Last week we wrote about the Dolby Atmos next generation sound system being installed in theaters around the country, meaning theatrical experience is improving yet again. At the moment we're still waiting for laser projection to develop enough to be installed on a mass scale. One company we're watching is IMAX, who has been in development on a laser projector system for a while (we wrote about a Kodak partnership in 2011) but hasn't announced anything publicly just yet. Lasers to project films? Yes indeed. In an "in-depth" interview with TechRadar, IMAX CTO Brian Bonnick discusses why lasers will be the future of cinemas.
It began seven years ago. I went to camp out for the opening show of Bryan Singer's Superman Returns, the could-be-cool new Superman movie. I discovered my friends, rivals at the time, had just snagged the #1 spot in line, so I decided to create a website called FirstShowing.net and setup behind them (in response). That was early June of 2006. The very first post on the site on June 3rd, 2006, I wrote "the Cinemark movie theatre in Colorado Springs (where I'm heading) just posted up their tickets for Superman Returns and Cars." That same theater is still alive and kicking in 2013 with more campsites now (see photos) including one by our friends at MovieCamp.co. It all comes full circle with Man of Steel, now in theaters June 2013.
Thanks to the power of the Internet, there are a slew of cool old documentaries online, looking at some of the most iconic filmmakers. Recently Steven Spielberg was highlighted from an old BBC program, and this time it's his longtime friend and collaborator George Lucas who was profiled in a BBC Omnibus called George Lucas: Flying Solo. The 50-minute piece looks at the early years of Lucas' career, including clips from his earliest 16mm short films. One interesting section with Francis Ford Coppola hypothesizes the path of Lucas if the Star Wars trilogy hadn't completely changed the trajectory of the director's career. Watch!
Though Universal Pictures celebrated the 20th anniversary of their blockbuster Jurassic Park with a 3D re-release of the Steven Spielberg directed film back in April, today marks the official anniversary of the film since it was released on June 11th, 1993. In honor of this great day, an online art exhibit called Dino-DNA (via SlashFilm) has unveiled some great new pieces of work paying tribute to the iconic film that was dubbed 65 million years in the making. It's a decent consolation prize following the disappointing but not surprising news that Jurassic Park 4 was put on hold indefinitely in order to make a better film.
While we're waiting for David Gordon Green's remake of Dario Argento's 1977 horror classic Suspiria, a bar in Japan has taken cues from the horror film for their patrons to enjoy. FEARnet (via Movies.com) stumbled upon the Facebook page for Cambiare, a new Italian bar and grill found in Japan. More specifically, the bar resides in Tokyo's “Golden Gai” district in Shinjuku (apparently a popular nightlife area). The bar has posted photos (which could be better quality) of their business to show off the interior decorations, color scheme and more that is clearly inspired by the horror film, right down to the sign font.
Lately, there's been a great influx of older interviews or documentary shorts featuring iconic filmmakers surfacing online, and this one is truly fascinating. Steven Spielberg sat down with British film critic Barry Norman for BBC One's Film Programme series back in 1990, not to mention touring the offices of the filmmaker's Amblin Entertainment banner. It contains the standard content you might expect, but there's also an interesting tidbit where Spielberg reveals regret for passing on the chance to direct Rain Man, the 1988 Best Picture winner starring Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman (who won Best Actor). Watch!
"You are not alone." I still love that General Zod staticy threat video from Man of Steel, which is actually used in the movie, although it was premiered online/on TV back in April (watch here). With the release of Zack Snyder's new Superman movie finally coming up this week, it's time to go Supes crazy. There's a fun fan-made viral video going around using General Zod's invasion footage and his message. "Something crazy happened at MOVIECLIPS while we were doing a trailer review. Everything went haywire and an alien ship was spotted over Los Angeles." This was probably made for fun by their entire staff, but it's still cool to see.
In martial arts there is no right or wrong, only the last man standing. Unless you like importing Blu-rays from China, the rest of us in America are still waiting to see Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster. It will hit theaters in August over here, but in the meantime (or if you have already seen it), there's a fantastic must watch making of featurette out thanks to BUF, the VFX group behind the atmospherics (mostly the snow) in the film. The martial arts epic is about the grand master Ip Man played by Tony Leung and also stars Ziyi Zhang. I still haven't seen it, so this featurette is another awesome tease. Total number of VFX shots: 512.
Washington D.C. is about to get a little classier. The capitol's famous Newseum, chronicling the history of news and how it reaches the masses, has just announced a partnership with Paramount Pictures for Anchorman: The Exhibit, an installation that will feature costumes, props and footage from the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. There's no telling if there will be any tease for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, but the exhibit itself should serve as a solid reminder to fans when it opens November 14th, a whole month before the sequel arrives in theaters just before Christmas.
While the film community is still mourning the loss of legenadry critic Roger Ebert, his legacy lives on in the website RogerEbert.com, which just relaunched with a redesign and update. It's also worth mentioning that fellow film-lover Matt Zoller Seitz has just taken over the job of Editor-in-Chief of RogerEbert.com, announcing a new worth-bookmarking blog called MZS, which is where I first came across this comic strip. On the art blog Zen Pencils, cartoonist Gavin Aung Than posted a wonderful tribute to Ebert from one of his beloved quotes about "kindness." The comic strip tells a heartfelt and sweet story of one man's love for film.
It's hard to believe it's been five years since we lost Heath Ledger. The actor went out with an amazing Oscar winning performance in The Dark Knight as iconic villain The Joker, arguably delivering the best interpretation of the character even seen on the big or small screen. While on the set, Ledger kept a diary featuring little things that inspired his character. From images of Batman comic books to the trademark playing cards and images of different clowns, there's a slew of stuff that looks like a serial killer's diary. But the most chilling is the last page of the diary which features the words "Bye Bye" scribbled in large letters.
Mixing fine cinema with fine wine? Why not?! The Alamo Drafthouse, a fine purveyor of quality adult beverages at their many theatrical establishments, has launched a new series of wines they've dubbed the Silence of the Lambs signature wines. Yes it's a bit odd to tie in with a movie theater/distributor, but the best part is they're linking everything together with Mondo poster art and a special screening of the 1991 Best Picture winning serial killer classic. "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." Now you can order some of "that" chianti. See the art for the film and details on the wines (if that's your thing) below.
"A one-of-a-kind marketplace from Steven Soderbergh." Wait, what? The same filmmaker who went off on a brilliant State of Cinema rant is now reinventing the online store, too? A new website/"marketplace" has launched called Extension 765 that is hawking various props, memorabilia, collectibles, swag and t-shirts related to Soderbergh and cinema. The site is very straightforward but includes some great quotes about the concept and why he's selling the things he's selling. The prices are considerably high ($38 for a t-shirt?) but if you're a big Soderbergh fan or want some genuinely unique swag, that may be worth it. "Don't sell us out!"
The Wind Rises. I love that title. While we still have a few years until this new Studio Ghibli film hits US theaters, it's landing in Japanese theaters this July. Which means marketing is kicking in over in Japan, and a series of gorgeous new very wide banners/billboards have debuted for the film. Hayao Miyazaki's newest feature The Wind Rises is a look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II. We've seen bits of concept art before, but these banners show not only the main character but the incredibly beautiful landscapes and airplanes Miyazaki has created for the animated film.