Summary of “Why Jonathan Demme Was One of the Greatest Concert Movie Directors Ever”

Why Jonathan Demme was the greatest concert movie director of all time – and not just because he made ‘Stop Making Sense.
It’s not hyperbole to say that Demme was arguably the greatest concert filmmaker ever – look at the number of them that he made, the range of artists he chronicled and the sheer brilliance with which he shot musicians playing.
Many great directors have tried their hand at concert films, but few could match Demme’s skill at capturing their joy and their celebration of communal creation.
Demme’s best concert movie is his first – and also a strong contender for the greatest ever made.
It wasn’t until 1998’s Storefront Hitchcock that Jonathan Demme returned to making a full-on concert film.
Three years later, Demme shifted direction as wildly as his subject, delivering the ramshackle, lo-fi concert movie Neil Young Trunk Show, in which Young put away the pedal steel and cranked up the electric guitars to 11 for loud, stomping garage rock.
Demme had been impressed by Justin Timberlake after seeing him in The Social Network, and when the two met, Timberlake proposed making a concert film from his 20/20 Experience Tour.
Talking to Rolling Stone in 2016, Demme was asked what the secret was to making a great concert film.

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Summary of “7 Things You Don’t Know About ‘Reservoir Dogs'”

Cast members Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Steve Buscemi and writer-director-actor Quentin Tarantino all got together to reminisce after the 1992 movie screened to a packed house at the Beacon Theater.
Tarantino wanted to stage “Reservoir Dogs” as a play.
The most iconic moment in “Reservoir Dogs” is unquestionably the scene in which Madsen’s character, Mr. Blonde, tortures a captured cop, cutting off his ear after doing a little dance to the jaunty tune of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You.” That dance was entirely spontaneous, it turns out.
“You never made me do it in rehearsal, because I was so intimidated by it,” Madsen reminded Tarantino at the panel.
The director said he had always intended for “Reservoir Dogs” to be more than a genre film.
“33 was the largest walkout.” He added that he had thought that at least everyone would be able to sit through it when it screened at the Sitges Horror Film Festival, where they had just shown Peter Jackson’s gore-soaked early film, “Dead Alive.” “I thought, ‘Finally, I’ve got an audience that won’t walk out.’ Five people walk out of that audience – including Wes Craven! The f-kin’ guy who did ‘Last House on the Left’! My movie was too tough for him?”.7.
One of Tarantino’s favorite memories from the film didn’t happen on set.
During the panel, Tarantino reminisced about one of his favorite moments making the film, which happened at a cast dinner at Keitel’s house after the cast had spent two weeks rehearsing the material.

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Summary of “Remembering ‘Singles’: Cameron Crowe on Making the Definitive Grunge Movie”

Crowe wanted his audience to grow up with him, so for his follow-up movie, he turned his attention to twentysomethings.
Crowe spoke to Rolling Stone about the making of Singles on the movie’s 25th anniversary, how he cast the actors and musicians and why his love letter to Seattle still holds a special place in his heart.
The story allows you to know enough about them that you would say, “Hmmm, I think I would spend more time with Colin, but I really love Emma” And if you’re a lonely person, which I think most writers are, this is a wonderful place to disappear into when you’re writing or making a movie.
I never wanted to tamper with the scene in the course of making the movie.
Nora Ephron came in with Sleepless in Seattle and within 18 months, there were plaques in town that said, “Sleepless in Seattle was filmed here!” I was like, damn, what do you have to do get a plaque around here?!? But sure enough, over time, the Singles apartment house became kind of its own little tour stop for anybody who remembered the movie.
The Seattle explosion happened after we finished the movie.
Warner Brothers hadn’t wanted to put the movie out.
Then Nirvana hit, and they said, “Oh, OK, we can call the movie Come As You Are.” And we said, “No, it’s not called Come As You Are.” And then they said, “We tested a title that we really love:”One Hot Summer.

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Summary of “How Turner Classic Movies Built a Marquee Brand by Catering to Film Fans”

Photo courtesy of TCM.Turner Classic Movies, the last cable channel launched by Ted Turner as an independent media mogul, hit its silver on-air anniversary in early 2019.
TCM has spent 25 years building up a community of film fanatics who love the channel itself, not just the movies it screens.
The Turner Classic Movies seal of approval draws thousands of attendees annually to the TCM Classic Film Festival, which kicks off its 10th edition in Los Angeles this week, and to TCM-branded screenings in theaters around the country.
TCM has a gold-plated brand because it was designed to appeal to movie devotees rather than a mass audience.
“Context and curation is what we’re known for,” says Charlie Tabesh, senior VP of programming for Turner Classic Movies.
“We wanted to lay claim to offering the best mix of classic movies – with a definition of ‘classic’ as something that was really good, not by a chronological time period,” Siegel says.
As a mirror of the times in which they were made, movies offer a kind of road map to how attitudes evolve.
TCM runs “The Birth of a Nation” and movies with similar backgrounds, but only with appropriate introduction, context and, when necessary, warnings to viewers.

