Conspicuous by absence, women not in film

Thursday, 27 March, 2014

An under representation of women in movies, be they characters or producers, was something I thought I was noticing by way of my film writing work, but now this article appears to support that line of thinking:

It seems that everyone but those at the top of the Hollywood hierarchy has gotten the memo that the big-budget film world remains desperately behind the curve on gender diversity. In 2013, female characters comprised only 15% of all protagonists and just 30% of all speaking characters in the top-grossing 100 films, according to a study released last week by the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film (see for more on the study). Women of color were even less visible. Behind the scenes, women accounted for 6% of directors and 10% of writers working on the top-grossing 250 films in 2013. These percentages are actually lower than those recorded in 1998. For all of the talk about gender diversity on various blogs and industry panels, little has changed in more than a decade. How can this be?

(Thanks Ashleigh)

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It started with a kiss, that’s what happens when strangers snog

Thursday, 20 March, 2014

Because making-out is fun… Los Angeles based filmmaker Tatia Pilieva asked twenty people, all complete strangers, to be filmed kissing each other.

It would appear that everyone agreed to do so.

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Sharm el-Sheikh’s desert cinema… there’s outdoor cinema for you

Monday, 17 March, 2014

End of the World Cinema, photo by Kaupo Kikkas

If I’d have known about this place, the End of the World Cinema, or, the cinema situated in the Egyptian Sinai desert, some ten kilometres from Sharm el-Sheikh, I’d have surely gone along.

Having travelled to the coastal resort village in the Sinai from Israel, I met friends there before we crossed the Red Sea to Hurghada, en-route to Luxor. Taking in a couple of films here though would have just made the trip.

(Photo by Kaupo Kikkas)

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Restoring Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film “Foreign Correspondent”

Thursday, 27 February, 2014

Thanks to the efforts of film restorers, such as New York City based Criterion Collection, older, or classic, movies will continue to be available for decades to come. For an idea of how they work, watch their technicians remaster Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film, Foreign Correspondent.

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Scenes from cult movies rendered as 8 bit animated GIFs

Wednesday, 26 February, 2014

Shaun of the Dead scene by Dusan Cezek

Slovakian art director Dusan Cezek has rendered scenes from cult movies such as “Fight Club”, “Pulp Fiction”, and “Shaun of the Dead”, as eight-bit GIF animations. Why? I don’t know, but why should that matter?

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Symmetry, a screenplay as a… palindrome

Friday, 21 February, 2014

Palindromes in number, word, or date format are a dime a dozen really, aren’t they? There was one last Friday, wasn’t there? How about then, a film can be played backwards after reaching the halfway point, and still tell two stories? Symmetry, by Yann Pineill, a Paris based graphic designer, is an example of “palindromic” filmmaking.

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Studying the typography of 2001: A Space Odyssey

Tuesday, 11 February, 2014

Dave Addey scrutinises the use of typography in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and turns up a whole stack of details I hadn’t really given much thought to previously, including the way Stanley Kubrick set out the film’s title card:

[The] title card is set in Gill Sans, one of the all-time classic sans-serif fonts. Perhaps surprisingly, the zeroes in “2001” appear to be set with the Gill Sans capital letter O, rather than its zero character.

By the looks of it, this is the first in series of articles that Addey will be writing on the use of typography in science fiction movies.

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The Best Visual Effects Oscar winners since 1977

Friday, 7 February, 2014

The Best Visual Effects Oscar, or Academy Award, that recognises the technical contributions of special effects to movies, has, over the years, been known as “Best Engineering Effects”, “Special Achievement Award for Special Effects”, “Best Special Effects”, and “Best Special Visual Effects”.

In 1977 the award assumed its current moniker, and to mark this step in the accolade’s history, Chicago filmmaker and video artist Nelson Carvajal has compiled a montage of clips from films that have won the Oscar in this category, since then.

No prizes for guessing the 1977 winner, while this year I’m tipping Gravity to collect the gong.

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This is Not a Conspiracy Theory

Wednesday, 5 February, 2014

Kirby Ferguson, creator of the Everything Is A Remix video series, is launching a new project, This is Not a Conspiracy Theory.

Watch the first installment in the collection, that Ferguson anticipates will eventually run to about eighty minutes in duration, and that will only be viewable with a subscription hereafter.

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Slow TV, for those who like to sit and watch the world go by

Friday, 24 January, 2014

Go ahead, click the play button, if you have a lazy three, that’s right, three hours to spare, watching a tropical beach vista, that is. Maybe you’ll see a bird fly past or something.

This is but one of the offerings available for your extended viewing pleasure on Reddit’s Slow TV, a selection of videos often filmed with fixed position cameras, especially for those who like to sit and watch the world go by. Select from multi-hour long clips of train rides, sunsets, motorcycle trips, thunderstorms, and much more.

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