The top 10 shots of 2010: part one

Posted by · 11:06 am · February 22nd, 2011

I have to admit, I procrastinated this column quite a bit this year. It has become a favorite staple for me, and, I’m happy to see, for our readers. But something was holding me back from pulling the trigger on getting the list together this time around. It’s a lot of work, of course. So […]

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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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INTERVIEW: Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese on building the perfect psychosis in ‘Shutter Island’

Posted by · 9:28 am · December 9th, 2010

*PLEASE NOTE: There will be spoilers of both “Inception” and “Shutter Island” in this two-part interview with actor Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese. Audience members flock the stage of the television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood, cameras and signables at the ready, as Leonardo DiCaprio patiently weathers the Black Friday-like storm […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

Posted by · 1:31 pm · June 9th, 2010

(Apologies for the delay in posting this column. Page to Screen will return to its regular Tuesday spot next week.) Chick-lit, the unflatteringly named brand of light confessional writing intended to universalize the problems of modern professional women, has been a beast of a publishing phenomenon since the near-simultaneous arrival on the scene of Helen […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Cinematography

Posted by · 12:01 pm · March 4th, 2010

Welcome to the first of two (and the only two) categories that have me pulling my hair out. The cinematography race is a strange breed this year. There isn’t the usual one or two “pretty” films that turn the Academy on at large, nothing with sweeping vistas and postcard composition, all the stuff that allows […]

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REVIEW: “Shutter Island” (**1/2)

Posted by · 8:54 pm · February 13th, 2010

Berlin International Film Festival (EDIT: Star rating adjusted upon consideration.) To filch an aphorism from Mike Skinner, “Shutter Island” represents of continuation of Martin Scorsese’s decade-long quest to find the hardest way to make an easy living. If that sounds like a jab, it’s not. Since the self-amusing personal statements of “Kundun” and “Bringing Out […]

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ASC nominees

Posted by · 12:18 pm · January 11th, 2010

“Avatar” continues its guild steamroll with a mention from the ASC today, a mention I frankly didn’t think the film would get.  Then again, the guild is typically kind to digital photography where AMPAS is not (examples are “Collateral” and “Apocalypto”), so I wouldn’t say it’s a slam dunk in this category for Oscar.  Then […]

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ASC on the way

Posted by · 5:06 pm · January 8th, 2010

Along with the WGA, the American Society of Cinematographers will also be announcing nominees Monday.  Guesses as to which way they’ll go? I’d say the safest bet is Robert Richardson and his work on “Inglourious Basterds.” He often gets his due from the guild (eight nominations) even when he doesn’t from the Academy (five nominations). […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Cinematography — Volume II

Posted by · 3:07 pm · October 1st, 2009

Almost three months ago, I described how our cinematographers bring movies to life, by lensing the director’s vision, the actors’ performances, the production designer’s and the writer’s mood, just to begin. In the absence of these talented individuals, there would truly be no cinema. Like most people, this is my favorite of the Oscar crafts […]

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REVIEW: “Inglourious Basterds” (**1/2)

Posted by · 12:06 pm · August 5th, 2009

Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds” isn’t as indulgent as “Death Proof” or “Kill Bill: Vol. 2,” but it doesn’t have the filmmaking panache and wit of the moving image to forgive it its sins like “Kill Bill: Vol. 1,” either.  It’s a slightly more contained bout of silliness, but it’s silliness nevertheless. The film is trademark […]

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TECH SUPPORT: Best Cinematography – Volume I

Posted by · 12:31 pm · July 16th, 2009

LIGHTS…CAMERA…you were probably waiting for the word “action,” no? Action is, after all, what many individuals go to a film to see. But the “lights” and the “camera” in this classic phrase bring a film beyond a book or a radio show…and capture the “action.” The individuals who paint the images of cinema with light […]

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PAGE TO SCREEN: “Shutter Island” by Dennis Lehane

Posted by · 1:20 pm · July 9th, 2009

Deep into Dennis Lehane’s 2003 novel noir “Shutter Island,” there’s a wonderfully telling exchange between the two central characters. Reflecting on the gothic heights to which their situation has spiralled, one observes, “It’s all a bit Grand Guignol, don’t you think?” His partner’s reply: “I don’t know what the fuck that means.” Ostensibly a nod […]

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