Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' First Official Look: Jared Leto As The Joker In 'Suicide Squad' Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Joss Whedon Says He Earned More Making 'Dr. Horrible' Than 'The Avengers,' Weighs In On Marvel Vs. DC Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Tom Hardy Met Mel Gibson And Made Him A Bracelet, Says Michael Fassbender Was "The Sh*t" In School Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Native Actors Walk Off Set Of Adam Sandler's 'Ridiculous 6' Over Disrespectful, Insulting Script Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Watch: Johnny Depp Rages As Whitey Bulger In First Trailer For Gangster Tale 'Black Mass' Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' And More Added To Cannes Film Festival Lineup First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' First Look: Johnny Depp Goes Gangster In As Whitey Bulger In 'Black Mass' Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Watch: Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Anne Hathaway, Michael Fassbender And More Talk The Art Of Acting Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Review: Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Starring Robert Downey Jr. Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson & More Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Watch: Quentin Tarantino, David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, And More Talk The Art Of Filmmaking Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Christopher Nolan's Favorite Sequence From His Movies Is The Airplane Kidnapping Scene From 'The Dark Knight Rises' Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking Joss Whedon Calls Edgar Wright's 'Ant-Man' "The Best Script Marvel Ever Had," Warns Of Serialized Moviemaking The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 The 41 Most Anticipated Movies Of Summer 2015 Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed Watch: First Teaser For 'Star Wars: Rogue One,' Plot Details Confirmed The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki

Watch: Vintage 1-Hour 'NOVA: The Magic of Special Effects' Explores 'Temple Of Doom,' 'Return Of The Jedi' & More

The Playlist By Cain Rodriguez | The Playlist May 23, 2014 at 11:35AM

A few weeks ago Drew McWeeny over at HitFix wrote a treatise on the current age of filmmaking and its overrealiance on CGI (partly inspired by the illuminating VFX reel for “Only God Forgives”), dubbing our era the “age of casual magic.” He wondered whether modern-day audiences still had the capacity for awe in the face of ever-increasing spectacle. While we can’t pretend to know the answer to that question—we’ll see how the general movie-going public responds to Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” which appears to be aiming for the awe of yesteryear—what we can do is turn the clock back and see what images and effects mesmerized audiences thirty years ago.
0
Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom Steven Spielberg Harrison Ford

A few weeks ago Drew McWeeny over at HitFix wrote a treatise on the current age of filmmaking and its overrealiance on CGI (partly inspired by the illuminating VFX reel for “Only God Forgives”), dubbing our era the “age of casual magic.” He wondered whether modern-day audiences still had the capacity for awe in the face of ever-increasing spectacle. While we can’t pretend to know the answer to that question—we’ll see how the general movie-going public responds to Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar,” which appears to be aiming for the awe of yesteryear—what we can do is turn the clock back and see what images and effects mesmerized audiences thirty years ago.

In 1984, the iconic PBS series “Nova” set its sights on the world of special effects as they were when practical effects ruled the cinematic landscape. The special first takes viewers behind the scenes of “Return of the Jedi” at ILM’s offices, where George Lucas makes an appearance, before moving on to “Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom” (read our 30th anniversary reappreciation), 1985’s Joe Dante-directed and Ethan Hawke-starring “Explorers,” and the Peter Hyams-helmed “2010: The Year We Make Contact.”

With no disrespect to the animators and programmers and artists working on CGI today, there is something almost magical about watching the creation of physical objects taking up physical space and recognizing that these inherently imperfect creations crafted by hand—can CG extensions of sets ever match the innate craftsmanship of matte paintings?—are what gave us some of the most striking and awe-inspring images ever seen on screen.

Watch the NOVA special, “The Magic Of Special Effects,” below.

This article is related to: Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom, Explorers, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates