Pic of the Day: French poster for Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder (1954)

French poster for Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder

The French release poster for Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder (1954) bears no mention of the film’s 3D origins. Originally shot as a “deepie,” after a brief preview run in 3D the film’s release was shifted to “flat.”

Below are Hitchcock’s thoughts on the 3D process, from an issue of Prevue magazine. This image comes from 3D Film Archive, which offers an extensive history of the film’s production and release.

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Shot Behind the Shot: Swiss Army Man (2016)

Behind the scenes of Swiss Army Man vfx #1

(Above) The practical portion of one of Swiss Army Man’s many inventive effects that give superhuman powers to flatulent corpse Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). Here’s the film’s cinematographer Larkin Seiple on the various fake Radcliffes constructed for the movie, via an interview with Seiple I did for Filmmaker Magazine. Continue Reading ›

An interview with Swiss Army Man cinematographer Larkin Seiple

Swiss Army Man

Here’s a link to an interview I did with Swiss Army Man cinematographer Larkin Seiple for Filmmaker Magazine. And here’s a quick sample of Larkin talking about working with the various animal critters in the film:

Filmmaker: Do you have any horror stories about the bear or the raccoons?

Seiple: The raccoons were good. I believe their names were Boris and Natasha. Raccoons can really only either grab something or run away and each of the raccoons had a specific move that it could do. So they weren’t too bad, we just had to do a lot of takes and they were constantly trying to escape, which made the owners nervous because we were in a giant forest.

The bear was challenging to shoot in that we didn’t have a lot of time with it. We had to set up an electric fence around the bear wherever we were shooting just in case something went wrong, which is nerve-wracking to shoot any sequence where you’re surrounded by an electric fence for your protection. The owners also seemed a little intimidated by the bear. (laughs) They looked very nervous when he wasn’t in the cage. Its main lure was ice cream sandwiches. They would throw five or ten of them back into his cage whenever they finished a take. He loved them. The bear’s name was Tag and he was very sweet but you could hear him rolling around in the cage and you thought, “My god, how much does he weigh?” The suspension on the truck was just shaking.

The films of Michael Cimino

Michael Cimino and Vilmos Zsigmod on the set of Heaven's Gate

Compiled this collection of posters and set stills from the career of Michael Cimino, who passed last week. The images come from a variety of sources, but many are via Heritage Auctions, Behind the Clapperboard, and Cinephilia and Beyond. Continue Reading ›

Pic of the Day: First Blood (1982)


Sylvester Stallone on the set of First Blood

(Above) Sylvester Stallone in the midst of an action scene during the making of First Blood (1982). Stallone followed up this first Rambo outing – the actor’s biggest non-Rocky hit at the time – by turning down Romancing the Stone to appear in 1984’s Rhinestone.

The role of Rambo’s former commanding officer – ultimately played by Richard Crenna – was initially filled by Kirk Douglas. That did not go so well. Here’s director Ted Kotcheff on Douglas’ exit from the project, via an interview with Filmmaker Magazine. Continue Reading ›

The showmanship of 1930s theatrical displays

Ben Ali Theatre (movie theater), 121 East Main, exterior; lobby entrance decorated to promote %22Congress Dances%22 (1931; original German title- %22Der Kongreß tanzt%22), Lillian Harvey (lead actress) is misspelled on marquee,, 1932

I recently stumbled upon this series of photographs depicting the ballyhoo employed to lure patrons into movie theaters in Lexington, Kentucky in the early 1930s. The photos are via the Kentucky Digital Library.

One of the venues pictured below – The Kentucky Theatre – still operates in Lexington, KY and is featuring a summer classics series through the end of  September. Continue Reading ›

Pic of the Day: The Last Days of Disco (1998)

Behind the scenes of Whit Stillman's The Last Days of Diso

Actress Chloë Sevigny peers through the camera’s viewfinder on the set of Whit Stillman’s The Last Days of Disco (1998). More than a dozen years would pass before Stillman returned with 2011’s Damsels in Distress. The photo comes courtesy of The Criterion Collection, which shared an album of Stillman set pics to promote the release of a triple feature of the director’s work including Disco, Barcelona, and Metropolitan.