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Summary of “Oscars 2020: How ‘Parasite’ Won Best Picture”

All through Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony, it was hard not to filter every category result through the prism of what it meant for Parasite’s chances of becoming the first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture.
Then Bong Joon Ho won Best Director – would voters hand the top prize to Sam Mendes’s 1917 in an increasingly common Picture/Director split, or was Parasite about to actually sweep? To see if there was any precedent for 1917 to still gut out a win, I started crunching the numbers to find the last film to take Picture without directing, writing, or acting trophies: Rebecca, in 1940.
There will be much to discuss about Parasite’s history-making night: How besides the obvious achievement, it was also the first film to win Best Picture without any acting nominations since Slumdog Millionaire.
“It’s about what’s happening around the world, in the industry, and in cinema at the same time.” As it happens, Parasite was both the best film and the one that could lay claim to being the movie of the moment.
Plenty of this year’s Best Picture nominees examined contemporary anxieties, but there’s no getting around the fact that most of them were set decades in the past, while Parasite was thrillingly contemporary.
This was a very white, very male, very “Dad” year for Best Picture, and with the exception of Little Women, whose Best Picture hopes were comparatively slim, Parasite had what we might call the Moonlight lane all to itself.
If you were one of those Academy voters who was slightly ashamed that Green Book won Best Picture last year, well, there was no mystery in what you were ranking No. 1 this year – it was Parasite or bust.
All the talk in the season’s first half was always about whether it could crack Picture and Director; by the time Parasite proved how strong a contender it was at the SAG Awards, it was too late for its rivals to mount a strong counteroffensive.

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Summary of “He Was ‘Star Wars’ Secret Weapon, So Why Was He Forgotten?”

Ashley Boone Jr., the first black president of a major Hollywood studio, helped make George Lucas’ quirky space opera a hit in the 1970’s – yet chances are you’ve never heard of him: “He was way ahead of his time.”
Boone’s relationship with Lucas began in 1977, when he traveled to Northern California to see a rough cut of Star Wars.
Lucas and Boone argued for opening Star Wars a month earlier, around Memorial Day, on just a couple of screens in big cities, betting that it could attract young people who would spread word-of-mouth while they were still in school.
Boone Isaacs – who was working on another 1977 sci-fi film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind – also was there as Boone’s guest and, 43 years later, recalls the crowd’s reaction: “By the time that Millennium Falcon got across the screen, everybody was standing and screaming. I remember the guys – Laddie, Ashley and all of them – were kind of huddled together and hugging.”
Star Wars not only made Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford famous but also, at least inside the industry, Boone.
“Reports abound about why Fox – which is in an enviable financial position because of the success of Star Wars – should want to rock the boat so soon after appointing Ashley Boone as president of distribution,” noted The New York Times.
A March 1989 article in Premiere titled “Hollywood’s Dirty Little Secret: Why There Aren’t Any Black Executives” noted that Boone, though a former president of Fox, wasn’t even mentioned in a recent history of the studio.
The Star Wars franchise that Boone helped launch has grown beyond even his wildest ambitions.

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Summary of “‘Parasite’ Oscar win celebrated in South Korea”

“The American Oscars, they don’t give that to just anybody,” a beaming Shin said Monday, waiting to make a delivery with his motorcycle idling, just hours after “Parasite” triumphed at the Academy Awards and made history as the first non-English-language film to win best picture.
In South Korea, average moviegoers as well as film industry hands, politicians and the president celebrated Bong’s Oscar win Sunday as their own, the way a nation collectively cheers on and basks in the win of an Olympic athlete.
No South Korean film had ever been nominated for an Oscar before “Parasite” and “In the Absence” – the latter a documentary short that lost in its category.
Gina Kim, a South Korean filmmaker and film professor at UCLA, said that although the Korean film industry had for years obsessively tried to cater to Hollywood, Bong’s film broke through without any deliberate attempts to target American audiences or studios.
Bong noted in a backstage news conference after the film’s wins that his previous movie, “Okja,” had been a co-production between South Korea and the U.S., yet “Parasite” was gaining far broader acclaim.
He began making feature-length films just as South Korea’s film industry was going through a renaissance in the early 2000s, with an influx of creative talent and deep-pocketed conglomerates taking an interest in funding them.
Kim Seonah, an associate professor of film at Seoul’s Dankook University who worked with Bong in his assistant-director days, said Bong’s Oscar triumph was a testament to the growth of South Korea’s film industry.
“Just 10 years ago, if a film student said, ‘I’m going to get an Oscar,’ they would’ve been treated like a crazy person. But now, it became reasonable say, ‘Bong Joon-ho got it, so if we make a good film it could be possible,'” he wrote.

