“Because we are human, because we are bound by gravity and the limitations of our bodies, because we live in a world where the news is often bad and the prospects disturbing, there is a need for another world somewhere, a world where Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers live.”
– Roger Ebert
Alfonso Cuarón’s newest film Gravity is a masterpiece. Roger Ebert’s quote above sums up what’s so special about the film, that it’s truly experiential, a piece of cinema that’s meant to be felt. It seems as though the lack of gravity freed Cuarón’s camera from convention. Long, sprawling scenes are paired with impossible shots to create something unlike anything ever before. The film is seen not only from the vantage of a safe, third party viewer, but also from a first person point of view where you feel the tension and the terror of the characters.
This tension ripples throughout the entire film. At one point you can equate space matter to the sense of dread that rises over you in the beginning of Jaws, as the shark slowly begins to tug at the legs of the unsuspecting skinny dipper. The use of sound, or lack thereof, further heightens this tension as you only hear the breathing of the characters or the gasps of your fellow audience members.
Stanley Kubrick may have said it best: “If it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed.”
Hayao Miyazaki—writer, director, visionary, and all-around creative maestro. I love this man; having not directed a film since 2008′s Ponyo, his absence has been felt. 2013 marks the return (and sadly farewell) of Miyazaki, presenting his most recent piece of cinema, The Wind Rises. Having been out in Japan since July, it’s now making the festival rounds this part of the world (slated for western release February 2014). I had the pleasure of watching The Wind Rises at the 51st New York Film Festival last week. It was beautiful, it was captivating, and it left me walking away thinking, which is exactly what a good film should achieve.
What if, on any random day, you were suddenly strike by a giant meteor… that no one saw? And let’s say the meteor spatially moved your physical form 91cm away from where it should be? Would anyone believe you? Or would everyone think you’re crazy?
That’s the idea behind this short film by Jeremy Clapin called Skhizein. It’s kind of an odd story, but that’s also why it’s so charming. Plus the animation is extremely well done, especially the details of the main character charting out his perceived world in his apartment. Just watch it, you’ll understand.
You’ve gotta love Spike Jonze. He’s back with a new film called Her, about a lonely man named Theodore Twombly who finds companionship in a futuristic, Siri-like operating system. I love everything about this trailer – the cast, the music, the cinematography – I think it’s going to be a gem.
Set in Los Angeles, slightly in the future, “her” follows Theodore Twombly, a complex, soulful man who makes his living writing touching, personal letters for other people. Heartbroken after the end of a long relationship, he becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system, which promises to be an intuitive entity in its own right, individual to each user. Upon initiating it, he is delighted to meet “Samantha,” a bright, female voice, who is insightful, sensitive and surprisingly funny. As her needs and desires grow, in tandem with his own, their friendship deepens into an eventual love for each other. From the unique perspective of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Jonze comes an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and the risks—of intimacy in the modern world.
It should be noted that we are fans of the directing duo Wriggles and Robins, aka Tom Wrigglesworth and Matt Robinson. Bobby first posted about Wrigglesworth’s (with Mathiew Cuvelier) short film, Le Mer de Pianos, back in 2011, and we’ve all continued to anticipate new work ever since. Thus, when W&R’s latest piece of cinematic magic hit our inboxes, we were gleefully flabbergasted as it involved projected animation, warm breath, and the band Travis—not exactly a combination you can easily visualize—and the results are absolutely stunning. We spoke to the duo to find out more.