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Thompson on Hollywood

Crafts Roundup: Best Original Score Contenders Talk Creating Music for Survival, Reinvention and Spiritual Uplift

The Oscar-contending music scores are particularly strong this year, given the propelling theme of survival and reinvention. Among the standouts are "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "The Book Thief," "Philomena," "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom," and "Prisoners." Even original songs have spiritual uplift, including "Let It Go" ("Frozen"), Cold Play's "Atlas" ("The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"), U2's "Ordinary Love" ("Mandela"), and Ed Sheeran's "I See Fire" ("The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug").
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 19, 2013 2:30 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Crafts Roundup: Handicapping the VFX Oscar Race

The VFX Oscar race has come down to zero-gravity and an innovative light box, a menacing dragon, Jaegers vs. Kaiju, three dystopian adventures, a "Star Trek" reboot with Khan, "Lone Ranger" train mayhem, and two Marvel superhero stalwarts. So let's go under the hood in anticipating the likely ammunition for the Academy's January 9th "bakeoff" in paring down the five nominees.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 12, 2013 2:05 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Crafts Roundup: The Year of Immersive Sound in Survival Films

In the year of survival, sound has taken on supreme importance as an authentic, driving narrative force, and with the advent of Dolby Atmos, the theatrical experience has never been more immersive. "Gravity," "All Is Lost," "Captain Phillips," "Oblivion," "Rush," and "12 Years a Slave" are among the standouts in space, at sea, in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, on the dangerous Formula 1 track, and in physical/spiritual imprisonment.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 5, 2013 2:16 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Crafts Roundup: The Year of Cinematographers Capturing Turmoil On Screen

It's been a great year for cinematography, with such an emphasis on survival, turmoil and trying to find beauty or redemption within the suffering. The cinematographers of "Gravity," "12 Years a Slave," "Captain Phillips," "Nebraska," "Inside Llewyn Davis," "The Grandmaster," and "Rush" talk striking that cruel-beautiful visual balance, below.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 26, 2013 2:15 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Crafts Roundup: A Survivor's Journey in Production Design

With the awards season upon us, we're launching a new column, "Crafts Roundup," which examines a different below-the-line category each week. As this particularly striking season is dominated by survival and/or reinvention (both fact-based and fantastical), we're starting off with production design and world building. Here are a few standouts so far:
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 21, 2013 11:36 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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