M83

Years ago, commercial director Joseph Kosinski was one of the hottest up-and-comers, with a bright, bright future. Then we actually saw that his feature debut, Tron: Legacy, didn’t play as much more than a technically impressive showcase for the filmmaker. He took $150 million and had Jeff Bridges saying stuff like, “Bio-digital jazz, man.” Money not put to good use, I say. Kosinski was then written off as a director with nothing more than a nice eye, no true knack for storytelling. But after seeing the first full-length trailer for his new sci-fi epic, Oblivion, I think maybe some of us spoke too soon. This original science-fiction pic, starring Tom Cruise roaming a desolated Earth, seems like a fairly routine hero’s journey, albeit told on a far more ambitious canvas than what we saw on display in Tron: Legacy. This trailer does a fine job of setting up film’s the world and Cruise’s character, Jack Harper (not to be confused with Jack Reacher). Take a first-look at Oblivion for yourself after the break (or on Apple.com).

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Rust and Bone

Here in the U.S. a lot of casual hate gets aimed at the French. The jokes are usually about surrendering during wars, hairy ladies, or what have you—the lame jokes aren’t important—it’s the “what have you done for me lately” attitude they reveal that’s important. Sure, the French gave us the Statue of Liberty all those years ago, but what have those cheese nibblers done for us lately? Turns out, quite a lot. And probably the three best things they’ve given us over the course of the last half decade or so are screenings of Jacques Audiard’s Un Prophète, Marion Cotillard’s stunning face, and M83’s stellar last few albums. For these things we should be grateful, and because the trailer for Rust & Bone reveals to us a new Audiard movie that contains both the music of M83 and the luminous face of Cotillard, we should be ecstatic. Pretty music and pretty faces aren’t the only thing Rust & Bone has to offer either, turns out it’s got a pretty crazy-sounding story as well. Though the new trailer for the film is a little abstract, and completely without dialogue, we already know that the plot details the life of a whale trainer (Cotillard) who loses her legs and then falls into a relationship with an underground fighter (Matthias Schoenaerts). Which, you know, is nothing if not unique.

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Aural Fixation - Large

Anyone who has watched a movie or a TV show knows how important song selection and music placement can be. A well-placed song can elevate a scene whereas a misplaced song can end up being distracting. While most films enlist a composer to create the score (i.e. the emotional backbone of a project), it is the music supervisor who is tasked with placing songs alongside those composed pieces. One of my current favorite bands, M83, has started gaining some traction and, unsurprisingly, started popping up in various films and trailers. I noticed that two different songs from the band were used in two different ways recently – one in a scene in Step Up Revolution (“Wait”) and one in the trailer for Cloud Atlas (“Outro”.) One of these placements worked well (see: Cloud Atlus trailer) and one did not (see: the kissing scene in Step Up Revolution.) M83’s otherworldly, electronic sound was the perfect fit for a film like Cloud Atlus and the use of “Outro” in the film’s trailer worked to add to the emotion of the stunning visuals. Granted such a small portion of “Wait” was used in Step Up Revolution it actually cut off before the lyrics really started to come in, but the song still seemed misplaced and felt more forced than a natural accompaniment to the scene. But when a band starts getting placed everywhere, instead of just getting that music exposed to new ears, it can sometimes cause the band to become oversaturated and end up […]

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When director Joseph Kosinski revived Disney’s sci-fi classic TRON with the belated but visually dazzling 2010 sequel TRON: Legacy, the results were a mixed bag to say the least. One thing that pretty much everyone could agree upon when it came to that film, however, is that the score by French electronic group Daft Punk was the best thing it had going for it. Eschewing a traditional film score in favor of the pulsing, electronic sounds of Daft Punk worked wonders when it came to bringing the world of TRON to life and really making it hum, and it’s not hard to imagine that the film could have been far less effective without such a perfect marriage of image and sound. TRON: Legacy isn’t the only film that’s gone the nontraditional route when it comes to finding its music in recent years, either. From Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood scoring Paul Thomas Anderson movies, to Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor scoring David Fincher films, to The Chemical Brothers providing the music for Joe Wright’s Hanna, bringing a mainstream musician in to score your film instead of hiring one of the well-established film score composers seems to have become a full-scale trend, and a trend that has so far provided us with some amazing music. Since it worked for him once, Kosinski is looking to go back to that well for his next sci-fi adventure, Oblivion. The Playlist reports that in order to find the musical accompaniment for this Tom Cruise-starring tale of […]

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