United States

A fully loaded iMac Pro will cost you $13,200

Photo: Apple

It’s official! As we reported yesterday morning, the iMac Pro is now officially on sale in the United States, starting with the two base models—the 8-core and 10-core variations—and a price tag of $5,000 for the ‘standard configuration.’

Up until now, that’s the only price we knew for this behemoth of a computer—what Apple calls “the most powerful Mac ever”—but now that the iMac Pro website is official and the product is up in the store, we can find out how much a fully loaded version costs. And let’s just say you should hold on to your wallets.

If you go to Apple’s store website and trick out the computer, going all the way up to the 2.3GHz 18-core Intel Xeon W Processor with Turbo Boost up to 4.3GHz, 128GB of 2666MHz DDR4 ECC memory, a 4TB SSD, and a Radeon Pro Vega 64 graphics card with 16GB of its own HBM2 memory, your price tag goes up to.

Drum roll please…

$13,200

If you do one of the more basic configurations, you’ll be able to get yours in the next 1-2 weeks. However, if you plan to shell out the aforementioned $13,200 for the fully-loaded 18-core beast, don’t expect to get the computer in 2017. According to the Apple store website, a fully loaded variation will ship in 6-8 weeks.

To learn more or configure your own (if you’re lucky enough to have pockets this deep) head over to the iMac Pro website.

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

10 Great B-Movies That Inspired Mainstream Directors

By Matteo Fava

It’s a known fact that B-movies from the the 20th century are a deep well of ideas for new or recent directors. The rediscovery of B-movies became more and more popular thanks to directors like Quentin Tarantino.

Currently it’s no longer an isolated case, and many more directors are trying to catch ideas from old low-budget movies. High budget remakes of 70’s or 80’s B-movies are being made every year by important producers and famous directors. They homage the artistic work of directors who in previous decades had little money, but a lot of interesting ideas and a passion for moviemaking.

1. Black Sunday (1960)

Black Sunday

Two travelers by mistake resuscitate a witch named Asa, 200 years after she have been tortured and condemned to death for witchcraft. She tries now to take over the young body of her descendant to come back to life.

This movie is the exordium of the director Mario Bava and it is considered to be his masterpiece and overall a milestone of Italian horror cinema. Sublime technical skills and personal taste blend perfectly together: a fantasy-horror story with a dreamlike touch (vaguely inspired by Vij from Gogol), amazingly shot in a very stylish black and white (the cinematography is by Bava himself who already worked with the director Riccardo Freda for the movie “Lust of the Vampire”).
The movie didn’t get the success it deserved amongst Italian critics, yet it became a definite cult movie abroad getting reviewed by publications such as “Positif” and “Cahiers du cinéma.” Subsequently, it got a lot of fame in the United States with the title “Black Sunday.”

Italian horror directors like Freda and Sergio Corbucci have been deeply inspired by this movie. Thanks to this role, lead actress Barbara Steele became immediately popular. She continued starring in many → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Lensrentals merges with LensProToGo to create photo and video rental powerhouse

Huge news is coming out of the camera gear rental space today. Lensrentals and LensProToGo have announced a ‘strategic partnership’, merging into one privately held company that the duo is calling “the strongest photo and video equipment rental company in the United States.”

This is a big deal, especially when you consider the dearth of real competition in the rental space—BorrowLenses was put up for sale by Shutterfly in January of this year, and Lumoid ‘paused operations‘ in September… just to name a few troubling bits of news.

The results of this important merger will not be a whole new company, though—you won’t be seeing a LensProToRentals or LensrentalsToGo brand spring up. Instead, both websites will continue to exist and both brands will continue to operate under their current names, only now they’ll do it with the substantially increased resources that the partnership provides. This paragraph from the press release sums up the benefits to current Lensrentals and LensProToGo customers well:

The strategic partnership effectively increases Lensrentals video equipment knowledge base, provides an East coast facility, and allows the company to further its leading position in the photo and video equipment rental market. Customers of both brands will be able to continue the long-term customer service relationships built over the years, in addition to having access to the largest inventory of equipment for rental in the photo and video industry, and an array of shipping, try-before-you-buy and insurance coverage programs.

This ‘strategic partnership agreement’ was closed and approved by both companies on December 1st, but since both are—or were—privately held, we won’t be getting any financial evaluations of the deal or companies (unless, of course, someone wants to leak it to us… hint hint).

