Ever since he launched onto the scene with 2002's "Bloody Sunday," the work of director Paul Greengrass has been marked by intensity on the editorial side. Films like "The Bourne Supremacy," "The Bourne Ultimatum" (which won the Oscar for Best Film Editing), "United 93" and this year's "Captain Phillips" have really stood out for their assemblage, wrangling intense amounts of footage into narratives that reflect a docudrama style, putting you right in the action. Naturally, then, he's a fantastic choice for the American Cinema Editors' annual Golden Eddie Filmmaker of the Year award.
If it's January that means Sundance is once again upon us and the Park City institution appears ready to make some noise in what has become a very busy month for entertainment fans. Before the festival begins, much of the publicity and hype usually centers on the star-driven films in the U.S. Dramatic Competition and Premieres categories, but by the time Saturday rolls around it's a jaw-dropping documentary or unexpected surprise ("Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Little Miss Sunshine") that really have people talking and have film lovers wondering when these titles will find their way to a theater in their hometown. It's a recurring scenario that has made Sundance America's premiere and, arguably, most important film festival.
Nominations have been announced for the Motion Picture Sound Editors' (MPSE) 61st annual Golden Reel Awards, and it was "Gravity" and "12 Years a Slave" that led the way with three nominations each.
"Grown Ups 2" is the clear "winner" of this year's Razzie nominations, although the voters saved plenty of vitriol for summer flops "The Lone Ranger" and "After Earth," and the star-studded comedy anthology "Movie 43."
In the middle of this month's entertainment avalanche there is a magical place where Hollywood's dreams come true. No, it's not Disneyland, it's the Sundance Film Festival. Although, if you immediately thought the former you certainly made Disney stockholders happy.
The Makeup and Hairstylists Guild has not presented awards in nearly a decade. This year, however, IATSE Local 706 is dusting off the trophies and jumping back into the kudos circuit.
Speaking of visual effects, after the "World War Z" went over really well and newly designed tech for "Oblivion" was a major talking point at the Academy's visual effects bake-off presentation last weekend, I had been betting on each to slide into the final five Thursday morning. But then, neither landed a single nomination for the Visual Effects Society today, so maybe that'll call for some last-minute tinkering on my predictions.
Best Documentary Feature remains one of this year's most excitingly competitive Oscar races. While some titles -- notably two critics' favorites, Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Act of Killing" and Sarah Polley's "Stories We Tell" -- have emerged repeatedly in the precursor awards, you'd be hard pressed to name a clear frontrunner, while no inclusions or omissions from the Academy's 15-film shortlist would be truly shocking when the nominations are announced on Thursday.
It's amazing, really, how seemingly mundane realities are so elaborately manifested in cinema. So much of what you see on screen, you'd never know, is a digital effect. This is the magic making business and these guys below the line who craft this stuff for us remain largely unsung, and particularly when their work is so invisible (as, often, it should be).
With that in mind, take a gander at the visual effects reel for "The Wolf of Wall Street" below. It takes things up a whole new level where lifting the veil on how things were accomplished is concerned. It's one of the better presentations of such a thing I've seen, and hopefully — whether you're a fan of the film or not — it will give you a whole new appreciation for how it was made.
Funny that Cannes named Jane Campion their jury president last week, while the Berlin Film Festival -- which is only three weeks away -- is only announcing their now. Anyway, former Focus Features chief James Schamus is an inspired and discerning pick for the role. The same, in fact, goes for the jury supporting him, an eclectic, international bunch that includes recent Golden Globe nominee Greta Gerwig, two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, Michel Gondry (whose fascinating 2013 film "Mood Indigo" has finally been picked up by Drafthouse Films), Tony Leung and James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli. Can't wait to see what they pick between them. [Berlinale]