Category Archives: Cinemafolk

His Master’s Voice | Emmanuel Lubezki

emannuel-lubezki

 

Emmanuel Lubezki Morgenstern, A.S.C., A.M.C. (1964 – present)

He sometimes goes by the nickname Chivo, which means “goat” in Spanish

Mexican Cinematographer

Lubezki has worked with many acclaimed directors, including Mike Nichols, Martin Scorsese, Michael Mann, Joel and Ethan Coen, and frequent collaborators Terrence Malick, Alfonso Cuarón, and Alejandro González Iñárritu.

Lubezki is known for achieving many groundbreaking cinematography techniques, and his work has been praised by audiences and critics alike, earning him multiple awards, including eight Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography. He won in this category three times, becoming the first person to do so in three consecutive years, Gravity (2013), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), and The Revenant (2015).

Films of Note:  Sólo Con Tu Pareja (1991), Como agua para chocolate (1992), A Little Princess (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Meet Joe Black (1998), Great Expectations (1998), Sleepy Hollow (1999), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Ali (2001), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), The New World (2005), Children of Men (2006), The Tree of Life (2011), Gravity (2013), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), The Revenant (2015)

 

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His Master’s Voice | Morgan Freeman

catherine-deneuve

Catherine Deneuve (born Catherine Fabienne Dorléac)  – 1943-present

French actress, singer, model and film producer

She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof, mysterious beauties for various directors, including Luis Buñuel and Roman Polanski. In 1985, she was chosen as the official face of Marianne, France’s national symbol of liberty. A 14-time César Award nominee, she won for her performances in François Truffaut‘s The Last Metro (1980) and Régis Wargnier‘s Indochine (1992). She is also noted for her support for a variety of liberal causes.

Films of note: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)Repulsion (1965)Belle de Jour (1967), The April Fools (1969), Tristana (1970),   Hustle (1975), The Hunger (1983), Scene of the Crime (1986),  My Favourite Season (1993), Place Vendôme (1998), Dancer in the Dark (2000),  Potiche(2010),  The Brand New Testament (2015), Standing Tall (2015)

 

His Master’s Voice | Paolo Sorrentino

Paolo Sorrentino

Paolo Sorrentino (1970 – present)

Italian film director and screenwriter

Sorrentino is considered among the most audacious contemporary filmmakers today. His work has been critically acclaimed across international film festivals and the global film community. The themes he depicts in his cinema have led him to be compared to Frederico Fellini, Ettore Scola and Michaelangelo Antonioni.

His film The Great Beauty scored a hat-trick, when in 2014 it won the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film,  BAFTA award for Best Film Not in the English Language, and the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, after being nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

Films of Note: One Man Up (2001), The Consequences of Love (2004), The Family Friend (2006), Il Divo (2008), This Must be the Place (2011/English), The Great Beauty (2013), Youth (2015/English)

His Master’s Voice | Akira Kurosawa

 

Akira Kurosawa

Akira Kurosawa (1910 – 1998)

Japanese painter, sriptwriter and filmmaker

Regarded as one of the most important and influential filmmakers in the history of cinema, Kurosawa directed 30 films in a career spanning 57 years. His last few films were made using his paintings as  storyboards after he had lost his eyesight.

Entered the Japanese film industry in 1936, following a brief stint as a painter. He most frequently collaborated with actor Toshiro Mifune with whom he has made 15 films. His film , Rashomon, was first to open up Western film markets for Japanese films, leading to the popularity of many Japanese filmmakers.

In 1990, Kurosawa accepted the Academy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Posthumously, he was named “Asian of the Century” in the “Arts, Literature, and Culture” category by AsianWeek magazine and CNN, cited as “one of the [five] people who contributed most to the betterment of Asia in the past 100 years”.

Films of Note: Sanshiro Sugata (1943), Drunken Angel (1948), The Quiet Duel (1949), Stray Dog (1949),  Rashomon (1950), Ikiru (1952),  Seven Samurai (1954),  Record of a Living Being (1954), Throne of Blood (1957), The Lower Depths (1957),  The Hidden Fortress (1958), Yojimbo (1961), Sanjuro (1962),  High and Low (1963),  Red Beard(1965), Dersu Uzala (1975), Kagemusha (1980),  Ran (1985)

 

 

Tuesday Blog |The Joker: the history of Batman’s most famous foe

Joker - Batman

The Joker is a fictional supervillain created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson who first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940) published by DC Comics. Although the Joker was planned to be killed off during his initial appearance, he was spared by editorial intervention, allowing the character to endure as the archenemy of the superhero Batman.

The Joker possesses no superhuman abilities, instead using his expertise in chemical engineering to develop poisonous or lethal concoctions, and thematic weaponry. Although the Joker sometimes works with other supervillains such as the Penguin and Two-Face, and groups like the Injustice Gang, Injustice League, and Suicide Squad, these relationships often collapse due to the Joker’s desire for unbridled chaos. The 1990s introduced a romantic interest for the Joker in his former psychiatrist, Harley Quinn, who becomes his villainous sidekick. Although his primary obsession is Batman, the Joker has also fought other heroes including Superman and Wonder Woman.

The Joker has been adapted to serve as Batman’s adversary in live-action, animated and video game incarnations, including the 1960s Batman television series (played by Cesar Romero) and in film by Jack Nicholson in Batman (1989), Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008), and Jared Leto in Suicide Squad (2016). Mark Hamill, Troy Baker, and others have provided the character’s voice.

Keeping with this background about the Joker, here is an article by Owen Williams for www.empireonline.com listing the various actors to have played Joker on screen and a quick look at their personal styles and character interpretations.

The Joker: the history of Batman’s most famous foe

 

 

 

His Master’s Voice | Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Hoffman

Dustin Lee Hoffman (1937 – present)

American actor and film director, with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960.

Hoffman has been known for his versatile portrayals of anti-heroes and vulnerable characters. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1980 for Kramer vs. Kramer, and in 1988 for Rain Man. Widely considered one of the finest actors in history, Hoffman first drew critical praise for starring in the play, Eh?, for which he won a Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award. This achievement was soon followed by his breakthrough 1967 film role as Benjamin Braddock, the title character in The Graduate. Since that time, Hoffman’s career has largely been focused on the cinema, with sporadic returns to television and to the stage.

Along with 2 Academy Award wins, Hoffman has been nominated for 5 additional Academy Awards, and he was nominated for 13 Golden Globes, winning 6 (including an honorary award). He has won 4 BAFTAs, 3 Drama Desk Awards, a Genie Award, and an Emmy Award.

Hoffman received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1999, and the Kennedy Center Honors Award in 2012.

Films of Note: The Graduate (1967), Midnight Cowboy (1969), John and Mary (1969), Little Big Man (1970), Straw Dogs (1971), Papillon (1973), Lenny (1974), All the President’s Men (1976), Marathon Man (1976), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Tootsie (1982), Rain Man (1988), Hook (1991), Outbreak (1995) and Wag the Dog (1997),  Meet the Fockers (2004), Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006), Kung Fu Panda 1, 2 and 3  (2008, 2011 and 2016/voice of Master Shifu)  

 

His Master’s Voice | Park Chan-wook

park-chan-wook

Park Chan-wook (1963 – present)

South Korean film director, screenwriter, producer, and former film critic

One of the most acclaimed and popular filmmakers in his native country, Chan-wook’s films are noted for their immaculate framing, black humour and often brutal subject matter. Park said his films are about the utter futility of vengeance and how it wreaks havoc on the lives of everyone involved. His films have a massive audience worldwide, having done spectacular business and won close to 25 awards across several international film festivals. Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino considers Chan-wook’s films to be one of his biggest sources of inspiration.

Films of Note: Joint Security Area (2000), Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002), Oldboy (2003), Lady Vengeance (2005), I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2007), Thirst (2009), Night Fishing (2011), Stoker (2013)

A Shot of Short | Big Business (Hal Roach)

For many contemporary audiences, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy exist more as archetypes than memorable performers in and of themselves. The Laurel and Hardy comedies had an undeniable influence on mismatched comedy duos throughout the twentieth century, ranging from Abbott and Costello and the Warner Brothers cartoons to the Honeymooners and, derivatively, The Flintstones. Many of their catchphrases have been ingrained into popular culture so completely that they have been unknowingly attributed to later sources  (most notably Homer Simpson’s iconic “D’oh”). Before succeeding in the sound era, however, Laurel and Hardy were masters of the silent slapstick comedy short as a team with Director-Producer Hal Roach.

Big Business, a short silent released in what many consider to be the last real year of the silent era, showed how, unlike many of their silent film contemporaries, Laurel and Hardy were able to successfully make the transition to the sound era by relying heavily on primarily visual and physical comedy. The plot is the kind of simple material oft found in comedy shorts; Stan and Ollie are Christmas tree salesmen in California who enter into tit-for-tat rallies of escalating hijinks with a would-be customer.

The appeal to audiences of all ages is apparent in the cartoonish gags for which the pair are so well-known, due in no small part to Laurel’s lead creative role on the writing team, frequently challenging his co-writers to one-up one another to even more ridiculous and hysterical bits. The film was entered into the National Film Registry in 1992 and retains the goofball charm it held for audiences around the world.

Courtesy: www.tasteofcinema.com

His Master’s Voice | Ingmar Bergman

Ingmar Bergman

Ernst Ingmar Bergman (1918 – 2007)

Swedish director, writer and producer who worked in film, television, and theatre.

Recognised as one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of all time, having directed over sixty films and documentaries for cinematic release and for television, most of which he also wrote. He also directed over 170 plays.  His work often dealt with death, illness, faith, betrayal, bleakness and insanity.

From 1953 he forged a powerful creative partnership with his full-time cinematographer Sven Nykvist. Among his company of actors were Harriet and Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Gunnar Björnstrand, Erland Josephson, Ingrid Thulin and Max von Sydow. Most of his films were set in Sweden, and numerous films from Through a Glass Darkly (1961) onward were filmed on the island of Fårö.

Films of Note: Smiles of a Summer Night (1953), Wild Strawberries (1957), The Seventh Seal (1957) The Magician (1958), Brink of Life (1958), The Virgin Spring (1960), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), The Silence (1963), Shame (1968), Cries and Whispers (1972), Scenes from a Marriage (1973), The Magic Flute (1975), Face to Face (1976), Autumn Sonata (1978) Fanny and Alexander (1982), The Best Intentions (1992), Saraband (2003)

His Master’s Voice | Michael Haneke

Michael Haneke

 

Michael Haneke (1942 – present)

Austrian film director and screenwriter

His work often examines social issues, and depicts the feelings of estrangement experienced by individuals in modern society.

Has worked in television‚theatre and cinema. Besides working as a filmmaker, Haneke also teaches film direction at the Film Academy Vienna.

His films have been appreciated worldwide and awarded the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival, Golden Globe and Academy Award, among others. He is the only Austrian director and the seventh in the world to have received the Palme d’Or twice. In 2013 Haneke won the Prince of Asturias Award for the arts.

Films of Note: The Seventh Continent (1989), Benny’s Video (1992), Code Unknown (2000), The Piano Teacher (2001), Cache (2005), Funny Games (2007), The White Ribbon (2009), Amour (2012)