As Variety spoke highly of the Nashville Film Festival here, I luckily, I had the opportunity to attend just last week. This year’s festival “broadens its scope” on the film they screened, including a VR room and films with LGBT themes. I was lucky to view three different films and experiences during my visit and I can concur their wide variety of viewings. I did do two VR viewings of Asteroids! and VAIN: This Party Sucks , two different realities but both done well. This was a nice add on to the festival giving it an extra push, but in terms of cinematic viewings, I was extremely excited to see Patticake$ and I was not disappointed. Patticake$ was a hilarious film about a girl from New Jersey who strives to be a famous rapper. While the film had me laughing throughout, I was also able to view a fantastic documentary called Unrest that changed the tone. After all my viewings, I was so surprised and pleased by the diversity of films I saw, making Nashville a great and enjoyable fest.
Without a doubt, women in the film industry have been looked down on when it comes to any job that goes above the line. I’ve noticed it’s a very common trope for females to be looked at as assistants or put somewhere that doesn’t let the woman touch the camera. This isn’t actually true, but is an overwhelming and popular stereotype in the film industry. Currently, I am enrolled in a film class that goes over movies that take on the theme, “films about films.” Even within these movies, the female roles are very downgraded on screen; going between Living in Oblivion (1995) and Symbiotaxiplasm (1991), the females are always below the line. Even though women are depicted poorly in this industry, they actually have and continue to make big strides in film world, tackling social issues and creating new waves of cinema. IndieWire celebrates just some of the few game changing females here.
Being in the film industry, one of the most common and over-talked-about debates is whether or not using digital or film stock is better. Although, I see a benefit to both, it’s clear that they each have their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I love the aesthetic and texture that 16mm gives to its movie. This is what often makes film more popular, but there is a difference between 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film. When you use 8mm film stock, it is almost too old and vintage-looking and when you use 35mm, the classic film look is too close to digital; that’s why using 16mm is the perfect middle ground of the two, giving the picture condensed colors and that grainy feel. The only problem is, that shooting film is much more expensive and complex compared to digital, making the use of something like a DSLR the perfect buy for most low-budget filmmakers. Having different benefits between both is obvious and you can read more about it here, on IndieWire.
Breaking Bad was a huge phenomenon when it came out, and it’s been about four years since the winning series ended, but still has fans studying its form. Although, I was never a huge Breaking Bad fan myself, I can appreciate good work and realize the hype of the entire series. I also appreciate Breaking Bad’s understanding of when a story should end. Most series last for years and years, but Breaking Bad only lasted three seasons, giving it a more complete ending.
A video essay of about the show gives great theories of the entirety of the series. It brings ups the suspense and interest it had on its viewers but also mentions it’s pilots and how it leads into the rest of the series’ plot points. The essay and story really works because its gives meaning to the small moments on screen, leading up to the rest of the hidden secrets throughout. This is a very interesting concept and makes the Breaking Bad series worth the rewatch. You can see the article and video essay here!
Hollywood is pushing out their guns and are releasing action movie after action movie, but I feel like this is starting to lose the effect because of these movies are losing their realism. When we look back at the early 2000’s and even the 90’s action-packed fights, the suspense we saw on the screen depended on a director and a few fake punches. Today, these type of scene rely on visual effects, sounds, and fast cutting to pull off the idea of the big, heroic fight.
Now, this isn’t a terrible thing, but it’s a noticeably overused element. At first, when these movies used this style of action, it worked because it was so fresh and stimulating, but now, almost every action movie looks the same to me. Studios, like Marvel, have a great series and continue to grow as a franchise, but they are a perfect example of directors who aren’t necessarily action driven because they look to every other department to plan these scenes out. This destroys the actions story and becomes heavily driven on effect rather than ideals. You can read more about big-budget actions films here.
I guess it’s no surprise that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017) has already broke tons of records in its weekend release. It has already made around 170 millions dollars and continues to grow as the Disney Company knows exactly what they are doing in this business. I, as well as many others, saw it opening day and thought it was a beautiful musical that brought back all the nostalgia of being a kid or living in Disney World, but I wouldn’t call it a cinematic masterpiece. Get Out (2017) has much higher outlook in the film industry so far, but has earned less money than Beauty and the Beast …and that’s okay.
Because of this past weekend, the box office is at its highest earnings since the release of another Disney smash, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). It is up 5% from last years releases, giving a great start to the box offices and the movie industry. The problem with the industry today is you do not need to go to the movies to see a movie – you can just stream it from your house. That’s why building a hype for these movies, attracting people the the theaters again, which has a chain effect of leading people to see other films. Love it or hate it, Disney and other Hollywood hits are attracting people to leave their houses and see a film again. You can look at the proof here to see the top ten leaders of the box office this year.
A common tradition that happens within the box office, is its slight rise after the premier of the Oscars. Typically, for many of us are film enthusiasts, we would try to catch these films before the big night of awards, but instead this is a good medium for films like these to get a wider variety of viewers. In this article, IndieWire reviews the nominees that got the biggest rise.
One movie, in particular, did very well especially for not having won any awards: Hidden Figures (2017). Hidden Figures is one of the highest scoring box office Oscar films getting rave reviews and praise from the press. Not to mention that Octavia Spencer, one of the lead roles in Hidden Figures, appeared on Saturday Night Live last weekend, giving it some more love.
A very large percent of Oscar nominees went up this year, including Arrival, Fences, and Lion. Moonlight, which won best picture, even went up $2.5 million and had the best weekend run since its release. Like it or not, Oscar season is a great boost for the theaters and pictures that deserve a wide-scale audience.