It's been a while since I linked a SoundWorks Collection profile. That needs to be remedied.
It's a pretty varied and fun week at the theaters this holiday weekend, with "Hugo" and "The Artist" making their way to theaters. But if you were to ask me what's worth seeing, I'd double down on "The Muppets" in a heartbeat.
The film is a nostalgia fest built into a massive musical with plenty of tunes in the mix. Naturally, then, it's worth considering the sound elements on the film. Gerard was smart to mention it in a recent Tech Support column dedicated to the Best Sound Mixing category. And I'm happy to see that the SoundWorks Collection has dedicated a profile to that work on the film, featuring interviews with mixer Kevin O'Connell and supervising sound editors Kami Asgar and Sean McCormack, among others. Have a look (and listen) below.
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It's been a while since I linked a SoundWorks Collection profile. That needs to be remedied.
The more I spin away from Martin Scorsese's "Hugo," the more I want to see it again. I still think, as I did when I first wrote about it, that the first half is structured in a way that doesn't embellish the mystery so much as stagnate the narrative, but I'm in love with Ben Kingsley's performance and the final half hour, which is dedicated to Scorsese's passion for the cinema. Meanwhile Guy has posted a new list dedicated to the crafts of the director's films (though I'm shocked the art direction of "Hugo" missed). The film opens today and all this hot air can finally give way to your thoughts on it, so head on back here and offer them when you get around to seeing it. (And check back later today for a big interview piece pegged to the film that will hopefully delight the cinema geek in everyone.)
Alright, you know the drill. Rifle off your need-to-knows and we'll address as many as we can in Friday's podcast (which, remember, will be later in the day on Friday). I imagine we'll be talking about "The Iron Lady," the doc short list, things of that nature.
A review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I picture our birth father stripping...
With a DVD/Blu-ray release imminent, Paramount is milking the "Super 8" comeback train while splitting focus with other awards contenders already in the mix. It's always tough to bring the conversation back around on a movie, especially on a summer entertainment hoping to be something more in the eyes of voters. One move was a big screening and reception at the Academy last night in honor of the release, part and parcel of a campaign party free-for-all this season. Director J.J. Abrams recently sat down with Geoff Boucher to talk about the big lessons of small budgets (conservative spending being a particular narrative on that film all year). [Hero Complex]
I sat down to watch Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” last night with little idea of what to expect but one thing: that the screen would be awash with some of the finest, most inventive technical artistry that money (or, indeed, imagination) can buy. I was not disappointed: while I’m still sorting out my thoughts on the film as a feat of storytelling, there’s little denying that it’s one of the year’s most lustrous craft showcases, rendered in genuinely eye-popping 3D and buttressing the cinematic valentine it writes to pioneering filmmaker Georges Méliès with its own arsenal of visual wonders.
Such expertise is now par for the course with Scorsese, whatever the film: I was cool on “Shutter Island” last year, but still delighted in his own delight in the filmmaking tools at his disposal – even less obviously extravagant works like “The Departed” or “Taxi Driver” are fat with aesthetic and sensory detail. That’s partly down to the director’s own genius, and partly down to the intimate collaborations he fosters with masters of their own craft: to love Scorsese is to love editor Thelma Schoonmaker, designer Dante Ferretti, DPs Michael Ballhaus and Robert Richardson, and so many more who have become part and parcel of the man’s auteur identity.
So Scorsese seemed as ideal a candidate as any for one of our occasional craft-themed lists – here, I’ve selected the 10 below-the-line contributions to his films, ranging from cinematography to sound to production design, that have most amazed me over the years.
Michelle Williams doesn't have much time. I mean, she really doesn't have much time. The two-time Academy Award nominated actress landed in Los Angeles just a few hours ago and now has only one hour, yes, just one hour to do interviews with a slew of waiting reporters at the always bustling Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. it won't be long before Williams has to walk the red carpet at the premiere of "My Week with Marilyn" at AFI Fest that evening and when her people say she only has an hour they aren't kidding. My specific warning before sitting down with the best actress contender: Just two questions with the always charming Ms. Williams. Eke. I better make them good.
