Watch how far green screen technology has come

BBC got to be the first to tour Intel Studios, a state of the art greenscreen facility, with no suits, no motion capture, just a live performance captured in a green dome by hundreds of cameras. Read the rest

A delightful and insightful look at the beach party film genre of the 1960s

The Royal Ocean Film Society examines and contextualizes the beach party movie genre formula perfected and then milked dry by the genius marketers at schlock house American International Pictures. Read the rest

Great movies to watch: 'The Naked Kiss' (1964, Samuel Fuller)

In the course of my work as a documentary filmmaker, I sometimes find hidden gems. Samuel Fuller’s “The Naked Kiss” is one of them. Read the rest

The guy who slated classic Star Trek takes was unfazed by the whole thing

Bill McGovern worked as a second assistant camera on a lot of shows, which is why he seems pretty unfazed to have handled the clapper and slating duties on some iconic Star Trek episodes. Read the rest

Watch this epic takedown of movie plots featuring abduction as romance

Many of the world's most iconic movies have problematic themes or plots, but the romanticization of kidnapping and false imprisonment ranks among the worst. Read the rest

The movie trailer business is booming, even if theatre attendance isn't

Thanks to YouTube and short attention spans, the humble movie trailer has surged in popularity in the past decade. In that time, the number of agencies that make trailers jumped from 12 to over 100. Read the rest

Must-see bizarro viewing: Boots Riley's 'Sorry to Bother You'

This isn't a review, but I'd regret not giving you a heads up about Sorry to Bother You, Boots Riley's first feature film. It's an absurd black sci-fi satire shot in Oakland and it's the off-the-wall dystopian summer indie flick we all deserve.

At the last minute last Friday, I put my hands on some tickets for its sold-out nationwide opening night at the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland. And wow, am I glad I did.

It was a real happening. People cheered and laughed. Plus, the movie was simply fantastic. After the show, folks with tickets for the late show (which had the bonus of an after-show Q&A with Boots himself) were already lining up. Lots of people posed with the shitty Tercel featured in the film, which was parked right in front of the theatre.

Hilariously, you can buy that shitty Tercel for a mere $23,999.40 on the STBU website:

(I got my eye on that Mr. Bobo collectible plate myself.)

If you want to read what reviewers are saying, here's a good start:

Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You,’ but Can I Interest You in a Wild Dystopian Satire? by A.O. Scott of The New York Times:

"If Mike Judge’s “Office Space” and Robert Downey Sr.’s “Putney Swope” hooked up after a night of bingeing on hallucinogens, Marxist theory and the novels of Paul Beatty and Colson Whitehead, the offspring might look something like this."

Film Review: ‘Sorry to Bother You’ by Peter Debruge of Variety:

"Nearly as deranged as it is politically engaged, Boots Riley’s sui generis “Sorry to Bother You” is the kind of debut feature that knocks your socks off, tickles your bare tootsies with goose feathers for a while, then goes all Kathy Bates in the final stretch, ultimately taking a sledgehammer to your kneecaps."

This one might make more sense AFTER you've seen the movie:

In 'Sorry To Bother You,' an Alternate-Universe Oakland Rings True by Janelle Hessig of KQED Arts:

"The “don’t sell out” moral of the story is delivered with all of the subtlety of a circus clown with an erection, but appropriately so—there’s nothing subtle in being a person of color fighting to survive capitalism."

Go see it. Read the rest

Watch Christopher Nolan's 1997 short horror film "Doodlebug"

It's easy to forget that even now-legendary directors had to start somewhere. Doodlebug is an early effort by Christopher Nolan, about a man trying to kill an annoying pest in his squalid home.

In addition to being in black and white, several of the shots are reminiscent of Memento's noirish vibe, especially the phone receiver in the water. There's also a clear connection to Eraserhead and other Lynchian horrors, with a touch of Rod Serling thrown in for good measure. And the effect looks as if it was made from hand-cut celluloid, a time-consuming effort that might make someone appreciate having the kinds of digital tools that enhanced Interstellar.

Doodlebug (1997)- Christopher Nolan Short Film [HD] (YouTube / Pensare Films) Read the rest

Peter Jackson shares clips from his World War I film restoration

Imperial War Museums and 14-18 Now commissioned Peter Jackson to use the latest technology to restore archival footage of World War I, and the results are remarkable. Read the rest

Scarlett Johansson will no longer play a transgender man in her next film

When news that Scarlett Johansson was planning to play trans man Dante ‘Tex’ Gill in the biopic Rub & Tug, her rep's tone-deaf response launched the casting controversy into overdrive. She's now announced she exited the project. Read the rest

Watch "The Frog," a deeply weird short film from 1908

Spanish film director and cinematographer Segundo Chomón (1871-1929) was a pioneer of movie special effects, camera tricks, and optical illusions at the intersection of technology, art, and magic. See more of his surreal work at the Internet Archive's "Segundo de Chomón Collection."

Read the rest

Watch these film scenes inspired by famous paintings

This lovely trilogy of videos by Vugar Efendi collects shots from movies that are homages to notable paintings. Read the rest

Fascinating interview with a film bootlegger from the 1960s

Woody Wise was manager of a small movie theater in the 1960s, when people were starting to watch TV more. To supplement his meager income, he eventually picked up a side hustle trafficking in bootlegged film prints until he was pinched by the FBI and caught a felony conviction. Read the rest

Watch 3,000 insect specimen photos turned into a stunning animation

In 2004, Paul Bush released When Darwin Sleeps, 3,000 digital stills of insects in the Walter Linsenmaier in the Lucerne Nature Museum. They flash by so quickly they feel animated, or as if evolution itself is happening on screen. Now he's released a better quality copy than has been previously available online. Read the rest

Honest Trailers roasts every Christopher Nolan movie ever

Well, not really a roast, but a warm light chafing, perhaps. Read the rest

Watch this cool one-take "animation" of a student daydreaming

Shin Shinrashinge created a meticulous setup of his two-dimensional drawings, then guided his phone through his 3D creation to create this one-take story of a boy daydreaming about fighting monsters. Read the rest

Explore what London looks like in infrared

Invisible London is a great primer on infrared filmmaking, with lovely shots of London as the backdrop. Read the rest

More posts