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Summary of “Knives Out, Last Jedi DP has a plan to end the film-vs-digital debate”

“Film is oak, digital is plywood.” And even in an era where more films are shot on digital than ever, it remains a truism among everyone from Quentin Tarantino to Detective Pikachu’s cinematographer that celluloid offers a visual quality that digital simply cannot match.
In April 2019, he released the scholarship’s latest fruit, “Display Prep Demo.” An updated version of a video first released in 2015, the demo alternates between footage shot on 35mm film stock and a 4K Arri Alexa, industry standards for film and digital respectively.
The secret of the ‘film look,’ revealed To achieve the film look in the demo Yedlin constructed his own math to transform the data captured by the digital camera into a result one would get from film.
Yedlin eschews the trend of layering a loop of grain scanned from a piece of film over digital footage, and has instead created an algorithm that uses probabilistic modeling to generate new grain that occurs randomly, but within the same set of parameters as it does on actual film.
What he told me over and over again is it’s harder for him to make film look like film, than [to] make digital look like film.
Using the same display prep process as the demo, Yedlin took the digital footage shot for Knives Out and transformed it into something as effectively indistinguishable from film as it is in the demo, fully meeting the director’s exacting visual standards.
You might wonder, if it’s going to look like film, why shoot digital? “Because the camera doesn’t matter,” Yedlin says, “We can choose for logistics,” which means using using digital cameras that are more reliable, precise, and versatile, and not having to ship film out and wait for days to get dailies back.
Since there wasn’t an extra version of Knives Out shot on film for comparison, you can’t A/B it like in the demo – though there was actually one shot done on film, with an old Panavision camera Yedlin had refurbished as a surprise birthday gift for the director.

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Summary of “Physicists determine the optimal soap recipe for blowing gigantic bubbles”

To blow really big, world-record-scale bubbles requires a very precise bubble mixture.
In 2016, French physicists worked out a theoretical model for the exact mechanism for how soap bubbles form when jets of air hit a soapy film.
If the jet is wide, there will be a lower threshold for forming bubbles, and those bubbles will be larger than ones produced by narrower jets, which have higher speed thresholds.
That’s what’s happening, physics-wise, when we blow bubbles through a little plastic wand: the jet forms at our lips and is wider than the soapy film suspended within the wand.
What about blowing gigantic bubbles or long, thin soap films that can span two stories? Justin Burton, co-author of the latest paper and a physicist at Emory University specializing in fluid dynamics, first got intrigued by the topic at a conference in Barcelona.
While perusing the open access Soap Bubble Wiki, he noticed that most of the favored recipes for bubble solution included a polymer-usually natural guar or a medical lubricant.
The ultimate goal was to determine the perfect proportions for a bubble mixture to produce gigantic bubbles: something with a bit of stretch, but not too much, where the fluid flows a little, but not too much-in other words, the Goldilocks of bubble mixtures.
Blowing a 100 m3 bubble is a poor use of lab space, and quite difficult to measure accurately, so the soap films were created using a cotton string, and the thickness was measured using infrared light.

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Summary of “The Inside Story of How ‘Wild Wild West’ Spun Out of Control”

Now used as a punchline by Smith, the film is an example of how big-budget comedies can spin out of control.
Though many of the millions of people who have watched the film have no idea, Wild Wild West was based on the mid-1960s American TV show The Wild Wild West., a Western whose original pitch had been “James Bond in the West.” While Barry Sonnenfeld.
One of Maddock and Wilson’s story ideas was that there should be that aforementioned giant mechanical spider at the end of the film.
Kevin Smith has claimed that when a fifth Superman film was in development Peters wanted Superman to fight an enormous spider; similarly, Neil Gaiman said that Peters wanted a massive mechanical spider at the end of a film of The Sandman.
Wild Wild West was the third film Pierce Austin, Smith’s hairstylist for 26 years, had done with the action star.
The fanfare could do nothing to hide how bad the film was.
To this day, Wild Wild West made them more money than any other project, but Maddock says that he’d give it all back if the studio would make the film they’d written.
“Of course it’s super-successful. In history, when money doesn’t matter anymore, this film is one of the best.” She doesn’t care how the public or the industry judged it.

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