US

All 25 Spike Lee Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

By David Zou

Spike Lee movies

Spike Lee not only encapsulates the Black American experience but uses the medium of film to call out the hypocrisies within United States society and the racial, political, and sexual tensions just simmering beneath the surface.

He’s fierce, unapologetic, and touches raw nerves in his work about the problematic social arrangement between the races and classes in America through the eyes of not just a black man but as an incisive director and documentarian. His movies examine race relations, the black community, how media functions in America, crime and poverty in the city, and politics in general in the US. His work is fast-moving, sharp, and hard-hitting.

It’s important a director like Spike Lee exists to put into words and images the frustrations that the great masses are unable to communicate or else articulate to a larger audience. Spike Lee is the truth of the American Dream: an artist that can speak truth to power without seeming a hypocrite. He’s a director that will eagerly make the kind of films that most directors will squirm away from. He’s a figure that has picked up the unbelievably difficult torch of being the Voice of All Black People in America–even though he doesn’t necessarily speak for all of them.

But to hell with racial labels: he’s a brilliant director who has a gift for creating indelible images and can move a story forward with urgency and pace and visual finesse that’s a rare find, no matter their race. To qualify this argument: Spike Lee is a unique visionary, a voice in cinema so far unmatched, and a perfect director.

25. She Hate Me (2004)

She Hate Me (2004)

While Spike Lee is known as a provocateur, the wildly tone-deaf nature of 2004’s She Hate Me stands as his worst film to date. → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

New Sony 16-35mm GM in Stock in Europe

By SonyAlpha Admin

PCHstore and CameraNu (Thanks Tomas!) have the new 16-35mm GM lens in Stock. It will be in Stock next week in US and other EU stores too: . P.S.: And Mobile01 posted their full lens review.

The post New Sony 16-35mm GM in Stock in Europe appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

“We Don’t Want Them to Be Brilliant, We Want Them to Be as They Are”: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel on Mister Universo

By Steve Macfarlane

You wouldn’t typically catch me recommending a movie on the basis of its crowd-pleasingness or heart-warmingness, dead or alive. But we’re living in warped times, and it’s a travesty that Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s crowd-pleasing, heart-warming not-quite-documentary feature Mister Universo — which I caught by happenstance at last year’s Festival International du Film de Marrakech — didn’t have the good fortune of securing a US distribution deal after playing festivals around the world last year. The movie stars Tairo Caroli, a 19-year-old lion tamer from a real-life traveling circus in Italy, as himself. Among his few prized possessions is an […] → continue…

From:: Filmmaker Magazine

How to photograph the August eclipse, and why you probably shouldn’t try

Essentially, it’s the ultimate photo challenge. On August 21st, photographers across the continental United States – and especially photographers within a 70-mile-wide band stretching from Oregon to South Carolina – will have no more than 160 seconds to get the shot of a lifetime.

Starting around 9am PT, the moon will pass in front of the sun, and a large swath of North America will be treated to a total eclipse. And if you ask anybody who knows anything about astronomy, it is a huge deal. Dr. Tyler Nordgren is such a man. He’s a professor of physics and astronomy, an award-winning photographer and a self-described Night Sky Ambassador. Here’s how he puts it:

“Half the people that are alive right now weren’t even alive the last time something like this was visible from the continental US. Secondly, there are 12 million people just living in the path of totality that are going to get the chance to see it, so it will be the most-viewed total solar eclipse probably in history.”

The most seen, most photographed, most shared, most tweeted – potentially the most people in total are going to be able to experience this in one form or another

Given that just about everyone in its path will have a camera in their pocket, he says it’s also likely to be the most photographed in history.

“The most seen, most photographed, most shared, most tweeted – potentially the most people in total are going to be able to experience this in one form or another.”

Hungary – My first eclipse photo that I took in 1999 superimposed on the stamp I bought there comemorating the eclipse by showing its path across the country. Photo and caption by Tyler Nordgren

But unless you’re a seasoned landscape photographer → continue…

From:: DPreview

10 Great Dark Comedies From The 1990s You May Have Missed

By Mike Gray

The 1990s ushered in a darker, edgier tone in films. With the newfound popularity of indie filmmaking, which operated outside the traditional Hollywood system, filmmakers found a new freedom in the types of films–and the sort of subject matter–that could be produced. In this atmosphere, dark comedy thrived, particularly edgy satires of social and political mores.

