Blog Directory CineVerse: March 2010

A new dawn for silent cinema

Sunday, March 28, 2010

CineVerse cordially invites you to discover one of the silent cinema's most exquisitely beautiful masterpieces: "Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans," directed by the great F.W. Murnau. Make a date to join us on March 31 for an unforgettable movie experience.

To learn more about "Sunrise," click here.


Make "Last Detail" your first priority

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's the little details in life that matter--as well as the last details. Jack Nicholson demonstrates why he ruled the 1970s in Hal Ashby's comic adventure "The Last Detail," which is up next on the CineVerse calendar, set for March 24.

Click here to learn more about "The Last Detail."


Head down the rabbit hole

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Oak Lawn Library, in its lower level meeting room, will be showing the following film, free of charge: Walt Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951) -- Monday, March 22 at 2 p.m. -- Alice follows the White Rabbit into Wonderland, where she meets many odd characters, from the Mad Hatter to the Queen of Hearts. Based on the book by Lewis Carroll. Rated: G. 75 min.


Get your Irish up

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To help celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we invite you to enjoy a blast from our podcast past. Two years ago this week, we indulged in director John Ford's timeless testament to the Emerald Isle and its people, "The Quiet Man." That discussion yielded several insightful observations and contrasting opinions.

Click here to listen to the podcast, originally taped on March 12, 2008.


Tampopo a-go-go

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Does Asian food whet your appetite? Make a dinnertime reservation to join CineVerse on March 17 for "Tampopo," a delectably different Japanese flick with laughter as the main course.

Click here for more information on "Tampopo."


CineVerse's most wanted: James Cagney

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ever wonder how humiliating it is to get a grapefruit shoved in your face? James Cagney will be happy to demonstrate in his star-making role as "The Public Enemy", which is next on the docket for CineVerse, scheduled for March 10. We'll also have some extra time to view clips from other classic gangster films that helped define the genre, so make plans to be with us.

To learn more about "The Public Enemy," click here.


FX expert spills trade secrets

Thursday, March 4, 2010

by Erik J. Martin

If you love special effects-laden flicks like "Avatar," then you owe a tip of your cap to the craftsmen who put the technique into the pyrotechnics, the experts who slather the latex and K-Y Jelly onto countless creatures and props, and the technicians who help suspend your disbelief with amazing cinematic sleights of hand.

One of those pros is Mat Beck, who has discovered the secret to special effects suc­cess: It's called the "ooog factor." Never heard of it? You've certainly experienced it if you've seen such movies as “Spider-Man 2,” “The Spirit,” “Into the Wild,” “The Aviator,” “Titanic,” and “True Lies,” for all of which Beck served as visual effects producer/supervisor.

According to Beck, the “ooog factor” is what makes viewers say, 'Wow, how are they gonna get out of that?’” while watching a movie.

The key to Beck's FX success, he told me during an interview a few years back, is a tenacious attitude "and a willingness to put up with long moments of pain for shorter moments of pleasure,” he told me. “Making a TV show or a movie is like going to war. To win, you have to be in it until the end. You have to know all the rules and know when to break them."

A good visual effects supervisor, Beck continued, has a background in computers, photography and filmmaking and is "willing to contribute to the look and emotional impact of the product."

Born and raised in Massachusetts, Beck says his life changed forever after seeing “Star Wars” as an impression­able teen. "I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with my life," he recalled.

Now, instead of simply admiring the talents of special ­effects masters like “Star Wars” pro John Dykstra and “2001: A Space Odyssey's” Douglas Trumbull, Beck is out there on the same playing field with his own company, Light Matters/Pixel Envy.

"Pulling off a visu­al effect successfully requires a combination of very careful planning and preparation and a willingness to throw it out and make up something totally dif­ferent and new," Beck added. "It's like any other kind of magic, in that it's not really magic-it just appears that way because you can't see the levers behind there."


Essential film ingredients

Monday, March 1, 2010

With a new month comes an all-new poll. For March, CineVerse asks the question: What element of a movie is most important to your enjoyment? Take a moment to cast your vote by participating in our online poll, found on the top left sidebar of our home page. 

By the way, here are the results of February's poll, which asked: While nominated film deserves to win the Academy Award for Best Picture? In spirited voting, "The Hurt Locker" came out tops with 38% of the vote, followed by "Up" (30%). Tying for runner-up at 7% apiece were "The Blind Side," "An Education," "Precious" and "Up in the Air." We'll see whom the Oscar goes to on Sunday!


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