November 29, 2012 |
In the making of "Argo," editor William Goldenberg cut a million feet of film - more than 185 hours of raw footage - into a two-hour movie. "Argo," directed by and starring Ben Affleck, tells the story of the 1980 CIA-Canadian operation to rescue six fugitive American diplomatic personnel, disguised as a film crew, from revolutionary Iran. Goldenberg selected shots and assembled them into sequences ranging from the suspenseful intensity of the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to the comic absurdity of a Hollywood read-through of a bogus sci-fi film.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 9, 2010 |
Matthew Itkowitz, an off-duty deputy U.S. marshal, was being beaten and threatened with a gun in an alley off Melrose Avenue when, in fear for his life, he managed to draw his own weapon and fatally shoot his attacker. At least, that's the story Itkowitz told Los Angeles police. What really happened that night in the Fairfax district is less clear-cut. Witnesses' accounts of what happened before the shooting vary. But footage from a surveillance camera, which has never been made public, calls into question the deputy marshal's claim of self-defense.
October 4, 2012 |
The found-footage horror genre hits eye-strain levels with "V/H/S," an indie anthology of six what's-on-this-tape films from nine directors, featuring mainly two kinds of images: someone talking to a camera lens, and something horrific barely visible through a shaky camera lens. There are some unholy pleasures: David Bruckner's tale of loutish amateur-porn wannabes (the camera's hidden in the nerd's glasses) who pick up the wrong girl is a grimly propulsive lick of mythic vengeance; the talented Ti West's second-honeymoon story, blissfully free of agitated camerawork, gets at the creepy vibe of road motel rooms; and Joe Swanberg's non-Mumblecore riff on video chats and haunted apartments has the crisp dread of a chilling short story.
August 14, 2011 |
Novelist Ken Kesey, who penned "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and his compatriots the Merry Band of Pranksters didn't have a clue how to operate a 16-millimeter movie camera or a Nagra audio recorder. But that didn't stop them from trying to make a movie out of their fabled 1964 LSD-fueled cross-country road trip from La Honda, Calif., to the New York World's Fair, which Tom Wolfe famously wrote about in his book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. " Kesey, his Pranksters and Beat Generation figure Neal Cassady captured some 40 hours of filmed footage and sound recording during their venture on a fluorescent-painted school bus they called "Further.
January 17, 2013 |
Back in 2000, the L.A. producer/musical gadfly Jon Brion pitched a TV pilot to VH1. "The Jon Brion Show" was pegged as a kind of neo-variety show with guest musicians (a familiar format to anyone who knows his Largo roundtables). Director Paul Thomas Anderson even lent his hand to the pilot. The network declined to pick it up, but Anderson on Thursday posted a video with a note on his YouTube channel: " I tore up the floorboards at H.Q. the other day and came up with this little number on VHS. She holds up well.
October 11, 2012 |
In "Sinister," Ethan Hawke plays a down-on-his-luck true crime writer desperate for a hit, who moves his family into a house in which the previous occupants died under ominous circumstances. That turns out to be a big mistake. He soon discovers a box of old home movies, actual filmstrip movies with the necessary projector even, in the attic that seem to be a series of snuff films, families murdered over decades with only fleeting glimpses of a mysterious, ghoulish figure pointing to who is behind it all. Pursuing the story of those films and whether he has put his own family in the path of whoever made them drive Hawke's writer relentlessly to the brink of madness.
October 25, 2012 |
The killer waves in "Chasing Mavericks" are the thing to watch, the only thing to watch. They are angry waves, monsters - with lots of attitude and undertow. If only the rest of the film had followed in their wake. The story, and even the surfing, just don't hold water against their crushing presence or fierce beauty. Starring Gerard Butler, newcomer Jonny Weston and other beachy types, "Chasing Mavericks" is based on the true story of surfing wunderkind Jay Moriarity (Weston). He lived a short but meaningful life, making his name by surfing, and surviving, the infamous Mavericks surf break at California's Half Moon Bay. Success came early, at 16, and death as well - a free-diving accident off the Maldives when he was about to turn 23. By that point Moriarity had become a major figure in the surfing world, known as much for his winning smile as his exceptional athleticism.
August 11, 2010 |
Johnny Carson is getting an upgrade for the YouTube era. Carson Entertainment Group, which owns the archive of the late-night host's 30 years on "The Tonight Show," is set to announce Wednesday that it has digitized all 3,300 hours of existing footage from the program and created a searchable online database for producers and researchers. The library will initially be available just for professional clip-licensing purposes, but the company also plans to release 50 full-format shows on DVD and post a rotating series of historic clips for public viewing on http://www.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 2, 1986 |
Jurors in the "Twilight Zone" trial took a highly unusual field trip to a posh Beverly Hills theater Wednesday to view Exhibits 15, 16 and 17--the footage of the gruesome helicopter accident in which actor Vic Morrow and two child actors perished on a film set in 1982.
September 12, 2008 |
Previously unseen footage emerged Thursday showing Republican presidential candidate John McCain as a prisoner of war in Hanoi on the day his Vietnamese captors released him to the U.S. military. Erik Eriksson, a former reporter from Swedish broadcaster SVT, told the Associated Press he found the video in the network's archives while conducting research for a book about his experiences as a Vietnam War correspondent. A North Vietnamese photographer, working under contract with Eriksson, filmed the release.