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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Film Critic Keyboard Cat in the 23½ Century!(Or: "Play 'em off the bridge, KC!")

My turn: In this episode, Keyboard Cat becomes a 23rd century film critic and must dodge deadly Romulan lens flares and Vulcan interrogation techniques on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise! Gratuitously excessive audio-visual excitement overkill galore!

UPDATE: Cameron sends this: "J.J. Abrams Admits Star Trek Lens Flares Are "Ridiculous":

I know there are certain shots where even I watch and think, "Oh that's ridiculous, that was too many." But I love the idea that the future was so bright it couldn't be contained in the frame. The flares weren't just happening from on-camera light sources, they were happening off camera, and that was really the key to it. I want [to create] the sense that, just off camera, something spectacular is happening. [...]

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Our DP would be off camera with this incredibly powerful flashlight aiming it at the lens. It became an art because different lenses required angles, and different proximity to the lens. Sometimes, when we were outside we'd use mirrors. Certain sizes were too big... literally, it was ridiculous. It was like another actor in the scene....

We had two cameras, so sometimes we had two different spotlight operators. When there was atmosphere ["smoke"] in the room, you had to be really careful because you could see the beams. So it was this ridiculous, added level of pain in the ass, but I love... [looking at] the final cut, [the flares] to me, were a fun additional touch that I think, while overdone, in some places, it feels like the future is that bright.

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