You might not know the name Harris Savides, but you know his work as a cinematographer. An award-winning stretch of music videos, including R.E.M.’s ‘Everybody Hurts’ and Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Closer,’ led to an impressive his feature film debut, David Fincher‘s The Game, in 1997.
What followed was a long stretch of films with Gus Van Sant (Finding Forrester, Gerry, Elephant, Last Days, Milk) and feature work with directors such as Ridley Scott, Sofia Coppola, and Noah Baumbach, during which Savides mastered a distinctive style that defined a wonderful mid-point between realism and pure cinema. His twin recreations of ’70s San Francisco (in Zodiac and Milk) could be the new standard for integrating practical and digital effects to create a compelling recreation of a period location. Savides did some of the best digital work in the early days of the format, and was one of the cinematographers whose style could flow from film to digital with apparent ease.
Now we’ve learned that Savides died today at the age of 55. The cause of death is not widely reported, but there are hints of a serious illness faced by the cinematographer in the last few years. His last film work will be seen in Sofia Coppola’s next film, The Bling Ring. Read More »
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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
THE KING’S SPEECH
Approaching a story of monumental scope with charm and intimacy, The King’s Speech is a finely crafted crowd-pleaser that plays fast and loose with history but does so to convey a decidedly more human tale of finding one’s inner strength in order to be heard. There’s not a single surprising moment in the whole thing, as every element of the limply conventional narrative has been depicted in film on countless occasions — the movie of the week disorder, the reluctant leader, the unorthodox therapist/psychiatrist, etc. — but rarely have these humdrum plot mechanics been handled with such authority and wit. The acting is superb across the board, with Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush marvelously portraying the “unexpected” friendship that blossoms between royalty and commoner. Their command of the screen brings a much welcome vitality to the film’s rather safe theatrics. Tom Hooper, meanwhile, refines his visually sumptuous period drama by presenting the material as accessibly as possible, employing any number of off-kilter camera angles, behind-the-back steadicam shots and fish-eye lenses to find that delicate balance between vulnerable and frigidly dignified. I wouldn’t say I was wowed by the film as many others seem to have been — and I’m a tad resentful that it won Best Picture over far superior efforts such as The Social Network, Black Swan and 127 Hours — but if you’re looking for a nice film to watch with the family, it’s a pretty good bet that The King’s Speech will comfortably satisfy that need.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Audio Commentary, Making Of Featurette, Deleted Scenes.
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|Amazon – $14.99
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|Amazon – $19.99
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/Film reader Cornelis van Dijkhuizen jr. has edited together a montage titled “The Films of Sofia Coppola.” It’s apparently the first of a series in 12 video compilations which Cornelis plans to release over the coming this year. I especially love how the video edits together some of Coppola’s signature shots from the various films. Watch the video now embedded after the jump.
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Focus Features has released a three and a half minute behind the scenes featurette for Sofia Coppola‘s new film Somewhere on IMDB (found via FirstShowing). The movie stars Stephen Dorff as a “hard-living Hollywood actor re-examines his life after his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning) surprises him with a visit.” Watch the video now embedded after the jump.
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Movie City News has an indepth 30-minute interview with director Sofia Coppola (Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation), talking about her new film Somewhere. And anyone who reads /Film on a regular basis knows that we love long form interviews with auteur filmmakers. Hit the jump to watch the interview now.
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In an interesting and slightly surprising move, the Venice Film Festival jury headed by Quentin Tarantino has awarded the Golden Lion to Sofia Coppola‘s film Somewhere. (Trailer here.) The film got mixed to positive notes out of the fest, but Tarantino said today, “This was a film that enchanted us from our first screening…Yet from that first enchanting screening, it grew and grew and grew in both our hearts, in our analysis, in our minds, and in our affections.” The jury’s decision was unanimous.
The Silver Lion (aka Best Director) went to Alex de la Iglesia for A Sad Trumpet Ballad — that’s also something of a surprise, but I love seeing a long-time sort-of genre filmmaker like de la Iglesia take the prize. His film also won for Best Screenplay.
And Essential Killing, the movie with Vincent Gallo as a Taliban soldier on the run (trailer here), won Best Actor for Gallo as well as the Special Jury Prize. Quite a surprising and intriguing set of awards all around, really. Mila Kunis was also handed the Marcella Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor or Actress for her work in Black Swan. Full list of winners is after the break. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
The first reviews of Sofia Coppola‘s new film Somewhere are starting to come in from Venice, and they’re quite good. Praise for Stephen Dorff‘s performance is universal so far, as is an appreciation for the quiet tone of Coppola’s storytelling. Read More »