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.
This a marvellous piece of movie making, no matter it is only 60 seconds long. And this will resonate with all those people whose younger siblings have made their lives miserable. Linus is busy on a project, one you can make out is scientific, brilliant and an intelligent experiment born out of the very geeky corners of his mind. His younger brother is proving to be quite bothersome at this precise moment when he is hoping for his experiment to succeed.
This funny one-minute film by Norway’s Alexander Vestnesstraumen and Ola Martin Fjeld is smartly made — has great shots that describe things perfectly within their one frames, the editing is hurried, but only because of the sense of urgency this story demands, and the bombastic score that stands out — driving the drama of this silly, aggravating situation all the way to the punch line.
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)
“After Brexit, the UK will be forced to re-negotiate quotas and taxes for exports to the EU. In 2015, the UK exported 41% of its movies to the EU, surpassing its American exports. Imminent financial pressures will likely diminish UK film exports, thereby disincentivizing production.
The Creative Industries Federation, which represents British creative industries, voted 96% in favor of Remain for these very reasons. British film industry stalwarts Patrick Stewart, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and director Steve McQueen penned a letter stating that their country’s “global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away.”
– Emily Buder, for nofilmschool.com
The UK has for long been the power centre of Cinema with its legacy of theatre and the manner in which its churns out such brilliant film directors, actors, cinematographers and other film technicians. We have often joked that while the rest of the world gets basic vaccines against germs and diseases, the British are inoculated with bugs that enhance their stage and screen skills manifold. The same holds true for most European countries, which have government-sponsored, but healthy cinema cultures and thrive on a film market that is known for its co-productions. European film production, distribution and talent management companies have frequently collaborated to create and bring to the world some excellent examples of cinema.
The Brexit referendum, which has separated UK from the rest of EU could change a lot of the international film production and distribution treaties. Here is an article from nofilmschool.com which enumerates and discusses three ways in which things could go south for the film market in UK and EU.
Michel Gondry (1963 – present)
French independent film director, screenwriter and producer, he is noted for his inventive visual style and distinctive manipulation of mise en scène. He is well known for his music video collaborations with The Chemical Brothers, Björk and The White Stripes.
He won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as one of the writers of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), which is often ranked one of the greatest films of the 2000s.
Films of Note: Human Nature (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Science of Sleep (2006), The Green Hornet (2011), The We and the I (2012), Mood Indigo (2013), Microbe & Gasoline (2015)
Two main characters, a fantasy world staging, a focus on humor and an external conflict compose this fun short created by students at Danish school The Animation Workshop.
Grandma’s Hero features ambitious environments and aesthetic work, presenting a great variety and number of characters and creatures. The Animation Workshop’s production system, which usually functions with groups of 7+ students (in this case they’re 11+), helps produce films of remarkable scope. Plenty of very wide shots are used to describe the environment, along with pans and tilts. Camera moves are also used during action sequences. Visual rhythm is high, with great attention dedicated to sound and music to accentuate it and mark contrasts and changes of pace.
Among other narrative devices the short makes good use of psychological/subjective narration (the hero’s imagined events represented in his eyes at 1m57) and a nice frontal shot of the hero walking towards the camera (3m07) with ellipses to transmit passage of time and the character’s increasing frustration.
Featuring great stylized character designs, quality animation and plenty of gags, the film’s playfulness is also worth noting – it likely mirrors the production process the authors went through.
*Reproduced from http://filmnosis.com/shortfilms/grandmas-hero/
Room is a 2015 Canadian-Irish drama film directed by Lenny Abrahamson and written by Emma Donoghue, based on her novel of the same name. The film stars Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen, Sean Bridgers, and William H. Macy. Held captive for seven years in an enclosed space, a woman (Larson) and her 5-year-old son (Tremblay) finally gain their freedom, allowing the boy to experience the outside world for the first time.
Brie Larson isolated herself for a month and followed a strict diet in order to get a sense of what Ma and Jack were going through, and she claimed she avoided washing her face during filming, to really make clear on-camera that she was not wearing makeup. In preparation for her profoundly complicated character portrayal, she spent hours with a trauma specialist researching the psyche of one incarcerated to the extreme degree of her character “Ma.” This was not the kind of information that could be readily found in a Google search. Ma’s real name is Joy. Room is one of three movies released in 2015 and nominated for Oscars in which the lead is named Joy. The others are Inside Out (2015) and Joy(2015).
The film was largely shot in sequence to make it easier for Jacob to perform as his character evolves. Jacob Tremblay did his own stunt work, and wore a wig in the scenes where Jack has long hair. Although an experienced actor, Jacob could not bring himself to yell at Brie Larson in the scene where he is angry about his birthday cake having no candles. Finally the director had the entire cast and crew start jumping up and down yelling and screaming until he was able to do it himself.
There are several subtle references to the fact that while they are still imprisoned, Joy continues to breastfeed Jack even past his fifth birthday–many years after the age when most breastfed children get weaned. Although this is not explained outright in the movie, it is implied that there are several reasons that she does this. First, it provides some extra nutrition and physical immunity for Jack. It is also a way of comforting him–taking care of him emotionally and adding to their bond–and encouraging him to go to sleep before their kidnapper arrives each night. Furthermore, it provides a small amount of natural birth control for Joy, who likely would have been loathe to endure another solitary and unsanitary labor in captivity or to place another child in the traumatic position that Jack is in.
Bear Story is a computer animated short that tells the story of an old, lonesome bear who tells his life story through a mechanical diorama.
When the short first started playing I gotta say I wasn’t really too invested in it. The story starts out inside the apartment of a bear and it doesn’t really get interesting until halfway through when we actually get to see the bear’s story though the mechanical diorama. That part, which is the main of the short was everything I was hoping for from both a visual standpoint as a story standpoint, but the other few minutes that the short had, didn’t really interest me.
The short is completely CG animated and in the mechanical diorama scenes it works really well. The way the animation was used was fun, innovative and it looked really great. The animation looked wonderful and it looked convincing with the mechanical/metallic look of the sequence. The other scenes, however, didn’t do it for me personally. Because the budget on this short was probably not as big as the budget of a Disney or Pixar short, overall the visuals in those parts distracted me. Small things like the bear’s fur looked off and it distracted me from the story unfortunately. If those scenes would’ve been hand drawn or done with stop motion animation and the diorama scenes were kept CG, this probably would have worked better for me, but now I kind of felt distracted by it.
The short has a lovely score that weaves in perfectly with what’s happening on screen. It’s not just background music like in some films, but it actually plays a role and the story. The score has a sound to itself that is reminiscent of the music box feel that the short has in certain moments. It was simple, but added a lot to the short.
An important part of this short is its message. I like it when a story is not just a story, but when it actually has a meaning behind it. This short’s is directly inspired by the director’s, Gabriel Osorio, life. His grandfather had to leave Chile when he was younger, and similarly to the bear in the short, leave his family behind. Bear Story is not really a story about his grandfather but rather a story inspired by the mark it left on him and the thousands of other families around the world who had to go through the same and in some cases still don’t know where their loved ones are.
Bear Story is a simple story with a lot of meaning behind it. It has a beautiful story with a wonderful message and I absolutely loved what they did visually with the diorama scenes, it was fun, refreshing and it looked fantastic. Even though some of the other scenes weren’t personally my cup of tea, I know a big team of very talented artists worked on it with the resources that they had, and they did the best they could with that. Bear Story is one of those shorts that a lot of people will and enjoy and will be able to relate to and that is why I sincerely recommend you to check it out.