Sheila writes: While life can often be messy and awful, and the bombardment of bad news from around the globe is disheartening to say the least, sometimes it really helps to sit back, relax, and watch a bunch of guys working together to play "Flight of the Bumblebees" on the cliched 100 bottles of beer on the wall. This clip came out a couple of years ago and I haven't tired of it. I love the collaboration and the creativity. I love in particular the scene that isn't shown here, the one where they worked it all out.
Marie writes: The late John Alton is widely regarded as being one of greatest film noir cinematographers to have ever worked in Film. He perfected many of the stylized camera and lighting techniques of the genre, including radical camera angles, wide-angle lenses, deep focus compositions, the baroque use of low-level cameras and a sharp depth of field. His groundbreaking work with director Anthony Mann on films such "TMen" and "Raw Deal" and "He Walked by Night" is considered a benchmark in the genre, with "The Big Combo" directed by Joseph H. Lewis, considered his masterpiece. John Alton also gained fame as the author of the seminal work on cinematography: "Painting with Light".
The Big Combo (1955) [click to enlarge]
Marie writes: ever stumble upon a photo taken from a movie you've never seen? Maybe it's an official production still; part of the Studio's publicity for it at the time. Or maybe it's a recent screen capture, one countless fan-made images to be found online. Either way, I collect them like pennies in jar. I've got a folder stuffed with images, all reflecting a deep love of Cinematography and I thought I'd share some - as you never know; sometimes, the road to discovering a cinematic treasure starts with a single intriguing shot....
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Cinematography: Harry Stradling(click images to enlarge)
Q. You mentioned that Stanley Kubrick always has a bathroom in his movies, and John Landis always uses the line "See you next Wednesday." What about Dan O'Bannon's chickens? O'Bannon started screenwriting in college with classmate John Carpenter. Their first full feature together was "Dark Star" in 1974. I haven't seen this film for myself, but I believe there is a scene in it which involves the world's crappiest joke--pulling a rubber chicken from a jacket and shaking it to make it look alive. Ever since then, Dan O'Bannon has incorporated a chicken into each of his film scripts. In "Alien" a chicken's membrane appeared on the monitor when John Hurt was being scanned. In "Blue Thunder" a missile takes out a fried chicken restaurant. In "Return of the Living Dead" the joke appeared on a billboard in the background. In "Total Recall" me and a couple of friends are pretty sure it appeared at the end of the film--the alien "handprint" on the atmosphere-creating machine being in reality a mold of a enlarged chicken's foot. (Graham Keith, Haslingden, England)