Saturday, 24 May 2008

Guillemots: 'Falling Out of Reach'

By Simon Reynolds

Chances are you've heard all about Sir Ian McKellen's starring role in the video for this new Guillemots single. The burning question: is the song any good? Well, if McKellen were comparing the track to his film work, it would rocket past Last Action Hero and head straight towards X-Men 2 greatness. A complete u-turn from the stomping disco of last single 'Get Over It', 'Falling Out of Reach' begins as a stripped-down acoustic ballad and blossoms into an epic, gorgeous summer tear-jerker about two people disconnecting.
Lyrically, the song tends to rely on the rhyming dictionary ("they're trying to make you compromise, this fire burning in your eyes"), but the key is in the delivery - Dangerfield sings earnestly and from the heart. Guillemots even manage to weave whistling into proceedings without making it sound terrible! As beautiful a song as you're likely to hear all year, 'Falling Out of Reach' makes it two out of two great singles from Guillemots' Red album.

Check out the vid.

Thomson gives Dailies a Cutting Edge on 'Wolverine' movie


From a press release:
Leading Australian post house Cutting Edge is delivering high quality dailies on the 20th Century Fox feature Wolverine to both sides of the Pacific, thanks to the Thomson Grass Valley™ Bones Dailies workflow tools from Thomson (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS). Although the film is being shot in Australia studio executives in Los Angeles are kept up to date via Bones Dailies software.

Designed from the ground up for managing rushes on a movie project, Bones Dailies controls the Spirit DataCine® for film scanning at up to 4k resolution. In HD or 2k the Spirit under Bones Dailies control can ingest material at up to 25% faster than real time. It synchronizes the picture with sound and, in conjunction with other Bones components, it allows a color correction pass with the metadata captured using the ASC color decision list (CDL) format to form the basis of the final grade later in the post cycle. Bones Dailies is able to output in standard definition or HD up to HDCAM SR 10 bit 4:4:4 quality.

In January 2008, Cutting Edge installed two Bones Dailies systems as part of a major upgrade of their post production facilities in Sydney and Brisbane. Only days after installation, Bones Dailies was put into action on the feature film Wolverine for 20th Century Fox. "Fox Post was keen to see how Bones Dailies could save time in editorial and improve the quality of the material viewed by both the production and the executives at Fox in LA" said John Lee, president and founder of Cutting Edge.

"At the end of a session, fully logged and synchronized dailies are ready to be played out from Bones within 10 minutes of the final lab roll being captured, with Bones performing logging and sound syncing on one roll at the same time as the colorist is grading the next," said Lee. "This is a huge savings in time and effort on the part of the editorial team, who are given DNxHD media and full metadata immediately after our first Bones playout pass. With Bones Dailies we have been able to create a set of deliverables that have never been possible before due to time or technical restrictions with the equipment."

Bones Dailies divides the workflow of making dailies into five logical processes: audio ingest and logging, image ingest and logging, sound synchronization, color grading, and finally playout for multiple deliverables. On Wolverine Cutting Edge was asked to make two different versions of each day's dailies: a "print all" version for editorial and production, and a "circle takes only" version for the studio executives in LA. Without Bones Dailies, creating the second version would have meant loading the print all version into a nonlinear editor, cutting the select takes and conforming the edit back out to tape. With Bones Dailies this time-consuming stage, which would have needed more equipment and reduced the image quality of the deliverable, has been eliminated.

"Thanks to Bones Dailies, Cutting Edge was able to create a first generation HDCAM SR circle takes only tape to send to the studio with synchronized audio, specific burn-ins, masking and watermarks" said Aaron Downing, Post Executive for Fox.

"Movie makers should be allowed to concentrate on their creativity, and their technology should support they way they want to work not dictate workflows," said Jeff Rosica, Senior Vice President of Thomson's Broadcast & Professional Solutions within the Systems division. "It is very clear from the example of Cutting Edge's work on Wolverine that Bones Dailies is a huge boost to productivity.

Bones Dailies can operate as a single seat system on locally attached storage or as a multiple seat system on a shared access SAN. It uses specific algorithms developed inside Thomson's Corporate Research Division for automatic detection processing of audio slate closures during ingest of each Lab Roll. Bones Dailies can also perform the color correction. It uses non-destructive color correction techniques - GPU powered - according to the ASC's CDL grading schema, or as an alternative way of working you can use an external color correction device to 'bake in' a grade during image ingest.

New enhancements to Bones Dailies launched at NAB2008 include scaling between 2k and 4k resolution files, and burn-in displays of timecode, keycode and other metadata. Thanks to a co-operative development between Thomson and Digital Rapids, Bones Dailies can now be used to deliver dailies at any resolution over IP circuits to anywhere in the world.

For more information, follow the link.

Hugh Jackman's Wolverine wrap


APPROPRIATELY for a Wolverine wrap party, there was plenty of hair on display.

Hugh Jackman, clad in neck to toe in a pimp's fur coat, set the scene for the over-the-top '70s inspired party for his big flick last night.

His wife Deborra-Lee Furness was dressed like one of his working girls.

Packing out the Piano Room and taking over half of Trademark, the 600 guests including actors.

Liev Schreiber and Hugh's wife Deborra-Lee Furness were wigged out in '70s afros and Olivia Newton-John glitter bands for the night.

Downing Wolverine cocktails and fish and chips, the party raged well into the morning. Orchestrated by Sydney's newest party guru Amanda Archer the budget for the night was rumoured to be around $50,000.

Entertainment included drag star Courtney Act who performed a version of Xanadu. Jackman in a short speech thanked the cast and crew, saying they were the "best ever''.