Needless to say, it was a much different story a year ago when I sat down for a much longer and more intimate chat regarding her acclaimed work in "Blue Valentine." But with Williams still busy filming Sam Raimi's "Oz: The Great and Powerful" with James Franco, the luxury of an in-depth conversation about her turn portraying the iconic Marilyn Monroe isn't going to happen (for anyone). When I first sat down across from a beaming Williams, she asked me, "Are you ready to speed date?" I'm not sure if I passed the test, but it was a cheerful 2 1/2 minutes I likely won't forget.
To find out Williams thoughts about playing one of her childhood icons and the agony of "over thinking" a role watch the interview embedded above. Oh, and note for all you Hollywood producers and directors out there who are likely to be blown away by Ms. Williams singing talents in "Marilyn," she'd love to appear in a movie musical. Really.
For more on Williams transformation as Monroe, check out an intriguing look at the actress getting into character on set and during a special photo shoot for photographer Brigitte Lacombe.
"My Week with Marilyn" is now playing in limited release across the country.
For year round entertainment commentary and awards season news follow @HitFixGregory on Twitter.
TORONTO - In the midst of a busy Toronto Film Festival, I found myself racing to the Fairmont Royal Oak Hotel. One particular actress was in town for only a few more hours and this was a rare opportunity for a sit down one on one with her. The star in question was none other than Keira Knightley, the former "Pirates of the Caribbean" star who has spent the last four years running from blockbusters and, instead, gaining respect with stellar performances in films such as "Atonement," the underrated "The Edge of Love," "Never Let Me Go," the also underrated "Last Night" and "The Duchess." This fall she's delivered a career best turn in David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method."
So, this is it! It's hard to believe this season is finally over. The truth is, as much as I've enjoyed some of it, I'll be happy to see this one go. With so many weird reversals (I never would have guessed Chynna Phillips wouldn't make it anywhere near the finals), I almost miss the seasons where there's a ringer who's clearly set to take home the mirror ball. Okay, not really. But the show's beginning. Let the nail biting begin!
Next August marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death. Half a century after her passing we find that Monroe remains an enduring figure in our collective consciousness. Director Simon Curtis hopes that the release of his film, “My Week with Marilyn,” will provide audiences with fresh insights into the complex nature of the cinematic icon. Indeed the film's star, Michelle Williams, is receiving consistent Oscar buzz for what many feel is a revelatory, nuanced portrayal of Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe represents both more, and less, than an actress of repute or a captivating movie star in our cultural lexicon. Marilyn, Norma Jean, the human being is often distilled to an image, a representation of an ideal, a desire, or a figurehead. Monroe herself quipped about her status as a sex symbol in her final interview: “A symbol? I always thought those were the things you clashed together.” She laughed with the journalist but went on to explore essential quagmire of being Marilyn Monroe. “See that’s the trouble is a sex symbol becomes a thing," she said. "And you just hate to be a thing.”
As always, Martin Scorsese says it better than I ever could.
Little by little, I've started to feel like Film Nerd 2.0 is one of the most significant things I've done since I've started writing about film online in 1995, and it's part of a bigger plan I have. I eventually plan to get involved in creating and implementing some very real educational reform involving media education that runs K-12, so that kids are given a media literacy on par with any print literacy that is taught. I think we have a responsibility, given the omnipresence of media in the lives of modern children, to not only encourage them with choices about what to watch, but also to teach them how to watch. Without context, how do you expect them to navigate the ocean of choice available to them at all times these days?
Martin Scorsese has spoken at length in the press about wanting to make a movie that his 12-year-old daughter could see, and how much he loved 3D in the '50s, and how this movie serves as, in some ways, autobiography because of his own childhood spent trapped by asthma in a private world, cut off from other kids. All of that is true, but the moment you start putting labels like "kid's film" on a movie like "Hugo," you are being reductive in your thinking, and that's missing the point entirely. In its own way, this is "Film Nerd 2.0: The Movie," and perhaps the most head-over-heels-in-love movie about movies since "Cinema Paradiso."