And comedy can often be its darkest when uncovering an awful truth at the heart of many avenues found in society. Whether it’s uncovering the guile and hypocrisy in politics, the absurd frustrations that can be found in creative endeavors, or simply how unrestrained ambition or perversion can warp people beyond recognition. And there’s something funny to be found in this–disturbing, but funny. And here are 10 great dark comedies from this fertile decade that saterize and subvert audience expectations and elicit dark humor from their characters.

1. Bob Roberts (1992)

Bob Roberts

An outsider to politics, self-financed and already well-known for celebrity enters US politics, runs on a hard right-wing platform with a firebrand approach that inspires a fervent following. This may sound eerily familiar to a certain figure that has recently been elected president last year in the US, but this is also the character Bob Roberts.

Written and directed by and starring Tim Robbins, Bob Roberts is a wealthy conservative singer who runs for US Senate, running on a far right-wing platform and blending his campaign rallies into musical performances, where he sings derisive songs about drug addicts and people in America he deems “losers” while extolling traditional family values.

Shot in documentary style, the film details Bob Roberts’ campaign gathering steam as his right wing message begins to draw crowds and attention from the media. But an investigative reporter thinks that Roberts’ previous anti-drug business was a front for a → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

NASA releases incredible close-ups of Jupiter’s ‘Great Red Spot’

A close-up of Jupiter’s ‘Great Red Spot,’ a storm that has been raging on the planet for 350 years. Photo: NASA / SwRI / MSSS / Gerald Eichstädt / Marty McGuire © PUBLIC DOMAIN

It’s one of Jupiter’s most distinct and immediately recognizable features: the so-called Great Red Spot. This massive storm, wider than the diameter of our Earth, has been raging for at least 350 years and is itself a mystery to scientists. Fortunately for those scientists (and the rest of us space nerds) NASA’s Juno spacecraft just captured the closest ever photos of the storm.

On Monday of this week, Juno passed just 5,600 miles above the 10,000-mile wide spot, taking pictures as it went.

The photos were received and released by NASA yesterday on the JunoCam website, where astronomy fans, space nerds and astrophotography junkies alike pulled the originals into photo editing programs and started pull out colors, sharpening, and otherwise improving the photos.

So while the original Raw images looked like this:

Ambitious NASA fans have tuned the unprocessed shots to reveal more details, structure, color and even overlaid the continental US on one of the photos for scale.

NASA is no doubt taking a close look at the Raw files, processing the shots themselves and hoping to learn something new about the spot from these close-ups. For our part, we’re just enjoying the pretty pictures and trying to fathom how they were captured.

To see the full resolution Raw files and all of the different processed versions by various users, head over to the JunoCam website by clicking here.

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From:: DPreview

10 Underappreciated Recent Thrillers Worth Your Time

By Ethan Wilson

The trouble with living in a world where everything is about now is that nothing gets a second chance. If one huge-scale action movie disappoints the audience, everyone shrugs and prepares for the next one the following week.

There is, as we all know, no “best” of anything and time is the only critic whose opinion matters. Some movies that disappoint on their initial viewing may, if given the chance, become future favourites, while movies that stunned in their day become clunkier as time goes by.

Who would’ve thought that a movie like Big Trouble In Little China, which didn’t even crack the US top ten on its original release, would enjoy an afterlife (and a mooted remake starring Dwayne Johnson) while Top Gun, the same year’s biggest hit, becomes campier with each viewing?

In the name of posterity, every movie needs to be given an even break. Well, maybe not The Hitcher remake. That was a soulless abomination whose name shall not be spoken above a whisper for the love of God. The offer is good only for movies not produced by Michael Bay.

Here are ten to consider.

10. Wild Card

Based on a novel by William Goldman, 1987’s Heat stars Burt Reynolds (then entering his post-Cannonball Run career slump) as an ex-mercenary who hires himself out as a bodyguard/chaperone in Las Vegas. Complications ensue when he encounters the son of a mobster and a businessman who wants to learn how to defend himself.

Reuniting Jason Statham with director Simon West (The Mechanic, Expendables 2), Wild Card gives the actor a change of pace and allows him to play a character instead of a growling thug who throws people through walls. This is a low key drama that’s closer to Hummingbird than → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

MZed Pro: $299 US all-you-can-eat online filmmaking courses

By Erik Naso

I’m a huge advocate of ‘never stop learning.’ I have been going to workshops and taking online courses for a long time. It keeps me fresh and engaged in the…

The post MZed Pro: $299 US all-you-can-eat online filmmaking courses appeared first on Newsshooter.

