All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, The Kashmir Files. That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival.
INOX Cinemas, one of the largest multiplex chains in India, officially launched India’s first ‘ScreenX‘ theatre in Malad yesterday. Part of the “INOX Malad” multiplex at the Inorbit Mall in Malad, ‘ScreenX’ is a proprietary technology from Korea that offers a 270-degree immersive viewing experience by using the side-walls of the auditorium in combination with the main screen.
Black Panther is the latest spectacle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has been getting rave reviews from everyone who’s seen it. I’ve seen the film twice so far, of course on the first two days of the film’s opening on Feb 16th in India. I loved it! It’s not an extraordinary masterpiece like some are calling it — rather, it was a very refreshing change from the typical Marvel affair for me. The film has flaws, but if we’re to look at it as a film, I loved it. Don’t worry, this isn’t another review that’s going on to praise the culture, the colors, the costume, or the VFX of the film. Instead, I’m going to be talking about the Title Sequence of Black Panther.
If you’ve seen the film, the Title Sequence is what we get to see towards the end of the film, right before the credits start rolling. This Title Sequence is, to me, the best part of the entire film.
Black Panther’s Title Sequence was surreal, and a visual masterpiece. The whole thing was crafted with incredible motion graphics and transitions and set to an amazing track by Kendrick Lamar & SZA. It’s a fascinating display of bright and bold colors, energetic camera work and transitions, smooth motions and everything comes together to take you through a summary of what happens in the film. A major reason why I even went in to watch a second screening of the film with my wife was so that I could sit through the Title Sequence yet again in all its glory. It was simply outstanding!
This Main On End Title Sequence of Black Panther was crafted and brought to life by a small team of incredibly talented people at an NYC-based studio called Perception. Founded in 2001, Perception has worked on and contributed their remarkable work towards several films, not just in Title Sequences, but also in User Interfaces, Experience Design, and other material. Many, if not all of the fascinating displays and user interfaces seen in Shuri’s laboratory in the film are crafted by Perception.
At the center of Black Panther’s story is Vibranium — a Wakandan metal that practically powers all the technological advancements in the country. Perception decided to base the Main on End Title Sequence on Vibranium — rather, vibranium shavings.
Perception’s Chief Creative Director John LePore says:
The idea was to have small shavings of vibranium— like dust or sand that would morph or reassemble into various three-dimensional shapes and forms, all by being actuated by sound waves. The vibranium sand has a great physical quality to it, which works really well with the blend of technology and spirituality seen in Wakanda. We also considered the sense of touch that we’ve lost with touchscreens or holograms to be a holy grail for interaction.
This form of Vibranium appears in several scenes in the film, and most notably, is also used for the opening prologue that tells the story of Wakanda and its history. Perception worked on the pre-vis for the opening prologue too, while the final animation was done by Storm VFX.
I am absolutely in awe by the work done by Perception, so it didn’t come as a surprise that the studio has also done the title sequences for two other Marvel films — Thor: Ragnarok and Spider-man: Homecoming. Perception also has films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Iron Man 2 and The Avengers to their credit.
[All images in this post are via Perception]
1917 is one of the most incredible films I have ever seen, and sits high on my list of favorite films of all-time. It is directed by Sam Mendes, with the Cinematography helmed by the “God of Light“ Roger Deakins. 1917 is such an amazingly crafted film that I do not have enough words to describe it.
For the uninitiated, 1917 is set in the war-torn era of 1917 and follows two English soldiers trying to deliver a message in an attempt to stop 1600 fellow men from walking into a trap. What makes 1917 a beautifully crafted cinematic experience is the way it is presented — one, single, two-hour-long continuous shot that follows these two protagonists.
Of course, it’s impossible to actually shoot a two-hour long film at this scale and polish, so the are going to be cuts. But Sam Mendes, together with Editor Lee-Smith and VFX studio ‘MPC’ have done a remarkable job of stitching together and hiding these cuts.
However, 1917 is still impressive for the fact that in many scenes, Sam Mendes manages to utilize blocking to move the camera where you’d traditionally require a cut in other films. This brilliant video essay by Thomas Flight explains why 1917 is so good:
I’ve been mesmerized by the art of Cinematography for a long time, and am a sucker for one-shot long takes. It’s fascinating to sit back and study how films like these were made.
If you can still find a way to watch 1917, please do watch it. You probably won’t enjoy it as much as watching it on the big screen, but you can surely enjoy and praise Sam Mendes’ impressive direction, Roger Deakins’ surreal cinematography and Lee Smith’s crafty editing.
Sidenote: While not the same thing, there’s also a really-impressive 12-minute long scene in Netflix’s new film ‘Extraction‘ starring Chris Hemsworth. It’s definitely worth checking out for the action-alone.
I usually don’t post movie reviews here on Nuclear Bits, but ‘Tumbbad‘ calls for an exception. It is an incredibly crafted genre-defining flick and if you love watching movies, do make sure that you watch it before the theaters end its run.
I happened to watch Tumbbad last night and I must say, it is an incredible experience, very unlike anything coming from Bollywood. It’s so refreshing to see a flick that cares about creative vision, intricate set designs, cinematography, and sound design. There’s no big-budget star cast, no larger-than-life glittering sets, and no over the top music and dance sequences. Yet, Tumbbad manages to present a really skillful and perfect artwork on the screen that offers an absolutely fascinating visual and audible experience. It’s a “must-watch in the theaters only” kind of film.
I loved the way the cinematographer has crafted most of the frames in the movie. The lighting, the movement of the camera, and the way each shot is precisely made possible, backed by Rahi Anil Barve’s fabulous direction, is nothing short of commendable.
I know a lot of people who’re skeptical about it, thinking it’s a horror film. But there’s a stark difference between the typical horror stuff with jump scares that we’re used to seeing, and what Tumbbad delivers. It’s a ‘Fantasy Horror’ film, but one that’s based on a powerful storyline with a primary theme of ‘greed’. It won’t leave you looking over your shoulder once you step out of the theatre and around the corners at home, it just isn’t your exorcism and “bhoot-preyt” kind of horror. What it is, is thrilling, gripping, and surreal.
Lastly, one of my favorite parts of the film is its background score by Jesper Kyd. Tumbbad is scored by Jesper Kyd — the same man behind the popular games like the Hitman series, Assassin’s Creed series, Borderlands series, Darksiders II and State of Decay. His music is what brings the film to life in the theater.
I’ve recently started watching and appreciating David Fincher’s work in TV Shows and Films. Of course, I’ve watched and liked Fincher’s work in the past, but lately, I’ve started noticing the little touches, the attention to detail, the use of VFX at atypical places and have started to greatly appreciate his work and his craft. The Social Network is one of my favorite films, not because of the subject matter, but because of the way Fincher has presented the subject matter on screen.
Here are three video essays that will help you appreciate Fincher’s work in greater detail: