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raiders planefight

Unsung Heroes: Pat Roach

The term “gentle giant” is often a cliche only because it is true. And it very much applied to 6ft 5in Pat “Bomber” Roach: Birmingham born gentleman of the wrestling ring, writer, and also actor / stunt performer, who played many heavies in genre films. This in contrast to his  cornerstone role as the sensible […]

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Roger Rabbit toon patrol

The Great Unmade?: Who Discovered Roger Rabbit / Toon Platoon

  Even cartoons get the blues. After raking in the dollars, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was surely as deserving of a sequel as any mainstream studio film. However, rivalry between production partners Disney and Amblin Entertainment, escalating costs and disputes over the script, plugged Roger Rabbit before he could interact with hapless humans again. A […]

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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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Renegade Commentary: Raiders Of The Lost Ark

What do you do when you can’t get hold of a commentary by a favourite director on one of his best films? Record your own, I suppose. Darren Dochterman, a 30-year veteran concept artist and visual effects artist, has done just that for not only Raiders of The Lost Ark, which we have embedded for […]

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Mad Mann: Fury Road – Steven Spielberg’s Duel

Duel, was Steven Spielberg’s 1971 television – movie calling card to the big leagues. It works not just as a primal gas guzzling thriller of implacable threat, between the little guy and an uncaring force that literally wants to squeeze him out of the frame. It’s also a study of both paranoia and modern male […]

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bridge of spies

Steven Spielberg: Setting The Table

Quite a few video essays draw attention to Steven Spielberg’s varied tropes – his “oners” (I hate that term), track in shots, framing of characters through foreground objects, his use of light, and so on. Now here’s one focusing on a less sexy, but pretty common set-up – characters around the dining table. As essayist […]

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Sharks Don’t Die: The Making of Jaws 3D

Just when you thought it was safe to look at this website, just when you thought you could swim with dolphins and throw grenades around like there’s no tomorrow, we interrupt that feeling of safety and security to bring you an important message. Jaws 3D did happen and there is a behind the scenes documentary […]

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Scene Is Believing: Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom

The Mine chase – Please keep your hands in the car at all times I’m not one for bemoaning the advance of CG effects over practical models and glass matte shots: if an effect is done well, that’s all I care about. However (!) there is something thrilling about the ingenuity behind old school methods; […]

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Scene Is Believing: Jurassic park

The T-Rex Comes Out To Play With Jaws in 1975, Steven Spielberg was plagued by problems from his leading man, or should I say, shark. So much so that Bruce (named after his lawyer Bruce Ramer) was kept under water much of the time, his approaching menace signalled by a fin, that music, and the […]

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