Press Release

Lensrentals and LensProToGo Join Forces → continue…

From:: DPreview

The 25 Best Mind-Bending Movies of All Time

By Thor Magnusson

The-Prestige

Mind-bending movies – stories that deliberately target the audience’s brain as their plaything, either by making us work through their abstract mysteries, or by pulling the rug from underneath the audience in its final moments, or taking us on a spiralling dream-like journey like no other film could.

Let’s examine the best of the best from this exclusive sub-genre, with a criteria of only one entry permitted by its director (otherwise this would just be a David Lynch and Christopher Nolan list). Prepare your mind…

25. Altered States (1980)

altered states

Ken Russell was already Britain’s ‘Enfant Terrible’ before he went to the United States for this troubled production that quickly killed his chance of working there again. Based on the novel by Paddy Chayefsky (disowned by him as well), the film follows a Harvard scientist (William Hurt) who becomes obsessed with finding human nature’s true role in the universe. How does he set about doing this? By locking himself in an isolation chamber and taking hallucinatory drugs – as you do.

The film devolves into silly nonsense as Hurt’s physical state regresses to primal form as a reaction to this ordeal, yet where the film flourishes is with its incredible ‘vision’ related imagery; here Russell is truly in his element as he creates an awe-inspiring world that likely stands as the most stunning and elaborately made hallucinogenic sequences put to celluloid, as well as his strongest work in that specific field (which is saying something). The plot is interesting even if some of the execution is flawed, yet it’s more than worth your time for its trippy mise-en-scene and hellish imagery.

24. Triangle (2009)

This strong little thriller from underrated director Christopher Smith makes for a loopy and memorable experience that squeezes the most out → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

AI-powered ‘Google Lens’ is being integrated into Assistant on Pixel phones

With the Pixel 2 smartphone, Google introduced an exciting new software feature called Google Lens. Google Lens uses Artificial Intelligence to power its visual recognition algorithms and provides information about whatever your smartphone’s camera is pointed at—for example, what type of flower you are looking at or reviews and other information about a restaurant. You can also identify landmarks, look up movies, books or works of art and scan barcodes/QR codes and business cards.

Unfortunately, in its first implementation the feature wasn’t terribly easy or straightforward to use. You had to take a picture, then go to Google Photos and tap the Lens icon which would trigger the Google Lens scan. That’s too many steps to make the feature as useful as it could potentially be.

Thankfully, Lens will be integrated into Google Assistant soon. When you open the latter, there’ll now be a Lens icon near the bottom right of the display. Tapping this opens up a Google Lens camera. You can tap on any object of interest in the preview window and the app will provide any available information.

As usual, the new feature will be rolled out gradually. English-language Pixel phones that are using Assistant in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, and Singapore will be served first over the coming weeks, but we’d expect the new feature to make it other regions soon after.

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From:: DPreview

The 10 Best Female Movie Performances of All Time

By Vitor Guima

This article is here to explore and talk about some of the best female performances in the history of film.

As always, many things interfere in the choice of the performances in an article like this one. But as usual, the main ones are memory and personal preferences. If you think any other female performance should be on this list, please leave it in the comments section below.

So here are the 10 best female performances of all time.

10. Ingrid Bergman in “Casablanca” (1942)

In one of the most iconic films of all time, Ingrid Bergman delivers one of the best performances in cinema history.

Directed by Michael Curtiz, “Casablanca” follows the story of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a man who runs a nightclub in Morocco during World War II, and his cafe is a place where refugees try to obtain letters that will help them escape to the United States. One day, Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), Rick’s former lover, and her husband appear at his club, and he will have a very difficult decision to make.

Ilsa Lund is just one of the many iconic roles Bergman played in her life. But still, this is probably the most iconic of all. From every line, as simple as they might appear to be, Bergman is able to make them as meaningful as possible and to make them as beautiful as they are hurtful at some moments.

That makes her performance as Ilsa Lund definitely one of the best of all time.

Other notable performances by the actress:

– Notorious (1946); directed by Alfred Hitchcock
– Europe ’51 (1952); directed by Roberto Rossellini

9. Bette Davis in “All About Eve” (1950)

all-about-eve-1950

This film, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Bette Davis and Anne → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema