Movies

‘Silver Circle’ Fails to Present a Compelling Storyline or Captivating Animation

Snapper S. Ploen

Although this synopsis sounds interesting and relevant to our country’s current socio-political discourse, this film is neither of those things. Director Pasha Roberts brings a potentially compelling Libertarian vision of rebellion to the screen but chooses to do so through an animation style that is too stunted for genuine emotional impact. In speaking with the director, he admits the budget was limited, but even South Park’s creators were able to deliver social commentary that was enlightening and entertaining with limited financial resources. In addition, the animation isn’t the only thing holding the film back. 

Despite a Rocky Middle, ‘Tabu’ Beautifully Captures the Pains of an Illicit Affair

Gabriella Tutino

Tabu, the Portuguese film directed by Miguel Gomes, tells the story of an illicit love affair set against the backdrop of the Portuguese Colonial War in 1950s-60s Africa. The film is shot in black-and-white and narrated for a majority of its running time, lending Tabu a romantic, nostalgic whimsy. The tragic relationship between Aurora and Gian Luca begins a few years before the Portuguese Colonial War starts. It is triggered by an impromptu meeting, as Gian Luca is the friend of a friend of Aurora’s husband. 

Neil Landau on the Art of Screenwriting

Christopher Karr

This is the kind of practical, well-articulated knowledge you can find in The Screenwriter's Roadmap. It's organized into 21 chapters that each focus on an essential aspect of the writing and re-writing process. Each chapter also includes a corresponding interview with a screenwriter currently in the business. The guidebook is clear, well-organized, and sometimes painfully academic and overly analytical. This is a common attribute of all screenwriting guidebooks, but Landau's prose is, at times, more readable than Field and McKee. 

Film & Special Effects: Blurring the Lines Between Reality and Imagery

Maggie Hennefeld

Special effect (SFX) techniques have undergone momentous transformations throughout the past century of the medium’s history. Even SFX’ anatomical obsessions have developed (as it were): from early cinema’s in-camera techniques that never tired of limb dismemberment tricks to the 21st Century race to shatter “the uncanny valley” and use computer imagery to simulate human likeness. Film producers like Méliès and Edison ejaculated limbs from all sides of the frame using stop-start substitution tricks (the trick splice). 

From Hitchcock to Assayas, Directors Present Their Vision of Filmmaking

Christopher Karr

Filmcraft: Directing is composed of 16 interview-profiles of internationally acclaimed filmmakers. Goodridge also devotes five Legacy chapters to “innovators and pioneers in the filmmaking field.” The directors he chooses “to represent the first 115 years of cinema” are the usual suspects: Kurosawa, Bergman, Ford, Hitchcock, and Godard — the filmmakers whose films you wind up watching eventually, dutifully. 

The Dark Knight and the Rise of ‘Realistic’ Superheroes on Screen

Christopher Karr

Batman has been stuck in the same cycle for 70 years. As soon as the “Dark Knight’s” mythology becomes too dark, he is reinterpreted through the faddish lens of pop cultural parody. Consequently, Batman’s legend lacks substance. So he’s reinterpreted once again with darker shadings. But “The Dark Knight Rises,” the final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s epic addition to the Batman myth, looks past both interpretations. As Nolan promised us from the beginning, his trilogy offers a realistic superhero. But can there really be such a thing? Should there be?

Welcome to the Poignant World of Filmmaker Wes Anderson

John McGovern

The sparse dialogue in Wes Anderson’s films captures detachment and suppression – a part of all human relationships. Yet, his films also portray misfortunes and difficulties we encounter with those closest to us in a warmhearted, positive light. His films manage to capture the joys of relationships, despite their challenging complexities. Anderson’s success rides largely on his unique depiction of these two conflicting sides of human behavior -- our social tendencies and our hermetic ones. 

Video Verdict: “Midnight in Paris,” “Warrior” Arrive on DVD, Blu-ray

Forrest Hartman

“Midnight in Paris” scored multiple nominations for the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, and the accolades are well-deserved. Written and directed by Woody Allen, the film is a slice of nostalgia that’s both a love letter to Paris and a reminder that there’s no time like the present.  

Politically Correct: How Hollywood Leverages Public Consciousness and Creates Taboo

Laura O’Brian

The same essential arguments made against smoking in movies can be made against almost any kind of activity that can be depicted in a film. Alcohol is highly addictive, poses public health risks, and intrigues teenagers. Are all activities capable of causing harm therefore unsuitable subject matter for movies? Of course not, because if this were policy, no one would watch movies, which is the last thing the MPAA wants. 

You Ought to Be in Pictures

Zach Napolitano

There now exists an unprecedented opportunity to become the next Sir Laurence Olivier or Guy Standing at Bar. Thanks largely to Sofia Coppola, daughter of famed director Francis Ford Coppola, for single-handedly butchering The Godfather Part III (starring as Mary Corleone), and, oddly enough, the adult film industry for bringing casting couch sexploitation to the fore of public consciousness, two traditional barriers to acting—nepotism and/or a requisite lacking of dignity—have largely been eradicated. 

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