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

The 3 Rules of Living Animation

Why does Who Framed Roger Rabbit seem so much more integrated with live action and animation than anything before it? "Bumping the lamp," slang that YouTuber kaptainkristian says originated from the film for animators who go above and beyond expectations. Read the rest

Watch a little appetizer for the upcoming Alien: Covenant

If you're excited about the upcoming Alien: Covenant, perhaps this little tidbit will tide you over till the main course: Prologue: Last Supper. Read the rest

These vibrant arrangements of diatoms revive a lost Victorian art

Matthew Killip directed this lovely short film about Klaus Kemp, a microscopist whose specialty had its heyday in Victorian times: arranging microscopic creatures into beautiful patterns. Read the rest

Montage of every Best Cinematography Oscar-winning film

Race through some of the most iconic shots in film history with this lovely tribute to the art of cinematography. Read the rest

Watch the terrific reverse thriller REWIND

"Luck is a four-letter word." Watch how this clever film by Atul Taishete unfolds entirely in reverse. Read the rest

Watch this short film of stunning in-camera light effects

FutureDeluxe created this gorgeous series of procedural animations, physical light, and projection based experiments, all of which is shot in camera. It feels like a dose of mushrooms that only lasts one minute. Read the rest

Theatre chains offering all Oscar-nominated films for $4 each

If you're behind on seeing the nine Oscar nominees for best film and a little short on cash, many theatre chains are offering a package to see all nine starting at $35. Even if you only see a few of them, you'll save money over regular prices. Read the rest

Charming short film on creating the perfect bowl of ramen

Many Westerners equate ramen noodles with the cheap dried stuff that poor students and young adults eat, but Criterion Collection is doing their part to change that. They put together this wonderful documentary to support the 4K restoration of "ramen Western" Tampopo, one of the greatest food films ever made. Read the rest

View nature through a Magical Triangle

Dutch filmmaker Ben Winkeler combined his beautiful nature footage with geometric overlays to create Magical Triangle. Read the rest

Kodak is bringing back Ektachrome film

Kodak's Ektachrome film, developed in the 1940s, was a favorite of National Geographic photographers. But digital cameras flatlined the sales and it was discontinued in 2012. A revived interest in film cameras has prompted Kodak to revive the beloved 35mm film. Look for it later this year.

From Kodak's press release:

Ektachrome Film has a distinctive look that was the choice for generations of photographers before being discontinued in 2012. The film, known for its extremely fine grain, clean colors, great tones and contrasts, became iconic in no small part due the extensive use of slide film by National Geographic Magazine over several decades.

Resurgence in the popularity of analog photography has created demand for new and old film products alike. Sales of professional photographic films have been steadily rising over the last few years, with professionals and enthusiasts rediscovering the artistic control offered by manual processes and the creative satisfaction of a physical end product.

Image: Wikipedia Read the rest

Ladies in films win fights with this weird sexy trick

Seeing more kickass women in films is a good thing, but Dominick Nero at Fandor noticed that their fighting style differs from men in one interesting way: their tendency to pinch their opponents in a scissor lock with their strong yet oh-so-supple thighs. Read the rest

Paul Verhoeven on media's normalization of fascism

LJ Frezza takes a loving look back at how Robocop, Total Recall, and Starship Troopers are wry commentaries on mass media's normalizing effect on sexism, militarism, climate change, corporatism, and state-sponsored terrorism. Read the rest

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