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Is Michael Moore’s Documentary Propaganda?

By Michael Russnow Mr. Moore is more of a propagandist, and while most of what he portrays is technically true his editing and narrative are in large part misleading. It’s the old chestnut of whether an omission is actually a lie, and I believe it is a lie if what’s omitted[...]

Quentin Tarantino: “The Hateful Eight” is a Bloated Film

By Michael Russnow Quentin is an intriguing writer, who creates characters different from many we’ve seen and imbues them with personalities and fascinating incidental dialogue that gives three dimension to what they’re all about. The problem with this film is that there is so much attention paid to each character and[...]

Always Unusual Face for Best Original Song Features Lady Gaga, Eminem as Contenders

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” “Moon River.” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” “Lose Yourself.” There’s no question that original songs that began in movies have become iconic pieces of both composing and filmmaking. And yet the Academy Award for Best Original Song is frequently one of Oscar’s most derided categories. To[...]

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Martian” Battle Out for Best Sound Mixing Oscar

Charlie Chaplin believed that sound was a fad that would disappear from movies after a short time period. He may have been a genius, but he sure wasn’t right about that. Today, it is hard to imagine most movies without sound. Dialogue obviously recreates the experience of most people’s lives.[...]

An Interview with Jake Roberts: Can He Ride the “Brooklyn” Wave to a First Oscar Nomination for Best Film Editing?

John Crowley’s “Brooklyn” is currently delighting critics and audiences. Saoirse Ronan’s triumph yesterday at the New York Film Critics Circle is likely the beginning of a solid run for the film through Oscar season. The changing time periods, locations and moods required a sharp but subtle editor. Enter Jake Roberts,[...]

“Brooklyn” and “Carol” Seek to Bring 1950s New York to the Top of the Oscar Race for Best Visual Effects

Last week, I wrote about how visual effects can help an audience escape into another world in a film. A movie’s sets can do the same thing, convincing the audience that it is in the same world as the characters, regardless of that world’s time period or geographic location. Indeed,[...]

Summer Blockbusters Take On Late Year Prestige in the Race for Best Visual Effects

Who doesn’t go to the movies to escape? That escape is frequently provided merely through amazing comedy and/or drama. But a certain spectacle never hurts. Amazing visual effects not only help in this regard, but studios frequently find themselves selling a movie’s effects before its stars or its story. No[...]

Oscars: Johnny Depp to Get Kudos from Palm Springs Film Fest

The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Johnny Depp with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor at its annual Awards Gala for his performance in “Black Mass.” Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. The Awards Gala, hosted by Mary[...]

Hollywood Contenders: Will transitioning Eddie Redmayne lead to Oscar glory for “The Danish Girl” in Best Makeup & Hairstyling?

Actors are chameleons, by their nature masters in convincingly becoming other people. But actors can only go so far in persuading an audience that they are from a different galaxy, are actually a different species, lived hundreds of years ago, have become seriously disfigured, and/or are 40 years older than[...]

Hollywood Contenders: Shining a “Spotlight” on the Films Trying to Make the Cut for Best Film Editing

Why are our films not all three hours long? How do some films that are that long manage to grip us nonetheless? Why do some films with seemingly dull plots manage to enthrall from start to finish? How does a narrative of a film get put together post-shooting? The answers[...]
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