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Original author: 
Russ Fischer

steven_spielberg-header

Earlier today we were talking about the anniversary of Jurassic Park, released on this day in 1993. But in mid-1990, director Steven Spielberg wasn’t yet set to film Michael Chrichton’s novel, which hadn’t been released. Having made Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Spielberg had grown up a bit with the romance Always, released six months after the third Indy picture, and was poised to take over another film related to growing up: 1991′s Hook.

So this 1990 interview catches Spielberg in what looks now like a transitional phase, before the staggering success of Jurassic Park and the first flowering of the digital effects age and the opening of the DreamWorks era. The director talks about many aspects of his career: his non-blockbuster choices (The Color Purple, Always, Empire of the Sun) and lack of Oscar nominations for some of his work. He talks about his desire to make Rain Man, which took director Barry Levinson to the Oscars in 1989, and which Spielberg directed before commitment to Indiana Jones interceded.

This is a candid half hour with a man who was already one of the biggest directors in the world, but who also has many successes in front of him. It’s a great conversation with which to cap off your afternoon.

[The Playlist]

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Original author: 
Germain Lussier

Short Term 12

At this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, one film took home both top prizes awarded by the Grand Jury and Audience. That film, Destin Daniel Cretton‘s Short Term 12, opens August 23. Now you can get a look at the movie, as the first trailer has just been released.

Short Term 12 stars Brie Larson and John Gallagher Jr. as a young couple who have to balance their own personal issues with the problems of the displaced kids they oversee at a foster home. It’s a glorious, special film I gave a perfect 10/10 score. (My first.) Check out the trailer below and see what all the fuss is about.

Thanks to Yahoo Movies for the trailer, in which I’m quoted. It’s an honor.

I can’t stress enough how good Short Term 12 is. Cretton does a masterful job of balancing nearly every emotion imaginable in a beautiful story that’s uplifting, heartbreaking and filled with the kind of performances they study in film school. However, if you don’t believe me, the film’s official Twitter has been doing a great job of linking all kinds of reactions to the film’s festival run, where standing ovations and tears are the norm.

What did you think of the trailer?

Short Term 12 is told through the eyes of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something supervisor at a facility for at-risk teenagers. Passionate and tough, Grace is a formidable caretaker of the kids in her charge – and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.). But Grace’s own difficult past – and the surprising future that suddenly presents itself – throw her into unforeseen confusion, made all the sharper with the arrival of a new intake at the facility: a gifted but troubled teenage girl with whom Grace has a charged connection. While the subject matter is complex, this lovingly realized film finds truth – and humor – in unexpected places. The second feature from Destin Daniel Cretton (I Am Not a Hipster), Short Term 12 also stars Kaitlyn Dever (Bad Teacher), Rami Malek (The Master), and Keith Stanfield.

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Original author: 
Russ Fischer

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I know no one who has emerged unscathed from The Act of Killing. The film might be one of the strangest ever made, as it forces men to confront their actions by recreating them in movie form. But these aren’t just any men — they’re guys like Anwar Congo who, as death squad leaders during the “Thirtieth of September Movement,” staged a coup d’etat in Indonesia in 1965, and then committed genocide through an anti-Communist purge.

Estimates of the death toll vary widely, from 80,000 to one million. By any standard, these are heinous crimes. ”War crimes are declared by the winners,” Anwar Congo says, before happily proclaiming “I’m the winner!”

Today Anwar and other death squad leaders have not been tried as criminals; rather, they hold positions of some social standing. The Act of Killing features their full cooperation. It invites the death squad leaders to recreate their actions as genre movies — westerns, musicals, and so on — and in so doing bring their past back to life. The trailer below shows you some of the effect, and even in this abbreviated form it is deeply chilling.

The Act of Killing hits limited theaters on July 19. Apple has the trailer.

In this chilling and inventive documentary, executive produced by Errol Morris (The Fog Of War) and Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man), the filmmakers examine a country where death squad leaders are celebrated as heroes, challenging them to reenact their real-life mass killings in the style of the American movies they love. The hallucinatory result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit. Shaking audiences at the 2012 Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals, The Act of Killing is an unprecedented film and, according to the Los Angeles Times, “could well change how you view the documentary form.”

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Original author: 
Germain Lussier

Just Like Being There header

Briefly: You may remember last year’s South by Southwest film festival when I wrote a blog about appearing in a documentary. That documentary, Just Like Being There directed by Scout Shannon, is now available on Netflix Instant. It’s a carefree journey through the world of limited edition gig posters, told through the music of festivals like SXSW and more.

Eventually, it gets to Mondo and the current movie poster craze, where you can my embarrassing contribution, but if you’re bored this weekend and looking for a flick, there are many worse ways you can spend 90 minutes. Here’s the direct link.

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Original author: 
Germain Lussier

Raid 71 - 2001 A Space Odyssey

Glow in the dark inks on a poster can be hit or miss. In the best cases, they act as almost a night light, revealing a beautiful second image that’s invisible in the day time. On the other hand, some are so subtle and light, it’s almost as if they don’t glow in the dark at all. And maybe that’s a good thing.

The Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY will surely have a little of both in their latest exhibit, When The Lights Go Out, which opens April 12. Over 60 artists have made brand new pieces with glow in the dark inks, which will be displayed at all hours via a new installation of blacklights.

Some of the topics of the art include 2001: A Space Odyssey (above), The Shawshank Redemption, Alien, Game of Thrones, Band of Brothers, Where the Wild Things Are, Tron, Poltergeist, Time Bandits and more. It looks like a very fun show. Check out a selection of art below.

When the Lights Go Out opens at 7 p.m. April 12 and will remain open through May 1. It’s located at 60 Broadway, Brooklyn. Find more information at www.bottleneckgallery.com, and that’s also where the show will go on sale online at noon EST on April 13 at that link.

Mouse over each piece for the artist name, and property. Where we can, we’ve placed the original with the glow in the dark element side by side. Some of the images provided either only had one way, or both together. Those are at the bottom of the gallery.

Bruce Yan  - Wild Things
Bruce Yan - Wild Things - GID
Dave Perillo - Time Bandits
Dave Perillo - Time Bandits - GID
Cuyler Smith - Poltergeist
Cuyler Smith - Poltergeist - GID
JP Valderrama - Shawshank
JP Valderrama - Shawshank - GID
Godmachine - Alien - GID
Godmachine - Alien
Rob Loukotka - Band of Brothers - GID
Rob Loukotka - Band of Brothers
Mark Englert - Game of Thrones - GID
Mark Englert - Game of Thrones
Craig Drake - Tron
Raid 71 - 2001 A Space Odyssey

And that’s just a small, small sampling of the full show.

Which is your favorite?

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everybody-wants-to-kill-bruceeverybody-wants-to-kill-bruce

It’s tough being an action hero; you’ve always got a target on your back. That is basically the premise of Everybody Wants to Kill Bruce, which assembles footage from over two dozen movies to create a ten-minute all-star reel in which Bruce Willis flees from danger at every turn. This cut doesn’t limit itself to footage from Bruce Willis movies, however. There are bits of Death Proof and Heat in there, among many others. (More than one Back the the Future movie? The Dark Knight? Sure, why not?)

You’ll see clips from the Die Hard movies and 12 Monkeys, as well as many more Willis films, but they’re all glued together with other action. Props go to the creative use of Kurt Russell’s Death Proof character in tandem with ‘Testarossa Autodrive (SebastiAn Remix)’ from Kavinsky’s 1986 EP.

There’s not much of a unifying principle here beyond the basic idea. No real plot, and no real commentary implied about how these films all play similarly enough to cut together to some extent. It’s really just a fun exercise for action fans. Sad thing is, this scattershot edit is more coherent than some action movies I’ve seen in the past couple years.

Here’s the ten-minute edit, which is NSFW for a bit of sex, and William Sadler’s ass. (Not seen in the same scene.)

The Pierre-Alexandre Chauvat page that presents the supercut on Vimeo offers:

When he wakes up one morning, Bruce Willis finds himself pursued by an entire city: or how to give him a hard time in 39 movies ! Don’t be mistaken, it’s just an action movie … old fashioned style !

Editor : Pierre-Alexandre CHAUVAT
Sound Mixer : Sylvain Denis

 

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This is a huge time for Mondo. The company kicked off SXSW last week with their massive Game of Thrones show. Later this week is the even bigger Stout/Taylor show. (Check back Friday for more on that.) And today they’ve revealed a truly historic entry into their archive.

