If you, as a filmgoer, have anything in common with me — and if you happen to live in Los Angeles as well — you've spent the past few weeks excited about the Andrei Tarkovsky double-bill coming up at the Quentin Tarantino-owned New Beverly Cinema.
In the course of just seven feature films – Ivan’s Childhood (1962), Andrei Rublev (1966), Solaris (1972), Mirror (1974), Stalker (1979), Nostalgia (1983) and The Sacrifice (1986) – Andrei Tarkovsky changed what cinema as an artform could achieve. Despite the lack of canonical consensus today as to which filmmakers should be counted as the true greats, one can make this claim about Tarkovsky because many active filmmakers today tell us as much.
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.
Your first day of film school is right around the corner and maybe you’re already thinking about what kind of gear you’ll need to make the most of it. Sure, you’ll most likely get access to a lot of great equipment through your film school, but what if you want to practice framing a shot, lighting an interview subject, or capturing sound on your own?
It may sound redundant, but to many people a Hitchcock film would not be a Hitchcock film without Hitchcock. By this I mean not only Hitchcock’s masterful command of light and shadow, camera movement, and editing, but also the brief, witty appearances of the man himself, in front of the camera.
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.
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