Academy Awards Diversity Nominations Numbers

Despite the snafu in announcing this year’s winner for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, the fact that Moonlight came out on top after La La Land dominated the awards circuit all season is a big deal. It shows that Oscar voters may finally be embracing diversity in a big way, and not in a way that’s pandering to minorities. They’re just finally starting to recognize more bold and diverse movies, filmmakers, actors and more. But they have a long way to go.

For the 89th Academy Awards, there were 27 total minority nominations. That’s fantastic, but the fact is that there is still a of work to be done. A new video essay takes a look at the stark contrast in numbers between white nominees and minority nominees, and it should come as no surprise that one is favored far more often.

Watch the video essay on Academy Awards diversity nominations numbers below. Read More »

When Harry Met Sally Video Essay

Romantic comedies where a man and a woman who are at odds eventually fall in love are a dime a dozen. That’s a story that has been kicked around Hollywood for decades, but audiences keep eating it up. More often than not, nothing new is brought to the table in these movies, but in the case of When Harry Met Sally in 1989, director Rob Reiner and writer Nora Ephron crafted a romantic comedy that adhered to the conventions of the genre but also played with them in a new way.

A new video essay from the Lessons from a Screenplay YouTube channel breaks down how When Harry Met Sally succeeds where many romantic comedies fail, proving why the film is one of the most highly respected, praised and imitated in the genre. Watch the When Harry Met Sally video essay below. Read More »

the dark knight michael mann influences

If you ask me, Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight is a masterwork, not just as a superhero movie but as a film. But like most great filmmakers, Nolan wears his film influences on his sleeves, and it’s very evident in his work. We’ve talked previously about how Nolan’s love for the James Bond franchise has shown up in his films from time to time (For instance, The Dark Knight Rises opening sequence was clearly inspired by 1989’s Licence to Kill). A new video essay presents scenes from director Michael Mann‘s films side by side with sequences from Nolan’s work on The Dark Knight.

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Inside Out - Editing An Animated Movie

Everyone knows that the job of an editor on any movie is to take all the footage that was shot during production and attempt to assemble it into the motion picture that we’ll see playing on the big screen in front of us. But when it comes to an animated movie, what exactly does an editor do?

The process of editing an animated film is far different from editing a movie that was shot on camera, and it’s actually even more in depth than what we’re used to an editor doing on your average film. That’s because, as a new video essay explains, animated films are basically edited first, and then have all the footage “shot” after that process is done.

Find out more about the job of an animated movie editor after the jump. Read More »

Science of Arrival

Not only is Arrival one of the best films of the year, it’s also a thoughtful sci-fi film that takes an intellectual approach to the arrival of extra terrestrial life on our planet. There’s a lot of talk about real science and linguistics. But this is a Hollywood movie, and sometimes liberties must be taken with real science for a filmmaker to tell the story they want to tell.

However, in the case of Arrival, it sounds like they actually stayed pretty close to real scientific theories, practices and more in order to tell a grounded story of having close encounters with alien life. In a recent episode of Science vs Cinema, the web series takes a closer look at all the real science on display in Denis Villeneuve‘s movie. But beware, there are some major spoilers for the movie, so don’t watch or read below if you haven’t seen it yet. Read More »

Epidemic of Passable Movies

For every great movie that’s out there, a movie comes along that is downright terrible. However, the creator of a new video essay thinks that it’s far worse when a movie doesn’t fall into either category, but is merely a passable, mediocre piece of work.

The YouTube channel Nerdwriter has put together a video breaking down what he calls an “epidemic of passable movies.” In the essay, he points out some of the big problems in movies that many deem as just being okay, and most of his argument comes down to how movies portray their characters and how they interact with the world around them. Read More »

Star Wars Rogue One - Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, K-2SO

Imagine a world where the Star Wars prequels never existed. If instead of Episodes I-III, we got Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, there would be a lot fewer adults disenchanted with the world of Star Wars today (not that the franchise is currently wanting for fans). Rogue One does so much right when it comes to filling in the gaps before Episode IV that it’s easy to overlook some of its flaws. It’s that rare prequel that actually makes the film that follows it more impactful and emotionally resonant. It is a thrilling, ambitious, and occasionally spectacular experience that takes the Star Wars franchise in exciting new directions.

That’s not to say the film doesn’t have its flaws though, which include a bit too much ambition when it comes to introducing side characters. But fans of Star Wars will find that this movie not only honors their memories of the original films, it also has enough memorable moments, characters, and ideas to make the journey worthwhile. Hit the jump to see my full video review of Rogue One and see the rest of our coverage here.
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VOTD: Every Story Is The Same [Video Essay]

Every Story is The Same

It’s now been six years since Kirby Ferguson released his Everything Is A Remix video series showing how the visual media of film and television have always borrowed from what came before them. Now a new video essay helps illustrate how this is also the case with storytelling across all sorts of media.

If you’ve ever had more than a passing interest in narrative storytelling, then you’ve probably heard of the concept of The Hero’s Journey. Coined by Joseph Campbell, it’s the general template for any given story where our hero ventures out from home on some kind of an adventure, encounters obstacles to overcome, and returns a changed person. A new video essay takes a cue from Community and Rick and Morty creator Dan Harmon to break this concept down into even simpler pieces that apply to all kinds of stories, and thus illustrates that all stories are the same at their core. Read More »

Marvel Movies Look Ugly

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of superhero movies, you can’t deny that Marvel Studios has executed their plan to build a cinematic universe containing their comic book characters rather skillfully. Every single movie they release is a hit, even if some of them aren’t critically received very well.

But no matter how good each Marvel Studios movie is, they each have their problems, and many of them share some common issues such as weak villains and non-important female characters existing only assist the major male superheroes. But a new video essay calls attention to what the creator sees as another problem shared by most Marvel movies: they look ugly.

Find out why they think Marvel movies look ugly after the jump. Read More »

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Alternative Movie Posters

If you’re a regular /Film reader, then you know that we love collectible art inspired by film and television. Every single week there’s at least one awesome new piece of artwork paying tribute to the movies and TV shows that we love, and we even have some artists whose work we’re so excited to see. Now one of those artists provides some background in this little niche world of alternative movie posters for those who may not be well-versed in this hobby.

Watch this alternative movie posters video essay after the jump. Read More »