Academy Originals: Title designer Dan Perri explains how he designed movie titles for films such as “Star Wars,” “The Exorcist,” and “Raging Bull.”
City Absurdia: A video essay on how American cinema uses the hero–villain–damsel dynamic as a propaganda tool since The Birth of a Nation.
“To look at the Vietnam war through the lens of American cinema, you would have to believe that the war was one inflicted upon young white men by older white men, not one inflicted on a poor nation of farmers by a militarised superpower.”
After surprising audiences with numerous cinematic twists over the years, Paramount Pictures and J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot have pulled another fast one on fans with the trailer release of the studio’s mystery movie, which is tied to another Abrams hit.
During the casting process, the project was first titled “The Cellar” and then changed halfway through pre-production to “Valencia” before taking on it’s final name, revealing it to be “a blood relative of ‘Cloverfield.’” — Variety
The Inception foghorn; the bass drop; the ominous voiceover; the montage; the final gag.
Screen Rant: Nothing gets movie fans talking like an action packed trailer, which means the first public look at an upcoming film really can mean the difference between a runaway blockbuster and a box office disappointment. It’s not all that shocking that movie trailers – just like movie posters – have become an exact science, with the same colors, poses, and tricks used by every major studio. But once you take a closer look at blockbuster trailers, you may be surprised at just how similar they really are. Here are Screen Rant’s 5 Ways Movie Trailers Are All The Same.
This contemporary review of the first Star Wars movie for Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine by Samuel R. Delany is fascinating.
I’m posting this about five hours before I go to see The Force Awakens, which if nothing else I expect to be a blisteringly fast film based on director J.J. Abrams previous two Star Trek films. So it’s really interesting to me how Delaney describes the original Star Wars as “about the fastest two-hour film I’ve ever seen”. By modern standards — and even by the standards of the other Star Wars films — the first installment seems quite slow.
It’s also assuring to see that from the very outset critics like Delaney were calling Star Wars out for it’s lack of human racial diversity and gender equality.
by Samuel R. Delany
My first reactions as the final credits rose on the screen? “Now what happens?” – which is to say George (American Grafitti and THX-1138) Lucas’s Star Wars is about the fastest two-hour film I’ve ever seen: I thought I’d been in the theater maybe twenty-five minutes.
THX, if you’ll recall, looked like it was sired by Godard’s Contempt out of the space station sequence in Kubrick’s 2001 – i.e. it was basically white, white-on-white, and then more white. What is the visual texture of Star Wars?
Two moons shimmer in the heat above the horizon, and the desert evening fades to purple rather than blue; into the starry black, huge and/or hopelessly complex artifacts flicker, flash, spin, turn, or merely progress with ponderous motion; indoors is all machinery, some old, some new; while plastic storm troopers and dull grey generals meet and march; circus-putty aliens drink in a bar where what appears to be an automatic still gleams in the background with tarnished copper tubing; some of the spaceships are new and shiny, some are old and battered (and you get pretty good at telling the difference between the two).
Since the beginning of time people are fascinated by stories of hero’s. But did you know there is a fundamental structure that’s lies beneath all these tales of fantasy. Joseph Campbell, a famous mythologist, was the first to discover similarities within all ancient myths. He called it the Monomyth. According to him there are 17 stages in which every hero has to walk through one way or the other. In the hero’s journey 12 of these stages are visualized by using iconic blockbuster movies that follow the same structure of storytelling.