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"The audience actually wants to work for their meal. They just don’t want to know that they’re doing that. That’s your job as a storyteller is to hide the fact that you’re making them work for their meal. We’re born problem solvers. We’re compelled to deduce and to deduct because that’s what we do in real life. It’s this well-organized absence of information that draws us in."

Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton in an altogether fantastic episode of NPR’s TED Radio Hour exploring what makes a great story

Complement with more secrets of storytelling from Vladimir Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut and Neil Gaiman, then see the neurochemistry of storytelling and the dramatic art.

(via explore-blog)

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"My films are not a personal expression but a prayer. When I make a film, it’s like a holy day. As if I were lighting a candle in front of an icon, or placing a bouquet of flowers before it. The spectator always ends up by understanding when you are sincere in what you are telling him. I don’t invent any language to appear simpler, stupider, or smarter. A lack of honesty would destroy the dialogue. Time has worked for me. When people understood that I was speaking a natural language, that I wasn’t pretending, that I didn’t take them for imbeciles, that I only say what I think, then they became interested in what I was doing."
"Given the competition with commercial cinema, a director has a particular responsibility towards his audiences. I mean by this that because of cinema’s unique power to affect an auditorium—in the identification of the screen with life—the most meaningless, unreal commercial film can have just the same kind of magical effect on the uncritical and uneducated cinema-goer as that derived by his discerning counterpart from a real film. The tragic and crucial difference is that if art can stimulate emotions and ideas, mass-appeal cinema, because of its easy, irresistible effect, extinguishes all traces of thought and feeling irrevocably. People cease to feel any need for the beautiful or the spiritual, and consume films like bottles of Coca-Cola.”
Andrei TarkovskyApril 4, 1932 — December 29, 1986

"My films are not a personal expression but a prayer. When I make a film, it’s like a holy day. As if I were lighting a candle in front of an icon, or placing a bouquet of flowers before it. The spectator always ends up by understanding when you are sincere in what you are telling him. I don’t invent any language to appear simpler, stupider, or smarter. A lack of honesty would destroy the dialogue. Time has worked for me. When people understood that I was speaking a natural language, that I wasn’t pretending, that I didn’t take them for imbeciles, that I only say what I think, then they became interested in what I was doing."

"Given the competition with commercial cinema, a director has a particular responsibility towards his audiences. I mean by this that because of cinema’s unique power to affect an auditorium—in the identification of the screen with life—the most meaningless, unreal commercial film can have just the same kind of magical effect on the uncritical and uneducated cinema-goer as that derived by his discerning counterpart from a real film. The tragic and crucial difference is that if art can stimulate emotions and ideas, mass-appeal cinema, because of its easy, irresistible effect, extinguishes all traces of thought and feeling irrevocably. People cease to feel any need for the beautiful or the spiritual, and consume films like bottles of Coca-Cola.”

Andrei Tarkovsky
April 4, 1932 — December 29, 1986

(Source: strangewood)

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I’m speechless.

Jelani Eddington at the Sanfilippo Wurlitzer playing the Star Wars Symphonic Suite.

(Source: youtube.com)

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Tim Cook has openly stated that Apple is working on “new product” categories. Many people, customers and competitors alike, assume that means some kind of wearable computing device. And of course that means it has to be some kind of “smartwatch”, right?

I don’t think so.

"

— If you’re interested in the whole wearable tech idea, you need to read this post by Craig Hockenberry (he wrote Twitterrific, one of the very first apps ever on the App Store and still a popular Twitter client).

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samsmyth:

Annie Atkins: Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel
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"I think that in order to find reality, each must search for his own universe, look for the details that contribute to this reality that one feels under the surface of things. To be an artist means to search, to find and look at these realities. To be an artist means never to look away."

Akira Kurosawa
March 23, 1910 — September 6, 1998

Happy Birthday, Kurosawa-san.

(Source: kurosawa-akira, via strangewood)

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Mike Fahey at Kotaku celebrates the original release of Katamari Damacy:Released by Namco in Japan on March 18, 2004, Katamari Damacy was the sort of strange, Japanese-flavored game that normally wouldn’t make its was to the West. With its brilliantly simple design, bizarre humor, eccentric art style and the most wonderfully quirky soundtrack in the history of music being made for things, this odd little game about rolling everything (everything) into a massive sticky ball Would never had made it to the states a few years prior.
It was so weird and oh so much fun.

Mike Fahey at Kotaku celebrates the original release of Katamari Damacy:

Released by Namco in Japan on March 18, 2004, Katamari Damacy was the sort of strange, Japanese-flavored game that normally wouldn’t make its was to the West. With its brilliantly simple design, bizarre humor, eccentric art style and the most wonderfully quirky soundtrack in the history of music being made for things, this odd little game about rolling everything (everything) into a massive sticky ball Would never had made it to the states a few years prior.

It was so weird and oh so much fun.

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Saw this tonight at the Tara. Packed house. So so good. Storybookish and neat visually, with all the characteristic Wes Anderson touches like predominantly symmetrical compositions, lush color palettes, and stage-like lighting. It’s remarkable how identifiable Anderson’s films are, as much for their cohesive charm as their disparate looks and sounds. There’s a scene on a cable car where the car stops abruptly halfway up (in the middle of the screen, naturally) and rocks squeakily. The squeaks stay in time with the music! I felt like I was being hypnotized into just loving the movie.

Little touches like that fill Anderson’s films, and they’re delightful for it. The Grand Budapest Hotel was no exception. Also, Ralph Fiennes is just amazing.

