Watch: Three Extremely Human Tactics Taika Waititi Uses to Make His Stories Relatable

The ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ director revels in humanity.

Sometimes the only road to true realism goes right through the imagination. Take, for instance, the work of Taika Waititi. His films show like slice-of-life dramas someone wrote in an unconscious state, dropping elements and storytelling techniques into them that could only be found in dreams. In so doing, Waititi has made himself one of the world’s most popular directors. How you get from the dark, dark humor of Things We Do in the Shadows, which he co-directed, to Thor: Ragnarok, his latest, a blockbuster, is probably best left his secret. And yet there are a few elements we can observe that help tell the story, and this video from YouTube channel We Need to Talk About Film helps sort them out elegantly and gracefully.

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‘Una’: How Benedict Andrews’ Sexual Assault Drama Takes Us ‘To The Edge of Human Behavior’

Andrews used a ‘quintessentially Kubrickian idea’ to weld his raw drama together.

What happens in Una is unequivocally wrong: A middle-aged man seduces and has a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl. But director Benedict Andrews and screenwriter David Harrower don’t let us off with the easy answer. The film delves into uncharted waters of morality surrounding sexual abuse, where neither party is predator nor prey. We can’t fully hate the perpetrator, nor can we fully trust or empathize with the victim and her motivations. As are all experiences that challenge our perspective, Una is unnerving.

Based on the critically-acclaimed play Blackbird, which Harrower adapted himself, the film stars Rooney Mara as Una, now a grown woman who has tracked down her abuser, Ray (Ben Mendelsohn), despite the fact that he has changed his name after serving the prison sentence. Una wends its way between past and present as the unflinching confrontation plays out. What begins as a survivor’s effort to reappropriate her past turns into a disquieting inquiry into the nature of truth, love, and redemption.

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Watch: A Novel Way to Make Your Characters More Human

Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott are among the filmmakers who use this tactic.

One of the most basic questions faced by any filmmaker must be this: what is the universal human angle here? How do I bring out the human element in these characters and this story, making the film matter to its viewers? There are many paths to that answer, the most obvious being making the story as engaging as possible, using human interest as story elements where possible, or adding as many dimensions to characters as they can hold. However, some directors, ranging from Stanley Kubrick to Ridley Scott to Spike Jonze, have amplified the humanity of their characters by contrast, specifically by including nonhuman, non-animal characters in their films to remind us of what makes a human a human and what makes a robot a robot.

In the most outlandish films, we may notice the least outlandish details first.

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Official Trailer for Ai Weiwei’s New Film ‘Human Flow’ About Humanity

Human Flow Trailer

“When There Is Nowhere to Go, Nowhere is Home.” Amazon Studios and Participant Media have released an official trailer for Human Flow, a new film directed by iconic Chinese artist/filmmaker Ai Weiwei. This will be premiering at the Venice Film Festival first before hitting theaters in October. This eye-opening, breathtaking, heart-wrenching documentary looks at the humanitarian crisis of our time. “Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II.” Human Flow is made up of remarkable footage showing this mass migration and how people move around this planet. This looks incredible, I’m very excited to see the footage and experience it as presented by Ai Weiwei. I’m sure it’s going to be an emotional experience. ›››

Continue reading Official Trailer for Ai Weiwei’s New Film ‘Human Flow’ About Humanity

Blade Runner 2049 Pop Vinyls Are More Human Than Human

Blade Runner 2049 Pop Vinyls Are More Human Than Human

Blade Runner 2049 Pop Vinyls are more human than human

Funko has revealed their lineup of seven all new Blade Runner 2049 Pop vinyl figures, based on Warner Bros. Pictures‘ sci-fi sequel opening on October 6. Officer K (Ryan Gosling), Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), Joi (Ana de Armas), Neander Wallace (Jared Leto), Luv (Sylvia Hoeks) and Sapper (Dave Bautista) all receive the Pop! vinyl treatment in October. You can also get helmeted Sapper as a chase variant with a rarity of 1 in 6. Check out all seven Blade Runner 2049 Pop vinyls in our Funko gallery below, featuring Pop! figures from other recent movies!

RELATED: The New Blade Runner 2049 Trailer is Here!

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.

The film also stars Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks, Robin Wright, Mackenzie Davis, Carla Juri, Lennie James, with Dave Bautista, Edward James Olmos and Jared Leto.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve from a screenplay by Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, Blade Runner 2049 is based on characters from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” The film produced by Andrew A. Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bud Yorkin, and Cynthia Yorkin, and executive produced by Ridley Scott, Tim Gamble, Frank Giustra, Yale Badick, Val Hill, and Bill Carraro.

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Controversial surgeon aims to perform the first human head transplant but experts are skeptical


Scientists, including the controversial doctor Sergio Canavero, have transplanted the head of a rat onto the back of another, ahead of a plan to carry out the world’s first human head transplant later this year. Read more…

More about Neurosurgery, Sergio Canavero, Real Time Video, Human, and Skeptic

Watch: How Paul Thomas Anderson Creates Deeply Human Characters

Whether you’re a PTA enthusiast or just a lover of movies and people, you need to watch this.

In a review of Magnolia, Roger Ebert remarked that its bravura opening sequence, with Ricky Jay narrating a series of incredible coincidences, “sets up the theme of the film…people earnestly and single-mindedly immersed in their lives, hopes, and values, as if their best-laid plans were not vulnerable to the chaotic interruptions of the universe. It’s humbling to learn that existence doesn’t revolve around us; worse to learn it revolves around nothing.”

In a new video essay from Jack’s Movie Reviews, an exceptional analysis puts forth the theory that Paul Thomas Anderson’s characters are, fundamentally, seekers, filled with a deep, American loneliness. It’s a pain can only be quieted by a deeply American cure: a new life.

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Beauty and the Beast Triptych Poster Features the Human Characters

Beauty and the Beast Triptych Poster Features the Human Characters

Beauty and the Beast triptych poster features the human characters

The Walt Disney Studios has released (via Yahoo) a new triptych poster for the upcoming Beauty and the Beast which reveals some of the human forms of the enchanted employees from Beast’s castle, including Ewan McGregor as Lumière, Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Audra McDonald as Garderobe, and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts! Check it out in the gallery below!

Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast movie is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

Beauty and the Beast also stars Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; and Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp.

Directed by Oscar winner Bill Condon based on the 1991 animated film, Beauty and the Beast is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice.

Beauty and the Beast will be released in theaters on March 17.

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