‘The Act of Killing’ Tops Sight & Sound 2013 Poll


End of year lists can be great for highlighting stuff you may have missed, and the annual poll from UK film magazine Sight & Sound, one of the first 2013 year-end lists out of the gate, has a number of films included that are worth tracking down. The magazine polls over 100 “international critics, curators and academics,” taking a top-five list from each. The magazine’s list of top films (with some tied for a couple berths) is generated from those votes.

Documentary The Act of Killing, which follows as men responsible for genocidal killings in Indonesia confront and recreate their crimes as film scenes, took first place by a margin of five votes. Gravity and Blue is the Warmest Colour are the second and third place choices.

The full list is below, complete with trailers for each film, so you can be introduced to whatever films on the list are unfamiliar. Read More »


In Gravity, only a few moments that are not focused entirely on the experience of Sandra Bullock‘s character Dr. Ryan Stone. One takes place when Stone attempts to contact help via radio, only to contact someone completely unable to assist her. The conversation, while divided by a language barrier, is deeply moving, as Stone and the man hundreds of miles away achieve a strange connection.

The film’s co-writer, Jonas Cuarón, made a short film, Aningaaq, depicting the other side of that conversation. You can watch it in full below. Read More »


Gravity has not only some of the best effects of the year, but some of the best effects we’ve seen, particularly with respect to how they’re integrated into the story, and in the way that some of  the digital creations are seamlessly integrated with shots of the few actors in the film.

Over the coming months we’ll likely see more and more info that shows how some of the film’s effects were crafted, and here’s one short video breakdown that details the creation of a specific 3D digital space. Read More »


One of the highlights of each new Oscar season is the set of roundtable discussions created by THR. In each of these, the trade gathers a set of people involved in various films likely to be highlighted in the awards season, and just allows them to talk about making movies. They can be pretty great, especially since one byproduct of awards season is a tendency to talk about superficialities rather than substance, and these talks can really dig into the meat of making movies.

Here’s the new 50-minute screenwriting roundtable, featuring George Clooney and Grant Heslov (Monuments Men), Julie Delpy (Before Midnight), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), John Ridley (12 Years A Slave), Danny Strong (Lee Daniels’ The Butler) and Jonas Cuaron (Gravity). Read More »

Kevin Tong - Gravity header

Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity has quickly become one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. At $219 million and counting, with a full awards season run likely, the 3D space thriller has firmly planted itself in popular culture both for this year and years to come. It makes sense, then, that the evil geniuses at Mondo have created an officially licensed poster for the film. And for art fans, the fact it was done by technical master Kevin Tong is even less of a surprise. Check out the full poster below along with a process video. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:


(Note: Spoilers for Gravity follow.)

Alfonso Cuarón‘s Gravity doesn’t really need extra frills to make it better, but a companion short film directed by Cuarón’s son and co-writer Jonás Cuarón could enhance the experience all the same. “Aningaaq” revisits a key scene from the feature in which Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) happens to make contact with someone on Earth — only from the perspective of the Inuit fisherman (played by Orto Ignatiussen) on the other side.

The short didn’t play in front of U.S. screenings of Gravity, unfortunately, but it could get some added attention as the Oscar race heats up for both it and Gravity. In a recent interview, the Cuaróns took the time to explain “Aningaaq,” and how it came about. Hit the jump to see what they had to say.

Read More »

Gravity set

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s complaints notwithstanding, Gravity has been hailed by most moviegoers as being one of the most realistic depictions of space travel ever put to film. It’s so realistic, in fact, that one reporter seemed fooled entirely.

At a recent press conference for the film, a journalist asked director Alfonso Cuarón about the challenges of shooting in space. The guy probably wasn’t being entirely serious — it turns out he works for a comedy show — but he later defended his question anyway, saying, “Don’t tell me I was the only one who had that doubt.” Hit the jump to watch how it all went down.

Read More »



Dave and Devindra are joined by Dan Trachtenberg to discuss what makes a genre film great, and also take another look at Gravity’s deceptively simple yet emotionally complex script. Also, Dan makes a shocking revelation about how many times he’s watched Kickboxer.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
Read More »

Warner Bros. Suggested Some Major ‘Gravity’ Changes


Having a strong story vision and a strong producer are of paramount importance when trying to guide a film through the studio machine. Without those elements, any given story can fall prey to different visions, or to the fear executives have of working with the unusual or unproven, or (worse) an idea they can’t quite visualize for themselves.

When faced with such things, the typical approach is to shoehorn in tried and true elements to make the story in question look more “normal.”

Alsonfo Cuarón has recently explained just how studio execs’ need for safety and easy visualization nearly came together with his new film Gravity. If Cuarón and his team had been less solid, the film might have fallen prey to the studio impulse to make things softer and safer. We might have seen flashback scenes, or a love story subplot, or even a male version of Sandra Bullock’s character. Cuarón explains below. Read More »



Dave and Devindra praise the brilliance of Short Term 12, chat about the incredible making of Wadjda, and debate whether or not rewatchability equals excellence. Special guest Tasha Robinson from The Dissolve joins us for this episode.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
Read More »