Interstellar: Destined To Be A Classic

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A great film requires creativity, imagination and above all, a moving and relatable message. Interstellar fits those criteria perfectly. The essence of its story is simple yet intricate. It may take more than one trip to the theatre to fully understand the meaning of the movie, but its well worth it. With its pleasant fusion of science fiction and human relationships, Interstellar has become a must see of 2014. Its cinematography, soundtrack and characters will undoubtedly place it among the classics in cinematic history.

interstellar There is no question that the cinematography of the movie is absolutely extraordinary. It is one of the first feature films to have most of its footage shot in 15/70mm IMAX cameras, which allows the audience to get a better glimpse as to how majestic our universe is. In recent years, CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) has primarily been the source to create unreal scenarios, but director Christopher Nolan understandably prefers the effect of practical illusions instead. The practical illusions used in the movie create more realistic imagery by using miniature spaceship models and matting techniques instead of developing those images on software. Watching the film, you’re not distracted by poor CGI work but you’re paying closer attention to the story, due to the fact that everything surrounding the actors seems real. There are great segments where all we see is the edge of the spaceship as it flies through different locations in space. By showing this imagery, there is little confusion as to where the characters are in that very scene or where they are headed. Everything from the color pallet to camera angles make Interstellar what it is, an epic.

interstellar-skip-cropThis picture would not be what it is if Hans Zimmer was not responsible for the beautiful soundtrack of Interstellar. Nolan has worked with him several times in the past, but for this particular film he decided to do something different; something that greatly paid off. Nolan simply told Zimmer about the relationship between a man named Cooper and his daughter Murph. He was unaware of many crucial aspects of Interstellar, including the fact that it was a science fiction thriller. Even with such little insight, Zimmer was able to take the audience on a ride and enhance the film with what he created. His intelligent use of tone and knowledge of human emotion was evident throughout the movie. The film had much to do with a passionate will to survive and the soundtrack was guiding us through many of those emotional moments. If you felt on edge watching Interstellar, it was not only the cinematography and the believable visual effects doing the job; it was the combination of a powerful score and a beautiful picture.

Zimmer has composed musical scores for Divergent, The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, and several more chart topping blockbusters. It’s no mystery that he is partly responsible for the glory of these films. The soundtrack of a film will always be an essential part in creating a moving and mind-boggling motion picture. The music that joins the beautiful images of interstellar space travel completes the film. Another factor that made this feature film so majestic is the placement of different sound effects. Nolan films are known for suspense and its common to periodically see scenes where the sound is unexpected. This surprising audio makes a sequence more powerful and intriguing, leaving the mind excited for more to come.

Interstellar-05Matthew McConaughey, who played Cooper in the film, had many moments that can be considered, “Oscar worthy.” He captured the emotions of a brave spaceman but most importantly those of a loving father, wanting what is best for his family and his planet. His brave heart was the core of the film, as we were led through his eyes to the many wonders of space exploration. We begin the film with little information about Cooper’s past but McConaughey was able to act well enough to make us understand Cooper’s will to make a better life for his loved ones. We were on his side through the whole film, even if at moments we questioned his decisions. He shared the screen with Anne Hathaway, who also gave an “Oscar worthy” performance. She played a determined Dr. Brand who put all her motivation and time into completing the mission her father had been working on for several years. Hathaway is a phenomenal actress because she knows how to make the character her own. She was able to make us grow to love Dr. Brand throughout the film. As the movie progressed, we learned that she had a soft side, one we could all relate to. She was driven by her own heart and not by anything else. The cast of Interstellar is filled with several more Academy award winners and nominees including: Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Jessica Chastain and a cameo from another beloved Oscar winner that you don’t want to miss.

INTERSTELLARInterstellar was made to leave the audience thinking, questioning and trying to find their own conclusion for the film. Entering the theater you’ll think you’re going to watch a film about space and its benefits to the human existence, but once the credits roll, there will be so much more that you have learned than that. This movie is about love. It’s about how humanity saves itself through passion for survival. The film is three hours long yet there were no dull moments. I was so intrigued by all the visuals, sounds, music and exquisite acting that I never checked my phone once for the time. I thoroughly enjoyed Interstellar, as will you when you experience it for the first time.


The Los Angeles Film Festival is Back with Something for Everyone

by Carrie Specht

Once again the LA Staple Center campus is about to be bombarded with a taste of Hollywood. Home of the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Regal Theatre at the corner of the campus at Olympic and Cherry streets in downtown will soon be over run by filmmakers, and movie fans of all types as they spend eleven days taking in all the LAFF has too offer. And this year the selection is impressively diverse.

Opening Thursday, June 14 the festival starts off with Woody Allen’s highly anticipated latest feature, To Rome with Love. The big name cast includes Penelope Cruz, Alec Baldwin, Ellen Page, Jesse Eisenberg, Judy Davis, Roberto Benigni and of course, Allen himself. It’s not quiet like the little independents the festival use to feature opening nights back in the day, but for all his star-studded casting, Allen still manages to hold his independent status if only on a technicality. Likewise, the closing night film on Sunday, June 24 is not exactly keeping in theme with independent filmmaking. After all, Magic Mike is about a bunch of male exotic dancers lead by Hollywood heart throbs Matthew McConaughey and Channing Tatum. However, I’m sure both films will be big crowd pleasers that bring in audiences that might not otherwise attend such a festival. It’s certainly a great way to attract the uninitiated to a world beyond the usual megaplex.

But if you want a true taste of what the festival is all about then I urge to check out what’s showing in between the all the fanfare at the beginning and the end of the two week event. The Gala Screenings include a fanciful and original tale from Fox Searchlight featuring a six-year-old girl in the Delta (Beasts of the Southern Wind), a story of an African American woman adjusting her life in the face of drastic changes (Middle of Nowhere), and a Steve Carell comedy about the end of life as we know it (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World). And the Narrative Competition has even more diversity to offer with four of the ten films coming from outside the United States, including entries from Portugal and the Czech Republic.

Of course, if you really want to talk independent filmmaking, be sure to check out the Documentary Competition selections. With subjects ranging from the responsibility of the HIV infected to Midwives, and from Punk Rock to Vampira, you’ll undoubtedly have plenty to provoke and intrigue you. And naturally the International Showcase has a vast array of countries represented, from Taiwan/Myanmar to Switzerland (go to for a complete schedule). Then there’s the Summer Showcase. To me this is just a fancy title for the American made (or financed) independent feature films. You know, the ones made outside of the traditional Hollywood production system. Heavily peppered with an unusual number of documentaries (almost half) there’s a wide range of subjects and genres to interest even the most die-hard Saturday matinee, popcorn-munching fanatic. Last year I stuck a pin in this section to help me decide between screenings and I was not disappointed. So, go ahead and be daring. Try something new at the movies. Of all the time to experiment, this is it.

Whatever you decide to see at this year’s festival don’t miss out on the enormously popular Community Screenings. Set at an outdoor venue (check site for details) these classic films are selected for their vast appeal to the young and old. These are for the most part films that appealed to parents of the younger generation when they themselves were the age of their offspring. These films include E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Dirty Dancing (with a dance along), and what I consider the best of the bunch, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. On a cool summer night in the heart of downtown LA, what could possibly be more memorable than sharing a cherished film of your youth with the ones you cherish? And it’s a wonderful way to introduce movie fans of any age to classic cinema, as well as the culture that’s available to them in the amazing city of Los Angeles.

I didn’t even touch on the films in The Beyond showcase, The Retro showcase or the Short Films, so be sure to use the links listed to check everything playing at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival. If you try it once, I’m sure you’ll want to make it a part of your annual summer festivities. It’s that good.