Tag Archives | Cinema

Psycho: Up Close

Psycho: Up Close from Roman Holiday on Vimeo.

Here we are on week 2 of the new “Up Close” montage series. Today’s film choice is Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). Ol’ Hitch certainly knew how to shoot some gorgeous close-ups.

I’d like to give a quick shout out to Psycho II and Psycho III which I’ve recently viewed and quite enjoyed. Even though the sequels came in over 20 years after the original they all come together in a pretty nice trilogy. Word’s still out on Psycho IV: The Beginning. Haven’t quite sought that one out yet.

Music: The Body – Bernard Herrmann (from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


h/t Laughing Squid.

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First and Final Frames

First and Final Frames from Jacob T. Swinney on Vimeo.

What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film? This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different–both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film.

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How Technicolor Changed Storytelling

Via Adrienne LaFrance at The Atlantic:

In the dawn of the age of cinema, adding color to black-and-white films was something like “putting lip rouge on Venus de Milo.” That is to say, it had the potential for disastrous, garish results. And that’s how the legendary director Albert Parker referred to the process of colorizing motion pictures in 1926, according to The New York Times that year.

Parker’s lipstick-on-the-Venus de Milo line wasn’t originally his—it was the same comparison famously used by silent film star Mary Pickford to lament the rise of talkies. As with sound, adding color to motion pictures represented a revolutionary shift in onscreen storytelling—and not everyone was convinced that change was worthwhile. Even those who were excited about color filmmaking felt trepidation.

“The color must never dominate the narrative,” Parker told the Times. “We have tried to get a sort of satin gloss on the scenes and have consistently avoided striving for prismatic effects… We realize that color is violent and for that reason we restrained it.”

Today, we’re accustomed to seeing color choices set the tone for a scene, a film—even an entire body of work.

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Celluloid and Simulation


Via Cary Hill at Moviepilot

The medium is the message. This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.
— Marshall McLuhan

A friend recently remarked to me that it felt increasingly more like his childhood was being repackaged and sold back to him. We were discussing the recent rash of movies, toys, and TV shows based on things from our childhood: GI Joe, Transformers, etc. New Hollywood franchises (including merchandise) are being launched from shows we watched 30 years ago, targeting our generation and our children. Nostalgia is now big business.

So I wondered: If the majority of Hollywood’s efforts are being put to resurrecting original content from decades ago in an attempt to exploit nostalgia, what happens when all new films and toys are based on prior existing material?

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The Difference Between a Great Horror Movie and a Great Halloween Movie


via Screen Crush:

I never watch ‘Halloween’ on Halloween.

That’s not to say that I dislike John Carpenter’s slasher classic. In fact, it’s one of the best horror movies ever made and a masterpiece that I find myself revisiting at least once a year. But when I do revisit it, I tend to watch it in December. Or February. Or even in the heat of the July. The moment October rolls around, I shelve any interest I have in it.

And it’s not alone. You won’t find me revisiting a lot of famous, respected and beloved horror movies when the season of the witch rolls around. No ‘Exorcist.’ No ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ None of those brutal French or Japanese movies that horror buffs like to spring on their unsuspecting friends. The Halloween season brings out something different in me. It focuses my tastes for 31 days. I don’t spend my October watching tons of horror movies, I like to spend my October watching tons of Halloween movies.

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Apocalypse Pooh: One of the earliest mash-ups (Bonus: Blue Peanuts)

I’m ashamed to say that I just came across this, thanks to Slate

This is by far the most meticulously edited mash-up I’ve seen. I’m very impressed. A hauntingly surreal Winnie the Pooh.

Apocalypse Pooh:

Via the YouTube page:

This is a recently remastered version of Todd Graham’s original 1987 VCR-made remix that appropriates famous fictional animals from Disney’s animated version of Winnie the Pooh and recasts them as characters in Francis Ford Coppola’s gritty Vietnam War drama Apocalypse Now. In the new narrative, the beloved Hundred Acre Wood is transformed into a horrific war zone in which Pooh, Piglet, and the rest of the gang struggle to keep their sanity. The humorous and slightly disturbing juxtaposition was an underground viral hit at comic book conventions, and bootlegged copies were passed around and traded on VHS tape. Graham’s work, which he called telejusting, differs in some respects from that of later media jammers in that it requires viewers to at least know, if not be a fan of, the original source material.

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Interview with David Lynch – Transcendental Meditation, “True Detective,” and More

"David Lynch (cropped edit)" by Sasha Kargaltsev - http://www.flickr.com/photos/kargaltsev/3603597312/. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“David Lynch (cropped edit)” by Sasha Kargaltsev. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Daily Beast just ran an awesome interview with David Lynch. I’ve pulled some snippets here, but you should read the whole thing if you’re a Lynch fan!

via The Daily Beast:

I just saw your fantastic ALS Ice Bucket Challenge video.

[Laughs] Oh. Great trumpet playing, huh? I had to do two buckets because two people challenged me, so I thought it should have some music to it. And I’m agreat trumpet player. And for some reason, I wanted to nominate Vladimir Putin. He might want to take part in helping some people.

Were there some demons you were dealing with when you turned to TM? You started on Eraserhead in ’72, and I understand that was a very fraught production early on.

You don’t have to be in bad shape.

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