Every year in motion pictures has memorable moments, and 2011 is no exception. This year was filled with joy, excitement and melancholia, and with Cinema 2011 I try to capture this sea of emotion in 6 and a half minutes. Read more on the what, how and why here.
So before we jump into the action, a little prologue might be nice:
I announced Cinema 2008 on October 30th 2008. It was uploaded as my Christmas present to you on December 17th. Over 100.000 people have viewed it.
Cinema 2009 was announced on August 18th. It was released in full December 20th 2009. Over 1.1 million people have seen it.
On my 17th birthday I announced Cinema 2010. It was released December 21st and viewed by 60.000 people on New Year’s Eve 2010 and 292.000 in total.
And now, here we are. I announced Cinema 2011 on my 18th birthday. You sent me dozens of birthday wishes and congratulations.
Turning 18 was really strange: all of a sudden, you’re jerked out of your childhood and thrown into adulthood. What does that even mean? I bet any of you have thought of what it means to turn 18. It’s nowhere near as fascinating as it might sound, it’s really just a single day.
But then I started to think: I’ve learned so much from plain living, trying things and a lot of failing, that it’s easy to overlook film and television to be such a big part of my life. Sure, we learn a lot from it, but is it really true? We see fragments of the lives of fictional characters, sometimes based on reality but cut into pieces for our own enjoyment. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that life is nothing and exactly like the films I love. For Cinema 2011, I tried to capture not just the identity of this year in film, but also what it means and meant to us in general. The coming few pages will show you how and why I did that.
This is terrible, but I forgot what font this is. If anyone knows, leave a comment please! I call this segment “Unity”, the music is by a band I discovered this year called Cloud Control. They’re absolutely amazing and their album, Bliss Release, is only 5 bucks on iTunes, so go get it! This track is called My Fear #1. I heard this back in June and it kind of became my song of the year.
This was originally a bit with Winnie the Pooh, but I went for this clip eventually, because the Pooh clip just felt too much coming out of nowhere.
Here’s a clip from Le Havre, and it’s our first international title, ladies and gentlemen! I wanted to add a bit more nationality to the mix, I always felt 2008 and 2009 were propaganda for Hollywood and this year I’ve seen so much amazing films not from the US or UK, I wanted a little more diversity. So good chance you’ll find a film from your home country in here!
I’m dying to see this film, the color scheme is just beyond perfect, I can’t wait for it to come out here. And no I’m not watching a workprint.
What I love about this song in the first segment is that it’s walking the fine line between Cinema 2009 and Cinema 2010. It’s melancholic, but not depressing, it’s optimistic but not overly joyful. I think it’s a perfect balance to open with.
This quote is from Beginners. I loved the simpleness of that film. This quote reflects that.
One of my favorite lines from Submarine. I loved the hell out of this film. The soundtrack by Alex Turner is just gorgeous and it’s been on repeat for weeks over here.
Can’t wait to see this one, The Descendants. One great thing about George Clooney is he can say just about anything and make it work in just about anything. I could take any line from him, no matter how ridiculous, and put it in this segment, it would still work. But this one took the cake, eventually.
Short clip from The Artist here (which I’ve yet to see as well! God!), and hey: it’s in 4:3! In [the films of] I’ve been very consistent with not altering the aspect ratio of the original films and that choice has had mixed reactions. I don’t think people realize how much you alter an image when you blow it up from 1.85:1 to fit 2.35:1, and it was really hard to do sometimes. I think if I do make a Cinema 2012, I’ll keep the original aspect ratio intact. Naturally I wouldn’t mix them up like a lunatic because you’d all go mad, but kept seperate and with very smooth transitions.
Anyway I wanted to share that with you because this is the only clip that differs from 2.35:1 that I didn’t blow up, so.. there you go.
Favorite movie time! Heres number 2, Midnight in Paris. If you haven’t seen it, why are you reading this! GO SEE IT NOW.
Favorite movie number three! 50/50, wow, what a fantastic film. I hope it fetches a few awards this season because I’d hate to watch it get overlooked.
Here’s our third European film, Atmen (from Germany, which, to clear things up, is NOT where the Dutch live nor the language Dutch people speak), which got a lot of critical acclaim. Might be worth checking out!
Forgive me the unflattering screenshot of the beautiful miss Farmiga, but I wanted to show you something neat: I placed the cut on a blink. You’ll see Bullock’s character blink and right there I switch to this shot with Farmiga’s character blinking. And the fact that the bit of dialogue might be relevant for this shot also helps.
There he is! I wouldn’t call this one of my favorite films but I’m so very glad Disney is taking some chances in the 2D department again, I thought they let it sink after The Princess and the Frog but the surprise announcement of Winnie the Pooh really made my day. Gorgeous art direction.
Here we have a Turkish film, Anatolia.
This shot is really ripped out of context, I won’t tell you why because it might spoil the film a little bit but let’s just say he’s not contemplating his life here.
I’ve wanted to see The Future ever since I saw the trailer about a year ago and three times I actually went to a local cinema to check it out: two times it was sold out, and the third time it wasn’t but I was late.
Here’s D-Finch’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’m very hestitant about this film: I love David Fincher, but the original got way better reviews and now I’m wondering whether I should watch those first… I think I will.
I want to see We Bought A Zoo so bad, I’m the 1% that loved Elizabethtown so the ‘bad news’ that Cameron Crowe ‘hadn’t returned to form’ wasn’t all that bad for me.
There’s not a lot of Carnage in here, that’s because it’s really filmed like a play, which makes it very hard to incorporate.
Fortunately I got to see The Muppets along with War Horse at a press screening earlier this month (though I’m not allowed to tell you what I thought of War Horse until February, what the..), and it was a pleasant surprise indeed!
You know what? This behind-the-scenes post makes me realize I absolutely despise international release schedules. Haven’t seen Hanna either.
… nor Hugo. Our big ‘premiere’ is at the International Film Festival in Rotterdam.
This film, The Adjustment Bureau, was so fantastic! I didn’t really pay much attention to it and rented it out of boredom, but boy was I surprised, one of my favorites of the year!
Segment dos opens with Justice’s Civilization, which yes is that song from the advert. I originally had a quote in the empty space before this shot, but I liked the idea of it coming out of pretty much nowhere. It’s almost silent and then WHAM. Submarine being lifted out of the water. This, by the way, was so epic on the big screen.
Fassbender, Gosling and Jessica Chastain: the heroes of Cinema 2011.
It’s so weird to see a Twixtored shot in an official trailer on the big screen… It makes trailer editors seem so human all of a sudden. Shot goes really well with the quote though.
This shot is so amazing, I don’t know what finishes it, the explosion in the background, the slight reflection of light on Cap’s shield, the almost perfect symmetry.. Wow.
From the producers of 300??
I tried fading into this shot, but a hard cut worked much better.
One of my absolute absolute absolute favorite edits in the whole thing is this bit I call Slowmo Sherlock. I was supposed to see it yesterday but had to work all day.
Hells yeah there it is! Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two everyone. Did you all feel the same thing as I did when this segment finally came? I just wanted it to go on forever. I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life in a theatre watching this scene. I honestly think I wouldn’t.
Sorry for the lack of a here, guys. I couldn’t find a clear one. Did you know he doesn’t once scream that in the film? It was just a stock NYAAAAAH. Where do you even find one of those.
Say what you want about Transformers: Dark of le Moon but this shot.
I don’t know whether I had really low expectations or if it was really just good, but I actually liked The Green Hornet…
… mostly because of this.
Cars 2 on the other hand..
People actually tried to convince me the other day that this is a decent film. I’m against judging a book by its cover or judging a film by its title.. but this is called Drive Angry: 3D. I’m very sorry. I just can’t.
There were so many beautiful shots I couldn’t fit anywhere so I opened up this space to put them with an Optimus Prime quote.
