

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

Three favorites from Disney have now gone Blu and sparkle in HD: The Sword in the Stone (1963), Robin Hood (1973), and Oliver & Company (1988). Read more