Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:03 pm
Decades after the end of World War II, the partly burned body of a young woman was found in a wooded area near the Norwegian town of Bergen. Her possible connection to a long-simmering Norwegian scandal, one dating back to the war, became the subject of a novel by Hannelore Hippe — and, in turn, of Two Lives, a new thriller loosely based on that novel.
On location for <em>Walk of Shame,</em> camera crew members Larry Nielsen (center) and Milan "Miki" Janicin (right) help set up a crane shot. The wireless focus remote Nielsen will use is hanging from that purple carabiner on his jacket.
Credit Cindy Carpien / NPR
Nielsen's remote device controls focus, zoom and aperture on the camera; a white wheel is marked with numbers that indicate distance. Nielsen assesses the distance between camera and actor, and he needs to be precise: If he sets the wheel to 9 1/2 feet, but the distance is actually only 9 feet 3 inches, the shot will be out of focus.
You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.
"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."
Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.
"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."
Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 9:10 am
Almost two decades after publishing his last Calvin & Hobbes comic strip, elusive cartoonist Bill Watterson is back — with a film poster. The documentary, Stripped, is a self-described "love letter to comic strips" that includes interviews with, among others, Jeff Keane of Family Circus, Richard Thompson of Cul de Sac and Watterson himself.
One of the most popular characters in literature, stage, film and television started with a struggling doctor trying to put food on the table.
In 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, selling stories to magazines and papers as a side profession, introduced a detective and doctor duo in “The Mystery of Uncle Jeremy’s Household” – a prototype that would later become the ubiquitous Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in “A Study in Scarlet” and an entire canon that followed.
Scarecrow Video, Seattle’s largest video rental store, has an animation room. It has French comedies from the 1960s that aren’t even available in France. It has rows of films listed by obscure directors and the entire DVD box set of thirtysomething (which, upon reflection, perhaps it shouldn’t).
Just in time for "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," part two of director Peter Jackson's movie trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's book, Google Chrome and Warner Bros. have launched an interactive "journey through Middle-Earth."
Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 12:02 pm
12 Years a Slave is the most compelling film about music to be released this year, maybe this century. It's so many other things, too, as others have noted: a corrective to the weird cocktail of piety and cartoonishness that Hollywood usually supplies when depicting slavery; a gorgeous art film and an actor's hellish paradise; a cultural highlight of the Obama administration.
You know that "Singles" and "Sleepless in Seattle" were shot in Seattle, but what about Cameron Crowe’s "Say Anything"? Or "Humpday" and "It Happened at the World’s Fair," starring Elvis (in Technicolor)?