Heads up film fans: Here’s a list of female critics of color to follow

Given that film criticism is overwhelmingly white and male, film critic (and great Twitter follow) Valerie Complex decided to put together a list of women of color currently working in the field. She points out that while they may be underrepresented at larger mainstream publications, there are still many talented women of color working at smaller sites, self-publishing, or freelancing. And as she notes:

The perspectives of women of color are needed now more than ever. Especially, with the overwhelming amount of tone deaf articles produced in the media as of late (mainly by white men and women). In the Google age, why people are still oblivious to women of color who write and review film and entertainment is beyond me. But alas, here I am, writing this to inform the masses that in fact, women of color love film, love entertainment, like to write about it, and write about it very well.

Complex’s ever-growing list includes information on which sites these women write for as well as links to their personal Twitter handles. So if you’re a person who enjoys following film critics on Twitter, consider adding some (or all!) of these ladies to your feed. You can see the full list over on Black Girl Nerds. Read the rest

The oddly ubiquitous sliding scenes of the ’80s and ’90s

Though it might not be the most obvious film trope, this new Fandor video points out that movies in the ’80s and ’90s were filled with scenes in which characters went down some kind of slide. Fandor posits that these scenes were designed to mimic the feeling of an amusement park ride or water slide, which were becoming increasingly popular at the time. And they provided a kind of thrilling visual escapism from the turbulent social and political climate of the era. You can watch the full video essay right here:

[via The A.V. Club] Read the rest

Wistful film of stop-motion 3D printed figures

Elodie Ponçon designed and printed these cute lighted figurines for WHITE, a wistful story about conformity and imperfection. Read the rest

You could own the light-up dance floor from Saturday Night Fever

The fantastic light-up dance floor from Saturday Night Fever (1977) will go up for auction in a couple of weeks. The 24' x 36' floor, outfitted with more than 250 lights, was built and installed at Brooklyn's 2001 Odyssey nightclub specifically for the film. When the place closed in 2005, former employee Vito Bruno bought it. Auction house Profiles in History expects it to fetch $1 to $1.5 million.

Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

(Reuters)

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Great opening title sequence for film on paralyzed hit man

I finally got around to checking out Tiszta Szívvel (Kills on Wheels), the Hungarian film about a paralyzed hit man. The opening titles really set the tone. Read the rest

RIP John Severson, Surfer Magazine founder

John Severson, the iconic figure of surfing media, has died at age 83. His 1961 film Big Wednesday is arguably the greatest of the early surf films, part of a lifetime of innovations in surf media. Read the rest

Beautiful short film explores the spirit of Varanasi

Varanasi is one of the great spiritual centers of the world, along with Jerusalem, Mecca, Vatican City. This personal project by filmmaker Aeyaz is a contemplative look at the city and at what comes beyond life. Read the rest

Watch this vintage horror film's HYPNO-VISTA intro

HYPNO-VISTA was an experimental opening sequence used in the late 1950s on a few horror movies. The film would be spliced to start with a hypnotist practicing that dark art. Read the rest

Watch breathtaking fireballs through a trippy kaleidoscopic effect

For their film Fire, Saulo Jamariqueli and Dirk Rees put a couple of fire breathers in a dark studio with a reflective surface, then ran the impressive footage through a kaleidoscope filter, making it even cooler. Read the rest

Watch a windsurfer's moving tribute to his father

Chasing the Wind is a beautifully-shot profile of windsurfer Jesper Vesterstrom discussing the death of his father. Perhaps it will inspire you to make the most of today! Read the rest

The Death of the Exorcist

With the death of author William Peter Blatty on January 13 at 88, I could not help but be reminded that, exactly 43 years ago on that date, at age 15 I first saw The Exorcist, for which he had written the screenplay based on his earlier book. He also exerted strong control over the production.

It was a time when I was able to see many films due to a decent allowance from a generous father. The previous year, my mother had taken me to see The Godfather at the Loew’s Orpheum theater on 86th street just off Third Ave in Manhattan.

It was a big deal because at age 14, and at that time in 1972, there was a lot in The Godfather most kids my age had never seen (we still had only seven TV channels; no cable, no internet). To top it off, a friend of mine was an usher at what I hazily remember as a Trans-Lux Cinema on Third Avenue just off 57th street, and he offered to sneak me into a showing of Last Tango in Paris. I was a big Brando fan, and I definitely saw a lot in that film I had not seen before. (On the other hand, you’ve probably never seen an usher in a movie theater.)

I’d also watched about 10 zillion horror movies on WPIX’s Chiller Theater during the preceding decade, and was extremely curious about why people were so freaked out about The Exorcist. Instead of going on opening day, my usual habit, I decided to wait until the lines abated. Read the rest

John Wick fights re-enacted with Nerf guns

Some pretty good action sequences in this sendup of John Wick, with hot lead replaced by pliant foam projectiles. Read the rest

Seven influential filmmakers helped early on by federal arts funding

The National Endowment For the Arts granted the money for the first Sundance Institute lab in 1982. The program's grown to help some of the biggest filmmakers working today: Quentin Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Kimberly Peirce, and Darren Aronofsky, among countless independent voices. Esquire profiles just seven. Read the rest

Excellent breakdown of LoTR's amazing Helm's Deep battle sequence

How can a film's 40-minute battle scene hold its tension? Nerdwriter breaks down the Battle of the Hornburg (aka the Helm's Deep battle sequence) into 24 beats to show why it works so well. Read the rest

Gentleman hasn't gotten out of his car in seven years (or has he?)

Fanda is a guy who lives in his car, but doesn't just live in it. He never gets out of it. Aside from the interesting pragmatic aspects, it's a remarkably moving film about how some people respond to deep loss. Spoiler alert: Read the rest

Cinematic Japanese tourism ad draws on martial arts traditions

Diamond Route Japan went all in on this gorgeous series of tourism ads. Their living samurai spirit ad taps into the romantic view of Japan depicted in their renowned epic period films. Read the rest

The art of compositing explained in the coolest way possible

Roy Peker created this fantastic explainer about VFX and digital compositing. Read the rest

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