Beijing-based director Zhang Yimou has long been considered a visual genius. Whether intimate dramas like 1987’s Red Sorghum and 1991’s Raise the Red Lantern, or spectacular wuxia epics like 2002’s Hero and 2004’s House of Flying Daggers, Zhang’s films are guaranteed to impress with their exquisite production and costume design, and in particular their meticulous and effective use of colour.
Ask most people what the most significant prop is in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and they’ll probably say a phaser, or a communicator badge, or maybe a Klingon bat’leth. But from those who truly hold the 1987-’94 series close to their hearts, you may hear a very different answer: Captain Picard’s Ressikan flute.
If sci-fi movies have taught us anything, it’s that the future is hardly a safe place. Whether it’s invading aliens, rogue robots or a repressive, dystopian regime, science-fiction worlds need defending (or attacking), meaning the genre is forever filled with a wide, often fascinating array of weapons, going all the way back to the classic raygun.
There’s seemingly no limit to the range of death-dealing devices cinema has come up with for its futuristic (or cosmically fantastical) adventures, from an arrow guided by whistles (as seen in Guardians of the Galaxy) to, well, the planet-destroying Death Star. But the weapon has to feel right for the movie in question, and in turn can tell you a lot about a particular film’s aesthetic and theme – as the selection of classic sci-fi blasters included in Prop Store’s upcoming Entertainment Memorabilia LA auction reveals.
A common argument – sorry discussion – among film enthusiasts is: what was the best-ever movie decade? Some might plump for the golden years of the 1940s; others the raw, movie-brat-dominated verve of the ’70s; or maybe the slick, sardonic ’90s when indie cool infiltrated the mainstream. But if you take a good look at the cinematic landscape today, with the plot-connected mega-franchise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, state-of-the-art digital effects allowing for limitless world building, and film-makers like Christopher Nolan crafting original thrill-rides on a massive scale, you would be remiss not to consider the 1980s: the decade when the blockbuster came of age.
Games are perfect fodder for movie entertainment, whether they be the kind you play on the field, on the couch, or sat at a table. After all, isn’t any game inherently dramatic? Most sports are broken up into ‘acts’, effectively, whether they be halves, innings or quarters. They shiver with tension throughout, delivering twists and turns along the way and, more often than not, end with a decisive and emotional resolution: a winner and a loser. Oh, and they come with a built-in audience. Who can deny the stirring power of a roaring crowd, even one watched from the comfort of a cinema seat?
Over an impressive, five-decade career, costume designer Francine Jamison-Tanchuck has broken new ground (she was the first-ever African American designer hired at Paramount, then Disney) and contributed to several key, progressive moments in Black cinema history, with such movies as The Color Purple, Coming To America and Glory (her first film as a head of department).
As we assessed the cinematic and televisual treasures available in our second Los Angeles-based Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, it occurred to us just how much history was contained in our lots.
From the 1960s to the 2010s, we have six decades’ worth of memorabilia. So let’s go on a journey, decade by decade, through some truly iconic props – all of which will be open for bidding July 1st – which all made a mark on the eras in which they graced the screen.
For costume designer Leesa Evans, Zoolander 2 must have been a dream gig. Having specialized in comedy (primarily movies produced or directed by Judd Apatow), it meant she got to dress the likes of director Ben Stiller and a slew of other comedy legends and celebrities of all walks. But, given the long-awaited sequel continued the original’s lampooning of the fashion world, it also meant she got to meet and collaborate with some of the biggest names in haute couture.
Alex Garland’s cerebral sci-fi thriller Annihilation is, among other things, a movie about mutation – rapid, drastic change forced on lifeforms by a mysterious extra-terrestrial effect. This was epitomized by the strange and dangerous creatures encountered by the film’s protagonists, who must enter a quarantined, oddly kaleidoscopic zone known as “The Shimmer.” Creatures like an albino alligator with shark-like teeth, for example. Or strange, humanoid figures formed from plants. Or the movie’s featured creature: a monstrous bear with a skull-like face that distressingly contains warped human elements.
the summer of 1986, Robin Behling was presented with a huge challenge. Formerly an advertising manager at EMI Music, then account director for entertainment-specialist ad agency Cream Creative, Behling had just taken over as creative director of Feref Associates, a Soho, London-based creative agency based which specialised in creating tailor-made advertising campaigns for movies. Despite its impeccable reputation, he’d arrived to find that Feref was struggling financially. It was overstaffed and its directors were, as Behling now recalls, “in hock with the bank”. It had also just lost a massive chunk of its business with the sudden departure of a major client.
There’s only a few more days left until the London 2020, Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction on the 1st and 2nd December, and with a wealth of content this year in the catalogue from over 350 iconic films, we wanted to give you a closer look into some of our featured lots in the auction…
Star Wars stunt coordinator and sword master Nick Gillard reflects on his days with the Jedi of the Old Republic.
In this blog, we are looking into the design of two characters who are the epitome of hero vs. antihero – Batman and his infamous arch nemesis, the Joker – and how over several decades, the look of both has dramatically transformed.
Of all the classic Gothic-horror monsters brought to cinematic life (or rather, undeath) by Universal Studios during its pre-war Golden Age, the Mummy remains the most mysterious — or, at least, the hardest to pin down.
Throughout their careers, actors can portray characters with a multitude of different professions, backstories, nationalities. However, few actors have lived such a varied life themselves. Sir Christopher Lee was an exception. Before a career in which he would be officially crowned ‘The Centre of the Hollywood Universe’, he was in the RAF; conducted espionage in North Africa; and tracked down Nazi war criminals. He later found fame in Hammer horror films, playing Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy and Dracula, before moving to Hollywood and facing off against James Bond, the Fellowship of the Ring, and Anakin Skywalker.
Welcome to this week’s special edition of the Prop Store Live Auction preview blog taking a special look around the 2020 London Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction exhibition…
Is this your first Prop Store poster auction, or just your first in a while? Then don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered! In addition to our full Buyer’s Guide and Terms & Conditions, here is a handy reference guide to the various ways that you can participate in the Cinema Poster Live Auction!
Like Hill House before it, the halls of Bly Manor were filled with ghosts throughout all nine episodes of The Haunting of Bly Manor. Now a staple of the acclaimed anthology series, spirits hid in plain sight in practically every scene on the Manor’s grounds, whether the audience noticed them or not.
Join us, if you dare, as we countdown our 5 favorite spooks from The Haunting of Bly Manor.
BEWARE, DEAR READER!! SPOILERS AHEAD!!
IF YOU HAVE NOT YET FINISHED WATCHING THE HAUNTING OF BLY MANOR, TURN BACK NOW!
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED…
Almost 60 years on from Dr. No, people still can’t get enough of James Bond, as the hunger for the still-delayed No Time To Die surely shows. With several artefacts from the world of 007 appearing in our upcoming EMLA – from Pierce Brosnan’s Walther PPK to Daniel Craig’s Skyfall tuxedo – we thought we’d reveal a few fascinating facts about the franchise that you might not yet have heard…
He may not have an iron suit, an enchanted hammer, or a vibranium shield, but Phil Coulson’s brain and bravery make him as important a hero as any in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The cool gadgets and stylish wardrobe are pretty helpful, too.
Is this your first auction? First in a while? You’ve only ever used eBay?! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In addition to our full Buyer’s Guide and Terms & Conditions, here is a handy reference guide to the various ways that you can participate in the Marvel Television Live Auction!
The walls of Hill House were brimming with darkness long before the Crain family called it home. Since its construction, and possibly before, the house and the land it sat on was a hot bed of evil energy and led to countless deaths and gruesome crimes. A living home with a stomach in the form of its mysterious “Red Room,” the dark spirit of Hill House was adept at changing its methods of haunting and persuasion to fit the dreams and fears of its victims, eventually trapping the entire Crain family in its monstrous snare.
Start counting to seven as we dissect how Hill House chose to haunt each member of the Crain family after their short-lived residence.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the ultimate convergence point of a shared universe. One which features characters, plots and items completely of its own creation, but one which also includes many references to both the 80 years of Marvel Comics history as well as over a decade of films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Strategic, Homeland, Intervention and Logistics Division is a bit of a mouthful, so it is only fitting that S.H.I.EL.D. agents tend to bite off more than they can chew.
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