MAD MAX FURY ROAD Audio Supercut

MAD MAX: FURY ROAD… the action film throwback that ratchets the genre forward. So much has been said about the extensive use of center-framing and how that helped keep the action easily understood by the editor and the viewer, so this isn’t about that. It’s about the wonderous sound design of the film… the soundscape that keeps you enveloped in the fever dream George Miller created.

Zackery Ramos-Taylor put together this awesome supercut of the MAD MAX: FURY sound effects.

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Star Wars: Rogue One Trailer

So LucasFilm drops this today!

The official trailer for ROGUE ONE: A Star Wars Story. The pluses is that we’re seeing the Star Wars universe with NO hint of the Skywalker Clan as main characters in the story… which after 7 films that story element has worn extremely thin (and we have two more films to go).

The minuses… it’s a story about the Death Star, which makes the fourth film to deal with a similar type of planetary menacing weapon. And since this is obviously about the mission that leads into getting the stolen data tapes into Princess Leia’s hands, so she can upload them into R2-D2 to kick off STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE.

Another plus! Forest Whitaker. Not since LAST KING OF SCOTLAND have I been more excited to see him in a film. He adds a quality to his universe that we haven’t seen… sure, Samuel L. Jackson was in the misbegotten prequels, but he doesn’t fit into this kind of universe. Whitaker elevates every scene he’s in, and when he’s not the star he brings nuance and energy and gravitas like only a rare few can do.

Another minus… the visual “lens”; just once would I like to see a Star Wars film executed with the directorial panache of an “artiste”; yeah, that sounds pretentious as fuck, but you know what I’m getting at here. Guys like the late, great Tony Scott or Danny Boyle or Steven Soderbergh never get a shot at directing a franchise film because they parameters of the franchise are too constricting to their director’s voice, and the producers and studio have the fiduciary obligation to cherish the franchise, to deliver these exact replicas of what made the franchise a franchise in the first place. But if these guys (or girls) were given the reins, it would be like the best fan fiction imaginable…

So Christmas this year… I guess all the other movie studios are going to concede December and April to Disney for the next 5 years (consider the Star Wars Film and the Marvel films). It’s probably a good time to buy Disney stock.

Alternate History on Amazon Prime

There are very few science fiction classics that broach a subject that could have seriously affected the real world like Philip K Dick‘s MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE. Its premise – The Axis Powers won World War II and conquered the planet (we assume they have, since they occupied the US).

Man in the High Castle
Man in the High Castle

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Behind the Scenes – Architects of Crime, Part 2

As we prepare our press kit for the Sundance Film Festival submission, we had a chance to review the behind the scenes stills (you forget these things in the midst of post).

It’s only in the behind the scenes photos do the technicians and crafts people get a chance to be “seen”. Yet every filmmaker knows the Fitzcaraldo-esque journey that you embark on each time you walk on to the set is team effort.

Lining up the shot for Ana to scale the side of a wall!

Lining up the shot for Ana to scale the side of a wall! Copyright © 2015, ShadowBoxer Cinema, LLC.

DP Shane Daly using Artemis Camera App to review which lens we should use for Rhona's OTS
DP Shane Daly using Artemis Camera App to review which lens we should use for Rhona’s OTS. Copyright © 2015, ShadowBoxer Cinema, LLC
Rhona Bennet (as Roxanne) scolds Peter Lucas (Dr. Aktinson).
Rhona Bennet (as Roxanne) scolds Peter Lucas (Dr. Aktinson). Copyright © 2015, ShadowBoxer Cinema, LLC
Ana Zimhart practices flipping of that structure for a shot in our opening title/intro sequence
Ana Zimhart practices flipping of that structure for a shot in our opening title/intro sequence
We're 20 stories above Los Angeles designing the staging for the crime that's about to go down!
We’re 20 stories above Los Angeles designing the staging for the crime that’s about to go down!

 

Will has new ideas for the blocking.
Will has new ideas for the blocking.
Will gives Peter a math lesson
Chris explains the shot to Shane
Will and Chris watch the actors rehearse the opening scene in the lab.
Will and Chris watch the actors rehearse the opening scene in the lab.
Chris and DP Shane Daly determine which lens to use to get the shot
Chris and DP Shane Daly determine which lens to use to get the shot
Will lines up a shot in Atkinson's lab
Will lines up a shot in Atkinson’s lab
Shane and his team line up the shot
Shane and his team line up the shot

WHAT INSPIRES YOU – Part 11 featuring Nicolas Winding Refn

So l’enfant terrible Nicolas Winding Refn gets invited to the Criterion Collection.

