I’ve mentioned before how much I love the Academy Originals YouTube series, courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. There are well over 100 videos that cover filmmaker and celebrity insights, as well as what I love most, brief glances into the various crafts that come together to make a movie. The series dives into the work of screenwriters, cinematographers, composers, makeup artists, and so many more. Perhaps my favorite is the one I truly knew nothing about until I saw the video. What the heck are conlangers? You hear their work whenever you watch movies like Avatar or The Lord of the Rings, or watch a show like Game of Thrones. Learn about this interesting craft in under seven minutes.
You have enough on your plate. Nominee luncheons. Press releases. Etc. I get it. You don’t have time to watch all the nominated films. No worries. I’m pleased to step up to the plate, watch the movies, and offer my (informed) opinions. I know you’ve looked forward to this memo for the last nine years, so how could I possibly disappoint you by skipping a year? So attend your lunches and write your press releases lauding improved diversity numbers among your ranks. Leave the Oscars to me. I’ll take it from here.
Continue reading 2018 Memo to the Academy
Eight years later, I’m still waiting for that magical piece of mail, inviting me to join your fine organization. But that’s not keeping me from sounding off on a few Oscar categories. I’ve seen all the nominated films, and I have some thoughts that should be considered. So allow me to make your job easier. Here’s who should win. You’re welcome.
Continue reading 2017 Memo to the Academy
(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)
For the seventh year, we decided to offer you a little help in deciding some of the biggest Oscar races—free of charge. And never has it been as important that we do so than this year, one of the most competitive races in recent memory with no clear frontrunners in many categories. Take it from us, because we’re kinda good at this.
Your friends at Limité,
Dan Quitério & Drew Stelter
Continue reading 2016 Memo to the Academy
Christopher Nolan’s first IMDb credit came for writing, directing, shooting, editing, and set designing his 3-minute short film, “Doodlebug” (1997). The black-and-white, noirish film was made while Nolan (then credited as “Chris”) was studying English literature at university. Its lone performer, Jeremy Theobald, later starred in Nolan’s feature debut, Following (1998), another black-and-white noir just a year later.
It doesn’t take much to notice the early stages of Nolan’s evolving “film mind” in this brief piece. The various levels of reality at play here are fully on display in a greater form in Nolan’s 2010 film, Inception.
Now, see how it all began for the modern master…
Nearly three years ago, I was offered the opportunity to interview Portuguese filmmaker Miguel Gomes about his new film, Tabu. As a Portuguese film buff and sometimes filmmaker, myself, I leaped at the chance. Now, Gomes has been making waves with his new three-part film, Arabian Nights, ever since its world premiere this past May at the Cannes Film Festival. The 381-minute epic will bow to US audiences beginning September 30 at the New York Film Festival. But before that happens, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on my interview with him from December 2012.
Continue reading Revisiting My Interview with Portuguese Filmmaker Miguel Gomes
It’s no secret that Alfred Hitchcock is my favorite filmmaker. I’ve even emblazoned a 20-panel art installation of the Master of Suspense on my living room wall. So on this, his 116th birthday, I’m turning my focus to the eight Hitchcock films that have found a place on my 170 list. Check out these memorable shots from just some of the master filmmaker’s essential films, featuring Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier, Teresa Wright, Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, James Stewart, Kim Novak, Janet Leigh, and Tippi Hedren.
Continue reading Eight Hitchcock Essentials
(Re-posted from TheHollywoodReporter.com)
by Kim Masters
Crew defections, brutal cold, a global search for snow and even a naked actor dragged on the ground — ‘Birdman’ director Alejandro G. Inarritu responds to critics of his ambitious methods: “When you see the film, you will see the scale of it. And you will say, ‘Wow.'”
A version of this story first appeared in the July 31 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Veteran crewmembers who have toiled on director Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant say the director’s follow-up to Birdman could turn out to be epic and Oscar-worthy. Some also say that making the film has been by far the worst experience of their careers — “a living hell,” as one bluntly puts it.
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as early 19th century explorer Hugh Glass, Revenant went into production in September and was supposed to wrap in March. But cameras still will be rolling into August as the budget has climbed well past $95 million, with insiders predicting it will reach or exceed $135 million. Crewmembers say they have seen huge turnover, including many who were fired and others who quit. They say the behind-the-scenes drama led Inarritu to bar producer Jim Skotchdopole, who worked with him on Birdman, from the set.
Continue reading How Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The Revenant” Shoot Became “A Living Hell”
(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)
Each year, lovers of film and television debate the quality of that year’s crop of cinematic content channeled into TV and movie screens worldwide. And although opinions will differ, one undeniable fact is that each year ushers in a new crop of breakout talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Yes, some have been mastering their crafts for years, and each person’s journey is uniquely their own, but it’s often not until the artists are able to express their voices in a singular title that causes viewers to take notice.
Now in its seventh year, Limité is proud to announce the 2015 class of one of its longest-running features, “Faces to Watch.”
Continue reading 2015 Faces to Watch
The Academy’s great, new site features a series of Collection Highlights. Check out this one, dedicated to my favorite filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock. Explore rare photos, papers, and videos surrounding the Master of Suspense’s storied career here.
Other Academy Collection Highlights are dedicated to the following personalities and films: