Best Cinematography Oscar Winners

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 7:43 pm

Pure pleasure, and a powerful reminder of why the members of the Motion Picture Academy reacted so strongly when the producers of the Oscar telecast tried to take the award for best cinematography off the broadcast. Here’s a look at the Best Cinematography Oscar winners.

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Film History Movie History

More Reasons to Love Wonder

Posted on February 13, 2019 at 8:00 am

“Wonder” is now one of the first major films to be translated into American Sign Language. It is especially fitting that this beautiful film about kindness and acceptance is accessible to the Deaf community in their own language.

Copyright 2017 Lionsgate

Lionsgate announced its partnership with the mobile application Actiview and Deaf activist and actor Nyle DiMarco to create an ASL interpretation of Wonder. That family-friendly film, which debuted in November 2017 as a Lionsgate movie, tells the story of a young boy with facial differences caused by a genetic syndrome who is bullied when he begins attending mainstream school in the fifth grade. The 2012 home release of the animated film Ice Age: Continental Drift also included ASL interpretation.

“I hope that shows Deaf/ viewers that there could be more options for enjoying movies and television,” DiMarco wrote in an email. “Mostly I hope that studios and networks reflect on how accessible their content is and look at ways that they can improve. It would be amazing if in the not-too-distant future all viewable content had an ASL option.”

The ASL interpretation of Wonder is available via Actiview, an iOS app that includes accessibility features for people who are blind or have low vision as well as those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Users sync their app to the content they’re watching on a TV, laptop, or theater screen, and choose from accessibility options like audio descriptions, captions, and amplified audio. Their mobile device becomes a second screen that provides additional content to improve the movie-watching experience.

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Disabilities and Different Abilities

Now That You’ve Seen All of Russian Doll…..

Posted on February 12, 2019 at 8:02 pm

Copyright 2019 3 Arts Entertainment
I totally binged “Russian Doll,” the new Netflix series starring Natasha Lyonne, who also co-wrote, co-produced, and directed the last episode. And when I was done watching the story of a 37-year-old New Yorker who dies repeatedly only to find herself resetting back to her birthday party at a friend’s apartment, I wanted to understand more about it. If you’ve seen it and are ready for some in-depth (and I mean DEPTH) discussion, start here:

Comparing the time loop rules of Russian Doll and Groundhog Day

No Easy Answers

Russian Doll Easter Eggs You May Not Have Noticed That Will Make You Want to Watch it Again

Russian Doll Used Men in the Supporting Roles Usually Reserved for Women

Interviews with Charlie Barnett (Alan), Nadia’s stunt double, and writer/director Leslye Headland, and mastiff-pup-lover Lizzie

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Understanding Media and Pop Culture VOD and Streaming

Native Americans on Film

Posted on February 4, 2019 at 8:00 am

It wasn’t that long ago that Native American characters in film were played by actors of other races, including Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Anthony Quinn, Burt Reynolds, Johnny Depp, and Elvis Presley. Depictions are often wildly inaccurate, from the most basic details of dress, ceremony, culture, and history.

It was just four years ago that Native American actors walked off the set of the Adam Sandler film, “The Ridiculous Six.” The fact that the movie was offensive to Caucasians and every sentient life form on the planet did not justify what the actors were being asked to do.

This week’s “Cold Pursuit” has real Native Americans playing Native American characters, and the one of the movie’s high points is when one of them uses their ethnicity — and the prospect of a withering Yelp review — to pressure a snooty hotel clerk into giving them a room. Most of the Native Americans in “Cold Pursuit” are criminals, but so are most of the rest of the characters.

Putting actors of Native American heritage in the movies is not enough. Letting them play characters who are not stereotypes, even better, letting them play characters where their ethnicity is not a defining characteristic– is a step forward. Best of all is the stories they tell by and about themselves, as in the endearing Smoke Signals.

Sierra Teller Ornelas writes in the Hollywood reporter that when she worked at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, many of the visitors asked for more information about what they had seen in the movies and it was almost entirely inaccurate.

We’re so invisible. And we’re so sick of explaining to people that we’re invisible. We have an abundance of great stories to tell. And even when we get to tell your stories, we make them so much better (see Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok). If traditional network and cable structures are about to straight-up implode, if people are finally desperate enough to try anything, then try me, or Sterlin Harjo and The 1491s, Sydney Freeland, Azie Dungey, Lucas Brown Eyes or all the other Native creators who are grinding and capable. Because if all content is indeed going the way of the streaming algorithm, I’m worried about what happens when you — and your voice and your stories — have never occurred to that algorithm.

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Film History Race and Diversity Understanding Media and Pop Culture
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