Movies

Technical notes on shooting the new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, uses RED ONEs and EPICsto expose The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Because of its many locations and logistical demands, the 160-day shoot was broken up into several stages. The production started in Sweden shooting all the winter exteriors and a few interior sets, and then went to Zurich for two weeks to shoot the banking scenes, as well as exteriors and interiors. The team then returned to the U.S. and shot all the remaining interiors on stage at the Paramount lot and the new RED Studios for some 10 weeks. Because the story also takes place over so many seasons, the filmmakers then returned to Sweden in mid-March, and also stopped off in London for two weeks to shoot scenes there, made a stop in Norway and then ended up in Sweden again.

Fascinating how this stuff gets made.

[via Coudal Partners]

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, again

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: A bigger, darker Swedish nightmare

Andrew O’Hehir over at Salon reviews the new David Fincher version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

I love the Swedish version, all three movies: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Girl who Played with Fire, and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. I love the acting, the directing, the setting, the music, all of it.

When I heard Fincher was working on an American version I had the same reaction to reading about and then seeing the American remake of Mostly Martha: No Reservations. Dumb Americans can’t deal with subtitles. But, O’Hehir thinks Fincher’s version of the first of the three Dragon Tattoo movies is good if not better than the Swedish version. Now I can’t wait to see it although I have a certain loyalty to the Swedish movies and the actors in them.

Here are the new movie trailers: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

How Tall Is Jake Gyllenhaal?

David Rees over at Good posted a wonderful piece on our fascination with celebrities and how social networking on the internet interacts with it: How Tall Is Jake Gyllenhaal?.

I’m not the sort of person who thinks much about the height of celebrities. (I’ve always assumed most famous people are about seven feet tall.) The fact that I caught myself wondering about Gyllenhaal’s height suggested there was something uncanny about it, in the way an unsettlingly warm afternoon can bend one’s conversation toward the topic of global warming.

Beautifully written and my guess is that any of us who have ever used the web to get to the bottom of some obscure fact (pre-wikipedia) have experienced this sort of thing.

Note: wikipedia has nothing on Gyllenhaal’s height.

Cameron Crowe revisits “Say Anything”

Cameron Crowe revisits “Say Anything”

Susannah Gora at Salon has done a great job of describing what is so spectacular about the 1989 teen romance movie Say Anything which was Cameron Crowe’s debut as a director, he also wrote the film.

John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler is about as good as it gets: walking the fine line between loser and a young guy who feels okay about himself. Incredible performance by a young Cusack.

We love this movie and it sits alongside the teen movies of the late John Hughes as a classic.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is one of Rob Reiner’s early movies and while it didn’t do all that well in the box office when it came out in 1987 it has gathered a cult following over the years, including our family. The movie is entertaining for both kids and adults and that’s part of its appeal.

Complete script of The Princess Bride

“Anybody want a peanut?”

“MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky.”

“Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.”

Mark Knopfler did the soundtrack and picking him was another act of genius by Rob Reiner, the music is a huge piece of the success of the movie.

DVD Extra on the Princess Bride sword fighting

Casting The Princess Bride

Billy Crystal on Miracle Max

The Princess Bride: Battle of Wits

The Princess Bride: Anybody want a peanut

Various clips from The Princess Bride on YouTube

Better yet, see the movie if you haven’t or even if you have, see it again, it’s a classic: The Princess Bride on Amazon.

Tetris Masters

Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters Full Trailer from Adam Cornelius on Vimeo.

I loved Tetris and watching this preview makes me want to go out and get it for my iPhone and iPad. Yes, I think I’ll do that. Tetris and it’s Macintosh offspring Columns was the only game that really caught my fancy and got me addicted.

Here’s a great documentary on the history of Tetris in multiple parts of youTube: Tetris: From Russia with Love.

The story of the making of the movie All the President’s Men

Washington Monument

This is a fantastic piece in Vanity Fair by Michael Feeney Callan about how Robert Redford, Alan J. Pakula, and others made this still incredibly good movie. It’s still one of my favorite political thrillers. What’s great about this piece is that it illustrates just how tough it is to get a movie made, it took Redford’s push over many years to get it done.

All the President’s Men at Wikipedia
All the President’s Men at IMDB
All the President’s Men at Rotten Tomatoes
All the President’s Men at Netflix

Amazon launches Prime instant videos

Amazon launches Prime instant videos, unlimited streaming for Prime subscribers

Wow, we have Amazon Prime*, have to look into this.

*Pay a yearly fee (about $80) and have free two day shipping on many products, no matter what their size or weight. If you use Amazon a lot Prime is more than worth having and this video deal may make it even sweeter.

Here’s the page on Amazon that describes this: Amazon Instant Video.

For Once in my Life

Film overview: For Once in my Life
Watch For Once in my Life

Jim Bigham and Mark Moorman document a few months in the lives of a group of disabled adults who work at Goodwill Industries of South Florida. Under the direction of Javier Pena, the Goodwill Band gets ready to Perform their biggest show yet.

The 29 members of the band live with everything from autism and Down syndrome, to blindness and other physical, mental, and developmental challenges. By day they work and socialize with one another at the Goodwill Industries of South Florida. That’s also where they rehearse their music with an eye toward playing sophisticated venues and garnering mainstream respect and accomplishment. As their music becomes tighter and more harmonious, so too do their lives — a testament to the healing and empowering power of music, participation, cooperation, and friendship.

You can watch the entire film online at the link above or purchase the film on iTunes or direct from Goodwill Industries on DVD.

We used to watch Independent Lens every week on PBS and then channel 13 changed the day and time it was on and we lost track of it. This show, along with POV is the place to see the work of outstanding independent filmmakers. My friend Sheryl Kennedy pointed me to this film and I’m glad she did. Thanks a lot Sheryl, I cried for nearly an hour.

Everything is a Remix, Part 2

Everything is a Remix Part 2 from Kirby Ferguson on Vimeo.

An entertaining and well thought out discussion of remixing, this part covering film.

When you come right down to it, everything really is a remix. We’re all standing on the shoulders of our genetic and behavioral experience. Of course where did the “original” ingredients come from?

Everything is a Remix, Part 1

Everything is a Remix Site

[via Daring Fireball]

I Just Want a Dumb TV

I Just Want a Dumb TV

We’ve had a “new” HD TV for a little over a year now and while our TV has a fantastic picture its menu of features and their implementation is less than wonderful.

Our TV is a Sony KDL-40EX700 40″ BRAVIA HDTV. It has 4 HDMI inputs and a USB port as well as Sony’s “Bravia” software that allows internet access among other things. I had no desire to have all of this extra crap on this TV but the only way to buy a TV with the picture quality we wanted and 4 HDMI ports was to get all the extra stuff.

Sony must try hard to hire the worst UI designers in the world; the menus on this TV are so totally lame and unintuitive it boggles the mind (if Apple only made TVs…). But, for the most part, we avoid looking at those menus. We have a Bose DVD player/stereo, a cable box, and an AppleTV connected to it. All we really need to do is cycle HDMI inputs when we want to change which of these devices is feeding the TV. But, in true form Sony can’t even get that simple thing right: sometimes hitting the remote button to change inputs brings up a screen with all the live inputs listed, sometimes it cycles to the next live input but timing or dwell or nothing seems to affect this.

As John Herrman at Gizmodo says, what many of us really need is a great LED/LCD panel, a bunch of HDMI ports and some component ports for getting sound out of the TV and out through a decent sound system.

All of this said, we’ve decided to get a bigger TV and Sony has just come out with a new line of TVs at the Consumer Electronics Show with even more crap embedded in them. Seeing this, I made the decision to simply buy the same TV we have only bigger, the Sony KDL-52EX700 52″ BRAVIA HDTV which B&H had one left of just before they discontinued it. It cost about the same amount as our current 40″ model and is big enough so it’ll take care of my lust for “bigger” for a while.

[via Steve Splonskowski]

LaPorte, Indiana: A Documentary Film

LaPorte, Indiana Trailer from Joe Beshenkovsky & Jason Bitner on Vimeo.

My wife’s a Hoosier (from the Evansville at the other end of the state) but this documentary is something I’d be interested in anyway. Thousands of images from a local studio photographer rebuild the history of a town much like a Ken Burns film (it seems).

The trailer reminded me of the movie A Christmas Story which somehow seems like it was filmed or supposed to take place somewhere in Indiana, the middle of middle America.

Browse around and order the DVD here: LaPorte, Indiana: A Documentary Film.

[via Coudal Partners]

Deconstructing Back to the Future

Four twenty somethings sitting in a diner talking about the movie Back to the Future. Amazingly, this movie holds up to this day because it’s a comedy and that gives it license to do whatever the story needs, even if that means Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) fogging illogical situations with a bunch of scientific sounding words that make no sense. Who cares, it’s great fun.

Writer and producer Bob Gale conceived the idea after he visited his parents in St. Louis, Missouri after the release of Used Cars. Searching their basement, Gale found his father’s high school yearbook and discovered he was president of his graduating class. Gale thought about the president of his own graduating class, who was someone he had nothing to do with. Gale wondered whether he would have been friends with his father if they went to high school together. When he returned to California, he told Robert Zemeckis his new concept. Zemeckis subsequently thought of a mother claiming she never kissed a boy at school, when in reality she was highly promiscuous. The two took the project to Columbia Pictures, and made a development deal for a script in September 1980.

[via Gizmodo]