Dolly Zoom Shot

Though you may not know it by name, you’ve undoubtedly seen the dolly zoom (or push pull) shot used in countless movies. It’s the shot that looks like it’s zooming in on something while everything else in the background seems to be getting farther away.

Don’t worry if you can’t picture what this shot looks like on screen, because a new video essay from Vashi Visuals takes a look at 23 versions of the shot throughout the history of cinema. And thankfully, he begins with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, the film that made the dolly zoom shot famous. Read More »


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Everything is a Remix Remastered

A few years ago, we featured some segments from a little video series called Everything is a Remix, a video essay of sorts that showed movie lovers that Quentin Tarantino isn’t the only filmmaker who steals stuff from other movies to make new films. In fact, every single artist, whether they’re authors, musicians or filmmakers, have borrowed something old to make something new.

It’s actually been five years since Kirby Ferguson began this video series examining how the entertainment world has been remixing and repurposing familiar stories, characters, images and more for years. So for the fifth anniversary of his insightful endeavor, Ferguson has delivered Everything is a Remix Remastered, assembling all four parts of his exploration of the repetitive nature of entertainment into one high-definition video. Read More »

The Visit trailer

I was skeptical but hopeful when I first heard about M. Night Shyamalan’s new low-budget found-footage film, The Visit. With The Happening, After Earth, and The Last Airbender, Shyamalan has demonstrated not only a decline in his ability to draw big box office, but also an inability to write or direct basic scenes competently.

But with The Visit, Shyamalan not only proves he still he has the skills to thrill us — he also knows how to mine absurd and horrifying situations for humor and humanity. Watch my full video review of the film after the break.
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Star Wars Poetry

In the months leading up to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there’s been some renewed bashing of the prequels, mostly because they feel so far removed from the original trilogy. From the visual effects to the storytelling, there’s just something about the prequels that feels off.

However, by using clips from the original trilogy and the prequels compared to each other and played simultaneously, a new video called Star Wars Poetry shows how the prequels share more similarities with the original trilogy than you might think. Specifically, between the two trilogies, visual symmetry becomes apparent and even impressive. Read More »

aspect ratio video essay

We’ve previously featured a video essay that dove into the history of aspect ratios in cinema and how they’ve changed in the relatively short history of filmmaking. But beyond the technical changes and differences, varying aspect ratios are now used to not only change the aesthetic of any given film, or even a specific scene or sequence, but to also create a different emotional effect within the viewer.

A new aspect ratio video essay takes a look at some of the different thematic effects that come from changes in aspect ratio, illustrating how they are used to invoke certain feelings or perspectives. This ranges from transporting viewers back in time to a more old fashioned way of life in The Grand Budapest Hotel to glamorizing a memory in (500) Days of Summer to giving an epic scope to action happening on screen in Interstellar. Read More »

Clickhole Dark Knight

Since we’re obsessed with all things cinema, we love stumbling across a good video essay that takes a closer look at a good movie. There’s no better way to examine a movie than in a medium that allows us to actually see clips from the movie being discussed as they’re being explained. But some movies have been examined so thoroughly that there doesn’t seem to be much else to discover.

One of those movies seemed to be The Dark Knight, which has been poked and prodded to death all over the internet. But the folks at Clickhole have just blown our minds by peeling away even more layers in Christopher Nolan‘s superhero sequel. The movie is still packed with hidden secrets and insane trivia you might have missed the first time through. The Clickhole Dark Knight video essay will change the way you watch the movie forever. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Opening Shots in Movies

Even though it may be forgotten by the time you’re done watching a movie for the first time, the opening shot of any movie is integral to introducing the audience to the world and/or characters they’re about to watch for a little while.

It may not seem like a single shot can do much to accurately prepare viewers for the movie they’re about to see, but a new video essay from Now You See It explains how opening shots in movies can tell you a lot about the story you’re about to see unfold. Read More »

X-Men Days of Future Past comic book movie comparison

In an exciting meshing of old and new franchise stars, X-Men: Days of Future Past effectively rebooted the comic book franchise again, complete with a new timeline that retconned the old one, and brought all your favorite characters who died in the original trilogy back from the dead.

And while the title and basic storyline is lifted directly from a Marvel story arc in the mutant comic book series, there are a significant number of differences between the comic book and the movie, and we’re not just talking little nitpick details here and there. For example, perhaps the biggest change is sending Wolverine back in time in the movie instead of the time-traveler being Kitty Pryde as it is in the comics.

If you want to know more about how the movie differs from the comic book, check out the latest 15-minute installment of What’s the Difference?, an X-Men Days of Future Past comic book movie comparison. Watch below! Read More »

Artificial Intelligence video essay

While some movies are immediately beloved and acclaimed, destined to be one of the films we talk about every year for decades, others come and go without much pomp and circumstance. One of those movies seems to have been A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the former Stanley Kubrick project that was completed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2001.

The film certainly wasn’t a dud, but it wasn’t universally acclaimed either. At the time, Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t used as a reference point for the quality of a movie, but retrospectively, it has a 73%, which is a decent score for such a dense, wandering sci-fi fairytale of sorts.

Over the years, as the film has gotten older, some critics and bloggers have revisited the film, finding it to even improve with age and reexamination. And that’s just what a new video has done, examining the film in a 15-minute visual study. Watch the Artificial Intelligence video essay after the jump! Read More »