The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, Searching director Aneesh Chaganty explains how a sequence in the screen-set narrative came together. Plus, a video essay explores the storytelling language of Star Wars and how it hasn’t changed in 40 years, and a shot film called Captain 3D comes to life from the pages of a comic book. Read More »
Film festival season is officially underway, and while movies that emerge from fests like Venice, Toronto, and Telluride often become Oscar contenders, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society isn’t ready to look that far ahead just yet. Instead, they’ve looked back at the films of the past few months and issued their Summer Movie Awards, with Mission: Impossible – Fallout and performers like John Cho (Searching), Toni Collette (Hereditary), and Constance Wu (Crazy Rich Asians) winning big.
Take a look at the full list of winners below.
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Searching isn’t the first movie to be told entirely through computer and mobile screens, but it might be the first movie to take advantage of the narrative format in such a clever and impeccable fashion. Now you can see how the movie came together in post-production and how complicated it is to bring a movie like this to life and make it feel authentic. Read More »
Most teenagers would rather die than submit to their dad going through their entire laptop, contacting all of their friends and watching their private videos. But Margot Kim isn’t most teenagers. In Searching, David (John Cho) plays a recent widower whose daughter goes missing overnight. Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) volunteers to take on the case, but David can’t remove himself for the investigation, so he starts his own inquiry on his laptop and eventually logs into his daughter’s computer.
But as the film proves, the computer is only as smart as the person who uses it – you have to know what to type in the search bar. In that way, modern technology is neither a force for good nor evil. It’s a tool.
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In 1993, The Joy Luck Club hit theaters, presenting a nuanced, never-before-seen look at the lives of Chinese-American women and their immigrant mothers. It was supposed to be a watershed moment for Asian-Americans in Hollywood, one that would harken a slew of Asian-led projects and finally defeat that pesky use of yellowface that had dogged Asians in Western movies for decades. We anxiously awaited the announcement for more Asian-led projects to follow. And waited. And waited.
It took 25 years for that watershed moment to finally come, with the arrival of Crazy Rich Asians this August. But astonishingly, it wasn’t alone.
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Everything happens on the internet now, and that poses problems for filmmakers.
For decades, movies and TV have struggled with how to depict the decidedly un-cinematic act of using computers. In the ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s, the typical approaches were to hype up the user interface with animation and 3D graphics, put the user in virtual reality, or make the computer talk. None of these were particularly realistic, and as the internet became more familiar to everyday people through the 2000s, movies had to change. We saw work that used floating, abstract graphics to depict phone or computer use. But these still suffered from the same inherent problem: how do you visually tell a story that takes place on a computer?
Surprisingly, the answer seems to lie in the least expected place. What if audiences didn’t need conventional filmmaking to be drawn into the story? What if the computer screen itself was enough? Enter a burgeoning new wave of cinema, consisting solely of recorded video from computer desktops.
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After topping the box office last weekend, Crazy Rich Asians has achieved quite the feat in its sophomore run in theaters.
Box office reports coming in have Crazy Rich Asians dropping a mere 5.7% this past weekend with another $25 million coming in for the romantic comedy from director Jon M. Chu. Meanwhile, the raunchy wide release of The Happytime Murders is a bit of a dud. Get more on the latest box office receipts below. Read More »
On the August 24, 2018 episode of /Film Daily, /Film senior writer Ben Pearson presents an interview with first-time filmmaker Aneesh Chaganty (who’s a big fan of /Film!), the co-writer/director of one of 2018’s best movies, Searching.
You can subscribe to /Film Daily on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, Spotify and all the popular podcast apps (here is the RSS URL if you need it). Read More »
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Searching, an innovative new thriller about a father’s quest to find his missing teenage daughter, plays out entirely across computer screens and cell phones. That might sound like a gimmick, but aside from being an immersive way to tell this specific story, it has the effect of forcing us to reckon with the ways we use technology in our lives and how we communicate with others. For a story with such a tech-heavy presentation, it’s also surprisingly emotional, and that has a lot to do with the well-crafted story and the performances from stars John Cho, Debra Messing, and Michelle La.
The primary creative force behind this project is co-writer/director Aneesh Chaganty, who, amazingly, is making his feature directorial debut with this movie. I caught up with Aneesh during the Sundance Film Festival to talk about his inspirations for this story, the surprising scope of the film, how he conveyed the passage of time, and much more. Be sure to read my full review of the movie here, and enjoy our full Aneesh Chaganty Searching interview below. Read More »
Computer screen movies – stuff like Unfriended and Searching – are becoming more and more popular, and we have one person to thank for that: Timur Bekmambetov. The filmmaker and producer is at the forefront of “Screenlife“, a technology that tells stories through computer screens. And Bekmambetov doesn’t plan on stopping – he’s currently developing 14 computer screen movies, across a variety of genres. The question is: does the general public want to see them?
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