The PR reps for Quentin Tarantino‘s new film, Django Unchained, have sent out the official synopsis for the film. There isn’t any new detail in there, but I thought we’d pass it along for those who have only seen the barest recap of what the story is about, and would like to know a little bit more without having to worry about big story spoilers. Don’t be worried by the length of the synopsis; having read the script I’ll assure readers that there isn’t anything crucial revealed in what follows.

The synopsis is interesting for two other points. The first is that it made me realize that this is only the second Quentin Tarantino film not produced by the director’s long-time collaborator Lawrence Bender. (The other being Death Proof/Grindhouse.) That’s more an interesting trivia point than anything else; I doubt that most casual viewers will be able to note Bender’s absence based on the end result.

The other point is a reminder to see who is cutting the film for Tarantino, whose films were all previously edited by the late Sally Menke. Fred Raskin is cutting Django Unchained; he assisted Menke on the Kill Bill films, and worked on Punch-Drunk Love and Boogie Nights, and Insomnia. So that’s a track record with three impressive directors. He has also edited the last three films in the Fast and the Furious series.

Hit the jump to get the film’s full synopsis. Read More »

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Briefly: Here’s the award nomination for for those whose interest in film runs just a bit deeper than others. Today the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) announced its nominees for Best Cinematography of 2011. The nominees are: Guillaume Schiffman (The Artist), Jeff Cronenweth (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Robert Richardson (Hugo), Hoyte van Hoytema (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), and Emmanuel Lubezki (The Tree of Life).

One film not on the list, War Horse, shot by Janusz Kaminski, seems like an obvious snub. But Kaminski resigned from the ASC several years ago, so he wouldn’t have been nominated for any award by the group. Discuss among yourselves whether Jeff Cronenweth (who also shot The Social Network and Fight Club) would have nabbed the nomination had Kaminski been eligible.

The ASC will announce the winner of the award for best cinematography in 2011 on February 12, and that winner will very likely go on to win the Oscar for Best Cinematography as well.

Plans made by HBO and Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions to adapt Neil Gaiman‘s novel American Gods to television are even more elaborate than we expected. In April we learned that cinematographer Robert Richardson had brought the novel to Playtone, which in turn made a deal with HBO. But we didn’t know any details of how the adaptation would go, other than that Neil Gaiman would work on the pilot script with Mr. Richardson.

Now it seems that the companies plan a whopping six seasons based on the one novel. Or ‘inspired by’ might be more accurate, as drawing six seasons out of the novel will likely require writing a good deal of new material. But if Neil Gaiman is involved in that process, that new material could be a gift to his fans. Read More »

HBO May Adapt Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods’

HBO is getting behind Game of Thrones in a big way, and the company seems to think that fantasy could be the way to go into the future. So the channel is now negotiating a deal for the rights to Neil Gaiman‘s novel American Gods, and the current plan is for Robert Richardson (yes, the cinematographer) and Neil Gaiman to jointly script the pilot. Read More »

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