TECH SUPPORT: Final analysis, part two

Posted by · 9:48 am · January 21st, 2011

Yesterday I began a final look at the crafts categories. Today, a look at the four remaining fields: Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design and Best Film Editing. BEST ART DIRECTION The precursors of the BFCA, BAFTA and Art Directors Guild have been fairly consistent in citing four titles in this category. Last […]

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Predict the ASC nominees

Posted by · 9:32 am · January 10th, 2011

Now that the DGA has spoken, something to pass the time.  Tomorrow the crafts guilds continue to roll out the season as the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) offers its picks for the best work behind the camera in 2010.  This is perhaps my favorite of the below-the-line categories, so I thought I’d offer up […]

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Annual Fox holiday bash draws filmmakers and talent

Posted by · 9:13 am · December 2nd, 2010

20th Century Fox held its annual holiday party on the roof of the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills last night. It afforded a good opportunity to corral press members into a tight space with talent from the studio’s five awards season contenders. Newly tapped Oscar host Anne Hathaway was on hand (with “Love & Other […]

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EXCLUSIVE: ‘127 Hours,’ 2 DPs (clip)

Posted by · 1:00 pm · November 3rd, 2010

One of the unique aspects of Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” is it’s use of two cinematographers.  Longtime Boyle collaborator Anthony Dod Mantle (who won the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 2008 for “Slumdog Millionaire”) was joined by Enrique Chediak (who shot the Boyle-produced “28 Weeks Later”). Both units were given equal weight during production (going […]

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On ‘127 Hours,’ and a messy little thing called opinion

Posted by · 2:08 pm · November 1st, 2010

It all started, as so many conflicts do these days, with a tweet. After spending a morning and afternoon musing on “127 Hours,” following a breakfast-time screening on the last day of the London Film Festival, I accepted the hard fact that I simply didn’t like it very much. I wanted to feel differently. Danny […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Cinematography — Volume II

Posted by · 11:36 am · October 15th, 2010

Today we take a look a second look at, well, certainly the most “cinematic” of categories: Best Cinematography. As I like to say, cinema is born out of the camera and those who wield these devices enrich our films more than a few words written here could possibly say. From capturing mood, lighting and atmosphere […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Cinematography — Volume I

Posted by · 10:58 am · July 23rd, 2010

Of the so-called “tech” categories, Best Cinematography is one of the most popular, certainly for me. The invention of the camera took us beyond radio and literature and set modern art on a path aimed toward the moving picture, and this field recognizes those behind the lens. Cinematography obviously has a massive impact on a […]

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‘White Ribbon’ triumphs at European Film Awards

Posted by · 12:57 pm · December 12th, 2009

(UPDATE: Due to an error on the EFA’s own website, we initially reported that the technical Prix d’Excellence had been awarded to “Vincere.” This is incorrect: the sound design team behind “A Prophet” took the prize.) Foreign-language Oscar favorites “The White Ribbon” and “A Prophet” have been locked in something of an awards duel since […]

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REVIEW: “Antichrist” (***1/2)

Posted by · 10:01 am · June 23rd, 2009

Edinburgh International Film Festival “I am the greatest director in the world,” Lars von Trier declared in an already notorious Cannes press conference following the unveiling of “Antichrist” in May.  Unable to resist such shameless baiting, most critics either responded with affectionate exasperation (“Oh, Lars!”) or, as one suspects von Trier preferred, tomato-faced indignation. What […]

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New stills and trailer for ‘Antichrist’

Posted by · 1:57 pm · April 27th, 2009

Chances are it won’t net him the same level of mainstream kudos as “Slumdog Millionaire,” but a series of newly released stills for Lars von Trier’s “Antichrist” confirms that we can expect some pretty special work from Academy Award winner Anthony Dod Mantle. (How great does it feel to read those last six words, by […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Final predictions

Posted by · 5:27 pm · February 18th, 2009

After six months of Tech Support previews and interviews, the films have arrived, the nominations have been announced and the guilds, the critics and BAFTA have all announced their preferences.  Today we take a final look at the races before the envelopes are opened on Sunday. BEST ART DIRECTION After guild and BAFTA wins, I […]

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Top lensers praise ‘Slumdog’ cinematography

Posted by · 12:15 pm · February 11th, 2009

Over at Variety, Robert Koehler has put together a survey of sorts of some of the industry’s top DPs to gauge their reaction to the year’s work behind the camera.  It could be a nice hint toward what the ASC will chose as the year’s best lensing, and judging by Koehler’s results, Anthony Dod Mantle’s […]

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OFF THE CARPET: Come together, right now

Posted by · 9:37 am · February 9th, 2009

Anyone ready for it to all be over? For me, it hasn’t been a painful Oscar season, despite what I may have let on throughout the last five months. After all, my favorite film is and has been primed for the big win since November (well, since we said it was in November…everyone soon followed […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: the crafts of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Posted by · 10:15 am · January 30th, 2009

Garnering 10 nominations last week confirmed “Slumdog Millionaire”’s established status as the frontrunner for this year’s Best Picture Oscar.  Unusually for a Best Picture winner, the film failed to nab any acting nominations.  Its high tally counts comes from seven nominations in the crafts fields. I recently had the chance to speak to three of […]

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The top 10 shots of 2008: part one

Posted by · 9:03 am · January 14th, 2009

I’m hoping to make this an annual tradition here at In Contention.  It’s no secret we have a lot of respect for below-the-line talent around these parts, but it’s nice to have a visual way of showing that appreciation.  I sat down to write this piece for the first time last year, taken by the […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: ‘Dark Knight’ disqualified, Rourke interviewed, ‘Australia’ unwrapped

Posted by · 8:00 pm · November 14th, 2008

Kind of an in-between week, this. Here’s how it went down: • In probably the most discussed Oscar news of the week, “The Dark Knight” was dodgily ruled ineligible in the Best Original Score category. • On a happier note, we sat down with surefire Best Actor nominee Mickey Rourke. • A shortlist of 14 […]

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Anthony Dod Mantle — it is time

Posted by · 11:47 am · November 9th, 2008

I don’t generally throw myself full force behind a contender with the kind of FYC spirit I’m about to project.  We all have our favorites and we all hope this person or that will finally get the recognition deserved, but it’s a different thing to full on advocate.  But today, I just can’t help myself. […]

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REVIEW: “The Last King of Scotland” (****)

Posted by · 11:26 am · September 2nd, 2006

Every so often a film comes along that is so celebratory of the filmmaking process and fresh in its approach to visually conveying a story that it creatively demolishes anything within earshot. “Metropolis” was an early example, as Fritz Lang opened up the world in front of the camera like no one before.  Arthur Penn’s […]

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