This morning Sasha Stone and I welcomed AICN contributor (and also former HE columnist) Moises Chiullan to discuss the revolutionary 48 frame-per-second process that was unveiled last week at Cinemacom. It actually debuted at last year’s Cinemacon, but this year a ten-minute reel of 48 fps footage from Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit was shown.
A restrained, decently crafted drama about growth and awakening,
Girl, which I saw Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival,
gives Abbie Cornish a chance to bite into a meaty
part. She plays Ashley, a not-blazingly-bright San Antonio mom
who’s lost custody of her son due to a drinking issue, with quiet
intensity and, to a large extent, authority. This is Cornish’s best
part since…what, Candy? She’s a solid actress trying to do
the right career thing, and she’s definitely scored here.
And yet Ashley doesn’t act in a way that exactly elicits
sympathy or identification. She’s always a beat or two behind the
audience in figuring out her next move. She gradually wakes up and
flies right, but a lot of stumbling happens along
My second and final Tribeca Film Festival screening was
Lucy Mulloy‘s Una Noche, which played
last night at 9 pm. It’s a little raggedy at times, but always
straight, fast, urgent and honed down. It’s not on the level of
Fernando Meirelles‘ brilliant City of God
but is a contender in that urban realm, for sure. It’s a fine first
film, and Mulloy is definitely a director with passion,
intelligence and promise. Approval also for her good-looking lead
costar Dariel Arrechaga.
Una Noche director-writer Lucy Mulloy, star Dariel
Arrechaga during q & a following Sunday night’s screening at
Chelsea Clearview Cinemas.
The reason I saw it was largely because of a lady I met on the A
train who told me she was going and that she’d heard it worked,
etc. And she was right. I...
Olive Films’ forthcoming
Bluray of the 315-minute cut of Bernardo
Bertolucci’s 1900 (called
Novacento in Europe) is an
absolute essential. It’s a sprawling big-canvas
movie in spades, a Marxist-erotic epic with several
colorful performances from a big international cast (Robert
De Niro, Gerard Depardieu, Dominique Sanda, Donald Sutherland, Burt
Lancaster, Sterling Hayden), and abundant with painterly
passion and political feeling. It’s a helluva grand-scale history
It’s a curious thing to have harbored mostly negative reactions
to all things Peter Jackson for
many years (aside from Heavenly Creatures and a fair-sized
portion of The Lovely Bones), and then experience an
abrupt turnaround within a four-month period due to (a) his
funding, producing and promoting of Amy Berg‘s
brilliant West of Memphis, and (b) his using 48
frames per second photography in The Hobbit and
advocating for this new technology, which is altogether
Significantly, the audience laughed and clapped after Mel Gibson said the above words — an admission that he’d done a lot of screaming on that Joe Eszterhausaudio tape — during a chat with Jay Leno the night before last. People will forgive you for almost anything as long as you speak calmly in their presence and turn on the charm, etc.
Ignore Part One and start with Part Two of this six-part WGBH
discussion (which isn’t a “debate” but a power-point lecture or
class) of frame rates, which of course is very
timely with the very recent unveiling of Peter
Jackson‘s The Hobbitt at 48 frames per
second. The participants were moderator Bruce
Jacobs, the renowned frame-rate pioneer Douglas
Trumbull (who got things going with Super 70, later known
as Showscan, back in the late ’70s), Mark Schubin
and Larry Thorpe.
“I have my own theory about President Lincoln‘s death. I think John Wilkes Booth was innocent. I don’t even think it was an assassination. I believe that Abraham Lincoln had a vision about what the Republican party would become in 150 years, and he shot himself.” — Jimmy Kimmel at tonight’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t too bad at the White House Correspondents Dinner, I thought. Okay, some of the material didn’t work but the sum of the parts hardly constituted a “flatline,” as Deadline‘s Dominic Pattendescribed it. President Obama, less but far from anyone’s idea of a wipe-out.
Nicholas Stoller and Jason Segel‘s The Five-Year Engagement is a tank…a dead manatee. Yesterday it earned a lousy $3.4 million in 2,936 situations, averaging $1158 per screen. That forecasts a $10 million weekend haul, or about 50% of what Universal, its distributor, was looking for.
So what happened? Was it the prospect of sitting through a relationship that never goes anywhere and just kind of flounders around? Was it the Jason-Segel-isn’t-a-star factor, or should I leave that one alone? Does this hurt Segel and costar Emily Blunt, or was it just the so-whatter concept or…?
This Sunset Strip footage, shot around 1948 or ’49, is mainly of the Sunset Plaza area. Commercially restrained, to say the least. None of the riff-raff atmosphere of 2012, or of ’92 or ’82 for that matter. The traffic isn’t anywhere near as congested as it is today. And those cars! And that young dark-haired girl (who’s either dead or in her 80s right now) crossing the street. 16mm footage is relatively smooth, probably shot with a tripod.
“It’s hard to say whether Sound of My Voice is a wholly
bogus and pretentious indie enterprise or a weirdly compelling bit
of low-budget storytelling,”
Zacharek, an obviously bright critic and a fine writer
whom I don’t trust any more. “Probably it’s a little of both — this
is the kind of picture that may often make you snort
audibly, even as you’re wondering how the heck it’s going
to resolve itself.
“And ultimately, even if the payoff isn’t quite what it should
be, the picture leaves a faint chill in its wake. You probably
won’t feel totally shafted for sticking with...
Part 2, carried over from previous
post: Alfred Hitchcock‘s Dial M For
Murder may well have been composed so that 1.85 projections
would look presentable, but that doesn’t mean that a 1.78 or 1.85
version will look better than the basic and very pleasing boxy
proportion that people have been watching for decades.
I’ve been examining Dial M for Murder all my life at
1.33 or 1.37. I saw it in 1.33 or 1.37 3D at the Eighth Street
Playhouse in the West Village in the early ’80s. And the
compositions and framings were & are entirely satisfactory and
didn’t need to have their tops and buttons CHOPPED OFF WITH A MEAT
If — I say “if” — a 1.78 or 1.85 a.r, is being favored on an
upcoming Warner Home Video...
It’s been suggested (but not confirmed) by HE reader
Pete Apruzzese that the 1.85 fascists may have
their way with a possibly forthcoming Bluray of Alfred
Hitchcock‘s Dial M For Murder. I’ve seen this
talky 1953 drama, which was originally shot in 3D, countless times
on broadcast TV, VHS, DVD and theatrically, and each and every time
at 1.33 or 1.37. But Warner Home Video may — I say “may” — have
chosen to present its forthcoming Bluray at 1.78 in order to
conform to 16 x 9 screens.
Apruzzese has tirelessly and tediously pointed out that in 1953
the studios, terrified by the threat of television, decreed that
all standard Academy ratio films shot in 1.33 would henceforth
would be shot or framed so that they would look presentable at
1.85, and that 1.85 would henceforth be the going thing because it
I’m flying to Berlin next Thursday and hanging there nine or ten days before heading down to the Cannes Film Festival so I haven’t much time to see Dark Shadows. It has to be Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I’m currently pleading my case so we’ll see. If they refuse to budge I can see it at a commercial cinema in Belgium on 5.9 or in Berlin on 5.10, or a day before it opens in the States.
I was never much of a baseball fan, but even I knew a
little bit about Bill “Moose” Skowron, the slugger
and first baseman who peaked from the mid ’50s to early ’60s with
the N.Y. Yankees. But I never really knew his batting or fielding
record — I just knew his name. For Moose Skowron has to be one of
the great baseball names of all time, right up there with
Goose Gossage, Miller Huggins, Ty Cobb, Bobo Rivera, Ryne
Duren, Yogi Berra, Hoyt Wilhelm, Duke Snider and
These were baseball names, gentlemen. Of their batting averages
and RBIs, I cannot say or even be bothered to research. But I know
the sound of a great name, and when you added “Moose Skowron” to
those line drives and homers and those big shoulders, those
intense, close-set eyes and that hulking forehead and all the rest
“If you’ve ever been stuck in some hippy-dippy atmosphere or
environment that you couldn’t escape from…if you’ve ever been more
or less forced to spend time with graying, balding, pot-bellied,
granola-slurping doobie-tokers…a prisoner of smiling people dressed
in Mexican peasant shirts and sandals and beads and easy-fit jeans
who won’t stop speaking in ’60s psycho-babble platitudes…if...
It’s pleasing to note that Richard Linklater‘s
Bernie, which I
liked even more after catching it a second time, is doing
reasonably well with critics — 77% on Rotten
Tomatoes and 73% on Metacritc. Some
have issues because it’s not any one thing — not a comedy or a
study of bizarre closeted psychology or a straight
murder-in-a-small-town tale, but all these things and more. And
Linklater’s direction is so clean and true and precise. It’s a dark
but amiable delight.
And as I noted
nine or ten days ago, Bernie says something about human
nature that everyone will...
Every so often I have the feeling that money is just pouring out of me. Everything I do and everywhere I turn I’m bleeding 20s, 50s and 100s. Hundreds, thousands. Sooner or later this awful feeling attains critical mass and I have to stomp on the brakes and shut down because I just need the hemorrhaging to stop. Need a tourniquet, getting short of breath.
My 21-inch suitcase is looking a little ragged so I was looking at new ones yesterday in the Swiss Army store in the Beverly Center. I liked a modest one that went for $260-something but with the tax it was just about $300, and something in me said “no! no!” and I thanked the sales guy and left. This morning at LAX I bought a New Yorker and a N.Y. Times and a Tic-Tac and some gum and it cost $15 bucks…what?
I can’t go back to LA so I want to retreat to some podunk town and stay in a rented room and eat apples and take long walks and just not spend anything…Jesus.
Who flies LA-to-NY with five bulky suitcases plus a carry-on? It’s surely the height of plebianism to load yourself down like the Joad family in The Grapes of Wrath. Big-weight packers are apparently upset by travel and trying to take as much of their lives with them so as to minimize the trauma of being someplace new. If you’re moving to another town or city you load your stuff into a U-Haul or send it by train. Nobody needs to haul this much weight on a flight.
Taken at LAX Virgin America terminal — Friday, 4.27, 9:25 am.
Attention should nave been paid last night to Joel Silver‘s departure from Warner Bros., to those rave reactions to yesterday’s Cinemacon screening of a portion of Ang Lee‘s 3D Pi, to the announcement of a Cannes Film Festival screening of a cleaned-up, digitally enhanced 4K Lawrence of Arabia. Plus I wanted to run more particular reactions to Richard Linklater‘s Bernie, etc. But the taxi’s here. I’ll have to file from the Virgin America flight to NYC. Arrival at 7 pm.
Directed by Derick (brother of Dirty?) Martini and based on a novel by Andrea Portes, Hick is about a none-too-bright girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who “runs away to Vegas to find a sugar daddy”…Jesus. You can imagine the rest. Costarring Blake Lively and Eddie Redmayne. Pic will open in select theaters and be available on iTunes and VOD on 5.11.12.
I don’t know if I want to see another Back to the Future film, but this guy (name?) is obviously sharp, inventive and passionate. So if nothing else he could get a production gig out of this and…you know, be somebody’s whippersnapper. I love the way he exhales after finishing the riff. And by the way, it’s definitely flux capacitor and not flux capacitator.
In his review of the French Bluray of Pork Chop Hill (’59) DVD Beaver’s Gary W. Tooze has shown his 1.85 fascist colors by writing that the disc’s aspect ratio “is a surprising 1.66 where I believe the original film would have been 1.85:1.”
Actually, a 1.66 aspect ratio, despite what the fascists will tell you about everything being shown at 1.85 starting in 1954 or ’55 or thereabouts, is completely in keeping with the general aesthetic of the late Eisenhower years. But Tooze doesn’t want to hear it. To paraphrase Gen. Jack D. Ripper, “This is how your hardcore 1.85 commie fascist thinks.”