Martin Ansin has done a poster for Martin Scorsese‘s Taxi Driver, tied to a screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX next week. Not only did Robert De Niro allow Mondo to use his likeness, Scorsese himself approved the poster. Check it out in full, below.

For more information on the screenings, visit this page. And here’s the Taxi Driver poster.

I can’t wait to see this one in person and look at all the detail. But I love how it evokes not only the dirty New York of the film, but the seventies style of the poster.

Odds are this will sell out at the screenings but, if there are leftovers, @MondoNews on Twitter would be the way to find out.

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What does it take to generate new interest in a property as well-worn as the Hannibal Lecter story sequence from novelist Thomas Harris? For the new TV show Hannibal, in which producer Bryan Fuller charts the early days of the working relationship between FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and Lecter, a few things are obvious parts of the approach.

The cast is on. In addition to Dancy there’s the attention-getting choice of Mads Mikkelsen (Pusher, Casino Royale) as Lecter, with the addition of Laurence Fishburne, Gina Torres, Gillian Anderson, Eddie Izzard and Ellen Greene, with Caroline Dhavernas and Lance Henriksen.

And then there’s Fuller’s style, which oozes from this first full trailer. His weird American Gothic approach looks very much like a good fit for this story. We’ve seen the Lecter story told exhaustively on film (in Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Hannibal Rising, and the Manhunter remake Red Dragon) but visually, at least, this version seems to go in a new direction. And while the story lends itself to the old procedural format that is so familiar from innumerable TV shows, that visual style helps Hannibal stand out.

Check out the trailer below.

Hannibal premieres in April.

 

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In Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers, the director has two long takes that feature all the members of the team. The first is in the research lab on the Helicarrier where Loki’s plan to disband the team goes into play. The second takes place during the Battle of New York where the team completely get in sync with their combat. Speaking with Whedon during the release of the film, he explained the choice as follows;

I did know I had a couple [long takes] that I felt were integral, one because it was a way of showing how disjointed they all were and one to show how united they all were.

That second one, with people flying around the city, jumping on enemies and more, wasn’t actually shot as a long take. Obviously. It was the result of countless man hours at Industrial Light and Magic as effects were placed in the shots and each was stitched together. A brand new video has come online that explains the creation of this shot, shows some animatics and more. Check it out below.

Thanks to Comic Book Movie for the heads up.

Here’s the description from the ILM YouTube channel.

While “The Avengers” posed many visual effects challenges, one of the larger challenges was pulling together the “tie-in” shot during the third act of the film. Rather than frames, this single shot is measured in minutes on screen and is one of the longest effects shots in the film. It incorporates both practical special effects and extensive digital visual effects by ILM. The New York City environment that serves as the setting for this shot (and virtually the entire alien invasion) is computer generated by the visual effects team at ILM.

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Here at /Film, we’re big fans of pop culture artist Olly Moss. Peter has been writing about his Threadless t-shirts from the earliest days, I was quoted on his first book and the guy continues to amaze with his work both for Mondo and other clients as well. Earlier this year, he gave a talk at Offset 2012, a UK based conference, and took the audience through a tour of his career. From his earliest drawings as a 15 year old boy, through full concepts for some of his most famous work at Mondo (The Evil Dead, Star Wars), video game covers, his first art show (above) and much more. Did you know he designed the opening credits for The Losers? What was his first screen print? If you’re a fan of Moss’s, or movie posters and art in general, it’s a fascinating watch. Check it out below.

Thanks to @ollymoss for the heads up on this video.

Olly Moss – OFFSET2012 from OFFSET on Vimeo.

The biggest take from this video is just how humble Moss is. Almost every single thing he’s done, he has a criticism for as he’s grown as an artist. It’s never good enough, even when a set of his Star Wars prints – prints he think are too big – now sell for $4,000 dollars or so. But also just how he conceptualizes his work. Some of the interactions with the clients. The way his Evil Dead piece is really just an homage to the original poster. The way Captain America is kind of a joke because he walks around with a target. These are all just ideas a pop culture fan would have, and Moss turns them into beautiful art. No wonder we’re fans, right?

P.S. – I cameo at 34:07. Too cool.

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