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Immersed In Movies

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    Anatomy of a Scene: Revisiting 'Hang Me' from 'Inside Llewyn Davis'

    The opening of "Inside Llewyn Davis" is a remarkable achievement: It not only sets the melancholy mood of Greenwich Village in '61 with the eponymous singer (Oscar Isaac) performing "Hang Me, Oh Hang Me" at the iconic Gaslight, but it also sets us up for a confusing circular odyssey. I got the lowdo...

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    Anatomy of a Scene: Solomon Northup Chained in '12 Years a Slave'

    One of the most important yet difficult decisions in Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave" was how to depict Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) waking up in bondage. Fortunately, they hit on the idea in the cutting room to tell it out of sequence, the result of which was disconcerting for Northup and v...

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    Talking the 'Her' Score with Arcade Fire Oscar Nominee William Butler

    Oscar-nominated William Butler's first-time experience composing the wistful score for Spike Jonze's "Her" with his Arcade Fire partner Owen Pallett was a bit of a romance as well as a crash course in moviemaking. And yet the experience opened him up more intuitively to the collaborative process.

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    Immersed in Movies: Anatomy of a Scene for the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts

    What were the most challenging scenes to animate in the Oscar-Nominated shorts? I posed this to all five directors: Lauren MacMullan (Get A Horse!), Daniel Sousa (Feral), Shuhei Morita (Possessions), Laurent Witz (Mr. Hublot), and Max Lang (Room on the Broom).

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    Immersed in Movies: Talking 'The LEGO Movie' with Chris McKay

    Now that The LEGO Movie is already a hit going into its second weekend and "Everything Is Awesome" (with a likely sequel in the works), let's chat with Chris McKay, the animation supervisor. He worked with Animal Logic on a particularly fitting stop-motion vibe in CG (what they called seven points ...

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    Anatomy of a Scene: Dissecting the Bravura 'Gravity' Opening

    The extraordinary 13-minute opening of Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" is like a mini-movie, setting up the zero-gravity world in space, the two astronauts played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, the mood, the tension, the crisis, and the metaphor. I break it down with Oscar-nominated cinematographe...

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    David O. Russell and Oscar-Nominated Crew Talk the Craft of 'American Hustle'

    David O. Russell's on a roll with his Oscar-contending "American Hustle," his most personal and popular movie yet. It's smart and funny, and has obviously touched a nerve with its story of survival and reinvention during the cultural and political upheaval of the late '70s. "I don't care about pure ...

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    Immersed in Movies: Anatomy of a Scene: 'Let It Go' and 'Family Maze'

    Both Frozen and The Croods contain transcendent moments that summarize the visual and thematic essence of these two Oscar-nominated movies: the powerful "Let It Go" song and the beautiful "Family Maze." I dig deeper with the directors and filmmakers to better understand and appreciate their context ...

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    Talking Johnny Depp's Oscar-Nominated Makeup and Hair in 'The Lone Ranger'

    When it came to Johnny Depp's trippy Tonto in "The Lone Ranger," there were two makeup and hair challenges: the middle-aged Native American as well as the old man (a tribute to legendary Dick Smith's Jack Crabb from "Little Big Man"). We get the lowdown from Oscar-nominees Joel Harlow, who's become ...

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    Immersed in Movies: Master Building 'The LEGO Movie' with Phil Lord and Chris Miller

    There's more than meets the eye in The LEGO Movie. It's not only smart and witty but it also explores the essence of LEGO and Master Building and, finally, storytelling in a Pirandello-like way. I spoke with directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (at LEGOLAND, of course) about making a subversive mov...

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