Has any filmmaker, of any era, had more influence on documentaries than Dziga Vertov? We know the early 20th-century Soviet cinema theorist and director of avant-garde non-fiction films has a place high in the documentary pantheon by virtue of his 1929 Man with a Movie Camera alone.
On his Vimeo page, Jacob T. Swinney frames his pretty remarkable supercut with these words: What can we learn by examining only the first and final shot of a film? This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side.
None of the countless science fiction movies and documentaries about the future of humanity I've ever seen were as inspiring, beautiful, and realistic as this extraordinary short film by Erik Wernquist, narrated by Carl Sagan. Watch it and get ready for goosebumps.
It’s a sad fact that the vast majority of silent movies in Japan have been lost thanks to human carelessness, earthquakes and the grim efficiency of the United States Air Force. The first films of hugely important figures like Kenji Mizoguchi, Yasujiro Ozu, and Hiroshi Shimizu have simply vanished.
If you have watched any movie by Jean-Luc Godard you know that he’s never been one to hide behind the façade of film narrative. His movies are personal. Sure they are also intellectually demanding, unabashedly political, and occasionally impenetrable but they are definitely personal.
Following Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” Jim Jarmusch’s new film, “Only Lovers Left Alive,” is the second-most-intensely curated movie of the season, starting with its first images, in which a galaxy of stars morphs into the spinning, gleaming groove of a vintage rock 45 on a turntable. The rest of the movie only deepens the mystical sense of the cosmos condensed into the well-chosen work of art—and the vintage fetish object that embodies it. The first dramatic scene is a guitar lov
In 1913, Germany, flush with a new nation’s patriotic zeal, looked like it might become the dominant nation of Europe and a real rival to that global superpower Great Britain. Then it hit the buzzsaw of World War I.
One thing that bothers Terry Gilliam about Hollywood is the pressure it exerts on filmmakers to resolve their stories into happy endings. In this interesting clip, Gilliam makes his point by comparing the work of Steven Spielberg--perhaps the quintessential Hollywood director--with that of Stanley Kubrick, who, like Gilliam, steered clear of Hollywood and lived a life of exile in England.
If you've taken a film studies course, you've almost certainly seen the work of Georges Méliès. His 1902 short A Trip to the Moon, at the top, which some cinema scholars cite as the picture where special effects as we know them began, has a particularly important place in cinema history.
When people watch a movie together their brain activity is, to a remarkable degree, synchronized. It's a slightly creepy thought. It's also a testament to the captivating power of cinema, says Uri Hasson, a psychologist at Princeton University.
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