|WHAT LIES BENEATHGEMINI MANGEMINI MAWATCHMENMARIANNEJOKER|
Gemini Man, in which Will Smith comes face to face with a de-aged clone of himself, was made from a ’90s script originally meant for Tony Scott. At some point, it was saddled with mid-2000s military politics and anxieties — a la the Bourne films — until eventually, Ang Lee got his hands on it, turning it into a futuristic visual experiment. Like Lee’s previous film, the contained war drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk 2016, Gemini Man was shot at 120 frames per second, and was projected as such on the handful of screens that could accommodate it.
Unfortunately, not a single screen could show the film exactly as Lee had intended — at 120fps, in 3D, and at a 4K resolution — which is a shame, given that Lee is one of the most visually interesting filmmakers working in Hollywood. But does his use of “HFR” High Frame Rate actually work? Well, not exactly. I’m not sure a narrative film shot at 120fps can work, barring very specific circumstances. However, the conversation about Lee’s use of technology, and the kinds of stories he applies them to, is worth having.
First, a brief primer: What does 120fps mean?
Movies are generally shot and projected at 24 fps at least on film; it’s 23.976 on most digital cameras, which means ~24 still images are projected in quick succession, within the span of a second, to create the illusion of one continuous moving picture. At five times the frame rate, you lose the motion blur between frames, which helps approximate the vision of the human eye. Without it, things begin to look a little too smooth, almost like they’ve been sped up. You may have seen this effect on televisions in shop windows, which are usually calibrated to show off their sharpness. You can probably experiment with a similar effect at home by turning the “motion smooth” option on your TV on and off things not shot at higher frame rates will have the gaps filled by “guess frames”.
Most people’s first exposure to any HFR footage was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 2012. Even its mere 48fps was enough to occasionally expose the seams of the makeup, sets and costumes; generally, HFR has the effect of exposing the artifice of cinema. Unfortunately, there aren’t too many side-by-side comparisons of 120fps video on the internet; if you’re reading this on a phone or laptop, your screen probably can’t handle more than 60fps, and neither can YouTube. Most HFR showings of Gemini Man were in 60fps to begin with only fourteen screens across the U.S. played it at the full 120fps; for a comparison of different viewing experiences, do read Bilge Ebiri.
So, to illustrate just some the effect created by HFR, here’s the trailer for Gemini Man in 24fps, followed by the same trailer at 60fps:
Can you spot the difference? The 120fps version of the...
Stephen Williams, whose directing credits include episodes of Watchmen, The Walking Dead, Lost, and more, is set to helm Universal’s new monster movie Don’t Go in the Water. There are zero plot details at the moment, but it’s safe to assume from the monster movie distinction and the title that this is going to be some sort of aquatic horror movie – and we could always use more of those.
Variety has the scoop on Don’t Go in the Water, described simply as a “suspenseful monster movie” from director Stephen Williams. Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy is producing, along with Dan Levine for 21 Laps Entertainment, while Adam Kolbrenner will produce for Lit Entertainment Group. Adam Rodin is executive producing.
Williams directed two Watchmen episodes – “She Was Killed by Space Junk”, which featured the now-infamous giant Dr. Manhattan dildo, and “This Extraordinary Being”, one of the most memorable episodes of the series, in which Regina King’s Angela relives her grandfather’s memories via a drug trip. That episode was highly renowned for its unique visual style, so it’s great to see Williams branch out into a big movie. Save for 1995’s Soul Survivor, all his other credits are in TV.
I wish I could tell you more about the Don’t Go in the Water plot, but there simply isn’t anything to tell. However, the title certainly suggests this is some sort of aquatic horror film, and that’s a sub-genre I always enjoy. Earlier this year we saw the release of Underwater, a surprisingly fun undersea monster movie starring Kristen Stewart.
Other entries include DeepStar Six, Leviathan, Deep Rising, and more. Hell, you can even include every shark movie under that banner as well – all the Jaws flicks, The Shallows, Deep Blue Sea, and so on. The only real prerequisite is that the plot involves unlucky characters either on a boat or in some sort of underwater location being plagued by danger. It doesn’t even have to be monster-based danger. There’s Dead Calm, where the danger is Billy Zane. Hell, go ahead and include Titanic in there, I don’t care. There are no more rules anymore, folks. Anything goes these days.
Altitude has boarded worldwide sales rights for the film, with casting now underway for the role of Mick Jagger.
