Robert Richardson

Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Academy Awards broadcast. Please join us for our Live-Blog tonight (because we ask nicely), and while you wait for the winners, check out our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. It’s finally here! The time of year where I can write a paragraph that no one will read because they’ve already scrolled down to see who’s won. But even though this won’t be seen by humans, here’s a personal reminder that this night may be about politics and back-slapping, but it’s also about the splendor of cinema. It’s about the magic of movies. The genius of thousands of images all strung together with blood, sweat and tears to create characters and a journey through the heart of a story. There are some great stories on display tonight. That’s what matters second most. What matters most, of course, is crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentation of their women. Let’s get to the winning, right? And the Oscar goes to…

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It’s hard to overstate just how amazing it is to consider a big-budget, major studio-produced 3D family adventure centered on Georges Méliès. Before now, the work of the early cinematic innovator, whose movies (most famously 1903’s A Trip to the Moon) revolutionized and advanced special effects, has been relegated to film history texts and brief snippets of televised specials. If there’s one filmmaker to make Méliès matter again, to introduce him to a mass audience, it’s Martin Scorsese. After all, the Oscar-winning legend is not just one of the foremost cinematic masters, as a noted film preservationist, he’s among the chief protectors of the long, glorious and frequently threatened legacy of the motion picture. In Hugo, Scorsese transforms the trappings of a 3D holiday picture into a loving tribute to Méliès and the earliest masters of the cinematic dream factory. From the structure of its narrative, to the details of its plot, and the industrialized nature of its majestic visuals, this is a film infused with the joy and wonder of movies. Set amid the glittering magic of Paris in the early 1930s, the film follows 12-year-old orphan Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield), who secretly lives in a train station. Hugo, who winds the station’s clocks, dwells inside a labyrinthine interior comprised of enormous grinding gears, rising steam currents, and other elaborate metallic concoctions. Among the latter is a non-functioning automaton brought home by Hugo’s late father (Jude Law), which the young man works on incessantly in the hope that he can bring […]

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Like most human beings, I long for the moment when the lights will lower in the theater, and the title screen for World War Z will appear out of the darkness. It’s a tough adaptation to envision, but it’s also brimming with potential and zombies eating people’s faces. Just like the real zombie apocalypse, this flick has had some trouble getting started, but with potential financing in place, it looks like the production has hired a cinematographer. And they shot for the top. According to Bleeding Cool, the movie is moving forward, and Robert Richardson has been brought on to act as DP. The Oscar-winning Richardson, who directed photography for Platoon, A Few Good Men, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Shutter Island and many others, is a hell of a choice. So we know that, if this is true, the film will look good no matter what. Hopefully it’s all true, and Marc Forster will be side by side with Richardson, battling zombies for a summer shoot.

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Auteurs: Martin Scorsese

Last month as I sat down to watch Scorsese’s Shutter Island with the rest of the Austin-based Reject crew, Lost Club’s David Gunn and I had a rather enlightening discussion about the applicability of the auteur theory in today’s cinematic landscape. It got me thinking about the contemporary negotiations between the theory’s shortcomings, contradictions, and pragmatic applicability to how we perceive and view cinema on a regular basis in the 21st century.

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Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography

There seems to be more discussion about this category than usual, even from casual movie-goers, for one big reason — Avatar. The inclusion of James Cameron’s latest indie featuring copious amounts of CG imagery begs a very basic question: what is cinematography? All that and more is just one click away.

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