Black Sheep

Ned Beatty in Network

Did you vote today? If not, is it because you don’t think your vote matters? I can understand why you might believe that, because of how cynical we’ve gotten about democracy in America. Some of that is due to the real world, what we’ve seen or what we’ve been told about political and electoral corruption, not that either is anything remotely new. Some it, though, is due to the way the movies reinforce that idea that elections are shams. We’re long past the days of Frank Capra, although his movies weren’t exactly free of the evils of the system; they just treated them as the stuff of villains and seemed hopeful about idealism and democracy in the end. Since then we’ve had Watergate and Bush v. Gore and numerous Election Day controversies a decade, and through it all we’ve had exaggerated depictions of the worst of the democratic process. The following scenes are not ones we love because we think democracy is truly a sham. It’s more that they’re great scenes and also are about democracy being a sham. Watch them this evening while you’re waiting on election results. They might just ease the blow or excitement on whatever the outcomes mean to you.

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Pixar Character Logo

If there’s any outfit that celebrates the team sport aspect of filmmaking, it’s Pixar. What began as the Graphics Group at LucasFilm has evolved into its own behemoth of wonder and magic. Not just pioneers of technology, they’ve sought to invent in order to put stories out into the world – using computer animation for the ancient purpose of spinning tales and crafting characters. Led by Ed Catmull, the production house (which was bought by Disney in 2006) boasts luminaries like John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and many more. There newest film, Brave, is in theaters this week, so here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from RenderMan and company.

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FemaleDirectorList

Remember all of those movies you love to sit around watching and loving and talking about? Some of them were directed by women. You didn’t even know that. Did you, you chauvinist pig?

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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