OFF THE CARPET: Sun came up

Posted by · 9:11 am · February 28th, 2011

Steven Spielberg couldn’t have put it more concisely during his presentation of the Best Picture category last night.  To paraphrase, he noted that whichever films did not happen to win Best Picture this year would join the ranks of numerous classics of the medium. Was it preemptive damage control?  I hope not.  Why be apologetic?  […]

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The top 10 shots of 2010: part two

Posted by · 10:49 am · February 23rd, 2011

In case you missed part one of this year’s top shots column, be sure to catch up before digging into the final five selections today. As I mentioned yesterday, it wasn’t exactly a banner year for singular images from films in 2010. And that’s certainly not a crime. But more to the point, what I […]

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OSCAR GUIDE: Best Cinematography

Posted by · 10:19 am · February 15th, 2011

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) dished out its annual kudos this weekend, which makes for a nice segue into a discussion of the year’s nominees for Best Cinematography. But it’s important to keep a few things in mind when it comes to guessing what the Academy at large will spring for in this field. […]

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2/4 OSCARWEB ROUND-UP: Entering the final stretch, Hawkes on being the underdog, last ‘Network’ hurrah?

Posted by · 7:51 am · February 4th, 2011

• Pete Hammond on campaigns entering the final stretch, voters with ballots in hand. [Deadline] • Anne Thompson discusses Oscar voting procedures and more with AMPAS president Tom Sherak. [Thompson on Hollywood] • Jen Yamato talks being the underdog with “Winter’s Bone” star (and Oscar nominee) John Hawkes. [Movieline]

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The cinematography of ‘True Grit’

Posted by · 5:20 pm · January 31st, 2011

There has been a lingering possibility, I think, of Danny Cohen riding the frontrunner wave to a win for his working shooting “The King’s Speech” lately.  It’s possible “Inception” is lurking as a spoiler, but I think the race will come down to those two films.  And as much as I find myself in the […]

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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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‘King’s Speech,’ ‘Social Network’ among ASC nominees

Posted by · 6:06 pm · January 10th, 2011

Well, I was expecting this to drop tomorrow, but the ASC nominees have been announced (catch them at The Circuit), and there are a couple of surprises. Okay, well, Jeff Cronenweth getting in for “The Social Network” isn’t a complete surprise, as I mentioned this morning we should watch out for him here.  But Danny […]

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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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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: ‘True Grit’ cinematographer Roger Deakins

Posted by · 9:13 am · December 22nd, 2010

The Coen brothers’ “True Grit” opens nationwide today.  And we’re continuing right along with our daily look at the below-the-line talent of the film with director of photography Roger Deakins. Deakins has been with the Coens for nearly 20 years, going all the way back to “Barton Fink” in 1991.  It’s fair to say his […]

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The Coens’ no-frills ‘True Grit’ hearkens to western heyday

Posted by · 10:00 am · December 1st, 2010

I’ve seen the Coen brothers’ “True Grit” twice now, and it’s not because the film is some “Inception”-like, mind-bending narrative maze. Quite the opposite, actually. I saddled up to it a second time yesterday morning because I wasn’t quite anticipating what I got the first time around and I wanted to consider it further knowing […]

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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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Lifetime Achievement Awards for Deakins and Freeman

Posted by · 1:14 pm · October 11th, 2010

A pair to report.  First up, Morgan Freeman gets the AFI tribute treatment this year.  I wonder if we’ll get some quality discussion of his work with David Fincher on “Se7en.” The press release, in part: Morgan Freeman has been selected by the  American Film Institute’s (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 39th AFI […]

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‘True Grit’ teaser trailer

Posted by · 2:30 pm · September 27th, 2010

Well, they held out on us for long enough, but we have finally been afforded a glimpse of the year’s last major awards hopeful. It’s short, sweet and pleasingly oblique — but you only need watch the first few seconds to know we’re in for something a bit more substantial than the creaky 1969 oater […]

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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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‘Amelie’ tops list of decade’s best cinematography

Posted by · 10:00 am · June 29th, 2010

The folks at Movieline got their hands on a list of the top 50 films of the decade, from a cinematography standpoint, as laid out by voters at American Cinematographer magazine. Topping the list: Bruno Delbonnel’s work on “Amelie.” Delbonnel is a favorite among DPs. After all, “A Very Long Engagement” won him the ASC […]

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TECH SUPPORT INTERVIEW: The crafts of ‘A Serious Man’

Posted by · 1:26 pm · January 14th, 2010

The Coen brothers’ latest film “A Serious Man” opens with a quote from French Rabbi Shlomo Yitzhaki (better known as Rashi):  “Accept with simplicity everything that happens to you.” It’s obviously quite applicable to the themes of fatalism and inevitability strewn throughout the film.  But that word, “simple,” also comes up over and over again […]

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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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“We’re going to be fine.”

Posted by · 9:10 pm · October 28th, 2009

Those of you who enjoy it when Kris and I butt heads over one film or another — as on the two occasions this past week alone that I’ve been unceremoniously fired — will be disappointed to hear that an entente cordiale has arrived in the shape of “A Serious Man.” (Ironic, really — since […]

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