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All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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All Movie Talk, Episode 18

Show contents, with start times:

  • Oscar Watch 2006: Reactions To the Nominations (1:42)
  • Trivia Question: Double Nominations (15:46)
  • Film Buff's Dictionary: Pan, Tilt (16:16)
  • Top 6: Movies That Play With Time (19:08)
  • Industry Trend: Sound, Part 3 (38:19)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (55:36)
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Show Notes:

Oscar Watch 2006: Reactions To the Nominations

Be sure and listen to the episode to get the special code to play in the Academy Awards Predictions Game. We have some great prizes for the top three finishers who enter the code. Each winner will get a copy of Making Movies by Sidney Lumet, while the first place winner will get to choose two DVDs from the following list, and the runner-up will get to choose one:
  • All Quiet On the Western Front (1930)
  • The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Breaking Away (1979)
  • The Conversation (1974)
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  • Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? (1967)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • Rear Window (1954)
  • Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  • Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Trivia Question: Double Nominations

In 1944, at the 17th Academy Awards, the same actor was nominated for the same role in both supporting and leading actor. He later broke his Oscar practicing his golf swing.

Film Buff's Dictionary: Pan, Tilt

A pan is a camera movement that involves the camera moving along a horizontal axis, i.e., it moves sideways. If you have a camera on a tripod and you swivel the camera from left to right, you have panned it. A tilt is the same idea, but vertically (so up and down).

These are very common moves that are significantly easier to shoot than shots where the camera actually moves around, and they also have a more distant feel to them. While a complicated travelling shot makes us feel like we're actually part of the action, pans and tilts allow directors to capture moving action at a distance.

These camera moves are often used in subtle ways, to give a sense of motion and fluidity to otherwise static shots. They can also be used in very attention-grabbing ways, such as a 360-degree pan shot. And of course pans and tilts can be combined with other camera movements, such as handheld travelling shots, to produce a large array of effects.

Top 6: Movies that Play with Time

See our separate Top 6 entry for more information about our picks.

Industry Trend: Sound, Part 3

Check out René Clair's fascinating essay about sound, written in 1929 at the dawn of the sound era. This article forms the basis of much of this week's segment on sound, wherein we discuss how silence and sound can be used artistically.

In particular, we discuss the work of Alfred Hitchcock, who was a master at using sound -- and the absence of sound -- to create memorably evocative moments on the screen. In The Lodger, we see great visual imagery to compensate for the lack of sound. In Blackmail (1929), one of Britain's first sound films, we hear an expressionistic use of sound that creates a haunting impression on the viewer.

Although we do not believe silent films to be inherently superior to sound films, we do believe that silent film has a potential that many, if not most, moviegoing audiences overlook. As René Clair says, silent film has the power to cause us to lose our sense of reality by immersing us completely in a world of pure images.

For modern audiences, it may take two or three earnest experiences with silent film to understand the power of the medium. Like watching black and white films for the first time, it takes a little bit to get used to the form. But we believe this effort is worth making, because silent film can create certain types of experiences that sound films simply cannot.

Not all silent films are easy to start with, however. We recommend initially staying away from straight dramas, even some of our favorites, like Greed (1924), Battleship Potemkin (1925), and The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Instead, perhaps cut your teeth of any of these:



Science Fiction/Horror

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