The stills

The stills sees JSHmoviestuff open up its scrapbook to show you some of the coolest film images around.

First up, I wanted to post some of the stills that have really caught my eye recently and over the last year…

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Entertainment Weekly create some superb mocked-up images for their front covers and so I had to include the one of Michael Keaton for Birdman which is stunning and Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck for Gone Girl which makes a chill go all the way down your spine if you’ve caught David Fincher’s movie.

Being totally blown away by Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, I love this cast shot that The Hollywood Reporter put together.

I was very much drawn to see the noir thriller The Two Faces of January by its poster image of stars Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst – all looking beautifully cool amid the heat and danger of 1960’s Athens – and it didn’t disappoint.

I was very much in a Steve Rogers zone with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and so I wanted to post not only the brilliant poster image from the first film Captain America: The First Avenger but also a wonderful still of Chris Evans from the sequel.

I think the 2 portraits of couples from Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (of Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck, shot in an almost Malick-like ‘magic hour’ light) and To The Wonder (of Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams, against the cornfield backdrop) are beautiful and incredibly striking. Everyone got very excited when the first still of Star Trek: Into Darkness was revealed, as it showed Benedict Cumberbatch’s villain amidst the devastation he’d potentially created and in so doing, getting people talking about exactly who he was.

Finally, I love the image of Jessica Chastain in her Aviator sunglasses in the incredible Zero Dark Thirty, it’s pure, relaxed steel – and even better when you’ve seen the film and know the context of the scene in which it’s from – superb.

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I’m a big fan of the work of photographer Annie Leibovitz and so wanted to share some of the iconic images she’s produced for Vanity Fair.

So firstly, we have a selection of stills paying homage to film noir and the movies of Alfred Hitchcock. From Strangers on a Train to Rear Window, from To Catch a Thief to Rebecca, we see some of Hitchcock’s iconic characters inhabited by some of our best and brightest current Hollywood actors – Robert Downey Jr., James McAvoy, Gwyneth Paltrow, Javier Bardem, Emile Hirsch, Keira Knightley, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Jason Leigh. And you have Jack Nicholson, probably the ultimate noir cop after his Jake Gittes in Chinatown, shown here in a more 40’s light, along with quite the most impeccable collection of acting talent assembled in one room as a noir family – Robert de Niro, Edward Norton, Julianne Moore, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Connelly and Kate Winslet.

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And then, every awards season, there’s a Vanity Fair Oscar issue and Leibovitz’s shots for those have been some of the most famous.

You can see the picture of Kate Winslet after her Titanic success, where Leibovitz thought ‘why don’t I just put in a tank so she looks like a mermaid?’ Then I love the celebration of the 4 guys responsible for a movie that took everyone by surprise in 2009 and spawned a hugely successful trilogy – The Hangover and also the stellar portrait of director Kathryn Bigelow and actor Jeremy Renner who collaborated to such stunning effect to bring us the deservedly Oscar-winning drama The Hurt Locker. There’s the dynamite trio of director David Fincher, writer Aaron Sorkin and actor Jesse Eisenberg, who made The Social Network one of the must-see (and rightly celebrated) movies of 2010. And what happens when hobbits reunite? Fun, that’s what. Well it looks like it when you see the still of Dominic Monaghan, Elijah Wood, Sean Astin and Billy Boyd back together.

Finally, a special mention for the lovely portrait of one of the greatest actors and directors there has ever been – (Mr) Clint Eastwood.

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