Did you know that Jesse Armstrong screened "Festen" for his entire crew before shooting the first season of "Succession" – or that the visual style was inspired by Annie Leibovitz and her famous photojournalism? And did you know that the visual style in "The White Lotus" was inspired by the Madonna Inn and local artworks featuring Hawaiian workers in the pineapple fields? Find out more in this interview-based article about the cinematography and visual design in two of the most interesting TV series from 2021? N.B.: The article contains spoilers.
FEATURE. Desire takes many forms on the silver screen - but how does the erotic manifest itself in a system of strict censorship? Amanda Curdt-Christiansen proposes an alternative appraisal of cinematic depictions of sex in mainland China and Hong Kong, with an appreciation for ongoing tensions beneath the gaze of the ever dominant Party.
IN ENGLISH. Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a Thai filmmaker, but his work seems to exist exclusively in the consciousness of those outside his native land. In this feature, Rasmus Helms explores the director’s unique cinematic voice.
IN ENGLISH. In the fierce competition of the streaming giants, original content is a key battleground. However, labels may be deceptive. Arguing that consumption modes help shape storytelling strategies, Søren Bastholm explores the two alleged ‘Netflix Originals’ – Mindhunter and Manhunt: Unabomber – and the differences between the show Netflix commissioned and the one Netflix picked up after its premiere.
IN ENGLISH. Even before its release Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Aquarius (2016) became the centre of heated and public debate in Brazil, not least due to a protest at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival condemning the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff. In this feature, Steffen Hven explores how the film’s own conveyance of (political) resistance is far more subtle, mature, and nuanced than the turmoil surrounding its release would suggest.
IN ENGLISH. This article is for anyone who would like to have a better grasp of the five types of voice-over found in such classics as Wings of Desire, Rashomon, and The Third Man. Richard Raskin presents an original model in plain, jargon-free language with plenty of stills, full transcription of thoughts and spoken lines, and no filler or mystification.
IN ENGLISH. What makes some bad films “so-bad-they’re-good”? In our latest article, Marc Hye-Knudsen and Mathias Clasen shed light on the paradoxical appeal of bad films by bringing contemporary humor research and cognitive film theory to bear on Tommy Wiseau’s cult classic The Room, often heralded as “the best worst movie ever made.”
FEATURE. The showrunner David Simon was a central flagship for HBO, when they revolutionized the TV-landscape in the beginning of the 2000s, and even in the highly competitive streaming landscape of today he continues to create relevant drama series that often utilize the past to comment on the present. In this interview, Simon talkes about his approach to realism and long-form storytelling and his views on the changes in American society and the American TV landscape.
VIDEO-ESSAY. Deformative criticism is a playful approach to film analysis that creates a new aesthetic object from the film being analysed. In 'No Voiding Time’, Alan O’Leary divides Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice into its individual component shots on four screens and treats the sound for musicality rather than sense. The result is an absurdist artefact that celebrates an already perplexing film.
IN ENGLISH. Kenji Mizoguchi remains as one of Japan’s most accomplished filmmakers. His work called upon a number of influences, not just from his cinematic peers, but also from his own culture. One such influence which was prevalent throughout his life as a director was the Japanese theatre, particularly traditional noh theatre which was used as both a stylistic and narrative device. In our latest article, Paul Spicer explores this relationship by examining two of his most important works of the 1950s.