Film editor Thelma Schoonmaker on movie quotes, fact versus fiction, and "Marty withdrawal."
Thelma Schoonmaker has been director Martin Scorsese's editor of choice ever since their shared career-defining turn on Raging Bull. With a collaboration spanning almost four decades, Schoonmaker recently won her second Academy Award and has been nominated for three others in the past. She took time off from her work on the upcoming crime drama The Departed to rewind with us.
A sharper, wider view of the current sports action and what you can expect in the future.
High-definition television isn't just about movies. Another killer app is making the case for an HDTV in every home: sports. Highfalutin videophile talk about the ability to see what the director intended pales beside the sports fan's visceral need to follow the ball and watch the action develop. Sports bars are where many fans get their first taste of sports on HDTV. The falling price of HDTVs has created the irresistible urge to bring the experience home. Plus, at home you can add a good surround sound system. A Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack that captures the roar of the crowd only adds to the excitement.
The always-expressive entrepreneur speaks out on a doubling HD audience and idiots who shoot in NTSC.
For a great many guys, to know Mark Cuban is to envy him: The outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks is also the founder of the all-high-definition TV network, HDNet, which has since added his latest success, HDNet Movies, as well. Mark recently spoke to Home Theater about his newest offerings, the challenges and benefits of high-def, and an unusual prediction for the impending next-generation DVD format war.
Producer/Engineer Elliot Scheiner is a driving force for 5.1-channel music.
After working with some of the biggest names in music, producer/engineer Elliot Scheiner—also a pioneer in and champion for multichannel music—wanted to take us for a ride. Working closely with Acura and Panasonic, Scheiner developed his namesake ELS 5.1 sound system, first for the Acura TL and now for Acura's new luxury SUV, the RDX.One of Panasonic's finest recently chaufferred me in a DVD-Audio-blasting Acura TL to Scheiner's secluded home studio to discuss the artistry, technology, and business of music.
At a time when the quality of feature animation was rapidly diminishing in Hollywood, Don Bluth did more than any filmmaker to keep the art form not just alive but healthy. In 1982, he directed his first full-length movie, The Secret of NIMH (now in a new Family Fun Edition DVD from MGM). That same year, Rick Dyer developed a revolutionary idea for an interactive laserdisc arcade game, which he pitched to Bluth and partner Gary Goldman. They would eventually cocreate the animation for what would become a video-game landmark, Dragon's Lair, the sumptuously realized quest of a hapless knight who—if we're quick with the stick—survives all manner of adversity to rescue a comely maiden from the clutches of a fire-breathing nasty. Before he struck out on his own, Bluth was a Disney veteran with decades of experience. He has given life to everything from the brood-friendly An American Tail, to Fox's ambitious Titan A.E., to the animated sequences in the Olivia Newton-John cult hit Xanadu. Yet a ravenous fan base continues to snap up Dragon's Lair on every new format, most recently the better-than-ever special-edition Blu-ray disc from Digital Leisure. I got to speak with Don Bluth, as well as Paul Gold from Digital Leisure.
Straight Shooter Director Doug Liman hits the mark every time.
In less than a decade, Doug Liman has established himself as one of Hollywood's most versatile—and successful—directors. He has nimbly moved from comedy to thriller to a unique hybrid of the two in Mr. & Mrs. Smith, soon to be re-released in a new, unrated DVD edition from Fox Home Entertainment. Here he talks about the challenges of making quality movies in a demanding business.
The man who made October 31st scary again continues to carve new ground.
