The Famous Artworks That Inspired 15 Films

There is a fascinating interplay between the visual cultures of film and art. Directors have frequently used imagery from painting and other art forms to shape the look and meaning of their works. Last week, website Philebrity appealed to our inner art history nerd and reminded us of a strong visual influence behind Terrence Malick’s 1978 film Days of Heaven. Click through to see the movie’s art-world doppelgänger, along with other artworks that informed frames and entire visual themes in other… Read More

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‘Boy Meets World’ Spin-off ‘Girl Meets World’ Is Both New and Nostalgic

Last week, I hosted a screening event of old sitcom episodes from ABC’s ’90s TGIF lineup. Of all the shows we watched, the crowd was predictably most enthusiastic for Boy Meets World, singing the theme song and recalling specific jokes from an episode that aired 16 years ago. The pilot premiered in 1993 but remains fresh in everyone’s minds (syndication helps) because it was a show that we connected to, one of the last great coming-of-age sitcoms that was both funny and heartfelt, and because we really, really love nostalgia. There was never a question about whether Girl Meets World would eventually exist, only the question of when it would come to fruition. Now the question is whether or not it can stand on its own. … Read More

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Hiring Rian Johnson Is the Best Thing That’s Happened to the ‘Star Wars’ Franchise in Decades

The commonly accepted news cycle tradition of treating Friday as “take out the trash day” (per The West Wing, the day when embarrassing stories are dumped, so as to minimize media coverage) apparently hasn’t made its way to the entertainment business, because last Friday afternoon saw the explosion of a bombshell. Deadline broke the story: Rian Johnson, the gifted writer/director behind Looper, will take over the Star Wars franchise after J.J. Abrams completes Episode VII, with Johnson writing and directing Episode VIII and serving, in an unconfirmed capacity, on Episode IX as well. It was a bit of a shocker — Johnson is more a genre fan favorite than a proven entity at the box office. But the fact that Disney (which took over the franchise when it bought Lucasfilm back in 2012) places greater value on the former quality speaks well to where Star Wars is going on their watch. … Read More

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The Fascinating Real-Life Inspirations Behind Disney Villains

Disney is known for its attention to detail. Since its founding in 1923, the Mouse House has taken great care when it comes to the finer points, including those of its animated characters. Technology has evolved, but Disney still aims to base its animated figures on real people, complete with personality quirks and naturalistic mannerisms. In the past, Disney animators often studied these real-life models acting out scenes from films for inspiration. With Maleficent in theaters, starring Angelina Jolie as the eponymous horned villainess, we’re exploring the fascinating real-life men and women who inspired other iconic Disney… Read More

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What If ‘Frozen’ Were a Tim Burton Movie?

The trend of reimagining Disney princess in the style of [fill in the blank] has exploded on the Internet in recent years, and it didn’t take long for the characters from Frozen to fit right in. Japanese artist Yoko has gotten in on the action with this series of drawings that depict Frozen‘s heroines as characters out of a Tim Burton movie (spotted on Design Taxi). It kind of works, actually: there is something a little gothic about the Snow Queen locking herself away in a icy tower. Of course, this does make me wonder what “Let It Go” would have sounded like had Helena Bonham Carter sung it. Eerie.  … Read More

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The Secret to Pixar’s Genius From ‘Creativity, Inc.’ Sounds Like a Writing Workshop

Most business books are, in the words of Norman Mailer, “advertisements for myself,” the story of one person’s world-beating genius and how they made an industry out of it. But Ed Catmull’s Creativity, Inc., written with the wonderful Amy Wallace (frequently at GQ writing profiles — check out her D’Angelo piece), is markedly modest in scope. The main impression that you get off Catmull, the president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, is that he’s a kind man and obviously a genius, with a Ph.D. in computer science and the goal of creating the first computer animated film. And he goes through the life story of Pixar, how they met Steve Jobs, how they created things in a corner until they were creating things for Disney, in simple fashion. … Read More

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