Category Archives: Sci-Fi

2018 Memo to the Academy

Oscars.jpg

Dear Academy,

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.

Your Friend,
Dan Quitério

Continue reading 2018 Memo to the Academy

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Short Film: “Doodlebug” by Christopher Nolan

Doodlebug

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…

2015 Limité Film Guide: Staff Picks

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

John Boyega in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS (photo courtesy of Lucasfilm Ltd. © 2014. All rights reserved.)

Breathe deep. Following lackluster box office numbers of late, 2015 is aiming to usher in a wealth of cinematic riches with an onslaught of proven tentpoles. Such films scheduled with 2015 release dates includeFurious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World,Ted 2, Spectre (“Bond 24”), <exhale> The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, and Mission: Impossible 5 <exhale>. But in case that’s not enough to quench your appetite, there’s Peanuts coming in November. That doesn’t hit your sweet spot? Fifty Shades of Grey bows in February.

Each of Limité’s Film writers presents 10 of her or his most-anticipated films of 2015. Check out their picks, then tell us what you’re looking forward to seeing in the new year.

All synopses are courtesy of IMDb.com, unless otherwise noted. As films are in various stages of production, information is subject to change, including release dates.

Click here to view the full guide.

Limité Must-See: Another Earth (2011)

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

by Daniel Quitério

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight. © 2011. All rights reserved.
This is the one movie from the past three years that I’m still tweeting about. It’s rare these days that a film comes along and etches its mark in your mind quite the way Another Earth did to me. Stitched together using bubble gum and string (and green fabric and googly eyes—really), this super low-budget indie darling launched the careers of star and co-writer Brit Marling (Arbitrage, 2012) and writer/director Mike Cahill (I Origins, 2014). Believing that it would be near impossible for two unknowns to attract funding in order to make their film, Cahill and Marling took matters into their own hands. The two Georgetown alumni shot the film in Southern Connecticut with a tiny crew, ultimately earning it a place in Sundance’s 2011 official selection, where it won a Special Jury Prize and the Alfred P. Sloan Prize, which is awarded to a film that focuses on science or technology as a theme. It was distributed later that year by Fox Searchlight.

Continue reading Limité Must-See: Another Earth (2011)

Coming Soon: Transcendence

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCTen3-B8GU]

Johnny Depp. Rebecca Hall. Paul Bettany. Kata Mara. Morgan Freeman. Cillian Murphy. And above them all, Wally Pfister.

After a terminally ill scientist downloads his mind into a computer, he discovers unimaginable powers. Depp sheds the heavy makeup for this sci-fi action pic, which doesn’t usually bode as well for his films’ box office receipts. However, this time he has Wally Pfister, the Oscar-winning cinematographer behind Christopher Nolan’s films, to guide him in Pfister’s directorial debut. After standing behind the camera for dozens of critical and box office favorites, it should be interesting to see how much of Nolan’s influence—if any—bears on Pfister’s turn in the director’s chair.

Transcendence is slated for an April 18 bow.

Official Trailer: Sandra Bullock in GRAVITY

I have been waiting for this film for a very long time. Originally scheduled to be released last year, Gravity will now open on October 4, 2013. Director Alfonso Cuarón is one of my go-to directors. He has an ability to capture a very real and gritty aspect of life and the “human condition” (there’s that term I hate so much). The director worked on this film with frequent collaborator, DP Emmanuel Lubezki, who just happens to be my favorite cinematographer. If only the film were pushed to a November/December release it might stand a better shot at Oscar gold. Here’s hoping it resonates with voters.

Official Logline:

Astronauts attempt to return to earth after debris crashes into their space shuttle, leaving them drifting alone in space.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufsrgE0BYf0]

Official Trailer: Byzantium

Official Logline:

Residents of a coastal town learn, with deathly consequences, the secret shared by the two mysterious women who have sought shelter at a local resort.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zu2cW7AhO8]

2012 Fall Film Guide

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

September 5, 2012

Labor Day has passed, and now it’s time to consider this year’s crop of what will inevitably be considered some of Oscar’s biggest fodder. It’s no surprise that when it comes to the Academy Awards, the movies that are most likely to be honored with a nomination are those that are released towards the end of the year. Some of this year’s frontrunners appear to be ArgoDjango UnchainedThe Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyHyde Park on HudsonLife of PiLincolnThe MasterLes MisérablesSilver Linings PlaybookWreck-It Ralph, and Zero Dark Thirty. Of course, there’s plenty of other flicks to look forward to, spanning all genres and audience interests.

Note: All non-authored pieces’ loglines are courtesy of IMDb.com.

Continue reading 2012 Fall Film Guide

Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

Among this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Short Film—Live Action is “Time Freak,” the comedic story of a neurotic inventor who creates a time machine that he uses to travel around yesterday so that he can obsessively correct his social foibles. The short is the only American film nominated in its category. I had the chance to pick the brains of the film’s masterminds, including writer/director Andrew Bowler, his producer wife Gigi Causey, and lead actor Michael Nathanson, just before their big day in Hollywood.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_DLkVR7hK0]

Where were you when you found out about the nomination?

Michael: I actually was sound asleep. My wife is a public school teacher in NYC, and she had been up early and found out at work. When she woke me up by screaming into the answering machine, I knew it was good news.

Andrew: We were at home when we heard the news. We got up at 4:45am, unable to sleep anymore. The telecast did not come on ’til about 5:50am, and then the results were posted online shortly after that. We wanted to share the possible moment with our friends and family in different parts of the country, so we shot it.

(Watch this video of Andrew and Gigi finding out they have been nominated for an Oscar.)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnwiOYhIExU&feature=youtu.be]

Continue reading Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

Continued Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”

This is the continuation of a Q&A with the team from the Oscar-nominated short film “Time Freak” that I conducted for LimitéMagazine.com. For the first part of my interview with writer/director Andrew Bowler, producer Gigi Causey, and lead actor Michael Nathanson, click here.

Andrew, did you go to film school?

I went to NYU’s film school. I think I had a similar experience to most people who go there in that I met my best friends whom I would collaborate with for years and almost no one else. Geoffrey Richman, Michael McDermott, and Adam Fleischhacker are all accomplished filmmakers in their own right and they all worked really hard on “Time Freak.” The four of us all met in the same video class sophomore year. Geoffrey and Mike were producers [on “Time Freak”], as well as the editor and production designer, respectively.

Michael, how and when did you first catch the acting bug? What have been your biggest challenges in developing your style and rhythm as an actor?

I remember being in my first school play when I was in sixth grade, playing the comedic villain in a Gilbert and Sullivan musical, and getting in front of an audience and thinking, “Wow, this is what I want to do.” I was always a film buff, and I had the opportunity to see so many great films, growing up in NYC. It really wasn’t until I got to Northwestern in Chicago and studied theatre that it really hit me that this is what I’m going to be doing with my life. As an actor, kind of like the character in “Time Freak,” you’re always trying to get better, understand the craft more—sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I feel like I try, whether it’s stage or screen, to give the audience something edgy, something unexpected. I like when an audience is uncomfortable, and yet wants to know more. I think that’s when the most interesting work happens. There’s a fearlessness I admire in actors like Gary Oldman and in comedians like Bill Murray; they are so invested in their character work, you truly feel like anything can happen at any moment. I guess I would say I’m not into ever playing it safe.

Continue reading Continued Q&A: Team from Oscar-Nominated Film “Time Freak”