» Posts Tagged ‘theory’

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12 Years a SlaveOf the many excellent films to hit theaters last year, few were as powerful (or as well shot) as the Best Picture Oscar winner, 12 Years A Slave. It’s one of those rare films that transcends its utterly brutal subject matter and makes a powerful statement about the resiliency of the human spirit. Although much of that power is derived from terrific acting and direction, Sean Bobbitt’s masterful cinematography plays a critical role in allowing the emotionality of the story and its characters to emanate from the screen. In a pair of excellent interviews with Cinefii and Time LightBox, Bobbitt explains not only how he managed to craft such a gorgeous film, but also his theories behind portraying violence through film, working with Steve McQueen, and much, much more. Stick with us for a crash course in dramatic cinematography. More »

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Ingmar Bergman CriterionWe’ve talked a lot about influential filmmakers from the past and present, but haven’t really talked much about one of this writer’s favorite directors: Ingmar Bergman. Few filmmakers have been able to put together such an impressive body of work, and keep doing it well into their later years. Not every film was a masterpiece (far from it), but every single one had a piece of the filmmaker deeply ingrained in it. That idea is explored in the Criterion Collection video essay embedded below: More »

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Dawn of the Dead 1978No, this isn’t a photo taken at the Mac Store. This is actually a still from the “Godfather of Zombiedom George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, but it’s no accident that it’s reminiscent of those harrowing Black Fridays and doorbuster sales. They trudge through desolated cities aimlessly with that blank soulless stare that you either get from being bitten from the infected or staring at your computer for too long.  With the release of World War Z yesterday, it got me thinking — what is it with our obsession with zombies, from the films, shows, literary mashups, zombie walks and zombie pub crawls? What do they represent in film, and why have we chosen to love them instead of hate them? More »

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This is a guest post by Mike Jones, Lecturer in Screen Studies at the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

Filmmaking is full of traditions. These traditions are the “way things are done,” they are what is “expected,” they are “industry standard,” they are “default” and “accepted.” This is all fine and dandy until we recognise the innate implication of such Traditions is to imply Right and Wrong – that there is a correct way to do things and deviations are “incorrect,” not “acceptable” or, worse still, not “professional.”

These traditions manifest themselves in all manner of guises – creative, technical, business, logistic. I have written previously about how the tools of filmmaking (particularly software) possess internal philosophies that enforce traditions – traditions which may or may not be a good fit for your own creative processes. In a similar light, there occurs to me to be another long-standing and entrenched tradition (one that may not be serving emerging and indie filmmakers as it should) that needs to be questioned. That is the significance of the Short Film. More »