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VFX

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    Immersed in Movies: 'Avatar' VFX Wiz Letteri Compares 'Apes' and 'Tintin,' Caesar and Haddock

    It's been a great year for Joe Letteri, Weta Digital's senior visual effects supervisor, with "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" as the front runner for the VFX Oscar and "The Adventures of Tintin" opening today and competing in the animation category.

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    Fifteen Pictures Vie for Academy Visual Effects Noms; What Didn't Make the Cut?

    With new rules this year permitting five nominations, the Academy VFX Branch executive committee has picked fifteen films to be checked out at the annual Visual Effects Bakeoff in early January. That's when the committee will narrow the list to ten, and then, five for nominations morning January...

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    Hugo: The 3-D Game-Changer

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    John Orloff Talks Anonymous, Shakespeare, Emmerich, Ifans, Redgrave, Stratford vs. Oxford

    One of the surprises of the season is Roland Emmerich's Anonymous, which opens Friday amid ongoing controversy over its premise: that William Shakespeare did not write his plays and poems, and the Earl of Oxford did. Screenwriter John Orloff has been obsessed with this mystery since his college days; the screenplay served as his ticket of admission to Hollywood. First, Shakespeare in Love put Anonymous on the back burner, to be resurrected decades later by German digital master Emmerich, best known for such action adventures as Day After Tomorrow and 2012. Emmerich helped, for better or for worse, to turn Orloff's identity crisis into a rip-...

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    In The Tree of Life, Malick's Experimentation Gets Under the Skin

    With the debate about its Oscar chances heating up and the film now available on DVD and Blu-ray, Matt Brennan’s “Now and Then” column this week revisits Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or-winning The Tree of Life. The Tree of Life marks director Terrence Malick’s fifth feature in the 38 years since his debut, Badlands. It’s an output that might seem thin at first glance: Woody Allen, in the same period, directed 40 (!) films, some of which (Annie Hall, Husbands and Wives) deserve to be saddled with the word “classic.” But Mailck’s genius — and, watching The Tree of Life again, I think that’s a fair word to use — can’t be seen in traditional terms....

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    Adventures of Tintin Early Reviews are Mixed: Delightful, Dazzling, CG Wizardry, Vidgame Action

    Despite his stellar review, TOH! London critic Matt Mueller says there are a few drawbacks to Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson's The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn. An "almost bombastically annoying" John Williams score, for one, creepy close-ups of Tintin are thankf...

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    My Week in New York: Hugo, War Horse, Turin Horse, Parties, Marilyn, Book of Mormon

    Monday night's mystery screening of Martin Scorsese's work-in-progress 3-D Hugo (featurette below) marks my last screening at this year's New York Film Festival. The reason that the movie was shown without completed effects or a final score (by Howard Shore) is that it's a cinephile's dream, and the NYFF audience couldn't have been a more receptive crowd. While the movie should work with families over the Thanksgiving holiday, and producer Graham King (nervously pacing in the rear of the theater as ushers passed out 3-D glasses) assured me that they wouldn't have shown the film if the movie wasn't going to finish on time, Paramount wanted to ...

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    In the Works: Returning to Kurelek's Maze

    Bob Young and his two sons were lured into making successive films about The Maze artist William Kurelek, reports Bill Desowitz:It's easy to get sucked into The Maze, the surreal and nightmarish Bosch-like painting that Canadian artist William Kurelek (1927-1977) created as a mental patient in England in 1953. Comprised of 17 panels, it's a naked glimpse into his troubled mind. The Maze is so powerful and dynamic, in fact, that it ensnares you more like a movie or graphic novel than a painting. No wonder award-winning director Bob Young (The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, The Eskimo: Fight for Life) was inspired to document Kurelek's complex life...

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    Geeking Out with Cameron at the 3D Summit: Titanic, Avatar, Theme Parks

    This week, in his Immersed in Movies column, Bill Desowitz talks to James Cameron at the 3D Summit. Don't try to convince James Cameron that 3-D is faltering. He's still a true believer, despite some recent 3-D blowback. He laughed if off as growing pains and negative media spin at the 3D Entertainm...

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    Visual Effects Society Issues Bill of Rights to Combat Downward Spiral

    Despite the fact that VFX and animated films rule the box office every year, the Visual Effects Society, representing 2,400 members in 23 countries, wants to foster change related to deteriorating quality of life issues for individuals, while leveling the playing field for facilities.

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