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One of the most intriguing — and most discussed — films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is a curious documentary called The Nightmare, which recounts and restages the experiences of various people who suffer from extreme forms of sleep paralysis. The subject is fascinating enough on its own, but The Nightmare was directed by Rodney Ascher, who made a splash at the 2012 festival with Room 237, his experimental documentary about different, out-there interpretations of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. As might be expected, The Nightmare, not unlike the previous film, is by turns playful, probing, and terrifying. Ascher intercuts his interviews with reenactments of his subjects’ nightmares, but he also unveils the filmmaking apparatus itself at times, occasionally showing the film crew lurking silently during his interviews, not unlike the dark, quiet figures who sometimes visit these people in their dreams. We spoke to Ascher about his creepy new film, »
- Bilge Ebiri
The frightening netherworld of night terrors and sleep paralysis sounds utterly terrifying just in description alone; people trapped in awakened states of semi-consciousness, unable to move, but capable of witnessing some truly horrific hallucinations that seem all too real. Or are they real? Are these nightmarish horrors a manifestation of something supernatural? A chemical imbalance triggered by stress or one’s lifestyle? A sleep disorder based on the anxieties of the human subconscious? All of this is explored, but not much of it illuminated in any meaningful way in Rodney Ascher’s docudrama “The Nightmare.” Ascher’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed “Room 237” that gave wacko conspiracy theorists plenty of room to wax about their idiotic, totally-off-base hypotheses about Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” his latest doc takes a creepy and creative approach to the malady of sleep paralysis and its devastating aftereffects. Studying eight different subjects, mostly from the. »
- Rodrigo Perez
Imagine waking up, seeing someone you don't know in your room and then discovering that you can't move. You can’t run, you can't hide – you're frozen. Sleep paralysis is a real thing and director Rodney Ascher is about to let the world know all about it.
You may recognize Ascher's name. He's the director behind Room 237 (review), the documentary on the conspiracy theories behind Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. For his follow up, Ascher is mixing documentary filmmaking with horror in The Nightmare.
In his new movie, Ascher explores sleep paralysis in a conventional way that is turning out to be more than people bargained for: by re-enacting individual's [Continued ...] »
Turner nominated artists The Wilson sisters, Louise Wilson and Jane Wilson, have been in Rotterdam this weekend for the international premiere of their new piece Undead Sun, originally presented in London’s Imperial War Museum last year.
Undead Sun sees the Newcastle-born sisters investigating the uses of disguise and camouflage in war. They regard the film as a natural successor to their 2011 work, Face Scripting: What Did the Building See. This was about the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh by Mossad agents in a Dubai hotel.
“It was looking at CCTV and looking at covert imagery,” Jane Wilson says of a film which explores how contemporary warfare has moved from old fashioned battlefields into the luxurious confines of a modern, upmarket hotel. “What we were thinking about was how technology has developed through facial recognition and through use of CCTV.”
When the First World War started, the sisters note, there were still »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoffrey Macnab)
No, that’s not the title of the next Batman movie. Well, it might be. I suspect Warner Bros. hasn’t thought that far ahead. They’re too busy trying to make their Aquaman movie without giggling themselves to death.
A couple nights ago I was watching Batman Returns – you’ll recall that was Michael Keaton’s second and final Batflick. At the time of release, which was 1992, I thought it was an uneven movie. By and large, I liked the Catwoman stuff but I thought the Penguin parts were… foul. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen the movie, so when I surfed past it at a quarter-to-two in the morning, I thought it might be fun to check it out with my older and even more jaded eyes.
I was amused to discover the movie was broader than I remembered, but just as dark. It »
- Mike Gold
In today's roundup of news and views: Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin suggest that we "re-imagine" Roman Polanski's Repulsion "as a Béla Tarr film." Plus Adrian Martin on Walerian Borowczyk, Jonathan Rosenbaum on Tsai Ming-liang's Stray Dogs, Jason Z. Resnikoff on the contrasting views of the future between Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and Ridley Scott's Alien, Wayne Koestenbaum and Sérgio Dias Branco on Guy Maddin, Joshua Rothman on Werner Herzog, Grady Hendrix on Tsui Hark, Michael Sicinski on Gabe Klinger's documentary on James Benning and Richard Linklater—and more. » - David Hudson »
Sick of honey-sweet TV portrayals of relationships and hackneyed sitcom clichés about the drudgery of marriage, Sharon Horan (Pulling, Dead Boss, Free Agents) and stand-up Rob Delaney (Burning Love, Larry King, basically the king of Twitter) wrote and star in Catastrophe. It’s a deeply funny, down-to-earth story of two people whose strings-free hook-up is fast-tracked due to an unplanned pregnancy, and their attempts to stay their accelerated course.
Deftly balancing sharp humour with naturalistic performances and genuine warmth spiked by the odd disgusting moment, Catastrophe is a solid addition to Channel 4’s comedy line-up. We chatted to writer/actors Horgan and Delaney about avoiding schmaltz, working with Carrie Fisher, the influence of Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy, and discover that Rob Delaney can’t pronounce the word ‘treacle’…
In his relatively short time directing films, Paul Thomas Anderson has been called a rock star, a genius, an artist who knows no limits, the most devout filmmaker of his generation, and even the best film director in the world. Anderson has secured a spot in the hearts of most cinephiles generally reserved for dearly departed masters like Alfred Hitchcock or Stanley Kubrick. Somewhere along the line, Anderson transformed from the latest cinematic wunderkind to the new American master.
As such, there are hundreds of articles (justifiably) praising the new golden boy of American cinema, but few of them acknowledge Anderson’s flaws as a filmmaker, or else they work overtime to explain them away. Let’s play devil’s advocate and look at those flaws head-on.
- Jeff Rindskopf
With Steven Soderbergh being retired from film and all, he’s got an awful lot of time on his hands, clearly enough to re-watch and re-edit a movie he calls “The most impressively imagined and sustained piece of visual art created in the 20th century,” 2001: A Space Odyssey, because why not?
Obviously there are many reasons why not, and he already had his hand adapting the Russian 2001: A Space Odyssey, a.k.a. Solaris, but he decided that if he was going to do anything to it, he would do more than just trim scenes or add a new score (which, again, dear God, why?).
His new version runs just 110 minutes, about 50 shorter than Stanley Kubrick’s original. But the real reason had nothing to do with the film’s length but with the chance to experiment with new digital technology and the Blu-Ray re-release. Soderbergh attests that »
- Brian Welk
In 1642, Rembrandt revolutionized military company portraits with “The Night Watch.” It’s a gorgeous, sprawling masterwork that combines skill, scope and subject. It’s also difficult to overstate or understand its cultural impact, although the fact that it’s essentially the national painting of The Netherlands offers a solid starting point. The revolution part came from the addition of motion to a genre of portraits that typically displayed men of action standing perfectly still. They were very popular at the time — militia groups would pay to have them made (if you paid enough, your face might even be recognizable), but Rembrandt elevated the form with what is rightfully heralded as one of the greatest paintings ever created. What does it have to do with 2001: A Space Odyssey? Besides the elevation of popular art, massive scope and peerless skill, Steven Soderbergh just name-checked it while delivering his cut of Stanley Kubrick‘s space voyage in a blog »
- Scott Beggs
If you noticed that Steven Soderbergh watched Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 three times in 2014, here’s the reason why: he was working on his own recut. Just as he did with Raiders of the Lost Ark, Soderbergh has worked over Kubrick’s masterpiece and he’s posted his version over at his Extension 765 website. He sets the bar high for his adaptation: i’ve been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey regularly for four decades, but it wasn’t until a few years ago i started thinking about touching it, and then over the holidays i decided to make my move. why now? I don’t […] »
- Scott Macaulay
Awhile back, we featured a cool little project done by some cinephiles and video games fans where they used Grand Theft Auto V to recreate the motorcycle and semi-truck chase scene from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. That kind of idea is a no-brainer since the game is known for stealing cars and vehicular mayhem. But did you ever think that someone would take the time to recreate some scenes from Stanley Kubrick's wild 1971 classic A Clockwork Orange using the Rockstar Games production? Well, that's exactly what GTA Series Videos has done with the use of some editing and a PlayStation 4. Watch below! Here's the Grand Theft Auto V version of A Clockwork Orange from GTA Series Videos (via The Playlist): If you go watch the actual scene, you'll see that this is a pretty meticulous recreation of these scenes in the film, at least as far as Grand Theft Auto V would allow. »
- Ethan Anderton
"i’ve been watching 2001: A Space Odyssey regularly for four decades, but it wasn’t until a few years ago i started thinking about touching it," Steven Soderbergh writes (in all lowercase) on Extension 765. And he's not kidding. As detailed in his lengthy list of everything he watched and read last year, Soderbergh sat down with Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" three times in 2014, and then read "The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey" by Piers Bizony. And now, he felt ready to take the scissors to the movie. As he did for "Psycho" and "Raiders Of The Lost Ark," Soderbergh has taken Kubrick's film and put through his own filter, resulting in a shorter version (running a mere one-hour-and-fifty minutes long), that is also radically recut. And for you tech heads, Soderbergh has a lot to say about his many viewing experiences of »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Several iconic scenes from Stanley Kubrick's classic insane thriller A Clockwork Orange have been awesomely recreated in Grand Theft Auto Online. It comes from GTA Series Videos, and it took around a dozen people to make. It's pretty amazing to see how close they were able to bring certain scenes to life in GTA video game form, and they even included the audio from the movie and stuck it in the video. A Clockwork Orange was such a demented film, which is why it meshes together so well with such a demented game. Enjoy!
- Joey Paur
Nothing says “a bit of the old ultra violence” like Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 masterpiece, “A Clockwork Orange” although Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto” videogame series comes close. And now, thanks to GTA Series Videos, we have a perfect mash-up of both. Painstakingly recorded on next gen gaming system PlayStation 4, the six minute video recreates some of the most iconic and memorable scenes from the film as a “Grand Theft Auto V” video. In it, Alex —whose dialogue is still voiced by Malcolm McDowell— and his droogs rain their own special brand of terror down upon the hapless citizens who happen to cross their paths, and then upon one another. The final couple minutes of the video recreates the scene in which Alex lashes out against the other droogs. “As we walked along the flatblock marina, I was calm on the outside, but thinking all the time. So now it was to be Georgie the general, »
- Zach Hollwedel
You probably remember Rodney Ascher's first film, "Room 237," which he brought to the Sundance Film Festival back in 2012. What might be a cinephile's wet dream, "Room 237" takes a close look at the various interpretations circulating around Stanley Kubrick's film "The Shining." Picked up for distribution by IFC Films, "Room 237" became the subject of great debate, not unlike the film that it covered. In "The Nightmare," which is screening as part of the Midnight film series at Sundance, Ascher ventures into scientific territory via the exploration of sleep paralysis -- an experience that occurs when an individual is either falling asleep or waking up, in which he or she is temporarily rendered unable to move or speak. What's your film about in 140 characters or less? Eight people's true experiences with sleep paralysis (and the things that wait for them in the darkness) Now what's it really about? »
- Shipra Gupta
British-born Bernard Telvin Williams, a producer of films including “A Clockwork Orange,” “Manhunter,” “What About Bob?,” “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “Daredevil,” died of cancer in Lake Arrowhead, Calif., on January 4. He was 72.
Williams was associate producer not only on Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” but also on the director’s “Barry Lyndon.” Other producing credits include “The Bounty,” a reworking of “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Anthony Hopkins and Mel Gibson; the epic “Ragtime,” based on the E.L. Doctorow novel and directed by Milos Forman; Michael Mann’s “Manhunter,” the first Hannibel Lecter film; Bill Murray comedy “What About Bob?”; Frank Oz’s Michael Caine-Steve Martin vehicle “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”; the Steve Martin-Eddie Murphy comedy “Bowfinger”; and 2003 Ben Affleck superhero movie “Daredevil.”
His final credit came on the 2006 version of “Charlotte’s Web.”
Williams was also unit production manager on a number of the films that he produced. »
- Carmel Dagan
Chicago – One of the specialities of HollywoodChicago.com is the film and personality interview. The majority of these chats came through me, Patrick McDonald, and I couldn’t narrow it down to a top 10 or even a top 20. For 2014, there were 25 top interviews, and it is a diverse range of voices.
It is a privilege to get the opportunity to participate in the promotional tours, awards ceremonies, film festivals, book appearances, phoners and other lucky happenstances that feature the notable among us. To whittle down the list, I mostly thought about what was said in these interviews, whether inspirational or provocative – plus the status of the participants, whether they are up-and-coming or established.
The interview highlights are broken down by “Background and Behind-the-Scenes” and the “Memorable Quote” associated with each subject, and are often accompanied with exclusive photography by Joe Arce of HollywoodChicago.com. Four notables who just missed the »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Being a movie director is without question one of the most stressful and demanding jobs in the entertainment industry, given that potentially hundreds of millions of dollars depend on one person’s ability to deliver a movie able to find an audience, while ensuring the gainful employment of hundreds if not thousands of cast and crew members.
As such, perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s a profession that tends to attract passionate personalities, passionate to the point that actors often characterise them as difficult, a real pain to work with, or in some select cases, even flat-out psychopathic. With so much on the line, the weak-willed need not apply, but even so, these 12 directors have especially earned reputations for being directors who actors don’t especially like working with, even though they tend to turn out satisfactory if not incredible results every »
- Jack Pooley
“Eyes Wide Shut” was Stanley Kubrick’s last film. It’s surreal, polarizing, somewhat perplexing, and incredibly cerebral. It’s also a total mindbender. So what was it like to work on the film, with one of cinema’s legends? Alan Cumming spoke about his experiences for a dozen minutes at the Tiff Bell Lightbox recently, and the truths he revealed shed a lot of light on Kubrick’s process. “Don’t fall asleep, ‘cause you’ll miss me. Don’t blink too long; I’m in it for a very short time,” Cumming says. Despite the brief cameo he has as a desk clerk in the film, he claims his audition process stretched out over months. Cumming was called to try out for the part, but wasn’t presented with a script. Rather, he had to audition based on the general idea of the scene he would be in. »
- Zach Hollwedel
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