Last Friday June 3rd, we had the honor to be selected by Paramount Pictures to be part of an exclusive roundtable among a few websites, with Super 8 director J.J Abrams. We were very flattered to have the opportunity to ask him a few questions about Super 8, so we focused on the music, influences and the viral campaign.

Here check out our exclusive interview with J.J. Abrams:

The music is very important in every single film. As Steven Spielberg has John Williams, you have Michael Giacchino. What role has the music in your projects and especially in Super 8?

Yes, I’m glad you brought on Michael. Obviously, the soundtrack to any film is critical and the obvious example is, if you watch Star Wars’ scroll at the beginning without the music is a very different experience, he laughs. There is something about the world that Michael Giacchino has done with the projects I’ve been involved in. He has always elevated everything, sometimes has created the mood entirely. He is someone who made super 8 films when we was a kid and working among him this movie, unlike the numerous TV shows  we’ve done together or movies, this one in particular had the kind of meaning for him as it did for me, because it was his childhood.

We work together throughout the editing process and pre-post. Defining, working on the score, what the music could it be and where… and he had to find a balance musically as I was working on finding a balance visually. There are tones, there were different themes. There is a family theme, there was the theme of mystery and this creature and there was the theme for Alice and our relationships, and finding a way to come along all that together is hard work, which I think he really did beautifully. I think this is one of his best scores. It was his childhood, the music was from his experiences back in this movie, and the reason what it touch me so much, is that it was so meaningful to him that I could hear it, I could feel it, I don’t need to understand it, he doesn’t need to explain it to me, I just can tell it was meaningful. I’m not saying he doesn’t write great scores when is not personal things, he just does… but is something about this score, that feels so profoundly emotional and it really does feel like it comes from a different place for him.

Super 8 has many iconic elements from many different movies like E.T, Close encounters, Cloverfield and It Comes From Outer Space from the 50’s. What would you say that it was the film that inspired you to come out with Super 8?

It really wasn’t anyone film. It was the experience of been one of those kids making movies in the late 70’s, and at this time of course, I was profoundly affected by the cinema of the time. So it was a combination of movies of Steven, George Lucas, Ridley Scott, John Carpenter, Cronenberg and Romero. It was just all this movies that made me love the idea of making movies, so going back to this time and writing the script and making the movie, it wasn’t ever about looking at Close encounters, E.T, Polstergeist, Goonies, Stand by me or any of this movies that I love.

Was really about, looking at that period of time and knowing of Steven’s involvement as a producer, that I was completely free to embrace the “Amblinness” of the movie, I didn’t feel self-conscious, it was like It’s an Amblin movie, I’m gonna make an Amblin movie!, that means if  the kids ride in their bicycles I shouldn’t feel guilty..I should celebrate.  If this spectacular thing happens on main street, that’s cool!

The great thing about Amblin it is that embrace heart, humanity, parent-child relationships, embrace first love and best friendship. Embrace confronting the things that scares you the most and finding your own voice and becoming a leader not a follower and learning that you can deal with tragedy and survival. There was all these things, that I love the potential about the movie that Amblin gave me license and Steven gave me license to truly embrace and dive into and suppose to try lightly and that was the biggest impact that clearly you can cite thousands of influences, like you can probably in anyone in movies. To me the Amblin umbrella aloud every journey I do coexist weather is successful or peaceful.

All your films and projects are very mysterious and your viral campaigns are amazing. Why do you think that those viral campaigns work for J.J. Abrams’ movies and don’t work for other films?

Well, they work for some movies and they don’t work sometimes.We have a very talented guy, that kind of overseen the viral stuff and even though the Super 8 app that he has developed and that stuff I think is exactly as the movie itself. They try to figure it out what we wanna do, play with or experience, have access to or solve if we are going to be involved in this project.

Is not about thinking what they will do, or what they’ll want. It’s about thinking, this is kind of a fun idea, let’s try this! …some works and some don’t like everything, but it’s an element of advertising that I’m sure ultimately doesn’t really make a big difference in the audience that want to see the film. Is one of those things I just think is a kind of goodwill. No one, is forced to play with, look at or get involved with that stuff, but is there if you want to.  Is just the kind of thing that keeps alive the spirit of the project and we are thinking in cool stuff to do in line to… I like that stuff!

So there you have, I hope you have enjoyed the interview as much as we did. And remember that “Super 8” opens in cinemas this week, and as we told you before this is one of the best movies we`ve seen in years, “a perfect job full of Abrams and Spielberg’s magic”, so don’t miss out!

Super 8 releases in Australian cinemas on June 9th

The first teaser trailer for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now online

The movie stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård, Goran Visnjic

The official synopsis:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
is the first film in Columbia Pictures’ three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster ‘The Millennium Trilogy’.  Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.  The screenplay is by Steven Zaillian.

The film will hit cinemas on January 12, 2012

A new movie clip for “Super 8”, one of the best movies of the year, is now online.

SUPER 8, the feature film, is a Bad Robot/Amblin Entertainment production, directed by J.J. Abrams from his original script and produced by Steven Spielberg, Abrams and Bryan Burk.

The film stars Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney, Gabriel Basso, Noah Emmerich, Ron Eldard, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee and Zach Mills.

Super 8 releases in Australian cinemas on June 9th

And don’t forget to check the movie review we did for the film here, totally free of spoilers…Definetly a must watch movie!

For more information, just check  Super 8’s official website here

Follow Super 8 on Twitter (#Super8Movie)

Like Super 8 Australia on Facebook

“THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY” AND “THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN” ARE ANNOUNCED AS TITLES OF PETER JACKSON’S EPIC TWO-FILM ADAPTATION OF J.R.R. TOLKIEN’S TIMELESS CLASSIC THE HOBBIT

FIRST FILM SLATED TO OPEN ON DECEMBER 26, 2012 IN AUSTRALIA AND IN THE UNITED STATES ON DECEMBER 14, 2012.
SECOND FILM SLATED FOR RELEASE IN AUSTRALIA ON DECEMBER 26, 2013
AND SLATED FOR RELEASE IN THE UNITED STATES ON DECEMBER 13, 2013

Burbank CA, May 30, 2011 — New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures and MGM have announced the titles and release dates for filmmaker Peter Jackson’s two-film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit. The first film, titled “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” will be released on December 26, 2012 in Australia and December 14, 2012 in the United States. The second film, titled “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” is slated for release the following year on December 26, 2013 in Australia and slated for release in the United States on December 13, 2013.
Both films are set in Middle-earth 60 years before Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings,” which Jackson and his filmmaking team brought to the big screen in the blockbuster trilogy that culminated with the Oscar®-winning “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.” The adventure of “The Hobbit” follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug.

Under Jackson’s direction, both movies are being shot consecutively in digital 3D using the latest camera and stereo technology. Filming is taking place at Stone Street Studios, Wellington, and on location around New Zealand.

Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, the character he played in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and Martin Freeman, who just won a BAFTA TV Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the BBC series “Sherlock,” takes on the central role of Bilbo Baggins. Also reprising their roles from “The Lord of the Rings” movies are: Cate Blanchett as Galadriel; Orlando Bloom as Legolas; Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo; Christopher Lee as Saruman; Hugo Weaving as Elrond; Elijah Wood as Frodo; and Andy Serkis as Gollum. The ensemble cast also includes (in alphabetical order) Richard Armitage, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Bret McKenzie, Graham McTavish, Mike Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Conan Stevens, Ken Stott, Jeffrey Thomas, and Aidan Turner.

The screenplays for “The Hobbit” films are by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo del Toro and Peter Jackson. Jackson is also producing the films, together with Fran Walsh and Carolynne Cunningham. The executive producers are Ken Kamins and Zane Weiner, with Philippa Boyens serving as co-producer.

“The Hobbit” films are productions of New Line Cinema and MGM, with New Line managing production. Warner Bros Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing being handled by MGM.

Wednesday 27 July – Sunday 31 July, 2011

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) have collaborated to present Dark Rooms and Dreamscapes: the Films of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller, a program of screenings and talks by two fascinating experimental filmmakers opening Wednesday 27 July. On their visit to Australia, audiences will have the opportunity to hear from these award-winning filmmakers about redefining the filmmaking process using found footage and dark room techniques.

One of the leading figures in contemporary avant-garde cinema, Peter Tscherkassky makes films featuring a potent blend of visuals, partly informed by film theory, that work the viewer into an ethereal trance state.  For over three decades, he has experimented with the technical formalities of film, from found-footage work to his masterful ‘dark room’ films.

Tscherkassky’s works will be presented in a two-part film program.

Program One comprises a stunning collection of 16mm and 35mm films including Tscherkassky’s masterful CinemaScope trilogy. The black and white trilogy begins with L’Arrivée (1997/98), a frenetic remake of the Lumière Brothers 1896 film L’Arrivee d’un train a La Ciotat using footage of Catherine Deneuve in Mayerling (1969).  Second in the trilogy is Outer Space (1999), a reworking of The Entity (1982) staring Barbara Hershey and shattered into an exhilarating cinematic maelstrom in the hands of Tscherkassky. Finally, Dream Work (2001), derived from the same source material as Outer Space but this time exploring the surreal land of dreams, serves as Tscherkassky’s homage to pioneering experimental filmmaker Man Ray and won Best Experimental Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival. Program One also includes key films in Tscherkassky’s oeuvre;  Freeze Frame (1983), kelimba (1986), tabula rasa (1987/89), Shot-Countershot (1987), Happy-End (1996), and Nachtstück (Mozart Minute 09) (2006).

