ENJOY THE MOVIES
"Zhao isn't interested in making issue films, she's interested in hopes and dreams." Well said. Just a week ago, filmmaker Chloé Zhao became only the second woman in Academy Award history to win the Oscar for Best Director. She also won another Oscar that night for Best Picture, and Frances McDormand won for Best Actress, in Nomadland. Nomadland is only her third feature film, following Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015) and The Rider (2017), but she's already being studied in-depth by cinephiles. UK-based filmmaker Margarita Milne has put together a fabulous video essay titled The Cinema of Chloé Zhao, focusing on various aspects of her films that make them unique. The essay was edited by Lesley Posso, and produced by Birds Eye View. Zhao: "I often feel like an outsider wherever I go, so I'm always attracted to stories about identity and the meaning of home." We recommend watching this to learn more about Zhao's sensibilities.
"Since I was a child, I've always loved a good story… I believe that stories helped us to ennoble ourselves to fix what was broken in us, and to help us become the people we've dreamed of being." Introducing… 2021 Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins! One of the best actors of all-time. Hopkins just won the Oscar for Best Actor this past weekend for The Father, a heart-wrenching film about how hard it is to live with dementia. This is actually his second Oscar win - he also won Best Actor for The Silence of the Lambs (of course!) back in 1992. and he has been nominated a total of six times (so far). Video editor Luís Azevedo put together this lovely tribute to the many films with Anthony Hopkins, featuring a fine selection of great clips across his 50 year career as a screen actor. He's a worthy winner of any Oscar for so many of his roles.
"The days are long and the years are short." Cinema is beautiful art form because filmmakers can alter and manipulate time in many ways - good and bad. The Nerd Writer has made a video called Time, Tarkovsky and The Pandemic and he continues exploring is thoughts about how the pandemic has warped our sense (and understanding) of time. He connects this to the work of Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky who is a master of using time in unique ways. I quite like the quote he includes from Tarkovsky: "What is a frame, the interval between 'Action' and 'Cut'? Film fixes reality in a sense of time—it's a way of conserving time. No other art form can fix and stop time like this. Film is a mosaic made up of time." Watch the video below.
"One simple little idea… that changed everything." Even after 11 movies, Christopher Nolan still leads the way as an innovative, exciting filmmaker delivering heart-pounding big screen entertainment. Some have become upset over his comments releasing Tenet, but many others still love him and always appreciate the thrilling movies he makes. Filmmaker Dylan Hoang has put together a brand new tribute titled "The Films of Christopher Nolan", also called "Christopher Nolan's Labyrinth" – an homage to his 20 years so far. The video covers everything from Memento through Tenet (with IMAX footage). It was created in honor of the 30th anniversary of Memento, but it might as well be in honor of his 11th movie Tenet finally getting released on Blu-ray and showing in cinemas again now that they've started to safely re-open. It's best to take Dylan's advice: "Feel it. Best seen on the biggest screen possible with headphones!" Enjoy the tribute below.
"Memorable logos often come from outside the box thinking." In case you haven't heard, after almost 100 years MGM has updated their classic lion roaring logo to a brand new all-CGI lion. Yes, it's the same logo, but without any real animals. (And yes he makes fun of it in here.) Everyone knows the MGM logo, just as everyone knows the Warner Bros logo or the Disney logo. Video editor Luís Azevedo has put together a fun video essay titled: What Makes a Great Film Company Logo? He examines many of the classics, and some new favorites, along with some of the most creative production company logos - like Jordan Peele's Monkey Paw and Ferrell & McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions. I'm glad he also covers the history of movie logos, as many of the Hollywood studios have so many fun designs over the years. All movie fans will enjoy.
This… Is… Zack… SNYDER!! In honor of the release of "The Snyder Cut" today, also known as Zack Snyder's Justice League, friend of the site Dino Kos (@WolvieCBM) has put together a new video montage to enjoy. It's titled CUT TO: The Films of Zack Snyder and is a mashup of footage from all 8 of his movies. Zack landed in Hollywood in 2004 with Dawn of the Dead, and has spent the last 17 years bringing blockbusters to the big screen - from 300 to Man of Steel to BvS to Sucker Punch. And don't forget he's got Army of the Dead arriving on Netflix this summer. Love him or hate him, Zack Snyder makes big, flashy, action-packed movies that are made to be experienced on the biggest screen possible. And he's a movie lover who makes movies to entertain above all else. This is a fun montage that makes me nostalgic for his early days.
