(Welcome to 21st Century Spielberg, an ongoing column that examines the challenging, sometimes misunderstood 21st century filmography of one of our greatest living filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. In this edition: Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal.)
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote Robert Frost. After the bleak future worlds of A.I. and Minority Report, Steven Spielberg made two seemingly light, breezy films that could very well be cinematic explorations of that Frost quote.
The main characters in Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal are both in search of home. Both in the literal sense, and the abstract sense. If home really is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in, then the main characters of Catch Me and Terminal perhaps have no real home at all. And what a terrifying thought that is.
Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal were Spielberg’s pivots out of darkness. Gone were the oppressive, often hellish futurescapes of A.I. and Minority Report. In place of the darkness came a sunny, funny trip back to the 1960s, followed by a stop-over into present day. On the surface, these two films were light hearted, brisk affairs. Yet even here, beneath the brightly lit retro fashions of Catch Me and the slapstick humor of The Terminal, melancholy still lurks. It was perhaps a confirmation that even when Spielberg tried to go light in the 21st century, darkness still found its way in.
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Year in and year out there are movies made that are based on real life. In some cases, movies have the task of expertly recreating real events that were witnessed by real people who were either at the event at the time it happened or watched it on television. Now a new video from filmmaker Vugar Efendi takes footage from movies that replicated real moments in history, such as Selma, Jackie, and Catch Me If You Can, and puts it side-by-side with footage and/or photos from the real events.
Watch movies compared to history in the video below. Read More »
For some movies, the opening credits are just a mundane way to remind the audience who is in the movie and give credit to a handful of the key crew members who helped make it. But for others, the opening credits not only deliver that information, but they do so in a stylish way that sets the tone for the story that’s about to unfold, even providing integral pieces that set the stage for what’s to come.
For cinephiles, a truly memorable opening credits sequence can be hard to come by, but there are plenty of them out there, and not just in the James Bond franchise. A new countdown video attempts to name the 10 best opening credits sequences in movies, and it will surely spark a bit of a debate for those who have their own favorite credits sequences. Read More »
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 »
As part of the screening put together in relation to the SXSW Title Design Competition, Ian Albinson from the website The Art of the Title Sequence put together a nice two and a half minute compendium of excellent film titles. (That features an occasional piece of television, too.) For any long-time film lover, this little video will probably elicit quite a few responses simply on the strength of the title cards on display. I queued several films to re-watch after exposure to just a few seconds of their titles.
Check out the collection after the jump. Read More »
/Film reader Derek Stettler has compiled a video titled “Reel Wisdom: Lessons from 40 Films in 7 Minutes,” which does just what it claims. Here is more from the editor:
I made this video because I love films and I think there is great wisdom inherent in the film medium. This video represents some of the best wisdom from films, edited together as a single coherent piece of advice on everything from life, death, and purpose, to anger, regret, and destiny. In creating this video, I tried to feature a broad array of films, from action/adventure and sci-fi films, to dramas and traditional/CG animated films in order to show how all genres of film have something important to say.
Watch the video embedded after the jump.
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Unless there’s a Spider-Man or Evil Dead musical to write about, Broadway really doesn’t come up too much here at /Film. Well, another big time film is getting the song and dance treatment as Catch Me If You Can is now officially coming to Broadway on April 10, 2011 with previews starting March 7, 2011.
Most people know the story of famous con man Frank Abagnale Jr., one of the most successful check forgers in history who also posed as a doctor, lawyer and Pan Am pilot all before his 19th birthday, because it was adapted into a film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. That movie, not the original book by Abagnale Jr., will be the source material for the show with a book by Terrence McNally (Ragtime) and music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who worked together on Hairspray.
Hit the jump for some possible info on casting and videos from the show. Read More »
Restless authority-types and newscasters have referred to him as “the Teen Houdini,” “the Boy Who Loved to Fly,” and “the Barefoot Bandit.” Over a two year period, he’s allegedly stolen and crashed a handful of cars and aircraft, having taught himself to fly from video games and a flight manual purchased using a stolen credit card. Citizens of western Washington State say he lives in the woods, where he catches animals for food with a pair of illegally obtained night-vision goggles. Others say he risks capture due to a weakness for ordering pizzas.
And now Fox and Rough House Pictures, the new production company founded by David Gordon Green, Jody Hill, and Danny McBride, own the movie rights to a book proposal about his life. We think a bitchin’ congratulations is in order to the precocious teen rebel in question, Colton Harris-Moore, the D.B. Cooper of a new generation. Run kid. Run hard.
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