Program Two features Coming Attractions (2010), a playful exploration of the links between early cinema, the avant-garde and advertising which was awarded Best Short Film at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival in 2010. Also a winner of multiple international film festival awards, Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005) takes Sergio Leone’s classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966) as source material, providing Tscherkassky with a canvas on which to create a hyper-kinetic marriage of sound and vision that celebrates and deconstructs the very nature of the filmstrip. Key to this screening is Manufraktur (1985), one of the earliest of Tscherkassky’s films, crafted in his childhood dark room in just six days using footage from car tyre and women’s pantyhose advertisements. Manufraktur marked Tscherkassky’s debut using the contact copying method and awakened his interest in the ‘dark room’ process.

ProgramTwo also features Urlaubsfilm (Holiday Film) (1983), Parallel Space: Inter-View (1992) and Get Ready (1999).

During MIFF, Tscherkassky will visit Australia to introduce the film programs and present a unique masterclass. The award-winning filmmaker will analyse and explain the fascinating process behind his masterful ‘dark room’ filmmaking in an event on Sunday 31 July at ACMI, which includes a screening of Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine.

Eve Heller’s films have screened internationally at festivals and art institutions including the Anthology Film Archives, Toronto and New York Film Festivals and the Whitney Museum. Her films are lyrical, offering dreamlike glimpses into the everyday and bringing us closer to lost worlds through the reworking of found footage.

Heller will be in Australia to introduce a retrospective collection of her 16mm and 35mm films that exemplify cinema’s profound ability to catapult the viewer to a land of their own imagining.

Among the films screening are Astor Place (1997), a film that pays homage to early cinema by placing a static camera in a busy thoroughfare then asking who is watching whom, and One (1978/2009) in which Heller excavates and reworks her earliest film made as a student at the University of Buffalo, which featured Super-8 images of illuminations cast through an ornate gateway. The program also includes Last Lost (1996), Her Glacial Speed (2001), Behind This Soft Eclipse (2004), Ruby Skin (2005) and Self-Examination Remote Control (1981/2009).

In a public lecture, Reframing the Image: Found Footage Filmmaking, Heller will explore working in found footage filmmaking and the infinite possibilities for redefining the “image” through the use of hand processing and optical printing. This lecture will be held on Sunday 31 July at ACMI.

ACMI Film Programmer Kristy Matheson says this program celebrates the materiality of film itself and the possibilities for the medium through the works of two internationally renowned and distinct filmmaking artists.

“Both Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller make superbly crafted films that demand to be seen on the big screen.  At a time when much discussion is devoted to the death of celluloid, it is inspiring to present a series of screenings and talks from two artists that challenge the validity of this statement.”

The visit of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller to Australia coincides with the 60th Melbourne International Film Festival. Dark Rooms and Dreamscapes is this year’s partnership event between MIFF and ACMI.

“Peter Tscherkassky’s name will be very familiar to MIFF audiences who have come to enjoy his works over the years.  Given the long history between the filmmaker and the festival we are really delighted to be able to work with our colleagues at MIFF to present a comprehensive retrospective and have the filmmaker present to discuss his films,” says Kristy.

“We are also thrilled to be showcasing the work of Eve Heller who, like Peter Tscherkassky, works with found footage and crafts films within the dark room.  Eve’s films have screened extensively overseas but this program will be an exhilarating discovery for Australian audiences when her work premieres at ACMI this festival.”

Says MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey; “I am thrilled we are able to present a full retrospective of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller in their presence at our 60th edition this year, in conjunction with our friends at ACMI. The first time I saw his Outer Space I was stunned by its beauty and formal violence and it is a real honour to have them here to present lectures on their cinematic practice in this context.”

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the Melbourne International Film Festival presents  Dark Rooms and Dreamscapes: the Films of Peter Tscherkassky and Eve Heller, opening Wednesday 27 July to Sunday 31 July 2011 at ACMI, Federation Square. For session information and times, please visit: www.acmi.net.au

 

According to FasterLouder last month Ghostface Killah told triple j that: “We coming over there to mash out and we’re going to be over there definitely… I don’t know who signed off but you got GZA, Method Man, Inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killah and I think Raekwon might go.” And now, it’s official The Clan are bring the ruckus to Australia this August.

This morning triple j confirmed that Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, GZA, U-God, Masta Killa, DJ Allah Mathematics, DJ Street Life and the son of the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Young Dirty will all be headed to our shores this August for one hell of a tour.

Wu-Tang Clan Australian tour dates:

Friday 5th August – Enmore, Sydney
Saturday 6th August – Festival Hall, Melbourne
Sunday 7th August – Metro City, Perth

Thanks to Paramount Pictures, we watched J.J Abrams and Steven Spielberg’s secret film “Super 8” before it hits the cinemas. This is our own review (don’t worry, we won’t include any spoiler), but remember, we still recommend for you to go and watch the film, because there is no better critic than yourself!

