Yes, it might seem obvious, “Oh, Tim Burton is directing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” — how sweet. At mediateacher.net, we’ve explored Mr. Burton’s beguiling cinescapes before.
The powerful inspiration that Mr. Burton’s works have given to many young (and not-so-young) people for over a generation seems to renew its promise with this new feature. And here is an answer to the “not phoning it in” title above: The Making of a Film Fable, an article by Mekado Murphy.
Posted in Chapter 1, Directors | Tagged Mekado Murphy, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Tim Burton | Leave a Comment »
Michel Gondry, one of the most inventive and utterly unique motion picture wizards of our time, has delivered again. In an original gesture, he went and made a video on his own for the White Stripes song “City Lights” as a gift to Third Man Records (having made a number of legendary music videos together, including the Lego classic “Fell in Love with a Girl” and the Meg White-inspired masterstroke “The Hardest Button to Button“). Lessons to learn from his music videos in general: a hefty dose of vision; planning, then planning and practice and planning; and execution. And throw in a few dashes of visual and sonic magic.
Gondry’s book The Be Kind Rewind Protocol is great food for thought for filmmakers and educators alike, and of course there are his movies, notably that one featuring Mos Def, Jack Black, and Danny Glover; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, his exceptional collaboration with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (and which I feel gets even better with age); The Thorn in the Heart, a documentary that grew out of a family story; an episode of Flight of the Conchords; and the mix of music videos, shorts, commercials, and odds and ends that have made up his twisting and turning career.
Posted in Chapter 5, Directors | Tagged Be Kind Rewind, Charlie Kaufman, City Lights, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Jack Black, Michel Gondry, Microbe and Gasoline, Mos Def, The White Stripes | Leave a Comment »
Yes, the title of the movie being projected here is “Cock of the Air,” a rediscovered Howard Hughes production from 1932. (Photo: Emily Berl for The New York Times)
In a series of articles on mediateacher.net, the importance of how, where, and why media artifacts are accessed and preserved has been discussed from a variety of angles, not only in terms of films from the early years of cinema (or more recent examples like Lawrence of Arabia or the efforts of Christopher Nolan) but also related to students today and their own productions. An article in today’s New York Times —The Race to Save the Films We Love — provides a current update by Manohla Dargis on the state of film preservation, which includes topics related to economics, sound recording, chemistry, digital technologies, and a variety of other issues.
Posted in Chapter 2, Chapter 5 | Tagged Academy of Motion Pictures of Arts and Sciences, Christopher Nolan, Cock of the Air, Film Preservation, Lawrence of Arabia, Manohla Dargis, The Film Foundation | Leave a Comment »
I am guessing that THIS will be the Seven Samurai reference (okay, it’s six, but go with it) that will be remembered from this year.
The new trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One debuted during the Olympics coverage yesterday, and it looked pretty amazing. (And it was even more enticing than the initial teaser, which already had fans energized.) Just one point that I feel needs to be made for teachers gearing up for a new year of media literacy: Kurosawa.
The foremost acknowledged influence on Star Wars is Akira Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress. Any student of moving images or educators who wish to explore the vital contemporary Star Wars universe is well advised to explore the singular power of director Akira Kurosawa and his influence on George Lucas. For me, there appears to be some major inspiration from the universe of the Japanese cinematic master in the trailer for Rogue One (directed by Gareth Edwards), except in this case the references are to The Seven Samurai. Whatever the inspirations, things appear to be looking good for the realm of Jedi, Force, and Dark Side.
Posted in Chapter 1, Directors | Tagged Akira Kurosawa, Gareth Edwards, George Lucas, Hidden Fortress, Rogue One, Seven Samurai, Star Wars | Leave a Comment »
Squad Goals : ya better nail this one or else ! Exec. Prod. & UPM of Suicide Squad on set.
Quick little follow-up to this week’s theme of summer blockbusters: what will be the latest flavors and trends to super-hero movies when Suicide Squad splashes (or maybe splatters) onto screens this week? Batman v. Superman may have hauled in some cash, but it was quite roundly vilified by critics – check out this selection of quotes from reviews by major critics (and reviewing director Zack Snyder’s Watchmen, A.O. Scott commented “brutality is not merely part of Mr. Snyder’s repertory of effects; it is more like a cause, a principle, an ideology” — a cause to which the director applies himself in movie after movie, apparently). It will be interesting to see how the reception of Suicide Squad plays itself out and impacts the ever-expanding D.C.-verse in moviedom, with Marvel watching from across the street (and next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy waiting in the wings).
P.S.: A week later, the reviews are in. Not a big surprise, but still… it is rather funny. Joe Morgenstern’s review for The Wall Street Journal is worth quoting: “In a word, Suicide Squad is trash. In two words, it’s ugly trash. Maybe no more words should be wasted on a movie that is, after all, only a movie, not a natural disaster or a terrorist attack. Still, movies contribute to the collective awareness. They can color the way we feel about the life around us. This one deserves further attention by virtue of its exceptional cynicism and startling ineptitude. Suicide Squad amounts to an all-out attack on the whole idea of entertainment.” Or the title to Michael O’Sullivan’s for The Washington Post: ‘Suicide Squad’ is as bad as you’ve heard.
Posted in Chapter 5 | Tagged A.O. Scott, Batman v. Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy, Suicide Squad, Zack Snyder | 1 Comment »