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Scene Is Believing: Rocky

“Montage, gotta have a montage. Even Rocky had a montage…” So went Team America. Rocky certainly did have one of the greatest and most uplifting of all cinema montages, as the titular pugilist (Sylvester Stallone) trains for his big fight with Apollo Creed. Most of the training montage was filmed with a skeleton crew in […]

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Scene Is Believing: McCabe & Mrs Miller

McCabe & Mrs Miller arose out of Warren Beatty’s frustrations with Robert Towne over finalising a script for Shampoo, his next pet project with his then lover, Julie Christie. If he thought he was frustrated with Towne, wait until he butted heads with his chosen McCabe director, Robert Altman. The stop-gap  movie script was based […]

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Scene Is Believing: Octopussy

No, that’s not Del Boy Trotter on the tarmac with the James Bond Bede Jet from Octopussy – it’s stunt pilot J W “Corky” Fornof, who flew it through a populated hanger in Octopussy, probably the highlight of that film. In a post from DGA Quarterly, director John Glen breaks down the brilliant stunt. The […]

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Scene Is Believing: Rogue One’s Vader Unleashed

Wired have a cool video interview up where Rogue One director Gareth Edwards discusses the creation of that awesome moment in the finale to the film, where Darth Vader unleashes the full fury of the Force against Leia’s rebels in his attempt to stop the Death Star plans being taken. It almost wasn’t in the […]

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Scene Is Believing: Alien

The Chestburster scene, Shepperton studios 2001: A Space Odyssey on one level considers the birth, ascent and re-birth of mankind into a “star child”, gazing serenely upon the Earth and us, the viewer, with untold possibilities. Alien represents the Freudian nightmare tucked away in the recesses of the mind, a disturbing perversion of birth: life […]

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Scene Is Believing: From Jaws To Jones

I saw the Jaws restoration on the big screen this weekend, and naturally, it was dazzling. So many little details and nuances lept out at me anew. One scene in particular though, which has been remarked upon many times as a neat piece of character shading, reminded me of a scene in Steven Spielberg’s later […]

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Scene Is Believing: Inglorious Basterds

Death Laughs At 24 Frames Per Second Inglorious Basterds is Quentin Tarantino’s most playfully cinephilic, meta-textual wish fulfillment fantasy – cinema as world changer. Quite literally, despite the bumbling “Basterds” independent addition to the night’s entertainment. It is Shosanna / Emmanuelle (Mélanie Laurent) who’s will shall triumph over those of the higher echelon Nazis, including Hitler […]

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Cape Fear: Darth Vader’s Rogue One Abode

One of the most fun aspects for any film-maker involved in the resurgence of Star Wars on the big screen must be raiding the archives at LucasFilm. And with primo – baddie Darth Vader occupying such a menacing position in Rogue One‘s timeline, slap-bang before where it all kicked off, writer Gary Whitta chose to […]

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Scene Is Believing: The Right Stuff

“The Right Stuff is an almost perfectly made film.” – Christopher Nolan. There are several inspirations for the director’s latest epic, Interstellar, including Philip Kaufman’s 1983 film. Based on Tom Wolfe’s book, it reflects the early days of the space-race, and the pilots of America’s Mercury space program, candidates the Yanks hoped would embody the elusive […]

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Scene Is Believing: The Untouchables

  The Union Station Shoot-out We’re so used to many directors storyboarding out scenes nowadays that it is a surprise to see how a complex piece of gun play like the railway steps scene from The Untouchables wasn’t even scripted. The surviving “Untouchables” Elliott Ness (Kevin Costner) and foot soldier Stone (Andy Garcia) discover from […]

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