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

Trailering The BFG from Steven Spielberg

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Editing, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Oscar, performance capture, previs, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

We get our first peek of the eponymous giant (a performance-captured Mark Rylance by Weta Digital) from Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roal Dahl’s The BFG (July 1, 2016), which also marks his first directorial effort at Disney. Read more

How Shore Composed Spotlight for Chamber Orchestra

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

Howard Shore’s score for Spotlight might be the highlight of his distinguished career, which has already earned him two Oscars for his epic Lord of the Rings work. The key inspiration after reading the script was conceiving it as a chamber piece for 10-piece orchestra, evoking the tragedy and triumph of Tom McCarthy’s fact-based journo procedural. Read more

Trailering Zootopia Sloth from Disney

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

Watch the new trailer for Zootopia (March 4, 2016) featuring the hilarious Sloth scene. Read more

Elevating Youth with A Simple Song

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

After cherry picking David Lang’s “I Lie” and “Maya Beiser” for the soundtrack to his Oscar-winning The Great Beauty, director Paolo Sorrentino approached the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer (the little match girl passion) to conjure a song for Youth. A tall order considering that the song summarizes the life of a retired conductor (Michael Caine at his most sensitive) forced to confront his mortality at a Fellini-esque Swiss spa. Read more

Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson Talk Anomalisa

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Animation, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, Music, Oscar, stop-motion, Tech, Trailers, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

With the Oscar-contending Anomalisa (Dec. 30), Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson take stop-motion in a deeply personal and provocative adult direction. Inspirational speaker Michael Stone (David Thewlis) suffers a nervous breakdown while preparing for a lecture in a strange hotel in Cincinnati. That is, until he meets homely Lisa (Jennifer Jason Leigh) with a heavenly voice and has a glimmer of hope. Read more

Talking Adult Appeal of Inside Out

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

With next week’s arrival of Inside Out on Blu-ray, it’s a great opportunity to delve into Pixar’s most adult-oriented movie, which has been passionately embraced both critically and commercially and obviously enters the Oscar race as the strongest contender. Inside Out has grossed $355.3 million domestically, making it the third highest grossing movie of the year, the third highest grossing Pixar movie and the seventh highest grossing animated movie of all time. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Kwaidan from Criterion

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Books, Cinematography, Costume, Crafts, Home Entertainment, Makeup/Hair, Movies, Music, Production Design, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Just in time for Halloween comes Masaki Kobayashi’s rapturous quartet of ghost stories, Kwaidan, making its Blu-ray debut from Criterion in glorious TohoScope. Read more

SPECTRE Sam Smith Vlog: Capturing the Emotion

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

Just as the overwhelmingly positive UK reviews are in for SPECTRE (opening next week in the UK and Nov. 6 stateside), we have the music vlog devoted to Sam Smith’s record-breaking main title theme, “Writing’s On the Wall.” Read more

Final Trailering of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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

Watch Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from the desert planet of Jakku, go up against Kylo Ren (Adam Driver), commander of the First Order, who wants to finish what Darth Vader started. It’s 30 years later but what’s old is new again. Read more

Brian Wilson Performs for Love & Mercy

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Blu-ray, Crafts, Events, Movies, Music, Sound, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

What a thrill watching Brian Wilson perform at the Vibrato jazz club Monday night in support of the Love & Mercy biopic out on Blu-ray/DVD from Lionsgate (photo credit: Megan Mack). Read more