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Watch: Fascinating Video Explores 'The Future of The 1920s' Design
Let's take a trip into the past, to journey into the future. I am a sci-fi geek and I've always loved spaceship designs and future technology and imagining what it's like to be in a time where we can travel to planets (or even galaxies). This video called The Future of The 1920s examines what it was like to imagine the future in the 1920s. It features drawings and designs created by people living in the 20s, just after "The Great War" and before the next one, wondering what the future might be like. Most of it is pulled from an old magazine called "Science And Invention." They weren't interested in leaving Earth, more into improving livability. The narrator explains the 1920s "took place in the immediate aftermath of a massive, destructive war, and both [the 50s] carried an optimism for the future. The difference was science fiction was not as mainstream… so it didn't quite fully develop a unique look." Just some visual inspiration and vintage sci-fi imagery to peruse.
› Posted on January 20 in Sci-Fi, To Watch, Video Essays | 1 Comment
Watch: How 'Spider-Verse' Evolved Animation Beyond the 'Pixar Look'
Everyone who loves animation as much as we do knows that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a certified masterpiece. It also had a huge impact on the animation industry. This video essay created by Vox spends a few minutes examining the impact Into the Spider-Verse had, by showing how the look of it forced animation to evolve. Ever since Toy Story in 1995, most 3D animated CG movies are designed to be photo-realistic and have the glossy look & feel of most Pixar movies. They call this the "Pixar Look" and most of the animation industry has been using this for the last 25 years. That changed big time with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, made by Sony Pictures Animation. This video is a bit simplistic, ignoring animation made outside of the studio system, and forgetting about The Bad Guys entirely (which also uses a clever cel-shading style), but it's a good intro for those trying to catch up with what's going on. Sony Animation is also working on the sequels, with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse due out this year and the next in 2024.
› Posted on January 16 in Animation, To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Enjoy: Video Blog Discusses '7 Classic Movies That Changed My Life'
Let's get into some classics! There's always room for more discussion about classic cinema, something which we don't talk about enough here on FS. This video blog is made by a movie lover named Miriam Figueras originally from Barcelona, who runs a blog called "Cine Gratia Cinema" (in English), where she creates videos about and discusses many of her favorite films from the old days. It's "a place to expand the love for #ClassicFilms and #OldHollywood and to have fun while doing it. This is my little corner where I can share all the knowledge for the cinema I love." In this video, she discusses 7 Classic Movies That Changed My Life. It's always enjoyable to listen to cinephiles talk about the movies they love, but this is also a chance to encourage modern movie geeks to catch up with these classics. She talks about how they "ignited different interests and made me learn more about myself and those around me." Have you seen all the films in here?
› Posted on December 28 in To Watch, Video Blog, Video Essays | Comments
Watch: 'An Overlooked Movie About Movies' Video Essay for 'Matinee'
"Matinee is almost like a thesis on the way that we turn to movies to process on our fears, and about the value of even the junkiest of schlock." Have you seen this movie? If you haven't yet, and you're here reading FirstShowing, then you must find it and watch it tonight. This video essay is the latest from editor Andrew Saladino, who has an entire essay collection called "The Royal Ocean Film Society" - check him out on YT. It's a tribute to the movie Matinee, an underrated and underseen 1993 comedy directed by Joe Dante a few years after he made The 'Burbs and Gremlins 2. It's about a small-time film promoter who releases a kitschy horror film during the Cuban Missile Crisis, set at a junky old movie palace. John Goodman stars as a filmmaker named Lawrence Woolsey, who is pretty much a version of the real William Castle. For some reason Matinee has ended up lost in time and most forgotten, but it's being rediscovered and re-appraised recently and this video essay does a terrific job of analyzing it. Hopefully this convinces a few more to watch.
› Posted on December 22 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Learn About How Director Martin McDonagh Deconstructs Masculinity
"With arbitrary codes used to justify toxic behavior, his characters are shown to be, simply, performing masculinity." There's a new film written & directed by English filmmaker Martin McDonagh playing in theaters now called The Banshees of Inisherin. It's his fourth feature so far, and one of his best yet, with critics raving about it ever since the Venice Film Festival premiere a few months ago. In celebration of the release of Banshees, Little White Lies commissioned writer Will Clempner to make a video essay examining How Martin McDonagh Deconstructs Masculinity. This video focuses specifically on his acclaimed feature debut, In Bruges, which opened in 2008, and also co-stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. These three reunited to make The Banshees of Inisherin, which is why there is a link between the films. Both are about stubborn men refusing to grow up, resulting in more violence. Listen to the analysis from Will below.
› Posted on November 22 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Watch: 'When a Modern Director Makes a Fake Old Movie' Video Essay
"He wanted the movie to be like you were in a vault, and came across Citizen Kane, and next to it was Mank." There's a fascinating video essay out this year to watch called When a Modern Director Makes a Fake Old Movie. It's made by an editor named Danny Boyd, who puts out new video essays weekly. In this one, he specifically focuses on: "That Time David Fincher Faked An Old Movie." David Fincher's latest film Mank was released on Netflix in late 2020, and it's a film about the screenwriter who wrote the Citizen Kane script, set in 1930s Hollywood. This video covers many filmmaking choices Fincher made, including visual details + cameras, black & white, old school techniques, sound re-recording, and more. Anyone who has studied Fincher's films knows that he's very talented at utilizing seamless CGI enhancements and digital alterations. Much of Mank is made with this digital trickery to make it look like an old movie. Watch below.
