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Be Inspired by The Most Beautiful Shots in Cinema of the 21st Century

The Most Beautiful Shots in Film of the 21st Century

Movies can be exhilarating experiences, capturing life and all its beauty in ways that can't even be described. There are so many unforgettable moments, so many shots and scenes that stay with us forever. The Most Beautiful Shots of the 21st Century is a short video compiled by Ignacio Montalvo, which highlights some of the best shots over the last 16 years. This will inspire you and fill you with emotion, reminding you why movies are so wonderful. I love that he includes shots from some of my favorites: Sunshine, Big Fish, Fellowship of the Ring, The Squid and the Whale, 500 Days of Summer, Her, Black Swan, Mad Max: Fury Road. I also adore the scene from Xavier Dolan's Mommy (which I wrote an entire article about). Pure bliss.

 Posted August 1 in Feat, To Watch | Comments

Interview: NY Filmmaker Jim Strouse on Making Uplifting Indie Films

Jim Strouse

"You really have to drive your own train and you have to keep it running." Yes indeed. Meet Jim Strouse. Also known as James C. Strouse. Jim is a filmmaker originally from Indiana, who now lives in New York City. If you don't recognize his name, hopefully you will recognize his films - Grace Is Gone (in 2007), The Winning Season (in 2009), People Places Things (in 2015), and now this year he has brought us The Incredible Jessica James. Jessica James stars the talented Jessica Williams as Jessica James in an optimistic, engaging story of a struggling playwright in New York. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, like every film Jim has made, and is being released by Netflix - it's available to watch now. I caught up with Jim at the Sundance Film Festival this year for a chat, and I'm happy to finally present our interview in full. I love his films and I'm glad I had the chance to talk with him out there.

 Posted July 28 in Feat, Indies, Interview | Comments

Comic-Con 2017: Our First Look at Preview Night Showfloor Photos

Comic-Con 2017

It is our tradition to kick off Comic-Con by walking the showfloor on preview night and taking photos of anything movie-related. This year, since Alex is not attending himself, the photos are coming from Marc Levy - a photographer working at Comic-Con. Our presence at Comic-Con has changed in the last few years (we're taking a break after 10 years since Alex has relocated to Berlin) but it's still always exciting to follow. To keep up with the tradition anyway, we present our initial gallery of shots from the showfloor at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 with photos taken by Marc exclusively for FS.net. There are tons of superheroes galore, as expected, along with Star Wars everywhere, and plenty of geeky goodies in every corner. Take a look below.

 Posted July 20 in Comic-Con 17, Feat, Photos | Comments

Interview: Matt Reeves on Directing 'War for the Planet of the Apes'

Matt Reeves Interview

"We pitched that movie. I pitched it to the studio. And they said yes." It's here - one of the best movies of the year. War for the Planet of the Apes is now playing in theaters, and it's a masterpiece. I've seen it twice already and it gets better on the second viewing. Andy Serkis is extraordinary as Caesar, concluding this sci-fi trilogy with one of the best performances you'll see in any movie this year. War for the Planet of the Apes and the film before it, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, were both directed by Matt Reeves. Reeves broke in directing Cloverfield, and followed that up with a remake of Let the Right One In titled Let Me In. I was anxious to talk with him for this movie, it was one of my most anticipated of the year and surpassed all expectations. I was able to catch up with Matt briefly on his press tour and chat about making these movies.

 Posted July 14 in Feat, Interview, Sci-Fi | Comments

Interview: Neill Blomkamp Reveals 'Rakka' + Truth Behind Oats Studios

Neill Blomkamp

It's time to start experimenting with sci-fi again. South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp is launching a new experimental filmmaking collective called Oats Studios. We've been posting previews over the last few months, but now it's time to give fans a small taste of what's to come. Blomkamp has launched the first project, titled Rakka, online in the form of a 20-minute short film that plays more like an extended proof-of-concept pitch reel. You can find it on Steam or watch the full thing below for free. So what exactly is Oats Studios? I talked with Neill on the phone for 30 minutes earlier this week to dive deep into the concept and figure out exactly what it is they're trying to do. Oats is an "incubator of ideas that come from me or come from other people," then they "put out those ideas to the audience, see how the audience feels about them."

 Posted June 14 in Feat, Interview, Sci-Fi | Comments

'Power to the People' Video Examines the Books in 'Captain Fantastic'

Captain Fantastic Video - Books

One of my favorite films of 2016 was Matt Ross' Captain Fantastic, starring Viggo Mortensen. It's the kind of film I can put on any day and it makes me happy, I adore it, and I was so happy to see Viggo get an Oscar nomination for his performance. Not only is a great film, but it has so much to teach us about raising kids, keeping an open mind, learning more about the way we interact in this world, and fighting against a capitalistic society. Fellow cinephile H Nelson Tracey, who writes for the site Cinemacy, has created a video essay breaking down and examining all of the books shown and literature referenced in the film. There's quite a few books referenced in this film, and if you're looking for some extra summer reading, this is a very good place to start. As I'm a very big fan of this film, I couldn't help sharing this video. Check it out.

