Archive for April, 2014

Bob-Hoskins-BrazilBob Hoskins, one of the great actors of our time, has left this sphere.  A little while back, I read Bill Hader’s Criterion Top 10 List — which I highly recommend — and I have to share this quote about Choice #3, Mona Lisa: When I first saw Mona Lisa, I had no idea who Bob Hoskins was (I was eight). I honestly thought they paid some low-rent criminal money to be in this movie. He was so believable that when I saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit, I was like ‘Hey, that guy really turned his life around. This movie is huge. Good for him.'”

Good for him, indeed!  And so many other stunning performances.  For an intense one that features a story of movies at its core, I recommend this exceptional actor’s portrayal of Beria (the head of Stalin’s secret police) in The Inner Circlebased on the true story of Soviet projectionist Ivan Sanchin (played by Tom Hulce).  And I always have a soft spot for his comic turn with just the right hint of madness in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.  

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Kirsten Lepore making Move Mountain

In earlier posts, unique animators like PES and Norman McLaren (and Tim Burton too) have been featured, and here is something new to check out: the work of Kirsten Lepore.  As with many independant stop-motion filmmakers, a great deal of her work is in commercials.  Great lessons in non-dialogue storytelling, editing, and sound design are to be found in her shorts Bottle (a distinctly poignant love story between sand and snow) and Move Mountain (which the director describes as “a story about illness, perseverance, and our connection to everything around us”).  Along with lessons in frame-by-frame moviemaking, of course.  Both also have respective making of pieces: Making of Move Mountain and Making of Bottle.

If you are interested in more information on the topic, check out Cengage Learning’s title The Advanced Art of Stop-Motion Animation (by Ken Priebe).  While we are on this topic, you might be interested in turning to two of the masters of the form: Jan Švankmajer and Brothers Quay.  And in a few months, the very promising-looking The Boxtrolls from Laika studios will be arriving…

Update: Here’s a great interview by Girls at Library with Kirsten Lepore (who by now has also written and directed an episode of Adventure Time: Bad Jubiesabout reading and books.

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HublotThis year’s Academy Award winning shorts are featured on this page from the Film Shortage site, which is based out of Montreal (and to share with French teachers, Film Shortage has a Films de Chez Nous section featuring some Québecois shorts).  There are interviews with Kim Magnusson and Anders Walter, who won for the live action short Helium, and I also recommend checking out the other winners, the animated French movie Mr. Hublot and the documentary short The Lady in Number 6 (directed by Malcolm Clarke about 109-year old Alice Herz Sommer, who was the oldest living Holocaust survivor and pianist).  Many shorts are featured on the Film Shortage site and filmmakers can submit movies as well.

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