From Tony Zhou comes another episode of Every Frame a Painting. In it, he uses Bong Joon-ho's Memories of Murder to explore ensemble staging, how movies can direct an audience's onscreen attention when many people are on the screen at the same time, and why a director would want to do that.
kottke.org posts about Tony Zhou
Buster Keaton and the Art of the Gag Nov 23 2015
For the latest installment of Every Frame a Painting, Tony Zhou examines the artistry and thought silent film master Buster Keaton put into the physical comedy in his movies. I used to watch all sorts of old movies with my dad (Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel & Hardy) and had forgotten how good Keaton was. If you're anything like me in wanting to head down a Keaton rabbit hole, Zhou recommends starting with the first short film he directed and released, One Week.
See also Studs Terkel's 1960 interview with Keaton, a video showing Keaton's use of symmetry and center framing (Wes Anderson, Kubrick), Every Frame a Painting episode on Jackie Chan, and The Ultimate Buster Keaton Collection, a 14-disc Blu-ray box set.
Vancouver Never Plays Itself Sep 21 2015
In the latest installment of Every Frame a Painting, Tony Zhou talks about the different techniques filmmakers use to make shoot locations like Vancouver (Zhou's hometown) look like New York, India, Chicago, Shanghai, and San Francisco in the finished films.
Tony Zhou is back with another installment of Every Frame a Painting. In this one, he examines the evolution of Looney Tunes animation master Chuck Jones and how his approach and style changed as his career progressed.
I love Looney Tunes. In my mind, Duck Amuck and Rabbit of Seville are some of the finest images put to film. Related: watch Chuck Jones draw Bugs Bunny and the 11 rules of making Road Runner cartoons.
The Dissolve dissolves Jul 08 2015
Bummer, film site The Dissolve has shut down. They burned bright for a short time.
For the past two years-well, two years this Friday -- it's been our pleasure to put up this site, a site founded on and driven by a love for movies, alongside a company with passion and talent for creating thoughtful, important work. Sadly, because of the various challenges inherent in launching a freestanding website in a crowded publishing environment, financial and otherwise, today is the last day we will be doing that. We've had this opportunity thanks to Pitchfork, which has been incredibly supportive of our vision. We couldn't have asked for a better partner.
I've linked to a few of their things over the past few months, and the quality was always high. Tony Zhou has collected a few of his favorite pieces from the site.
In praise of chairs Jun 03 2015
Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting looks at the use of production design in movies. Specifically chairs. Chairs can tell you something about the world the film is set in, the characters who use them, or a specific situation.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch... Apr 02 2015
For the one-year anniversary of Every Frame a Painting, Tony Zhou goes meta and talks about how to structure a video essay, using South Park and Orson Welles' F for Fake.
Happy anniversary EFAP!
Akira Kurosawa, a master of movement Mar 23 2015
New Every Frame a Painting! In this installment, Tony Zhou shows how Akira Kurosawa used movement in his films to terrific effect.
Showing character choice in Snowpiercer Oct 31 2014
A new short episode of Every Frame a Painting, in which Tony Zhou talks about how to show character choice in movies without using dialogue. His main example is Snowpiercer. Spoilers ahoy.
Who Wins the Scene? Oct 16 2014
Tony Zhou's excellent series on filmmaking, Every Frame a Painting, has become a much-watch for me. Here's the latest one, a short look at a single scene from Silence of the Lambs in which Zhou asks: Who Wins the Scene?
What David Fincher doesn't do Oct 03 2014
Tony Zhou of Every Frame a Painting looks at the constraints David Fincher chooses to operate under while shooting a film. For instance, he very rarely uses hand-held cameras.
The last half of the video featuring a breakdown of how some of Fincher's scenes were shot is fascinating.
Texting in movies Aug 20 2014
From Tony Zhou, A Brief Look at Texting and the Internet in Film.
Michele Tepper wrote about Sherlock's display of texts in 2011.
The rise of instant messaging, and even more, the SMS, has added another layer of difficulty; I'm convinced that the reason so many TV characters have iPhones is not just that Hollywood thinks they're cool, but also because the big crisp screen is so darn easy to read. Still, the cut to that little black metal rectangle is a narrative momentum killer. What's a director trying to make a ripping good adventure yarn to do?
The solution is deceptively simple: instead of cutting to the character's screen, Sherlock takes over the viewer's screen.
And just today, a trailer for Jason Reitman's Men, Women & Children, which movie seems to consist entirely of texting and social media interaction:
Scorsese's silence Jun 30 2014
Martin Scorsese uses silence very effectively in his films. Tony Zhou explains:
(via dot info)
How to do visual comedy May 27 2014
Using Edgar Wright as a positive example, Tony Zhou laments the lack of good visual comedy in American comedies and provides examples from Wright's films (Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, etc.) to show how it's done properly.