Steven Spielberg: Complete Guide to His Films and Techniques

Steven Spielberg

Ask anybody with a passing interest in movies who they think of when they hear the word “director”, and 9 times out of ten, you’ll get the same name:  Steven Spielberg.  The man is undoubtedly the most successful director of our time, perhaps of all time. He single-handedly invented the blockbuster with 1975’s JAWS, but he’s also responsible…

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Rob Zombie: Ultimate Guide to His Films & Directing Techniques

One of my pet peeves when it comes to art is when someone from a particular artistic discipline decides they want to try their hand at film directing.  In practice, it’s a hit or miss proposition:  for every successful transition (Steve McQueen, Tom Ford, or even Ben Affleck), there’s an abject failure (Madonna and…Madonna). When…

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Film Movements in Cinema: Cinema Novo

Cinema Novo, Cinema Novo Movement

By the early 1960’s, some Brazilian filmmakers had their fill of traditional Brazilian cinema, which consisted of Hollywood-style epics, musicals, and comedies. A group of filmmakers decided that it was time to create something new and different, which was dubbed the Cinema Novo Movement (1963-1974). This new, different, and oft-times subversive style of filmmaking,  was inspired…

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Film Movements in Cinema: Free Cinema

free cinema movement, british new wave

During the waning years of 1950’s England, a group of documentarians arose to address pressing concerns, including poverty as seen through the eyes of working class citizens. The movement was dubbed The Free Cinema (1956-1959). Many Free Cinema movement filmmakers began as writers writers for leading film related publications, most notably Sequence and Sight & Sound.…

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Denis Villeneuve: Complete Guide to His Directing Techniques

Denis Villeneuve, Dune, HBOMax

If one were to take a poll of contemporary cinephiles asking them to name the most exciting filmmakers working today, the name of director Denis Villeneuve would undoubtedly slide in towards the top of the list— if not cap it outright. Films like PRISONERS (2013), SICARIO (2015), and ARRIVAL (2016) have stunned audiences with their…

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What is Mise en Scéne? – Definition and Examples

Working in the film business you hear many “inside” terms on a set like Apple box, MOS, montage don’t cross the line (to learn about the 180 degree line in a past article), etc. One such term is “Mise en Scene” or the translation “placing on stage.” This is a French expression that refers to…

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What is Deus Ex Machina? (Definition and Examples)

Deus Ex Machina

Deus ex machina (Latin for “god from the machine” or “god out of the machine”) is a literary device in which a character, usually a god or goddess, intervenes in an action to resolve a problem. It is often used by authors to resolve plot problems and can be seen as a solution to the…

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What is Cinema Du Look? (Definition and Examples)

Cinema du Look, Luc Besson, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Leos Carax

The Cinema du Look film movement, which originated in France in the 1980’s and lasted for approximately the next decade or so, was more of a feast for the eyes than food for the soul. it was inspired by TV commercials, music videos and fashion photography, as well as Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the…

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What is Poetic Realism? (Definition and Examples)

Poetic Realism (1930-1939) The Poetic Realism film movement, which started in 1930 and extended through the end of the decade, was full of characters living on the fringe of society, whose lives, to be frank, sucked. They pined for the good life, but that life eluded them; they waxed nostalgic, but they settled for being…

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