Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Blogroll

Thompson on Hollywood

Talking Editing with the Oscar Nominees

Editorially, all five films take us out of our comfort zones in this strange season of survival and rebirth: from the chameleon-like con of "American Hustle" to the abduction at sea in "Captain Phillips" to the weightless terror of "Gravity" to the ticking clock death sentence of "Dallas Buyers Club" to the horror of having your life and liberty snatched away in "12 Years a Slave." I got an insider's view from Jay Cassidy ("American Hustle"), Christopher Rouse ("Captain Phillips"), John Mac McMurphy ("Dallas Buyers Club"), Mark Sanger ("Gravity"), and Joe Walker ("12 Years a Slave").
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 20, 2014 4:28 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Anatomy of a Scene: Solomon Northup Chained in '12 Years a Slave'

One of the most important yet difficult decisions in Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" was how to depict Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) waking up in bondage. Fortunately, they hit on the idea in the cutting room to tell it out of sequence, the result of which was disconcerting for Northup and viewer alike, and which laid the groundwork for a more intimate narrative approach by staying with his POV. I discussed this crucial scene with the two Oscar nominees, production designer Adam Stockhausen and editor Joe Walker.
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 19, 2014 4:26 PM
  • |
  • 3 Comments

Talking the 'Her' Score with Arcade Fire Oscar Nominee William Butler

Oscar-nominated William Butler's first-time experience composing the wistful score for Spike Jonze's "Her" with his Arcade Fire partner Owen Pallett was a bit of a romance as well as a crash course in moviemaking. And yet the experience opened him up more intuitively to the collaborative process.
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 18, 2014 2:58 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Arthouse Audit: New Specialized Openings Hit Low-Point; Subtitled 'Gloria' and 'Great Beauty' Hold Well

This weekend looks to be one of the weakest in years for new specialized films.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
  • |
  • February 16, 2014 4:44 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Box Office Top Ten: Audiences Still Love 'Lego' and Kevin Hart, Snub Colin Farrell

Looking at the Box Office Top Ten this week, you'd think we were still in the 1980s. Four new openers include three remakes of '80s hits, and another adapts a major novel from the decade. Another familiar pop culture artifact from the period -- Legos -- returned as the top film this weekend, as Warner Bros.' animated 3D film continues its strong run in its second weekend.
  • By Tom Brueggemann
  • |
  • February 16, 2014 2:06 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Anatomy of a Scene: Dissecting the Bravura 'Gravity' Opening

The extraordinary 13-minute opening of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" is like a mini-movie, setting up the zero-gravity world in space, the two astronauts played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the mood, the tension, the crisis, and the metaphor. I break it down with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Emmanuel (Chivo) Lubezki, production designer Andy Nicholson, VFX supervisor Tim Webber, sound mixer Chris Munro, and editor Mark Sanger.
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 14, 2014 2:45 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

'Gravity,' 'Frozen' Big VES Awards Winners

As expected, Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" dominated the 12th annual VES Awards, grabbing six trophies at the Beverly Hilton Wednesday night, including outstanding visual effects-driven feature, while Disney's "Frozen" went four for four, including outstanding animated feature (a first for the studio).
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 13, 2014 8:13 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

David O. Russell and Oscar-Nominated Crew Talk the Craft of 'American Hustle'

David O. Russell's on a roll with his Oscar-contending "American Hustle," his most personal and popular movie yet. It's smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late '70s. "I don't care about pure dissipation or pure cynicism -- I've gotta have the thing that people live for," he insists. So in a recent roundtable discussion, we explored how this passion spilled over to his Oscar-nominated crew: production designer Judy Becker, costume designer Michael Wilkinson and editor Jay Cassidy.
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 12, 2014 2:50 PM
  • |
  • 1 Comment

Talking Johnny Depp's Oscar-Nominated Makeup and Hair in 'The Lone Ranger'

When it came to Johnny Depp's trippy Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," there were two makeup and hair challenges: the middle-aged Native American as well as the old man (a tribute to legendary Dick Smith's Jack Crabb from "Little Big Man"). We get the lowdown from Oscar-nominees Joel Harlow, who's become Depp's go-to makeup guy, and hairstylist Gloria Casny.
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 7, 2014 2:28 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Crafts Roundup: Talking Production Design with the Five Oscar Nominees

The five Oscar nominees for production design ("American Hustle," "Gravity," "The Great Gatsby," "Her," and "12 Years a Slave") certainly capture the zeitgeist of the season in a variety of creative ways. They're about survival, self-invention, reinvention, and rebirth, and we reflect on this with all the nominees.
  • By Bill Desowitz
  • |
  • February 6, 2014 2:28 PM
  • |
  • 0 Comments

Email Updates