Of all the different types of films we cover in Cinefex, my personal favorites are those that are not visual effects films – no monsters or creatures, no spaceships, no alien landscapes or Death Star explosions. I most enjoy covering reality-based movies in which visual effects play a pivotal but nearly invisible role.
Sam Mendes’ 1917 is one of those, and Joe Fordham covers it beautifully in Cinefex 170. Reality doesn’t get grittier than a story set in the trenches of World War I, but visual effects were essential to the film’s conceit of one very long, uninterrupted shot as the action plays out in real time. It’s a fascinating read about a fascinating film.
Director Niki Caro’s Mulan – a live-action retelling of the 1998 Disney animated classic – is similarly grounded. No wise-cracking dragons or ghostly ancestors in this remake – just utterly realistic 7th-century China environments, and an impressively dynamic avalanche sequence. Graham Edwards brings us exhaustive coverage of The New Mutants, as well, and we round out the issue with HBO’s Watchmen and Underwater.
Cinefex was well into production on this issue, the four-color presses already humming, when the world went into quarantine to stop the spread of Covid-19. It was a pandemic of a scale not seen since – well, since 1917, oddly enough. At its onset, I joined many others in wondering if this bug was going to prove to be the society-destroying ‘Captain Trips’ virus of Stephen King’s novel The Stand.
Fortunately, as I write this, we seem to be beating Covid-19 into at least partial submission, and there is the promise of better days as this strangest of all springs turns to summer.
We wish you all good health and a swift return to normalcy. Who knew the idea of ‘normal’ could sound so good?
The print edition of Cinefex 170 is available to order from our online store. If you’re a subscriber, your copy will soon arrive in your mailbox. Our iPad edition, featuring tons more photographs and exclusive video content, will be out soon.