I find Refn’s work hit-or-miss, but if it’s one thing it is consistently intriguing… DRIVE sort of elevated his stature in Hollywood, and unfortunately ONLY GOD FORGIVES dinged him. However, a film like BRONSON is where he gets to shine and dazzle.

His selections in the Criterion Collection closet are curious… it seems that most modern day auteurs bow down to Tarkovsky, and a lot of people yearn to see more Alex Cox (REPO MAN is delish).

I was a little surprised that he selected THINGS TO COME; but it’s a gem of a classic film that was so ahead of its time, and is one of the few films that can’t be duplicated because the world has moved to such a place that it is bizarre to conceive of something in the aftermath of a global-scale conflict that isn’t dystopian in the vein of the YA novels/movies that have dominated the Hollywood landscape for the last half decade.

Kazan’s advice… “Do it your way” is precisely the kind of thing Kazan would say, and it’s what filmmakers must do. Lest their work become forgettable. And that’s one thing we can say about Refn, his work is not forgettable.

What Inspires You, Part 10

You know I was somewhat trepidatious when I saw the first Marvel Studio’s ANT-MAN trailer, but after seeing the latest one it looks like this film might be more interesting that people seem to be giving it credit.

Of course, it’s stuck in the standard world, whereas what makes Ant-Man, The Atom, Yellowjacket and The Wasp interesting is when they shrink to molecular size and shunt into

Anyway, since ANT-MAN is an upcoming film, I thought it might be interesting to see what films Edgar Wright slips into his bag when he gets a chance to raid the Criterion Collection’s storage locker.

EYES WITHOUT FACE is a remarkably chilling film from that extra fertile period of European art house cinema the late 50s/early 60s.

DON’T LOOK NOW isn’t a horror, isn’t a thriller… it’s a shocker, and it’s so well made — photographically, editorially, performances.

THRONE OF BLOOD’s Japanese title is Spiderweb Castle? I never knew that… I wonder what the “real” title of the rest of Kurosawa’s films are… is RASHOMON even the actual title?

The 4-Color Process: Controversial Batgirl 41 Cover

Comic artist Rafael Albuquerque created a BATGIRL variant comic cover for issue 41 of the DC Comics‘ series. Said cover, when previewed for pre-orders, stirred up a maelstrom of controversy; social media was raisin’ hell… as they say.

Batgirl #41 Joker varient © 2015 DC Comics
Batgirl #41 Joker varient © 2015 DC Comics

The comic book cover in question is part of the 75th anniversary of the Joker (is he really that old). Its imagery is perhaps sexualized and it most certainly hints at violence toward Batgirl (the blood smeared Joker smile… that’s a deliciously sadistic touch). Thus, in the eyes of hectoring feminists it is celebrating, if not outright championing, violence toward women.

Which, of course, it’s not.

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1982 Cannes Interviews with Fassbinder and Herzog

The quest for individual cinema… R.W. Fassbinder and Werner Herzog discuss the future of cinema… from back in 1982!

These two argue that TV is a great threat to cinema and its ability to express ideas [visually], and that cinema exists when it’s designed and created by an individual who has a singular vision/voice… which is the complete antithesis of TV — regardless of current rise of the showrunner — outside of a few projects like TRUE DETECTIVE and arguably THE KNICK, TV is storytelling by committee… and it always will be, yet this doesn’t diminish one’s enjoyment of it… only that it requires different consideration than the cinema… which in Europe can stretch out to four and five hours (notable more recently CARLOS, 2010 and BEST OF YOUTH, 2003).

For instance, when TV is called “cinematic” it’s a sign of elevated quality and execution, whereas to call cinema akin to TV totally denigrates it…. which is odd. However, it’s more about what one wants out of each medium — TV rarely approach the visual dynamics and scope of film, even the production budgets get equalized (i.e. low budget filmmaking can run the same amount of money of a typical episode of TV; around $3m. Whereas even the most lavish shows… GAME OF THRONES comes to mind can even touch the budget and visual artistry of something like PROMETHEUS — not commenting on story merits).

Film marshals certain resources and demands a certain level of concentration (by the audience) to reach the heights of the new “temples” that we’ve bestowed upon it.

That is what Fassbinder and Herzog allude to… its unparalleled dynamic nature to pierce the soul… screen size has a lot to do with, and the captured audience notion as well.

It’s too bad that Fassbinder isn’t still alive (as he perhaps could be) to see where cinema has evolved.