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Alexandre Aja’s Love for Horror Lead to Great Success

Meet Hollywood's master of blood, gore, kills & chills

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Aja says that he just wants to keep growing, and spread chills and thrills. Pixabay

Alexandre Aja’s love for horror made him dive deep into the genre and create hits like “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Piranha 3D” and “Mirrors”. The filmmaker says he initially thought that he would get over the genre, but is glad that his obsession with the genre is intact. The director says he just wants to keep growing, and spread chills and thrills.

“I have been watching horror movies since I was a young kid. I loved them and I thought that at some point by making them, I will, kind of, get used to them and not be in it anymore, but I am still into it,” Aja told IANS in an exclusive sit-down interview.

“Every week I go and see a new horror movie and enjoy it and love it. I love to be scared. I love to be in the room with the audience. I love to share that feeling. I want to keep growing,” added the director. Aja feels it is a great time for horror as a genre.

“Today, there are so many opportunities. These movies are so successful in theatres and I think it is very important to see them on big screen. It is very important to feel on the big screen,” he pointed out.

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Aja feels it is a great time for horror as a genre. Pixabay

Aja’s cinema is known for blood, gore, wince-worthy kills and for building suspense with music. He got his break in 2003 with “Haute Tension” (“High Tension”) — which turned out to be his ticket to Hollywood, where he made “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Mirrors”, “Piranha 3D” and “Horns”. He will be back with a disaster horror movie “Crawl”. Aja has returned to water to narrate a suspenseful tale of a daughter trying to save her father from an alligator-infested house amid a hurricane.

“Crawl” chronicles the struggle of a swimmer Haley Keller (played by Kaya Scodelario) as she tries to save herself and her father (Barry Pepper) from alligators amidst a Florida hurricane. The horror thriller will open in India on August 23. The movie will be distributed in India by Viacom18 Motion Pictures. It is written by Michael Rasmussen and Shawn Rasmussen, and produced by Craig Flores, Sam Raimi and Aja. The story is simple, and that is what drew Aja in.

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“I wanted people to have a wide, scary and intense suspense film experience. I remember when I got the script for the first time, what got me in and made me fall in love with the story was the log line. The simple idea of this young woman who has to go and save her dad during hurricane category five in Florida in a place infested with alligators –That was all I needed,” he said.

After “Crawl”, it is being reported that Aja is prepping to bring an interactive haunted house horror experience to the big screen. The movie will reportedly allow audience members to influence the storyline through an app on their phones. They will be able to decide how the story will go and end. An official confirmation and details about the project is awaited. (IANS)

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Oscar Nominees Furious Over Exclusion From Telecast

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild's industry siblings

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Hollywood filmmakers like Alfonso Cuaron and Guillermo del Toro and leading craftspeople have condemned a decision by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to hand out four awards during commercial breaks in the hope of trimming the shows (Oscars) run time.

Nominees and their colleagues from the commercial-banished categories of cinematography, make-up and hairstyling, film editing, and live action shorts slammed the decision in interviews and via heated posts on social media, reports variety.com.

“I find it depressing that they are doing this. Hopefully it won’t be like the part of the show where they play clips from the Sci-Tech awards dinner. That always feels a bit sad, like they didn’t get invited to the real party,” said cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, a nominee this year for “Never Look Away”.

Deschanel is referencing the Academy’s annual Scientific and Technical Awards, held two weeks before the Oscars and typically hosted by a celebrity, which honours technical achievement in film.

Deschanel has been nominated six times stretching back to 1983’s “The Right Stuff”, but has yet to win.

Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron, a multiple-nominee for producing, directing, writing and cinematography for “Roma”, criticised the Academy’s decision.

“In the history of cinema, masterpieces have existed without sound, without colour, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without cinematography and without editing,” wrote Cuaron.

Three-time Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki called it “an unfortunate decision”.

Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro said he “would not presume to suggest what categories to cut during the Oscars show but cinematography and editing are at the very heart of our craft”.

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An Oscar Award.

“They are not inherited from a theatrical tradition or a literary tradition. They are cinema itself,” del Toro said.

Drake Doremus, indie director behind the late Anton Yelchin’s “Like Crazy”, even called for a “boycott”.

In a memo outlining the changes, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President John Bailey said representatives from categories that were shunted off to the commercial breaks volunteered to have their award presented off-camera.

However, the board members who represent those crafts don’t speak for the unions or guild membership.

The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, will determine what emotionally resonant moments from the four speeches make it to air later in the broadcast, according to an individual close to the production.

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The show will cut any comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees, said the insider. While Bailey said the speeches will air in their entirety, that may not be the case on the big night as broadcasters reserve the right to cut them, the source said.

“This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimising our fundamental creative contributions,” said Kees van Oostrum, President of American Society of Cinematographers, in a statement on Tuesday.

“To find out so close to the actual awards that you’ll be in the commercial break, it’s disappointing,” Lee Smith, last year’s film editing winner for “Dunkirk”, said.

Rachael Stanley, the Executive Director of the Costume Designers Guild, lamented the loss of attention for her guild’s industry siblings. (IANS)