Film Meets Art

Some have criticized Quentin Tarantino for stealing from other movies, but it’s a practice that he’s very open and even proud of, and he should be. For centuries, all the best artists have been inspired by the artists the came before them, and the same can be said of every single filmmaker out there.

While most directors may not borrow as much from other movies as Quentin Tarantino, a video series called Film Meets Art compares movies like There Will Be Blood, Melancholia, Lost in Translation, Empire of the Sun, Inherent Vice and and even Django Unchained to the pieces of art that inspired some of their gorgeous shots.

Watch the Film Meets Art videos after the jump. Read More »

Breaking Bad Ozymandias video essay

This week marks the three-year anniversary of the end of Breaking Bad — which seems crazy because it feels like in that time, we’ve never stopped talking about it. While lots of great shows have run out of steam or even faded into obscurity by the end, Breaking Bad stayed strong through the finish, delivering one of the most satisfying endgames in recent memory.

For my money, though, that final season peaked not with the actual finale, “Felina,” but the third-to-last episode, “Ozymandias.” That’s the one where all the chickens come home to roost, where Walt finds that even his brilliance can’t keep his many misdeeds from rippling outward to everyone he cares about. And it’s the subject of a new video essay that delves into why, exactly, “Ozymandias” was so effective. Watch it below.  Read More »

VOTD: What Makes a Good TV Show Title Sequence?

Best TV Show Title Sequences

Right now we’re in a new golden age of television where the programming that’s on our screens at home, whether it’s from networks, cable channels or streaming services, is some of the best quality storytelling right now. And a small part of what makes any television show memorable is a great opening title sequence.

A new video essay takes a look at some of the traits of great title sequences from shows such as Game of Thrones, True Detective, Mad Men, Dexter, Weeds and more, all of which create an ambiance that prepares you for the world you’re about to enter. Within many of the best TV show title sequences lie visual metaphors and themes hinting at the characters and their stories. Read More »

Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye

In 1976, Alan Dean Foster was contracted to ghostwrite a novelization for Star Wars, as well as a second novel which would have been used as a basis for a low-budget sequel to A New Hope in case the film was not successful. Of course, Geroge Lucas’ film opened to great acclaim and massive box office so that Star Wars sequel was never produced.

The novel was instead released in 1978 under the title Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, taking place between A New Hope and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back, making it one of the first pieces of what would become the Star Wars expanded universe. That universe is no longer canonized, but a new video essay takes us back in time for a look at the lot Star Wars sequel. Hit the jump to find out the story behind Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and discover what could have been.
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Back to the Future Chiasmus Theory

Longtime fans of the Back to the Future trilogy know that there are many parallels that run between all three of the films. For example, one of the biggest parallels between all three films is a big chase that happens in the middle of Hill Valley’s town square. There’s also Marty McFly waking up from what he thinks is a dream in every single movie, only to realize that he’s not dreaming when some form of Lea Thompson is in front of him. But it turns out there might be more than just shared sequences, plot points, etc.

A couple years ago, Back to the Future fan Robert Lockard proposed the theory that the entire sci-fi trilogy from director Robert Zemeckis is actually one big chiasmus. What’s a chiasmus? A video explains the Back to the Future chiasmus theory after the jump so you can better understand. Read More »

movie scores

Earlier this week, we posted a video essay that attempted to explain why none of the Marvel Studios movies don’t seem to have an iconic bold, memorable score or theme song. It was the kind of video that everyone appeared to respond to because it expressed a critique we all saw or felt and it introduced a problem that many of us weren’t aware of (that being, how temp music infiltrates a final cut of a movie).

Tony Zhou does a fantastic job with his Every Frame A Painting video series but at the end of the day its just one man’s view on the world of cinema. And the great thing about the internet is that it provides a forum for others to respond. A new video essay explains why temp music is not to blame for Marvel’s score problems and suggests that the rise of digital scoring technology may be responsible for a larger epidemic in Hollywood soundtracks.

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The Avengers

The latest episode of Tony Zhou‘s fantastic video essay series Every Frame a Painting takes a look at one of Marvel Studios’ biggest problems. While Marvel gets a lot of things right that others don’t, one aspect consistently criticised of their films is the lack of iconic theme music. But why hasn’t Marvel been able to produce a movie with a theme song that you can remember? Watch the video now after the jump.
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Violence in Shane Black Movies

There’s no shortage of violence in movies today. Whether it’s superheroes fighting each other, spies being betrayed by their superiors, sentient foods being eaten by people or even frustrated fowl, almost every movie has a little bit of violence. But when it comes to the movies of writer/director Shane Black, there’s probably a little more than usual. However, as a new video essay points out, there’s something special about how the director of The Nice Guys and the writer of Lethal Weapon uses violence in his films.

Watch the video essay on violence in Shane Black movies after the jump. Read More »

Hollywood History

There are plenty of people out there who consider themselves movies buffs just because they watch tons of movies. However, to be a true cinephile, you must have an inherent desire to learn about the history of film, from its early beginnings in silent cinema through the creation of today’s contemporary studio system.

If you’re just now looking to learn more about the relatively short history of Tinseltown, then a new video runs through some of the finer points of the rise and fall of Hollywood, covering each era in a brief but informative way. It’s extremely basic, but it’s the perfect crash course for someone who is just starting to explore film history. Read More »

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Video: Stranger Things Film References Side By Side Comparison

Yes, Stranger Things is very much an homage to the movies of the 1970s and 1980s, but I think it’s a bit too simplistic to say it’s just an Amblin homage. It’s not just another Super 8, and it’s more than repackaged nostalgia. I’m only a handful of episodes into the first season, and it seems that the series is more of a tribute to the cinematic adaptations of Stephen King and the era horror films than Steven Spielberg. Regardless of the inspirations, Stranger Things is must-see television. There aren’t many movies this summer that are more worth your time than this Netflix original series.

Ulysses Thevenon has put together a fantastic four-and-a-half-minute video showing side-by-side comparisons of some of the films that the Duffer Brothers pay homage to in this television show. Hit the jump to watch the Stranger Things Film References Side By Side Comparison video.

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