"The loner as a character acts our gateway into a complicated, unfeeling world." If you haven't seen it yet, Ross Glass' gem Saint Maud is one of the best horror debuts in years and pretty much every last critic has been raving about it. It's finally available to watch via Epix for streaming in the US. Studiocanal in the UK has posted a video essay on their YouTube featuring words and narration by film critic Anna Bogutskaya, talking about the theme of loneliness. Specifically how Saint Maud fits within loneliness cinema, and also how it connects with other lonely films, including You Were Never Really Here + A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. It's a compelling rumination on loneliness and it's nice to hear her discussion with all the footage.
"It felt real, it felt so believable, and yet so imaginative and creative." Disney has debuted a set of behind-the-scenes featurettes celebrating 40 years since Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back opened. The highly anticipated sci-fi sequel first hit theaters on June 20th, 1980, three years after the original Star Wars movie rocked cinemas in 1977. A few different videos have been released, along with an oral history of the Hoth Battle, and so much more. The featurettes including commentary and conversations with all kinds of people involved in and in love with Star Wars: Taika Waititi, Pedro Pascal, Deborah Chow, Leslye Headland, George Lucas, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams, and Lawrence Kasdan. Growing up, I always remember Empire being my favorite of the original trilogy - just because it has everything, including the big emotional middle with Yoda training Luke. There's still so much to love about it even 40 years later.
"One simple question. A world of emotions." While everyone waits patiently at home all over the world for movie theaters to reopen, Lost in Film has put together a video tribute to the importance of cinema. They reached out to various cinephiles across the world and asked them to answer this simple question: "Why do you love cinema?" They then edited a video together featuring footage from various films and the answers they received, highlighting different perspectives and points of view about the importance of cinema in our lives. The result is something that will certainly make you emotional, and remind you why you love movies and keep watching them. That's why you read this site anyway, right? I always love watching these rousing video tributes to the magic of movies & the power of visual storytelling, and this one is especially wonderful.
"The trick to forgetting the big picture is to look at everything close-up." There's nothing like a close-up. Every single person out there expresses their emotions and feelings on their face, and it's up to filmmakers to capture that in the camera. Lost In Film video editor Ignacio Montalvo has just put together another breathtaking video for all of us to be moved by. His latest is called Faces of Cinema, and it's a magnificent supercut of close-up shots spanning films from 1902 to 2019, presented in chronological order. If you think you've seen them all, not only are there some close-up shots you've probably forgotten, but there's so much beauty in each of these shots it's impossible not to be swept off your feet by this video. Montalvo also made the stunning "Most Beautiful Shots of the 21st Century" a few years back. His videos are always must watch.
"We live in an environment where there are moving images constantly around us. But in 1897, this was startling and new and completely revolutionary. It was a different way of looking at the world." Whoaaa this is a mesmerizing featurette. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC recently released a 10-min video looking back at the very beginning of film history. While we're all already familiar with 35mm prints, their archivists found (and have been preserving) vintage 68mm film prints. Described as "the IMAX of the 1890s", these massive (and massively detailed) nitrate film prints contain a stunning look back at the past, at the turn of the century. Showing us an even clearer view of history than ever before. They also point out these 68mm prints ran at 30fps, making them look "startling good". I love the POV shot of the hanging train in Wuppertal (from "The Flying Train"). It is a must watch video for every & any cinephile out there. Enjoy.
"We have a lot of work to do, crying is not on the list." British filmmaker Steve McQueen's acclaimed crime drama Widows originally opened in theaters last November, after premiering at the Toronto and London Film Festivals. Despite strong early reviews from both festivals, the Chicago-set film pretty much flopped - earning only $12 million on its opening weekend, putting it in 5th place at the box office below four other movies. But why? How did this happen? Even after ending up on numerous Top 10 lists (including my own) and earning one BAFTA Award nomination (for Best Actress), it was left out of the Oscars entirely - not even one nomination from The Academy. Nothing. Fellow cinephile and friend of the site H Nelson Tracey has put together two video essays looking at why this happened, and why this movie is excellent, no matter how much it made at the box office. Finally some retribution for Widows - a movie you should have seen by now.