Uncut Gems

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Black and Blue: The 35mm Colors of Uncut Gems and Star Wars

Fall 2019 provided us with a massively budgeted 35mm feature in the form of J.J. Abrams’s The Rise of Skywalker (shot by Dan Mindel and colored by Stefan Sonnenfeld at finishing house Company 3) and a surprisingly visible A24 mid-budget art film in the Safdie brothers’s Uncut Gems (shot by Darius Khondji and colored by Damien van der Cruyssen at The Mill). In each case, the choice to shoot on celluloid was rooted in what could be termed (charitably) as a nod to film history or (uncharitably) a nostalgic gesture. I make no claims as to which it is, nor […]

Trading Blue Chips for Uncut Gems: The NBA Cinematic Universe

Josh and Benny Safdie’s Uncut Gems could lazily be classified as a “basketball movie,” which raises the stakes in the third act via a tense and deciding Game 7 in the NBA Playoffs—numerous critics cite the nail-biting play-by-play action as the film’s tensest sequence). Yet Uncut Gems isn’t just driven by the attributes afforded a fast-paced sport: the narrative’s “house of cards” doesn’t come down to a single three-pointer or clutch free-throw that rolls around the rim before dropping in as the game clock strikes zero, Teen Wolf be damned. The Safdies pull off something trickier, interlocking their film with both on-the-record, […]