Le moneyshot. I was fighting so hard with the audio here, I just wanted so much sound in here and I had to frame-by-frame adjust the volume of all 6 tracks playing here to make sure it was just below 0 dB.
Segment tres! What you’re hearing is the intro of the track played backwards and I put these abstract shots over it to make it even weirder. The song is Young Blood by The Naked and Famous and if hipsters had an anthem it would probably be that. Or not of course because then everyone would be listening to the same thing and that’s not allowed.
Not trying to diss the song by the way, I love it here.
IT’S THE HANGOVER IT’S IN HERE NO COMMENTS IT’S NOT IN HERE.
You see the color scheme on that train in the background? Yeah, that’s what I’m confronted with every single day.
I really like this transition from medium to wide. I forgot if it’s in the film as well or if it’s just in the trailer, but I think it works really well.
Cue loads of people making out. I wanted this segment to represent the hope that fuels young love, but it’s not a very happy song, so the hope isn’t justified in some way and that makes it feel as if it’s overly optimistic.
And yes I liked The Art of Getting By. I mostly just liked Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts together, so that helped. And the soundtrack was great.
Romantic comedy of the year?
This quote goes really well with what I was trying to tell with this segment, which is that the really optimistic way of looking at things (including love) when you’re younger really wears off when you get older. I think that’s something that I’ve found out as well and I really wanted that ‘turning point’ in here as well.
Here’s our man of the year!
This year I went for a less fragmented approach, so I linger on shots longer so you can really absorb it before going off to a totally different shot of a totally different film. I think you need that moment of recognition, else it’s just shots flying by.
I love this quote and I think it’s a perfect transition from the effect-heavy Young Blood to our fourth and final segment.
I’m so glad I was able to see 170 Hz at the Dutch Film Festival this year, every show was sold out but I got in a very late screening and it was incredible. Honestly. This sequence was just beyond words.
The Another Earth-quote was originally accompanied by a shot from Another Earth but then I chose to open with 170 Hz, but that quote stayed there because I really liked it sort of introducing this segment.
This is the first shot from Tree of Life, by the way, isn’t it? I saw the absolute absolute last screening in the Netherlands because I would hate myself if I’d missed this in theatres.
Wow wow wow WOW. Melancholia. Saw it opening night, still thinking about this film every day. Absolutely hands down my Film of the Year. I can never decide on a film of the year but this film, just.. this film.. my God.
Such a sad moment in Deathly Hallows: Part Two.
So to make up for that I have this shot of people actually holding hands (from Beautiful Boy).
This shot is destined to be here: the song talks about waves dragging people down (this film, Soul Surfer, is about a young girl losing her arm in a shark attack), there’s a deep low synth tone which works magically with slow-motion, there’s a sonar sound that works with underwater.
Can’t wait to see Shame at the IFFR, I’ve already been advised not so sit next to old people and/or people that remind you of your family.
When I saw this shot in Source Code, I just knew it needed a proper place in the video. This here is a prime example of how I’m really against blowing shots up just to fill the screen; this shot still looks amazing because it’s just so brilliant, but it looks a lot more amazing in it’s original 1.85:1 ratio, so if you have a chance, watch Source Code (it’s great and not that long, in case you ‘don’t have time’) and awe at this moment.
Again there’s just no words for the Melancholia prologue.
I liked Drive. I didn’t think it was all that amazing (it might have been because I saw it on a Sunday morning) but I think it was a great mix of genres. And the sound editing was really awesome.
This shot is so beautiful. The only thing that bugs me is that Ron is holding that really weird wand, and there’s a lot of light reflecting off of it which makes it way too noticeable. But for a short glimpse such as this, it won’t draw your attention, hopefully.
I was a little less cautious with spoilers this year, mostly because I think you really don’t notice them unless you already know a lot about a film, and if you do you’ve probably seen it or the amount of information you already know spoils so much in the first place that it doesn’t matter.