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From:: News Shooter

MZed Pro: $299 US all-you-can-eat online filmmaking courses

By Erik Naso

I’m a huge advocate of ‘never stop learning.’ I have been going to workshops and taking online courses for a long time. It keeps me fresh and engaged in the…

The post MZed Pro: $299 US all-you-can-eat online filmmaking courses appeared first on Newsshooter.

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From:: News Shooter

FAA may develop a remote drone identification system for law enforcement

Despite present drone regulations in the US, identifying the operator of any given drone in the sky is nearly impossible, making it difficult for law enforcement to deal with drones that are being misused. To address this issue, the Federal Aviation Administration has developed the new UAS Identification and Tracking Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), which just recently wrapped up its first meeting.

According to the FAA, this initial meeting was used to discuss law enforcement concerns related to drones, to present regulations concerning drone tracking and identification, as well as possible legal issues and air traffic drone management. Existing drone ID tech was reviewed, and ‘preliminary…identification parameters’ were created.

Speaking on the behalf of unnamed sources, Recode reports that law enforcement agencies are concerned about their inability to identify drones from the ground; this concern has reportedly delayed an FAA proposal related to flying drones over people. The FAA is said to be using this committee to develop a system in which law enforcement will be able to identify a drone from the ground, addressing the agencies’ concerns.

Such a system may involve the drone itself broadcasting its identification to a law enforcement system, enabling police to ID the drone’s operator or, at the very least, its owner. Such an identification system would likely require small non-commercial drones to be registered, however, marking a deviation from current drone regulations.

At the moment, only commercial drones must be registered with the FAA.

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From:: DPreview

3 things that will bug photographers about the Polaroid movie trailer

If you want more proof that the youth are taking an interest in film photography, you’ll have to travel no farther than your local multiplex this summer. ‘Polaroid’ the film – but not that kind of film – arrives in US theaters this August, and promises plenty of ‘Ring’-style scares and thrills. In fact, it’s produced by the same minds that brought us ‘The Ring’ and ‘The Grudge,’ so you can pretty much guess how things go when a high school student stumbles across an antique Polaroid camera and starts photographing her friends.

On the surface it looks like your average popcorn-friendly flick, but photographers may have a hard time looking past a few bothersome details we spotted in the trailer. Here they are in no particular order.

The flash is comically bright and doesn’t do anything

Is the flash on this camera powered directly by the sun? How has anyone who’s been photographed by this camera retained their eyesight? It’s unbelievably bright. On top of that, it doesn’t even seem to have any effect on the image – the first subject we see photographed looks to be lit only by the tungsten bulb next to her despite a blinding flash that lit up the whole room.

The screeching flash capacitor

Not only is it needlessly bright, the flash makes a piercing noise as the capacitor supposedly charges it. An entire studio of professional strobes all re-charging at once wouldn’t make that much noise. It’s way too loud for a small on-camera flash, and should be an obvious clue that demons inhabit this camera.

The pristine instant film that comes with an antique camera

This camera came out of a dusty old box with a bunch of film in mint condition? Okay, → continue…

From:: DPreview

Blackmagic Video Assist 2.5 update adds vectorscope, waveform monitor, RGB parade & histogram

By Erik Naso

Last week Blackmagic Design lowered the price on the handy Video Assist monitor/recorders. Currently you can pick up the Video Assist for $395 US and the Video Assist 4K for $595…

The post Blackmagic Video Assist 2.5 update adds vectorscope, waveform monitor, RGB parade & histogram appeared first on Newsshooter.

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From:: News Shooter

Canon EOS 6D Mark II pre-production sample gallery

Just shy of its fifth birthday, the Canon EOS 6D was ripe for replacement. Its successor will ship in August, but we had a chance just a few weeks ago to put it to work photographing some of the most stunning landscapes in the US.

Take a look at how the Canon EOS 6D Mark II fared on a recent Canon-organized trip to Yellowstone, and stay tuned for a full gallery once we’re able to get our hands on a full-production model.

See our Canon EOS 6D Mark II
pre-production sample gallery

Please note that the samples in this gallery were shot with a pre-production camera. As such, image quality may not be representative of final shipping cameras (although it is likely to be extremely close), and at Canon’s request, Raw files are not available for download.

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From:: DPreview