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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Revisiting 'Brave' with Director Mark Andrews

Pixar isn't used to playing the dark horse, but that's where the animation powerhouse currently finds itself in this year's Oscar race with "Brave." But last night the Scottish mother/daughter adventure/comedy won the Golden Globe and seized some momentum over its two Disney rivals, "Frankenweenie" and "Wreck-It Ralph."
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 14, 2013 3:56 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Assessing the Animation and VFX Oscar Nominations

What were the noteworthy takeaways from yesterday's Oscar nominations? In terms of animation, stop-motion was the big winner among animated features, with Sony/Aardman's "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" bumping DreamWorks' "Rise of the Guardians" to join Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" and Laika's "ParaNorman," and Disney grabbing three of the five nominees with "Brave," "Frankenweenie," and "Wreck-It Ralph." And, of course, "Life of Pi" dominated the tech awards, including VFX, with eight nods overall.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 11, 2013 3:50 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Paco Delgado Talks 'Les Miserables' Costumes

For Paco Delgado, "Les Misérables" moves like a breathless action movie the way it combines gritty drama with musical fantasy. That was director Tom Hooper's cinematic vision for the operatic sing-through...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 9, 2013 12:16 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Lois Burwell Talks 'Lincoln' Makeup

For makeup designer Lois Burwell, it wasn't merely enough to help Daniel Day-Lewis become Abraham Lincoln. She needed to reveal his decline during the waning months of his life in "Lincoln." We needed to see the stress on his face...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 7, 2013 1:52 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Jacqueline Durran Talks 'Anna Karenina' Costumes

Although the boldness of Joe Wright's theatrical approach to "Anna Karenina" has been unappreciated by most critics, there's no denying the craft and beauty of both Sarah Greenwood's production design and Jacqueline Durran's costume design.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 4, 2013 2:55 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Howard Berger Talks 'Hitchcock' Makeup

While the first glimpse of Anthony Hopkins as the Master of Suspense in "Hitchcock" is startling (how could it be otherwise?), SFX makeup wiz Howard Berger makes us believe in the illusion almost immediately...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • January 2, 2013 12:52 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Robert Richardson Unchains 'Django'

Nearly lost in all the controversy surrounding the pop cultural deconstruction of slavery in Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," is what a liberating experience it was for the director and his fellow filmmakers. For Tarantino, it was a chance to improvise more than usual, but for cinematographer Robert Richardson...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 31, 2012 1:54 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Production Designer Dennis Gassner Talks 'Skyfall'

One of the great pleasures of doing a Bond movie for Dennis Gassner is that he gets to be 007 before Daniel Craig. On "Quantum of Solace," his first, the Oscar-winning production designer ("Bugsy") created a pattern language based on the actor's blue eyes and craggy face. But on "Skyfall," he went further in shaping the world of Bond...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 28, 2012 2:31 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Sound Designer Paul Ottosson Talks 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Sound designer/re-recording mixer Paul Ottosson creates the year's most complex and disturbing soundscape with "Zero Dark Thirty," easily surpassing his work on "The Hurt Locker," which earned him two Oscars. Indeed, his strategy of maximizing audience identification with the obsessive CIA officer, Maya, played by Jessica Chastain, brilliantly complements the narrative thrust of the acclaimed, if controversial, fact-based thriller about the decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 26, 2012 3:00 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Don Burgess Talks 'Flight'

Being reunited with director Robert Zemeckis on "Flight" was just like old times for cinematographer Don Burgess. The last time they worked together was on "The Polar Express" in 2004, Bob Z's first foray into performance capture. But in terms of live action, you have to go back to "Cast Away" in 2000...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 24, 2012 3:08 PM
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