Category Archives: World Cinema

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)

 

 

A Shot of Short | The Explorer (Alexander Vestnesstraumen & Ola Martin Fjeld)

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.

Enjoy!

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

Tuesday Blog | 3 Ways Brexit Could Devastate the Movies

Game of Thrones - Brexit

“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.

 

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)

Tuesday Blog | Dark is the City: Cities in Cinema

Sunrise

A scene from F.W. Murnau’s silent classic, ‘Sunrise’ (1927). Photo: Special Arrangement by The Hindu

“A lot of modern anxieties and pathological conditions are rooted in the experience of the city. Fears like agoraphobia and claustrophobia, the fear of heights or acrophobia are all essentially associated with modern urban space and architectural forms — small apartments, elevators, stairwells, high-rises — and perhaps even occur as a result of such spatial constraints and demands. A number of films have explored these ideas in a variety of ways.” – Sucheta Chakraborty for The Hindu

Sucheta astutely observes and deconstructs the ways in which spaces are used to set the mood and tone in the movies – how they are given a character that will interact with the actors and propel the story forward. She links that to directors and movies which pioneered  these ideas comes up with a wonderful article.

To read the full article, click here.