I’m a firm believer in spoiler-free trailers and so I didn’t watch any trailers for Deathly Hallows (that was, until I was confronted with it on an IMAX screen, there’s no hiding from it then.. Did you know they used my tagline in the final trailer? Pretty cool!), Inception and I’m not watching the new trailer for The Dark Knight Rises either. I can highly recommend not watching trailers for films you’re seeing anyway, after all they’re just meant to lure you into the theatre, so if you’re already going to see it, what’s the point? It’s absolutely brilliant to finally sit there and watch everything for the first time.
Wait I didn’t tell you anything about the music! It’s Spanish Sahara by Foals, but it’s a version with the London Contemporary Orchestra. I’ve loved this song since 2009 so there were plenty of edits I could use it, but I never found the right one and then I tried the orchestrated version with footage from 2011 and it was magic. I added a bit of orchestra, most notable in the bit with Tree of Life after the Melancholia quote, just to make it a bit more epic.
This was one of the first things I edited, I wanted the elevator scene from Drive but it was just too long to work anywhere, so I intercut it with these non-slow-motion shots and it actually works really well, I think.
I hope you’ve all seen Tintin because it’s absolutely amazing! There’s a Snowy miniature right under my monitor and it reminds me every day how much I loved that film.
I didn’t have dialogue over this bit in earlier edits but the song builds up so much tension here and I had to shorten it, so it lacked a push that would bring it to the final bit. I used this quote to ‘simulate’ that push.
There’s something about the smoke and the train and the clouds that makes this so magical.
And then this. “Forget the horror here.” I actually cried when I saw this in the edit for the first time (OK, might have been three times…).
You might think “Hey, that’s the exact same as in the promo!” but nay nay! It’s actually the other way around. I edited this first and then used it in the promo as well.
I can not tell you anything about what I thought of War Horse but to imply that my state of mind upon leaving the theatre not specifically in result to but keeping the possibility open of watching War Horse may or may not have been but leaning more towards may was entertained but not wowed, not claiming that any of the above is true or untrue nor that this is my own opinion or that of someone else.
I really like this bit.
Running People: the montage makers no. 1 way of making anything seem dramatic.
This may or may not be a Melancholia spoiler, but I don’t think it actually matters.
Love this shot. And this really was Fassbender’s year so I really wanted him to be part of the last 3 shots.
There’s something so scary about this delayed tone with this image of the earth being absorbed by a star.
This was one of the toughest editing decisions I’ve ever made. Seriously.
This, of course, is a pretty massive spoiler, because even though you might know Melancholia is about the end of the earth, this shot is the absolute cherry on top of an already gorgeous cake. I tried edits without it, but it demanded to be in there. This shot really is what 2011 was all about for me and that echoes throughout the entire video. There’s no better ending than this and so I sacrificed a bit to earn a lot. I hope you have all seen Melancholia, if you haven’t, it’s probably not playing in theatres anymore and so this shot will never mean the same to you as it did on the big screen, so that might relevate this decision.
Just so you know: the end just didn’t work without this.
And then fade to black….
Wow, what a year, people. I know last year I might have depressed you all with Cinema 2010 but that was only because that year in film was, to me, all about being brought down, unleashing your dark side and actions you’d regret later on (almost like a Baz Luhrmann film!). This year on the other hand, seemed to leave all that behind. Obviously we had some depressing shit, but what stood out was the hope of a bright future and the fact that everything can be overcome with a little help.
The ending of Melancholia is really about that as well (if you haven’t seen it, assume mild spoilers here!!): the world ends and the only way to cope with that is to be together when it happens. Even though something that catastrophic is hopefully nothing like anything we encounter in our daily lives, but I think unity and connecting is, even for the small things. That was really what I tried to build on with Cinema 2011.
I hope you’re all pleased, if not there’s some pretty rad shit out there by some of my colleagues.
Just so you know: I’m so glad I’m able to share my love of cinema with you and if you’re reading this, it seems you value it even more than I’d hoped in the first place, so a big thank you to everyone for the last couple of years, and I really hope to see you next year!
Happy holidays and a fantastic 2012! Have a good one!