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July 2, 2017

‘Solaris’ Video Essay Looks at Past & Present in Andrei Tarkovsky’s Masterpiece — Watch

Solaris” is among the most melancholy sci-fi movies ever made, which makes sense given its conception — Andrei Tarkovsky is said to have loathed “2001: A Space Odyssey” for being too cold and unfeeling, and so he sought to make something more humane. The result was as emotional as it was cerebral, and utterly haunting.

READ MORE: Stanley Kubrick & Andrei Tarkovsky’s Cinematic Styles Are Compared In Beautiful Video Essay

A new video essay from Jack’s Movie Reviews focuses on past and present in “Solaris,” arguing that the film’s protagonist, Kris, chooses to ignore his past while on earth — something he’s unable to do on the space station hovering above the semi-sentient ocean planet of the title. That manifests itself in the form of Hari, his deceased wife who appears with Kris on the space station; it isn’t his actual spouse, of course, and attempting to reconcile what’s real and what it isn’t slowly wears him down.

READ MORE: Watch: Video Essay Details How Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’ Is A Response To Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’

This doesn’t have a happy ending, though it initially seems like it might. Watch the full video below.

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Source: IndieWire film

July 2, 2017

James Franco Used Tommy Wiseau’s Voice While Directing ‘The Disaster Artist’ — Literally

James Franco is a man of many interests and inclinations. Among his various pet projects — the advanced degrees, the literary adaptations that no one asked for and no one watched — few seem better suited to his sensibilities than “The Disaster Artist,” a dramatization of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room.” A hilarious detail about the film just emerged from an interview with one of its stars: “Franco directed the whole movie in character as Tommy Wiseau.”

READ MORE: ‘The Disaster Artist’ Review: James Franco is Very Good as a Bad Actor in His Loving Tribute to ‘The Room’ — SXSW 2017

That’s according to Jason Mantzoukas, who quickly clarified while speaking to Entertainment Weekly: “Well, I should amend that — he wasn’t in character as Tommy Wiseau, but once he started the day doing Tommy’s voice, he would spend the rest of the day doing the voice,” he explained. “So, it wasn’t like he was pretending to be Tommy, but it was like James using Tommy’s speech pattern and accent. It was really special and very funny.”

READ MORE: A24 and New Line Cinema Partner on James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist,’ Set Awards Season Release Date

The film has a bizarrely stacked ensemble cast including but not limited to Seth Rogen, Bryan Cranston, Zac Efron, Nathan Fielder, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Paul Scheer, Sharon Stone, Hannibal Buress and Franco’s brother Dave. “The Disaster Artist” arrives in theaters on December 1 courtesy of A24 and New Line Cinema.

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Source: IndieWire film

July 2, 2017

Jared Leto Wants Your Home Videos for a Project Called ‘A Day in the Life of America’

Now that he’s done sending unwanted gifts to his “Suicide Squad” co-stars, Jared Leto is asking Americans to send him videos about people’s conceptions of the country for a project called “A Day in the Life of America.” The “portrait” was launched by 30 Seconds to Mars, which Leto fronts, as a means of celebrating Independence Day.

READ MORE: Jared Leto Is The New Chief Creative Officer of Streaming Service Fandor

Here’s what Leto — who, for accuracy’s sake, we’re required to mention is an Academy Award winner — would like to see from you:

“A baby being born, the complete circle of life, a billionaire, a family living in a shelter, police patrolling the streets, protesters, refugees, heroes and villains, a truck driver, a sky diver, a sex worker, a base jumper, a firefighter, and every great race, color and creed that make up the fabric of our nation. Trailer parks and Trump hotels, big cities and small towns, farmers and football players. A doctor, a preacher, a baptism, a funeral. Sunrise and Sunset.”

READ MORE: Jared Leto Will Direct Patty Hearst-Themed Crime Thriller ’77’ For Paramount

The project’s website assures potential contributors that only “the most brave, bold, and creative” work will make the final cut. More information may be found at thirtysecondstomars.us.

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Source: IndieWire film

July 2, 2017

Bawdy Nun Comedy ‘The Little Hours’ Soars at Specialty Box Office

All of a sudden the scary decline at the indie box office has reversed. Through the first five months of 2017, only four films opening limited in the standard four New York/Los Angeles theaters opened with a per theater average of $20,000. In the last four weeks, four films have opened strong as “Beatriz at Dinner” (Roadside Attractions), “The Big Sick” (Lionsgate) and “The Beguiled” (Focus) opened well and reached crossover crowds.

This week’s addition, Sundance comedy hit “The Little Hours” (Gunpowder & Sky) is the latest surprise. Loosely inspired by the bawdy 14th-century Boccaccio classic “The Decameron” (The Hollywood version starred Joan Fontaine while Pasolini shocked in 1971), this tale is set in the Medieval Italian countryside with bawdy contemporary dialogue as a randy peasant hides out at a convent after his master catches him with his wife. It did strong business at four theaters on two coasts.

This comes the same week as Netflix debuted Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” to strong media response with limited theater openings in the two cities. (As always, no grosses were reported for the South Korean Cannes competition premiere.) Also showing up in a handful of theaters was Sean Penn’s “The Last Face” (Saban) also showing on Video on Demand. It got zero attention, likely to its benefit after disastrous reviews at Cannes 2016.

Meantime, “The Beguiled” blasted out to 674 theaters and a Top Ten showing, while the more slowly expanding “The Big Sick” continued its even more impressive showing in 71. These two bolster the recent indie box office vitality.

Opening

The Little Hours (Gunpowder & Sky) – Metacritic: 70; Festivals include: Sundance, Seattle 2017

$61,560 in 2 theaters; PTA (per theater average): $30,780

And now for something completely different. The weekend’s best limited opener stands out as one of the top openers of the year. This comedy with an ensemble of millennial comedians (including Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco and Molly Shannon) about randy nuns fighting over a runaway peasant has its roots in classic literature. Smartly marketed by Gunpowder & Sky, which has had several recent streaming releases with limited theatrical play — this is their first traditional release — the comedy opened at the Sunshine in New York and Arclight Hollywood to strong initial response.

Impressive for its youthful appeal, the numbers went up 16 per cent on Saturday which suggests upbeat word of mouth. Favorable reviews and marketing clicked, but the oddball comedy (Jeff Baena also directed the Sundance premiere “Joshy” and co-wrote “I Heart Huckabees”) offered a welcome alternative to the usual specialized fare. This will be an interesting one to watch in upcoming weeks.

What comes next: This expands to around 30 total theaters this week and more than double that the next.

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography

“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography”

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography (Neon) – Metacritic: 80; Festivals include: Toronto, New York 2016

$12,078 in 3 theaters; PTA: $4,026; Cumulative: $12,078

Errol Morris’ latest actually opened in Toronto last week (climaxing a retrospective of his acclaimed documentaries), with New York and Los Angeles coming along this weekend. This latest effort, less intense on the surface at least than most of his films, deals with a quiet Massachusetts photographer whose life’s work is shooting giant portrait Polaroids. It got the usual strong set of reviews his films usually receive

What comes next: Morris’ films always get national art house play, and this should be no exception.

13 minutes

“13 Minutes”

13 Minutes (Sony Pictures Classics) – Metacritic: 56; Festivals include: Berlin 2015, Seattle 2016

$12,612 in 3 theaters; PTA: $4,204

German director Oliver Hirschbiegel (“Downfall,” with its famously YouTube re-subtitled Hitler bunker scene, and Nicole Kidman-starring Don Siegel remake “Invasion”) returned to his homeland for this recounting of a 1939 assassination attempt on Hitler. Its U.S. release has been long coming — this premiered in early 2015 at the Berlin Festival. Two and a half years later, this initial U.S. release brought minor results for SPC.

What comes next: Expect this to get a usual full arthouse release in upcoming weeks to maximize potential.

Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge

“Marie Curie: The Courage of Knowledge”

The Society for Arts

Marie Curie: The Conquest of Knowledge (Big World) – Festivals include: Berlin, San Francisco 2017

$(est.) 16,000 in 5 theaters; PTA: $(est.) 3,200

A biopic on the immortal scientist is focused on her struggles to be taken seriously in a male-dominated field. This European production opened in five theaters to initially modest results.

What comes next: The subject matter likely propels this to further big city play.

Pop Aye (Kino Lorber) – Metacritic: 74; Festivals include: Sundance, Rotterdam 2017

$4,332 in 1 theater; PTA: $4,332; Cumulative: $13,034 (includes pre-release revenue).

This seems to be the week for stories of human interaction with large animals in Asian settings. Opening parallel to “Okja,” this made-in-Thailand Sundance-premiered tale of a trek with an elephant from Bangkok out to the countryside opened at New York’s Film Forum on Wednesday (5-day total: $6,034).

What comes next: Los Angeles opens this Friday.

The Reagan Show (Gravitas Ventures) – Metacritic: 69; Festivals include: Tribeca, Seattle 2017

$5,500 in 2 theaters; PTA: $2,750

This CNN documentary about the staging of the Reagan presidency opened in two New York/Los Angeles theaters. Its positive critical reaction will enhance its VOD interest this week.

What comes next: Streaming starts on Tuesday.

“Le Trou”

Le Trou (Rialto) (reissue)

$7,500 in 1 theater; PTA: $7,500

Jacques Becker’s classic 1960 prison escape story opened in New York to the usual restoration results, including some good media attention that will elevate this in its future multi-venue presentations.

What comes next: The usual niche theaters in major cities should see play for this ahead.

“The Beguiled”

Week Two

The Beguiled (Focus)

$3,260,000 in 674 theaters (+670); PTA: $4,836; Cumulative: $3,579,000

After its very strong platform opening, Sofia Coppola’s Civil War gothic drama expanded quickly to impressive initial national results. Smartly building on the auteur director’s marquee draw, its Cannes showings (and the Best Director prize) along with its cast, this has enjoyed two successful weekends to set it up for bigger things.

The best recent comparison is to Focus’ “The Zookeeper’s Wife.” That Holocaust drama also had a credible cast (led by Jessica Chastain) but lesser reviews with an initial week’s release of fewer theaters (541) resulted in a slightly higher gross of $3.3 million.

This was good enough for a #8 overall position. That will help elevate the drama even more to compete for theaters in the heart of the summer. We’ll need another weekend to gauge how big a breakout this could be, but at this point it is positioned to perform at the same high teens level reached by “Zookeeper.”

“The Big Sick”

The Big Sick (Lionsgate)

$1,672,000 in 71 theaters (+66); PTA: $23,552; Cumulative: $2,229,000

A very strong second weekend expansion for this culture clash family comedy/drama continues to promise a significant crossover appeal as it grows. The numbers are in the range of top late-year Oscar contenders, standing somewhere between “Manchester By the Sea” (also an Amazon Studio film) and “Moonlight,” both of which did quite well in somewhat fewer theaters their second weekend. This will break nationally on July 14.

The Bad Batch (Neon); also available on Video on Demand

$27,736 in 46 theaters (+16); PTA: $603; Cumulative: $146,810

Ana Lily Amirpour’s latest genre-oriented film continued its theatrical run while streaming with minor results.

My Journey Through French Cinema (Cohen)

$4,979 in 2 theaters (-1); PTA: $2,490; Cumulative: $26,762

Bertrand Tavernier’s travels through his country’s film past continued in New York and Los Angeles for not bad results for its nearly four hour length.

Food Evolution (Abramorama)

$2,744 in 2 theaters (+1); PTA: $1,372; Cumulative: $7,057

Los Angeles added on to the release of this doc about GMOs. The results continue to be minor.

