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.

Tech

Inside Out Tops Annies with 10 Wins

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Animation, Annies, Crafts, Events, Movies, Shorts, stop-motion, Tech, TV, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

The 43rd Annie Awards Saturday night at UCLA’s Royce Hall was a love fest for Pixar’s Inside Out, which grabbed 10 awards, including Best Animated Feature, and is primed for the Oscar. The Good Dinosaur, which dominated VES animator on Tuesday, took the Animated Effects prize for a Pixar sweep. Read more

Why The Force Awakens Should Win the VFX Oscar

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

Who ever thought you’d have to make the case for Star Wars winning the VFX Oscar? But with all the buzz surrounding Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant bear, which earned three additional VES awards for ILM, there are no guarantees. And that’s the point: ILM has done such outstanding photo-real work on the J.J. Abrams’ record-breaking Star Wars reboot — zeroing in on $2 billion worldwide at the box office — that there might be a tendency to take the work for granted. Read more

Burr Steers Talks Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

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

Although Burr Steers dislikes the word “kitsch” for its cheap connotation, he had a hard time denying that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies isn’t kitschy, especially after admitting that the biggest influence was Tony Richardson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), which is great kitsch. Read more

Evaluating the Best Editing Oscar Nominees

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

The contenders include the return to a post-apocalyptic wasteland and a galaxy far, far away, the (surreal) collapse of the financial system, a metaphysical journey in the frozen wilderness, and The  Boston Globe’s exposure of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. Read more

Getting Animated with the Feature Oscar Nominees

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in 3-D, Below the Line, Crafts, Movies, stop-motion, Tech, VFX, Virtual Production | Leave a comment

Here are the highlights of my interviews with the Oscar-nominated animated feature directors: Pete Docter (Pixar’s Inside Out), Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson (Starburns Industries’ Anomalisa), Mark Burton & Richard Starzak (Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep Movie), Alê Abreu (Boy and the World from Gkids) and Hiromasa Yonebayashi (Studio Ghibli’s When Marnie Was There, also from Gkids). What you come away with is a group of contenders grappling with family, identity and greater self-awareness. Read more

Immersed in Blu-ray: Snow White and Bridge of Spies

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

Last week Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray with a slew of new bonus features along with Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-contending Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance. Read more

GKids Launches Animated 8 Oscar Series

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

GKids demonstrates its indie Oscar prowess with a screening series next Friday in LA. Read more

Clipping Anomalisa Landing for the Oscar Contender

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

This “Anomalisa Landing” clip demonstrates the sophisticated storytelling and aesthetics behind the stop-motion Oscar contender from Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson. Read more

Mixing the Chilling Bridge of Spies Sound

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

Steven Spielberg gave his sound team a gift by opening Bridge of Spies with a Hitchcock-inspired chase through the New York subway with no dialogue and a sense of mystery surrounding Soviet spy Mark Rylance (nominated Best Supporting Actor).
Read more

Margaret Sixel Talks Editing Mad Max: Fury Road

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Crafts, Editing, How They Did It, Movies, Oscar, Tech, Trailers | Leave a comment

Oscar nominee and ACE winner Margaret Sixel had a major advantage on Mad Max: Fury Road: her candor. Read more