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design-is-fine:

Frederic Edwin Church, Iceberg studies, 1859. Drawings. Via Cooper Hewitt

(via backshootingford)

Tags: art
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There is something about your story, because you haven’t made an album in four decades — in a way it’s like you’ve stepped out of this time machine, and you’re bringing the power of your music to people in a different era who weren’t with you back then.

I am, but let’s go a little deeper here: Timelessness also matches transcendence. I happen to be passionately in love with the universe and who I feel created it. And when you love the universe like I do, you are lining up with eternal things or things that certainly are eons old; you are not lining up with fads. I had to be told what “techno” means. I had to be told there’s an argument between non-techno and techno, a little bit like Bob Dylan went through when he wanted to use an electric guitar. I mean, of course he wanted to experiment; of course he wanted to use everything he could. Creators want to branch out.

Our human fads are so temporary and they come and go so quickly. The things that last have a greater balance with these things that are more eternal. I always want to go to the universe and use things that have a timeless quality, that match the eons, that match the flow of nature. My music comes to me, usually, like rain: It’s a fast flood. It pours from above my head, through my head, and I have to race to get pencil and paper to catch it.

"

The Legend Of Linda Perhacs, ‘A Most Unlikely Rock Star’ : NPR - I’m listening to Parallelograms now, and it’s wonderful.

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Both Ms. Chastain and Ms. Kurylenko described a shooting process in which cast and crew, character and director, the film set and real life, work as one. Working in a Malick film, Ms. Chastain said, is like being part of “a ballet dance company without a soloist.” She added: “We’re all moving together, and that includes the cinematographer, the focus puller, the camera operator, Terry and the actor. It’s all five of us contributing to the shot, to seeing what the moment is.”

Ms. Kurylenko also described the process in terms of ballet — “They dance with the camera in their hands” — but said that each character, hers included, was ultimately an articulation of the director’s feelings and philosophies. “On a Terrence Malick set, your thoughts are his voice,” she said. “You think you’re thinking, but actually he’s thinking for you. He speaks to you, and he’s the voice in your mind.”

"

Olga Kurylenko and Jessica Chastain on Terrence Malick - NYTimes.com

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cinephilearchive:

Andrei Tarkovsky with the cast and crew on the set of ‘Stalker,’ 1979.

The films of Andrei Tarkovsky, Hopkins Center of Dartmouth College.

An evening screening and discussion of Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1979 film ‘Stalker,’ with writers Geoff Dyer, Phillip Lopate, and Francine Prose; master film and sound editor Walter Murch; spaceprobe photo curator, filmmaker, and writer Michael Benson; and Slate film critic Dana Stevens; introduced by New York Institute for the Humanities director Lawrence Weschler.

Andrei Tarkovsky discussed the film, its characters and their significance to him as an artist and filmmaker in the following interview from 1981.

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

I saw Stalker at The Belcourt in Nashville and it stands as one of the best solo film experiences I’ve ever had. Tarkovsky’s films aren’t easy to follow, but more so than any other filmmaker, his films are like those rare dreams where everything is mysterious yet somehow true.

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cinephilearchive:

“The movie itself is a classic, and that greatness is evident right off the bat with one of the best opening scenes in film history. Clocking in at about fourteen minutes, it certainly is one of the longest (during which, less than 60 words are spoken). It can be roughly divided into two parts: The title sequence during which the suspense is slowly built up and then, finally, the inevitable showdown. And then there are the actors involved: One a legendary African American actor who also happened to play for the NFL and practice the art of SeishinDo Kenpo. One a memorable character actor whose character has a distinct way to deal with houseflies. One an actor who tragically committed suicide before filming of the scene was complete. And then there is our hero, who usually lets his gun or harmanica do his talking for him, yet manages to deliver one of the best badass boasts ever. The Film League offers a deconstruction of the scene. And here’s a look at all of the filming locations for the movie then and now, which starts chronologically with the opening scene.” —MetaFilter

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?
Sergio Leone: My mother was an actress. My father was an actor and a director. I am the son of filmmakers. I was born with this bow tie made of celluloid on my collar.
And why did you decide to make westerns?
SL: I had never thought of making a western even as I was making it. I think that my films are westerns only in their exterior aspects. Within them are some of my truths, which happily, I see, belong to lots of parts of the world. Not just America. My discussion is one that has gone all the way from Fistful of Dollars through Once Upon a Time in America. But if you look closely at all these films, you find in them the same meanings, the same humor, the same point of view, and, also, the same pains.

Which filmmakers influenced you, and what were your favorite films?
SL: I must be honest and say that I was under the fascination of films. I was fascinated by all films, even the words of them. If I was to do a more-precise analysis of the situation, I have to admit that I was more entertained by the bad films than the good ones. Because when something is beautiful, it is there; it is finished; it is done. It doesn’t have to be touched or be worked upon. But if it is badly realized and not completely expressed, sometimes that is more provocative and interesting than when you see something that is perfectly and beautifully done. But if there is an auteur who influenced me—and there is only one—that is Charlie Chaplin. And he never won an Oscar. —Interview with Sergio Leone (1987)

Below: Henry Fonda talks about his casting in ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’: the funny reason Sergio Leone cast him as the villain in this rare 1975 interview.

Reads/Watches/Listens:

For more, see our archive under the tag, “Sergio Leone.”

For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going:

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Melting. #vscocam (at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church)

Melting. #vscocam (at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church)

Tags: vscocam