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, a video essay dives into how the rise of comic book movies is changing how Hollywood is trying to tell stories. Plus, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences adds the iPhone used to shoot the 2015 indie Tangerine into their museum and legendary Disney animator Glen Keane used virtual reality to create a 3D drawing of Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Read More »
At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, I sat in the library theater for the premiere of an ultra low budget film titled Tangerine. Filmmaker Sean Baker‘s Duplass Brothers-produced dramedy told the story of a transgender working girl searching Hollywood on Christmas Eve for the pimp who broke her heart. The film surprised the crowd with its heart and comedy, but the big shock came after the screening when the director revealed that the whole film was shot on an iPhone 5s.
The film has been namedropped by big filmmakers like JJ Abrams, and a lot of people have been interested to find out what Baker would be doing next. In April it was revealed that Baker had found his next movie, a film called The Florida Project. The title actually refers to Orlando Florida’s Disney World. Disney fanatics probably know that when Walt Disney first started buying up land and planning Disney World, the theme park plans was referred to it as “The Florida Project.”
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Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 by Angie Han
It’s that time again. No, we don’t mean Christmas season (though it is that, too), or the annual prestige-pic crush (ditto). We’re talking about year-end top-10 list time. Brace yourselves, because this train’s gonna power through the rest of December and much of January, finally winding down sometime around the Oscars in late February. By that time, we’ll be so sick of ranking things, we’ll probably beg for the sweet mercy of mediocre movies that stand no chance of being on anyone’s list of top 10 anythings.
But that’s later. Right now, we’re still kind of excited to look back at the year that was. One of the first top-10 lists out of the gate, as usual, comes from John Waters, and it’s made up, as usual, of an eclectic mix of offbeat titles. In fact, the most shocking thing about this year’s edition is that it contains not one but two big-budget studio blockbusters. Read More »
Posted on Friday, November 27th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
Of the hundreds of “best of the year” lists assembled by various publications around the world, Sight & Sound magazine’s top 20 always tends to be the most fascinating. This year is no different. It’s hard to argue with any list that finds room to contain brutal holocaust immersions and artful LGBT romances and post-apocalyptic action adventures and tear-jerking animated family movies and stirring stop-motion animated dramas and high-concept horror movies and unrelenting documentaries about genocide and stoner film noir.
As usual, the list skews arthouse (there are a few titles here that we aren’t familiar with at all), but consider this list a homework assignment – if it’s on this list, it’s surely going to be worthy of any serious movie fan’s time. Check out the complete Sight and Sound best of 2015 ranking after the jump.
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Thanks to the magic of Thanksgiving, this week is a little shorter than all the rest, leaving us free to stuff our faces full of turkey and enjoy plenty of good movies. And since it’s a holiday weekend, you’ll probably be looking to escape the house for a few hours just so you don’t have to hear your family argue about politics. Or maybe you want to get everyone out of the house so you can enjoy a movie as a family.
Well, we’ve got you covered for a variety of cinematic occasions with a list of 28 movies to watch this Thanksgiving, and some of them you can even enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 by Jacob Hall
This December, Netflix is gifting its subscribers with a whole bunch of cool movies and TV shows. Just in time for the holidays: Sam Raimi’s first superhero movie, one of the most critically acclaimed independent films of 2015, a Christmas variety special starring Bill Murray, and another dose of the darkest science fiction show to ever emerge from England.
Read on for our picks for the best shows and movies coming to Netflix this December (as well as a complete list of every new title).
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Sean Baker‘s Sundance smash Tangerine stands out in a couple of ways. For one thing, it chronicles the Christmas Eve misadventures of two transgender prostitutes — not a premise we see on film very often. For another, it was shot entirely on an iPhone 5. But beyond that, it seems worth checking out simply because it looks damn interesting.
Newcomers Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor are instantly compelling as Sin-Dee and Alexandra, two BFFs working the streets of LA, and their journey takes them through some of LA’s more obscure corners and subcultures. Watch the Tangerine trailer after the jump. Read More »
These are the movies sold at Sundance 2015. Many of the films that premiere at the Sundance Film Festival are hoping to attract a distributor and find a bigger audience, be it in theaters around the country or distributed through digital VOD. Throughout the festival we will be reporting on all of the movies sold at Sundance 2015. This list should help give you an idea about which movies may someday be available to you either theatrically of VOD. We’re including photo stills from each of the films along with all of the relevant information (director, cast, how much it sold for, the plot synopsis and more). Hit the jump to find out which movies sold at Sundance 2015.
Latest update: Samuel L. Goldwyn will release Lila and Eve starring Viola Davis and Jennifer Lopez.
Previous update: Jemaine Clement’s People, Places, Things is picked up by The Film Arcade.
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Filmmaker Sean Baker (Four Letter Words, Take Out, Prince of Broadway, Starlet) premiered his new film Tangerine at the Library theater Friday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A Q&A followed the screening during which Baker revealed that the film was shot entirely using three iPhone 5S phones. (Update: Our original story said “almost entirely,” before the film’s team provided a correction.) The revelation got an audible gasp from the crowd who had just watched the movie. It’s not the that film looked amazing — it had a digital look to it for sure — it’s just that no one could tell that it was shot on iPhones.
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