I talk with Jeff Jensen about how he went from a television writer at Entertainment Weekly to collaborating with Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird on the story for Tomorrowland. I must admit, I planned to go in and talk to Jensen about how the 1952 box was fabricated and how the script influenced the box and how the box influenced the script, but I found myself kind of blindsided with Jensen’s reaction. Jeff continued to pretend that the 1952 box wasn’t a creation of the team behind the film, which threw most of my prepared questions out the window. We still discuss how the box was used to sell executives and early Disney fans on the ideas behind the backstory of the movie.
I talk to Jeff about the early development of the film which saw two dueling ideas, one being a more Harry Potter approach and another more inspired by Close Encounters of the Third Kind. We also talk about the amazing Plus Ultra backstory which didn’t fully make it into the film but can be discovered through the tie-in prequel novel Before Tomorrowland he also wrote. Read all this and more in my Jeff Jensen Tomorrowland interview, after the jump.
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Two of the most promising rising artists in the pop culture art world are teaming up for a massive show. It’s called Influences;Marko Manev and Matt Ferguson are the artists; and the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn, NY is the venue.
The theme is basically just films that have influenced not only these two artists, but pop culture as a whole. That means we’re talking very big properties: Jurassic Park, E.T., Predator, Batman, Total Recall, Flash Gordon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many more. Below, check out a small preview of the show that opens Friday February 28. Read More »
The latest batch of posters from Mondo, the retail outfit associated with the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin TX, is all over the place. Mondo is doing posters for several films playing the SXSW Film Festival in Austin next week, and we’ve already seen images for Paul, Moon and Source Code. Now there are two new SXSW posters: Hobo With a Shotgun and The FP, the latter being a film that premieres at the fest.
And then there is a great image for Steven Spielberg’s early classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Check out info on all the designs after the break. Read More »
Over the weekend the American Cinema Editors (ACE) held their annual awards, where The Social Network, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3 took honors for feature editing in the dramatic, comedy/musical and animated categories.
But the highlight of the night may have been the lifetime achievement award given to Michael Kahn, presented by Steven Spielberg. That award was accompanied by a reel highlighting the master editor’s many credits, and in the spirit of celebrating someone who has been an invaluable but often invisible contributor to many of the films we love, we present the highlight reel after the break. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, August 18th, 2009 by David Chen
In this week’s /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley get flummoxed by Bryan Singer’s decision to reboot Battlestar Galactica, discuss some recent Avatar news, assess the greatness of Ponyo, and try to make sense of some fascinating Superman IP law. Special guest Kyle Newman, the director of Fanboys and the upcoming Emo Boy, joins us for this episode. Also, a surprise visitor drops by to tell us her thoughts on District 9.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Inglourious Basterds.
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Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.
This week’s edition is with the Academy Award winning director of Finding Nemo, Andrew Stanton. The second animator and ninth employee to join Pixar Aniamtion Studios, Stanton is credited as a writer on Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, and Monsters, Inc., Stanton also served as co-director on A Bug’s Life. His new film WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008. You can tell instantly that Stanton is a hardcore film geek. If I didn’t stop him, he could have talked about all of his favorite films, and the conversation could have lasted hours.
“It starts right off the bat with Lawrence of Arabia, that’s always been my favorite movie. I get something out of it every time. I’ve seen it maybe over two dozen times in the theater, and I just get something out of it every time I didn’t get before and I think Lean was just a master at cinematic storytelling. He just – every frame told you something in a way it was staged and how, and he was such a master editor, I just learned how economical to be with storytelling and cinematically from his work, and I just think that’s just the greatest film of all.”
“The next film for me is Lion in Winter which a lot of people don’t know, but I think it’s one of the cleverest – it’s actually from a play and it probably comes across not that cinematic, but that the interplay between the relationships of Henry the II and Aquatine and all their kids, the dialog is the best dialog I’ve ever heard in any movie, it’s just an amazing movie.”
“Gallipoli is one of my favorite films also. It’s Peter Weir came out in like ’81 and I just I don’t know it just made a big impression on me every time that I saw it and it’s one of those films I just love coming back to, it’s just got great real moments in it. It’s one of those movies where it’s not obvious on the surface what the story is about but you know that you’re in the good hands of a story and you just get caught up in these character moments, and it slowly reveals itself what it’s about and it’s very mature in that sense.”
Cool Hand Luke – loved that movie, it’s just, that’s a great allegory and it’s just, so much of that film is iconic.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind I was a huge fan, I don’t think Spielberg has ever topped himself with how much wonder is in that film. It just oozes wonder and I just loved that film.
Peter Sciretta: It’s funny you even say that because in E.T. there is that moment where they’re flying over the moon reminds me of the moment in Wall-E where he’s he’s going through the rings of Saturn, for some reason I got that same moment of wonder…
Andrew Stanton: “Well, I’ll take that as a compliment because I was a junkie for that stuff, to me that was the best, Spielberg at his best and Disney at its best really tap into that ingredient of wonder which is really hard to come by in films I feel. And even overall, just historically.”
“Now you’ve got me thinking Cinema Paradiso, I’m a huge fan of, just because I’m such a movie buff and I used to be an usher for a small art house theater in my hometown and that sense of being part of a little film house with all the quirks and eccentricities of all the locals and just seeing film after film all the time even if there were films you didn’t like but you could appreciate it just spoke to me in so much.
What kind of films influenced Wall-E?
“Pretty much it’s the overall amalgamation of sci-fi movies that I saw from the late sixties to the early eighties, it’s sort of a mishmash of just how they all felt to me, I mean they were all very different, they’re all over the map, but there was just… I don’t know I just felt like I was – from 2001 on I always felt like I was in good hands when the next great sci-fi film came and it always felt like you were guaranteed there was one coming either the next year or the year after that, you know, then because you had films like Star Wars, and then you had Alien and then Blade Runner and Close Encounters, and Silent Running and you can even go back a little earlier and go to Planet of the Apes, I mean they all were so awe inspiring, I just believed and I was so transported in each of those movies to whatever worlds and whatever characters were involved and I just loved it, I couldn’t get enough of it.”
“And I kind of felt like that went away, like somewhere in the late eighties into the nineties, I just wasn’t feeling like that anymore or I don’t know if they were making movies like that anymore. … They’re all over the map, all I know is that I felt transported in each of them and it felt in a specific kind of cinematic way and heck, I even loved Outland, you know, I was just you know, and I just wanted – I remember telling my crew when initially I was bringing them on. My D.P.s I said, and my Production Designer, I said, I want it to feel like we found Wall-E, the movie in a film can and it was made in the seventies and we just soft unearthed it and re-mastered it, so I said, I know that’s kind of an abstract thing, but that’s what I’m shooting for and then we just did a lot of analysis of what that meant, you know, down to like the kind of cameras and lenses that were used commonly on those movies and things like that.”
WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008.