Benedict Cumberbatch-voiced film “Jerusalem:” Inside the making of the IMAX movie

By Amanda Cochran. Photo: Jerusalem US LP. Source:

“Jerusalem” – a new movie narrated by actor Benedict Cumberbatch – takes viewers inside the Holy City in IMAX 3D. But how did the National Geographic Entertainment team gain such unprecedented access to the city, which is perhaps the world’s most politically and religiously delicate locale?

Taran Davies, co-producer of the movie, said the film – which took five years to make – was an effort that came together “over a million cups of tea.”

He said, “Jerusalem, over its 4,000-year history, it’s the most fought-over place on Earth. It’s been subject to 118 conflicts. It’s been conquered 44 times and destroyed completely twice. But, yet, to this day, it is sacred to over half the world’s population.”

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Behind Bars, Where Anything Goes

By Neil Genzlinger. Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images. Source:

Is that political commentary lurking beneath the grunts and four-word sentences of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone?

“Escape Plan,” an enjoyable enough version of the action movies these stars have been feeding off lately, puts the two of them in a supermaximum-security prison where assorted terrorists and other extremely undesirables are housed. It’s an off-the-grid detention center, privately run, and the administrators think nothing of inflicting abuses of all sorts. This film is not likely to be shown on movie night at Guantánamo.

Mr. Stallone’s character makes a living by going undercover as an inmate and trying to break out, to identify the weaknesses in the prison security system. He is hired for a black-ops assignment that quickly turns sinister. Mr. Schwarzenegger is the inmate he teams with to try to escape.

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A vivid coming-of-age romantic drama

By Ann Hornaday. Photo: Media Films. Source:
Once in a while a movie comes along that doesn’t just affect how you think or feel, it performs its own kind of physical alchemy, burrowing its way into your consciousness so thoroughly that you feel permanently marked and changed.

“Blue Is the Warmest Color,” Abdellatif Kechiche’s long, sprawling, boldly immersive coming-of-age drama, works just this sort of magic. A naturalistic portrait of the sexual and romantic awakening of a teenage girl — played in an astonishing breakout performance by newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos — “Blue Is the Warmest Color” at first seems like nothing new: Portraying the day-to-day life of Exarchopoulos’s character, also named Adèle, Kechiche hews to the time-honored French tradition of dressed-down, realistic staging and style, devoting long, seemingly spontaneous sequences set at Adele’s high school and at home with her working-class parents.

Those unforced, quotidien rhythms don’t perceptibly change once Adele meets Emma (Léa Seydoux), a fresh-faced, blue-haired art student she first glimpses on a crowded street, then pursues into a lesbian night club. The two women fall into a rapturous, physically electric affair, with Adèle at first bewildered and finally beguiled by Emma’s assured delivery of a sentimental education.

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‘Jerusalem’ documentary shows rare views inside city

By George Duffield. Photo: Nicolas Ruel. Source:

The job of the sort of IMAX documentary that screens at museums is simple: fascinate, educate, and visually wow an audience of both school field-trippers and their chaperones, and get off the stage in about three-quarters of an hour. With this as its tricky and sometimes contradictory criterion, “Jerusalem” succeeds rather nicely.

“Jerusalem is the crucible of coexistence,” said writer, producer, and first-time director Daniel Ferguson, on hand at the recent world premiere of the film at the Museum of Science’s Mugar Omni Theater. “Why are people fighting over this little city on a hill?”

He and his coproducers admitted “there was nothing that was not complicated” when it came to filming. At the crossroads and flashpoint of three major religions — Christianity, Judaism, and Islam — Jerusalem is “the most contested piece of real estate on earth,” intones narrator Benedict Cumberbatch (PBS’s “Sherlock”).

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Dallas Buyers Club at Toronto International Film Festival

By Cameron Bailey. Photo: Reuters. Source:

Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto star in director Jean-Marc Vallée’s (The Young Victoria, C.R.A.Z.Y.) take on the true story of accidental AIDS activist Ron Woodroof, whose cross-border smuggling network brought much-needed treatments into the hands of HIV and AIDS patients neglected by the medical establishment.

In 1986, the AIDS crisis was still a misunderstood horror, withering then taking its victims, alarming the public and confounding the doctors who sought a cure. In Texas, Ron Woodroof stood beyond the fear of AIDS. He was clueless. So when this boozing, foul-mouthed, womanizing heterosexual contracted HIV, his response was instinctive: Bullshit.

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‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ Wins Palme d’Or at Cannes

By Manohla Dargis. Photo: AFP. Source:

“Blue Is the Warmest Color” — an emotionally raw and sexually explicit contemporary French drama and critical favorite about a young woman’s awakening — won the Palme d’Or on Sunday evening at the 66th Cannes Film Festival here.

From the stage, Steven Spielberg, the head of the competition jury, announced that he and the other jurists had decided to formally recognize not only the movie’s director, Abdellatif Kechiche, but also its two young actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux. This unusual, perhaps unprecedented step acknowledged the contributions of both women, who appear naked in several sex scenes, but it also took some auteur sheen away from Mr. Kechiche, suggesting that the jury had engaged in intense back-room negotiations. For much of the festival the critical favorite had been “Inside Llewyn Davis,” a period story from Joel and Ethan Coen about a New York folk singer trying to make it in 1961. The Coens’ film won the Grand Prix, but they were not in attendance.

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Interview with Lionel Kopp, Senior Colorist at Film Factory, who graded the stunning Mirror Mirror

By Digital Vision Press. Source:

The project, which was directed by Tarsem Singh and shot by Brendan Galvin on the Sony F35, was completed at the Montreal-based facilities of Film Factory. Lionel Kopp, Founder of Film Factory and one of the world’s leading colorists, worked closely with the project’s creative visionaries, assisted by the expertise within Digital Vision to execute a dynamic color pipeline.

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In ‘Mirror Mirror,’ Snow White is fair and tough

By Sheri Linden. Photo: Associated Press. Source:

Julia Roberts shines as the jealous Queen and director Tarsem Singh injects some toughness into Snow White, played by Lily Collins.

Encased in a coffin, waiting to be brought back to life: That’s how Snow White spends a good portion of the folk story that bears her name. There’s no such downtime for the princess in the snappy retelling “Mirror Mirror,” a fractured fairy tale that occupies the divide between Disney and Grimm.

A booster shot of testosterone lends kinetic kick to director Tarsem Singh’s visually inventive interpretation, without shortchanging the requisite froufrou or sugarcoating the story’s dark Oedipal heart. The mash-up can be choppy, but the fable zings along on the sharp comic timing of the cast, led by a royally wicked Julia Roberts.

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The 3D journey of “Immortals”

By Peter Caranicas. Photo: Jan Thijs. Source:

The producers of Relativity Media’s “Immortals,” which opened to a better-than-expected $32 million this past weekend, always intended for the film to be released in 3D. Once production got underway with Tarsem directing it was clear that with the exception of a small amount of footage the film would be shot on 2D and later be converted to the stereo medium.

Cinematographer Brendan Galvin – who’s also shooting Tarsem’s Snow White film “Mirror Mirror” – entrusted much of that task to a fellow d.p., David Stump, who has the credit of senior stereographer on the film. Galvin and Stump both talked to Variety’s Inside Production’s Peter Caranicas about the thinking that went into the shooting and conversion of the swords-and-sandals actioner.

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