Ongoing/expanding (grosses over $50,000 in under 1,000 theaters)

Beatriz at Dinner (Roadside Attractions) Week 4

$1,190,000 in 683 theaters (+192); Cumulative: $4,474,000

Miguel Arteta’s film about two disparate worlds clashing over dinner continues its run with more theaters. Roadside smartly got this out ahead of a wave of strong specialized/older audience releases; they will end up with a gross somewhere over $7 million.

The Hero (The Orchard) Week 4

$920,315 in 401 theaters (+320);  Cumulative: $2,117,000

Sam Elliott’s turn as an actor reflecting on his career and life had a big jump in theaters this week positive results. It had a 50 per cent Saturday night jump, suggesting strong response from its intended older audience.

The Book of Henry (Focus) Week 3

$270,545 in 363 theaters (-287); Cumulative: $3,870,000

Colin Trevorrow’s return to small-scale work between his “Jurassic World” and “Star Wars” assignments is quickly fading after a disappointing release.

Paris Can Wait (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 8

$269,498 in 214 theaters (-194);  Cumulative: $4,710,000

Eleanor Coppola’s French-set romance is winding down as her daughter Sofia’s “The Beguiled” takes off. Its total results could see it approach a respectable $6 million.

READ MORE: How the Coppola Family Dynasty Makes Movies Together

Maudie (Sony Pictures Classics) Week 7

$98,581 in 32 theaters (+4); Cumulative: $2,931,000 (U.S. cumulative: $315,448)

This biopic about an eccentric Newfoundland artist (Oscar contender Sally Hawkins) continues its slow expansion (its third week in U.S. release after an earlier opening strong Canadian specialized result) with modest results.

The Exception (A24) Week 4

$101,904 in 48 theaters (no change); Cumulative: $393,054

Excellent hold with the same theater count for this recreation of an encounter between the exiled German Kaiser and Nazi power in the days before World War II.

The Women’s Balcony (Menemsha) Week 18

$66,647 in 26 theaters (-8);  Cumulative: $741,353

This Israeli orthodox-community crisis drama continues to add to its impressive total now in its fifth month of slow national releases.

My Cousin Rachel (Fox Searchlight) Week 5

$55,000 in 61 theaters (-102);  Cumulative: $2,585,000

Disappointing throughout its run, this Rachel Weisz gothic mystery is running out of gas earlier than expected.

Also noted:

Chasing Trane (Abramorama) – $14,762 in 7 theaters; Cumulative: $363,061

Source: IndieWire film

July 2, 2017

The Greatest Rolling Shutter Demo EVER! Why Are Vertical Lines Crooked In My Video?

There are a lot of <b>Rolling Shutter Demo</b> videos around the web, but this one from SmarterEveryDay is #11 on the youtube trending list and I just had to …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

June 30, 2017

8 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN YOUR DATA VISUALIZATION AGENCY

This article originally appeared on Column Five.

Data visualization is an incredibly valuable tool for marketers. It helps you communicate important insights in a visual way, helping you deliver your message more impactfully. But not everyone does data design right—even if they say they do. A good data visualization agency knows data is about more than charts and graphs; it’s about bringing your data to life.

HOW TO FIND A DATA VISUALIZATION AGENCY

To make the hunt a little easier, here are 8 great questions to ask to help narrow down your search for the right data visualization agency.

1) DO THEY DEMONSTRATE THEIR DATA EXPERTISE?

Many agencies can churn out an infographic, but a great data visualization agency knows the fundamentals of data. They don’t just design; they can analyze and dig into the data to uncover interesting insights. They should also demonstrate that knowledge and share their knowledge and expertise freely. You want to know you’re working with true experts.

2) DO THEY TURN DATA INTO STORIES?

Data analysis is only step one of creating a great data visualization. Turning those insights into a solid narrative and using data visualization to support that narrative is what will make your project truly successful. You don’t just want a data visualization agency to plug your data into a design program. You want them to help you create the most impactful narrative possible.

3) DO THEY DESIGN DATA ACCORDING TO BEST PRACTICES?

Now here’s where a lot of agencies fall short. Yes, you can design a chart. Yes, you can add a pretty illustration. But this is not what true data visualization is.

The entire point of the art is to make data as comprehensible as possible, to present it in the most easy-to-digest format. There are subtle but very effective ways to do this. The way you label, order, or use color can help or hurt your data visualization. (You can find out more about best practices in the Data Visualization 101 e-book from our sister company, Visage.) Ask them about their data design philosophy to get a sense of how they approach it.

4) DO THEY WORK IN DIFFERENT MEDIUMS?

There are many ways to present data visualizations, including infographics, interactive experiences, video, and more. The format you choose is informed by your data story, which is why it’s so important to work with someone well-versed in data storytelling. They should be able to design whatever the data requires.

5) HAVE THEY CREATED SIMILAR WORK BEFORE?

If you have a specific idea in mind, you want to work with a data visualization agency that has the skills and experience to execute it for you. (You also want someone who can tell you if your idea doesn’t serve the data well.) Take a look at their portfolio to see if they’ve created similar work or have experience with similar clients or industries.

6) DO THEY HAVE A GOOD RESPONSE WHEN YOU ASK THEM WHAT THEIR FAVORITE TYPE OF CHART IS?

You want to work with people who are passionate about their craft. Asking this question will give you a sense of their knowledge and enthusiasm for data visualization. Trust us, any self-respecting data nerd will have an answer. (And if you want to hear some very strong opinions, you might also ask them which side of the pie chart debate they’re on.)

7) WHAT RECENT PIECE OF WORK ARE THEY PARTICULARLY PROUD OF, AND WHY?

You can comb through their portfolio to get a sense of what they do, but if you aren’t the most data literate person, it’s likely you’ll miss the nuance and craftsmanship that goes into a strong data visualization. Having them explain their thought process behind a design or what they did to help enhance comprehension will give you a sense of their creative process and problem-solving skills.

6) DO THEY HAVE THOROUGH AND THOUGHTFUL PROCESSES?

There are a lot of moving parts in a major data visualization project. Content needs approval, brand guidelines needs to be communicated, data need to be double-checked. If these responsibilities are unclear, if they fall through the cracks, or are ignored completely, it can affect the quality—and credibility—of your data visualization. Make sure you are clear on how they work, and how they expect to work together with you.

7) ARE THEY TRANSPARENT WITH YOU?

You want a creative partner you can rely on to produce good-quality work. If they seem less than confident, if their pricing is murky, or if you get a general bad vibe, it’s best to move on. Again, a lot of agencies claim that they can do any data visualization, but it is a very specific skillset that requires true expertise.

8) DO THEY APPROACH PROJECTS AS COLLABORATIVE?

You don’t want an antagonistic partner, but you don’t want a total yes-man either. A great piece of data visualization happens when the best ideas make it to the front—regardless of ego. If you have a great design suggestion, they should be open to it. If you’re heading in the wrong direction, you want them to tell you so. The goal is the best project possible. Work with a data visualization agency that puts that value above all else.

REMEMBER: YOU WANT A PARTNER

When looking for the right data visualization agency, don’t look for a gun for hire. You want an intelligent, thoughtful, creative partner to help bring your vision to life and steer you in the right direction.

To learn more about the value of data visualization, learn more about why data-driven storytelling helps brands, find out what 9 great sources of data you should be using, and learn about why our brains love data visualization.

Source: Visual News

June 29, 2017

SXSW Film Festival Favorite The Big Sick In Theaters Now

“You know, when I heard the story of their romance and their relationship, I just felt this would make an incredible movie,” said Producer Judd Apatow.

Kumail Nanjiani and Apatow met at SXSW in 2012 and that is where the seeds for The Big Sick began to grow. The last week of 2016, Apatow posted about the experience on his Instagram page, “The week Girls premiered five years ago. I did Pete Holmes‘ podcast with Chris Gethard and Kumail. I didn’t know these three men. In 2016, I got to work with Pete on Crashing for HBO, Chris’ one man show Career Suicide also for HBO and Kumail’s movie The Big Sick. You will see all of those projects in 2017. I am glad Pete’s manager Dave Rath strong armed me into doing the You Made It Weird podcast. It was meant to be. Or I am lazy about meeting people to work with.”

The Big Sick is based on the real-life courtship between Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon (script co-writers), and tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail, who connects with grad student Emily after one of his standup sets.

The film is directed by Michael Showalter, who co-wrote and directed the SXSW 2015 Audience Award-winning film Hello, My Name Is Doris. Apatow and Barry Mendel serve as producers, both of whom have had several projects screen at the SXSW Film Festival including Knocked Up (2007) Girls (2012), God Help the Girl (2014), Trainwreck (2015), and Pee-wee’s Big Holiday (2016). Apatow also had a cameo in James Franco’s The Disaster Artist (2017). Additionally, two features Apatow had at the festival this year, May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers and The Big Sick won Audience Award accolades.

Be sure to check out our Q&A with Apatow, Mendel, Gordon and Nanjiani below, moderated by SXSW Director of Film Janet Pierson. Comedian Hannibal Buress also makes a surprise appearance!

Explore More Content From SXSW 2017

Get inspired by a multitude of diverse visionaries at SXSW – browse more 2017 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage, recaps, late-breaking announcements, and updates.

The post SXSW Film Festival Favorite The Big Sick In Theaters Now appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film

June 29, 2017

5 Essential Settings You Need To Double Check Before Shooting Video On Your DSLR (Or Cinema Camera)

Learning to shoot video takes a lot of trial and error, and can be frustrating to say the least. When you’re just starting out you’re more likely …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

June 28, 2017

Watch: What Makes a 'Cinematic' Image? Cinematographers Try to Explain

Cinematographers attempt to define that X factor that makes an image ‘cinematic.'<p>Filmmakers and audiences have struggled to define “cinematic” since …
Source: CW’s Flipboard Feed

June 28, 2017

2017 SXSW Film Festival Headliner Baby Driver In Theaters Now

“There’s no way to describe it and that just says, it’s a unique, special movie. You haven’t seen something like this before,” said cast member Eiza González.

Baby Driver takes audiences on a dramatically charged ride fueled by car chases, young love, and a high octane soundtrack spanning era and genre. The film has a standout ensemble cast including: Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Jon Bernthal, Eiza González, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Foxx.

Edgar Wright is best known for co-writing and directing Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The World’s End. Wright was previously at SXSW for Attack the Block (2011), where he served as a producer.

Baby Driver took our SXSW patrons by storm, see why this film won our Audience Award – Headliner by watching it in theaters starting today! Read our interview with Wright below, as he discusses why he made this thrilling joyride of a movie.

Q: Tell us a little about your film?

EW: It’s a car movie that is driven by music.

Q: What motivated you to tell this story?

EW: Twenty four years ago, I became obsessed with the rock song “Bellbottoms” by Jon Spencer. I dreamt up the opening scene of what was to become Baby Driver while listening to the song obsessively. Now I’ve finally made the action movie set to music that was rattling around in my head for the last two decades and I’m excited to share it with the festival.

Q: What do you want the audience to take away from this film?

EW: It was made to be seen large and played loud, so I hope the audience have as much of a blast watching it as we had creating it.

Lastly, check out coverage from the world premiere, including scenes from the red carpet and a Q&A with Wright and the cast, moderated by Austin’s own, Robert Rodriguez.

Explore More Content From SXSW 2017

Get inspired by a multitude of diverse visionaries at SXSW – browse more 2017 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SXSW News for the latest SXSW coverage, recaps, late-breaking announcements, and updates.

SXSW 2017 World Premiere of Baby Driver – Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW

The post 2017 SXSW Film Festival Headliner Baby Driver In Theaters Now appeared first on SXSW.

Source: SxSW Film