› Posted on October 11 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Watch: Video Essay Shows the Amazing 'Transformation of Bill Murray'
"Come travel with me… Traveling with me, you find what never tires. Be not discouraged, keep on…" Who doesn't love Bill Murray?! One of the best comedic actors ever in the history of cinema. Kooky and wild and weird and unforgettable, and no matter what he does, everyone still loves him. Video editor Luís Azevedo has put together another video essay called The Transformation of Bill Murray. It's a 6-min supercut mash-up of various performances and speeches and moments from Bill Murray's movies. A tribute to the career of this one-and-only comedy mastermind. Can you believe that he's only been nominated for an Oscar once (for Lost in Translation), but never won?! That doesn't seem right. This reminds me I've been meaning to watch Murray's poetry & music doc New Worlds: The Cradle of Civilization. Check out the tribute below.
› Posted on September 26 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Watch: YouTube Video Focuses on the Many 'Colors of Jordan Peele'
Who doesn't enjoy videos that offer us a closer look at the many colors filmmakers use in their films? As a cinematography / photography geek myself, these kind of videos fascinate me - breaking down how colors can affect the tone of the film, and affect the mood of the audience. The Colours of Jordan Peele (with a British spelling of "colors" for UK-based Little White Lies) is a new video made by editor Luís Azevedo – it's a simple, two-minute mashup of footage from Peele's films with color bars on the top and bottom. This isn't as deep as I wish it was (save that for another video essay!) but it's nice to watch nonetheless. Jordan Peele's latest film Nope opens in theaters nationwide this week. It seems to be his most ambitious film yet, following his thriller Us. (We've also included Azevedo's "Colours of Barry Jenkins" companion video, too.)
› Posted on July 19 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
German Expressionism's Legacy Examined in Video Essay on Cinema
"It isn't just the characters who have gone insane, but almost the environment itself." Can films from the early days of cinema still influence movies being made today? Of course they can! And they still do all the time. But this is still worth examining in closer detail. This video essay is from Thomas Flight, a popular YouTuber creating videos about cinema. It's titled "The Art Movement That Changed Film Forever", but it's really about German Expressionism - and how this cinema movement still influences films today. Obviously Flight was inpsired by the cinematography in Joel Coen's The Tragedy of Macbeth, and wanted to make this video about why it looks this way. He references three iconic films from the 1920s: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, and Metropolis; then goes on to connect how this distinct visual style is still evident in modern films from Blade Runner (both of them) to The Humans last year. Watch and learn more below.
› Posted on June 28 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Watch: Studiocanal's Video Essay on 'The Art of Visual Storytelling'
"Films don't need to have grandiose visual production to have pertinent and strong imagery." While film is a visual medium, there's more to cinema than just pointing a camera at actors. Here's another excellent video essay to enjoy - brought to us by UK-based distributor Studiocanal. The Art of Visual Storytelling is a video essay created by "The Cinema Cartography", a collective creating videos about film and exploring various themes (we also posted their The Greatest Films You Don't Know a few months ago). This one looks at how films use visual storytelling and the different kinds of visual techniques that filmmakers are fond of utilizing. They discuss classics like Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, Akira Kurosawa's Ran, David Lynch's The Elephant Man, Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, plus Michael Powell's films and Jean Cocteau's films. As always, this just make me want to watch more films - especially all of these classics.
› Posted on April 22 in To Watch, Video Essays | Comments
Watch: Video Essay Examines Use of Color in David Fincher's Movies
How does Fincher make his movies look so good? Find out more in this video! StudioBinder has posted an entrancing video essay about David Fincher and the way he utilizes colors in his movies. It's titled simply Fincher's Colors and they break down his color choices into three main chapters: desaturation (removing bold colors), characters (attaching color to a character), and settings (lighting each set / location using one particular color). "One could point to any number of impressive techniques used in David Fincher movies, but perhaps one of the most important is his movie color palette. As he himself once said, 'In film, we sculpt time, we sculpt behavior and we sculpt light.'" I appreciate how well put together this video is, not only with clean clips in high definition, but the explanations & references are insightful. I also always enjoy hearing filmmakers & craftspeople themselves talking about their work. I could watch video essays like this all day.
› Posted on April 14 in Feat, To Watch, Video Essays | 1 Comment
Watch: A Fascinating Video About The Film That Changed South Korea
"And this is how evil persists - when good people do nothing." Indeed, an important reminder for all of us. Let's kick off 2022 with something a bit different - a fascinating video essay analyzing a film that changed South Korea forever. It's always a good reminder that international cinema is just as important as ever, and great films can actually make a difference in the real world. This essay discusses a 2011 film titled Silenced, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and originally released in 2011 in South Korea. Based on real events, this film depicts the story of a school for the hearing-impaired where young deaf students were sexually assaulted by the faculty members over a long period of time. The video is by "Accented Cinema", a Canadian YouTube video essay series with a focus on foreign cinema. I highly recommend watching this just to hear a different perspective on cinema and learn so much more about a film you probably haven't seen yet. View this below.
› Posted on January 3 in To Watch, Video Essays | 1 Comment
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