Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” remade… in the kitchen

Friday, 3 July, 2015

Image by Claudia Ficca, Davide Luciano

The Shining, by Stanley Kubrick, is one film I’m still yet to see.

Until that happens, I’ll have to make do with a little taste of the 1980 movie by way of these scenes, that New York City based food stylist Claudia Ficca, and photographer and filmmaker Davide Luciano, recreated by way of all manner of assorted food stuffs.

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The ten most controversial movies ever, how many have you seen?

Friday, 3 July, 2015

I must lead a sheltered life… I’ve only seen one title, Farenheit 9/11, directed by Michael Moore, from this list, that was put together by CineFix, of the ten most controversial movies of all time.

It probably goes without saying, but this is neither family friendly viewing, nor all that much safe for the workplace.

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Madame Bovary

Monday, 29 June, 2015

3 stars
Madame Bovary scene

Propelled into marriage to a well meaning, though work focused doctor, Charles Bovary (Henry Lloyd-Hughes), Emma (Mia Wasikowska) soon tires of life in the quiet nineteenth century Normandy country town where they have settled, in Madame Bovary, trailer, the second feature of French-American filmmaker Sophie Barthes (“Cold Souls”).

In a bid to stave off boredom, the once virtuous convent student is soon fornicating with local men including Leon (Ezra Miller), and the Marquis of Andervilliers (Logan Marshall-Green), while racking up ever more debt with Monsieur Lheureux (Rhys Ifans), a manipulative merchant, who continues to extend credit to her and Charles.

Gustave Flaubert’s acclaimed 1856 novel of the same name saw the French writer charged with obscenity, such was the scandal it caused at the time. Barthes often lifeless adaptation however runs no risk of making waves. Its beautiful, and intricately fashioned, scenes will though be the envy of Instagrammers the world over.

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A set, not CGI, the five dimensional library from “Interstellar”

Monday, 29 June, 2015

Remember the library scene from Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar?

The library, or, more to the point tesseract, that existed in a mind boggling five dimensions that is, meaning the astronaut Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), could view every past moment that had played out in the room, from a single, if sprawling space, and also use gravity to tap out messages to his daughter, Murphy.

The film nerd in me was thinking that the scene must have been shot in a green-screen room, probably the size of an average garden shed, but much to my surprise, it was an actual set. How mind boggling is that?

The idea of the tesseract scene alone was so daunting to the filmmakers, Nolan and his special effects team procrastinated for months before trying to tackle how it might work. After months of concepting and model building the team opted for the unusual approach of using minimal digital effects in favor of fabricating a massive set which the actors could physically manipulate. A remarkable feat considering not only the complexity of the concepts depicted, but the cost and labor of building something so large.

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It’s been 30 years since Ferris Bueller took his day off

Monday, 15 June, 2015

Time flies. Friday, 5 June 2015, marked thirty years since since Ferris Bueller took his much celebrated day off in John Hughes’ 1986 film. Could it be time for another? A day off for Ferris Bueller that is. Not a sequel though.

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Film scenes that have inspired Quentin Tarantino

Friday, 12 June, 2015

Looking at the work of any filmmaker may at times leave you feeling a twinge of déjà vu, say when a certain scene reminds you of something you saw in a completely different film. That shouldn’t really come as a surprise though, directors often like to reference, or pay homage, to the work of those who they admire.

US film director Quentin Tarantino is no different, and here you can see a side by side comparison of scenes from his features, with those that inspired him. What do you know, he even takes a cue from The Flintstones.

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Grace, a short film based on actual events, and what events…

Friday, 5 June, 2015

Maybe I’ve seen too many films in my time, so I did, sort of, see the twist to this short film titled Grace, by Tomas Mankovsky, all of two seconds out from said twist. That didn’t make the story, said to be based on actual events, any less profound, or unsettling.

Could something like that, as in the particular events depicted here, have really happened?

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A history of Industrial Light & Magic by those who were there

Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

While it’s possible you may not have heard of film visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, or ILM, you’d have witnessed dozens of instances of their work in the movies you’ve seen. I sometimes wonder how some films might look had ILM not come along… for example, would film producers still be using mattes today?

To mark the forty years since the inception of ILM, film directors including George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, J.J. Abrams, James Cameron, plus many others who were part of ILM, talk through the company’s history.

As it turns 40 this year, ILM can claim to have played a defining role making effects for 317 movies. But that’s only part of the story: Pixar began, essentially, as an ILM internal investigation. Photoshop was invented, in part, by an ILM employee tinkering with programming in his time away from work. Billions of lines of code have been formulated there. Along the way ILM has put tentacles into pirate beards, turned a man into mercury, and dominated box office charts with computer-generated dinosaurs and superheroes.

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Together we’ll break the stigma of doing things alone

Monday, 25 May, 2015

Back in the day when I used to write far more film reviews than I do now, I’d often be going along to the movies by myself. Often these would be morning, mid week screenings, and numerous times I’d just about be the only person in the auditorium, but I’d still make sure my notepad and pen were prominently visible.

After a time though, I became less concerned by the apparent stigma of being alone at the movies, even it were for work purposes. Even so, it’s still unlikely that you’d see me at the movies on Friday or Saturday nights, alone. Any other day, any other time, no problem.

But that’s where I might be letting the team down. You see, if more people did more things by themselves, such as going to a film solo, the easier it becomes for everyone else to do likewise. Put another way, it’s better to go and do something, even if that means doing so alone, rather than staying home potentially doing nothing.

But the best way to get rid of the stigma of doing things in public alone is probably for people to just start doing it more. “We need the norms to shift a little. We need for people to think it’s a gutsy cool thing to have fun on our own,” said Ratner. “Someone needs to start the new trend.”

And regarding film screenings in empty auditoriums, and why bother showing them if no one’s there, the cinemas are obliged to feature a movie as advertised, regardless of how many people are, or aren’t, seeing it. I have it on good authority that film distributors actually go around at random to make sure that’s happening.

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So, which is better, Star Trek, or Star Wars?

Wednesday, 20 May, 2015

The truth is they’re both pretty lousy, but together they’re better than all the others… with apologies to Keith Richards. Presenting The Carbonite Maneuver, a fan made trailer that blends elements of both realms. Non-canonical, obviously.

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