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 »


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Grand Overlook Hotel

At first, you might think that directors Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick don’t have much in common. Their films couldn’t be on more opposite ends of the spectrum. However, Steve Ramsden used the similarity in the way Anderson and Kubrick frame shots as a reference point to create The Grand Overlook Hotel, a truly incredible mash-up of The Shining and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Watch The Grand Overlook Hotel after the jump! Read More »

The Best Movie Animal Performances of 2014

Best Animal Performances of 2014

I was watching Gone Girl for the fourth time and admiring how David Fincher (and his cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth) majestically shot Ben Affleck‘s character Nick Dunne’s cat and I began to wonder about the cat’s true role in the story. The cat is featured too prominently to be just a background prop. What did the cat mean?

As I thought about this I began to realize that there had been a lot of big screen kitties this year. The New York Times notes in their review that “cats are the new dogs,” and judging from the list of animals in this article, they might be right. But as I started to think about it more, it wasn’t just cats but dogs and some actually amazing performances by other animals in this past year of film. So the list of best animal performances of 2014 grew and grew. After the jump you will find my examination of why 2014 was the year of animal movie performances and what it all means. Read More »

2015 DGA Nominations

The Director’s Guild of America released its nominations today for awards that will recognize achievement in feature film directing from 2014. The list features two biopics, The Imitation Game and American Sniper, and one film, Boyhood, that was made under circumstances that all but turn it into a biopic of its cast and director, Richard Linklater. But the biopic love ends there, and the DGA has no nomination to spare for Ava DuVernay and Selma. The full 2015 DGA nominations list is below. Read More »

2015 ASC award nominations

We’re in full awards season swing, as gross as that process can be. (Just see the attempts to tear down Selma for a good example of the nasty part of this season.) But the guild nominations and awards are always somewhat interesting, if only because they represent the efforts of a focused group to recognize achievements by their direct fellows and colleagues. We saw the writer’s guild awards this morning, and the American Society of Cinematographers has also chimed in with the 2015 ASC award nominations.

Even when trying to approach this from a positive position, there’s always as much to be said about what got left out as what is nominated. And so while Roger Deakins is (of course) nominated for Unbroken, there’s nothing for Robert Elswit, who shot Inherent Vice and Nightcrawler. Check out the full nomination list below. Read More »


At this point in the awards race each year, support has already crystallized around some of the frontrunners. This year, that group includes Boyhood, Birdman, The Theory of Everything, and The Imitation Game, and the Producers Guild followed the rest of their industry in nominating those titles for this year’s PGA Awards.

It’s more interesting, however, to see which dark horses did and didn’t make the cut. American Sniper and Nightcrawler emerged as two of the more surprising inclusions, while Unbroken and Selma got left out in the cold.

Meanwhile on the TV side, the PGA is all about Fargo, True Detective, and Orange Is the New Black, while shows like Parks & Recreation and Homeland went overlooked. Hit the jump for the full list of the 2015 Producers Guild nominations.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Germain’s Top Ten Films of 2014


Time and time again, you’ve heard that 2014 was a great year for movies. And it was. But as I looked back at the about 150 films I saw released in 2014, I saw a pattern. There were, in fact, lots of great movies in 2014, and in the next few pages you’ll read about a bunch of them. But I honestly feel like when I picked my favorites, the films I felt were the best released this year, they all were on an even playing field. In a way, I could’ve just given you the ten best movies I’ve seen this year in alphabetical order and called it a day. But where’s the fun in that? The fun part is sitting down and making the hard decisions about what is truly the best. So, below, read my top ten movies of 2014.

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/Filmcast Ep. 300 – The Top 10 Films of 2014


David, Devindra, and Jeff count down their top 10 films of 2014. Thanks for a great year, everyone! We’ll see you in 2015.

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!
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Life Itself - The Best Reviewed Movies of 2014

So we’ve looked at the best and worst movies of the year as rated by the largest sampling of moviegoers available publicly (IMDB). And as you know, the public opinion sometimes differs from that of professional film critics. As it should, film critics often see hundreds of new movies a year (a larger sampling of content) and have thus have a more discerning taste. So after the jump we will take a look at the best reviewed movies of 2014.

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