Pics or It Didn’t Happen: In Praise of Antonioni’s ‘Blow-Up’ at 50

Blow Up

Blow-Up is half a century old. I first learned of Michelangelo Antonioni’s groundbreaking slice of surveillance cinema while watching HBO with my parents in the 1970s. I was a precocious kid, but I wasn’t yet hip to the Italian auteur’s ersatz paean to Swinging London and fashion photography, not to mention the first glimpse of …

The Beginning of the Film Industry

The film business is born in Paris with the Brothers Lumières’ first paid public film screening on this day, December 28 in 1895. Among other selections, on the bill was La Sortie de l’Usine Lumière à Lyon (literally, “the exit from the Lumière factory in Lyon”, or, under its more common English title, Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory.

At least one brother didn’t think the screening was that auspicious:

“My invention, (the motion picture camera), can be exploited… as a scientific curiosity, but apart from that it has no commercial value whatsoever.” — Auguste Lumiere

Haha. Thanks, boys!

We’re On the Spectrum Between Ed Wood and Orson Welles

Ed Wood

Great piece by Andrew Bloom at Consequence of Sound that expresses  a notion I’ve been mulling since I first saw Tim Burton’s Ed Wood. Bloom drills down into the scene between Johnny Depp’s titular character and Vincent D’Onofrio as Orson Welles as the filmmakers discuss keeping to one’s artistic vision: Burton and his collaborators sketch an …