Roger Corman cranked out cheap films. His autobiography was titled “How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime.” He helped launch the career for these respected directors as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, and James Cameron. And he gave actors like Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Peter Fonda, and William Shatner their start owntitle movies
Corman produced B-movies starting from “The Monster From the Ocean Floor” to “Machine-Gun Kelly,” “House of Usher” to “The Wild Angels,” “Death Race 2000” to “The Trip.”The film is often a companion bit of sorts to Pawlikowski’s “Ida” (2013), which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film following a nun-in-training who discovers a dark family secret in 1960s Poland. In “Cold War,” he reunites with two-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Lukasz Zal for stark black-and-white cinematography presented in the relatively squarish 1.37:1 aspect ratio. The duo shot on Arri Alexa XT video cameras later printed on 35 millimeter film.
It’s simple to grasp why the film won Best Director with the Cannes Film Festival, where in addition, it competed to the Palme d’Or. At times you is poetic, catching an expression on a piano headboard before panning onto the pianist’s hands. Other times the digital camera is kinetic, upon the party area amid the gyrations of “Rock Around the Clock.” Most importantly, your camera takes time to breathe, waiting on hold empty landscapes following the actors leave the frame.
In fact what stands apart most in this particular film would be the sheer scale of NASA’s Apollo operation. Its rockets were toweringly huge. (“Six-and-a-half million pounds,” one TV reporter says.) The crowds watching the launch were enormous, gathering in J. C. Penney’s parking lots and motels located along the water through the Kennedy Space Center. The trucks, the tools once upon a time in hollywood
, the engineers sitting behind beeping consoles at Mission Control… everything was big, and thus well-organized. To see this machine in action-with its many, many gears-defuses cynicism, and skepticism. This whole endeavor was a genuine testament to human imagination, ingenuity, and can.