Coming off a pair of low-budget, high-concept films (Assault on Precinct 13 and Dark Star), John Carpenter forever changed the world of horror cinema with his landmark Halloween. He's been pushing the genre envelope ever since, with fan favorites such as Escape from New York and the truly original They Live, along with unexpected turns such as Starman and TV's Elvis starring frequent go-to guy Kurt Russell. He's also given fans the occasional sequel, as well as his remakes of horror classics The Thing and Village of the Damned, even as Hollywood has begun remaking his signature works, including The Fog and Rob Zombie's upcoming Halloween. Carpenter knows monsters and how to portray a tense siege, and his experience with both benefit his second installment of Showtime's Masters of Horror anthology series, "Pro-Life." Ron Perlman stars as a gun-toting conservative dad out to retrieve his young, pregnant runaway daughter—at any cost—from the abortion clinic where she seeks refuge, even though the "baby" was conceived in the underworld and really, really needs killin'. "Pro-Life" is out on a fully loaded special-edition DVD from Anchor Bay/Starz Home Entertainment, and it boasts the only audio commentary I've ever heard where the director exits in the middle of recording to catch a quick smoke.
Scott Weber, Tom de Gorter, and Frank Morrone talk with HT about mixing ABC TV's Hit series, Lost.
ABC TV's Lost is a phenomenon recalling the best of The X-Files or Twin Peaks' mind-warping weirdness as it slips between edgy drama and scintillating sci-fi. The show's creators, J.J. Abrams (Alias) and Damon Lindelof (Crossing Jordan), set Lost on a mysterious tropical island in the Pacific Ocean, populated it with an ever-expanding cast of survivors, and pepper the episodes with flashback scenes that add depth and complexity to the show's epic story arc. The episodes are shot on location in Hawaii, but they're edited and mixed at Buena Vista Sound at Disney Studios in Burbank, California. To learn more about how Lost's incredible soundtrack shapes up every week, I spoke with the show's supervising sound editor Tom de Gorter and rerecording mixers Frank Morrone and Scott Weber. Lost is currently in its third season; seasons one and two are available on DVD from Buena Vista.
Multitalented, Modest, and unassuming: The Lost City's Andy Garcia.
Whether he plays the hero or the heavy, the always-intense Andy Garcia is impossible to ignore on screen. With The Lost City (on DVD August 8 from Magnolia Home Entertainment), G. Cabrera Infante's bittersweet tale of the Cuban Revolution, the Havana-born actor/director has crafted a profound cinematic work and one of his most powerful performances. Just don't call him a sex symbol.
The modern horror maestro loves DVD, hates "torture porn."
Spend some time with the extensive bonus materials on any Eli Roth DVD, and you get his number pretty quickly. An aspiring filmmaker since the age of eight, he's now thoroughly enjoying his professional success. Off a total investment of less than $16 million, he's produced and directed a trio of gruesome, surprisingly funny horror hits, namely Cabin Fever, Hostel, and, most recently, Hostel Part II. Perhaps more DVD-savvy than any filmmaker I've talked to, he's now going Blu-ray with a new Director's Cut of the original Hostel, plus the home video debut of his killer sequel.
Tune in to afternoon TV, and you're bound to run into a slew of children's programming. You may notice a tremendous presence of shows that look very similar to those native to Japan. Anime sagas such as Cowboy Bebop and Sailor Moon, as well as films by anime gurus such as Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Winds), have been around for several decades in the East; however, the genre is still relatively new to the American audience. There is no doubt that the influence of Japanese anime is on the rise. We had the opportunity to speak to one of the most innovative Japanese filmmakers, Satoshi Kon, a man known for his extraordinary vision and ability to take his audience by surprise.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood: How Frank Miller conquered Tinseltown . . . by way of Austin, Texas.
Frank Miller: Renaissance man. He's had legendary runs as writer and artist on the comic book Daredevil (including the creation of Elektra) and the historic miniseries Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (about a geriatric Caped Crusader, a pubescent female Robin, and a sexually ambiguous Joker). Miller also scripted the two RoboCop movie sequels. Around this same time, he also thought up his predominately black-and-white crime anthology, Sin City, which he would ultimately direct, with Robert Rodriguez, for the big screen. The movie is now available in a stunning special edition from Dimension Home Video. Remarkably serious yet surprisingly soft-spoken, Miller recently honored us with an invitation to his New York City studio.