He made special mention of acclaimed cinematographer Don McAlpine, who was celebrating his wedding anniversary.

Production on Wolverine will continue until the end of June. All outdoor filming has completed, with only in-studio shots to go.

More than 600 cast and crew partied, including key cast Will.I.Am, Danny Houston, and Taylor Kitsch.

Local actors at the party included Aaron Jeffreys, Peta Wilson and Asher Keddie.

"This is a party to celebrate months of hard work. Hugh and I are incredibly grateful to the cast and crew,'' said executive producer John Palermo, decked out in bell bottoms, paying homage to the late choreographer Bob Fosse.

"We have fortunately been able to provide jobs for 450 crew members, 50 Australian actors and 1500 extras.''

The party included performances from no less than five young local artists, including Kyla Sexton, Anthea White and female impersonator Courtney Act, singing classic '70s numbers.

Jackman may return to Broadway

From: Daily India

NEW YORK, May 22 (UPI) -- Australian actor Hugh Jackman reportedly is considering returning to Broadway in a stage adaptation of the 1954 Judy Garland-James Mason movie "A Star is Born."

Jackman, who is best known for his "X-Men" films, won a Tony Award for his work in the Broadway musical "The Boy From Oz."

The New York Post said Jackman is considering returning to the New York stage to play Mason's character Norman Maine, an alcoholic movie star whose career is on the decline.

The new musical is to feature the movie's Harold Arlen-Ira Gershwin songs, including "The Man That Got Away" and the "Born in a Trunk" medley -- "Swanee," "I'll Get By" and "Melancholy Baby," the Post said.

The show could open on Broadway in 2009 or 2010, following a workshop production this year.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International
From: Knoxville News Sentinel.

A fantasy costume by Thierry Mugler is displayed in the Mutant Body Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art during the "Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" exhibit.

Photos by stephen chernin/associated press

The costume worn by Rebecca Romijn in "X-Men, The Last Stand" is one of about 60 ensembles in the costume exhibit

NEW YORK - Newsflash: A cadre of superheroes has invaded one of Gotham's top cultural institutions, bringing swaths of bright color, pop graphics and an everyman theme to the hallowed halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Have no fear, though. Their mission is friendly.

Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and hero-of-the-hour Iron Man have been employed by the Costume Institute to illustrate the parallel worlds occupied by fantastical creatures with superpowers and creative fashion designers who dress mere mortals - or at least the stars including George Clooney and Julia Roberts expected at the Met Monday night.

Sound like a stretch? There's no Plastic Man ploy at play.

"Superheroes are about issues of the body, identity and transformation, about acting your fantasies and transforming yourself into anyone or anything you want to be," said Costume Institute curator Andrew Bolton. "Those are all the things at the heart of fashion."

"Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy" begins with an examination of Superman, the first modern superhero when he appeared on the page in 1938. He stood for all things good and patriotic during a time when the American public was trying to shake off the Depression while also watching what was happening in Europe in the days leading up to World War II.

Thanks to an old smoke-and-mirrors trick used by Victorian-era magicians, Superman is presented to museumgoers as both Clark Kent (in a 1950s Brooks Brothers suit) and the Man of Steel in the 1978 film costume worn by Christopher Reeve.

Then there are the anti-heroes of the 1970s and '80s, such as the Punisher and Ghost Rider. Bolton points to them as successful metaphors for the conflicted and flawed characters prevalent in the dark side of the contemporary world.

If Superman is the ultimate graphic body, with a physique inspired by circus strongmen, a costume that came from acrobats and an "S" emblem that has become a positive icon and a textbook lesson in branding, the Punisher represents the postmodern body - flaming skulls and all.

That look resonated with designers such as Alexander McQueen, Walter Van Beirendonck, John Galliano and Thierry Mugler, all of whom have embraced the Goth, grunge and biker styles. He thinks fashion could be headed down the dark road again, and that was a factor in the timing of this exhibit.

Bolton, an admitted Spider-Man fan from childhood, first wanted to marry superheroes and style in an exhibit about five years ago, but, he says, it was the wrong moment in fashion as the "in look" was soft and ladylike.

"We're now returning to an aggressive femininity and the highly sexualized fashion of the 1980s," Bolton said.

Anyone looking for sexy has to go no farther than the Catwoman section of the exhibit. In addition to Michelle Pfeiffer's remarkably slim black catsuit from 1992's "Batman Returns," there are real-world examples of dominatrix-style outfits by Mugler and Dolce & Gabbana.

One of the most stunning couture pieces in the exhibit belongs with mutant creatures such as the X-Men: A rainbow-colored Mugler gown that morphs from a birdlike top to an amphibian's corset and then mermaid hem.

But Superman and Spider-Man have had the strongest influence on mainstream style. In the vignettes dedicated to each, there are not only the costumes that made these characters famous in film, there are clothes that mimic their spirit. For Superman, there is Moschino's M-logo gown with complementary red cape, while there are several spiderweb dress silhouettes by Mugler, Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Julien Macdonald and Giorgio Armani.

Armani is the sponsor and honorary chair of the exhibit and of the accompanying fundraising gala. He acknowledged through an interpreter at a preview Monday that he was surprised to be involved in an exhibit that veered so far from the wearable fashion he is known for.

It's also a departure for the Costume Institute, which in recent years has highlighted the works of designers Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret and examined the historical use of animal prints and goddess gowns.

Calling it a "spectacular show," Armani tipped his hat to experimental designers. "I was wondering, 'Are these pieces part of a collection? Did these guys have the guts to show these on the runways?' "

Armani also complimented the works of the cartoonists from the first half of the 20th century, noting that it's their vision of the future that has become the world of today.

"Superheroes" runs through Sept. 1.