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Category : On Film


Kubrick brainstorms subtitles for Dr Strangelove

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Soon after completing Lolita in 1962, Stanley Kubrick, Peter George and Terry Southern took a straight-laced Cold War thriller novel published in 1958 as Red Alert, renamed all the characters for maximum absurdity, and created the satiric masterpiece Dr. Strangelove.  But Kubrick needed a subtitle to give the movie a mockumentary sting. By the 1960s, the formula for non-fiction subtitles was well-entrenched.  Among the biggest self-help bestsellers in mid-century American bookstores…


Oscars Postmortem: A Tribute to Roger Deakins

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by Marshall Flores When the 85th Academy Awards concluded, the final distribution of winners generally reflected the patterns of years past. A few won their second or third statuettes, others received their first trophies, and most walked home empty handed, some for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, that last group included perpetual Oscar also-rans like composer Thomas Newman, sound mixer Greg P. Russell, and cinematographer Roger Deakins. Deakins, the longtime director…


Life of Pi, opening shots to open the mind

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    Music moves me – duh – and that is like having a window opening on a heightened reality, but the effect is fleeting: When the music ends, the magic, the uplifting, vanishes and the window slams shut. Words, on the other hand, by the nature of how they work, emotions evoked by dint of carefully laid out thoughts, have a more lingering effect. — Yann Martel Enter the…


Lincoln, Spielberg and the Seeds of Time

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“If you can look into the seeds of time, And say which grain will grow and which will not, Speak then to me.” Twice during Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, a collection of glass plate photographs are featured. Lincoln’s son, 10-year-old Tad, is preoccupied with studying these photos, some of which preserve the images of African-American boys close to his own age. When President Lincoln comes upon Tad asleep by the fireplace…


Inocente, Buzkashi Boys, Curfew, Adam and Dog, Paperman – My Favorite Shorts

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When the Oscar race starts to get me down as it does every year when it’s finalized and put to bed — for most it’s just another day, another contest, another Super Bowl. For me, it’s recorded history that I then sift through the following year to try to make sense of it. I always think of it like heading into the Grizzly Maze in hopes that I can remain…