“Super 8” has been a total mystery since the production started, with many internet rumors surrounding the production, and amazing online viral campaign which put even more questions on the table. Moreover, the expectations for the film were the highest in years for a movie because 2 great filmmakers J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg worked together for the first time!

In a movie in which the plot apparently involved alien life forms, the kind of topic that these two both love, we can definitely say they did a perfect job because the movie exceeded all expectations as previously mentioned. Furthermore, just watching the opening credits with the logos of Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment and Abrams’s Bad Robot together showing up one after the other, is a dream come true.

“Super 8” takes place in a small town in Ohio in the summer of 1979. The main story is centered in a group of kids, played by new talented young actors such as Joel Courtney (as the main character Joe Lamb), Ryan Lee, Zach Mills, Riley Griffiths, Gabriel Basso and Elle Fanning, working in a short-film using their Super 8 video camera.

While working on the film in a train station, they witnessed an intentional and catastrophic train crash, where the cargo looks different and is being protected by the US Air Force. After the accident, unusual and inexplicable events begin to take place in the town, with the army trying to cover the truth behind the accident. One group of kids discovered some extra footage after reviewing the film of the day of the incident, figuring out that the camera never stopped recording, capturing a big secret.

Abrams mentioned in a few interviews he did about the film, that he wanted a brand new cast and when he saw the kids in the auditions, he was impressed. He was right because the chemistry among this circle of friends works perfectly on the screen.

Each of them represents different personalities in the movie and they develop new relationships on the way, reminding you a bit of elements from films like “E.T” and “Stand by me”. Watching these new actors on the big screen will make movie watchers think that they are not just debuting in this big blockbuster film. Furthermore, there are scenes these actors played with so much emotions and intensity that will let you forget for awhile about the train crash and its cargo. The moviegoers will get carried away with the characters, taking you back in time when you first toyed with your dad`s home video camera.

To complete the main picture, more experienced actors like Kyle Chandler (as the Sheriff, who is also Joel’s dad), Ron Eldard and Noah Emmerich (as Nelec, the visible face of the US Air force operation), are there to complement an excellent choice criteria for the cast, playing important roles to create the atmosphere of action and suspense.

We recall Steven Spielberg saying once in a Q&A, that “The best way to know if a movie is good is watching it with no audio and if the pictures by itself leaves you something positive, means that you are in the right track”.  In this movie, that purpose was achieved because even without music or any sound effects, you will be drawn to it.

The filmography, art direction and the way the era of the 70’s were recreated was a result of lot of research with millions of tiny details, like old beer cans, the clothes, gas stations and the funny vintage “Star Wars” elements around (Abrams and Spielberg are big fans of the saga). However, the film obviously needed that “classic” anthem, that main iconic song from an experienced composer, like Abrams’ favorite Michael Giacchino. He is responsible for the soundtracks of Lost, Star Trek and Mission Impossible 3. Giacchino, with his unique style created soft and powerful melodies, with some small reminiscences to John William’s work for E.T and “Close Encounters of the third kind”, pushing the movie to the next level in a remarkable way.

The special effects are marvelous; the train crash sequence is so realistic with the help of prototypes and CGI technology, and the filters on the film in some scenes create the atmosphere of a movie of the old time. It was done in a meticulous way and the designs of the elements of “The cargo” of the train were innovative down to its minute details. These will make the public realized how massive the work the creator put behind the scenes to get a flawless final product.

The suspense, the tension and the scary moments were created in such a way that the entire time the audience will be focused on watching the movie with some dark elements in between, using non conventional ways to show elements of the film.

To just give you a small bite of what you will see at the end, the use of the sound effects as the core of the suspense scenes, supported by some “weird” elements and “floating” domestic things around, will remind you at some point of what Abrams did for his innovative film “Cloverfield”.

We could go on and on about Super 8 but this is just a teaser. People must go and watch this for themselves.  Moreover, the film could be a topic of study in a film school because it has so many elements of different movies, as we had mentioned before. After watching  the exclusive 20 min preview weeks ago,  the feeling of sensation of those few minutes was left to us recreating those moments when we watched “E.T”, “Stand by me” and “Cloverfield” all together and for the very first time.

Now, after seeing the entirety of the movie, we can also say that some elements from the movies of  Spielberg’s “Close encounter of the third kind” with a bit of “The war of the worlds”, 1953’s classic “It Came from Outer Space” and even with some elements of Abrams’ TV hit “Lost”, are there too. In short, Abrams and Spielberg had put the best things of all those classic films and as a result is one perfect final product: “Super 8”! For sure, this is one of the best movies of the year, a must watch film that many of you will be seeing more than once.

Super 8 releases in Australian cinemas on June 9th