For its annual Hollywood Issue, “The New York Times Magazine” has taken a cinematic approach with “Making a Scene,” 11 short films featuring 11 of the year’s most lauded actors, including Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, Chewetel Ejiofor, Greta Gerwig, Michael B. Jordan, Adele Exarchopoulos, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert Redford, Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. The shorts were directed by Oscar-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (“Lincoln”).
The short films are available on NYTimes.com and on The Times’ YouTube channel. Each of the films is one-minute or less and fits into a different Hollywood genre –Western, comedy, film noir, French New Wave, psychological horror and more — albeit often in a subverted form.
“Most of the vignettes are very whimsical, it’s like they’re off-center. We’ve worked with thrillers, we’ve worked with a bit of comedy, we worked with French New Wave, as well as we did some very conventional stuff,” Kaminski said in the behind-the-scenes video about the making of “Making a Scene.” “These little vignettes allowed me to do stuff that’s not necessarily linear, but still employ filmmaking style.”
Some of the year’s best screenwriters — Lake Bell, Andrew Bujalski, J.C. Chandor, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, Greta Gerwig, Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, Nicole Holofcener, Spike Jonze, Jeff Nichols, Sarah Polley and Danny Strong provided the “dialogue” for each of the films. “We asked each of these writers to provide a single line of original
dialogue, which were then used as inspiration for 11 short films,” wrote Adam Sternbergh in The New York Times. “We want to celebrate the part of a film that starts on
the page and ends up, in the best cases, inscribed onto our memories. In
other words, the words.”
Watch all 11 videos below: