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Posts Tagged ‘cinematography

“I don’t understand how anyone can become a director without learning the craft of cinematography”*…

 

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Because…

* Nicolas Roeg

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As we noodle on the nanny-cam, we might recall that it was on this date in 1934 that Samuel Goldwyn acquired the film rights to L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  The novel, published in 1900, had become an instant classic, spawning sequels (that continued under the direction of Baum’s widow after his death in 1919), a long-running Broadway musical, and several silent films.  Goldwyn’s version, released in 1939, had modest success at the box office (though it did garner several Oscar nominations–including a Best Song win for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and a special award for Garland as Best Juvenile Performer). Then, in 1956, an estimated 45 million people tuned in to watch the movie’s television debut on the Ford Star Jubilee.  Countless TV airings later, The Wizard of Oz is one of the best-known– and most beloved– films of all time.

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Written by LW

January 26, 2016 at 1:01 am

“In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema”*…

 

METROPOLIS (1927) Shot by Karl Freund, Günther Rittau, & Walter Ruttmann | Director: Fritz Lang

 

Honoring cinema’s past, frame by frame: from @TheGeoffTodd, a Twitter feed that delivers “One Perfect Shot” again and again…

* Alfred Hitchcock

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As we contemplate composition, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that Stagecoach was released…

Stagecoach was a major shifting point both in terms of the careers of its creators and of cinema as a whole. Ford had long failed to get his adaptation of Ernest Haycock’s short story “The Stage to Lordsburg” off the ground because the studios felt that Westerns were purely B-movie fare, the sort of thing best left to Poverty Row. And while Ford’s name is now synonymous with the genre like no other director, he had in fact not made a Western since 1926. Stagecoach finally got made with the help of independent producer Walter Wanger, who suggested Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper for the leads. However, he ultimately bowed to Ford’s preference for Claire Trevor and a relative unknown (and friend of Ford’s) by the name of John Wayne. All the film’s elements – a smart script by Ben Hecht and Dudley Nichols, the striking setting of Monument Valley, a great supporting cast, the exciting action sequences, Ford’s skilled direction, Wayne’s potent presence – combined to make it a hit not only with critics but audiences two. The film grossed $1 million in its first year, and was up for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. From that point on, the Western became an important and respected element of American filmmaking, while Ford and Wayne would reteam many times to solidify their position as its seminal director and star. Stagecoach was also apparently used by Orson Welles as the blueprint of a “perfect movie” while making Citizen Kane, and it rightly remains a classic to this day.

Focus Features

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Written by LW

February 15, 2015 at 1:01 am

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