BEVERLY HILLS — Gregg Alexander is enamored by movies. He grew up in a conservative household where television was "Satan's tool," but he'd sneak off to friends' houses to watch theirs instead. He talks passionately about filmmakers like the Coen brothers, Michael Haneke and Mike Leigh and seems eager to be a part of an industry he finds incredibly efficient. So it's perfectly fitting that he would eventually make his way there via a collaboration on John Carney's "Begin Again," and maybe even more understanding that after 15 years of being relatively reclusive away from touring and the media, he's finally speaking out again in support of the film and his work on tracks like "Lost Stars," which is primed for a Best Original Song Oscar nomination.
BEVERLY HILLS — When you see "Interstellar," you'll get the sense right away that a deep admiration for exploration lies at the root of it all. Amid all of that epic imagery (and equally epic familial drama), there is a seething indictment of our general abandonment of space programs. At a press conference Friday afternoon, filmmaker Christopher Nolan and three of the film's stars spoke about their early experiences with space travel and the value of keeping NASA funded while continuing to push for the outer limits.
Through number-crunching and theorizing, Stephen Hawking opened our universe to new possibilities. Now, the theoretical physicist is hoping to do the same for his lifetime of work, connecting with curious followers in a way that represents the future of communication. Just in time for “The Theory of Everything,” a biopic delving into the 72-year-old scientist’s life, Stephen Hawking has joined Facebook.
I've known Greig Fraser for a few years now and have been positively stoked to see him rise through the ranks and become, truly, one of the great DPs of his generation. He's gone from making a big splash with painterly work in Jane Campion's "Bright Star" to taking on major projects from Matt Reeves ("Let Me In"), Kathryn Bigelow ("Zero Dark Thirty") and Bennett Miller ("Foxcatcher"). Oh, and now he's lined up a "Star Wars" movie.
Epic can’t be faked. CG magic can only take directors partway. Without an element of the real to hang on, digitally rendered wideshots filled with simulated armies are going to trigger our scrutinous brains. Blame Cecil B. DeMille and David Lean. Audiences know how epic is done right.
Jake Gyllenhaal has already popped up in one film this year, Denis Villeneuve's "Enemy." But he has another one on the way — Dan Gilroy's "Nightcrawler" — that is a fierce reminder of his upward trajectory as of late: he's building to something major. You can just feel it.
HOLLYWOOD — Save a taste-maker here and there for friends and family and filmmakers (bound by no man's embargo), Christopher Nolan finally unleashed "Interstellar" to audiences of press and guild members on both coasts Thursday night. Ever the perfectionist, the director was on hand at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood right up until showtime, ensuring that the venue's image and sound were up to snuff before it before it was projected on 70mm IMAX for a capacity crowd that saw some late-comers turned away without a seat.
Commentators have noted that this year's Best Actor race is stacked with way more than five outstanding candidates. And they are right. But compared to Best Cinematography, Best Actor is positively paper thin. As usual, an embarrassment of riches is present in this category, which awards a film's director of photography (DP).
TORONTO — Let's hope Keira Knightley never changes. Having interviewed the "Pride & Prejudice" star at least five times over the past decade I can attest that she's as blunt, energetic and smart as ever. This is one actress who no doubt rolls her eyes at studio talking points. Take for instance our interview last month about her role in the beloved new Best Picture contender "The Imitation Game" where she was at the top of her, um, game.
It's been a while since I caught up with Trent Reznor. Since we last spoke he's won an Oscar for composing (with Atticus Ross) David Fincher's "Social Network" score and gone on to collaborate with the director on "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "Gone Girl." He's also somehow found time to put out a new Nine Inch Nails album and knock out a few tours, though at a recent Las Vegas show he announced that this recent jaunt with Seattle band Soundgarden would be his last for a long time. Is he refocusing and doubling down on his efforts in the world of film music composition? Maybe.