Reed Johnson

Feb. 23, 2012 | 3:46 a.m.

‘Dark Knight Rises’: Hans Zimmer explains Christopher Nolan’s secrecy

This post has been corrected, as detailed below. Oscar-winning Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer never likes to repeat himself, even — or perhaps, especially — when he’s writing the score for a sequel. So he’s promising some new twists for his soundtrack for “The Dark Knight Rises,” the crowning installment of director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the most-anticipated film of this summer. German-born and British-educated, Zimmer has scored films in some of Hollywood’s biggest franchise properties, such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series; epic action dramas like “Black Hawk Down”; and a number of small, highly acclaimed films such as “A World Apart,” a South African drama that incorporated traditional African music to give the soundtrack an authentic texture. His most recent score, for “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,”  presented his work in yet another box-office winner. For the “Dark Knight Rises” score, Zimmer has designed a true “world” music score: using […]
March 28, 2011 | 7:25 p.m.

‘Akira,’ ‘Godzilla’ and Japanese pop culture of apocalypse

Reed Johnson is one of the most astute culture writers in American journalism, and as all of us have watched moments of calamity, courage and grief play out on the other side of the globe in Japan this month, his thoughts turned to the mirror moments of national disaster that have played out so famously in Japanese pop culture. Here’s an excerpt from his new article on the uncomfortable feelings and thoughts that come with this bundling of contemporary tragedy and pop-culture memory… The sublimely cheesy, enormously popular “Godzilla” films launched in the 1950s depicted a dinosaur-like monster, spawned by underwater nuclear detonations, crashing through the streets of Tokyo. The popular 1973 novel “Japan Sinks” envisions the island nation being physically split in two by a combined earthquake-tsunami. And in the landmark 1988 animated sci-fi film “Akira,” adapted from a manga epic, a nuclear […]
April 24, 2010 | 12:04 a.m.

‘Avatar’ shatters sales records — and inspires an armed heist in Mexico City

“Avatar” was an unprecedented sales sensation for home-video retailers, as it nearly tripled the existing record for single-day Blu-ray sales set by “The Dark Knight.” Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” sold 600,000 copies on Blu-ray in the United States when it hit stores in December 2008; on Tuesday, “Avatar” racked up about 1.5 million copies sold, according to sources at Fox. The DVDs and Blu-rays of “Avatar” were also clearly coveted as a black-market commodity: According to a report issued by the procuraduría general de justicia (attorney general of justice) in Mexico City, 3,409 DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film were taken at gunpoint from a delivery truck belonging to Technicolor Home Entertainment Services of Mexico. The report said that the truck driver was assaulted by an armed robber in the Mexican capital’s Alvaro Obregon district. According to the report, the stolen […]
Feb. 04, 2010 | 7:45 p.m.

‘Gaza’ author Joe Sacco may walk away from battlefields: ‘I’m kind of at that point’

Reed Johnson caught up with Joe Sacco and found that the cartoonist and correspondent may be taking a break from his hot-zone reportage. If our present era constitutes a sort of End Times for mainstream media, it’s proving to be a golden age for Joe Sacco and other practitioners of comic-book reportage. Balkan blood feuds, the “war on terror” and the agonies of post-diluvium New Orleans are just a few topics taken up by graphic journalists of late. No doubt, some intrepid cartoonist-correspondent is currently roaming Port-au-Prince, sketchbook and flip-cam in hand. Sacco, 49, isn’t just one of this evolving medium’s most skilled advocates. He’s widely credited with inventing a new genre, the investigative-reported war comic book. Among his books are “Palestine” (2001), which won an American Book Award, and “Safe Area Goradze: The War in Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995” (2000), a […]
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