The long-gestating biopic of British music icon Marianne Faithfull is gathering steam.
Ian Bonhôte, who landed two BAFTA nominations for his acclaimed Alexander McQueen documentary McQueen, has now been lined up to direct Faithfull, with Bohemian Rhapsody and The Politician star Lucy Boynton already tapped for the lead role. Production is set to start this fall.
Altitude has also acquired worldwide sales rights to the film, with Julia Taylor-Stanley Coriolanus of Artemis Films and Colin Vaines Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool of Synchronistic Pictures producing. Andee Ryder, producer of McQueen, will also produce for Misfits Entertainment, with Boynton also serving as an executive producer alongside Julian Bird and Abi Gadsby from Lorton Entertainment, Francois Ravard, Gideon Wittenberg and Will Clarke, Andy Mayson and Mike Runagall for Altitude. Hilary Davis Belle is a co-producer. Financing comes from Lorton Diego Maradona, Horrible Histories: The Movie — Rotten Romans, Oasis: Supersonic.
“I am delighted that my story is finally being made with my dream team of Lucy, Julia and Ian,” said Faithfull.
Set in London in the mid-1960s, Faithfull will chronicle the star's roller coaster journey from being discovered as a convent schoolgirl of 17, finding fame as a pop idol, living through hedonistic times and a tumultuous romance with Mick Jagger that inspired some of their greatest songs, to being a homeless drug addict in Soho.
Her decline took her to the edge, but through her determination not to be known as just a footnote in rock and roll history, she fought her way back, going on to make 21 albums, including the classic Broken English and more recent Negative Capability.
"I fell in love with this project the second I read it so I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of telling Marianne's story both as an actor and, for the first time, as an executive producer, especially alongside this creative team," said Boynton. "I can't wait to really get started."
Casting is currently underway for the role of Mick Jagger with casting director Sarah Crowe, BAFTA-nominated for The Personal History of David Copperfield on board.
“This has been a cherished project for years and working with Lucy and Ian in bringing Marianne's incredible story to the screen is an exciting collaboration and meeting of minds,” said Taylor-Stanley.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
With large swathes of the population sitting at home, audiences have a chance to catch up on films that were released years ago and find new insights into their narrative. Recently, a fan who had been watching Suicide Squad with his family reached out to the film's director David Ayer to ask about the meaning behind the scene where the Joker is lying in the middle of a room lined with a circle of knives, guns, and baby clothes. Denying that the baby onesies were trophies after an infanticide spree on the part of the cackling psychopath, Ayer provided the following explanation for the scene instead.'No it's more innocent. Harley wanted a normal family with Joker hence the baby in her vision. I figured she would have endlessly pestered Mr. J about having a kid. So he had Mr. Frost buy some onesies. The circle represents how he sees Harley.'
The scene under discussion comes up early in the story. Harley Quinn, played by Margot Robbie, is locked up in Arkham, and we see Joker, played by Jared Leto, in his mansion mourning her absence. He has also shown to have drawn a grin across his face using a sharpie, which according to David Ayer, is because...'He was having a hard time smiling without Harley so gave himself some help with a sharpie.'
This introduction sets up the fact that this Joker is unlike any other live-action portrayal of the supervillain as a man who is missing his demon lover. The onesies we see lined up on the floor next to the Joker later make an appearance in the scene where the Enchantress offers Harley her heart's desire, and she imagines a life of domestic bliss with her beloved Mistah J, with their babies wearing the onesies.
How the circle of knives represents Harley in the mind of the Joker is up for debate. Perhaps he fears that his affection for Harley makes her dangerous to him, and thus views her as a circle of knives drawing closer, threatening to destroy him.
This sentiment of Joker being attracted towards Harley and simultaneously hating the fact that she has made him care for her is also played out in the scene where Harley willingly throws herself into a pit of acid on Joker's command. After trying to walk away from the whole thing, Joker almost unwillingly jumps in after her and rescues her, proving that she means more to him than he can bring himself to admit.
From his explanation, it is clear that Ayer had a solid backstory and reasoning behind the script for Suicide Squad, which unfortunately did not translate very well to the big screen. But now that James Gunn has taken over directorial duties on the sequel, there is a chance to see a Suicide Squad film that gets critical acclaim in addition to minting money at the box office. David Ayer on Twitter brings us this news.