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I had a fun time chatting with the filmmakers of the sci-fi indie film Prospect recently. The film just hit video on demand on March 8, and you can watch our conversation by clicking above or read a transcript at /Film.
We discussed how challenging it was to design a good practical space helmet that would also look good on film (of note: many big-budget sci-fi blockbusters, such as the recently-released Captain Marvel, often feature major characters wearing CG helmets). But one thing a good helmet can do is also open up more space for the actors to work in. Here’s production designer Matt Acosta, on how this was made apparent to him in one scene early in the film:
You start to learn how the actors are acting within the helmets and it becomes this other extra level for the actors. And there was this very specific scene where Jay Duplass literally holds a gun up to Pedro’s helmet and puts it against the glass. And it had this completely different threat and weirdness to it because Pedro could like look at the gun and there’s this forced distance between the gun and the character, which in other movies you don’t really have. It was so interesting to see him playing in that space because it’s just a new thing, a new piece that he had to play with.
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Some more interesting links from the week:
- In podcasting: It was a blast to review Captain Marvel with Joanna Robinson. I also spoke with C. Robert Cargill about how to write a good ending.
- I recently watched HBO’s four-hour long documentary about a deceased pop star’s crimes involving children. There have been dozens of pieces written about it, but out of all of them, there are two (potentially contradictory) articles I’d recommend: Kierna Mayo’s reflections on the film over at Afropunk, and Christina Cauterucci’s piece at Slate about how the film does a disservice to its accusers.
- I had a chance to see Gaspar Noé newest film Climax, out in limited release right now. I thought it was a brilliant, mind-bending film that combines well-choreographed dance with trippy horror. Check out an interview with Noé over at Wonderland magazine.
- Molly Conway explains why sometimes, it’s better not to turn your hobby into your full-time job.
- Apollo 11 is an incredible documentary that’s an appropriate companion piece for First Man. There’s no talking head interviews or voiceovers — just a bunch of expertly remastered and sharply edited footage from the time period. It’s out in theaters right now for a short time. You can hear me talk about the movie at the beginning of this episode of the /Film podcast. Also: Jason Gorber has an interview with the director at POV.
- David Lazarus has a piece for the LATimes about why eyeglass prices never seem to go down. Basically: one company owns all the players.
- Steven Melendez wrote about digital hoarders for Gizmodo. I have a mix of sympathy, empathy, admiration, and pity for these people. At various points in my life, I feel like I’ve been one.
- Jane Mayer has a bombshell story for The New Yorker about how Fox News has essentially become a propaganda wing of the Republican party. Nothing too surprising here, but it’s fascinating to reflect on how this piece might’ve played in a different era, when our attention wasn’t already captured and worn down by daily outrages.