 Posted May 31 in Feat, Featurette, To Watch | Comments

Interview: Japanese Director Takashi Miike on Filmmaking & Violence

Takashi Miike Interview

"I don't choose the projects. I think the projects choose me." At the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, legendary Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike premiered his 100th film. At least, that's what the marketing folks were telling us. When I asked him specifically about this, he gave me a different answer. Nonetheless, Miike is indeed a "legendary" filmmaker. Even at the age of 56, he still keeps making movies non-stop, sometimes two or three in a year. His latest film is titled Blade of the Immortal (or Mugen no jûnin in Japanese), an adaptation of a manga series about a samurai cursed with immortality who takes on a job of protecting a girl. He's known for ultra-violent horror, epic samurai films, and the occasional drama. It was an honor to speak with him for what is the only interview he did with a website from America while at Cannes this year.

 Posted May 31 in Cannes 17, Feat, Interview | Comments

On Twitter: What Are Your Favorite Theatrical Moviegoing Experiences?

Theatrical Moviegoing Experience

This is what movies are all about. This is why movie theaters will be around forever. There is nothing that can compare to the theatrical experience, especially when everyone is in sync and completely caught up in the movie on the screen. With all the discussion about the death of movie theaters, and the decline of film, it's refreshing to have a very nice discussion about the truly memorable, exhilarating times we've spent in cinemas. Over the past weekend, a Twitter user named Antoine Linguine asked about everyone's favorite theater-going movie experience, and he has been getting answers non-stop ever since. We've collected a few of the best responses below, in hopes of reminding everyone that there can be positive experiences at the movies, and these are some of the most unforgettable moments. So what is your favorite movie experience?

 Posted May 29 in Discuss, Feat | Comments

Get Ready For Summer Movies with This 'Blockbuster Montage' Video

Summer 2017 Blockbuster Montage

Get ready for the summer movie season! Kicking off today, on May 5th with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the 2017 summer movie seasons runs through August and features plenty of big blockbusters and franchise sequels to enjoy. As a preview of what's to come to the big screen this summer, film critic Amon Warmann has put together this video called the "Summer 2017 Blockbuster Montage", or "AMONtage". Featuring footage from over 15 big summer blockbusters, this plays the perfect sizzle reel to put dollar signs in the eyes of studio executives everywhere. Guardians already opens today, with Alien: Covenant, King Arthur, plus Baywatch coming up in a few weeks. Some of our most anticipated movies open in July, including War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk and Valerian. There's plenty to look forward to over these next few months.

 Posted May 5 in Feat, Hype, To Watch | Comments

Watch: Cinematography Video Essay About 'The Art of the Focus Pull'

The Art of the Focus Pull

"One of the great artists of the film is the focus puller." Time for a lesson in filmmaking. As the introduction for this video explains, "moviegoers see focus racks all the time" but "they probably don’t even notice most of them." This video essay, created by Philip Brubaker for Fandor, titled simply The Art of the Focus Pull examines the cinematography technique of "focus pulling" - or changing the focus in the middle of a shot. There's different ways to achieve this, and the video covers a few of them, and shows plenty of examples. It also counts down three of the best focus pull shots in films, and each one of them is most certainly striking.

 Posted May 1 in Feat, To Watch | Comments

Watch: 'In Praise of 16mm' Video Essay Discusses the Grainy Format

In Praise of 16mm Video Essay

Time for some film education and film appreciation in the form of a video essay from "The Royal Ocean Film Society". The video essay is titled "In Praise of 16mm" and it is exactly that - filmmaker/cinephile Andrew Saladino examines the use of 16mm film (as opposed to the standard 35mm or larger 65mm) for making movies. For those wondering how often 16mm gets used, some filmmakers do still use it every so often. Here are some recent films that were shot on 16mm: Carol, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station, The Squid and the Whale, The Hurt Locker, Moonrise Kingdom, Black Swan, Happy Christmas, Primer, Listen Up Philip, and others. Watch below to learn more about the aesthetic and what makes 16mm "so darn cool."

 Posted April 12 in Feat, To Watch | Comments

The 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2016 - Find & Watch These

19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2016

The best of the best - that you didn't see last year. We have returned with another set of worth watching, underseen films from 2016. Back again is our annual list of the 19 Best Movies That You Didn't See in 2016 (find all the past lists here: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007). Featured below is a hand-picked, double-checked line-up of the best independent and/or mainstream films that were either quietly dumped, ignored by audiences, or not marketed well enough. There's a mix of documentaries and features, all of them criminally underseen. So to give them some extra attention in the spotlight, and to support some of the finest filmmakers out there, here's our best you didn't see in 2016 recap. Full list below!

 Posted March 8 in Feat, Indies, Lists | Comments

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LAST YEAR'S TOP 10

Alex's Top 10 - 2016
1. La La Land
2. Paterson
3. Arrival
4. Captain Fantastic
5. 20th Cent. Women
6. Pete's Dragon
7. Jackie
8. Kubo & Two Strings
9. Everybody Wants
10. Wilderpeople
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Jeremy's Top 10 - 2016
1. Moonlight
2. The Handmaiden
3. High-Rise
4. Elle
5. Arrival
6. Kubo & Two Strings
7. 13th
8. Jackie
9. Toni Erdmann
10. The Witch
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